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SHEA: Restoring hope to families

…New York-based humanitarian organization saving lives


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As pressure mounts... THE BEACON OF TRUTH

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See story on page 5

GECOM Chair likely to change position on uncollected IDs Jagdeo engages Diaspora in Canada

See story inside

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, last weekend, hosted several engagements with the Guyanese Diaspora in Canada where he briefed them on the current political and economic situations in their home country

Ramjattan’s PM Guyanese man who admitted

candidacy in limbo

See story on page 5

…as Granger insists ‘I will choose PM candidate’

to carrying cocaine-laden suitcases to settle old debt remanded to US prison Page 15





As pressure mounts... GECOM Chair likely to change position on uncollected IDs


ollowing mounting pressure from the Political Opposition, business community and civil society, Chairman the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM), Justice (rtd) Claudette Singh is likely to change her position on a controversial decision to strike off persons from the voters’ list who have not collected their National Identification Cards since 2008. A source told this newspaper that GECOM will have to put systems in place to allow persons who have not collected their ID cards to vote on elections day provided they take along additional identification. According to the source, there is an Order that seems to suggest that the Commission will move in this direction so as not to disenfranchise thousands of persons, which could be a basis for legal challenges to the outcome of the elections. Last week Tuesday, it was announced at the conclusion of the Commission’s weekly

statutory meeting that Justice Singh decided to give persons 21 days to collect their ID cards. It was stated that if they do not collect their ID cards, they will not be put on the Official List of Electors. These persons will, however, remain in the registration database. It is estimated that this decision affects as many as 25,000 voters. Since then, there has been mounting pressure from various sections of the society, including the Oppositionnominated members of the Commission themselves, to have the decision reversed. Opposition-nominated Commissioner Sase Gunraj had mentioned that they are exploring a number of options should GECOM go ahead with the controversial decision. “Much to the disagreement of myself and colleagues, the Chairman is insisting on publishing the names of those who have not collected their ID cards and what is now made

GECOM Chair, retired Justice Claudette Singh

very clear, is that persons who may have registered as late as last year or during the previous Claims and Objections period and did not collect their ID cards, also stand at risk of being removed from the list,” Gunraj had said following the meeting. He added that the situation is “very disconcerting because persons will be disenfranchised by this move… apparently, it is slated for this weekend. As we speak, I am determining what routes can be taken. And there are several options available to us”. Gunraj and Governmentnominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander had related that the Commission also met with newly-formed political party A New and United Guyana (ANUG). It was explained that at that meeting, ANUG also expressed reservations about GECOM’s plan. According to Alexander, however, GECOM will be writing continued on page 11



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The fundamental right to vote


anding down her decision in August on the objectedto House-to-House registration exercise, Chief Justice Roxane George had cited the words of Justice Claudette Singh in her judgement on the “Esther Perreira case”, when the latter had vitiated the results of the 1997 elections. She did so on the ground that the agreement by the overwhelming majority of the National Assembly – comprising the PPP and the PNC – to require an ID card as a prerequisite for voting was unconstitutional. Justice Singh had explained eloquently: “It is axiomatic that no right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined… it becomes clear, then, that any prohibition, restriction or limitation on the right to vote must be viewed with a close and critical eye, since any such encroachment would be a bar to that voter’s right to have a voice in the elections of his representatives in government”. This right arises from the most fundamental principle of the Constitution, in Art 9, which declares, “Sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it through their representatives and the democratic organs established by or under this Constitution.” This has been described as part of the “Basic Structure” of our Constitution, which cannot be altered even by a “legal” amendment to the Constitution. To fetter a right grounded in the sovereignty of the people is to plunge a dagger into the heart of our sacred right to be human. Justice George buttressed Justice Singh’s articulation of the principle by pointing out in her August ruling: “The right to be registered to vote and the right to vote are sacrosanct and fundamental. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Guyana has acceded and which is incorporated into our Constitution, (see art 154A (1) and the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution) establishes the right to vote as a matter of international human rights law and provides that every citizen has a right to vote”. But for the same Justice Claudette Singh, in her new role as Chair of GECOM, to now order that some 28,000 persons who had legally been registered to vote but did not uplift their ID Cards since 2008 must be stricken from the Preliminary Voters List, is tantamount to refusing to hark to her own caution, that “any prohibition, restriction or limitation on the right to vote must be viewed with a close and critical eye, since any such encroachment would be a bar to that voter’s right to have a voice in the elections of his representatives in government”. She has ordered that the individuals who have not uplifted their ID Cards be informed to do so through the mail, and if within 21 days they still have not complied, their names will be stricken from the PLE/OLE, but remain on the NRR. Let us therefore examine “with a close and critical eye” Chairman Singh’s decision. The rationale could be that these individuals are either dead, chose not to have an ID Card, or are not present at the address. However, there is already a procedure for removing individuals who become deceased from the OLE and NRR: through the death certificates issued by the General Registrars’ Office, or from “objections” during the Claims and Objections period. The recent operation of these processes has not thrown up the identified names. Secondly, there is no legal requirement for a citizen to have an ID, since a passport can also be used for identification purposes. Thirdly, if individuals are to be removed because they are not at the address, then this is in violation of the CJ’s ruling that residency is not a requirement for voting. At best, the GECOM Chair’s order can only be regarded as an effort to “clean up” the OLE. The fundamental right to vote cannot be sacrificed at the altar of bureaucratic efficiency.

As part of the U.S. commitment to partner with all of Guyana, Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch, accompanied by her husband and other officials, traveled to Region One (Barima Waini) and met with officials there. According to the US embassy, she was met by Mayor Chris Phang from Mabaruma. “Ambassador Lynch enjoyed her first visit to beautiful Region One. She saw first-hand the challenges facing the region as it continues to receive increased numbers of migrants fleeing Venezuela,” the embassy said

There should be a joint fight to protect the integrity of Guyana’s voters’ list Dear Editor, It is an egregious mistake and a blatant illegality – GECOM has an absolute obligation to extract every name of every person who is at least eighteen years old on the National Register of Registrants (NRR) to compile the voters’ list. Already a Preliminary Voters’ List (PLE) was prepared from the NRR and is presently subjected to Claims and Objections. GECOM’s decision to keep persons on the NRR, but removing them from the voters’ list, even though they are eighteen years old is not just illegal, it is fully voter suppression. The only way to remove a person from the voters’ list is if the person has died or there has been a successful objection to that person during Claims and Objections. Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP are fighting the illegal move by GECOM to disenfranchise more than 25,000 persons. While the PPP is carrying the heavy lifting fighting for these persons, none of the other political parties seem interested in meaningfully joining the fight. Where are Ramkarran, Shuman, Badal, Ruel Johnson, Vishnu Bandoo, Fed-Up and their parties? Where are other stakeholders, such as the Private Sector Commission, the trade unions, Transparency International, the Guyana Human Rights Association, the Bar Association, the Women Lawyers Association? Where are the ABCE countries? Surely, this should be a joint fight to protect the integrity of Guyana’s voters’ list. Whether anyone likes Bharrat Jagdeo or the PPP or not, everyone should join them to fight for the integrity of the voters’ list. Today, the attack is against these 25,000 persons, tomorrow, it might be each of us. This fight is for Guyana’s democracy. GECOM plans to remove

more than 25,000 persons from the voters’ list unless these people show up at a GECOM office to pick up their ID cards which they had previously not picked up. These persons, according to GECOM’s dictate, have 21 days to pick up their cards, failing which, their names will be removed from the voters’ list. Justice Singh and GECOM must show Guyanese and the world the law that permits them to commit this egregious act; the law does not exist. But APNU/AFC, the political party behind the move, and the GECOM Secretariat are unbothered by this blatant illegality. No one in APNU/ AFC or within GECOM questions the legitimacy of these persons being listed in the NRR and, therefore, know that these persons had legitimately registered. In fact, Justice Claudette Singh insists these persons will retain their registration in the NRR. But this is a violation of the law – the voters’ list is obtained by extracting all names from the NRR of persons who are eighteen (18) years old as of a particular date. For the March 2, 2020 elections, the cut-off date is December 31, 2019. There is no other requirement for the extraction of names. GECOM has no flexibility – they must extract every name of persons who are at least 18 years old, outside of dead persons. At the time of registration, these persons’ personal data, including their then residency, were verified and scrutinised. GECOM staff, accompanied by scrutinisers from the PPP and the PNC and other political parties, had verified these persons’ physical being and verified the presence of these persons at their addresses. Notable in the present Claims and Objections conducted by GECOM is that no one has objected to any of these names. The only legitimate reasons to object to anyone are

those described in the law, such as the person has died. Not picking up one’s ID card is not remotely a reason described in the Constitution or any law. The move by GECOM, supported by Commissioners linked to APNU/AFC and by the Chair of GECOM, is, therefore, barefacedly disenfranchising voters, rigging the election. There is no law that obligates a citizen collecting his National ID card from GECOM. There is a law that describes the eligibility of persons who want to vote in an election in Guyana (Articles 59 and 159 of Guyana’s Constitution). Nowhere in the Constitution or in any law does it state that a person must have in his or her possession a National ID Card to register or vote. The law does require someone to register and be on a voters’ list in order to vote, but he or she can use any approved document as an ID, including a National ID Card, a passport or any other approved document. In fact, in Guyana, the voters’ lists in possession of officials from GECOM contain photographs of individuals and, in all elections since 2001, provisions are in place for these folio pictures to be used whenever someone shows up without an ID card. The High Court had already ruled in 2001 that the voter ID card is illegal. The Judge in that ruling was Justice Claudette Singh. The Parliament had voted unanimously to make it lawful for the use of a voter ID card for the 1997 elections, after the PNC had demanded there must be a voter ID card. Subsequently, having lost the elections very badly, the PNC, through a surrogate named Ester Perreira, challenged the use of a voter ID card and Justice Claudette Singh ruled the law was unconstitutional. Acknowledging the results of the election would not have changed, she still vitiated turn to page 7



Ramjattan’s PM candidacy in limbo …as Granger insists ‘I will choose PM candidate’


eader of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – the majority party in the coalition government, David Granger, has stated that he will be deciding on a Prime Ministerial (PM) candidate who can deliver the best results at March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections. Over the past weeks, APNU and AFC have been reviewing the Cummingsburg Accord – the agreement they signed to coalesce for the 2015 elections, which eventually got them into office. However, those talks have hit a snag when it comes to the selection of a prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming polls, with the APNU Leader insisting that he will be selecting his running mate. “I am a prudent and wise leader and I will make the choice which I feel that will deliver the best results, the best outcome for the people of Guyana. My objective and I’m sure the objective of the six parties of the coalition, would be to ensure that Guyana gets the best and we’re working on that… I don’t want to lose. I want to make sure that we win and once we win, that the country is well-governed. So whoever the nominee is will be subject to scrutiny,” the President told reporters on Wednesday. According to the coalescing deal, the APNU gets the Presidential post and the PM

President David Granger and AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

position goes to the AFC.


However, while the Alliance for Change – the smaller party in the coalition – has already selected its leader, Khemraj Ramjattan, as its PM candidate, his nomination has not been accepted by the larger coalition partner. “There is nothing in the Constitution which allows a political party to choose a prime ministerial candidate. Once the President is elected, the President has the authority under the Constitution to select a Prime Minister. Now we can have an agreement outside of the Constitution that the prime ministerial

candidate or nominees for the Prime Ministership could be made and I would make the choice. That is why at this stage, I don’t want to become involved in personalities,” Granger stated. However, Executive Member Dominic Gaskin said at a press conference last month that the APNU has shown little sign of support for Ramjattan’s nomination and threatened to leave the coalition. In fact, it was noted that during negotiations between the two parties to replace the existing agreement which expires in February 2020, the issue of the Presidential and prime ministerial candidates has been repeatedly deferred.

“This was a decision taken by the highest decision-making forum of our party and it is not up for debate; so it is almost a prerequisite for us entering into a coalition… We don’t accept that any other entity or any other party shall tell us or dictate to us (whom) we should choose as our prime ministerial candidate,” the former Business Minister insisted. Moreover, the AFC had its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting last Saturday, during which guidance was provided to assist the party’s negotiating team in finalising an agreement on the outstanding issues in order to arrive at a successor Cummingsburg Accord. The reviewing process be-

tween representatives from the APNU and AFC has reached an impasse and as such, the talks have been handed over to the leaders of the two parties. This resulted in Granger and Ramjattan meeting last Thursday to continue discussions on areas that were unresolved by the negotiating team. The two leaders met again on Wednesday but according to the APNU leader, those talks will not centre on the PM candidature. Efforts by Guyana Times International to get an update on Wednesday’s meeting between the two coalition leaders were futile. Granger had previously explained that the negotiations are being done in a three-part process. The first stage includes an agreement on core principles, which has been completed; the second part has to do with the revision of the Accord and the third is an agreement on the manifesto policies for next year’s March elections. “My thinking is once the core principle has been agreed, it will be easier to fit the elements that constitute the review of the Accord and at the third level… we move on to the manifesto. After that we can launch,” he stated. The negotiations on the Cummingsburg Accord are expected to wrap up by December 1.



H2H data emerged from ‘a series of poisonous events’ Dear Editor, Data gathered during the truncated House-to-House exercise is poisonous. It is derived from a sequence of poisoned events beginning with the illegal unilateral appointment of Justice James Patterson (Retired) by President David Granger; then Patterson authorised the H2H exercise with the full understanding that a constitutionally mandated election was overdue by 82 days when he reputedly signed the order on June 11, 2019, and

that he (Patterson) was facing a decision on the legality of his appointment on June 18, 2019. The H2H data is itself improperly gathered, done without the requisite party scrutineer component; by poorly trained enumerators; and on a non-statutory form. An examination of the H2H data reveals poor spelling, handwriting and comprehension skills, much of it is illegible; names and addresses jumbled beyond salvage. Any Information Technology person can tell you that

‘garbage in’ always equals ‘garbage out’, which in computing other data fields, means incorrect or poor-quality input will produce faulty output. In legal arguments about the doctrine of ‘the fruit of the poisoned tree’, evidence is deemed useable or valid if, despite the tainted source, the evidence would inevitably have been discovered anyway. The ‘evidence’ in this case would be the data of first-time registrants, and indeed, that ‘evidence’ would have

been discovered during a period of Continuous Registration or Claims and Objections. However, the H2H data was so poorly collected and without the requisite safeguards of multiple party scrutineers; it could stand on its own as a poisonous fruit, the H2H data is toxic waste. Once the period for Claims and Objections to the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) is concluded, it becomes the Revised Voters’ List (RVL) and then the Official List of Electors (OLE) and there is no

The AFC has been reduced to a mere appendage to the PNC Dear Editor, Recent reports in the press point to a major disagreement between the PNC-led APNU and the AFC. This is because the PNC is about to force the AFC to accept its conditions as it relates to the number two position on their list of candidates – The prime ministerial position. The AFC, working on the assumption that they have an agreement with PNC, proceeded at its last “Congress” to name Ramjattan for the number two position. That had its own problem since Nagamootoo’s cloven foot was exposed. Having been replaced by Ramjattan, Nagamootoo discarded his yellow shirt for a green one. He seems to be grovelling at the feet of the PNC to keep his “wuk”. Now we hear that the PNC told the AFC that Ramjattan was not acceptable. Granger’s words are reported to be: “I cannot allow people to usurp my authority to choose”. Let us not forget that all of this is happening despite a signed agreement that exists between the two parties. This is another demonstration, if more were needed, to show that the PNC has no regard for constitutions nor agreements. Whenever it feels it is in a good position, they just renege. This is their history. Treachery is in that party’s DNA. In the press, the AFC hinted at leaving the “coalition”. This, in my view, is just idle talk. It seems to have come from damaged pride. I say this because, in the first place, this is not a coalition. These parties are on one list and the PNC is call-

ing the shots. If the AFC withdraws, it will not bring down the Government. All Granger would do is replace those that resigned. The weak position that the AFC is now in is due to many factors, including them being complicit with the APNU in subverting our Constitution and destroying democracy in our land. They collaborated in the efforts to prepare the rigging of the upcoming elections. Another fact is that the AFC is not united on the position of what to do. Recall that Trotman is already reported to be “optimistic”. This can be read to mean that he is not one that would resign. He hopes to tell that to his colleagues in the AFC. That is how he believes he would avert any resignation from taking place. Granger is also calculating on several things. On the one hand, he has much influence on Trotman and Patterson. They are more PNC than AFC. He is also calculating that Hughes and also his son-in-law, Gaskin, will stay in line. This is for family reasons among other things. This means that Ramjattan is now isolated. Granger must also be considering that the “good life” which the elite in the regime has been enjoying since 2015 would be too lucrative for AFC girls and boys to want to give up. After all the Local Government Election showed that AFC support has dwindled very sharply. It is even weaker now. They have lost bargaining power. The lies and misrepresentations have discredited them. For instance, the promises of 20 per cent increase for sugar workers and G$9000 per bag for paddy to rice farmers

were deliberately designed to fool the people. They have been exposed and cannot repeat those lies. They cannot return to the people with more lies! As mentioned above, they have tasted the “good life” and would not want to give up voluntarily. They have become extraordinarily wealthy and many drive around with Police outriders. One of them, in a divorce petition before 2015 claimed he could not even eat properly. Now, in four short years he has multiple properties and vehicles. The fact that they deliberately fooled people to vote for them shows that they have no moral fibre, nor integrity. They will, therefore, have to accept whatever they are offered now by the PNC. None of them has the conviction to leave the lucrative jobs they have. For that bunch in the elite of APNU/ AFC, self-interest is more important than the country’s interests. So it is clear to me that they would have to find an excuse to back down, to put their tails between their legs and beg pardon. The most likely “excuse” would be to keep out the “big bad PPP/C”. The AFC has been reduced to a mere appendage to the PNC. It must now beg for whatever mercies the PNC can give them. They have no trumps to play, just some inconsequential cards and two jokers. That is why nothing will come out of the little spat or disagreement. They will have to crawl in a corner and lick their damaged pride. Sincerely, Donald Ramotar Former President

known legal or statutory process to add names to the OLE save and except a Claims and Objections exercise. The Claims period is now over and there can be no legal merger of this toxic H2H data with the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE). Any action that allows a merger would result in taint and bloat of the PLE with unverified data; untested by a Claims and Objections exercise; which (unverified and untested data) would afflict the Revised Voters’ List and spread the mal-

aise to the OLE. Editor, the entire imbroglio that began with the illegal unilateral appointment of James Patterson is the poisonous seed from whence comes the tree, on which the H2H fruit hangs. It is our fervent civic duty to take an axe to its roots before the children eat the poisoned fruit and also to stop the serpent who would entreat us to ‘take a bite’. Respectfully, Robin Singh

Guyana’s crime situation needs to be addressed in a holistic manner Dear Editor, Crime and the police have come into vogue. Recently, I perused several editorials, letters to the editors and listened to numerous confabulations in the electronic media and elsewhere about crime in Guyana. Many apposite views have been posited as to how to reduce crime and the fear of crime. This has titillated me to again put my fingers on the keyboard and join in the conversation after a self-imposed absence from writing letters on security nature to the editor. In doing so, I will repeat a few views I had previously shared and introduce some new concepts. There is something called The Fire Triangle – without sufficient heat, a fire cannot continue; without fuel, a fire will stop; without sufficient oxygen, a fire cannot begin, and it cannot continue. Correspondingly, there is The Crime Triangle – the location, the victim and the suspect. Ralph B Taylor theorised that all three elements – motivated suspect, suitable victim and adequate location – are required for a crime to occur. Crime is presumed amenable to suppression if any of the three legs is removed or neutralised. Generally, the crime-fighting tactics are focused on the victims and suspects, while very little is done at the locations where the crimes occur. It is the tendency of the police to use crime rates, the number of arrest and case clearance rates over a period of time to measure how well the law enforcement agency is doing. President David Granger in his maiden address to the Police Officers’ Annual Conference urged, “But we must go beyond and find causes of crime. Why is there piracy, why is there suicide, why is there murder, why is there trafficking in my division, what are the causes, so stop boasting about how many cases you made, find out how many causes you are able to dis-

cover, and let us stomp out the causes, you stomp out the cause, then you stomp out the crime. If you don’t know the cause then the crimes will continue to be repeated over and over again.” This method of evaluation used by the police is just a tabulation of events with no analytical input. Such measures have several problems. In a subsequent letter I will elaborate. What must be done is that the police should analyse the figures and ask these and other questions; Is it a trend? Is it a pattern? Is it a spree? Is it a series? Is it a hot spot? The data obtained can be very instructive to design, develop and implement some amount of intelligence-led policing at the various locations, particularly hot spots. Hot spots are specific locations with high crime rates. A hot spot can be a single address, a cluster of addresses, part of a block, an entire block or two or an entire intersection. Braiden (1998) suggests another way to view the significance of location – “the hunt and the habitat – I can’t think of two special interest groups more philosophically opposed to each other than hunters and animal rights activists, yet there are two things they totally agree upon. The species will survive the hunt; it will not survive the loss of its habitat. What can police learn from this basic principle of nature? Well if the ultimate goal is to eliminate the criminal species, well the best way to do that is to eliminate the habitat that spawns and sustains that species. Structured as it is, the criminal justice system puts 95 per cent of its resources into this hunt while the habitat is left almost untouched. We can never win working this way because the habitat never stops supplying new customers for the hunt.” Braiden was writing for the American public. This could be applicable to Guyana. turn to page 7

news 7

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019|

Marital rape to be outlawed in Jamaica J

amaica will “very shortly” change a law that will allow spouses, including those who are married, to be charged for raping their partners. Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has announced that the Government plans to amend the Sexual Offences Act “so that rape can occur outside and inside a marriage”. “In marriage, rape will now be non-consensual sex,” Chuck declared in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. He acknowledged that the common law has upheld the position that rape could not be committed in a marriage. “But now, legislation will overturn that com-

mon-law position,” he asserted. The proposal had the full endorsement of Gender Affairs Minister Olivia Grange, who cited a 2016 women’s health survey which, according to her, found that 31.4 per cent of women believe that a wife is obligated to have sex with her husband whenever he wants. “Mr Speaker, we are moving to end that, and it’s gender neutral, so the men don’t have to worry,” Grange said. “I am in full support of the proposal to amend the law to make it quite clear that no means no even in a marriage,” Grange said. “The man can say no, too,” she quickly added, in response to

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck

playful questions from her colleague minister and members of the Opposition. Jamaican law does

not acknowledge the concept of forcible sex or penetration by a woman as rape. Chuck and Grange,

two senior members of the Cabinet, were speaking during a debate on the report of a special parliamentary committee that reviewed the Sexual Offences Act and three companion bits of legislation, the Offences Against the Person Act, the Domestic Violence Act, and the Child Care and Protection Act. Lawmakers voted to accept the report. Grange disclosed, too, that arising from the report, the Holness administration plans to widen the category of individuals who can apply for a protection order on behalf of victims of abuse. In addition, she said that the intention is to hike the fines for persons who violate an order of protection from

There should be a... Barbados: Parents upset over social media video of cockroaches at school


arents of students at Alexandra School are expressing concern after a video circulating on social media showed a large number of cockroaches on the school’s compound. In fact, some are even calling for health officials to conduct an investigation and suspend classes to give the school a full cleaning. However, principal Orson Alleyne told the

DAILY NATION yesterday the school’s surroundings had been inspected, cleaned and appropriately sanitised last weekend. The matter came to light last week after students recorded a 33-second clip with the insects crawling up the back of the wall of the canteen at the Queen Street, St Peter institution. (AGB) (Barbados Nation)

Guyana’s crime situation... from page 6

the 1997 elections and, therefore, the then PPP Government was forced to schedule elections more than a year earlier than the full term. In addition, Chief Justice Roxane George this year ruled that no one can be removed from the NRR, even if the person is resident somewhere else at present. There are many reasons why persons did not pick up their ID cards. For some, they tried and could not and subsequently did not feel they needed the card, since there are other ways they can verify who they are. From her FB page, Ms Priya Manickchand admitted she never picked up her card. Is her name going to be removed from the voters’ list? I tried to pick up my card several times after 2008 and failed. I eventually picked it up after I was assisted

by the then Chairman. He had referred me to a senior officer who then assisted me. I have never used my ID card for anything, never used it to vote since I always use my passport. There are, in fact, thousands of Guyanese who have lost their ID cards and have not bothered to replace them. Are these persons going to lose their rights to vote? The decision by GECOM is illegal, it is patently voter suppression and thousands of Guyanese will challenge them. What happens if someone, in fact, communicates they will not be able, within the 21 days given, to pick up their card, but gives notice that they will turn up to vote? Sincerely, Dr Leslie Ramsammy

On the other hand, at the various communities several issues may be operating simultaneously which may impinge on the police’s ability to fight crime. These may be political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental – (PESTLE). Unless the PESTLE is adequately addressed, crime will flourish. Over the years there has been numerous strategies and tactics used by the Government (past and present), the police and members of the various communities (another triangle – the Government, the police and members of the community), working together in an effort to reduce crime and to make the communities safer places to live. These include but are not limited

to: community policing; police in active association with the community; impact; station management committee, community-oriented policing and problem solving; interactions with numerous overseas law enforcement agencies; youth groups; scouts; traffic advisory, training board; divisional advisories; neighbourhood police; citizen security programme; citizen security strengthening programme; establishment of the Ministries of Communities, citizenship, social cohesion and social protection; security sector reform; cops and faith; integrated crime information system; one-year comprehensive training programme; commission of inquiry; hinterland intel-

$10,000 to $500,000. “I believe this will serve as an effective deterrent,” Grange added. She revealed that one in every four women in Jamaica has experienced physical violence by a male partner. Further, she said one in every five women reported being sexually abused before reaching 18 years old and that half of the women who experience abuse say they have never left that environment. The parliamentary committee also recommended that it should be a criminal offence for individuals to “knowingly” infect a partner with a sexually transmitted infection and that the offence of stalking be added to the books. (Jamaica Gleaner)

from page 4

ligence committee; strategic management unit; executive leadership team and recently making the police boundaries coterminous with that of the regions. All of these programmes had/have well-intended objectives but they have not yet delivered the optimum desired results. Many milestones were missed. These strategies and tactics have worked in a limited way, delivering excellent results to the police but in patches. However, in many instances they lacked effective coordination, cooperation, consistency and the implementation of key recommendations and policies. Therefore, the watchword must be sustainability. The interventions

have not fired constantly on all cylinders, unlike some criminal elements who are firing regularly and hitting the targets with deadly consequences. All is not lost. It is pellucid that there is no one-shot solution to reduce crime and the fear of crime. Behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining. The clouds will soon roll by. Arising from the police efforts, green shoots have been recently emerging. They will be fruitful. The paradigm will be shifted in favour of the police. As a former senior member of the police force, I am confident that I am not hoping against hope. Yours faithfully, Clinton Conway Assistant Commissioner of Police (Retired)

8 news

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Energy dept boss says Exxon to take first oil lift W

ith oil production expected to begin later this month, ExxonMobil will be getting the first shipment of oil, while Guyana will have to wait until sometime next year. This announcement was made by the Department of Energy. Making these announcements was Department of Energy Director, Dr Mark Bynoe, during a press conference on Wednesday. In justifying this, Bynoe explained that the first lift of crude, which is expected to be one million barrels of oil, is likely to contain the most impurities. As such, he said, it was better for ExxonMobil to collect and refine it using their own facilities. “ExxonMobil is not just a lifter and operator but they also have refineries…So it makes sense for them to take the first lift and process it so the integrity or quality can be preserved going forward. Our first lift is not anticipated until late February or March going forward,”

Exxon’s first FPSO vessel Liza Destiny docked in Singapore before making its way to Guyana (fpso)

he said. According to Bynoe, his department is also gearing up to sign two agreements which will directly impact how much money Guyana really gets from the oil sector. One is an agreement to have a firm

audit Exxon’s cost oil claims, which is known to be around US$460 million. In addition, the Director said they are seeking legal expertise for auditing the cost oil, which is hundreds of millions of US dollars

that the oil companies have to get back when oil productions start. “The contract for the firm to complete cost recovery audit for the historical cost is expected to be signed by the ending of this week. The Department of Energy and the GGMC (Guyana Geology and Mines Commission) will be working along with the Guyana Revenue Authority on this project”. “Additionally, the Department of Energy is in the process of securing legal expertise to assist in the auditing process,” Bynoe further explained.

be completed in the new week and Government will be a signatory as

ing an oil refinery. The results of the study did not favour building a refinery, particularly one with a capacity to produce over 100,000 barrels per day. In his study, Haas had looked at the cost of building an oil refinery with a capacity of producing more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The study had come up with a US$5 billion price tag in order to construct the refinery in Guyana. The findings of the study had also recommended that the unit at the Finance Ministry should be equipped and its capacity boosted enough to understand the microeconomics of the petroleum industry. This is so that the unit can keep up to date with the daily calculations of market prices and feed into the global market. The expert had also suggested that as an alternative to the estab-

Crude-lift agreement

When it comes to the system governing the crude lifting— simply meaning the oil is loaded onto the vessel for transport— Bynoe provided some key information. For one, the crude-lifting agreement is near completion. He also laid down timelines for first oil and lifting of the crude. “The Department has signed a contract with a crude marketing specialist and a commercial specialist, who will be assisting the Department’s preparations for first oil. The Department is working to conclude a similar contract with a petroleum accounting specialist and a contract administrating specialist”. “The crude-lifting agreement (CLA) is being finalised and has advanced significantly. The CLA is expected to

Department of Energy Director Dr Mark Bynoe

a lifter of crude, along with the Stabroek co-venturers”. According to Bynoe, their agreement will be based on the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators crude-lifting agreement. He explained that it will be customised to reflect the reality of Guyana’s sector.

Oil refinery

There has been much debate over whether Guyana should build an oil refinery and the methods that should be used. The Government had previously hired a consultant, Pedro Haas, to carry out a feasibility study into construct-

lishment of an oil refinery, the Government could pursue maximising income from commercialising crude oil. Another suggestion was that the Government swap or toll crude oil for products on the global market or create joint ventures with offshore refineries, as well as acquire stock in refining companies. However, the study was done at a time when ExxonMobil was the only operator in Guyana’s waters to find oil in commercial quantities. Members of the private sector have previously urged that the construction of a refinery be re-explored when more operators find oil.


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

‘Sugar sector needed transitional help, not closure’ – Jagdeo tells Diaspora in Canada


nstead of closing sugar estates and creating an economic and social vacuum, a fact-based approach that included impact studies should have been pursued by the Government. This is according to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, on the campaign trail in Canada. Jagdeo was at the time addressing members of the Association of Concerned Guyanese at a dinner in Toronto, Canada. He acknowledged that sugar needed transitional help but indicated that the Government’s approach was anything but transitional. General elections are due on March 2, 2020. While he acknowledged that some from the Party’s rural agriculture base were led astray by false promises from the coalition at the last elections, Jagdeo was confident that any votes from the sugar belt that the Party lost in 2015 have returned to his party. “We’ve made it clear, sugar needs transitional help. But if this gov-

social impact study, no diversification study. Those persons would lose their jobs and would be forced to fend for themselves”. Jagdeo recalled that it was President David Granger, himself, who

Back in 2017, the Government had announced plans to close the Enmore and Rose Hall Sugar Estates, sell the Skeldon Sugar Factory, reduce the annual production of sugar, and take on the re-

ernment had only taken a fact-based approach by doing a feasibility study for the industry; even if you have a company, you will do a study before you privatise it or anything of the sort,” the Opposition Leader said. “This is an industry, yet they have made serious decisions that would affect 50,000 lives in Guyana, without any regards for any study. No feasibility study, no

said he would be guided by a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and spent G$70 million in order to establish one. Despite all of that, the CoI’s findings were disregarded. “They recommended no closure. As soon as the report came out, he made a decision to close (the estates),” Jagdeo recalled in his address to the packed house that was composed primarily of the Guyanese diaspora in Canada.

sponsibility of managing the drainage and irrigation services offered by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). Subsequently, in November of that year, GuySuCo announced plans to retrench 2500 workers by the end of that year. Amid much criticism, over 7000 were retrenched, with some having to fight for the severance they were legally entitled to. The Government

A section of the gathering in Toronto on Friday evening

then established the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) under the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) to take over the divestment of

GuySuCo’s assets that were earmarked for sale. The SPU then recruited Price Waterhouse Coopers to conduct a valuation of the assets to be privatised and di-

vested. It is understood, however, that with the Government in a caretaker status after losing a No-Confidence Motion last year, that process has been suspended.

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WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Guyanese diaspora in Florida participate in Town Hall meeting on local developments


Guyanese Ambassador to the US Riyad Insanally receiving a plaque from Sunshine State Softball Cricket Youth League representative Kadima Ali at Saturday’s town hall meeting in Florida. Also in the photo are: Retired St Lucian Consul General Kent Hippolyte, FIU Director, Dr Percy Hintzen; SFSCA President Dave Singh, Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle Rogers, Honorary Consul Ramzan Roshanali, SSSCA President Devan Roy, and Richard Rambarran

he Guyanese community in Florida, United States last weekend hosted a town hall meeting where a number of issues, including the country’s budding oil and gas industry, were discussed. The event was hosted and organised by Guyana’s Honorary Consul to Florida, Ramzan Roshanali. It was held on Saturday at the Tropics Restaurant, Pembroke Pines, Florida and featured Guyanese

Ambassador to the US, Riyad Insanally, as the guest speaker. He delivered an address on “Developments in Guyana”, which fielded questions during a question and answer segment from the attendees at the town hall meeting. Among the topics that came up for discussion are crime and security, products from the agriculture sector, education, issues relating to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo),

health and infrastructure. The town hall meeting was attended by some 60 patrons. Some of the attendees included: Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle Rogers, St Lucia Consul General (retired) Kent Hippolyte, African and African Diaspora Study Programme (AADS) Director and Global and Socio-cultural Studies Professor at the Florida International University (FIU), Dr Percy Hintzen;

President of the Sunshine State Softball Cricket Association, Devan Roy; Coordinator of the Sunshine State Softball Cricket Youth League, Kadima Ali; President of the South Florida Softball Cricket League (SFSCL), Dave Singh,

and Florida businessman Harry Rambarran. Following last Saturday’s town hall meeting, Ambassador Insanally was presented with a plaque in appreciation of his “sterling contribution to good governance and sustainable,

equitable development of Guyana, especially in the area of Foreign Service”. The event was chaired by Executive Member of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Richard Rambarran.

Woman lands in court for allegedly posting obscene video to porn site


nessa Williams of Castello Housing Scheme, Georgetown, was taken before Principal Magistrate Sherdel IsaacsMarcus at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday after she was charged for exposing obscene content. The 29-year-old denied the charge, which stated that between July 1 and July 31, 2019, at Castello Housing Scheme, Georgetown, she knowingly or without lawful justification, exposed for public viewing, an obscene matter, that is a video intending to corrupt public morals. Defence Attorney George Thomas in a bail application asked that the court release Williams on bail since it was not her who posted the video to the website and it has brought much embarrassment her way. Attorney Thomas further stressed that his client’s now ex-husband is the offender since she had recently filed for a divorce.

Anessa Willians

Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus released the woman on G$30,000 bail and the case will continue on November 25, 2019.

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WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019|

Getting to know Guyana: a pre-flight celebration at JFK On a typical day, Customer Service Manager Vanita Jagnarain is busy supporting her team and helping customers on the concourses of Terminal

with the Consulate of Guyana in New York to teach others about the country’s history and rich culture with a special event — Get to know Guyana Day.

Guyana. The standing-room-only event featured steel pan music, Guyanese food, native dance and presentations hosted by various enti-

Courtney Noel, a representative with the Guyana Cultural Association in New York, performs Guyanese music

8 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). More recently, however, she put on a different hat in an effort to help educate our customers and fellow colleagues about her native country of Guyana, which American will begin serving from JFK. Service commences on Dec. 18 with a daily flight to Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Georgetown. Vanita and American’s Caribbean Employee Business Resource Group worked

“When service was announced earlier this year, I was thrilled and felt a deep sense of pride knowing that the company I work for will now serve my home country and my fellow Guyanese,” Vanita said. “The thought of a legacy carrier serving the market was almost unimaginable.” As it turns out, 2019 marks a five-year milestone at American for Vanita. In celebration of her tenure, she led this initiative to teach the JFK community about

ties. Barbara Atherly, who serves as Guyana’s Consul General to New York, delivered the feature presentation, telling others about what Guyana has in store for them. Representatives from Wilderness Explorers also educated onlookers with information about tours and attractions. Several elected officials also participated in the Get to Know Guyana event, including New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, who was born in Guyana.

As pressure...

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Government Commissioners Desmond Trotman, Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin

to over 20,000 persons to collect their ID cards. M e a n w h i l e , the Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Guyana (FITUG) on Tuesday said that the decision has very serious implications for Guyana’s democracy. “While the Chairperson has committed to ensuring that those in question will be

contacted through several means, there is really no guarantee that the information will reach them in time or even reach them at all”. The decision to strike out these eligible, registered, voters, thus, denying them the opportunity to cast their vote in the upcoming elections, the Trade Union added, appears, is contrary to the legislation covering the

conduct of elections and registration of voters. The Union referenced the decision of acting Chief Justice Roxane George, who only recently ruled that persons could not be barred from voting unless they failed to meet specific criteria. No mention was made of voters without ID cards being unable to vote.

“Many travelers at Get to Know Guyana Day were excited that American connects the United States with Guyana, making it the only legacy carrier with regularly scheduled service between Georgetown and New York,” Vanita said. “Guyanese have lacked reliable airline options between the United States and Guyana for decades, so they are excited about this service.” In addition to Get to Know Guyana Day, American supported the West Indian Day Parade — one of the most colorful and vibrant events in Brooklyn. The parade unites people with ties to the West IndianCaribbean region for a celebration of culture and tradition. The efforts of Vanita, American’s New York Sales team and the company’s Caribbean Employee Business Resource Group didn’t go unnoticed. This year’s parade drew nearly 2 million spectators. “Being of Guyanese decent and having worked in the aviation industry in both Guyana and the United States, I understand the importance of having a reliable

JFK Customer Service Manager Vanita Jagnarain worked with American’s Caribbean Employee Business Resource Group and the Consulate of Guyana in New York to celebrate Get to Know Guyana Day

carrier with affordable fares serve the Guyanese people,” Vanita said. “Apart from the corporate travel needs, the largest community of Guyanese migrants is in the U.S., so I'm glad we are able to meet their needs.” American will operate the new flight on a Boeing 737-800 with 160 seats, including 16 seats in Business Class. Customers can enjoy

power outlets at every seat while streaming free live TV and Apple Music to their personal devices. The daily flights are scheduled to leave JFK at 6 p.m. and arrive at GEO at 12:40 a.m. the following day. The return flight will leave GEO at 1:35 a.m. and arrive at JFK at 6:29 a.m. (Reprinted from American Airlines Newsroom)

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WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Oil and gas sector would create new opportunities for Guyana – Irfaan Ali


residential Candidate of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Irfaan Ali, says that the budding oil and gas sector will bring a transformation agenda and create a host of new opportunities for Guyana. Only last week, it was revealed that commercial production in the oil-rich Stabroek Block offshore Guyana will commence in December. There have been 14 oil discoveries made thus far in the Stabroek Block, amounting to more than five billion oil-equivalent barrels. The Liza Phase 1 development is expected to produce some 120,000 barrels of crude per day and it is estimated that Guyana will earn some US$300 million annually. However, during a recent interview, Ali pointed out that the use of resources that will come from the emerging petroleum sector is important. He was at the time speaking about plans his party has for the industry if it wins next year’s March 2 General and Regional Elections. “The important thing about oil and gas is the transformative agenda it brings with it and that transformative agenda must be one that not only rebuilds our infrastructure but be one that opens us new areas for more jobs, for higher-paying jobs, whether it’s in the hospitality industry – we’ll have three to four new hotels here very quickly— whether it’s in the logistics industry, a Deep Water Harbour, opening up new trade routes like the road to Lethem, bridging the Corentyne River,” he stated. According to the Presidential Candidate, these are all investments that are linked to the oil and gas industry, and with the resources expected, the country can move at a faster pace with such transformational types of investments. However, Dr Ali – an economist – posited that Guyana does not need to use resources directly from the petroleum sector to do some of these projects. He noted that the country will have the capacity to back investment like these. He went on to outline that measures will have to be put in place to ensure that resources are used for so-

PPP Presidential Candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali

cial safety nets to ensure that there are transfers – cash or targeted transfers to the vulnerable, the elderly and other such groups so that all Guyanese benefit from the sector and that there is no disparity or inequality. “Then we have to ensure that we manage the resources in such a way that we save for future generations,” he added. On this note, the PPP Presidential Candidate contended that Guyana’s future should not only be about the oil and gas industry. Doing this, he said, will be an injustice to the economic potential of Guyana. “The oil and gas sector would be an impetus to advance the other sectors at a very faster rate. But we have to ensure that in advancing the other sectors, we advance it in a competitive environment so that we remain globally

competitive. And we also invest in new areas, emerging areas, that can bring tremendous benefit to our people and our country,” he stressed.

To this end, Ali asserted that there need to be measures in place to ensure transparency and accountability in order to guard the emerging sector against corruption. “We already said that we’re going adopt the Santiago principles in ensuring accountability and transparency. We also have to ensure that there are regular audits and that expenditure by Govt from oil and gas resources passes through a proper parliamentary system – not hidden in any way from the population— and you must be held criminally liable for non-discloser of expenditure or revenue in the oil and gas sector,” he stated. Another step the PPP Presidential Candidate said they are also looking at is the involvement of civil society bodies and individuals in the transparency and accountability process. “One of the things that we’re looking at is having civil society play a role in transparency and accountability and even in the audits as well as reviewing expenditures in the oil and gas sector,” he noted. Furthermore, Ali outlined that when the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) is established, it will be at armslength from politicians. “Expenditure out of this fund would be approved properly through a parliamentary process. You [currently] have the regulations that see the political arm – the Executive – playing a dominant role. That cannot be the way we handle our oil and gas resources,” he asserted.

New security measure in place at Linden-Soesdyke checkpoint


Bamia Police Checkpoint along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice)

new security measure is currently in place at Bamia Police Checkpoint located along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). The checkpoint, which allows law enforcement to scrutinise drivers and passengers entering and leaving the region will now see passengers’ names and addresses being recorded. Regional Commander Hugh Winter on Tuesday noted that the customary stop and check of vehicles will continue as he urged members of the public to cooperate with the new security system that is in place. According to the Commander, the Bamia checkpoint, since being in existence, has been quite effective in crime prevention not only for Linden but also interior locations. “Since the outpost was established there we have ranks on a 24-hour basis working and it’s very much effective

because it eases the crime situation in Linden per se because all the people that are coming and drivers going all the vehicles have been searched… We have a system where the ranks are recording all the passengers’ names and addresses and drivers so it’s very much effective,” Commander Winter explained as he posited that the checkpoint has been serving the community well. The Bamia Police Checkpoint was established under the command of former E Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Commander Linden Lord prior to the Linden Town Week activities earlier this year. Commander Winter is asking the public to cooperate with the police as they aim to create a crime-free region. He also urged drivers to be cautious on the roadways, noting that the most recent fatal accident was caused due to speeding.

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WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019|

Convicted rapist serving 15-yr sentence dies in Mazaruni prison A convicted rapist, who was serving a 15-year sentence at the Mazaruni Prison is now dead after complaining about chest and abdominal pains while executing duties at the prison on Tuesday. Reports are that 40-year-old Stanford Dick, who hailed from Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara (WCD), had been behind bars since 2011 for rape and would usually perform garden duties at the Mazaruni Prison. This newspaper was told that at about 04:05h on Tuesday, while attending to the grass and shrubs in the area, the man complained to prison officers that he was unwell and suffering from pains about his stomach and chest. He was subsequently taken to the Bartica Regional Hospital where

The Mazaruni Prison where the convicted rapist had been serving time behind bars

he was admitted and later died. According to the police, there were no visible marks of violence on the man’s body when they escorted him to obtain medical attention. However, it is unclear as

Court dismisses illegal firearm charge against Police Constable


erome Liddell, 24, of Lot B 2 Bent Street, Wortmanville, Georgetown, who was on trial before Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts walked a free man after the illegal firearm possession charge against him was dismissed. When the matter was called on Tuesday, the Chief Magistrate ruled that after going through the evidence, she is of the opinion that the prosecution failed to prove their case. As such, she dismissed the case. Liddell, a Police Constable, had denied the charge which stated that on May 26, 2019, at Thomas Land, Georgetown, he had in his possession one 9 mm pistol when he was not the holder of a firearm license. He was represented by Attorney-at-Law Dexter Todd. Reports are Liddell and three others were in a car when ranks intercepted the vehicle and asked to conduct a search. During the search, the gun was allegedly found in the vehicle.

to how the man met his demise. The body is presently at that hospital’s mortuary awaiting a post-mor-

tem examination (PME). Investigations into the prisoner’s death continue. In August 2011,

Dick was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for rape committed on a 53-year-old woman. Dick had appeared at

the criminal assizes and pleaded guilty to the two criminal charges. The offences were said to have been committed on October 28, 2008. During the court proceedings, the court heard that the man had first planned to rape the woman’s 14-year-old daughter, but after the mother pleaded with the accused not to subject her daughter to such an act, he decided to commit the offence on her instead. The same night, the woman and her daughter reported the matter to the police and Dick was arrested and charged. The Judge had requested a probation report, but that report was unfavourable to the accused.


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

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WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019|

Guyanese man who admitted to carrying cocaine-laden suitcases to settle old debt remanded to US prison


51-year-old man who admitted to United States Drug Enforcement Agents that he carried cocaine-laden suitcases as debt repayment has been slapped with drug trafficking charges and remanded to a US prison. Orwin Harry was busted at John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport on October 27, 2019, with drugs just after he arrived on a Caribbean Airlines flight from Guyana. Reports are the 51-year-old man was carrying two pieces of luggage upon arrival in New York. A search was conducted and the cocaine was found concealed in false walls of the suitcases. When questioned about the 0.91 kilograms (2 lbs), Harry claimed that he was given the suitcases by someone in Guyana, whom he owed money. He told DEA officers that he had to deliver the luggage to someone in NYC, who was scheduled to pick him up at the airport. Earlier in October, two other Guyanese were also busted at JFK

Newly landed passengers wait to be processed through U.S. immigration at JFK airport in New York. (Centre for Human Rights photo)

with cocaine. Kester Anfrany Johnson was caught on October 22 on arrival in the US. Reports are after providing officials at the JFK with inconsistent travel plans, the 23-year-

old was busted with over 25 pellets of cocaine in his stomach. According to information, the drug mule arrived at the JFK International Airport on a Caribbean Airlines flight out of Guyana and

was observed acting in a suspicious manner. His baggage was subjected to inspection and he became increasingly nervous, causing officials there to suspect something was amiss. Based on his responses

and general demeanour, he was subjected to an X-ray which revealed foreign objects in his stomach. He was taken into custody and subsequently excreted 25 pellets. On October 19, anoth-

er Guyanese, Deskean Reid, was busted with 2.28 kilograms of cocaine in his luggage at JFK. Reid arrived at the JFK International Airport aboard a Caribbean Airlines flight.

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WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Stakeholders press for introduction of points system to address rising road deaths in Guyana


n observance of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and Road Safety Month, several organisations, which have partnered to promote road safety are calling on the Guyana Police Force to implement the penalty point system, one which is used globally for drivers. Representatives of the National Road Safety Council, the Guyana Motor Racing Sports Club (GMRSC), Mothers in Black, Kronoko Safety Solutions and Clarke’s at the road safety partnership and activities launch The penalty point or demerit point system is one in which a driver’s licensing authority, Police Force, or other organization, issues increasing offences or points to drivers on conviction for road traffic offences. Points may either be added or subtracted, depending on the particular system in use. If the total point exceeds a limit, the offender may be disqualified from driving or have their driver’s license re-

voked or suspended. The implementation of this system is being supported by organisations including the National Road Safety Council, The Guyana Motor Racing Sports Club (GMRSC), and Mothers in Black among others in a bid to have drivers use the road safely and prevent the

loss of more lives. This recommendation was tabled by a representative of GMRSC, Cheryl Gonsalves, who viewed this to be effective in promoting road safety as it is widely used in other parts of the world. “The Guyana Police Force should implement the point system, where-

as when an accident is happened, the drivers should have points deducted out of their driver’s license…The police force should induct something like that in order to have less road accidents with everybody knowing well I have to be careful in order for me to not lose, my license…they have a lot to

do in making the roads a little bit more safe other than the National Road Safety Council,” Gonsalves stated. In supporting the motion, Retired Senior Superintendent of the GPF and Member of the Road Safety Council, Owen Trots added that the Law Enforcement Committee under the

Council is working towards increasing the fine specifically for intoxicated and speeding drivers, however, according to him, the effectiveness of this all depends on the attitude of the drivers. “We are also working on increasing the fine of speeding drivers, and driving under the influence of drinks or drugs, but what I’m saying is the attitude. You can increase the fine, get jail term but it’s the attitude of the persons out there.” He said. World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2019 is being observed on November 17, under the theme “Life is not a car part”. Meanwhile, the week of activities for Road Safety Month organised by the partnering organisations will commence on November 24, with symposiums, visits to the Georgetown Public Hospital and outreaches in the city. These activities are being held under the theme “Accident can be deadly, drive defensive and stay alive”.

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019|



WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Rape accused found dead in Whim Station lock-ups


37-year-old accused child rapist was found dead in the Whim Police Station, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) on Sunday morning with his shirt tied around his neck to the bars of the lock-ups. Dead is Courtney Persaud, whose last known address was in Berbice and who prior to the past 10 months, lived in the Diamond New Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD) with his wife and daughter. Reports are that early on Sunday morning, prisoners who had shared the cell with Persaud, notified ranks on duty that the now dead man was “unresponsive� and appeared to have taken his own life. According to a senior Police investigator, it is unclear as to whether the alleged rapist committed suicide or was murdered in the lock-ups, since there were other prisoners in the cell at the time of the man’s death. Investigations into the matter are currently ongoing, and each of his cellmates is being questioned. On Saturday, Police in Berbice arrested Persaud, who had been on the run for several months. The now dead man had lived with his spouse on the EBD, but fled their residence after a report was made to law enforcement officials that he allegedly raped a close female relative and impregnated her. However, before the Police could apprehend him, Persaud fled Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and ventured to Berbice, unknown to cops. The relative, who he allegedly raped, is 17 years old and it is alleged that the man had been sexually molesting the girl since she was seven. The teen gave birth

Dead: Accused child rapist, Courtney Persaud

to his baby and that child is now eight months old. Meanwhile, in Berbice, Persaud had moved into a house with another woman after they commenced a relationship. Quite recently, he fled that home after an underage female relative of the woman complained that Persaud had raped her on more than one occasions. That teen is now pregnant. Inews was told that as a result of the complaint made against Persaud, his lover confronted him, and he denied the allegations. She then threatened that she would be reporting the matter to the Police in Region Six and this prompted Persaud to leave the home he shared with her and go into hiding. The woman reported the incident to the Police and a manhunt was started for Persaud. After receiving a tip-off, Police nabbed Persaud on Saturday. He was then taken into custody while investigations into the rape matters were ongoing. Less than 24 hours after being locked up in the prison cell, he was found dead.

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019|

People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Presidential Candidate, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, was awarded a Doctorate in urban and regional planning by the University of the West Indies at its recent convocation.



WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019|

news 21

Essequibo Coast girl admitted to Guyana bar “S

uccess is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all love of what you’re doing or learning to do.’ I wrote this quote on my wall in 2014 when I started UG and I held onto the word perseverance whenever I doubted myself or it became difficult, I looked at that word and I kept on going.” Those were the words of Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) born 27-year-old Darshani Lall, who was recently admitted to the local bar at the Demerara High Court before Justice Sandra Kurtzious having graduated from Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad. Darshani’s petition was presented by Attorney of the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic, Shellon Boyce, who spoke highly of the new attorney. She noted that Lall showed excellent work ethics and was always ready to help and learn during in-service training for ten weeks at the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic. Justice Kurtzious commended Lall for the sacrifices she made during her studies. “You should continue to read and study because it will enhance your knowledge since

not know but neither of my parents completed their secondary education. However, they both did their best to ensure that their children receive a quality life and education. They went above and beyond for me, all without complaining,” Lall said. Lall attended the Anna Regina Secondary School and later, the University of Guyana. Lall, during an interview with this publication, related that the toughest part of the journey was when her mother became ill and was hospitalised on two occasions. However, her mother insisted and convinced family members that she must go on to further her studies. She expressed that the journey was tough but rewarding and that she intends to return to the Essequibo Coast in January 2020 to start her practice there. Darshani Lall

law is changing constantly. It is now that the work truly begins and you should be noble to the profession. You should forever be minded of your oath to serve and duty as an officer of the court,” said Judge Kurtzious. The Judge highlighted that she is happy that the young attorney chose to re-

turn to the Cinderella County to serve. Lall said she is grateful for the opportunity and intends to abide by the Judge’s words of wisdom and to practice with the highest standard expected of the noble profession. “I wish to thank both of my parents for their countless sacrifices. Most of you may


WEEK ENDING november 10 2019 |

SHEA: Restoring hope to families

…New York-based humanitarian organization saving lives


aving Hands Emergency Aid” (SHEA), a non-profit humanitarian organization, held their latest fundraiser titled, “An Evening with SHEA 2019,” recently in Richmond Hill, New York. It was a well-attended event. Nicholas Singh sat down with Lori Narine; the founder of SHEA for an interview. During the interview, Ms. Narine related that before SHEA was officially formed, she became concerned “by the lack of medical services in Guyana and by seeing families pleading for help for their loved ones.” Ms. Narine recalled multiple occasions when she would read newspaper articles regarding families having insufficient funds to get the life-saving medical treatment, resulting in many young lives lost and families broken. “These children were dying because they did not have the funds or the treatment needed in Guyana,” she related. Inspired to make a change, Ms. Narine recalled that would do as much as she could to help patients and families, but then realized that the demand for help was substantial. So, in 2015, she founded a life-changing, successful charitable organization for disadvantaged and despaired families called SAVING HANDS EMERGENCY AID (SHEA). Ms. Narine added that SHEA not only provides financial help to families, but also provides these families with “hope.” “When there’s a patient [with burn injuries] and we are told by the doctors in Guyana that they cannot do anything for the patient’, we would then reach out to our network of hospitals here in the U.S., once the hospital accepts the patient, we start fundraising.” Ms. Narine emphasized the importance of SHEA helping these families financially: “We cover all expenses so that families can focus on their loved ones, and not worry about where their meals are going to come from or how they’re going to get to and from the hospitals.” Ms. Narine was happy to say that her supporters donate generously to this charity. Supporters and followers of SHEA have played an essential part in helping to save lives by making donations that fully cover patients’ medical, airfare, housing, meal, and transportation expenses. Ms. Narine pointed out that SHEA’s audience has been generated and frequently growing by many different ways especially through social media. For SHEA, like many organizations, every single case poses challenges that the organization must face and overcome. One of those challenges is the fact that SHEA does not have complete support from different agencies in Guyana. This inconvenience,

Cancer survivor Allisha Rahim

Ms. Narine stated, could be prevented by “having a direct link to public offices, not just make work easier for SHEA, but to give these children a better chance of surviving.” It should be noted though that Ms Sita Sugrim who resides in Guyana is one of SHEA’s lead volunteers. Ms. Sugrim along with other volunteers often work tirelessly for long hours with every patient. They personally take full responsibilities and make sure every patient receives all necessary documents including medical records in a timely manner. SHEA’s ability to quickly coordinate paperwork for patients would not be at all effective without its volunteers. Many of SHEA’s patients do not have a birth certificate, passport, or visa; so the volunteers would stand in line at various offices to acquire these necessary documents. An additional hurdle that SHEA has impressively leapt over is attaining medevac (medical evacuation) for patients who cannot travel via commercial airline. Compensating for medevac which cost approximately $50,000 USD, is a feat for SHEA, being that their donations come from the general public. In a previous case, the Rotary Club of Demerara assisted SHEA with 50% of the cost of medevac for one of their patients, alleviating major pressure from the charity and saving crucial time for the patient’s treatment. The SHEA organization gets some of their cases referred by physicians in Guyana, but most cases are referred through social media, as detailed by Ms. Narine. When a case is presented on social media, a great deal of persons would either forward it to the charity’s email, or tag one of their many volunteers, or the charity’s Facebook page (@SHEACharityGY) in order to get their attention and services. One of the many miraculous cases that SHEA has fa-

cilitated was the case of a 13year old boy named Chitram Ayana. Chitram was admitted into multiple hospitals in Guyana; from Berbice hospitals to Georgetown hospitals and even to private hospitals, where they were unable to get him a proper diagnosis. SHEA decided to step in and find the right clinic that would diagnose Chitram and save his life. He was transferred to a hospital in New York where he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of sarcoma cancer, which the hospital had no treatment for. Chitram’s family was then advised to admit him into a hospice where he would spend the rest of his short remaining days. But SHEA was determined and did not let this setback impede their effort. They kept researching for a specialist who could treat Chitram’s condition. While doing so, they met Dr. Nadia Ramdin, a hematology and oncology specialist, who offered her services to help young Chitram. Within a few days, SHEA organized Chitram’s transfer to Dr. Ramdin’s office, where he was put on a rigorous treatment course which included chemotherapy. Chitram was in treatment for 6 months then on October 8, 2019, he was declared cancer-free. Another remarkable case handled by SHEA was the treatment of cancer survivor Allisha Rahim, an innocent 8-year-old girl who suddenly became ill after complaining to her mother about pain in her joints. She was given medication and treatments by multiple physicians to ease the pain, but as months went by, her symptoms got worse. Following various occasions where Allisha was incapable of walking or even standing, doctors recognized that her blood count was falling, making it difficult for them to determine what her illness was. Her condition became worst every day because the doctors could not test her. Luckily, SHEA arrived and relieved Allisha’s family of the

monetary burden which would have prevented her from receiving treatment in the U.S. As of March 2018, she was safely transferred to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York where she was diagnosed with leukemia and placed into treatments which would last about 3 years. Allisha has tremendously im-

children needed. Thanks to the compassion and hard work of SHEA and their supporters, the Sohan brothers have been in the U.S. receiving several extensive surgeries, all of which turned out successful. The youngest brother, Besham, who was not expected to survive in Guyana, has recently been discharged from the hospital, while his older brother, Gansham, will remain in ICU getting treatment to properly heal. The SHEA organization has been a vital catalyst in providing these blessed children with a warranted second chance at life. Ms Narine said her most memorable moment dealing with these patients is “seeing these children come out of surgery and seeing them smile as they walk out of the hospitals is the reason why we do what we do.” Ms. Narine related that she was heavily influenced by her father, who was a taxi driver. She recalled that he would pick her up from school, along with every other child who did not have a ride, and taking them home free of charge. “He is very generous and very compassionate, and I know that I gained that quali-

Cancer survivor Chitram Ayana giving a speech at “An Evening with SHEA 2019”

proved since being treated, resulting in her being able to walk pain-free and unaided, go to school, and live life like a kid again. SHEA is currently working on a case dealing with two brothers, Gansham and Besham Sohan, who were tragically injured in a fire accident. These two infants were being treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), where the younger brother was on life support, while his older brother was in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Treatment needed to save their lives was not available in Guyana. SHEA using their platform, was able to organize funds and acquire the advanced medical treatment that these young

ty from him. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I was told, by complete strangers, of my father’s kindness.” SHEA’s success as a charity is seen through the many patients who were once hopeless, but are filled with courage, optimism, and a new life. Congratulations to Lori Narine and all her network of volunteers, supporters, and donors. We sincerely hope that you continue this great humanitarian service. Kindly donate to SHEA charity at; without your donation it would be difficult continue this mission. Donations are accepted by SHEA through Facebook’s new fundraising option, as well as their website and PayPal Charity.

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news 23

President David Granger listens keenly to His Excellency Datuk Lim Juay Jin, High Commissioner of Malaysia to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings (left), Director General Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Audrey Waddell (partially hidden right) and another look on look on

24 news

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“Not sure what the President is referring to” – Gouveia says on Granger’s ‘handouts’ comment


resident David Granger’s recent admonishments to the Private Sector to stop looking out for handouts is not going down well with members of the local Private Sector, some of whom have complained about being blocked from the very investments he urged them to make. Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), retired Captain Gerry Gouveia questioned exactly what the President could mean by handouts. He noted that contrary to such a statement, the Private Sector has been an equal partner with the State. “We have been equal partners and working in partnership with the Government, so I’m not sure what the President is referring to. That will be my comment on it,” Captain Gouveia stated when contacted. Meanwhile, prominent businessman and SleepIn Hotel proprietor, Clifton Bacchus was even more direct in his response to the President’s statement. In a post on social media, he took the President to task and reminded everyone of his own struggles with the Government when he sought to expand. “I have never looked to your Government or any other Government for handouts, neither do I cry about the state of the country,” he said. “I have taken the initiative and invested millions of US dollars.” “I have borrowed heavily. I have created hundreds of jobs for locals. I pay millions of dollars in taxes annually. Yet I cannot get a casino licence, applied for four years ago, under your Government.” Bacchus’ struggles in relation to SleepIn Hotel are well documented.

of the press to financial deficiencies in SleepIn’s applications as the reason for turning them down. Bacchus’ lawyer, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall took the Gaming Authority to court last month in a bid to have them step in and ensure the authority processes Bacchus’ application. That case will come up before Justice Fidela Corbin on November 13, 2019.


PSC Chairman Gerry Gouveia

He entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) back in 2015, before the Government changed hands, that catered for the hotel to be awarded a casino operator’s licence for its branch on Church Street. The building, which has over 150 rooms, conference halls, restaurants and naturally, casino slot machines, was subsequently constructed. SleepIn then applied to the Gaming Authority in 2016 for its license, reportedly paying a fee of G$9 million in the process. Months later, it received correspondence from the Authority that its casino operator and premises licence applications were refused. Gaming Authority Chairman Roysdale Forde has subsequently alluded in sections

President Granger on Friday said that local businesses need to stop looking for handouts and crying out about the economic state of the country. Instead, he suggested that they invest in key sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture in order to prosper. Speaking on a local radio programme, the Head of State posited that his Administration has put in place incentives for local businesses, such as reducing taxes – both Value Added (VAT) and corporate – and incentivising key sectors. Despite this, however, he noted that business owners are complaining instead of being innovative and making new investments. “The businessmen must turn their attention to innovation and to investment and to building the infrastructure. I am not criticising them but businesses can’t prosper on handouts. They have to take the risks and they have to invest. I am not seeing that investment,” the President noted. Following his comments, Presidential Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Irfaan Ali, had disagreed with the Head of State’s position, calling such a statement “unfortunate”. He had pointed out that the lo-

SleepInn hotel proprietor, Clifton Bacchus

cal Private Sector has played a critical role in growing and expanding the Guyanese economy in several hurdles and periods. “The Private Sector had to be innovative and strategic at that time in the country to achieve such success… We need to stimulate growth in the Private Sector so that they can expand and create more opportunities and higher-paying jobs for more Guyanese.” “So we can’t say on one hand that our Private Sector is not equipped to grab the opportunities for the future and on the other hand, we’re not giving them the incentives – the fiscal, monetary and tax incentives – to make them capable, to equip them to grab those opportunities and create the wealth here,” Ali posited during an interview on Friday last.

Guyana Police Force gets 86 new recruits T

he Guyana Police Force last week enlisted 86 new recruits following an eight-month training programme at the Felix Austin Police Training College. Police Commissioner Leslie James welcomed the new recruits during the passing out parade at the Tactical Services Unit Drill Square at Eve Leary, Georgetown. During his charge to the graduating ranks, the Police Commissioner reminded of their duties to Guyana and its citizens, as they have been selected and laded with the responsibility to protect those who require same, metaphorically as guardian angels. “You are reminded that the citizens would quite rightly expect a professional service from you…you will be called upon, and you are duty-bound to protect our citizens from harm. To protect their properties from being damaged, you have been selected and are now being posted as men in blue, the guardian angels within our ten regional police divisions,” the Police Commissioner noted Even as Commissioner James applauded the new officers on their determination during the past few months, he noted that there will be challenges as they commence their journey as Police officers and urged that those challenges be addressed with con-

Some of the new Police recruits during the passing out parade

formity to the rule of law, and in an assertive manner while executing duties. “You have withstood and endured the physical and mental fatigue that was meted out to you during the past months while undergoing your initial stint in becom-

ing policemen…you are now equipped with the knowledge of the laws of Guyana, regulations, procedures and guidelines. From this day onwards you are entering out communities across our divisions where you will be forced and faced with the challenges of

life as a policeman,” he stated. During the eight-month rigorous training, the recruits participated in both practical and theoretical teaching. This included basic principles of policing, practice and procedure, self-defence tactics and firearm training, along with

lectures on various topics such as crime, traffic, human rights, communication, working under pressure among other things. The new addition of officers is expected to take up duties within the 10 administration regions of Guyana.

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By Safraz Hamid


s I drove d o w n Guyana’s Corentyne Public Road towards the capital city of Georgetown, I could not help but admire the beauty of the small South American country that I was visiting. The tall coconut palm trees lining the side of the road and the occasional meandering lake off in the distance reminded me of why I always felt at peace in Guyana. Yet, I was aware that behind this picturesque tropical landscape lied an unsettling reality. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), in the past decade Guyana has consistently ranked as a nation with one of the highest rates of suicide.1 In 2015, it was estimated that 30.6 suicides were committed per 100,000 people, a suicide rate second only to that of Sri Lanka.1 Why is suicide such a common phenomenon in a small country where most of its inhabitants live seemingly easygoing lifestyles? Here, I explore some of the social, cultural, and historical forces underlying Guyana’s high suicide rate. I then discuss what needs to be done for Guyana to shed its designation as the “suicide capital of the world.” Roughly speaking, there are two primary ethnic populations in Guyana, those of East Indian origin, referred to as Indo-Guyanese, and those of African origin, referred to as Afro-Guyanese. Though IndoGuyanese comprise about 39.5 per cent of the country population, they account for three-quarters of the documented suicides in Guyana. A study by the Mibicuri Community Developers (MCD), a local NGO, found that in East Berbice, 81 per cent of suicides are committed by Indo-Guyanese even though the ethnic group makes up only 44 per cent of the East Berbice population. This disparity begs the question: why the Indo-Guyanese? What is different about the East Indian population that predisposes it to disproportionately commit suicide in Guyana? Answering this question requires exploring the history of slavery in Guyana. Beginning in the late 18th century, the land that is now present-day Guyana was colonized by the British Empire. Up until 1834, the British relied on slaves from Africa to work the many fields and plantations throughout Guyana. In 1834, following the United Kingdom’s Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, the British ceased importing African slaves and, instead, adopted a system of indentured servitude. As part of this system, the British Empire contracted people from India to work in Guyana for a period of 7-10 years as indentured servants. After completing their required years of work, the Indian servants were given the choice of returning to India or accepting land in Guyana and making the country their new homeland. It is estimated that nearly 70 per cent of the indentured servants chose to remain in Guyana and continued working on fields in the rural parts of the country. Meanwhile, the African population, which had not been given land by the British, moved into the urban centers of the country. This spatial ethnic divide—Indians in rural regions and Africans in urban centers—persists today. The Indo-Guyanese population works mostly agricultural jobs in rural areas while the Afro-Guyanese mainly have public sector jobs in the cities. Guyanese sociologist Paulette Andrea Henry suggests that there is a link between the agricultural lifestyle of Indians and the high rate of suicide documented among the Indian population. She hypothesizes that the rural locality of the IndoGuyanese and their tendency to work in the agricultural sector increases their exposure to pesticides and other toxic agrochemicals that can be ingested to commit suicide. Her claim is supported by data from the Ministry of Public Health that indicates that the regions of Guyana that purchase the largest amounts of agrochemicals are the same regions that report the greatest number of suicides. Furthermore, her hypoth-

esis is consistent with the fact that the majority of suicides in Guyana occur via ingestion of poisonous chemicals. Poisonous agents account for approximately 65 per cent of all suicides in Guyana compared to only 17 per cent and 25 per cent in the United States and Canada, respectively. According to Henry, because Afro-Guyanese do not generally work in the agricultural sector, they are not overexposed to these poisonous chemicals and are thus not at high risk for attempting suicide. While scholars like Henry have pointed to an unsettling phenomenon permeating the predominately rural Indian population in Guyana, what is puzzling is that in countries with larger agricultural sectors than Guyana, like China, Indonesia, and Brazil, the suicide rates are not alarmingly high. The farmers in these countries are also overexposed to toxic agrochemicals, but they are not committing suicide at the same rate as the Indian farmers in Guyana. Why? Why are the IndoGuyanese reaching for and ingesting agrochemicals? One possible explanation is that a “suicide contagion” has overtaken Guyana. “Suicide contagion” is a term that describes the process by which exposure to the suicide of one or more persons influences others to commit suicide. It is characterized by a spatiotemporal clustering of suicides, similar to what was observed after the death of Marilyn Monroe. Susan Scotti, a journalist for the Medical Daily, believes that this phenomenon can partly account for the clustering of suicides among the Indo-Guyanese population. For spatial clustering of suicides, she points to evidence for a “suicide belt” in East Berbice, a farmland area along the Corentyne River. This area includes the region where the 2015 MCD study found that 81 per cent of suicides were committed by Indo-Guyanese. As for temporal cluster- ing, most scholars point to the infamous 1978 Jonestown massacre as a possible trigger for suicides in Guyana. Since the event, the suicide rate in Guyana has steadily increased from 1.4 suicides per 100,000 people in 1984 to its current rate of 30.6. Clearly, the “suicide contagion” hypothesis is an interesting one that warrants robust investigation. Perhaps researchers in Guyana can replicate the landmark study by epidemiologists Sonja Swanson and Ian Coleman (2013) who showed that the suicide of a schoolmate increased the risk of suicidal behavior in Canadian youth. This would provide better insight into the cognitive and psychological processes that cultivate suicide contagions not only among the Indo-Guyanese but also among other global popula-


tions a t high risk for suicide. Perhaps we do not have to settle for a speculative hypothesis like the “suicide contagion” to answer why Indo-Guyanese farmers are committing suicide at alarming rates. For years now, public health scholars have documented the stigma of mental illness that is prevalent throughout Guyana. Savitri Persaud, a mental health expert in Georgetown, worries deeply that “mental illness is misunderstood” in many rural parts of Guyana. Symptoms of mental illness, Persaud explains, are often attributed to witchcraft or to the “evil eye” of ill-wishers in the community. With very few psychiatrists employed in the entire country, these misunderstandings get reinforced by untrained religious leaders who are both highly respected and trusted by community members. Moreover, because it is believed that one can “catch” mental health illness from someone, the same way one “catches a cold,” those who have symptoms of mental illness are often ostracized and isolated from the community. Such misunderstandings about mental health become particularly alarming when we consider that depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, and other mental diseases are prevalent among populations in Guyana. A recent study revealed that mental illness affects nearly 1 in 4 people with only 10 per cent of patients being treated for their condition. So while it may be that access to poisonous chemicals represents a convenient means to commit suicide, Guyana’s poor mental health awareness is likely the underlying problem that is causing many to end their lives. The problem is clear. Guyanese, particularly those of Indian descent, are committing suicide at disproportionate rates. What now? What should be done to stop this? The regional governments have distributed storage cabinets with locks to farmers to limit their accessibility to toxic agrochemicals and to encourage safer handling of pesticides. Though there are currently no reports about changes in suicides rates in regions where this intervention has been implemented, it should be clear from my discussions above that this would not be an effective manner of solving the problem. Tackling the issue of suicide requires addressing the stigmatization of mental health that is prevalent throughout Guyana. At the federal level, this can be done in several ways. One way is by allocating more funds for treating mental health illnesses. Currently, less than 1 percent of the health budget is set aside to address psychiatric and psychological illnesses. Additionally, the federal government should repeal the law that criminalizes attempted suicide. Because attempted suicide is rooted in mental health issues, it should be addressed by family members and doctors, not the police or court system. Even more can be done at the local level. There have been early grassroots efforts by community NGOs to bring awareness to mental health issues. For example, volunteers at The Guyana Foundation have worked to challenge the current misconceptions about mental health by visiting schools to educate children about the symptoms of mental illness, conducting mental health training sessions for religious leaders and social workers, and writing op-eds in local newspapers about the prevalence of mental health illness. This type of outreach by community-level organizations will be critical for overcoming Guyana’s high suicide rate. I am confident that, one day, the natural beauty of Guyana, which I have come to adore, will no longer be tainted by the grim reality of a society that neglects its mentally ill members and drives them to commit suicide. (The author used a number of local sources in the compilation this article)


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…Charrandas here’s the old saying “give a dog a bad name and then hang him”. It acknowledges that when you stain someone’s character, it then becomes easier to take him down for the bigger fall. We were just informed by the Top Cop that the Government of Guyana’s hiring an “international investigator” to dig into the PNC and AFC’s insistence that Charrandas was bribed to vote with the Opposition PPP on their NoConfidence Motion (NCM). A week following the PNC’s slap-down of Moses Nagamootoo’s acceptance in Parliament that the Government had lost the NCM and would have to resign forthwith, Aubrey Norton put on his (thug) game face and announced with absolute certainty that Charrandas was bribed. Jagdeo, Norton insisted, “colluded with forces in Trinidad and mobilised resources to bribe a sitting Member of Parliament in pursuance of his hunger for wealth and power”!! He even claimed that they had evidence of Jagdeo meeting the briber in a “hotel room”. Nagamootoo also did a volte face on his earlier acceptance and announced unctuously: “If a vote in the National Assembly was procured by unlawful means to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government that will have serious implications and the speaker will have to address that issue”. In a blaring headline that dubbed Charrandas “Judas”, the Chronic quoted Ramjattan as insisting there was “absolutely a connection with bribery”. He ‘asserted’ the Police – who fell under his jurisdiction – were ‘closing in’ on Charrandas!! He said a “big sum of money” was involved and it was being “spirited” out of the country. This money was supposed to be in gold, for which Ramjattan produced some screenshots of Charrandas inquiring about purchasing same. Five months later, the Police have been unable to produce a shred of evidence of the “bribery” which all the political big-wigs in the PNC and AFC maintained they possessed. But not one of them withdrew their accusation and now comes the “international investigation”. The dog had been given a bad name and the PNC and AFC are looking to hang Charrandas. Why? As Nagamootoo had said early, the investigation should’ve been launched by the speaker but he’s never even raised the issue. The real reason for resurrecting the issue is that with the elections looming, folks will begin to ask why didn’t other MPs in the Government – especially Nagamootoo and Ramjattan – protest the unilateral action of the Granger government to shut down 4 sugar estates and throwing 7000 workers into the streets. This question will certainly loom large in the minds of the constituency which the AFC hopes will rescue them from oblivion!! Charrandas’ credibility is a standing indictment of Ramjattan and Nagamootoo It’s they and the AFC who’ll hang!! …the PNC/AFC’s tango Looks like Guyana’s having its own version of “Last tango in Paris”. The director Bernardo Bertolucci has passed on, so it looks like this one’s being produced by the PNC with the working title, “Last Tango in GT”. It stars David Granger as the protagonist, having that anonymous but steamy relationship with Nagamootoo for years. Remember that steamy courtship scene in Whim, when they held hands and swayed (awkwardly) in unison on that stage?? Nagamootoo, however, walks because he wants to move on and enjoy his pension. In the Guyanese version, it’s not Nagamootoo Granger encounters and wants to restart the relationship, but Nagamootoo’s bete noir, Ramjattan. But by now, as in Bertolucci’s version, Ramjattan now knows all about Granger and the emasculatory tricks he played on Nagamootoo. Like those new “choose your own adventures” innovation pioneered in “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”, there are two endings with “Last Tango in GT”. The first has Ramjattan rejecting Granger’s offer and figuratively “shooting” him. No coalition. The other has him bending over!! You choose!! …the GuySuCo fire sales We’re being informed piecemeal about NICIL – the SPU? – hiving off parts of the shuttered sugar estates and doling them out. Whatever happened to the folks who were beating down the doors to acquire them in toto??



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By Lakhram Bhagirat


n January of 1994, then President, the late Cheddi Jagan called a meeting with Yvonne Hinds, the wife of his Prime Minister, where he flouted the idea of her taking over the realms of the Guyana Relief Council (GRC). That meeting happened on January 10, 1994, and though she felt that it was just a discussion, Hinds would later find out that rather it was already decided that she would be in charge for the affairs of the GRC. On January 17, 1994, Hinds was given her formal mandate as the head of what was then called the Guyana Fire Relief Council or the National Relief Council. The Council was headed by Mavis Benn who was at the helm from the inception in 1986. When Hinds took over and the National Relief Council became the GRC they were being housed at an Office on Camp Street in Georgetown. “When I visited the Office there on Camp Street, there were about 20 staff including a cook. At that time the Relief Council was under the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. The office we had to work with had nothing. Very little equipment and then it was the days of typewriters and there no working typewriters. We had to start from scratch

so I told Minister Henry Jeffrey that let him take back the staff and I would just keep the most senior person and the cleaner. So we did that and then we started all over,” she remembers. As the GRC was now transforming itself and getting back on its proverbial feet, tragedy struck. A tenement yard on Hadfield Street was destroyed by fire and over 108 persons were left homeless. With its mandate being the assistance of all in need, the GRC was obligated to provide some form of assistance to those in need. Strapped for finances and resources, Hinds took it upon herself to put out a call for aid and approached many of her friends for assistance. ThenPresident Jagan also donated a number of items to assist the victims of the tragedy. “It had these people

that would send stuff for Dr Jagan back then they would send like oil, flour and rice and he told me when they send he will send it over to us so we could help those people. At the time the Relief Council did not have a bank account and we had no money so when people would donate we would take that money and buy things and pack hampers and send it to the people. We kept a note but we got a bank account until later,” she noted. The GRC formal bank account came about after they would have held their first fundraising ball, which remains their biggest event on the calendar to this day. The fundraising ball was held at the Pegasus Hotel and raised $1 million which gave the GRC the much-needed footing back then. However, just as they were finding their balance and establishing themselves as an organization that was ready to provide assistance at any given time, the owners of the office space at Camp Street came back and requested they pack up and move on. This led Hinds and her staff to Lot 228 South Road, Georgetown. Tragedy came knocking at GRC’s door once again on February 3, 1995, when the South Road location went up in flames. The fire, believed to be of electrical origin, left the GRC homeless and they had to start from scratch all over again. Dejected but not willing to give up, Hinds moved the operations to the Prime Minister’s official residence and they operated there for over a year. The GRC has previously found a Cabinet document which revealed that they were given a piece of land in Festival City, North Ruimveldt. But they did not have the finances to rebuild at the tie after the fire. So, a GRC member noticed an unoccupied government building at Lot XX Public Road, Ruimveldt and it was then that Hinds began making representation for the GRC to be given that building. She wrote to the Minister of Communications and Works and was given the go-ahead to occupy the building.

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“The Minister told us that they have no money to fix up the place and that we have to fix it up. We agreed and we did the repairs and through donors, we furnished and repaired.” The following year, in 1996, the GRC became an autonomous nongovernmental agency and Hinds

was elected to remain at the helm and to date, she still occupies that spot. After they became an independent body, the GRC then began its preparations the construction of a Secretariat at its Festival City location. However, due to its mandate and the funds were diverted to all sorts of relief missions. The GRC then began negotiations with the Government of Guyana through the Works Ministry in collaboration with the Housing Ministry for the plot of land at XX Public Road. They traded the Festival City plot for their current location.

The Shelter After the acquisition of the plot of land, the GRC then proceeded to make a plan for the construction of a shelter so that they can provide better relief to those in needs. In August of 1999, they approached the Japanese Embassy in Venezuela and discussed their request for funding for the Emergency Shelter. The discussions lasted over six months and in the end, the Japanese government through its Grass Roots Programme gave the GRC US$60,000 for the shelter. The shelter cost the GRC some $30 million and was completed in March 2002. In addition to the Japanese Government, several other agencies and foreign governments pitched in with aid. The Shelter provides relief to victims of disasters. Now the GRC notes that finances are tough. Donations are not coming in as it used to and managing the day to day operations is becoming increasingly difficult. However, it has been 25 years and according to Hinds they are nowhere near finishing or giving up.


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‘When you see the light’ – First book


by B.A.Eddie

uyanese born Beatrice Ann Edmondson who goes by the authors' name B.A.Eddie is about to launch her first book called “When you see the light”. The book, that was published in August 2015, is the first of many novels that the author has been inspired to write; but however, it is her first publication. The novel is about domestic violence/spousal abuse and its prevalence around the world even in religious families. It focuses on stories of everyday people in villages like Mocha on the East Bank of Demerara, the capital city and travels all the way to Linden in Region 10. The book carries the message that domestic violence should not be tolerated, and they are solutions. According to the author, the story was written as fiction and is about awful domestic violence and spousal abuse directed towards women. It speaks to women of today’s society while telling the story of many women in the past with a hint of the life of some of her family in pieces. She said that if the names characters, places and incidents in the book resemble locales or persons living or dead; something that was entirely coincidental. Nevertheless, she added that her writings have a religious undertone but

“Not because it is not physical it is not abuse. It can be psychological, sexual, emotional, or financial”. She added “…. abusive behaviour involves power control and one should never believe the words ‘baby I would never do it again’. When you see the Light the escalation of the abuse can be clearly seen, the novel makes it clear abuse in any form must not be tolerated and not to save the marriage for the sake of the children”. B.A. Eddie was born in Georgetown Guyana, South America, and now re-


not too much to lose the storyline. B.A. Eddie explained that she was inspired to write this book after her now-dead sister shared her experience of spousal abuse, after seeing her father abuse her mother as a child and also witnessing many of her family members being brutally and physically abused. “I know I was very small when all these things happened but the guilt of not speaking hid the memory inside me. How else can a child process something like that? They lock it away until they are older”. Meanwhile, she said that sometimes “in our lives we find ourselves with certain behaviours and are unable to understand why we act the way we do. Some of us may not even be conscious of our actions since it reflects something that may have occurred way back and now that we are adults we are mirroring those actions.” Abuse has a domino effect in the sense that it not only affects the person being abused but also those around them. Quite often, the effects of domestic abuse trickle down to the children in the relationship as they witness, firsthand, the actions of the abusers. Those same children would sometimes associate the abuse with the normalcy of a relationship which means the continuation of the vicious cycle. Therefore, she advises men and women and those in relationships to respect each other.

sides in Brooklyn, New York where she pursued study to become a paralegal. She obtained her elementary and secondary school education in Guyana before migrating to London, England. She explains that she makes it her duty to reach out to families as well as individuals; to Christians and non- Christians alike, and addresses issues of everyday life. She devotes her time to reading and analyzing mystery and history books. In her opinion, these two categories are closely knitted. In some instances, she wishes the stories to end differently. When you see the Light is expected to be officially launched with the author’s second publication in Guyana early next year.

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

By Lakhram Bhagirat


nowing that you are different from everyone else can be one of the most intimidatingly beautiful things to happ e n to someone. However, being different can also lead to isolation and feelings of dejection. So when Chandradatt Jagdeo realised that he was different from most of the males around him, he began a process of self-isolation. He never interacted with anyone beyond what was necessary. He kept himself glued to the television set watching shows about embracing the diversity. It would be safe to say that at age 8, he had very little idea of how different he was but what he knew was that he was definitely different. Now, ten years later he has realised what his difference was and has now embraced it. At the age of just 14, Chandradatt took a bold step. It was a step that even grown men today cannot fathom taking. He logged on to Facebook and announced to the world just exactly what him different was. It was a bold step taking into consideration that he had told the world that he is gay. But for the first time, Chandradatt felt like himself. He felt like the weight of the world had just fallen off his shoulder. Being out to the public meant that Chandradatt can, for the first time, be his authentic self and live his truth. However, living that truth came with a price that he was not prepared to pay. Chandradatt comes from a very reserved village in the East BerbiceCorentyne region. So when he publicly announced that he was gay, there were expected and unexpected lash back from the community and those around him. “Growing up in Adelphi Village was good. I was always a quiet child and kept to myself. When I came out there were people in the village who would tease me. To this day when I would walk they would call me names like ‘fish’ and the ‘b-word’ but I does just ignore them. But my family is there for me and people who are friends with the family does respect me,” he said. Going back to his decision to come out of the proverbial closet, Chandradatt remembers the feeling of being dejected. While still in school, he began his first homosexual relationship and being a novice at it meant that he was taken advantage of. “It was December 8,


2016, when I started to talk to this boy and we would talk every day. I was just in From Three at that time. So we planned to meet up two days before Valentine’s Day and I skipped lessons and went to meet with him. We hung out and so on but on Valentine’s Day he dumped me because I was not good looking enough for him. “It was my first relationship and I was feeling so heartbroken because I really liked this guy to the point where I was loving him. I came home and I cried and so on. My mother found out and she thought that it was just a phase and never took it seriously but she was angry because the phone bill was like $20, 000,” he remembered. It was that incident, the first taste of heartbreak, which left the young man searching for some semblance of himself. It led him to social media. Like many millenniums, Chandradatt likes vicariously on social media and he always knew that it would be inevitable to hide his true self. However, he never thought that revealing his true self would be as a result of being heartbroken. When he came out on Facebook, Chandradatt said he was lost. “When I was about in Grade 2-3 when I realised that I was gay or different at that time. Over the years I came to realise that I was also the black sheep when it came to school as well. In class, I would be teased a lot and whenever they had like guys playing cricket I would be drawing and making stuff. I was mostly artistic and from there on I carried the same traits in high school. “When I came out on social media I felt free. I felt light but I was not ready for what the next day held. Throughout my school life I was bullied but the very next day I was not prepared for. The next day the entire school was in a ruckus and everybody found out and then that same day I was taunted and bullied. I cried in class so much. Some of the teachers there spoke to me and it helped eased the pain but at the same time I had no one I could relate to and there was no one to comfort me. The male students they bullied me. I was punched, I was pushed into the wall, and I was bullied for my money. When I came out it was like I was free but it was like hell in school…,” he remembers. At that time he was a student at the New Amsterdam Multilateral Schools and the teachers there were supportive but not the same could not have been said for the male students. Moving forward, Chandradatt said that the bullying continued throughout the remaining of his high school years and there were times he felt like giving up. “There were many days where I felt like giving up and wanted to end it all. But I am a big fan of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and my favourite wrestler is Sasha Banks and she taught me how to fight and never give up. So when I felt like giving up I would come home and cry my eyes out and be reminded of the struggles of the wrestlers I admire and where they are now today. I would be inspired and I pick myself up and move on.” Chandradatt is currently at the University of Guyana’s Berbice Campus reading for his Bachelors in Biology before he enters into the field of medicine. He aims to become a doctor and make a difference in the lives of everyone he encounters. For Chandradatt, the struggle is nowhere near the end. On social media, he is an aggressive advocate for people to be treated equally despite gender identity or sexual orientation. At the moment, he is focusing on making a difference one person at a time.



WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |


Berbice NGO teams up with Food For The Poor to enhance housing situation in Region 6 T

he St Francis C o m m u n i t y Developers, in collaboration with Food For The Poor Guyana (FFTP) Inc, is moving to enhance the housing situation in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). In Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), the two organisations have already established two villages – one at Hopetown and another at Trafalgar. St Francis President Alex Foster said the project was first established in Region Five because of the existence of housing co-ops, thus, making it easier for the establishment of villages. At Trafalgar, a playpark, which is being considered the largest imported outdoor facility in Guyana, has been erected. Meanwhile in Region Six, St Francis has been able to acquire land from the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLDS) at Williamsburg and Rose Hall Town, Corentyne. The project will see 100 house lots being established. According to Foster, the project is expected to include new public open spaces. “We want to establish a playschool and other facilities which would benefit the residents of that new community. So, we would be able to empower them in the initial stage. We will start by setting up 60 houses on the land and then we will add 40 more in Phase Two of the project,” Foster said. He noted that scores of persons have applied for new houses and the interviews with applicants are expected to commence to select those who would benefit from the new housing project. To date, meetings have been held with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL); the Region Six Administration; the Department of Education; the banking sector; the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce (CCCC); the fire department and the Police in the region. According to Foster, 26 organisations have so far participated in meetings involving the setting up of the new Village. Meanwhile, FFTP Senior Manager of Projects, Andrea Benjamin, speaking on the project last Thursday at St Francis, where they had gathered for another event, said the agency was happy to be partnering with St Francis on

Lands and Survey Regional manager, FFTP CEO Kent Vincent, St Francis President Alex Foster and Senior Project Manager FFTO Andrea Benjamin

the housing project. “We have been working in Region Six for a number of years to improve housing quality,” she noted. She said an early childhood development centre and play park would also be included in the village, which is also to have a community resource centre and an agricultural plot. Benjamin further explained that the FFTP would be assisting families living there with life and training programmes. “The aim of this project is not only to build houses and provide adequate housing, but to create a sustained community. We will be providing accommodation; we will be having life and skills training programmes, recreation for the children in order to keep them active to ensure that the community mortgages. When you bring families from different backgrounds and different communities it is important to have an area where they can actually congregate and where you can learn about each other and get to know each other holistic. So, you create a holistic community,” she said. Benjamin noted that the FFTP would not be funding the project solely, and was open to support from other organisations or individuals. “We will have to develop the community in terms of roads and dreams, and Food For The Poor will not be undertaking that. So, we will be looking to support from the Regional Administration and the Government of Guyana, from the Private Sector…” Meanwhile, the houses will be furnished and homeowners will be pro-

vided with solar panels. “So that they can have electricity. So, when we give them the house for those who do not have anything, they can move in immediately,” Benjamin added. FFTP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kent Vincent said he has seen small zinc structures with as many as six persons living in them. Those environments, he said, was heart-breaking to the FFTP. “We feel very happy to be able to provide decent housing for those who are in need. These are people who cannot go to the bank to get loans to build because they do not have the financial resources,” he explained.



Mout’ open…


…on Granger’s dictatorial bent n five years, we can count the number of times Granger has faced the independent media corps on one hand – which only has five fingers!! But we can now understand his reluctance after the revelations that emerge even when he consents to packaged, pre-arranged soft-ball interviews. Just listen to how he responded to one deferentially posed question as to how he views his DPI’s yanking of ads from the SN over the past few months. The DPI had “explained” its action was precipitated by the newspaper insisting that they won’t accept any new ads unless their mounting arrears were cleared up. But this was patently and blatantly a lie, and this newspaper conclusively knew this. While the SN had pointed out that the Guyana Times had also suffered the same fate, the latter hadn’t made the same demand!! But even though the SN didn’t know this, they came to the inescapable conclusion that they were being punished because they’d been highlighting the high-handed actions of the PNC government in the wake of the NCM. This, of course, was also the “sin” of the Times!! The PNC was reverting to its old posture on the free press: they were to be dealt with “condignly”, to use Burnham’s pet phrase! Back in the day, it was by banning the importation of newsprint, since at that time the Government didn’t even CONSIDER giving any ads to any but the state newspaper! Since there was no “carrot”, the “stick” it was! Which was Burnham’s preferred method in any case! But back to Granger’s response: he blurted out that the ads were cut or stopped because the SN wasn’t reporting news about the Government “fairly”!! Imagine that!! The specific “unfair” reportage he cited was the SN’s non-reporting of Granger’s speech at one of the events commemorating QC’s 175th anniversary!! It was an unforgivable sin of omission!! The Editor-in-Chief, ironically himself a Queen’s “old boy”, pointed out that there were any number of reasons why the event wasn’t covered, like the mundane ones of not having a reporter available at the time. Again, he couldn’t have known that Granger had to be full of bloviating hot air, since he admitted G/Times had covered the event but they had suffered the same fate of “off with their ads”!! Granger was clearly disingenuous, of course, since his excuse of SN blanking his speech was expost facto to the original DPI’s decision!! But, more fundamentally, even if we accept the criterion of “fairness” for newspapers to get Government ads (paid for by the taxpayers of Guyana) who determines what is fair?? The Government? Was it fair for the state media to blank Opposition events for five years?? …on Granger’s journalistic betrayal Granger has violated journalistic standards set by international agreements that Guyana has signed on to. The Inter-American “Declaration of Chapultepec” on press freedom categorically prohibits the use of Government advertising for the rewarding or punishment of news media. No carrot-and- stick approach allowed!! Principle 7 of the Declaration insists: “…the granting or withdrawal of government advertising may not be used to reward or punish the media or individual journalists.” While Principle 10 couldn’t be more explicit: “No news medium nor journalist may be punished for publishing the truth or criticising or denouncing the government”. But this shouldn’t be surprising to any of us: this man has consistently violated the highest law of his land – the Constitution – which he’s explicitly sworn to uphold and defend! But Granger’s trampling on press freedom cannot be excused for another reason: he was the recipient of a US Government Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship to attend the University of Maryland’s Journalism School in 1993! He should be stripped of his diploma!! He’s a disgrace to the US programme. …Granger’s lack of integrity Granger introduced the phrase “fit and proper” into the popular Guyanese lexicon. Ironically, he’s proven to be most “unfit and improper” as President of Guyana, for lacking its fundamental requirement: Integrity!


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

wins Four containers with substandard Guyana 6th Tourism food items refused entry into Guyana Award this year



he Government AnalystFood and Drug Department (GA-FDD) has once again clamped down on local business for importing substandard food items from foreign countries. The Food and Drug Department has recently refused entry of four containers with assorted eatables imported by Faizal Asif Iqbal Alli from Canada. This comes on the heels of several consumers’ complaints and many attempts by the Department’s inspectors to conduct inspections and locate several bonds operated by Alli. GAFDD on Wednesday stated that the examining process which was carried out on October 25 and 30, 2019 and on November 1, 2019, revealed that some items were labelled with misleading information, expiry dates removed and extended with a date marking machine, while other products were removed from their original packaging and placed into bulks. As a result of the findings, the GA-FDD has pledged to carry out urgent inspections at retail premises across Guyana since two of the containers bearing substandard items were electronically released from the port of entry without the Department’s consent or approval on November 1. The Department is also expected to share details of the illegal practice with the Canadian Food Exporters Association, which at-

Confectioners that were removed from original packaging and seized by GA-FDD

tested to the wholesomeness of the products on a health certificate that was used to facilitate the trade of the items from Canada to Guyana. More information in this regard will be released at the Department’s National Food Safety and Control Committee Meeting (NFSCCM) on November 12, 2019. Additionally, the Department

said that it will file legal proceedings against Alli for deliberately facilitating the importation and release of substandard articles of food to be used by the general populace of Guyana. Consumers and retailers are urged to double-check labels on products and ensure dates are not tampered with.

estination Guyana has won its sixth award for 2019! This time, it won the Silver Prize in ‘Best of Adventure’ from the International Travel and Tourism Awards for its sustainable adventure practices framework communities have embodied. According to DPI, the award was presented at the World Travel Market in London on November 5. In a brief statement, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) expressed appreciation to its partners at Lotus UK for helping to make the award possible. The honour for ‘Best in Adventure’ recognises the destinations or businesses within the travel and tourism industry that have dedicated time in supporting and promoting adventure travel, through creative marketing and campaigns as well as increasing interest to their particular destination through this sector. This year, Guyana was also named: The World’s #1 in ‘Best of

The ‘Silver’ prize for ‘Best of Adventure’ from the International Travel and Tourism Awards

Ecotourism’ and one of the Top Ten Sustainable Destinations at the ITB Berlin – the world’s leading travel and trade show in March 2019. In June of this year, the country won First Place at the Golden City Gate Awards for its Welcome back to Nature and won first in Sustainable Tourism at the LATA Achievement Awards that same month. At the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards Programme in August, Guyana was awarded first in Best in Destination Stewardship.


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Guyana Restaurant Week returns this month T he introduction of Guyana Restaurant Week has sparked many positive comments from local and foreign diners, and reservations are already booked for later this month when it returns for a second time this year. C o m m e n c i n g from November 22 to December 1, persons would capitalise on the opportunity to dine in participating restaurants, with cutbacks on their speciality dishes. The entire event is organised by the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) and is also a marketing strategy to introduce the services that Guyana has to offer. The Guyana

Tourism Authority had also collaborated last year. This time, 23 restaurants, cafés and coffee joints are listed to participate, namely – Aagman Restaurant, Antonio’s Grille, Bistro Café and Bar, Café Bellvana, Caribbean Inn, Grand Coastal Hotel, Pegasus Hotel, Java Coffee Bar, New Thriving Chinese Restaurant – Main Street, OMG! Restaurant, Herdmanston Lodge, Marriott Hotel, Roraima Duke Lodge, The Vintage Wine Bar and Lounge, Windjammer Restaurant, Xie Xie, Palm Court, Jaxx International Grill, Hibiscus Restaurant, Curramba La Bella, Park

Vue Hotel, Watooka House and Cara Lodge. The last GRW was hosted this year in June. Each restaurant had featured two-course lunch menus and three-course dinner menus at a fixed price per person. There is a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, ranging from the Mediterranean, Chinese, Indian, Italian and much more. President of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar had said that Restaurant Week is an excellent marketing opportunity for businesses and will benefit patrons as well. “Restaurant Week was designed to appeal to the local market and for people who feel certain restaurants are not for them. I’m encourag-

President of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar

ing all Guyanese to come out and explore them all,” he was quoted as

saying. This initiative has already amassed support

from scores of persons and its base continues to increase.


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Identity of charred remains found in car trunk still to be determined – Crime Chief


he identity of the charred remains that were discovered inside the trunk of a burnt car in a swampy area in Mahaicony, Region Five (MahaicaBerbice), on Friday still remains a mystery to local cops. Investigators are, however, working along with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) with the hope of locating the owner of the burnt vehicle. This is according to acting Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent Michael Kingston, who told Inews that to date, there has been no testing on the remains but investigations into the matter continue. “We have to get approval to send the samples overseas because I think it is bones. I am not certain whether the lab here can do it but whatever we do, we have to get approval to send overseas.” According to Kingston, since the gruesome discovery on Friday, news has been circulating that the burnt body belongs to a missing witness in a murder trial, 36-yearold Collin Rodney, of 70 Joseph Pollydore Street, Lodge, Georgetown. However, he stressed that such pronouncements at

of Garnett Street, Georgetown, were charged for the murder of Marlon Seon Rodney, called “George”. It is alleged that between April 25 and April 30 last, at Norton Street, Lodge, Georgetown, the 35-year-old taxi driver

Missing murder trial witness Collin Rodney, also known as “Glock”, “Troy” and “Cutty”

this stage of investigations are “speculation and presumptions.” Less than five months ago, the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) had announced that almost five years after being officially opened, it was now able to conduct critical tests that would aid in the fight against crime. Director of the G$1.049 billion building, Delon France during the commissioning ceremony for the new services this year had listed the newly added features, stating that DNA tests which can be conducted there would use samples from the human cheeks, semen and vagina, hair, blood and most importantly, fingerprints or touch. However, no mention was made about the test-

ing of bones that could possibly be discovered at some crime scenes. Rodney, a former policeman, also known as “Glock”, “Troy” and “Cutty” was last seen on October 25, 2019, at about 08:00h, when he left his home to attend court to give evidence in the murder trial of his cousin, Marlon Rodney. He was a witness to his cousin’s murder. He had left his residence driving his car, a silver-grey Toyota Allion, PRR 1076, which is believed to be the car that was torched on Friday. However, he was a noshow in court. Thirty-nine-year-old Osafa Grundell, called “Safo”, of Freeman Street, East La Penitence, Georgetown, and James Fraser, 21, called “Dab”,

of Lot 71 Norton Street, Lodge, Georgetown, was involved in a heated argument with Grundell, Fraser and another man called “Curl Up”. The accused reportedly whipped out firearms after the row escalated and discharged several

rounds at Marlon Rodney, who was hit in the left leg. A passerby was also shot in the process. The injured men were rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where Rodney later succumbed.


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Calls mount for investigation into ‘racially insensitive video’ at UG T

he sharing and reposting of a racially profiled video by a University of Guyana (UG) student has become the latest item of public condemnation and scrutiny, with calls mounting for an investigation or other pertinent action. The video was released to the public via social media on Tuesday, promoting racism. The individual was later identified as a computer science student, who was clearly seen in the video along with another female colleague, making “racially-driven” statements aimed at a section of the University population. It caught the attention of many persons, including activists, and was shared hundreds of time – each attached with a message condemning these actions. Students of the said institution also disagreed with these actions and moreover, pointed at the fact that it painted a negative image of UG. In light of the outrage, the University

University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus

of Guyana Students’ Society (UGSS) rejected the content of the video, stating that it was brought to the institution’s attention and would be dealt with by the relevant committee. “A racially insensitive video attributed to a student of the University of Guyana

has been brought to our attention. It is regrettable that a student at this institution of higher learning would engage in actions and make callous race-related statements which play into stereotypes that plague our society. The University of Guyana Students’ Society

strongly condemns such reckless actions and urges all students to desist from similar behaviour. Rest assured that the matter will be addressed by the relevant University committee,” the student body stated. Meanwhile, UGSS President Jafar Gibbons also posted, “Racism in Guyana is not a secret topic and many of us are guilty of making derogatory remarks to another race, directly, indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally. Our very institutional socialisation which includes our education, religion, family and political parties have been using this very topic to divide us for a number of years. Oh, how I wish our activism would halt such a

practice.” Many persons have called for the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) to intervene at the earliest. The ERC’s four broad functions are “investigative, conflict resolution, education and public awareness, and research and development strategies”. Among its functions as outlined in Article 212d of the Constitution are to provide for equality of opportunity between persons of different ethnic groups and to promote harmony and good relations between such persons and to promote arbitration, conciliation, mediation and like forms of dispute resolution in order to secure ethnic harmony and peace.

India doubles ITEC training slots for Guyanese


he Government of India has announced an immediate increase in the number of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) training slots allocated to Guyana. On Wednesday, the Indian High Commission informed that this number has doubled from the current 24 to 50 with immediate effect. This step was taken as a gesture of goodwill as the two countries continue their longstanding partnership, now 55 years strong, in ITEC. Adding to that, India is bolstering the human resource capacity as the country moves to produce first oil. “The consistent efforts of the High Commission of India has now resulted in the training slots for Guyana getting increased to more than double the existing number to help the country create a large pool of skilled and technically qualified manpower in various sectors for its emerging fast economic growth as a result of oil and gas discovery and expectation of first oil in December 2019,” the statement read. The Indian Government continues to assist 160 countries around the world through capacity building in its ITEC programme. The courses offered under ITEC provides a wide and diverse range of skills in agriculture; irrigation; information technology and telecommunications; finance

Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr KJ Srinivasa

and accounting; auditing; banking; education; planning and administration and parliamentary affairs; crime records; textiles and rural development; renewable energy; tool design and small enterprises and entrepreneurship development. Just last month, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr KJ Srinivasa had announced plans to increase the number of scholarships offered to the Guyanese population. According to the diplomat, these scholarships would be provided with the hope that more Guyanese grasp the opportunities to benefit from quality education from India. “We have something called the ITEC … wherein we give scholarships, short-term scholarships fully paid for young students and graduates in this country in various fields in IT, geology, in mining, in agriculture, you name it,

there are various courses,” he explained. He noted that education was a vital part of propelling any nation forward and it was with this in mind that his country was positioning itself to assist more Guyanese students with securing this much-needed form of development. “We are ready to extend that cooperation and we are trying to increase the slots for Guyana. Secondly, we are also going to work on the culture front wherein we can give people to go to India and learn the rich heritage and culture …. we have to work to build the skills and education for the youth of this country. As you know, India is progressing tremendously and it is growing at a rate of seven per cent annually at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level; this is all thanks to the impetus that the forefathers of Indian nation gave to education,” he was quoted as saying. Dr Srinivasa added that this was just the beginning of a series of opportunities that India would be providing to countries such as Guyana, as his country aimed to offer assistance in various areas for countries that are in need of it. Persons are urged to utilise the opportunity to participate in the ITEC programme before the end of March 2020. The details, criteria and requirements can be found on the ITEC Portal at


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

DPP institutes joint charge in attempted murder of ex-cop

In denial... A


…on crime he top COP was recently confronted with the report that crime is rising all across the country and is forcing a beleaguered citizenry to demand action. He retorted, “I’m not necessarily BOTHERED, because I’m saying there are a few sensational crimes that are occurring”. He thus continues the line the Granger-led PNC regime adopted since they sidled into office: the populace is overreacting to the crime situation, which the Police have “firmly under control”, as “proven” by the statistics they regularly trot out. So, for instance, the 16 murders that occurred over the last two weeks are nothing to worry about. Not to worry about the return of piracy. Not to worry about the spike in burglaries and snatching of phones that’s become the new “choke-and-rob”. So also for armed robberies that have become so routine that, rather than launching programmes to combat the robbers, citizens are now cautioned to avoid certain areas — evidently accepting, like the Police, that as with the 36% poor, the high crime rate will always be with us. Caretaker President Granger, however, inadvertently revealed what’s behind the inexorably rising crime wave when he tried to explain away the inability of the Government – via SOCU – to convict a SINGLE PPP official of any of the crimes they’d been accused of. He said it was due to “corruption in the Police Force”, since SOCU was part of that crime fighting unit. Another Columbus!! But Granger, for obvious reasons, didn’t go on to admit that this corruption in the Police Force is a systemic one, which he’s failed to address even though it was one of his main campaign promises. With great fanfare early on, he shook up the top brass of the Force by using the transparent ploy that the then incumbents hadn’t investigated some cockamamie “assassination plot” against him. He insisted he must have “incorruptible” officers leading the GPF, and personally vetted the new command structure. He notably and personally insisted that Berbice Divisional Commander Linden Alves be appointed a Deputy Commissioner and Crime Chief. Alves was going to spearhead the fight against crime and fulfil the PNC’s campaign promise, but after some damming evidence of Police involvement in a notorious criminal incident in Berbice, ranks there pointed to Alves as the ringleader in the PoliceCriminal conspiracy. This was swept under the carpet until there were just too many bumps to ignore. He was, however, investigated only INTERNALLY by the Police, and was cleared! However, we now hear he was sent on administrative leave, and won’t be back. On crime, then, the question is, “Who will guard the guardians?” since it’s clear that corruption is rampant in the GPF from top to bottom!! …on electoral prospects Granger insisted recently that, at the next elections, the PNC coalition will end up with 36 seats and thus command a comfortable majority in the National Assembly. We don’t know at this time exactly which other parties will join him in the coalition, since the AFC have threatened to walk unless their leader Khemraj Ramjattan is the PM candidate. Unlike Burnham, who told Jagan, “Leader or nothing”, and kept his promise, Ramjattan’s “emasculated PM or nothing” is definitely a bluff, which will be called. So where’s the PNC going to pick up another 3 seats or 18,000 votes after its record in the last 4 1/2 years?? Is the PNC even going to retain its traditional base – especially the urban youths – who’ve been left to swing in the wind since 2015?? Even if the AFC comes back with its tail between its legs, they ain’t pulling anything from the PPP! They’re dead meat there! So it could only be Granger modestly imitating Burnham’s 1973 prediction of “securing” a 2/3 majority. He secured it through rigging!!

…on agriculture Caretaker President Granger insisted that agriculture “will remain the primary focus of our economy”. But right away you know he’s bullsh*tting – saying whatever comes into his head. Why doesn’t he still not have a plan for the 60,000 acres of abandoned GuySuCo lands??

fter being charged separately for the attempted murder of an ex-cop, Teon Allen called “Spoil Child”, the two accused, 23-year-old Renard Caesar and 22-year-old Lashawn Lewis were on Monday slapped with a joint charge that was instituted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). In court on Monday, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan withdrew the separate attempted murder charges against the men, and read the new charge which stated that while being in the company of others on October 5, 2019, at La Penitence Market, Georgetown, they discharged several rounds at Allen, with intent to commit murder. The defence attorney for both accused, Gordon Gilhuys, renewed a bail application for his clients stating that they have no knowledge of the crime. Gilhuys reiterated the fact that Lewis is unable to walk due to the gunshot wound he received to his back and is still receiving medical attention. Meanwhile, Prosecutor Neville

Charged jointly for attempted murder: 23-year-old Renard Caesar and 22-year-old Lashawn Lewis

Jeffers once again objected to bail on the basis of the serious nature of the allegation and the penalty the charge attracts. According to the prosecution’s case, Allen was at the East La Penitence Market making a purchase when the accused, along with others, exited a car and opened fire in his direction. Allen returned fire, injuring

Lewis in the process. This resulted in the men retreating. The matter was reported to the police and a wanted bulletin was subsequently issued for the duo. Following the wanted bulletin, Caesar turned himself in at the Mackenzie Police Station. The Chief Magistrate remanded the duo and the case will continue on November 18, 2019.

44 news

WEEK ENDING NOVember 10, 2019 |

Over 2000 UG students set to graduate on Nov 16


ast year, the University of Guyana (UG) churned out a little over 1700 graduates during its 52nd convocation. This year, that number will cross the 2000 threshold when the University holds its 53rd convocation on November 16, 2019. Hundreds of these graduates met with UG’s Registrar, Nigel Gravesande, and other University staff at the George Walcott Lecture Theatre on Saturday, where they were given information about the graduation process. It was revealed that over 2200 students will graduate, with the convocation taking place right on campus, utilising the Turkeyen tarmac. This

The University of Guyana

is a break from the past few years, as three ceremonies were held at the National Cultural Centre last year. Back in 2017, the graduation ceremonies were divided between the National Exhibition Centre in Sophia and the National Cultural Centre. At the time, some 2165 graduates received their certifications. This year, the morning graduation exercise will start at 10:00h with the faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Education and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Natural Sciences and the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). Meanwhile, the afternoon graduation session will start at 16:00h and will see students from the Faculties of Health Sciences, Social Sciences and the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI). Preceding the grad-

uation, there will be a graduation rehearsal on November 15. Persons who are graduating in the morning the next day will rehearse from 09:00h, while those graduating in the afternoon will have to assemble at 15:00h. The Chancellor’s Ball, a traditional part of the graduation process, will take place at the Umana Yana on November 14. In his remarks to the students on Saturday, Registrar Gravesande encouraged the graduands to give thanks to those who played a role in getting them to this day. He noted that students have an opportunity to take part in national development, particularly with the oil sector. But Gravesande also pointed to the importance of Government placing a premium on developing human potential. “Guyana is currently on the precipice of experiencing a transformation in our country. And I believe the transformation will only be successful and only be sustainable if attention is given to the human capital of our country.” “You will be moving into the period of first oil as the newest graduates of Guyana’s premier tertiary institution,” Gravesande said. A new feature of this year’s convocation is a graduation ring that students will be able to purchase. The rings, which will be made to order, will be supplied by Caribbean Awards and School Supplies, a Trinidad-based company. They will be available in gold, silver and white gold and will feature the University of Guyana’s coat of arms, either on the bezel (in the case of the signet ring option) or on the sides in the case of the rings with stone option. (Jarryl Bryan)

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |



WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

PAHO/WHO rep says clinical competency affecting high mortality rate in Guyana


n Guyana, there is a high percentage of women losing their life during or after childbirth, an epidemic which is influenced by the level of care and treatment offered by healthcare facilities. This was according to Country Representative of the Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/ WHO), Dr William Adu-Krow on Monday, during the quarterly meeting on Maternal Child Health and Expanded Programme Immunisation. While death from haemorrhaging has decreased in pregnant mothers, the statistics are still high. In fact, September’s statics revealed that the number of cases for the month was equivalent to that for the entire 2019 – data which is quite alarming. However, the overall statistics were once higher, reducing to 169 per ever 100,000. “The data reveals that there is a need to improve the quality of care in terms of clinical competencies, adequate assessment of high-risk management and timely referral and emergency obstetric care. Through all the efforts of all of us, we are not getting as many deaths from haemorrhage as we used to,

PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr William Adu-Krow

which is a good thing,” Adu-Krow highlighted. It was indicated that women die because of issues in the primary healthcare division. These should be detected early and addressed before the child is born. He further stated, “Now, what is killing our women in pregnancy happens to be issues of primary healthcare. They happen to be issues that we should find out even well before they get pregnant. They have to

be issues that we should help manage well before they come into labour. I keep saying that there is no point that we can have about 52 per cent of our women come with HB (haemoglobin) less than 10.” While post-partum haemorrhage has reduced, the PAHO representative noted, “The challenge now is the management of early bleeding in pregnancy, which has increased in the first half of 2019.

Teenage pregnancy He also pointed out that many teenagers are getting pregnant. In fact, one in five pregnant women is in her teenage years. “PAHO/WHO has assisted the Public Health Ministry in the situation analysis of adolescent health…This is to reduce the alarming rates of teenage pregnancy. We have to help the adolescent, the teenagers so that this teenage pregnancy of between 20 to 22 per cent needs to fall.” Family planning continues to play an important role in lowering mortality rate and moreover, providing a choice for women. At regional hospitals within the country, family planning is offered to women through contraception. “If one out of every five pregnant woman happens to be a teenager, if it is by choice, it is their right. If it’s an accident that means that we as a system has failed them.” Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud indicated that some women are not subjected to pelvic examinations and haemoglobin testing. However, even though hospitals are equipped with the facilities, the examinations are sometimes ignored. This is one factor which needs to

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud

be mitigated. “Monitoring pregnancies have become a critical part of ensuring that we prevent both maternal, neonatal and infant deaths. We’re strongly recommending, we’re still not there yet, that at least each mother have twice check at HB [and] pelvic examinations. I still see, from time to time, these examinations are not done and doctors are even present within the communities that have the capacity to do

this,” Dr Persaud pointed out. Nevertheless, he indicated that the MCH unit has made strides in lowering high statistics of deaths and complications in recent time. Data published by PAHO reveals that 68 per 100,000 live births was the regional average benchmark in 2015 for maternal deaths. At that time, Guyana’s statistics was 229 per 100,000 – placing second on the list after Haiti.

Promotions within GPF likely in December - Top Cop W

ith less than two months remaining for this year, hundreds of junior ranks serving the Guyana Police Force (GPF) are expected to be promoted before the end of 2019, as final preparations are ongoing to ensure that those who are deemed worthy of promotion receive it. Commissioner of Police, Leslie James recently told reporters that the GPF is anticipating those promotions to be held next month. He acknowledged that while the initial plan was to have had these promotions in July, circumstances prevented such. “We are likely to have a promotion probably in December…there would always be issues which would cause delays. That is internal to us and we have dealt with it. And as I said to you, it will be in December,” the Top Cop said. Earlier this year, over 500 officers were promoted to a higher rank within the GPF. In his New Year’s

Police Commissioner Leslie James

message, the Top Cop made the announcement and noted that the GPF was at a pivotal juncture whereby reformation was imminent and fruitful results were expected by

the first quarter of this year. While zeroing in on the promotions, James acknowledged, “Promotions cause the recipients to exude feelings of joy, satis-

faction, and, of course, a sense of achievement. Equally, it can be a catalyst to motivate ranks who may be despondent because of not being promoted on this occasion.

All is not lost; I urge that you remain resolute and steadfast in your good performance”. To fill the post of Assistant Commissioner, three senior superinten-

dents: Edgar Thomas, Royston Andries-Junor and Paul Langevine were promoted. M e a n w h i l e , Superintendents Phillip Azore, Brian Eastman, Adrian Simon, Linden Lord, Khalili Pareshram, Michael Sutton, Linden Isles, Michael Kingston and Charmaine JonesStuart were positioned as Senior Superintendents. Other ranks of the Force were awarded the position of Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, A s s i s t a n t Superintendent, Cadet Officer, Chief Inspector, Inspector, Sergeant, Corporal And Lance Corporal. Meanwhile, in 2018, 31 officers were promoted from the rank of Corporal to Sergeant while 43 ranks who were once Lance Corporals were promoted to Corporals, and 22 from Constables to Corporals. Additionally, 66 ranks who held the position of Constable were advanced to serve as Lance Corporals.



For a new (sharing) political culture

A tale… A R

…of two regions emember Solomon Sharma?? Think back about the start of the decade when some Young Turks were planning to take over what they considered to be a moribund PNC under Robert Corbin. They included Sharma, his sidekick Vanessa Kissoon and Aubrey Norton – Lindeners all – who mocked Corbin for having been “defanged” by Jagdeo and the PPP. They were ready to bare their fangs. Lindeners had always been militant and the bauxite industry’s downsizing exacerbated their aggressiveness. But Corbin, the wily old head and rigging strategist, had the last laugh at the 2011 PNC Congress, when he moved his chess pieces (and gun-toting henchmen!) to install David Granger as PNC leader. The Young Turks – who’d been made to look like turkeys – walked out, but “boat had gone a “watah””. They then staged a last hurrah to boost their sinking fortunes by organising a protest in Linden against a proposed hike in the zero-electricity tariff they’d enjoyed since the sixties. It cost the treasury billions annually and encouraged profligacy in electricity use by the residents. The PNC agreed with the hike, but the AFC supported the Linden radicals to boost their base. This move forced the PNC into a volte-face so as not to be outflanked by the AFC. The denouement is well known to all, when three protestors were killed by the Police after they attempted to burn down the Mackenzie Bridge and refused to disperse. Sharma and the Young Turks were afterwards banished into oblivion by Granger and the PNC old heads and not heard from ‘till this weekend when he showed up on the State media to denounce the PPP. Elections, of course, are coming up!! To rile up the PNC’s traditional constituency against the PPP, Sharma complained that the Economic, Technical, Land Selection and Broadcast Committees that were formed in the wake of the Linden Protests had petered out because of the latter’s foot-dragging. According to the Chronic, “the Economic Committee was expected to examine the sectors within the region, existing plans and initiatives such as the Linden Economic Advancement Programme (LEAP) and Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) for possible re-introduction. It was also responsible for conducting an analysis of the region’s capacity for food self-sufficiency and thereafter develop a plan for self-sufficiency as part of the Regional Development Plan. Additionally, it was mandated to examine the employment situation of Linden and Region 10 by extension, with the aim of making appropriate recommendations.” These were all consummated by the PNC after 2015. But they then shuttered 2 sugar estates in Berbice and threw 3500 workers into the street. How come they didn’t even reduce their water bill?? …of Oil and GDP The PNC’s elated the IMF just announced Guyana’s GDP will grow 86 per cent next year on account of the oil revenues. What they should say is what this will mean exactly to the ordinary Guyanese. The GDP simply includes all the goods produced in Guyana – including the oil. The question is how much of this will remain in Guyana? The International Oil Companies (IOCs) , for instance, will be taking their 87.5% (75% expenses + 12.5% profits) of the revenues back to their respective countries – the US and China. All that will be left for Guyana will be at best the 2% royalties (from the top) and the 12.5% of the profits – after they pay the taxes on the IOC’s profits. But let’s say we end up with 9% of the revenues. This will be placed into the Natural Resource Fund and from there a certain portion into the Consolidated Fund for governmental spending. From what we know about their spending during the last 4 1/2 years, none of that will show up in real development. All Guyanese will get is lawrah!! …of SOCU and PPP crime Suddenly we hear SOCU will be disbanded and reformed because they didn’t successfully prosecute any of the PPP officials they’d accused of “siphoning billions and billions” from the treasury. What about maybe nothing was pilfered??

s we enter the stretch to the elections ribbon of March 2, 2019, we witness a prime characteristic of politics in Guyana: a welter of new politicians, who insist that their programmes and ideas – all appearing full-blown from their brows and inscribed in elaborate “manifestoes” – will solve Guyana’s problems once they are elected to high office. Not solve the problems together, mind you, but individually. They ignore that the incumbent “big parties” all started out the same way after one glorious moment of togetherness, and we’re yet no further out of our political morass than we were at independence. We believe that, in a severely divided society like Guyana, such an approach is bound to fail. In societies such as ours, the prime prerequisite for new approaches to succeed is missing – a broad enough support base to obtain the legitimacy necessary for the necessary radical programmes to succeed. This would be true for almost any issue before the people, much less a whole new system of governance; not to mention a whole new political orientation. So how does one proceed? Cautiously, we believe, by trying to build consensus rather than conflict. In 1990, we outlined our approach in a paper called, “For a new political culture”. The bottom line, we asserted, was that the old politics of “we” against “them” had to go. But how could we get to the politics of “us”. First and foremost, we declared, by not pretending that we are a singular “us” at the present time; we have to work at it. We might have become one at the Warriors game, but all bets were off once we left the stadium. We have to accept that we had inherited a state but not a nation. Has anything changed since then? Not much fundamentally, but at least the PPP, and the PNC with its AFC appendage have been given the opportunity to demonstrate whether their way of going it alone could deliv-

er “us” into the promised land with their ideas. I do not think anyone doubts that we are very far from that happy state. The oil stakes seem to have polarised us further. We suggest that the new parties work to conduct a dialogue in which they place on the table the fears and hopes of the people they hope to represent, and work on building institutions and changing mindsets that could address the identified fears, to deliver the declared hopes. We cannot forget that changes in moral and cultural consciousness precede changes in political behaviour. It would not move us forward if, rather than “discussion and deliberation”, we engaged in “polemics”. The

French post-modernist Michael Foucault drew what he considered to be the “essential” distinction between entering discussion and engaging in polemics, which is very apropos to all of us at our historical moment: In “discussion”, participants implicitly understand commitments entailed by “the acceptance of dialogue”, and avail themselves only of rights that “are in some sense immanent” in the “dialogic situation” itself. In “polemic,” by contrast, the intent is not merely “to wage war”, but to regard “that struggle as a just undertaking.” The polemicist proceeds unconstrained by mutual rights and commitments, and treats each interlocutor not as

“a partner in search for truth, but an adversary, an enemy who is wrong. It appears that, unfortunately, the new parties are all poised to launch in polemics – if they have not already done so. It is not a road that should be travelled again. The PNC and PPP will be justified in considering them as gnats. The former will not become obsolete with any wave of the wand, whether by a fairy Godfather or even a combined Centre Force. We are not sure they need to be obsolete. What is needed is a recognition by the new parties that they should commit to work with them together, and not separately; and demonstrate this in their own cooperative activities. In working to build a Centre Force, the new parties will get the opportunity to expose the idea of a unified approach to these old formations. This is how consensus is built – slowly, but surely. A Centre Force can deny both the PPP and the PNC a majority in Parliament; can insist that both of them work together on a national programme, since the Constitution demands a majority vote to even spend a penny.

48 Bollywood

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |


here is a duality in the way male and female stars are treated in the industry which expects women to constantly prove their worth, says Yami Gautam. The actor, who made her debut with Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor and most recently featured in the blockbuster Uri-The Surgical Strike, said despite her performance being praised, she could not escape being stereotyped, something that did not happen to her male co-stars. “My first film had a performance-oriented role and people did notice that. But (there’s) stereotype because it was not a conventional role from an actress’ point of view. That’s where an actress and an actor differ. “‘Oh, she has looked a certain way so only certain type of roles were coming my way. I realised that it’s very important to keep working on yourself and reinventing yourself in some way or the other to get diverse roles,” Yami said in a group interview here. The 30-year-old star said she found it absurd that she had to project her “strong girl” role in Uri. “Kaabil had a very sensitive performance, even in Uri, yes, it was about Army and about that entire operation but… I feel very weird when you have to project that I play a strong girl. Why? It doesn’t happen with any actor, they don’t have to say ‘I am playing a strong guy’. “You really have to work hard and people like me have to put in a lot of effort to keep proving

themselves which can be tiring. But that’s okay, that’s the job.” Yami said despite not having a “certain surname” or “a Godfather” in the industry, she has learnt to navigate her way. “I don’t have a social network here, where you can lean on someone when it comes to your professional circle. There’s nothing wrong in it but I’m saying it as a matter of fact. I am what I am, there’s a certain price to it but I’m fine.” Yami, who stars opposite Ayushmann Khurrana, credited director Amar Kaushik and producer Dinesh Vijan, for recognis-

ing her talent and casting her in Bala. “I am glad that people like Dinesh, Amar, had faith in my talent and performance. When you watch the film, you’ll realise that my name wouldn’t instantly come to your head seeing what you’ll see… It’s only a matter of time, your one Friday takes you to another, where people push you in a certain role which is absolutely new. It can take a while but it’ll happen. I’m in no hurry,” she added. The film is scheduled to release on November 7. (Indian Express)

for certain characters are not being given the part since her last film Saand Ki Aankh. “Why the makers did not take a suitable actor for the role – well, since my last film people have been asking me such questions. Basically, the fact is that there are not enough empowering roles written for female leads. Period. Let’s support these directors, writers and filmmakers who conceive strong female characters. I am an actor. I will do what is required. I don’t feel other actors are questioned about the same thing,” the Saand Ki Aankh actor said. Soon Ayushmann Khurrana interrupted Bhumi Pednekar. He said, “I was not questioned why I

was playing a bald man? The arguments will always be there but at the same time, it is the credibility of an actor that garners a lot of audience’s appreciation. Ultimately, it is a film business. You opt for an actor who is credible, sellable and Bhumi is a big name right now. She is a great actor. She fits the part and the vision of the director. It is a dream of the actor to transform and that will continue to happen.” As Ayushmann concluded, Bhumi said she wouldn’t have existed in the industry had she not been doing such roles. “I wouldn’t have existed had I not done these roles. I have really tried to get roles that make me look different. So, I am doing my part and I don’t think that is wrong,” Bhumi Pednekar said. On a concluding note, Bhumi shared that she expects her film Bala to motivate people to celebrate themselves, however and whoever they are. “I feel fortunate to be a part of a film like Bala because we hope after this film, people change the way they think and they celebrate who they are,” the Pati Patni Aur Woh actor said. Bala, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam in the lead roles, will release on November 8. (Indian Express)


ollywood actor Bhumi Pednekar has been criticised for playing a darkskinned character in her upcoming film Bala. The makers opted for an alcohol-based makeup to create her look, which made trolls ask why not give the part to someone who actually has the required skin tone. The actor recently opened up about the backlash at a press conference in New Delhi. “For Dum Laga Ke Haishaa, I gained 30 Kgs. For Saand Ki Aankh, I went through transformation as well. I am an actor. I will transform myself as and when required. I honestly think it is the direction’s vision and producer’s prerogative on who they want to take. As an actor, I am going to portray every character that comes my way even if I have to become a man,” Bhumi Pednekar said. She continued, “I am not a conventional heroine myself. Times are changing. Cinema is celebrating womanhood. I did Bala because of exactly that. There is not a moment when we are making fun of someone’s colour. This girl is, in fact, empowering other girls. She breaks every sort of societal norm or stigma attached to skin tone in India.” The actor said that she is being questioned why actors suited


ardhan Puri, the grandson of veteran Bollywood actor Amrish Puri, on Tuesday said everything he knows about cinema and acting came from his late grandfather and he will always remember the conversation he had with him in life. The newcomer, who makes his debut with romantic thriller Yeh Saali Aashiqui, said his grandfather once gave him a key tip for life — to always remember his roots. “My grandfather gave me this tip. He said many actors, who come from a theatre background to films tend to forget the theatre preparation. And they start behaving in a starry manner, start partying and acquire attitude. They walk around with an entourage. My grandfather told me not to get into all this. “He said, ‘Do these things only as part of the profession but do not let these things become a part of your core. Let your core be that of a theatre actor. Always behave in the way that you are at your roots, which is that of a theatre actor. If you do that, the chances of failure are less’. That is what my grandfather told me and that is my Bible,” Vardhan told reporters at the film’s trailer launch. The actor further said his grandfather always told him that preparation is the key to pulling off a character successfully. “I feel like what helps you get a break is training and preparation. Watching all their films has trained me to be-

come an actor. All my conversation with them has taught me nothing but preparation is the key. “The roots of my family in terms of performance stems from theatre, essentially we all are theatre actors. The upbringing is theatre based. Theatre is a very fair medium. The key to becoming an actor has always been observing my elders, learning from them, prepared me for cinema.” Vardhan said he does not feel the pressure but believes it is his responsibility to take the legacy of his family ahead in the right way. “I find the word pressure negative. I call that word responsibility. It is a blessing that I was born in this family. If I take it as a pressure, then I won’t be able to work. I take it as a responsibility. “My family has given, contributed so much to Hindi film industry and it is my responsibility I make them feel proud.” The romantic-thriller, directed by Cherag Ruparel and produced by Jayantilal Gada, also marks the debut of Shivaleeka Oberoi. “It is essential to have love in your life for a long time. It is important we chose our partners correctly. It is something that can make or break your life. Through this film we are trying to entertain you and also give a jolting message, which is all the more important for today’s youth,” Vardhan said. The film is scheduled to release on November 22. (Indian Express)


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |


ngelina Jolie has said her six children have been the source of strength for her but admitted they have also suffered in her life battles. The 44-year-old actor shares her children — daughters Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and Vivienne, 11, and sons Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, and Knox, 11 — with former husband, actor Brad Pitt. Jolie said her kids have been her support system for a long time now. “The part of us that is free, wild, open, curious can get shut down by life. By pain or by harm.

My children know my true self, and they have helped me to find it again and to embrace it. “They have been through a lot. I learn from their strength. As parents, encourage our kids to embrace all that they are, and all that they know in their hearts to be right, and they look back at us and want the same for us,” the actor told Harper’s Bazaar. Jolie most recently reprised the eponymous role in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. She is currently working on Marvel Studios’ The Eternals. (Indian Express)


atthew McConaughey made his debut on Instagram on his 50th birthday. The Oscar-winning actor, who celebrated his special day on November 4, shared the update with his fans and followers on Twitter. “Born November the 4th 1969, got my dad’s name the very same day. But not until I turned 50, today, did I become @ officiallymcconaughey. That’s my Instagram handle. See you there,” McConaughey says in the video clip on the microblogging site. The Dallas Buyers Club actor later posted a video on Instagram, admitting he was “nervous” about joining the social media platform. “Look, this is my first venture into sharing myself and my views with the world, and I’m a little bit

nervous about it, because quite frankly, I know I want to have a monologue. “I’m not sure I want to have the dialogue. But I’ve learned that you gotta have the dialogue, too,” he says in the other clip.

McConaughey, in the Instagram video, says he wants to inspire his followers and have “fun”. “I’m looking forward to sharing who I am with you, I’m looking forward to seeing if who I am translates, if what I want to share translates, if it tickles your funny bone, if it makes you think a second, if it makes your heart swell up a little bit, if it makes you take a quiet moment for a walk and go, ‘I have to check in with the M and the E’ — hopefully all of those things…” he says. His Insta bio reads: “Husband. Father. Actor. Minister of Culture. Professor. Creative Director. AustinFC. JKLivin. Pickle Expert.” McConaughey has already amassed over 609k followers. (Indian Express)



he third chapter in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter spinoff franchise, Fantastic Beasts has started to take shape. The much-awaited film is a follow-up to 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). The first film in the series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, released in 2016. Warner Bros has confirmed that production on the new film is set to begin in March 2020, reported Deadline. After New York and Paris, where the earlier two movies were based, Brazilian city Rio De Janeiro will serve as the backdrop for the new film. The film’s returning cast members include Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Jude Law


obert Pattinson has started training for Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete Rigan Machado, who is helping the actor get into the skin of the Caped Crusader, shared some photos on Instagram as he taught some moves to the actor. He captioned one of the pictures: “Batman is coming”, and another as

as Albus Dumbledore, Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, Ezra Miller as Credence/ Aurelius Dumbledore, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, and Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein. Meanwhile, it is being reported actor Jessica

Williams, who played Professor Eulalie ‘Lally’ Hicks in part two, is also returning for the new film but this time her character will have a bigger role in the scheme of things. Fantastic Beasts 3 will be produced by David Heyman, Rowling, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram and Tim Lewis.

Kloves, who worked on seven films in the Harry Potter series, will pen the screenplay with Rowling. Neil Blair, Danny Cohen, Josh Berger and Courtenay Valenti will executive produce. Fantastic Beasts 3 has a release date of November 12, 2021. (Indian Express)

“Jiujitsu brother”. Machado, a red and black belt in the martial art and a former Pan American Champion, has previously trained the likes of Vin Diesel, Ashton Kutcher and Charlie Hunnam. The Batman also stars Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz and Paul Dano. The film is set for a June 2021 release. (Indian Express)

ctor Jason Momoa has said he has watched the original version of Justice League, which was directed entirely by Zack Snyder. Fans of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) long believe that an original cut from Snyder of the 2017 film exists and have been petitioning Warner Bros for its release. Snyder, who had previously helmed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, had left Justice League during the post-production due to a family tragedy. The studio had then roped in Joss Whedon, best known for Marvel tentpole The Avengers and its follow-up Avengers: Age of Ultron, to oversee the postproduction as well as the film’s reshoots. However, many people believe Whedon had toned down the film, making it totally different from one envisioned by Snyder. The film ultimately went on to perform moderately at the box office. Momoa, who has himself been asking for the release of Snyder cut, told MTV that people will definitely like it. “I’ve seen the Snyder cut. I think the public needs to see it. I’m obviously indebted to Warners and DC and I don’t know how they feel about it. But as a fan, I’m very, very happy I got to see it,” the “Aquaman” star said. Asked whether Snyder’s version felt different to the one audiences saw in theatres, Momoa said, “Yeah.” Justice League also featured Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher. (Indian Express)


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

GTTA names players for National Talent Identification Training Programme


ith the acquisition of the services and expertise of Cuban high-level coach Osdani Romero Garcia, who is in Guyana for a two-month training and coaching stint, the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) has identified a group of talented young players to benefit. The group have been selected based on their performance in domestic competitions, technical and tactical skills, aptitude, discipline and talent. The GTTA seeks to provide a platform for the players with potential to benefit from highlevel training. This target group is between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. The GTTA’s plan is to engage these players in training and coaching activities utilising the services of Coach Garcia, after school, as well as in in-school and weekend sessions. The programme is geared towards providing high-quality training and services for young talented athletes the GTTA believes have the potential to be future representatives of Guyana, in view of improving and accelerating their technical and tactical abilities, and

transitioning correct approach, discipline, knowledge and concepts towards training to improve players’ performance with the central aim of assisting them in the realisation of their true potential and developing a core of athletes with the potential to represent their schools, regions organisations and Guyana. In this regard, the GTTA executive committee will be looking to expand the list of players. GTTA Programme Training Boys List: Christopher Barrow, Curtis Mc Crae, Kyle Orderson, Umar Percival, Rhys Belle, Jaswan Seenarine, Tyrese Gomes, Saaliah Rahim, Ian Gomes, Narren Persaud, Tawfeeq Rahim, Krishna Singh, Peter Persaud, Andelle Austin, Tai Panday, Adrian Melville, Kevic Samsudeen, Tameshwar Ramnarine, Kyle Chung, Khalid Gobin, Ajay Persaud, Uriel Isadore, Shaquan Williams, Ridwaan Kassim, Shaquard Favorite, Shaunquan Richards, Gavin Narine, Jarett Goddette, Timothy Braithwaite, Christopher Jones,

Rolex Alexander, A Hanniff, Jonathan Hawke, and Steffon Paddy. GTTA Programme Training Girls List: Samirah Burrowes, Sufah Burrowes, Lisana Ramscindo, Upah Hackett, Jean Jerry, Azra Huggins, Allana Gouveia, Isasha Harry, Selena Gudja, Laetitia Gamer, and Lolika Yarde. Romero Garcia is a graduate from the University Sancti Spiritus Jose Marti Perez Cuba with a degree in Sports Science and Physical Education and a diploma in High Performance Training. He has had considerable experience working in Venezuela and Mexico over the past four years with a great measure of success producing quality players. He is also a lead coach in Cuba’s national team programme and among the players he has trained are Daniela Fonseca, 2019 Caribbean Female Under-21 and Women’s Champion and Livian Martinez, 2019 Caribbean Men’s Under-21 gold medallist and Men’s Singles bronze medallist.


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |


he IPL is planning to have an exclusive TV umpire to monitor no-balls from the 2020 edition. It is understood this extra match official will be separate from the third and fourth umpires and will use technology to help on-field officials monitor no-balls. The decision to use technology more in order to reduce the errors made by the on-field umpires was taken by the newly-formed IPL governing council, headed by former India batsman Brijesh Patel, at a meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday. One governing council member confirmed that they were first looking to try out this additional umpire in a domestic tournament. With the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament beginning on Friday followed by the Ranji Trophy next month, the official said the new idea could be tried out in either of the tournaments. The development is likely to be welcomed by players and teams considering umpiring standards in the IPL have been a talking point for several years, which saw the introduction


achin Tendulkar has suggested tweaking the format of one-day cricket in order to promote a greater balance between bat and ball, suggesting - again - that having "two innings of 25 overs per side" could boost the interest among the spectators as well as the broadcasters. He had mooted the same idea, of splitting a one-day innings halfway, in 2009 for the first time. The ICC even considered the idea, but it wasn't implemented in the end. "The 50-over format is the first thing that needs a look-in," Tendulkar told The Times of India. "As I had suggested, the format needs a tweak of two innings of 25 overs per side with a 15-minute break between each innings (a total of four innings between two teams). The number of innovations that can be brought in are huge. "Let's say there's a 50-over-a-side match between Team A and Team B. Team A wins the toss, bats 25 overs; then team B bats for 25 overs; Team A resumes innings (with whatever wickets left) from the 26th over; Team B then resumes the last innings to chase the target. If Team A has lost all their wickets within the first 25 overs itself, then Team B gets 50 overs (25 overs plus

Nigel Llong and Virat Kohli have an argument over the 'no-ball'

of DRS in the tournament in 2018. In IPL 2019, India's two senior-most players - Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni pulled up match officials in separate matches over controversial no-ball decisions. Kohli called a missed no-ball opportunity "ridiculous" after a match against Mumbai Indians when Royal

25 overs with a break) to chase the target." Tendulkar explained how his proposal could help deal with dew, which often hinders the team bowling second in the subcontinent, resulting in a more even contest. "There's always a chance to come back into the game," he said. "In a regular 50-over format, if a side wins toss and there's dew, the side bowling second has no chance. The wet ball just skids on to the bat and it's never a fair battle". In the recent 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy in Bengaluru and Vadodara, wet weather affected a number of matches, forcing some of them to be abandoned and many rescheduled. Rain also affected the quarter-final clashes of the tournament, denying Mumbai and Punjab cracks at semi-final spots. "Frankly none of us understood Duckworth & Lewis," he said. "I think only those two gentlemen understood it. Look at the recent Vijay Hazare game washout, when Mumbai bowed out. Nobody likes a no-result contest." Tendulkar also suggested that the first five overs of each set of 25 overs could constitute the Powerplay as opposed to ten overs first up, and that the bowling side could take three

overs of a Powerplay whenever they wanted, leaving two overs with the batting side. "The six extra balls for bowling Powerplay will balance the battle between the bat and ball," he said. "It'll be exciting for the viewers because teams will constantly rethink strategies. "If a batting side has consumed seven overs of Powerplay (five mandatory and remaining two), and have a pinch-hitter waiting to come out yet, they could hold the batsman back until the fresh mandatory Powerplay will begin from the 26th over. Or, if the bowling Powerplay is on and two offspinners are on strike and batting side loses a wicket, a 'nightwatchman' can walk out to see off those overs". A day after the 50over Deodhar Trophy final, Tendulkar questioned the relevance of the tournament, as well as that of the four-day Duleep Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. "Look at the Challenger [Trophy]. Players come from different states, zones, play together for a few days and disperse," he said. "There's no team bonding. Do we even remember these games? Teams are randomly chosen. The same applies to the Duleep Trophy in certain ways. It doesn't serve any purpose when

Challengers Bangalore needed seven off the final ball and Shivam Dube only managed a single. TV replays on the big screen later showed Lasith Malinga had overstepped, and had the no-ball been called, AB de Villiers, who was on 70 off 41, would have taken strike and faced a free hit with five needed off the last ball.

players arrive overnight from different zones and play a few matches and go their separate ways.

"We are playing at IPL level, not club cricket," Kohli had said at the post-match presentation. "That's just a ridiculous call off the last ball. The umpires should have their eyes open." Earlier in the tournament, in Chennai Super Kings' away match in Jaipur against Rajasthan Royals, Dhoni controversially walked on to the field to engage with the on-field umpire Ulhas Gandhe over a no-ball call. The incident took place in the final over of Super Kings' chase with the visitors needing 18 to win. With eight needed off the last three balls and new man Mitchell Santner on strike, Ben Stokes bowled a full toss and Gandhe first signalled a no-ball for height, only for his square-leg colleague Bruce Oxenford to overrule the decision. The IPL's idea comes on the back of a similar decision taken by the ICC which recently decided to conduct trials in which a TV umpire will monitor front-foot no-balls. The ICC said it was looking to try it out in a few limitedovers series first, similar to how it was used during an England-Pakistan ODI series in 2016. (ESPNCricinfo)

"It's [Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy's] the same format. The IPL is serving that purpose and

is getting revenue too, which is important." (ESPNCricinfo)


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

'Kieron Pollard is more proactive as a captain' - Viv Richards V

ivian Richards has given his support to Kieron Pollard as the Trinidadian allrounder prepares for his gig as West Indies whiteball captain, with their three-match ODI series against Afghanistan beginning in Lucknow on Wednesday. Pollard hasn't turned out for West Indies in ODI cricket since their tour of the UAE to play Pakistan in October 2016, and his last List A appearance was over a year ago, for Trinidad and Tobago in the semi-finals of the 2018 Super50 Cup. Despite the lack of recent 50over match practice, Richards believes that Pollard will fit right back into the side, and the role. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo at WTM London 2019, Richards said: "It's about getting yourself fit, and there's enough good players around him that can help out as well. I think he's a guy that will get himself to match fitness. "I've always admired his captaincy, I've always felt that when he

Keiron Pollard

played the first CPL T20 at home, he was the best captain. I think Barbados Tridents went on to win it [in 2014],

and he was the best captain in my opinion, more proactive than the rest of the captains we would have seen. I think he's in

a good place." Performances in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League strongly influenced the make-up of West Indies' squad for this tour, with the tournament's top run-scorer and leading wickettaker, Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr respectively, receiving their maiden call-ups to the team. The latter, who has previously made his ODI and T20I debuts for the USA national side, is of particular interest to Richards, as a fellow Antiguan. "I was impressed with him as an Antiguan and Barbudan, especially in the CPL, and he's a magnificent fieldsman as well," Richards said. "So I think West Indies do have some good talent coming through, and if it can be fulfilled, they'll be okay." Richards also expressed his hope for Shimron Hetmyer to push on from the promising start to his international career. The 22-year-old Guyanese batsman has made 1199 runs at an average of 38.67 in ODIs, with four centuries and four fifties to his name in 34 innings. But it has been a different story so far in the shortest format,

with just 116 runs to his name in 12 T20I innings. At CPL 2019, he was hit and miss, only reaching double figures four times in 12 innings. "Hetmyer we keep speaking about, he's a young talent. I believe when he settles down, his numbers could be much better for West Indies in the future, but at present, he's a little if-andbut at

times, but when he works that out and gets to believe he can accomplish that, he'll be okay. But his talent, his talent is enormous, it's just for him to know how to get that done." One name missing from the West Indies squad in India is that of Chris Gayle. After saying he would retire from international duty after the 2019 World Cup, he made himself

available for the ODI series against India in August. Despite being given what seemed like a farewell in Trinidad, he's still officially available for selection, and Richards wouldn't be drawn on whether it's time for the 40-year-old to sign off from his 20year international career. "You should ask him that! If he thinks he's good enough to keep on going - I think he's in his 40s now, and he's still being productive, I have no problem with that. But if he finds he's going to be wanting, well, he should start having a look at himself a little closer than he is at present." Gayle is the top runscorer in T20 history, so it may have come as a surprise to some when he went unpicked in the player draft for The Hundred. Richards believes Gayle's now under-par performances in the field could have tipped the balance against him. "I'm surprised, I think maybe Chris can still give you a brilliant hundred here and there, he can destroy any attack in my opinion. I guess they're maybe thinking that what he's going to give in the field [isn't going to be enough], because I think that's got to come into play, saving runs. 'Can he give us more than he can save?'" After t h r e e ODIs and three T20Is, West Indies will face Afghanistan in Test cricket for the first time. The Asian side only has three matches in the format under its belt, but has won two of them, defeating Ireland in Dehradun in March and Bangladesh in Chattogram in September. Will they be the favourites in subcontinental conditions? "I'd still like to say West Indies are favourites," Richards said. "What West Indies have in terms of their fastbowling unit, that may be the difference. It'll be a great help. If [Kemar] Roach, [Shannon] Gabriel if he's there, all the other guys bring it as a pace attack, that may counter the spin that Afghanistan have." (ESPNCricinfo)

sport 53

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Alex Ekesa in the lead, with Winston Missigher tailing close behind on the Kitty Public Road

Kenyan due dominate South American 10k meet in Georgetown


espite an early challenge from Guyana’s Winston Missigher, the second leg of the South American 10K road race was championed by Kenyan National Alex Ekesa on Sunday afternoon. The local leg of the South American 10K was contested yesterday and the blistering Guyanese sunshine proved to be a challenge for many of the competitors.

but Ekesa was soon able to put some distance between them on the Kitty Public road, which was increased to a 100M gap by Thomas Lands. While Ekesa crossed the line at 32 minutes 43 seconds, Missigher did well in his final sprint to come in at 32 minutes 57 seconds. The Trinidadian pair of Shivran Baboolall and Matthew Hagley took third and fourth respectively while

Winston Missigher was the first Guyanese to finish

nized and one things that was a bit of a challenge was there was much breeze and wind. The most harsh on us was the heat, it was so harsh and that was a very great challenge. You have to use a lot of strength and that actually, to some extent made us dehydrated so much,: the Kenyan Alex Ekesa crosses the line in first position

Beginning at the GTT earth Station on Carifesta Avenue, the race continued along the Rupert Craig Highway, making a U turn at the University of Guyana Road, onto the Kitty Public Road, along Irving Street, turning at Thomas Lands and finally finishing in the National Park. When the race began, the front running pack comprised Kenyan Alex Ekesa, Guyanese Winston Missigher, Johnathan Fagundes and Cleveland Thomas, two Trinidadian Nationals and one runner From St. Vincent and the Grenadines completed the bunch. However, when he had completed the U turn at UG, Ekesa put on his racing shoes and lost the pack but could not shake the consistent Missigher. The Guyanese kept up with the Kenyan for as long as he could

Veronica Jepkostei won in the female division

St. Vincent’s Junior Ashton finished 5th. When speaking to media op-

eratives, Ekesa noted that his only challenge was the heat. “The course was well orga-

winner explained. While admitting that Ekesa held the upper hand, Winston

Missigher shared he just could not keep up with his opponent. The Guyanese also cited the heat as a challenge. “My idea was to hold him off and out sprint him but he kept pressing the pace early in the race so my leg began to get tired. I keep trying to go but I was very tired in the moment and the heat as well,” Missigher stated. On the other hand, the female division was won by Kenya’s Veronica Jepkostei. While second place was taken by St. Vincent’s Linda McDowell, the best Guyanese females Abidemi Charles and Dheama Tyrell, came in at third and fourth respectively. Kenesha Pascal of Grenada completed the top five. Speaking with this newscast, Veronica Jepkostei disclosed that her climate conditioning in Trinidad enabled her to withstand the Guyanese humidity. “For me it was not easy seeing it is very humid, very hot and I struggled very hard. It is good because I’ve been training in hot places, Trinidad, with my coach, so I was used to a little bit of heat,” Jepkostei explained.


WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |

Archery pierces mark at Queen’s College A

t the beginning of September 2019, the Queen’s College CXC graduating class of 1990-95 rekindled friendships and formed a diverse and dynamic group to plan their

reunion in 2020. This proactive group of alumni from Queen’s College (QC) has since met with the Principal of Queen’s College and started discussions with the overall objective of assisting their alma mater.

Since then, they have collaborated with the Board of Directors of Archery Guyana to plan the launch of a “Queen’s College Archery Club” with the hope that future Olympians will emanate

from their school out of this fast-growing and appealing sport. In the release from the class of 1990-95, it was noted that an early challenge saw the representatives from the year express great disappoint-

ment having finalised plans with Chairman of the Board, Alfred Granger, to launch the auspicious General Assembly to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the school.

To their dismay, the Chairmanship baton was passed on to Dawn Holder-Alert, who also by-passed their contribution and closed the assembly prematurely. This was after alumni took time off from work

for the event to benefit the students of QC and endured several impromptu additions to the agenda. The release further stated that their disappointment was not assuaged by the casual “I forgot” shrug of the shoulder by Granger. This sort of disinterest to what really matters to the future of Queen’s College and the indifference shown from a Chair of a Board of Governors raise serious uneasiness as to the earnestness of those now at the helm.However, the alumni wish to commend Principal Jackie Benn for her enthusiasm, knowledge and research of the sport and support of the students of QC. Owing to the Head Teacher’s intervention, as part of the school’s recent 175th anniversary celebrations, Archery Guyana collaborated with the graduating class of 1990-95 and hosted an Archery Booth for students, teachers and alumni to be initiated to the sport on Thursday, October 31, 2019 at the school’s sports day on the field. The venture was a

QC Principal Jackie Ralph-Benn trying the sport under the guidance of Head Coach Nicholas Hing

success. This new sport attracted a large crowd of very eager potential archers who tried their skills at shooting the bow, many of whom immediately wanted more information on when they might start practising the sport regularly. Most of the students got a chance to use the bows provided, and some even hit a few 10 rings

(bull’s-eyes). This natural talent was noted by the Archery Guyana representatives on the field. The students were also treated to a demonstration of Olympic archery by Archery Guyana Coach Anand Mangra, using his equipment and explaining parts of the process of how it’s done, which further awed the students.

WEEK ENDING november 10, 2019 |


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Guyana Times International 11-NOV-19  

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