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Guyana-Brazil road link closer to reality



See story on page 3

...Providence comes alive See stories inside

Murder case of NY-based Guyanese takes another turn Page 11

…as mother moves to CCJ for urgent hearing

See story on pages 28&29

Murder accused: Marcus Bisram





Guyana-Brazil road link one step closer to reality to get it done,” he expressed. Ambassador Morretti also believes that there is great interest on the part of the Brazilian government to get the road completed. The journey from Lethem

to Georgetown takes as many as 13 hours depending on the state of the road. It has recently become impassable. Once paved, the projection is that the trip will take no more than five hours.

In a recent interview, Ambassador Moretti explained the benefits to Brazil and the factors that have intensified the political will to see the project through to completion. continued on page 5

Guyana’s Ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency George Talbot


he Guyana-Brazil road link is becoming closer to reality. Authorities in both countries are working to complete the terms of reference for the design of the Lethem to Mabura Hill road within two months, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana said in a press statement on Thursday. Director of Northern and

Western South America at the Brazilian Ministry of External Affairs, His Excellency Norberto Moretti, has revealed that efforts are made to open the bidding process by the end of the year. “The goal by the end of the year is to have the bidding going on. It’s an ambitious timetable but it’s a realistic one and we are working very hard

Takutu River Bridge linking Lethem in Guyana to Bonfim in Brazil



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The state of policing in Guyana


n November 7, 2017, President David Granger announced that his Government was expected to establish a new office which would be tasked with implementation of the British-funded Security Sector Reform Project (SSRP). The President had explained that this office would have been functional this year, even though he failed to say particularly what timelines or deadlines were set to ensure that there were no further hindrances to the substantive work of the office under the US$4.9 million project, which was shelved by the former People’s Progressive Party Civic because of concerns over aspects of its scope. The President had also announced that the entire Police Force would be overhauled, as he explained that the administrative structure of the law enforcement agency would “undergo much needed changes to allow for more effective policing”. He had even explained that the reform process of the Force was necessary, since it was within its mandate to safeguard the country and its citizens from criminal violence. Additionally, President Granger, who served as a member of the Disciplined Services Commission of 2003, has also lobbied for the Force to carry out its work in a more professional, modern, and impartial manner. He had even promised, back in February this year, to go ahead with plans to launch a spate of probes into what are deemed extrajudicial killings that occurred during the reign of the PPP. Since making that pledge, two Commissions of Inquiry were established – one into the Lindo Creek Massacre, and another that dealt with an alleged plot to assassinate Mr Granger. Both CoIs were critical of the Police and the manner in which they executed their duties and their mandate. Senior officers were humiliated, and appeared to be on trial, with recommendations being made to prevent a series of malpractices. Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and other leading personalities within the coalition Government have also severely criticised the Guyana Police Force for its handling of a number of matters. Ramjattan, himself has been the subject of much public ridicule, because of his failure to arrest the crime situation through effective policy articulation, evaluation, and implementation. It is against this backdrop that it is most unfortunate that, to date, Mr Granger’s Government has not been able to commission the new office for the SSRP, or present the spate of recommendations that were made to strengthen the law enforcement sector in Guyana. It is also even more disappointing that the President has not managed to pilot any significant reforms within the GPF outside of this SSRP, since coming to power back in May of 2015. Nothing has changed since the PPP left office, except that it would appear — from Police statistics and reports in the media — that crime and criminality have both gone up. What is even more alarming is the increasing number of serving ranks at various levels who have been involved in criminal activities as of recent. Last month, Police officers were slapped with fraud charges in relation to the driver’s licensing fiasco which was exposed by a member of the religious community. A Superintendent of Police was implicated in the smuggling of expensive liquor. Others were charged with robbery-under-arms and rape while performing their official duties. There has even been an outcry about discrimination within the Guyana Police Force by junior ranks, while others have written extensively expressing the view that modern policing is being undermined in Guyana because the Government continues its covert process of politicising the Force. All of this paint a holistic picture of the state of policing in Guyana, and while the Government continues to throw more resources in form of cars and weaponry at the Force, it is not addressing the core problems, which are primarily linked to the ongoing popular culture within the Force, the quality of training being accessed by ranks, and the failure of the Force’s top management to effectively pilot a programme of modern policing and development. Mr Granger must redouble his efforts to pilot not just the British reforms, but a holistic programme aimed at creating a paradigm shift within the GPF and a modern institution which functions and protects public order and law. The Force must operate on principle, ethics, rationale and reason in order to regain public trust. It must be seen as humane and people-oriented if it is to be effective in the fight against the onslaught of crime.

The five-member Police Service Commission was on Thursday sworn-in by President David Granger and will serve for a period of three years. The Commission is chaired by former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paul Slowe, who also took the oath to serve in that capacity.

CPL: A unifying Force


he Guyana leg of CPL 2018 has begun at the Providence Stadium with the first of five home games for the local Guyana Amazon Warriors. Dubbed the biggest party in sport as cricket is played louder, CPL epitomises the positive evolution of world cricket, and further emphasises the vibrancy of the game which characterises the West Indian brand. The natural enthusiasm through the vociferousness of fans in this part of the world, evident over the decades, has in many ways influenced the atmosphere in other places, notably England. The home of cricket has been known for its more subdued but overwhelming attendance, punctuated by a routine courteous appreciation of the art and showmanship of the game. That has now changed, as fans have fully gotten into the game, bringing liveliness through infectious music and innovative celebrations. This change has been directly credited to T20 cricket, which, again, the West Indians would have branded with their own flare of effervescence through a fusion of colour, music and rapturous involvement. As interest in cricket would have waned in the past due to various factors, T20, through the CPL, has not only catapulted that interest, but has transcended the traditional fan base to overwhelmingly capture women and children. Among the many successes of T20 cricket, the ability to continuously and increasingly bring out women and children to the games is one of the biggest achievements. This is what was needed for the sport, especially in the Caribbean, as CPL has now become a much-anticipated family event. The names and prowess of the plethora of stars of

the various teams easily roll off the tongues of women and children as interest and expectations grow rapidly. One of the many factors driving this within the CPL is the many fanbased promotions by the various sponsors. This has ensured that fans are not only directly involved in the process of creating the pulsating environment for which the tournament has become known, but allows them opportunities to be the recipients of something tangible aside from the abundance of paraphernalia. This is where CPL has to be commended for making fans a priority in the process of building and sustaining interest. That interest cuts across societal divides, as is evident in the support for the Guyana Amazon Warriors. The Providence Stadium, since the inception of the CPL, has become known as a place sanitised of partisanship as Guyanese rally around their stars. Of course, naturally, there would have been disappointment over the Warriors’ not yet claiming the title. However, that has never diminished the overwhelming support local fans have given the team, with Guyana probably having the highest fans’ turnout for the tournament! Fans rally when the team seems to be on the ropes, and never hold back in their unbridled celebration of the joys of a Warriors’ victory. With a sea of colours from the waving flags of the Warriors and that of the country, accompanied by the blaring rhythmic music often drowned out by the collective deafening screams of fans, the positive influence of the cricket through the CPL is pellucid. The power of the game to effect the bypassing of differences and for rallying in unison for a common cause is never in doubt.

The Providence Stadium, which has proven its worth over the years, will again burst into life as cricket superstars from across the globe battle for supremacy. Guyana will again be in the international spotlight, as millions will join the global live broadcast from the East Bank corridor. The benefits of such international exposure are priceless, as are those that redound to the local economy from the hosting of CPL games. This year, Guyana will, for the first time, host two play-off matches, making a total of seven — the highest here since the CPL was established. This is demonstrative of Guyana’s strength as a venue, and can only result in addition benefits for a country rife with potential. This is what CPL brings to a nation; and with a consistent team in the Guyana Amazon Warriors, there are many winners, including cricket and country. With a growing fan base with every passing year, the Warriors are not just the players on the field, but every fan in the Providence Stadium and those watching the live broadcast. That has been the impact of the CPL as it continues to break barriers, showcasing cricketing skills and discovering new talent. As Guyanese and tourists converge in large numbers at Providence, the stadium becomes a hub not just for the many analyses by fans of what should or should not be done, or who should bat or bowl when, but for the making of yet another step in the process of forging togetherness. Cricket has always been seen as a unifying force across the region. Here, at home, CPL and the exciting exploits of the Guyana Amazon Warriors have created a formidable platform for the furtherance of that process.



Guyana-Brazil Duo remanded for shooting at Police road ... T from page 3

“It is clearer now the potential benefits of getting this road paved; Brazil is very aware of its shortcomings in terms of infrastructure and the need to bring down production costs.” According to him, authorities have also been trying to ensure the country’s development agenda is more geographically distributed. Brazil’s wealth and production activity have been largely concentrated in the southwest and southeast. While the Ambassador pointed out that the Northeastern and Central regions have seen progress in the last decade, he acknowledged the need for greater effort. Guyana’s recent discovery of oil and the projected increase in economic activity have also been cited as providing further motivation. “The road will not only be convenient and useful; it will be fundamental,” Moretti explained. Meanwhile, Guyana’s Ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency George Talbot, said Guyana is currently reviewing Brazil’s proposed text on the terms of reference (TOR) and will make requisite adjustments, if necessary. Once this is

completed, the bidding process will begin. He explained that the two countries are also examining possible funding arrangements to pave the road from Mabura Hill to Lethem. Phase one of the project covers approximately 125 kilometres of the road (Linden to Mabura Hill) and also includes a bridge across the Kurupukari River. Guyana secured funding from the British Government through its UK Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) programme to complete the design. The contract for this consultancy will be awarded shortly. “I see a benefit to connecting Guyana domestically, Guyana to Brazil, and Brazil to the rest of the world,” Ambassador Talbot noted. However, he explained that the road is just one aspect of the project. “The road will not be enough in itself, it will have to be allied with the construction of adequate port facilities. The equation is really the port plus the road to make the project economically viable.”

wo men were on Tuesday remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan when they appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged for discharging a loaded firearm at two Police Officers. Junior John, 32, of Lot 60 East La Penitence, Ruimveldt and Jamal Jeriah, 21, of Lot 236 B Albert Street, Queenstown were not required to plead to the indictable charge. A third accomplice – Carlton Bourne, 21, of Norton and Chapel Streets, Georgetown, was also charged, but did not make an appearance since he was remanded to prison on Monday last after he was slapped with several other charges of similar nature. The court heard that on August 1, 2018, while the men were in the vicinity of Norton and Chapel Streets, Georgetown, they discharged a loaded firearm at Police Constable Royston Mendonca with intent to maim, disfigure, or cause actual bodily harm. It was also alleged that on the same day, the men also discharged a loaded firearm at Police Constable Lester Lewis.

Jamal Jeriah shortly after his arrest

Defence Attorney Paul Fung-A-Fat, in a bail application for John, told the court that his client was never found with a weapon on his person. He further noted that his client was arrested while he was asleep several hours after the alleged shooting. Meanwhile, Attorneyat-Law Kezia Williams, in a bail application for Jeriah, told the court that her client was shot as he was being apprehended. Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to bail being granted on the grounds of the serious nature of the offence. However, Magistrate McLennan upheld the prosecution’s request and remanded the men to prison until August 27, 2018. Additionally, Jeriah was slapped with two ad-

ditional charges of gun and ammunition possession. The charge stated that on August 1, 2018, at Norton and Chapel Streets, he had in his possession a .357 revolver without being a licensed firearm holder at the time. Another charge stated that on the same day in question, Jeriah also had in his possession four matching rounds along with one spent shell. Prosecutor Mansfield objected to bail being granted and the man was also remanded on this charge. The matter will continue on August 27, 2018. Reports are that on August 1, the car in which Jeriah, John and Bourne were travelling was intercepted by Police at Norton and Chapel

Streets, about 15:00h. According to the Police, ranks noticed the occupants of the car acting suspiciously and followed it. Reports are that as the men observed that they were being followed, one of them opened fire in the direction of the Police ranks, jumped out of the car, and headed towards Princes Street, Georgetown. This resulted in an exchange of gunshots, and Jeriah was shot in his right shoulder. He was subsequently picked up and taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital. When this publication visited the scene, Police Officers were seen searching the car and the area. A .357 revolver, with four matching rounds of ammunition and a spent shell, was allegedly recovered.



Guyana in ‘reverse’ mode Economic development Dear Editor, Various international organisations, such as the World Economic Forum, through a series of annual countries’ assessment, inadvertently espouse the axiom that “Guyana is in reverse mode”. In 2017, the Global Human Capital Index, a report that ranks countries according to their effectiveness and level of human capital development, demoted Guyana below its 2015 global position of 79 by 9 positions, surpassing frail economies such as Uganda, Zambia and Kenya. A closer look at some of the key indicators revealed that, within one year, 2015-2016, Guyana slipped by more than four positions in unemployment rate for age group 25-54, and seven positions for age group 55-64. Ironically, the Government boasts of job creation. Furthermore, between 2015 and 2017, the country’s global ranking fell by another seven positions in relation to quality of primary education of children aged 0-15 years. Overall, Guyana has slipped by eight positions in global ranking in the quality of educational services provided to children aged 15 to 24. Concomitantly, youth literacy rate also fell in global position by more than five. According to the report, unemployment rate for youths aged 15 to 24 has contracted by more than nine positions globally. Similarly, in the Global Human Capital Index, Guyana has deteriorated globally by three positions when ranked by the Human Development Index for the year 2016. Countries such as Namibia and Morocco have all surpassed Guyana in global ranking. In the health sector, when compared to 2013, infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births has increased from 29 in

2013 to 32 in 2015. Similarly, infants under five months have seen an increase in mortality rate per 1,000 live births from 36 to 40 during similar period. Adults, on the other hand, have seen an increase in deaths due to tuberculosis from 15 for every 100,000 people in 2013 to 21 in 2015. On the other hand, the latest Global Competitive Index Report for the period 2015-2016 saw Guyana fall in global ranking by more than nineteen positions to 121 when compared to 2014. Institutions, one of the fundamental pillars that command global ranking, deteriorated by thirteen positions to 102 in 2016 when compared to 2015. Property rights; bribes; favouritism; wasteful spending and organised crime have all seen massive deterioration in ranking, on average by 6 positions. Similarly, macroeconomic environment, another critical pillar of equal weight, deteriorated by three positions. Government budget balance as a percentage of GDP fell by 19 positions, which presently is now worse than that of Haiti. Further confirming the abysmal and deteriorated trend, health and primary education system declined by another two positions: Guyana is now lagging behind countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia. Finally, in doing business, the most problematic factors now orbit around inefficient Government bureaucracy, corruption, and poor access to financing. The question that begs to be answered is: how could this Government speak of development, wealth generation, and the “good life”, when we are clearly, from all indications, in reverse mode? Sincerely, Mohamed Irfaan Ali

Clear evidence of fragmentation in Coalition Government

Dear Editor, It is clearer now than ever before that the coalition bridge is breaking down. Evidence of this fragmentation seems to be spiralling from all angles as a bitter divorce looms. The unravelling of the incestuous relationship comes as no surprise to many. This is since there were really no core foundation principles that would have hopefully merged into something stronger, in support of national and local development. The implication points to the ultimate and further weakening of national and local governance structures which must be remedied with some measure of objectivity. One cannot help but observe the shallowness of decisions, levels of unpreparedness and lack of the coordination of this underperform-

ing coalition. Recently, several A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) members refused to sit in the Parliament when the vote was about to be taken in relation to objections advanced by the Opposition regarding the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) staff’s duty-free vehicle concessions. The situation was indeed overwhelming and quite shameful when Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan and Business Minister Dominic Gaskin abstained from voting with their colleagues on the Government benches. It was also most embarrassing to see the Leader of the AFC, Raphael Trotman and the Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo voting for the motion and the other members voting with the Opposition

against the motion. Is this the way that the Members of Parliament representing the Government wish to convey their representation of the people in the country’s highest decision-making body? It is quite obvious and troubling that such levels of unpreparedness regarding critical national matters do not augur well for the coordination required in moving Guyana forward. Simply put, this coalition Government is signalling their resolve and focus on bribing and fooling people to win their support. This motion itself was one which should not have been brought to the honourable House in the first place. This motion was before the House for several weeks for debate. And the APNU/AFC were made fully aware

cannot be managed outside of our ethnic realities

Dear Editor, The Working People’s Alliance joins with Guyanese and the rest of our Anglophone Caribbean family in their observance of the 180th anniversary of the end of chattel slavery. WPA salutes African Guyanese on this, their special moment of memory and celebration. Memory of the period of enslavement is necessary as a reminder of how the lust for power and accumulation of wealth could lead to institutionalised exploitation. Eighteen decades may seem like a long time, but because of the enormity of the human destruction visited upon the enslaved, the scars of bondage are still very fresh. Emancipation Day must continue to be a moment of celebration, because, in the final analysis, emancipation meant the defeat of slavery. Any people who overcame such a brutal system should be proud of themselves. That Africans continue to survive the dreaded realities of post-emancipation is a tribute to their resilience. In celebrating with African Guyanese, WPA celebrates all its members who have played, and continue to play, important roles in the African Guyanese community.

We especially salute Brother Eusi Kwayana, who must be credited with pioneering cultural awakening among African Guyanese. That we observe Emancipation Day as a public holiday in Guyana is due in large measure to Brother Eusi’s example, advocacy and leadership. His dedication to the cause of black dignity and uplift will forever be etched in the consciousness of African Guyanese, and he continues to serve as an inspiration to all who raise the banner of black empowerment and black pride. Much has changed in Guyana since 1838, but the cry of the descendants of the enslaved for equal dignity and opportunity still rings loudly across our country and beyond. Any objective assessment of the condition of African Guyanese today cannot escape the feeling of despair and hopelessness that emanate from large sections of that group. This is fuelled by a sense of economic dispossession and lack of opportunities to lift themselves out of that rut. However uncomfortable it is, the issue of ethno-racial inequality must be addressed if Guyana is to realise its full potential as a viable, diverse society in which all its citizens enjoy a sense of security.

It is for that reason that the WPA urges Guyanese to use this Emancipation anniversary as both a moment of remembering and another opportunity to reaffirm our collective commitment to ethnic and racial equality in word and deed. We do not believe that a debate on race relations between our two principal political leaders will do much to address the burning racial issues that have long plagued Guyana. Rather, we urge the leaders to devise and support policies that would ensure that all ethnic groups share our common economic benefits. It is particularly important that we begin to think about ways to democratically distribute the potential benefits from the imminent oil and gas sector, so that increased wealth contributes to national cohesion rather that exacerbate our already fragile ethnicity. Economic development cannot be managed outside of our ethnic realities. The WPA therefore reiterates its longheld view that economic advance must be hinged on a political solution of which ethno-racial respect and unity is a central plank. Sincerely, David Hinds For the WPA

that it was wicked and nasty to use their parliamentary single-seat majority to pass such a motion when these matters could be dealt with by existing policies and rules to govern exemption of taxes and entitlements. It was indeed a total waste of time and abuse of the entire parliamentary mechanism, staff and money to facilitate such skulduggery. The Public Service Register for travelling positions is clear regarding the categories for Ministries, agencies and departments which should be beneficiaries and the level of benefits which should be accorded. Most ridiculous was the fact that many on the Government benches were lying through their teeth because it is public knowledge that Surrender LallBoodhoo is not working at the FIU office.

It is important to point out that the granting of the concessions by the National Assembly would have been creating a serious precedent in the entire public/civil service, along with all the related agencies. Critically, it highlights the priorities of selected members on the Governments’ side, as well as their lack of concern for critical areas which should be truly prioritised and supported. Reference herein is made to the Commissioners of the Local Government Commission, whose critical role in the functions of municipalities, village and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) demand that they are granted concessions for vehicles as a critical support. Further, there are literally hundreds of

similar cases, in the Ministries, State agencies, semi-autonomous bodies, and constitutional agencies that will not only be demanding the same concessions, but are truly deserving of the support. The Opposition has saved this nation from a PNC-planned recipe for riot in the demand for duty-free concessions, and towards measures for a more objective approach to be pursued. The Minister of Finance must assert himself and he should have brought a ‘Bill’ to change the law and give the GRA Commissioner General the powers to take the appropriate action where necessary if the current system needs any adjustments. Sincerely, Neil Kumar

news 7


Guyana’s sugar, rice sectors Russian guards likely to face Court experienced decline for assaulting for first half of 2018 miners in Guyana D

This miner was allegedly tied up and tortured by the Russian guards


he two Russian guards who were captured on video beating two Guyanese miners near the Quartzstone River in Region Seven (CuyuniMazaruni) have on Wednesday been arrested. In confirming the arrests, the Police have said investigations revealed that the Russians are employed by West Bank Demerara Gold Inc, which is licensed to operate in Guyana; and as Supernumerary Constables, they are authorised to carry firearms. However, they breached the conditions of that authorisation in that, at time of the incident, they were not attired in the uniform prescribed by their employer and approved by the Force’s Administration. This however, was not evident in the video footage which was circulated on social media. At a forum held on Wednesday, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman raised concerns over the fact that foreigners are being granted firearm licences.


“I am concerned about foreigners having weapons; licensed weapons. I am told that precepts were issued. A precept is really a kind of permission given by the Police Force to persons to act as security guards and also to carry firearm licences. I am concerned about that and the number of persons who may have them,” Trotman disclosed. He explained that the interior is known to be “Wild West”, and so the number of guns present there would have a direct bearing on the levels of crime and violence in the area. “It also tells us that

people expect or need a greater Police presence, and so I believe Government is looking at that. We recently launched the Corps of Wardens, and that Corps of Wardens will come alongside the Police Force, when necessary, to assist not just with law and order, but of course to ensure that the laws (such as) mining laws, forest laws, wildlife protection laws etcetera, are respected,” the minister added. An official report was on Sunday received by the Police from a miner who claimed that he had been brutalised by a group of Russian guards attached to the gold company. ‘F’ Division (interior locations) Police Commander Kevin Adonis told Guyana Times International there is on the miner’s body evidence suggesting he had been beaten and tortured. As such, an investigative team from the Force’s headquarters travelled to Quartzstone, where the incident allegedly occurred, and arrested the two foreign nationals. On April 3, 2018, two employees of Hopkinson Mining Logistics were performing duties on their employer’s concession when they were intercepted by two Russian operatives, who made every attempt to prevent them from doing their work. A security officer of Hopkinson’s recorded the incident with his cellular phone. The video recording showed a Russian guard demanding documentation, challenging the two employees’ right to be on their employer’s claim, and subsequently attempting to block their access. The foreigners were seen beating the men before pulling out a gun.

espite Guyana’s economy growing by 4.5 per cent in the first half of 2018, the traditional sectors, such as sugar and rice, have seen decline in their performances, with contractions of 30.6 and 3.8 per cent respectively. This was revealed in the Finance Ministry’s Mid-Year Report 2018, which was laid in Parliament on Wednesday and which focuses on the state of the economy and performances of various sectors. Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in addressing the National Assembly about the country’s economic performance, admitted that the gold sector also suffered a decline of 9.1 per cent. This is equivalent to a decrease of 288,114 ounces in gold declaration. The report also revealed that this represented a 19.4 percent shortfall (below the original projection set by Government). The minister in his report also noted that there are a number of downside economic and fiscal risks to the economy, both domestic and external, which can frustrate the achievement of the various revised targets. In relation to sugar production, the report stated that this continued to be impacted negatively by a sub-optimal mix of factors, which also include deficient cash flow alignment and the undue absence of a board to oversee the management of the remaining sugar estates. “The SPU (Special Purpose Unit) will need to accelerate efforts to divest/diversify the closed estates in order to provide a much-needed injection of cash to facilitate retooling and the continued operations of the restructured Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) under the soon-to-be-named board,” it stated. Importantly also, the report added that if this does not materialise quickly, there is a real danger of GuySuCo renewing its reliance on the treasury beyond the sum budgeted in 2018. Government

ticipated to improve the pace of implementation in future years,” it also noted.


Finance Minister Winston Jordan

recently named a new Chief Executive Officer for the company, and has promised to name a new board soon. Higher-than-expected levels of rainfall and the impact of climate change were also cited as economic and fiscal risks. The report noted that this continues to threaten economic activity across several sectors within the economy, particularly sugar, rice, forestry, mining and construction. Another issue listed in the report is the pace of implementation of the Public-Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). It improved from 23.6 percent on average to 31.8 percent at the first half of the year, with several constraining factors continuing to stymie further progress. Inadequate leadership, it said, is further complicated by a limited pool of evaluators and qualified contractors; the absence of procurement by a limited pool of qualified contractors; the absence of procurement planning; and the inability to attract qualified engineering and procurement specialists. “Cabinet is in the process of addressing the weak management across budget agencies undertaken the PIMA, an action plan has been drafted and implementation of project appraisal systems is an-

However, despite these issues, the report indicated that growth in the economy was more broadbased than in 2017, with robust performances in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors of 3.4 percent. Other crops, fishing, livestock and forestry industries all experienced growth over the same period, with the latter two growing by a commendable 29.1 percent and 18.1 percent respectively. Growth of 8.2 percent was also recorded in the services sector, and 13.4 per cent in the construction sector. This significant increase in the construction sector is attributed to higher building imports by 24.7 per cent. Meanwhile, production in the bauxite industry reached its highest level since 2013, surpassing 2017 by 21.1 per cent. This has led to a revision of the forecast growth of the industry upward from 23.3 per cent to 29.9 per cent. There was also growth in other mining of 31.2 percent, driven by the production of diamonds and other stones, which increased by 13.3 per cent and 45.5 per cent respectively. In addition to that, the Government has also revised its growth rate for 2018 to 3.7 per cent, which is close to the initial rate of 3.8 percent. Government has subsequently revised the economic growth rate for 2018 to 3.4 percent. This figure was touted a few months ago after several revisions were made. Guyana’s last best growth rate was 5.2 per cent, recorded in 2013. World Bank records show Guyana’s growth rates as follows: in 2014, it was 3.8 per cent; in 2015, it was 3.2 per cent; and in 2016, it was 3.3 per cent. For 2017, initial projections of 3.8 per cent were revised to 3.1 per cent. This figure then went to 2.9 per cent before the final figure of 2.1 per cent was determined.

8 news


PPP hits the campaign trail …several community meetings held in Essequibo


uring a two-day tour of Region 2 (Pomeroon/ Supenaam) to officially launch the Local Government Election campaign, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo met with hundreds of concerned residents and offered a listening ear to the many concerns they had. Jagdeo, who arrived in the Cinderella County on Monday, held public meetings and met with residents in several communities, and even visited the Charity Market and met with Pomeroon farmers. Residents were happy to get a one-on-one conversation with the Opposition Leader on the many issues facing them, and many of them reiterated their full support for the party. The PPP General Secretary also held well-attended community meetings along the Coast, where he listened to the many problems facing the people in various sectors, especially the rice industry. Many rice farmers are unable to go back to the lands, due to the low prices for paddy and the many new taxes implemented by the present Administration, especially on fertilisers, drugs and

ple coming directly from the communities, who have skills and could relate to the community and push to have the communities improved. “These are people who are known in the area; people of good repute; law-abiding citizens who have done community work; religious leaders, young people in the youth movements,” he explained.

where”. “…they have to give a commitment that they will support and defend the positions we campaign on,” he explained. In each of the 81 areas, communities will do their own selection and screening of all of the candidates at the bottom, and then in consultation with the Party’s leadership. Candidates, he said,

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo addressing Essequibians during his 2-day visit to Region Two

farm equipment. Residents expressed disappointed in the way the present Government is managing the affairs of the country. They also raised concerns about the escalating crime rate in the country, among other things. The Opposition Leader promised to continue the fight for a free and prosperous Guyana. He also warned about the repercussions of Government waiting on oil money and neglecting other sectors. The People’s Progressive Party first launched its LGE campaign in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) with meetings held at Number 70 Village, Number 56 Village, Hogtown Chesney,

and Hampshire on the Corentyne. Jagdeo pointed out that the Party was implementing a 12-point criteria list for choosing persons to represent their constituencies at the upcoming elections. He said one criterion was to ensure widespread consultation to select a representative. The Opposition Leader has since asked all to participate in the process, and has said that by August 18, the names of those selected should be submitted to the Party’s head office. As preparations continue, Jagdeo said, the PPP would be ready for Nomination Day, set for September 2018. The party has also an-

nounced plans to balance its list of candidates to contest the LGE on November 12, 2018 by having 50 per cent come from within the Party and 50 per cent from civil society. Jagdeo has said his Party would ask possible candidates who were going to be on the list if they would have the time to serve or volunteer for these positions. “We are going to ask them right up front… because they may not have the time, and the work of the NDC (Neighbourhood Democratic Councils) or the municipality would suffer,” he stated. Jagdeo said the idea of balancing the slate was to ensure that it includes peo-

Jagdeo is greeted with a hug by a senior resident in an Essequibo village during a walkabout

The PPP General Secretary said one of the major constraints was Councillors having little time to attend meetings; because elected officials do not earn salaries, and so many of them are “busy earning a living else-

would be expected to possess good interpersonal skills and have a sound grounding in the communities where they reside, especially to prevent the PPP being labelled for something bad.

LGE 2018: ‘APNU forced AFC to go out and prove electoral worth’ …says political analyst By Samuel Sukhnandan


olitical Analyst Dr David Hinds feels the Alliance for Change (AFC) had little, if any, option but to go solo at the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE), and this decision will prove more than ever how the party stands in the view of citizens across communities countrywide. Dr Hinds told Guyana Times International on Tuesday that he was not surprised by the AFC’s decision to enter the elections on its own. According to him, the only other choice the AFC had was to not contest the LGE at all; and that, to him, would have been an admission of defeat by the party. “In effect, the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) got what it wanted. It forced the AFC to go out and prove its electoral worth in circumstances that are not favourable to the latter. The not-so-veiled message to the AFC was clear: ‘Contest on your own, or contest with us on APNU terms’,” he

opined. The outspoken political analyst said he feels it all came down to leverage, where the AFC did not have any bargaining power. Unlike in 2015, when the AFC was able to use its performance at the 2011 election to strike a hard bargain in the Cummingsburg Accord, this time around, it did not have that asset, Dr Hinds opined. Dr Hinds said the votes at the 2015 election were combined, so the AFC couldn’t accurately pinpoint its share. Further, he said if it is true that the AFC wanted 40 percent of the seat allocation, that was not the smartest demand to make, especially since it badly wanted to go into the election as a Coalition. He said this present situation gives the APNU the chance to say, “We tried to accommodate you, but your demands were unreasonable.” Perhaps a 20 percent request, Dr. Hinds reasoned, would have swayed the APNU. “But 40 percent demand was dead on ar-

rival simply because the AFC could not demonstrate that it has that amount of electoral support, particularly in the Indian Guyanese community,” he told this newspaper. He explained that had the AFC, from 2015 onwards, cultivated and consolidated its Indian Guyanese support base, it would have been in a stronger position to make the demands it sought.


Dr Hinds went further, stating that the AFC’s decision to go alone leaves that party in an exposed position. He said the party must now prove whether its electoral support is intact or has vanished. And it has to do so in an election in which the turnout is likely to be very low. He reminded that this is the first time since 2011 that the AFC would be facing the electorate on its own. “My sense is that the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) would make it extremely difficult for the AFC to even campaign in the Indian Guyanese communities.

Dr David Hinds

This would leave the party with having to compete with the APNU for African Guyanese votes. The optics of the latter scenario will be interesting to watch: two coalition partners fighting each other for votes,” he said. In the final analysis, Dr Hinds thinks this LGE will tell Guyana two things about the AFC. First, it will tell the people whether the party is still a significant electoral force; and

secondly, how well the AFC does will tell people what bargaining power it will have when the Cummingsburg Accord comes up for renewal. “I think the voter turnout among those who voted for the Coalition in 2015 will be very low, and this would hurt the AFC’s chances of doing well. Those who bother to vote will most likely vote for the APNU, which has the machinery to bring out some voters. So my sense is that the

AFC would come out of this much weaker than (it) was in 2015. But as the say, political behaviour is unpredictable. I may be proven wrong,” Dr Hinds declared. Finally, the political analyst noted that despite all the positive spin and talks being peddled by the AFC and President David Granger about the good health of the Coalition relative to the 2020 election, the fact that they could not reach an understanding on the LGE suggests the total opposite. “Despite the positive rhetoric, the entrenched culture of party hegemony, particularly from the big partner, continues to trump the letter and spirit of coalition-building. Coalition-building requires enlightened leadership; constant meaningful consultation and mutual respect among partners; democratic decision-making and the willingness of the big partner to concede ground in the interest of the collective. I think the coalition has come up short in that regard,” he added.



Harmon defends appointment of new Energy Dept head …says Dr Bynoe does not have to be oil & gas expert


oting that the President used his prerogative and judgement to appoint Dr Mark Bynoe as the new head of the Department of Energy, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, maintained that world class oil and gas experts will eventually be hired afterwards. Responding to suggestions made on Monday that Dr Bynoe is not qualified enough for the job, Harmon said Dr Bynoe is an excellent choice, and he does not have to be a “world class” expert on oil and gas to head a department that would play a pivotal role in Guyana’s blossoming oil sector. “In the media, there has been some concern about the qualifications of Dr Bynoe, and whether he is the right man. He is an excellent choice for this department, and comes with excellent credentials. Besides his stated qualifications and the work he has done on climate change and the environment, I think I saw a letter from (Ramesh) Dookhoo from the private sector that says he was head of the

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

PSC. “In addition to that, we will hire the people that are needed for the department. Dr Bynoe does not have to be a world class expert. He is now going to head up a team that will identify the specific skills needed for the department. And we are going to pay for that.” The Minister also explained that several principles would be used to establish the department. These include financing, operationalising and organising. According to Harmon,

Government is in the organising phase. “Already there is some handing over taking place between Dr Bynoe and the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Petroleum section of that ministry. So it’s not like if we have a totally new kid on the block. We already have a structure, albeit not up to the mark in terms of what is required. We have a structure, and we are taking that into consideration. We already have advice on the structure.”


Questioned on wheth-

Guyana Govt to probe gold, mercury smuggling


n investigation will soon be launched into the suspected smuggling of gold and mercury out of Guyana. This is according to Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, who on Wednesday noted that he believes gold and mercury are being smuggled out of the country. Trotman made the announcement during the inaugural meeting of the Multi- Stakeholder Committee on Natural Resources, held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown. The minister said his suspicion grew after inspecting the figures regarding mercury being imported. “When I look at the figures, I am amazed at the volume of mercury that is being imported into Guyana recently, given the amount of gold that we are getting. This mercury can’t all be used in Guyana. So I suspect — and that is just a suspicion of mine — that it may be going elsewhere, where it has been restricted or banned, because I don’t believe that all of it is being used in Guyana. Or it (can be that it) is being stockpiled, (but) I don’t know for what purpose,” Trotman declared. It was further explained by the minister that the two large gold mining companies do not use mercury. According to him, mercury is more frequently used by small and medium scale miners. “We do believe that some of the mercury being imported into Guyana is crossing the border into Suriname. Because it is banned in Suriname, it is (being) smuggled (there), we believe,” the minister pointed out. He warned that while his suspicion has not been confirmed, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRE) will be

working with the neighbouring state (Suriname) to determine this. One such partnership will be manifested later this month when Suriname’s Natural Resources Minister visits Guyana to facilitate a conference on the said matter and others. Trotman promised, “We are going to be working closer with Suriname and with our partners (like) Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and others, to bring this matter to a point and place of satisfaction”. The minister further informed that he understands smuggling is an ongoing phenomenon which cannot be eradicated, but can rather be reduced. He further said the MNRE is aware that gold is also being smuggled over the borders. “We do have instances…of smuggling of gold. We believe that we have (a) better understanding of the phenomenon. Nonetheless, it continues, and we are striving to curb it…we are not going to pretend like we can eradicate smuggling and bring it to zero. We can, however, be very vigilant and curb and in fact reduce significantly the incidents of smuggling,” Trotman said. According to him, Government has also been working with the United States Government to aid in tackling the issue. The Minister nevertheless told the this newspaper that an investigation will be launched into the matter. While in opposition, the coalition party had bashed the then ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration for losing large amounts of revenue from to the loss of gold.

er there was a competitive process to appoint Dr Bynoe, Harmon noted that appointments of directors to head departments in the Ministry of the Presidency are entirely up to the President. “Dr Bynoe has been appointed from the 1 August as the Director of the Department of Energy. All departments under the Ministry of the Presidency are (staffed with) persons who are appointed by the President. So you have a Department of Energy, the Director was appointed by the President,” Harmon explained. “We have a Department of Public Service, and the director, who was the permanent secretary there, is also director. So departments under the Ministry of the Presidency are appointed by the President in his own deliberate judgement. There may be considerations that would be taken into account; but, by and large, in the Ministry (of the Presidency), the heads of those departments are appointed by the President.” Dr Bynoe is a former Director of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr Mark Bynoe is the new head of the Department of Energy

at the University of Guyana. By profession, he is an Environment and Resource Economist. There have been expressions of support and criticism since his appointment. Following a proposal he had made, Government had announced its intention in April of this year to take responsibility for the oil sector from Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman. Trotman himself had made the announcement in a taped interview with the Department of Public Information, in which he said, “Government will, in the coming months, establish the Department of Energy, which will be

housed in the Ministry of the Presidency.” Trotman said also that the department would be “focused only on the development of the petroleum sector,” based on a proposal that he had made to President David Granger last year. Trotman, and indeed the Government, has received much criticism for the way the budding oil sector has been handled. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, has been designated the holder of ministerial responsibility for this department. He announced the creation of this Energy Department to oversee Guyana’s oil and gas sector the very next month.

10 news


NIS boss briefs Parliamentary committee

…reports on successive deficits recorded since 2015


he National Insurance S c h e m e (NIS) has been recording successive deficits over the past few years. This is according to the entity’s General Manager, Holly Greaves, who appeared before the Parliamentary Social Services Committee (PSSC) on Monday. According to Greaves, NIS has had to deal with the effects of a consistently aging and retiring population; a situation not likely to have been helped by the firing of thousands of sugar workers under the coalition Government. “For the last three years we have recorded deficits, but what we are doing now is (trying) to get into some (of) those areas that we have contributors and undertake feasibility studies to see how best we can increase our

NIS General Manager Holly Greaves

contributing population,” she informed the committee. When it comes to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Greaves revealed that it may come down to litigation in order for NIS to get some G$250 million in interest owed on

a G$1.5 billion debt the corporation had previously cleared. This raises serious questions, as an employer is responsible for remitting money from individual workers’ salaries to NIS. If this was not being done, however, a likely question is: where was

the money going all this time prior to the clearance of the debt? E c o n o m i c Advisor to the Opposition, Dr Peter Ramsaroop, predicted in February that the NIS would “go belly up” – a direct result of the management of GuySuCo. According to Dr Ramsarroop, “The President, or his Finance Minister, clearly did not think through the long-term impact of shutting down an entire industry (and) placing thousands on the breadline at the same time.” According to Dr Ramsaroop, “NIS is already in trouble. (It is) no way near to being a fiscally solid institution with its expenditure outstripping revenue in recent years, along with (it having made) some bad investments.” He explained that the institution currently spends more than it earns, and has had to regularly tap into its reserves to make basic payments. “So I am extremely worried that when the euphoria of the part-severance payment wears off and life sets in, what the long-term economic effects will be.” Dr Ramsaroop said the prevailing social circumstances were ripe for a large number of the laid-off sugar workers and their dependent family members in the near future – say three to five years – to make claims on the NIS, since they are of the belief that their contributions would have been made by GuySuCo. “Remember, we are talking about medical benefits that these now sick and unemployed sugar workers will be looking to claim,” the financial analyst said, as he predicted widespread chaos in the near future when thousands of workers turn up to make claims at the NIS only to realise they have “nothing to get”. He informed this publication that, based on available data, GuySuCo owes NIS in excess of G$1.5 billion in contributions from sugar workers.

McAllister vows to strengthen PNC if elected vice chair

Thandi McAllister By Michael Younge


ongstanding People’s National Congress Reform Executive Member Thandi McAllister on Tuesday vowed to strengthen her party while working to advance the interests of women and youth across the country by focusing on the implementation of socio-economic policies that would lead to their overall empowerment, should she become the party’s next Vice Chairman at its upcoming Congress. McAllister, speaking with the Guyana Times International during an interview, said she believes she has acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge over the past two decades to function effectively as that party’s next Vice Chairperson, having served her party at various levels. “I have come through the ranks. I have served”, she stated, while explaining that she is not just merely interested in clinching the nod from the delegates to serve as the party’s VC, but is more concerned about continuing the rich legacy of the PNC/R and its founding principles. “I want to make a meaningful contribution to the formulation of party policies which will eventually impact national policy,” the 36-year-old Maritime attorney-at-law explained during the interview. Asked if she were selected to serve what she would do differently, McAllister insisted that it wasn’t about changing the way things are done if there is no need to at the moment, but moreso ensuring that there is continuity of the work of the Office of Vice Chairman of the PNC/R. She admitted that she has seen party delegates and other party members since accepting the nomination to vie for the post of PNC/R VC. So far, McAllister confirmed, there have been meetings and engagements held with representatives from Regions Three and Six. The PNC/R Executive also explained that other engagements are scheduled to take place in Regions Two, Four Seven and Nine. “I have been meeting

the delegates. We have been engaging them on a number of matters. I intend to continue these meetings,” McAllister noted. Questioned as to whether she was concerned that there were other experienced candidates who might receive the nod ahead of her, the lawyer responded in the negative. She insisted that the PNC/R Congress was about democracy and respecting the right of all financial members to run for high office in order to serve if they were nominated. “This is not a divisive race; this is about party democracy, and the election of office bearers will reflect the truly democratic nature of the PNC/R as a political party. Competition is nothing new within the PNC”, she remarked. She accepted that running for the post requires hard work, but explained that she is excited and upbeat throughout the experience because the support from delegates has been overwhelming. “I think that I have gathered support from the base, and that’s important”, she confessed. McAllister joined the PNC in 1994 at the age of 12. She commenced participating in the activities of the Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM) in the village of Uitvlugt, WCD, and in 1996 secured membership of the now PNCR as a member of the GYSM, serving the GYSM as National Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. She is currently the CEC Representative of Region 3. Soon after accepting the nomination to run for VC, she said in a social media post, “I am both humbled and honoured that its membership has expressed confidence in my ability to function as a Vice Chairperson”. McAllister graduated as valedictorian at International Maritime Administration’s (IMO) International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI). McAllister is a Legal Officer attached to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD). The class of 2017-2018 comprised students from 41 different countries. When it comes to Vice Chairmanship, there are seven other nominees. They are Volda Lawrence, Joseph Harmon, Dr George Norton, Annette Ferguson, James Bond, Winston Felix, and overseas-based Cosbert Roberts. The PNC’s Biennial Delegates Congress to elect a new Chairperson is slated for August 17-19, 2018.

news 11


Murder case of NY-based Guyanese takes another turn …as mother moves to CCJ for urgent hearing

By Shemuel Fanfair


he high-profile case of prominent New Yorkbased Guyanese Marcus Bisram is taking another turn, as proceedings have been filed at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – the region’s highest court, which is based in Trinidad and Tobago. This recent move was mounted by Bisram’s mother Sharmila Inderjali, who was just last week denied an application for urgent hearing by the Appeal Court of Guyana, which essentially sought to expedite the judicial process regarding a bid to have the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) withdraw a murder case. Appellate Court Justice Rishi Persaud, acting Justices Dr Arif Bulkan and Rafiq Khan, presided over the matter. Bisram is accused of having arranged Berbice carpenter Fiyazz Narinedatt’s death after Narinedatt had rejected the overseas-based Bisram’s sexual advances at a party two years ago. For the past year, Bisram had been detained at a New York facility as his legal team continued to oppose extradition to Guyana, citing what it argues are several inconsistences in the prosecution’s case. However, when the Appeal Court ruled unfavourably towards Bisram’s mother, she was ordered to pay the State G$250,000 in court costs.

Sharmila Inderjali, appellant and mother of Bisram

In court documents seen by this newspaper, Inderjali filed her application to the CCJ last week. Her lawyers include attorneys Sanjeev Datadin and Siand Dhurjon, while the respondent in the matter is listed as State Counsel Stacy Goodings from the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Goodings has been appearing as the prosecutor in the preliminary inquiry (PI) after the DPP had taken over the case from Police at the Magistrate’s Court in Berbice. According to the case filed in the CCJ, the applicant is seeking an order granting her special leave against the Appeal Court’s July 31, 2018 decision to dismiss her February 6, 2018 applica-

tion. Inderjali also is seeking to have the Caribbean-based Justices abridge the time for which the application can be heard, while the applicant is also requesting court costs. In their case filed at the CCJ, opposing the Appellate Court’s ruling that refused her application, Bisram’s mother observed that the Court “failed to appreciate the uniqueness of the case” and its “special circumstances”. She outlined that the Prosecution’s evidence relies on that of a single witness, who is youthful and is of “limited intellect”. The mother said also that the Police never alleged that there is any other evidence against Bisram. The applicant’s case outlines that she mounted proceedings at the High Court before Justice Navindra Singh last year, where she sought an Order Nisi to prohibit the DPP from pursing the murder charge which was instituted on March 7, 2017 against Bisram. The applicant’s grounds were that continued prosecution of her son would, among other things, be “unlawful, unconstitutional, malicious, and without legal foundation. This was premised on several events that transpired during the PI. During the High Court proceedings, Inderjali also sought an Order Nisi of Mandamus to compel the DPP to “wholly withdraw” and discontinue Bisram’s murder charge, and observed similar objections as outlined in the previous order.

Murder accused: Marcus Bisram

Justice Singh heard the case on November 24, 2017 and refused the orders. The applicant appealed his decision 6 days later. In her appeal to the CCJ, Inderjali accepted that the case is of great general and public importance, and that it concerns the exercise of the DPP’s discretion, which she says is essential to the proper administration of justice and public confidence in the judicial system. However, Bisram’s mother details that the Appeal Court’s order was “erroneous and unjust”, adding that her case has good prospects for success. Contrary to Inderjali’s characterisation of the Appellate Court’s decision, the Justices there had suggested

that the filing of the urgency appeal and associated multiple litigations amounted to an abuse of the court’s process. The Appeal Court’s decision was read by acting Appellate Justice Dr. Arif Bulkan, who opined last Tuesday that this most recent case was the third such application that sought similar reliefs – these being to compel the DPP not to continue prosecution against Bisram. It was indicated that a separate motion was brought before another judge in a separate county of Guyana. Bisram’s extradition order was signed in October last by US Judge Peggy Kuo. He was charged in absentia in 2016 for the murder of the 27-year-old Number 70 Village Corentyne carpenter Narinedatt. Radesh Motie, Diadatt Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, Orlando Dickie and Niran Yacoob were all charged. Two of the accused had allegedly confessed to investigators that they were ordered by the overseas-based Guyanese businessman to dump the carpenter’s body on the Number 70 Public Road to make his death seem the result of a hit and run accident. Additionally, the businessman’s mother and sister have been accused of offering bribes to Police ranks to “duck the case”. Since commencement of the preliminary inquiry in Berbice, several persons have been accused of witness tampering.

12 news


Berbice murder victim was threatened several times by husband

…residents say Police should have taken the matter more seriously


Corentyne, Berbice man turned a knife on himself after killing his wife of 15 years. Dead are Subrina Lakhan, 29, a housewife, and her husband, Ramesh Ramdeen, 42, a labourer, at Rose Hall Estate. The couple lived at Lot 101 Chesney New Housing Scheme, Corentyne, and had three children ages six, eight and 13. The couple was at home alone about 13:35h when the incident occurred. Investigations reveal that Ramdeen was an alcoholic, who had constantly threatened his wife and accused her of infidelity. Reports reaching Guyana Times International indicate that the 15-year relationship was marred by physical and verbal abuse. According to a neighbour, she was at home when she heard the now dead woman shouting for her by name about three times. She said that she also heard Lakhan tell-

packing. Guyana Times International understands that while the woman was packing, Ramdeen told the officer that everything was “okay” and she could leave. However, as soon as

they witnessed Ramdeen pulling a knife across his own throat. The man subsequently fell and tumbled down the steps. Lakhan was seen lying on her stomach in a bedroom in the upper flat in a pool of blood with her throat slit, next

idents in the community have expressed their dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Police handled the matter. They say that the female officer who was at the house while the victim was packing to leave should not have tak-

Subrina Lakhan and her husband, Ramesh Ramdeen in happier times

ing Ramdeen that she loved him and was not going to leave him. This newspaper was told that the couple on Monday appeared before Magistrate Renita Singh at the Albion Magistrate’s Court. Following the court appearance, the mother of three went to the Police Station and requested

that an officer accompany her home, saying that she was scared for her life and had decided to go live with her mother. Reports are that the woman asked for the officer to be there while she packed her belongings. This publication was told that a female officer accompanied the woman, but left while she was

The woman’s body being removed by undertakers

the officer left, the man seized the opportunity to slit the woman’s throat. The woman’s screams caused neighbours to rush to the scene, but by the time they did,

to her was a cane-cutter’s cutlass with blood stains on it. The Police were summoned, and an investigation has been launched. Meanwhile many res-

en the man’s word for granted that “everything was ok”; she should have remained until she was confident that the victim was safe. (Andrew Carmichael)

Consultative process to be used to determine how oil funds will be spent – Harmon By Jarryl Bryan


Green Paper on the Natural Resources Fund has been presented to Cabinet by Finance Minister Winston Jordan; and it has been approved, with Government stating that a consultative process will be used to determine areas of spending for the fund. This is according to State Minister Joseph Harmon, who made the disclosure during a post-Cabinet press conference on Monday. Harmon spoke of the different proposals contained in the fund, including suggestions for allocation of the resources. “The intention basically is to ensure that the revenue which comes from oil goes into that fund. And it is that fund which will fund budget estimates, so that projects identified for budgetary support will get that support through the fund,” he explained. The next step, Harmon explained, is for the paper to be presented to the National Assembly. Asked to give details on exactly what areas of spending have been proposed, Harmon said it would be used to fund “budgetary programmes”. “So the proposal is that all revenue will not go directly to any particular sector, but it will go directly through the fund. And then the Ministry of Finance, in preparation for the budget, will call upon the fund

projects that are being identified. So that’s the way it’s going to be,” Harmon pronounced. “Insofar as investments are concerned, right now we haven’t made any decisions as to the entity that will be managing that process, but the investments basically are intended to be safe investments; so that the money just (doesn’t) remain there, that it is invested in face investments that will allow the country to benefit from this fund.” According to Harmon, the money will go towards ‘safe’ investments. He assured, however, that prescribing the amount going towards investment and the amount going towards development will be determined during consultations. Finance Minister Winston Jordan had informed reporters last month that the Green Paper – a report on Government’s proposals – was presented to Cabinet to be reviewed. Jordan had noted that a second review would have been done at the next Cabinet meeting, on July 31. “We will revise the paper in time for presentation to the last Parliament, which is on or before August 10, 2018,” he explained, adding that the draft legislation for the Fund is with the Attorney General’s Chambers. “Once the AG’s Chambers are finished with that bill, it will get its review at Cabinet, and

Exxon has estimated there is over 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in its Liza Phase 1 project

then we will put it out for consultations. We will take back whatever comments, and then we will revise the bill and make it ready for Parliament,” he had explained, adding that the bill would be laid in the National Assembly by the year’s end.

Stabroek Block

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator thereof, and holds a 45 per cent interest in the

Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds a 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds a 25 per cent interest. A contract was inked on October 7, 2016 between the coalition Government, ExxonMobil and its partners in the Stabroek block. In the renegotiated contract, which has come in for some criticism, Guyana agreed to a two per cent royalty for every barrel of oil, a 50 per cent

share of profit oil, and a US$18 million signing bonus. Out of the contract, Guyana also secured the company’s agreement to set up a fund for social and environment projects. Exxon has to contribute US$300,000 per year to this fund. The sums roll over, and the company, together with Government, will determine which projects to fund. The contract sets aside another US$300,000 per year to ensure Guyanese personnel are trained at local or overseas universities and conferences. There are also provisions for a continuous review of local content. Only in late February, ExxonMobil had announced its seventh oil discovery at its Pacora-1 well. The company had said it encountered approximately 65 feet (20 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 18,363 feet (5597 metres) depth in 6781 feet (2067 metres) of water. With all these discoveries, ExxonMobil has since increased its estimate of the discovered recoverable resource from a previous estimate of 3.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels to in excess of 4 billion. There is also talk of a third phase of development (the company has done evaluations and applied for permission to begin a second phase) and consideration of two additional phases.

news 13


‘What I have to offer is what matters’ – Slowe N

ewly-app o i n t e d Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Paul Slowe has admitted that he does

month, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had said that Slowe will bring two sets of baggage with him which could harm his judgments,

Police Force. However, when asked about this shortly after he was sworn-in on Thursday, the new PSC Chairman told

Commission Chairman, Retired Assistant Police Commissioner, Paul Slowe takes the oath in the presence of President David Granger.

have baggage but noted that what's in the package is what matters. Following a meeting with President David Granger last

that is, a political approach to the job and old scores to settle since he has a lot of interpersonal problems with many members of the

reporters that what he has to offer is what matters. Apart from Slowe, Vester Adams, Clinton Conway, Alexis Jarvis and

Chairman of the Public Service Commission Michael Somersall were also sworn-in as members of the new Police Service Commission by the Head of State. Following the investiture ceremony, Slowe told reporters that the first order of business will be to scrutinize and fast-track the promotion and discipline process within the Police Force. Meanwhile, President Granger in brief remarks said that the PSC has the power to hire and discipline the Force’s hierarchy, which is essential not only for efficiency of the police but also for the promotion of national security. This new Police Service Commission will last for a period of 3 years.

“No evidential basis” for cash payouts from Petroleum revenues – President Granger


resident David Granger on Thursday said there is “no evidential basis” for the suggested cash payout to households from the expected Oil and Gas revenues. Economist, Dr. Clive Thomas speaking at a recent forum said the government should consider annual cash transfers of $1Million (US$5000) to poor households. However, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI), President Granger said he has not received a formal proposal from Dr. Thomas in this regard. “I have not considered that proposal, it is outside of the recommendations of the Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Natural Resources Fund and I don’t know that there is a precedent for it.” The Head of State reminded of the quintet of ministers and the new-

ly appointed Head of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, are advising him on matters related to the Oil and Gas sector, DPI said. On Wednesday, during the 96th Sitting of the National Assembly, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan laid the Government’s ‘Green’ paper on the Natural Resources Fund for consideration by the House. It is expected that before the year has ended, legislation will be enacted that will see the prudent management of the petroleum resources. The ‘Green’ paper presents preliminary proposals which are expected to stimulate discussions. It also details specific issues and possible courses of action in terms of policy and legislation. It also elaborates on the necessity of the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund.





16 news


Large businesses owe City Council over G$4B

- King


arge businesses owe the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown over G$4B in rates and taxes, the town clerk has said.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Royston King explained that the large businesses are reportedly undervaluing their properties and paying less than they are supposed to in rates and taxes.

“We have an outstanding amount of over G$4B owed to this Council by mainly big businesses. Those who neglect to pay their rates and those who are undervaluing their properties. So they are paying, for

example; instead of the commercial rates of 250%; they’re paying the domestic rate of 40 %” King said. It is the necessary for businesses upon completion of the building phase to approach the Valuation Department for re-

Royston King

valuation and further to approach City Hall in order for their expected monthly rates and taxes to be calculated. When this phase is completed, failure to honour these debts will result in the City Council taking the delinquent businesses to Court. King said “The property owners know that once they complete building,

that they have to approach the Valuation Department for revaluation and they have to approach the City Council so that we can calculate the correct amount of taxes or rates that they are expected to pay and that they go ahead and pay it. In the event that they neglect and refuse to pay it, the matter is taken to the court”. (Kizzy Coleman).







20 news


Hotel proprietor granted G$1.5M over shooting death of Kitty man Dead: Jason De Florimonte


rwin Bacchus, owner of the Tourist Villa Hotel in Subryanville, Georgetown, was on Wednesday placed on G$1.5 million bail by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a manslaughter charge alleging that on August 4, 2018 at Subryanville, he unlawfully killed Jason De Florimonte. His attorneys, Nigel Hughes and Glenn Hanoman, told the magistrate in a bail application that their client was acting in self-defence on the day of the incident. Hughes disclosed that Bacchus had fired two warning shots before shooting De Florimonte, who had armed himself with a knife and rolling pin and had attacked the hotel’s handyman. As conditions of his bail, Bacchus has had to lodge his passport at the Kitty Police Station, and is also required to report weekly to the same station. The case will continue on August 29. Reports are that on Saturday last, 30-year-

old Jason De Florimonte of Lot 96 Fifth Avenue, Subryanville Georgetown was reportedly assaulting his girlfriend, Christine Rambarran, in front of his home at around 01:45h. This caught the attention of a 29-year-old handyman employed by the hotel, who intervened to assist the woman. That intervention reportedly angered De Florimonte, and an argument ensued. Realising that the situation was escalating, the handyman ran into the hotel, with De Florimonte in hot pursuit. Bacchus whipped out his licensed firearm and allegedly fired several shots in De Florimonte’s direction. De Florimonte was shot, and was subsequently rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC), where he was pronounced dead on arrival. A post mortem examination conducted on his body has given his cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds.

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President Granger should have said what Govt would do to lift persons out of poverty …rather than rebuking them – political commentator

President David Granger


resident David Granger’s speech last week at Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD) castigating persons for not seeking betterment for themselves is not sitting well with political thinkers, with at least two of them tackling the matter head on in simultaneous columns. Working People’s Alliance (WPA) heavyweight and political commentator, Dr David Hinds reminded the President in his column “Hinds sight” that he was voted into office, most likely by the very people he rebuked, to set policies that would help persons to help themselves. Instead, Hinds noted that Granger’s message was “go help yourself”, without identifying policies that would bring economic benefit. “No, Mr President, that is not right or fair or just. We have to go back to these very people in 2020 and ask for their votes. You, Mr President, have the power to make a difference in the lives of those poor Black people. Having rebuked them, you promised them no big poli-

cy to help them own the “boats, buses and bicycles” you urged them to aspire to. Where are they going to get the loans or start-up capital from, for example? “Some of them put down the bottle and the hustle, stopped liming and voted for him and the coalition in May 2015. Many of them voted for us, because they wanted an opportunity to do better. President Granger and the coalition promised them that if we won power, we would help them. Now that we have the power, we seem to be telling them ‘go help yourselves,” Dr Hinds observed. Dr Hinds noted the importance of avoiding the perception that one was talking down to a community and pointed out that Granger, a successful man, may have exuded an anti-poor perception with his message. “Mr President, your brilliant career as a military man came because of Government investment in you and your generation. Now that you hold the reins of Government, you should do the same for the present generation – invest in them. Rebuke them, but when you are done, tell them what your government will do to help them to do better. Government policy is not hand-out –it is part of what Government was created for.” “There is no country in the world where the descendants of the enslaved lifted themselves without the deliberate intervention of Government. Even the most stubborn of them, the USA, saw it fit to enact an af-

WPA heavyweight, Dr David Hinds

firmative action policy. It is my considered view that the bad habits which the President correctly identified and criticised would decrease if and when his government put in place policies that target the structural problems of the black community.” Besides this, Hinds also drew attention to the apparent intolerance for criticism by the Government. He cited the example of both he and Lincoln Lewis being removed from their posts as columnists for the State paper, and pointed to the irony of the President now coming to critique communities.


Lewis, a veteran trade unionist, took an even harder line in his criticism of Granger’s speech in his “Eye on Guyana” column titled “Govt must not rebuke when govt taketh away, deprives or denies its citizens”. According to Lewis in his column, the National Development Strategy (NDS) of former President Dr Cheddi

Jagan was one of the last efforts to push for a strategy for the betterment of the people, with a consultative buy-in. “For subsequent leaders to castigate citizens for their failure to put in place mechanisms for ensuring productive endeavours can be considered dereliction of duties. This nation’s President has Executive responsibility, that is day-today responsibility for the citizens’ welfare, which includes the realisation of a programme to address deficiencies in every community and across every demographic. “Inherent in this must be a plan of action, which includes a strategy to bring people on board. An idea in the head and telling people to buy into it without putting structures in place that can facilitate their involvement will see no transformation,” he said. Lewis stressed that Government must lead a concerted national effort to correct systemic discrimination in the system. The trade unionist pointed to the Government’s refusal to re-establish the Ministry of Labour as backward, since it was seen as a working-class Ministry and could lead the effort in developing a national plan to alleviate unemployment. “Correcting these challenges require Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Laws buttressed by public education and enforcement. And it is Government’s responsibility to do this. The talk that citizens must get prepared to capitalise on oil and gas – as though these will be the panacea to

Veteran trade unionist Lincoln Lewis

end all problems and create all opportunities – remains just that. “Talks are yet to be buttressed with a National Programme as to what is required to productively participate. We still don’t know what skill sets are needed, how these will be acquired, and Government’s role in making it possible for local labour. There is high youth unemployment and no national plan to alleviate it, either through employment or self-employed opportunities.” The Head of State made the speech while addressing residents at Beterverwagting on Tuesday evening, at a Cultural Evening hosted to commemorate the 180th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery. President Granger said that even though he could have the profits and benefits from oil production equitably shared, it was up to citizens to empower themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that would become available.

T&T seeking 250 medical specialists from Cuba (Trinidad Guardian)


he Ministry of Health will this month go on a recruiting drive for 250 specialised doctors from Cuba to service the public health care system. This was revealed yesterday by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh at a press conference at his ministry’s Port-of-Spain headquarters. Deyalsingh went to great lengths to explain that the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) have been experiencing problems with recruiting local doctors to fill 11 specialty areas for the past year, adding every doctor wants to work in what he called the “Cathedral of Medicine”, either the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), San Fernando General Hospital or Port-of-Spain General Hospital rather than the rural communities. However, he could not say if this “demand” was as a result of the prestige of working at these facilities. “I have a need, therefore I would go to Cuba. That is why we have to employ foreigners

because our locals do not have the skill set or don’t take advantage of the opportunity to work in the public sector for whatever reason,” Deyalsingh said. He said even primary healthcare doctors have been resisting work in rural areas, which led to the ministry engaging the United Nations to get UN doctors to come here to work. “So if every House Officer wants to work in A&E, but you need House Officers in oncology what are we to do? And that is the position we are faced with.” In a bid to serve the public’s needs, Deyalsingh said this month the ministry will be sending a team to Cuba to recruit healthcare professionals in these 11 specialised areas that the RHAs cannot source locally. Among them are paediatricians, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, haematologists, nephrologists, specialists in internal medicine, orthopaedic surgeons, paediatric cardiologists, maxillofacial surgeons, ophthalmologists and

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

specialists in Accident and Emergency. The contract for the Cuban doctors will be three years with an option to renew for a fourth, he said. But Deyalsingh still also invited unemployed local specialists to join the RHAs, stating that the country needed them urgently. Questioned about how many specialty doctors will be sourced from Cuba, Deyalsingh said “about 250.” Of the specialty areas, Deyalsingh said haematology,

paediatric cardiology, orthopaedic surgeons and maxillofacial surgeons are in highest demand. At the EWMSC, he said there is currently just one paediatric cardiologist while there are only two Cuban maxillofacial surgeons in the public sector. Pressed on if specialists can be compelled to work in the public sector, Deyalsingh said this can only be applied if they obtain their specialist qualification via the Government, noting that to force them to work in the public sector would be a violation of their constitutional rights. Asked how Government will bridge the gap, given that hundreds of medical students are graduating from UWI in areas where they cannot fill the public sector vacancies, Deyalsingh said UWI has started a DM (Doctorate in Medicine) programme in specialty fields. “You are not going to get the output immediately. It takes time to train them and then they have to work under supervision…there is a lag

time.” He said as soon as graduates exit the DM programme, positions will be offered to them. In May, Cabinet also agreed to employ 75 interns at public hospitals. Deyalsingh said the 75 interns will be employed at the nation’s hospitals “because UWI was producing all these interns. Now, it’s not that we needed these 75. I want to make that abundantly clear.” He said these positions will “soak up” the supply coming out of UWI. Although the Cuban recruitment drive will begin shortly, Deyalsingh also could not say when the positions will be filled and how soon the doctors are expected to arrive here to serve the public. “We are trying to do it as soon as humanly possible. I am treating it with urgency.” Asked if the ministry will pay more to attract the Cubans’ services, Deyalsingh said, “No, not necessarily, but we do pay for the board and so on here. So it is not really more.”



Citizens have a duty to demand constitutional reform …before 2020 LGE, oil rush

By Samuel Sukhnandan


he need for constitutional reform has been touted over the past few years, especially since the current coalition Government had made a commitment to ensuring that this is done; but there seems to be some hesitation on the part of both Government and the Parliamentary Opposition to get the ball rolling in this regard. In fact, many persons in civil society have spoken out against the current administration for its silence on the matter, especially because it had been a campaign promise. Adding his take on the matter, former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament Dr. Kwame Gilbert feels that now is the right time. “The call for constitutional reform cannot be any louder than it is right now. The Former PPP Member of Parliament and Presidential Advisor, Dr. Kwame Gilbert justification for it is in the continuous need to strengthen governance, balance the power of the executive, and ensure a more accountable and responsive Government,” he told Guyana Times International in an interview.

According to Dr. Gilbert, the Constitution which Guyana inherited post-independence, while it has benefited from several significant constitutional amendments, still remains inadequate in addressing what he described as “mischief endemic in, and symptomatic of, our current sociopath-political realities in Guyana.” He said, “There are several social and political considerations which distinguish Guyana from the rest of her Caribbean and continental neighbours. These distinctive characteristics demand a particular culture, climate, and conduct, which can only be secured through constitutional provisions.” Dr. Gilbert also noted that Guyana has suffered extensively from the attending evils consistent with the continued use of what he also described as a backward proportional representation (PR) electoral system. This is an electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them. “This system has created and maintained political polarisation and ethnic tension consistent with a single-party domination system of politics. The PR system, commonly re-

ferred to as the party list system, robs the citizens of true representation, and has zero accountability. It is woefully ineffective in building a strong democracy,” Dr Gilbert opined. The former Social Policy Advisor to the previous PPP Administration said he feels the First Past the Post (FPTP) system is a more effective system, and particularly at this juncture of Guyana’s development. He noted that some have even touted a PR/FPTP hybrid system as a workable model. While he did not seek to commend First World countries, which do have their share of corrupted democracies, he said it would still be instructive to consider that countries such as the USA, UK, India and Canada are using the FPTP system, and do enjoy a greater degree of political accountability and stability.


Politicians, according to him, have for far too long been the sole beneficiaries of the exploitation of inadequacies and inefficiencies in the Guyana Constitution. “It would be safe to conclude that our Constitution is perfectly suited for the results we are having. To change the results,

Former PPP/C Member of Parliament and Presidential Advisor, Dr Kwame Gilbert

we change the system; in this case, reform the Constitution. There will be no urgency or political will to have reforms if those who benefit from the inadequacies in a system are the custodians of the Constitution,” he added. Dr Gilbert told Guyana Times International that the Constitution fortunately does not belong to politicians. Rather, it belongs to every Guyanese. And he therefore believes that it is the responsibility of every Guyanese to demand that Constitutional reform becomes a top priority before another general election, and before the much anticipated oil production, both slated for the year 2020. As to the commitment of the coalition Government to deliver on its campaign prom-

ise, the former PPP MP said that, regrettably, he has no confidence in the coalition to deliver on that promise. He also feels the current parliamentary Opposition has not made Constitutional reform a priority either. Dr. Gilbert strongly believes the political directorates of both the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) and the PPP have had sufficient time and opportunity to act on their so -called commitment to Constitutional reform, but there has only been rhetoric and no results. “I rather suspect that politicians have deduced that our citizens are gullible and easily forgiving, hence broken promises will have very little political consequence. It is for that reason that they continue to make and break promises but still enjoy the support of their constituents. But for the sake of Guyana’s children, I hope that enough pressure will be brought to bear, and Constitutional reforms will be tangibly realised.” Dr. Gilbert said a very important effort in moving this process forward would be to maintain joint pressure, both from the citizens of Guyana as well as the international community.



Guyana aviation officials taking steps to prepare for oil rush


he Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is moving steadfastly to become fully compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) ahead of the rush of economic activities that Guyana is expected to experience upon oil production in two years’

“They displayed their pleasant feeling when they presented us with the President’s Certificate last year. So we are moving [forward]. We are training our staff and spending a lot in that area in order to ensure that there is a robust authority to meet the challenges of tomor-

year. With the extended runway and the expanded airport, we are looking to have travellers from as far as Africa, and even Europe, coming into Guyana. As I say to my staff, ‘There is a tsunami ahead of us, and we’ve got to work hard and build this authority for robust oversight of

media operatives. The Director-General had earlier listed safety regulations as a top priority for the GCAA this year. In fact, he had noted that one of the GCAA’s primary goals in 2018 is to amend its regulations to comply with the standards and recommend-

GCAA Director General Egbert Field

The CJIA Expansion Project

time. Director-General of the GCAA, ret’d Lieutenant Colonel Egbert Field, said last week that, within recent years, the local aviation industry has moved a good way up the ladder towards the ICAO standards – something which the international body is very pleased with.

row, and the challenges are coming very fast,” Field posited. According to the Director General, these challenges are fast approaching, especially with operation of the oil and gas industry being imminent. “You cannot understand or imagine what we will face in another

the [aviation] industry ’,” he asserted. Field said the GCAA’s main goal is to ensure the skies are safe. “Safety is paramount in our work from day to day, and we will continue to ensure that this remains the focal point of each and every single member of the Civil and Aviation Authority,” Field told

ed practices outlined by ICAO. To this end, the Civil Aviation Bill was tabled in the National Assembly and sent to the Parliamentary Select Committee, which has since completed its work. The next stage now is for the House to adopt the Committee’s report. This is expected to be done be-

fore the end of the year. The proposed legislation contains a revision of aviation regulations, which will include: safety management systems, regulations pertaining to drone operations, and revised operations regulations for the industry. In addition to revising its regulations, GCAA also conducted a compliance and enforcement training programme in February, which is expected to play an integral role in aiding the Authority to respond positively to those items

requested by ICAO, and bring GCAA closer towards compliance. Guyana is currently third from the bottom in compliance ranking, having moved up one place. However, the Authority, which is currently around 70 percent in compliance, has been doing corrective actions to move towards 80 percent before the end of the year. In 2017, the Authority was awarded the ICAO Council President’s Certificate for its significant progress in safety oversight.

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Woman, 46, tells cops she killed lover, 73, after he forced her to participate in ‘round 2’

Dead: Deonarine, also called Russian


he 47-year-old lover of 73-yearold Deonarine, also called “Russian,” who was found dead with a single gunshot wound to his abdomen, has allegedly confessed to the heinous crime on Tuesday. The woman, who was once the man’s maid, made the confession during interrogation by members of the Major Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). The woman reportedly told detectives that on the night of the murder, the now dead man picked her up from her home at Charity Housing Scheme, Essequibo Coast and they went to his house. While there, she made dinner and they ate. They retied to bed, and had sexual intercourse. However, an argument broke out between them after she re-

fused to have sex for a second time. The argument escalated, and the farmer reportedly armed himself with a knife and threatened to kill her if she did not comply with his request. This led to a scuffle between them, resulting in the woman being injured as she attempted to take away the weapon. The knife, she told detectives, fell to the floor, and in retaliation, the elderly man ran to the lower flat of the house, where he collected the firearm from a secured safe and returned. She attempted to take away the gun, but it went off, mortally wounding him. After the incident, she reportedly got rid of the weapon and raised an alarm, claiming that the elderly man was shot during a robbery. The man was rushed to the Charity Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Initially, the woman and three employees of the deceased were arrested. During the preliminary investigation, the woman had told Police that while they were having dinner someone rapped at the door, and the now dead man went to enquire. She claimed the man was attacked by a masked man armed with a firearm. She had claimed that she intervened and held on to the weapon, but instead of letting go, the masked man whipped out a knife, and she held on to that too. During the commotion, she claimed, Deonarine ran into the lower flat of the house while the armed man over powered her and went in pursuit of the farmer. When contacted, ‘G’ Division (Essequibo Coast and Islands) Commander, Superintendent Khali Pareshram, confirmed that the woman has confessed to the murder.

New Public Service Commission sworn-in


President David Granger; Public Service Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, and Minister of State Joseph Harmon with the members of the new PSC

resident David Granger on Wednesday morning swore-in the six persons who constitute the membership of the new Public Service Commission (PSC). The life of the previous PSC ended last year. Those persons are: Michael Somersall (Chairman); Mavis Benn; Vincent Bowman; Geeta ChandanEdmond: Morris Gajadar

and Mortimer Livan. They were appointed in accordance with Article 200 (1) of the Constitution, following consultations between the Head of State and the Opposition Leader, as well as deliberations of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Appointments. The Public Service Commission is constitutionally responsible for hiring, firing, as well as

disciplining, public servants. President Granger, in brief remarks at this swearing-in ceremony, emphasised the role of the PSC in ensuring an efficient and professional Public Service. “The Public Service Commission’s task is to ensure the establishment and existence of an impartial Public Service by insulating public servants from po-

Heated debates expected for Youth Parliament 2018

A scene from 2017 Youth Parliament debate


ome 72 persons, including students from each administrative region in Guyana, are expected to participate in the 4th Annual Youth Parliament, set for staging from August 10 to August 18. The Parliament Office on Tuesday announced that three students from each administrative region would be selected to represent their region, but Region 4 will be sending 4 students on its behalf. The nine-day event, which would include training days, is expected to see two days of heated debate. The students will be debating motions on topical matters, with the most important motion to be presented on Oil and Gas and how it can benefit Guyanese. Former Youth Parliamentarian Travis Bruce, who participated in the first ever Youth Parliament in 2015, will, along with his organisation, be conducting a session on the role of Guyanese youths in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. According to Bruce, his experience has developed him as a person, something he cannot wait for this year’s participants to experience. “As it relates to my participation in previous years, I would’ve been very much impressed with the way things were organised and executed. The first year, I remember being a little in shallow water, I wasn’t sure what to expect; but at the end of it, I was empowered to do so much more, not only in my school, but also in the community level. So I think that this year is actually much better, and I believe that the young peolitical influence and interference…The Public Service Commission promotes a professional Public Service by ensuring that its appointments are based on the principle of merit rather than political patronage, and that disciplinary action and removals, when necessary, are just,” the President said. “The commission can enhance the professionalism of the Public Service by appointing public servants who evince the qualities of impartiality, integrity and intelligence,” he noted. The Head of State went on to talk about the importance of public servants, whose work is critical to economic development. “Public servants are essential to the country’s administration, because they exert direct and daily influence on the lives of Guyanese through various official agencies, boards, commis-

ple that are coming would not only be exposed to decorum and the etiquette that should be observed in the house, but they will also be exposed to meeting new people and having new opportunities,” the youth reflected. Parliament’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yannick December noted that this year’s event is expected to be bigger and much better than the previous years’. “This year is going to be bigger and better. We’ve put a lot of planning into this, and we would like to encourage every one of you to follow us on our live streaming to see what it will be like. On our website, there is a tab that states live streams, so you can go follow the tabs. I’ll also ensure that I have the live stream link placed on our Facebook page, to make it easier,” the PRO encouraged. In addition, Principal Assistant Secretary of Finance, Vanessa Paul, highlighted that to conclude this year’s Youth Parliament, a grand reception will be held at which the participants will be pinned by current Parliamentarians. “The dinner and reception is scheduled for the 16th of August, and at the reception, the event will be focused on honouring our youth parliamentarians, with one of the main features being the pinning of the Youth by our current parliamentarians,” she explained. In excess of G$5M was spent for the event last year. However, even though the figure was not disclosed, this year’s event is expected to be much costlier.

sions, departments and ministries…The Public Service, to enjoy public trust and to achieve its administrative objectives, must be composed of men and women of intelligence, integrity and impartiality…They should look forward to careers based on the principle of merit. Their employment should not be threatened or interrupted for political reasons or upon a change in Government,” the President asserted. Chairman of the newly appointed PSC, Michael Somersall, expressed elation at his appointment. Somersall was, in January 2017, appointed a special prosecutor of the State to handle those high-profile cases of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU). He has indicated that he may have to cut back on his legal work. “I don’t think [there is a conflict of interest in holding both posi-

tions, but]… I may have to scale down or forego [my legal work]. When I get there, I will have to see what I have to do. Sometimes the work there [at the PSC] will be more than what I have to do in the courts,” he noted. Nevertheless, the PSC Chairman has said the new members will soon be meeting to devise a strategy in regard to their working plan going forward. “Well, the first piece of business, I would think, is for us to meet and have a meeting with the members, to decide what we gonna do and how we gonna strategise to deal with members of the Public Service… I’m new to it, so when we get there at the meeting, then we will know exactly what we have to do, and start our course,” he posited. This new Public Service Commission carries a lifespan of three years.









WEEK ENDING AUGUST 12, 2018| MAY 22, 2016|

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…Burnham’s death

or an administration whose leader, David Granger — not so coincidentally, also leader of the PNC — has vowed to complete the legacy of Forbes Burnham, their “founder leader”, the commemoration of his death was pretty low-keyed. A few members of the National Congress of Women (NCW), the women’s arm of the PNC, laid wreaths at his bust at Kitty, and gave Basil Williams a squeeze-in! Even the Chronic didn’t report on the ceremony! What’s up? The PNC big-wigs were all worn out after their emancipation soirees? Last year, since the commemoration was state-funded and it was announced this largess would be extended to the death anniversary of all previous presidents annually, the event should’ve been even bigger. Was it because the state didn’t bother to fund President Jagan’s death anniversary commemoration over at Babu Jaan in March that the PNC passed up on Burnham’s?? But whatever your views on the man, Burnham certainly had an impact on Guyana, and his death anniversary should be cause for reflection. Your Eyewitness could only find a report of the NCW’s commemoration in THIS newspaper – and he wonders if the report was based on a press release from the PNC ladies. After all, it mentioned that “He (Burnham) won re-election in 1968, 1973, and 1978, although his critics accused him of fixing the elections.”!! His CRITICS accused him of fixing the elections?!! What about EVERY team of international observers!! Not to mention England’s Granada TV showing the horses that voted there in 1968 to give the PNC the lead in the overseas vote? For what it’s worth, 1978 wasn’t an election – but the referendum by Burnham NOT to have a referendum to approve his new 1980 Constitution!! The election was in 1980 – which the British Parliamentary Group of observers called “more crooked than barbed wire”!! The death anniversary came hot on the heels of one trade unionist remembering that WPA’s Walter Rodney had dubbed Burnham “King Kong”. One overseas WPA member defended Rodney’s language by claiming it was “done spontaneously at a public meeting on Bourda Green as the army helicopter flew overhead, reminiscent of the movie. Context is important”!! What’s this WPA fella trying to say? That Rodney didn’t mean to ridicule Burnham? What nonsense!! To the masses, Rodney’s most potent weapon wasn’t his Marxist analyses, but his ability to ridicule!! Let’s not forget he also dubbed Burnham “Fat Boy” and “King Midas”. Only that in Burnham’s case, according to Rodney, everything he touched turned to “sh*t”!! Anyhow, the WPA made up to the PNC on Burnham’s death anniversary, since they held an event to reflect on Eusi Kwayana and Emancipation on that day at Buxton. All is forgiven!? …Kwayana? As mentioned above, there was a “Eusi Kwayana Emancipation Symposium” held at Friendship Primary School on Burnham’s death anniversary, Aug 5th. While Kwayana undoubtedly almost singlehandedly ushered in the fight against “mental slavery”, which Bob Marley was to famously sing about so much later, he was also linked to Burnham in one way or another during the latter’s lifetime. When Burnham launched his bid to take over as leader of the PPP from Cheddi, even before the dust from the 1953 elections had settled, it was Kwayana – then still called “Sydney King” – who stood him down – just as he did on two later occasions. But Burnham still accepted Kwayana as one of the founding members of the PNC when that party was launched in 1958. Kwayana finally broke from Burnham in 1973 – after he’d been placed in charge of the Guyana Marketing Corporation to facilitate the rural PNC supporters becoming viable farmers. He was for emancipation in all its forms. …Georgetown founding There are some who’re miffed the City Hall Mafia are spending G$19 million to commemorate the 175 anniversary of the funding of the Garden City. Your Eyewitness doesn’t know why some people can be so bad-minded. Why shouldn’t the Mayor and her chief sidekick celebrate the launching of their gravy train? It shows gratitude!!




This one is going to knock those stumps out


ne of the greatest thrills of our childhood is sneaking out from the house to go play with our friends after being explicitly told not to do so, and this is exactly what Veerasammy Permaul did most days during his childhood. The now 28-year-old Permaul grew up in the village of Belvedere on the Corentyne. He remembers his childhood as one filled with fun and brotherhood. Now, Permaul is a household name because of his pure talent as a cricketer. He is a deadly spin bowler and one of the hardest hitters. He explained that his parents had preferred that he stayed at home rather than roam the streets with his friends. But being the kind of person he is, Permaul would escape after chores were completed and play cricket with his friends. “I used to play softball in the street with neighbours and friends. I also used to get way to go the ballfield to play cause my mother always wanted me be home. So I used to make sure I finish my house chores before I leave the house without any-

one knowing and play all day,” he reminisced. Permaul said gradually his love for cricket developed as he played with the neighbourhood boys. He noted that he preferred to be on the field rather than in the stands and he continued to enjoy being on the field. While growing

Champion from small days

up, Permaul had never been privileged enough to witness a cricket match because of the absence of a television in their home. “I never used to get allowed to go watch cricket game anywhere ‘cause it used to be a far way from where I lived. One day I saw it on the neighbour's TV and that make I love it more bad. I used to tell my friends them that I will become a cricketer and any other person who asked me what my ambition was.” Permaul was just 13 when he first started to play club cricket. He joined the Albion Community Centre Cricket Club in 2002 before going on to represent his home county as well as Guyana at several levels. He established himself on the West Indian domestic circuit when he made his First-Class debut for Guyana in the 2006-07 season. He was impressive right away scalping four wickets in his first game against Windward Islands. He then went on to claim his first five-for in First-

Class cricket against Jamaica in the KFC Cup later that year. Permaul continued to perform brilliantly at the domestic level and was outstanding in the 20112012 season, finishing with a haul of 37 wickets at an average of 22.05. He was exceptional in the West Indies High Performance Centre tour in 2012, where he troubled the Bangladeshi batsmen and picked up 12 wickets in just two matches. This performance earned him a place in the West Indies and he made his Test debut in the series against Bangladesh. He then impressed the selectors with eight wickets in two matches. Permaul was selected for the West Indies tour of India in November 2013. He played in the first Test and bowled well taking two wickets but was dropped for the second game in favour of fellow

Guyanese Narsingh Deonarine. The left-arm twirler exhibited good control in the subsequent Test series in New Zealand, but was pushed to the shade by the Sunil Narine magic. Permaul is also a handy batsman to boot. If he can add some variety to his bowling, he can claw his way back into the ODI set-up, according to cricketing pundits. This is not the first time Permaul is representing the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and for him, the opportunity to play for and represent home is one he cherishes. This year, he is in superb form and plans to contribute with the ball as well as the bat and in the field. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

feature 33


Emrit knocked hard on Windies selection after skippering Trinidad


here isn’t any shortcut to success. If you wanna be successful, you have to put in the hard yards and always remember to be honest to yourself.” These are the wise words of Guyana Amazon Warriors’ Rayad Emrit as he prepares to head into the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The 37-year-old Trinidadian all-rounder is representing the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the third time. He is known for his ability to deceive bats-

men with slower balls and cutters which makes him one of the most valuable assets to the team. He received his big break when he was included in the West Indies squad for an ODI tour of India a few months before the 2007 World Cup.

Emrit with his wife and daughter

and Tobago to the title in the Los Angeles 20/20 Cricket tournament. Quite deservedly, he was picked for the tour. However, he played only two games though, and batted too low down the order to have a significant impact and took no wickets. He has not received a WI call-up since, but he has been in Trinidad and Tobago’s scheme of things in all forms of the game. Emrit is an asset for the Guyana Amazon Warriors and was elevated to captain shortly after Martin Guptill’s injury during the 2017 CPL. He is an intelligent bowler who has the ability to break up long-standing partnerships. He describes himself as someone who is humble and family-oriented, since he has been all about family since growing up. He says that his family did and still does almost everything together and that they have played a huge part in his success today. Cricket has always been a part of Emrit’s life due to the fact that his fa-

ther had his own softball team. However, he was not all that interested in the game initially, but at the age of 11, he decided that he wanted to make cricket his career. But, he knew that he also needed an education and would attend the El Dorado Secondary School in Trinidad. “My dad had his own softball team and I was obviously the youngest, but was also the 12th man most of the times, but when I finally got my opportunity, I never looked back. I represented T&T at the Under-19 level and then I went on to play in the leagues in England for five seasons. I got my opportunity to represent T&T in 2003 and thankfully, to this day I’m still playing.” Emrit has played for a number of franchises throughout his career and some of the notable ones include the Stanford All-Stars, Barbados Tridents, Kerala Kings and Chittagong Vikings. However, he notes that of all the franchises he has played for, the Guyana Amazon Warriors are the most organised and his absolute favourite. “I am, as some people say, the one who goes unrecognised but gets the work done, more often than not. Guyana

I enjoyed every minute of this experience.” Emrit plans to continue taking those wickets and contributing with his bat, but, most importantly he plans to share his experiences with the younger players on the team this year. “It’s an honour to represent Guyana and I take great pride in doing so.” Guyana Times Sunday Magazine) Warriors is one of the most organised franchises I have been with so far, and

Emrit poses with a young cricketer



n February 2017, at age 37, Imran Tahir reached the pinnacle of limited overs cricket by becoming the No. 1 ranked ODI and T20I bowler in the world. It was a testament to his desire to succeed at the top level, a trait which has helped him defy age and turn it into a complete nonfactor. Be it his trademark celebratory sprints after picking a wicket, or the passionately charged roars on the field of play, Tahir's enthusi-

asm has kept him going. That very love for the game stands out in what has been an unorthodox cricketing career. Tahir was born in Lahore, Pakistan. He learnt his trade in Pakistan. He even went on to represent the Pakistan U-19 team and

was also a part of the Pakistan A side on some tours. However, he failed to make the transition to the next stage. Pakistan were blessed with some quality spinners and Tahir never really made his mark at the senior level to warrant a selection. H e was a w i s e m a n though. He decided to ply his trade elsewhere. He began playing county

cricket in England but did not stay there for long. He made another jump, this time to South Africa. Another wise move, considering South Africa's perennial dearth of quality spinners. He even met his wife, a South African citizen of Indian origin, and settled


down in South Africa. He got his first call to the South African Test team in 2010 when England where touring, but it was due to an embarrassing error by the selection committee. Tahir was not eligible to play for South Africa until January, 2011. He was quickly withdrawn from the team then, but found his way back almost immediately after becoming eligible to play. He was selected for the ODI series against India, but was never picked in the playing eleven. Skipper, Graeme Smith, preferred to keep him as a surprise weapon for the World Cup in the subcontinent soon after. He impressed immediately, picking 14 wickets in the five games he played. He remains as an attacking option for the captain and is waiting for his first Test cap, which should come pretty soon. He was also the highest wicket-taker in the 2014 T20 World Cup, with 12 wickets at an average of 10.91. He continued to be a regular member of the South African side in all formats and played Test matches in spin-friendly conditions. The variations at Tahir's disposal make him almost impossible to get away in the limit-

ed versions of the game, where he has found great success. Tahir attained the No. 1 ranking in ODIs for the first time in 2015, during the 2015 World Cup. At this point, he was already the front-

of the top limited overs bowlers. He followed it up with another brilliant showing in the World T20 next year in 2016. It is impossible to predict where the finish line will be for

keep going for as long as he can. We would most likely see Tahir as the star bowler on the Guyana Amazon Warriors’ squad when then begin their quest to capture the

line spinner for South Africa but the tournament enhanced his reputation further as one

someone like Tahir, who is still in great shape physically and who has expressed the desire to

Hero Caribbean Premier League title. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)


ameron Delport is a swashbuckling South African cricketer who specializes more in the T20 format. He has carved out a niche for himself in South Africa. He was included in the KwaZulu-Natal cricket team squad for the 2015 Africa T20

Bash League (Sydney Thunders) and the Caribbean Premier League for the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, and slammed 34 off 9 for Dolphins to briefly threaten Chennai Super Kings during a massive chase in the 2014 Champions League T20. He finished

Cup. Delport, an aggressive left-handed batsman, has become a dangerous figure in Twenty20 sides around the globe, making an impact for Leicestershire in the NatWest Blast, Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League and also representing Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash. A career-best 109 from 59 balls against Nottinghamshire saw Leicestershire qualify for the T20 Blast quarter-finals in 2017 for only the second time in 11 seasons. Delport has played in the Big

that tournament with a strike rate of 280. He also represented Lahore Qalandars during the first edition of Pakistan Super League. Leicestershire Foxes snapped the South African for the Natwest T20 blast 2016 season. There is no doubt in his ability, but if he has to make it to the national side, Delport will have to find a way to be consistent at the top-order and should focus on converting the starts into big ones, according to the Cricketing Pundits. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)



Managing oil for all Guyana


By Ravi Dev

he following was written in 2007, after the Arbitral Award on the Suriname border and the caution of Sir Sridath Ramphal that oil may not be an entirely unmixed blessing. Mr Ramphal talked of imitating “best practices” to ensure that after our “potential” is pumped from the ground (or ocean as the case may be) we are not just left with gaping holes – as has happened with our gold. Lee Quan Yu’s avowal that he was happy that Singapore did not have oil may seem counterintuitive, but the ground reality is that resource-rich former colonies in general, and oil rich ones in particular, have been the worst performers as far as increasing their growth rates are concerned. One study showed that countries that depended heavily on resource extraction in 1970 grew at a measly average of 1% between 1970 and

1989. Consequently, their people have not experienced the dramatic increases in standards of living in such resourcepoor countries like Singapore. Such results cry out for explanation. Recently, a strong correlation has been demonstrated between the growth of the resource component of the GDP and conflicts within the countries. While the causation for this effect is complex and contextual, it challenges the widespread hope that, with increased revenue, our present squabbles over whether “marginalisation” is real or imagined will disappear. This effect of increased conflict is especially noticeable in divided societies, and should be of major concern to our policymakers. Not surprisingly, most conflicts have at their base a nexus with economics, and as the stakes rise with the flow of oil revenue into the national

coffers, it is natural that competition for those revenues would increase. In divided societies, it is not natural for the groups outside the administration to suspect that the “in-group” is being favoured. If the increased revenues are not equitably distributed, the growth frontier of the country as a whole is inevitably constrained, since the creative potential of significant segments of the population is not allowed to flower – and becomes lost to the society. All modern growth theories show that sustained high growth rates are only possible when the widest possible cross section of the society are involved. Social capital and all that. Increased conflicts – whether hot or cold – inevitably hinder economic activity and growth, and in so many instances, precipitate a spiral of increasing poverty and death in

the midst of “plenty”. The most significant factor in ensuring that countries remain locked in low growth rates and mired in poverty while the dollars keep pouring in is what the economists like to call “rapacious rent-seeking” – but which we laypersons recognise by the catch-all expression “c o r r u p t i o n ”. Corruption, from all studies, appears to be the major by-product of resource extraction. We have to come up with a model of development that would involve the greatest number of our citizens, as the oil revenue begins to flow in the next decade. We propose that the Government utilise the “National Development Strategy” as a source document to initiate a national discussion – along the lines of the Constitutional Reform Process in 1999 – to create a more focused strategy, with the understanding that the oil revenues would be

utilised to fund the projects proposed by the strategy. A national consensus on development projects should go a long way towards ameliorating the conditions that precipitate conflict over “marginalisation” of any group. We suggest that “Ethnic Impact Statements” accompany every project to address concerns over ethnic favouritism. To ensure that the oil revenue does not flow into the pockets of corrupt politicians it would be best to constitute an independent “Oil Fund for National Development” (OFND), which operates on transparent accounting rules to ensure that all oil revenues are accounted for. The rules of such transparency have now been fully endorsed by the international community, so it would not present any problem to so-called “privacy” needs of corporations. To place

By Ashley Anthony

we take agency over the direction of our lives. Of course, the advice of our parents and trusted elders is important; but, ultimately, the onus falls on us to investigate all possible options and make the best decision for ourselves. Last year, when I was faced with the “What’s next?” question, I chose to take a gap year. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately I think it was the best for me. When you mention taking a gap year to Guyanese, they seem confused by the concept. It’s as though you might as well be giving up on any academic ambition. “So you’re just going to stay home?” Of course not. Gap years have numerous purposes. In my instance, because I knew I wanted to ap-

ply to universities in the United States, I took the time to write the SATS (the examinations necessary for entrance to US schools). But even though I knew that what I was doing was for my own good, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard. I had to see my colleagues go off to university or start working in their fields. It felt like everyone was moving forward and I was stuck in a prison of my own design. I’d already written CAPE, at any point, I could have given up and applied to UG, UWI or schools in Canada; but that’s not what I wanted for myself. I knew I wanted to pursue a very specific major available at a few schools, and in the end, I am so happy with how it worked out. Are gap years al-

ways beneficial? No. Like everything else, it depends on the person. My gap year really allowed me to explore and develop my passions. With the added free time, I was able to focus more on writing, and I was able to also practice art. Art, for a long time, has been a hobby of mine, but school always took a priority. I have no regrets about that, but I am grateful that I was able to dedicate some time this year to practising art. I was able to meet members of the art community, display my pieces in an art gallery (The Duke), and I was even able to sell three pieces. Knowing that someone likes my art so much that they are willing to pay for it gives me a sense of pride and validation that I don’t think I

had previously experienced. I was also able to give back. I love physics, and I think anyone who wants to study the subject should be afforded the best opportunities possible. Unfortunately, physics is somewhat of a neglected science. There are few people who want to do it at higher levels, and even fewer who are willing to teach it. After I had written the SATS, I began to work as a CAPE physics teacher at The Bishop’s High School, and it was both a rewarding and enlightening experience. I developed a newfound respect for teachers, and I was also able to tutor some of the students whom I genuinely consider to be some of the brightest in the country.


round this time last year, I wrote about taking time to discover yourself. For high school seniors, August is usually a time for reflection. With examination results coming up, and our illustrious high school careers coming to an end, we must inevitably turn our minds to our next steps. It is definitely a frightening time. Uncertainty and pressure become our closest companions; the former fuelling the latter. Any transition period is daunting, but I feel as though the one wherein we decide what to do after high school is one of the most significant. I feel like this because I think this is one of the first times

the oil revenue directly into the Consolidated Fund is to ensure that, at the very best (assuming no sticky fingers), the money will not be fritted away in pork barrel showy schemes, with no long-term impact on our sustainable development. The OFND will have to ensure that the oil industry does not blossom at the expense of other previously important production sectors, such as agriculture and fishing; to ensure that the economy diversifies into manufacturing and higher technologies; and involve all sections of the society through the funding of a development bank.

To current seniors: if you are uncertain about what you want to do, seriously consider a gap year. They can be beneficial, if done right. Don’t let anyone pressure you into making a snap decision; e.g. starting to work at a job you don’t really like just because people keep judging you for “doing nothing”. Don’t just make up your mind on a major just so that you can have an answer when people ask you. Take the time to investigate everything. A year spent in contemplation is nothing compared to a lifetime stuck in a career you hate.



ver the years, the Guyana Amazon Warriors have come extremely close to lifting the Hero Caribbean Premier League’s trophy but never quite made it across the finish line and according to Warrior Devendra Bishoo the team is hungry this year. “This year we have a good bunch of guys, the previous years we had a good guys and stuff but this year I think everybody is more hungry for it. Over the years, we have been reaching finals, semis and we just need the one push more and I think we got it this


Bishoo in action for the Guyana Amazon Warriors

year.” The 32-year-old Berbician said the aim is to take one match at a time and ensure that they perform their best. He noted that they will now commence training since most of the squad arrived in Guyana ahead of the August 8 bowl off. “We have to put in the work when it comes to training because some the other teams start training already and we are now starting. We just have to believe in our ability, believe in our process, believe in ourselves and focus on one game at a time and take it step by step. Don’t look at the fi-

nal because we haven’t qualified as yet so take it one by one and enjoy it the whole tournament.” Bishoo has long been looked upon as the man to revive leg-spin bowling in the West Indies. Having churned out wickets at the domestic level for Guyana, Bishoo's turning point came in the 2010 West Indies T20 tournament, when he helped Guyana win the tournament and also helped them qualify for the Champions League T20. He won the Man of the series in that tournament, picking up 10 wickets in four matches at an astonishing average of

8.20 and with a superb economy rate of 5.12. Guyana put on a poor show at the Champions League, but Bishoo came out of the tournament with his head held high. His attacking style of bowling won him many admirers and he was chosen to play in the 2011 World Cup. He made his debut against England at Chennai, India and made an immediate impression. He changed the course of the match by picking up the key wickets of Jonathan Trott, Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright and ended up with 3/34 in his 10 overs. It was this fine spell that announced him on the world stage. He continued to progress upwards. He had a wonderful T20 debut against Pakistan when he picked up 4/17 to help the Windies to victory. This earned him his first Man of the Match award. He continued to torment Pakistan in the ODI series with 11 wickets at an average of 17.18. It was indeed a proud mo-

A younger Devendra Bishoo

ment f o r him and G u y a n a when he was awarded the Test cap on his home ground. Like in the ODIs and T20Is, he had an immediate impact by picking up 4/68. In the second innings, he shared a crucial 48-run stand with Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the last wicket to help the Windies get to safety. Bishoo credits all his success to his parents. Having lost his father 17 years ago, his mother gave him the strength to achieve his goals. Every time he goes out on the field wearing the West Indies cap, he takes a mo-

ment to remember his father, who had wanted him to be part of the West Indies. Today, looking at the rise of Devendra, Mohanlal Bishoo would be a very proud father indeed. Bishoo's immense talent saw him deservedly bag the ICC Emerging Player Award in 2011. Bishoo promises an extravagant show when the Guyana Amazon Warriors hits the field and urges Guyanese supports to come out in their numbers. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)





ew Zealander Luke Ronchi is excited to be back once again to play for the Guyana Amazon Warriors as they head into the Hero Caribbean Premier League. Ronchi was born in New Zealand and brought up in Australia and would have represented both countries on the cricketing scene. The wicket-keeper-batsman migrated to Perth, Australia at a very early age and played FirstClass cricket for Western Australia. Even during the early part of his career, Ronchi was known for playing powerful shots. With an impressive 2007-08 domestic season, he was called as a replacement for Brad Haddin against the West Indies. In the four ODIs Ronchi played, he showed his

skill with the bat and behind the stumps. Ronchi scored the third fastest fifty for an Australian in the fourth match of the West Indies series. His fifty came off just 22 balls. However, after a fine start to his ODI career, his form with the bat declined and subsequently, was dropped from the state side as well. After Ronchi was overlooked by Western Australia's think-tank, he shifted to the country of his birth. The Wellington set-up gave him a contract and he immediately made an impact, scoring runs and having a good time behind the wickets. After qualifying to play for New Zealand in 2013, he was called up for the series against England. Ronchi has been considered as a specialist in


the shorter formats of the game. He has been a regular member of the ODI and T20I squads since his New Zealand debut. He has played some crucial innings coming down the order. He scored back-toback fifties against South Africa at home in October 2014, before doing reasonably well against Pakistan in the UAE. He and Grant Elliott also ripped apart Sri Lanka's bowling attack to stitch a record sixthwicket stand of 267 in the fifth ODI of the sevenmatch series in Dunedin. Consistent performances made him a certainty in the squad for the 2015 World Cup. New Zealand had a historical World Cup in 2015 as they finished runners-up, the first instance of the Kiwis making the finals in the show-

piece tournament's history. In 2017, the team management decided to push Ronchi to the opening slot in ODIs in a bid to create momentum at the top. The plan was with an eye on the Champions Trophy in England the same year and Ronchi did start to get his touch back. Ronchi has been a superstar in T20 leagues and continues to

enjoy himself there. Nicknamed “The Rock”, the 36 year-old made a sudden impact in last season’s CPL immediately following his late arrival to the Guyana Amazon Warriors squad. Despite playing just four games for the Warriors after being drafted in for adopted Kiwi country-man and teammate Martin Guptill; the right-hander

carved 172 runs at an average of 57.3 with two fifty plus scores including a best of 70. The wicket-keeper/ batsman racked up 14 fours and 9 sixes during his brief run but played a crucial role as his 70 helped knock the then defending champs Jamaica Tallawahs out of the tourney.(Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)


12, 2018|

Feature 39

Full name: Gajanand Singh Born: October 3, 1987, Berbice, Guyana Current age: 30 years 304 days Major teams: Guyana, Guyana Amazon Warriors, West Indies Under-19s Batting style: Left-hand bat Bowling style: Left-arm medium One of the many trophies


f you enjoyed Gajanand Singh’s show-stopping performance in the Hero Caribbean Premier League 2017 tournament, then you are in for a treat this year as the Berbician promises an even bigger and better spectacle. Singh is currently returning for his second stint with the Guyana Amazon Warriors. He said it is a plea-

sure to be back on the squad noting that it is an opportunity to show what Guyanese cricketers are capable of. Last year, Singh batted brilliantly for the Warriors and led them to their first victory in the tournament. “It’s all about giving your best shot in the field and off the field and do your best for the team and produce in whatever situation you find yourself in. This year the fans can expect a bigger and better show. They will see the entire team working to get us over the finish line and lift that trophy we so want.” Singh made his firstclass debut in 2008 for Guyana against

Jamaica. It was for the Guyana Amazon Warriors that he made his T20 debut against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. However, Singh is a talented but underutilized cricketer. Singh was lost in the mix after his last firstclass outing in 2011, however, now that he is back in the mix he plans to give a more productive effort to fulfil his dream of playing Test Cricket one day. As early as youth cricket Singh was earmarked as one for the future, however, after playing at the ICC U-19 Youth World Cup and debuting at the first class level two years later, he faded from the scene. There were always concerns about his absence from the local scene. Nevertheless, after a hiatus from the game, he resumed

playing in professional leagues outside of Guyana and due to his strides in those leagues he was encouraged to pursue his original dream which is to play at the international level. Every step he takes he is getting closer and he believes once he is given a fair opportunity he will reach there quickly base on self-application and maturity. He is grateful for the support from his family, friends and players. “It’s always amazing to play cricket at a high level and even better to represent your home country. To be given the opportunity to play for thousands of fans here in Guyana and across the Caribbean and even fans who are overseas is one that I cherish and look forward to performing,” he says. Singh is promising

Gajanand on strike

his all on the field and is urging the Warriors fans to rally around them as they hope to capture the trophy this year. The Warriors have already begun training

and the guys are in top form waiting to hit the field against St Kitts and Nevis on August 9. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)



Guyana’s First Lady takes ICT Workshop to Lethem


irst Lady Mrs Sandra Granger on Monday declared open the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Training Programme involving more than 30 participants in Lethem, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine). The three-week training programme, conducted by the Office of the First Lady in collab-

oration with the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) and the Social Protection Ministry, will take place in the dormitory of the St Ignatius Secondary School at St Ignatius Village in the Rupununi. In her remarks, the First Lady urged the participants to pursue education relentlessly in order to adapt to technological advances. “You

are living in an age of lifelong education. Nothing stays the same… You [must] understand that technology is always changing, and this is impacting your lives even in ways that you don’t recognise at this point in time. Technology is playing a huge role in how we live our lives today… Every single day things are changing, and this is going to impact First Lady Sandra Granger is flocked by participants of the three-week ICT workshop along with regional officials and organisers of the programme

our lives in many ways… All these things are happening, and you need to be aware of it. You need to be on the cutting edge of this technology,” she is quoted by the Ministry of Presidency as saying. The First Lady has encouraged the participants to take the workshop seriously, as the certificate awarded upon completion bears weight in the professional world. “Some of the graduates have already been employed by the National Data Management Authority to do data entry… People have gotten employment… This certificate is a serious certificate which is signed and recognised by the Board of Industrial Training… and this is recognised not only in Guyana, but regionally… This is a serious certificate, and I

would like you to address it with the seriousness that we have put into it,” she said. Vice Chairman of BIT, Donald Ainsworth, said the programme would prepare the participants to be the final solutions to problems which may plague their region. Meanwhile, Regional Chairman Brian Allicock has encouraged the participants to build a solid support system among themselves, and to absorb as much as they can during the training. In addition to the ICT skills, the participants will learn communication and time management skills, and cover subjects in robotics, literacy, numeracy, micro enterprising, and sexual and reproductive health.




oshon Shonelle Primus may not be as well-known as some of his fellow Warriors, but his talent is what defines him. The hard-hitting, dynamic Bajan is a force to be reckoned with when he is on the field and that makes him an ideal player for the selectors. Primus will celebrate his 23rd birthday in just a matter of days, and hopes to continue on the upward trajectory in his cricketing career. The young cricketer, who grew up in St Peter, remembers his childhood as one filled with sporting activities. Apart from cricket, he can play a good game of tennis as well as score a few goals on the football field. Primus received his education at the Coleridge and Parry Secondary School in Ashton Hall, St Peter. He said that his love for the game developed at the age of 12 and like most cricketers he just could not get the game out of his head. “At the beginning, it was like a hobby for me and just playing for the love of the game. As time passed, I started to think about travelling the world and make a life from cricket, so I worked hard and continue to work hard at it achieving that dream.� The all-rounder made his First-Class debut for Trinidad and Tobago in the 201617 Regional FourDay Competition on November 11, 2016. During his debut, he took seven wickets for 68 runs with six of those wickets coming for 30 runs. His superb bowling would lead to

Trinidad and Tobago winning with nine wickets to spare. He made his List A debut for Trinidad and Tobago in the 2016-17 Regional Super50 on January 27, 2017 and made his Twenty20 debut for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2017 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on August 11, 2017. Primus describes his cricketing style as dynamic, adding that it is an absolute pleasure to represent the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the second time. He says Warriors fans can expect a spectacle with the current team, adding that the squad this year is a beast. This year, the Warriors squad is being described as a force to be reckoned with. They would be led by veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik. Malik, who is just three runs short of 7000 international ODI runs, is rated among the best limited-overs players in the world currently with almost 10,000 T20 runs in total, under his belt. The other members of the squad are Sohail Tanvir, Chadwick Walton, Cameron Delport, Rayad Emrit, Imran Tahir, Jason Mohammed, Luke Ronchi, Veerasammy Permaul, Roshon Primus, Devendra Bishoo, Gajanand Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul, Saurabh Netravalkar, and Akshaya Persaud. The Hero CPL Tournament bowls off on August 8 with the first Guyana match on August 8.(Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Feature 41





44 Feature


he Guyana Amazon Warriors is said to be in good hands this year under the captaincy of ‘Jackof-all-trades” Shoaib Malik. Malik brings with him almost two decades of experience and is one of the most dynamic T20 cricketers. A 17-year-old Malik debuted against West Indies in October 1999. His bowling style was a mirror motion picture of Saqlain Mushtaq and he scalped 2 wickets in his first game. But with time, batting took precedence and the first time he was promoted to number 4 in the batting order, Shoaib grabbed the bull by its horns and got a hundred against West Indies at Sharjah. A couple of games later, he



was asked to open and he vindicated the move with a splendorous ton against the Kiwis at Lahore. The bowling though continued to add to his dimension but received a jolt in 2004, when he was reported for a suspect action, only to be cleared after a few months. His batting though was enough a reason in the shorter formats to keep his place despite losing a bit of his potency thanks to his remodelled action. Shoaib's love for India is second to none. His three top scores in ODIs are all against India. The stand outs being - 143 in 2004 at Colombo, Sri Lanka in an Asia Cup game and a majestic 128, where he literally 'cut' his way through the Indian bowling attack to dismantle them in

ohail Tanvir is a well-known name in the cricketing world and he is known as a beast when it comes to bowling, especially in the T20 format of the game. This year the Guyana Amazon Warriors have retained him once again as they seek to win the coveted Hero Caribbean Premier League trophy. The left-armer Tanvir made all the right noise when he burst onto the scene with his wrong-footed leap and delivery stride. Breaking the stereotype, his left foot landed ahead of the right one as he delivered the ball to bamboozle the batters with his incisive lines and his awkward action. A repertoire of slower balls also has the batsmen in soup. The Pakistani cricketer started his first class career as a bowling allrounder. He also bowls occasional left arm orthodox spin. With consistent allround shows in the domestic circuit, Tanvir's selection to the national team was just a matter of time. It came in the year 2007 when he was picked as Shoaib Akhtar's replacement for the inaugural World T20 Championships.

a Champions Trophy game in 2009 at Centurion. No wonder his ODI average against India is almost 50, compared to his career average which is in the mid 30's. His performance in the whites was a lot to be desired and didn't really seem convincing. He debuted in 2001 in Tests and after sparring appearances retired in late 2015 against England. He had come back to the Test team after almost 5 years and celebrated that with a double hundred in his comeback Test. But he decided to hang his boots after the third Test saying he wanted to focus completely on the shorter formats. A double ton and a couple of ducks in his swansong series talks a lot about the oscillation

He had a fairly successful tournament, picking up 6 wickets from 6 matches and earned a spot in the ODI squad for the home series against South Africa. He retained his spot for the tour of India, and earned a Test call up as a replacement for the injured Umar Gul. But a couple of Tests in India were the only games for Tanvir in whites as after that he was type-cast as a white ball bowler. Just when it looked like his career was going upwards, a big roadblock stalled his progress. Soon after the World T20 Championships in 2009, a major knee injury hit Tanvir and forced him out of cricket for more than a year. After missing major tours which included New Zealand, Australia and England apart from the T20 World Cup in 2010, Tanvir returned only in December when he was picked for all 3 formats on the tour of New Zealand. However, he was pulled out of the tour at the last minute as Pakistan Cricket Board was not satisfied with his recovery from injury. Tanvir returned to the domestic circuit and

of inconsistency that he was as a Test performer. His greatest moment as a Test player though was a dogged 148* off 369 balls against Sri Lanka in 2006, where he batted an entire day to save the day for Pakistan. That was the first of the three tons he scored in the whites in his 35 appearances. An average of 35.14 to end with was a major disappointment for someone who had the resolve, technique and the shots to succeed in the premier format of the game. His T20 exploits are well documented and he led Pakistan to the finale in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and was a key member of the T20 World Cup triumph in 2009 in England. Though he was out of favour for the ODIs

proved his fitness and was picked again for the ODI leg of the New Zealand series. Tanvir was named in the World Cup 2011 squad but was left out at the last minute yet again as PCB wanted an injury-free squad. He returned to the squad only on the tour of Zimbabwe in September 2011. Meanwhile the caravan of T20 leagues had started and Tanvir represented the Rajasthan Royals Franchise in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League and ended the tournament as the highest wicket taker with 22 scalps to his name. It included a record spell of 6-14 against the Chennai Super Kings. The IPL opened the doors to a barrage of T20 leagues

for a period of 2 years after the Champions Trophy in 2013, it has never been the case in the shortest format. He plays for Karachi Kings in the PSL and has also played in the BBL and CPL for Hobart Hurricanes and Barbados Tridents respectively. He was dropped from the ODI side after a poor campaign for Pakistan in the 2013 Champions Trophy but once he made a comeback post the 2015 World Cup, his average and Strike rates have swelled up. The entire Guyana Amazon Warriors squad is confident in Malik’s ability to lead them to the cup. The Warriors would play their first match on August 9 against St Kitts. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

and Tanvir became one of the sought after travellers, playing his trade all over the world in the shortest format of the game. After being part of every T20 World Cup since the start, Tanvir was not picked for the 2016 edition. Form and injuries have continued to plague him and he made a comeback of some sorts to the T20 team in the tour to Windies, playing 3 T20Is but with modest returns. Sohail hasn't played an ODI since December 2014. Tanvir is in tiptop shape this year and ready to hit the field with the squad. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)



46 news


Dr Harold Davis Jr is new CEO of GuySuCo


fter a long hiatus, Government is optimistic that a new board for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will be appointed soon, even as it has emerged that a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has already been appointed. This revelation was made during a post-Cabinet press briefing hosted by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on Monday. According to Harmon, the new CEO is Dr Harold Davis Jr, who is the son of late former Chairman of GuySuCo, Harold Davis and the entity’s Director of agricultural services. According to the Minister, Dr Davis was appointed last week and will be taking up his duties from Monday. He will take over from acting CEO Paul Bhim, who had held the reins of director of finance. Bhim himself took over from former CEO Errol Hanoman, who parted ways with the Corporation last year when his contract came to an end. “The consideration for a Board of the entity is well advanced and I believe that by the end of this week or early next week, we will have the announcement of a Board of Directors for GuySuCo,” Harmon said. When it comes to the divestment itself, Harmon revealed that English firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was likely to complete its evaluation by the end of September. He

also revealed that there have been numerous expressions of interest (EoIs) from investors. “Those estates are up for divestment. The divestment process has taken some time, because it’s a requirement for us to have a careful assessment of the value of these assets,” Harmon explained. “The fact that the estates were never independent entities of themselves, it means that the entity, apart from a valuation, will require a separation of them from the whole. So every estate will have to have a demarcation of what the assets are. “In the meantime, based on the work that has already been done, there are some advertisements with respect to expressions of interest. We have some very exciting EoIs. Not only for the four estates up for divestment. We have proposals for the entire industry, including the three estates that remain in GuySuCo. There’s a lot of interest and we want to take our time to make sure we get it right.” The previous GuySuCo board expired since February of this year and a new board with Special Purpose Unit (SPU) Head ColvinHeath London was gazetted. It subsequently emerged, however, that the old board was still in effect amid reports of a split at Cabinet over the new board’s composition. Since then, there has been much confusion over the matter. It has been recently reported that, through the Chamber of


O New GuySuCo CEO, Dr Harold Davis Jr

Commerce in Delhi, India, several Indian companies have indicated interest in investing in the local sugar industry, or acquiring assets therein. The SPU has also been able to secure a syndicated bond worth G$30 billion to assist with the revitalisation of GuySuCo. HeathLondon said the loan has been acquired at good rates, with several banks participating. The idea behind the borrowing of this syndicated bond is to assist the SPU with the reopening of the estates, to facilitate providing proof to potential investors that the estates are viable. Over 5000 sugar workers from Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon were dismissed from their jobs following the downsizing of the sugar industry, which began to take effect in late 2017.

Essequibo Coast electrocution

Victim had steel in leg following accident T

he relatives of 24-yearold Orin Cozier who was electrocuted on Monday on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are still in a state of shock and disbelief at his death. This newspaper was told that the young man, who had been employed with the Public Infrastructure Ministry up to the time of his demise, had travelled to Region Two with a few other colleagues on Saturday last to complete some work. Leorme Cozier, a sister of the late Orin Cozier, told Guyana Times International that family members received the dreadful news of her brother’s demise at about 15:00h on Monday, and his father immediately travelled up to the Essequibo Coast to get firsthand information on what had taken place. The aggrieved sister related that, based on reports received, her brother was apparently heading to Supenaam when he saw a friend, and as such, he disembarked the vehicle in which he was travelling and accosted his friend. The friend he had seen, Asif Azeez, was at the time supervising workers as they ran electric wires to facilitate the instal-

Dead: Orin Cozier

lation of street lights. Her late brother and Azeez were chatting while simultaneously holding an electric wire when it came in contact with a transformer that energised it with over 6000 volts, and the resultant electric shock reportedly tossed Azeez and

Cozier several feet away, both landing on the roadway. Cozier, in an unconscious state, while Azeez, having sustained severe injuries, were both rushed to the Suddie Hospital, where Cozier was pronounced dead on arrival and Azeez was admitted a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).His condition is listed as stable. In a solemn voice, Leorme Cozier explained that her now dead brother had, a few years ago, been involved in an accident, and as a result, steel had to be placed in one of his legs. “I guess it was because of the steel in his foot he died… At the time too, he was not wearing safety boots, so the current pitch him”, the sister noted. At her home on Tuesday, she noted that family members are still coming to grips with her brother’s death, and that his body will be transported to the city on Thursday. At the late Orin Cozier’s Lot 30 Dowding Street, Kitty Georgetown home, his mother was too distraught to speak with this publication. She said her husband would be the most appropriate person to give details of the unfortunate and deadly incident.


ne of the signs of the changing times in our dear old motherland is the insistence on controlling what we are “called”. The Bard of Avon might have asked “what’s in a name” on the assumption that ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, but today some firmly reject his advice. Take the people who were here before Columbus “discovered” them in 1492. Since he was looking for India via a sea route, and figured he’d succeeded in his mission, he dubbed the people he saw as “Indians”. The name stuck, even though it was quickly realised that the land wasn’t India, but a “New World”. Remember that famous British poem “There was an Indian”? But others disingenuously genuflected to the reality by distinguishing them as “American Indians”, which was shortened to “Amerindians”. This was the name the colonials accepted – as well as the PNC Government that succeeded them – and was popularised by the “Amerindian Act” that purported to give official recognition to their land claims… Over in the US, after protests over the retention of the “Indian” misnomer, the powers-that-be called them “Native Americans” to recognise their first presence. Other groups, especially in South America, insisted they be called “Indigenous Peoples” – which is a synonym for “native” – which was deemed offensive because of centuries of colonial use of the term as synonymous for “uncivilised”. Like in “the natives” are getting restless, we have to send in the troops! When the PPP took office, they quickly moved to amend the Amerindian Act to give effect to the land rights through titling. During the debate in Parliament, several supporters demanded the name be changed to “Indigenous Peoples Act”, to recognise how they defined themselves. The PPP retained “Amerindian” – even as they created an eponymous Ministry. With the change of government in 2015, the PNCcoalition quickly changed the Ministry to “Indigenous Peoples”. One would’ve thought “Indigenous” was okay, since, according to the dictionary, it means “naturally existing in a place or country, rather than arriving from another place”. So it was with some surprise your Eyewitness was informed that, in their just-concluded familiarisation meetings, the representatives of the Indigenous Peoples requested they be designated “First Peoples”! He wonders why the new name. Interestingly, the Chronicle, in its editorial “A land for all Guyanese, wherever”, claimed African Guyanese “can rightly lay claim to having indigenised the Land”. Your Eyewitness is now even more confused. He checked his dictionary and saw that “indigenise” means: “to cause to have indigenous characteristics, adapt to indigenous conditions or practices,” and “to cause to be chiefly of an indigenous personnel.” …forestation Back in the day when Jagdeo was President, some folks thought he was smoking some of that Mahaica-grown ganja when he implicitly threatened to increase Guyana’s rate of deforestation unless we got paid!! Especially the PNC and AFC opposition. But the man had a point. Forests act as “carbon sinks” – that is, they sequester carbon out of the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, where they act to increase global warming. The critics were taken aback when Norway manned-up and paid US$250 million for our contribution to fighting climate change!! But what’s happened since?? After all, our rate of deforestation is still very low. Well, an official from Government’s Climate Change Unit has claimed that BECAUSE of our low deforestation, we’re not getting any money!! What has changed?? Just the man defining the problem! Jagdeo let on that Guyana might just ramp up our deforestation – which would not just reduce our “carbon sink,” but actually ADD carbon dioxide into the atmosphere!! We need folks with chutzpah at the (green) helm!! …skies Your Eyewitness was astounded that 192 countries – practically the entire UN!! – will be coming to Guyana for a Civil Aviation Conference. To a country with one international airline? Oi vey!! Better not have that NY Times reporter hear about this!!



Guyana Govt to build humanitarian centres for Venezuelan migrants



…the music (of journalists)!

echnically, your Eyewitness figures he’s a member of the journalistic community – the “fourth estate” sounds a bit too high falutin’ for his taste!! So he hopes his comments on their recent request will be taken in good stead. He’s referring to the “seniors” lobbying for a lobby to get President David Granger to host more press conferences. Well, that won’t be difficult to do, since he only held two in the three years he’s been in office!! Now, this won’t be the first “lobby” on this subject; more than a year after the first one in October 2015, civil society groups pilloried the President for the dearth of press conferences, and he grudgingly promised to do better when he got back from the CariCom HOG in early July 2017. Well, it must’ve slipped his mind, because it wasn’t until Dec 15, 2017 that he invited the press corps to meet him at State House. Now, it could be that by this time the President had painted the building a putrid colour of green, because he said the Government was “going green”!! But your Eyewitness can’t remember any of the journalists there actually “bearding” the President. And this was even though the topic de jour was the US$18 million Exxon bonus, which had been secreted away in the Bank of Guyana!! Granger bluntly told the journalists – and all the “old heads” there – “I don’t accept the way we handled the bonus was illegal”!! And not a dog barked!! The performance was in no way different from the stage-managed affairs the President used to have on a programme his office produced called “Public Interest”! Your Eyewitness wants to know: if these assembled journalists weren’t prepared to follow up the President’s bald assertion on such an egregious act, what exactly will they be asking him if he finally agrees to another press conference by year end?? Will they be pinning him down to some substantive answers? The bottom line is: your Eyewitness thinks the press is going about this matter half-assed backwards. So what if the President doesn’t want to face the press? From the two he’s held, do they think they’ll get a straight answer on anything? This man practised journalism for more years that most of the journalists who’ll face him. What the press ought to be doing – as they ought to be doing with anyone they want to write about — is focus on his ACTIONS, not words!! Analyse those actions – such as unilaterally appointing the GECOM chair; the energy czar; or (soon) the Chancellor of the Judiciary! And write what those actions mean – whether for the “good life” he promised Guyanese, or for “good governance” he promised Guyana! …the verdict on “green” energy A bureaucrat had to admit what no one in the Government dared do: on the centrepiece strategy defining their administration – all green energy by 2025 – they’ve failed!! Now, if you can’t succeed in your number one goal, what can we expect on the other goals? Shall we bring up sensitive matters, such as a “Code of Conduct”, and such like?? Naah…Your Eyewitness has those Warriors games in his eye, and as such, he can’t help but be kind!! What exactly is the PNC-led Government’s problem with executing a green-energy strategy, especially when the predecessor PPP administration had the identical aim – only they called it “Low Carbon Development Strategy” (LCDS)? And that’s the problem right there, isn’t it?? When you’re cogging wholesale, you’ve got to be different in some way, so as not to make it too obvious! And in green-energy sufficiency, the wankers decided to ignore Amaila Falls Hydro – which even the Norwegians told them was THE ONLY way to go!! They’ve cut Guyana’s nose to save their face!! …favouritism and unilateralism Everybody’s been wondering why the President picked a fella with absolutely NO experience in oil and gas to be his energy czar. Well it took an academic to give the answer. The man’s been writing for Granger’ since 1996!! Book learning is it!!


Some of the refugees in Region One

ollowing calls by Region One (Barima-Waini) Chairman Brentnol Ashley recently for Government and donor agencies to provide more assistance to Venezuelan refugees, the Administration on Monday signalled its intention to construct several facilities to respond to the Venezuelan influx. This was announced by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at his post-Cabinet briefing. “We are going to build facilities to respond to where the Venezuelan citizens are coming from,” Harmon noted. The centres would likely be built in Region One and reports stated that a multi-agency committee, comprising the Guyana Police Force and the Citizenship and Public Health Ministries, will oversee the establishment of the Government- controlled centres. Guyana Times International was told that Citizenship Minister Winston Felix was expected to vis-


it the Region later this week and it was expected that official numbers could be released afterwards. Venezuelan refugees mainly from the Warrau tribe have been fleeing the economic and political turmoil in the Spanish-speaking country. Chairman Ashley recently called on Government and donor agencies to provide more assistance to the refugees. He, in fact, pointed out that the refugees were continuing to put a strain on the Region’s medical resources, adding that the numbers have reached some 500. According to information provided, there are over 30 persons living along the Yarakita community while over 55 foreigners have taken up boarding at Kaneville. It was also noted that Whitewater recorded the most significant number of settlers with 236 while another community, Kamwatta, had over 60. Only days ago, Government noted that the 260 confirmed Venezuelan refu-

gees are occupying areas in Region One. Ashley told this publication on Saturday that immigration officers have been accompanying the team visiting the various communities to confirm just how many Venezuelan persons have actually taken up residence here. This should clear up the anomalies. Ashley said too that he was looking forward to Citizenship Minister Felix’s visit and along with a Civil Defence Commission (CDC) team to address the growing numbers of persons fleeing to Guyana. Ashley stressed that refugees needed not only food supplies but clothing as well, as Government and other donor agencies provided in the past. Many in the area have expressed concern for the safety, health, and accommodation of the migrants and the locals who live around them. However, it was reported last month that the refugees were undergoing health screening, as several were found to have malaria. Also, some persons displayed signs and symptoms of tuberculosis and others were reportedly HIV-positive. Venezuelan nationals have been crossing into Guyana, especially at Region One, to seek medical treatment for malaria. Ashley previously noted that the Region’s 2018 Budget currently did not have funds to provide for these refugees, but agencies such as Food For The Poor, the CDC and other good Samaritans, provided limited clothing and food items to the refugees. Many of them are from the Warrau tribe and many reside along the border with Guyana.

Cricket, sweet (Texas) Cricket!

atiricus was elated at the news about his favourite Cricket team – the Guyana Amazon Warriors. His buddies may be focused on the new crop of players who’d be trying to go all the way this year; and that was nothing to sneeze at, conceded Satiricus to himself as he ambled into the Back Street Bar. But imagine being sponsored by Exxon – the biggest oil company in the USA!! “Abee hear de news, Sato,” said Cappo to Satiricus, who hadn’t realised he’d spoken aloud when he reached the fellas at their favourite table. “But dem bais still gat fuh play harda!” said Bungi, as he pushed a beer towards Satiricus. “But do you realise the motivation to the players to be in the company of a world class WINNING company?” asked Satiricus excitedly. “Well, Exxon certainly showed your government how to win!” said Hari. “Look what they did to all the googlies Trot Man said he bowled against them!!” “But wha’ dem Texas people know ‘bout cricket?” asked Cappo.

“Well T20 is very similar to baseball,” replied Satiricus. “And, last year, the Houston Astros won the World Series, after a loss 12 years before!” “Me glad fuh hear da,” said Bungi. “Abee bais just need wan lil push fuh win de final!” “So what are you fellas taking to the game on Thursday?” asked Hari. “I’m bringing dhall puri and fowl curry as usual.” “Budday, yuh bettah tell yuh wife abee na wan’ none laang-wata curry!” chuckled Cappo. “Bunjal de t’ing dong dry!!” “OK…OK..” smiled Satiricus. “But what about the fry fish for us to snack on? Bungi, please don’t bring banga again this year?” “Sato, ole fr’en’, doan worry. Dis year a gill-bakka pan de menu!” said Bungi. “Evah since dem “’merican ban gill-baaka, price gaan dong!!” “Bungi, don’t get carried away,” said Hari. “You know we like “fine” fish for snacking.” “But dem days gaan!” said Cappo. “Abee get Texas spansa…and wid Texas people ev’ry-t’ing gat fuh be de BIGGES’!!” “So I’ll bring Texas Fried Chicken this year!” grinned Satiricus.

48 Bollywood

I am the best mother I can be: Sunny Leone


unny Leone, who started off as an adult film star and ventured into Bollywood with Jism 2 in 2012, is right now in love with her life as it is unfolding. She is not just managing a career, but also enjoying her time being a mother of three — something that has helped her change and evolve. The Canadian-born IndianAmerican actor was named Penthouse Pet of the Year in 2003 and shifted her focus to mainstream acting in Hindi films with Jism 2, following it up with Ragini MMS 2, Ek Paheli Leela, Kuch Kuch Locha Hai, Mastizaade and Tera Intezaar. Asked if she feels content when she looks back at her journey from Karenjit Kaur Vohra to Sunny Leone, she told IANS in an e-mail interview from Los Angeles, “Yes, because I love my life now.” Her life has inspired a digital platform series titled Karenjit Kaur: The Untold Story of Sunny Leone. Did she have any initial apprehensions about putting her entire life out for the world to know? “Yes, many. But what swayed me to do it is that the story would be told in a way that I was comfortable with… the true story and not something that people believe it to be,” said Sunny, who entered Indian showbiz via a stint in the reality TV show Bigg Boss 5. Last year, the actress, who is married to Daniel Weber, took everyone by surprise when she announced that she and her husband had adopted girl child named Nisha from a village in Latur. Another surprise came in March, when


aran Johar, who has helmed romantic dramas like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, says many actors, who emote volumes through their eyes on screen, are able to do so because they have been through failed relationships. “I think actors who haven’t had broken hearts, don’t perform the way they should. I feel if you are a good actor, you must have had a broken heart. It’s not possible otherwise for you to depict a certain kind of emo-


she shared that the two had extended their brood by including two more children — sons Noah and Asher — via surrogacy. Sunny, who is currently seen hosting season 11 of youth-based reality show Splitsvilla on MTV, says motherhood has changed her. “I have changed and evolved but I believe (it has happened) for the better. I look at all three of them and am completely, utterly in love with them,” she said. With three toddlers to give attention to, will her career slow down? “I believe I am the best mother I can be if I am working and spending time with them. I love my job and I hope my children grow up to be just as hardworking as my husband and I,” said Sunny. The 37-year-old actress says Daniel and she have scheduled their “time carefully so that our children do not ever feel a lack of attention, care or love”. Ever since her debut in Bollywood, Sunny has faced flak, trolls and criticism. She finds it immature and not necessary. “I try to brush it off and move past the hate always. I believe myself not to be a negative person so I have to find the positives in life and in people to do my job. That will never change in me. But I am affected and more annoyed from time to time at the nonsense the media comes up with or random groups come up with. It is immature and not necessary,” she said. (Indian Express)

tion on celluloid,” said Karan. “Sometimes your eyes do depict your heart story. Many of them whose eyes speak volumes, they’ve been through that journey in life. You know when the actor hasn’t been through this and is merely touching the surface. There’s no feel, because feel comes from history,” Karan said during the launch of the second season of his radio show Calling Karan. Also present at the launch were Imtiaz Ali, Neha Dhupia and Rannvijay Singha. As Karan gave his two cents on actors and heartbreaks, Imtiaz quickly added, “We also know that some actors are trying to go through that experience (heartbreak) to become better actors.” To which Karan Johar replied, “Many times they do that purposely. Traumatise themselves so that they perform better.” (Indian Express)

Priyanka Chopra’s ‘The Sky Is Pink’ goes on floors


riyanka Chopra’s next Bollywood project The Sky Is Pink is all set to go on floors. The actor on Wednesday morning shared photos with her The Sky Is Pink director Shonali Bose and co-stars Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim. Producers of the film Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur can also be seen in the photos. The caption of the photos read, “I’m

13. While Zaira Wasim will be essaying the role of Aisha, Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar will play her parents in the movie. The film has been written by Margarita with a Straw fame Shonali Bose and the dialogues have been penned by writer Juhi Chaturvedi. Meanwhile, Entertainment website Collider has reported that Universal Pictures has put on hold the Chris

so excited and happy about today... Some stories just need to be told. In the spirit of Aisha Chaudhry and her incredible parents Aditi and Niren we bring you our tentatively titled super special project The Sky is pink. Going on floors today. God Speed. rsvpmovies @roykapurfilms @faroutakhtar @shonalibose_ @zairawasim_.” The Sky Is Pink revolves around Aisha Chaudhary, who became a motivational speaker after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis at the age of

Pratt and Priyanka Chopra film Cowboy Ninja Viking. The movie was previously set to release on June 28, 2019. Cowboy Ninja Viking is based on the Image Comics graphic novel by A.J. Lieberman and illustrator Riley Rossmo. While details about Priyanka’s character are still unknown, Pratt will play an agent with the skills and personalities of a cowboy, a ninja, and a viking. (Indian Express)


enelia D’Souza, who celebrated her 31st birthday on Sunday, cannot stop gushing about her husband Riteish Deshmukh. Genelia took to Instagram to share photos of birthday presents from her hubby. The actor also confessed that Riteish always finds a way to make her feel special. Riteish, like a loving husband, baked a cake for his wife on her birthday. Sharing the photo of the adorable gift, Genelia wrote, “So yesterday was my birthday and I just feel once you are a mom you kinda forget about yourself most often but thank god for @ riteishd .. he finds ways to make me feel special and he baked me this most gorgeous yummiest caramel cheesecake.. I’ve known Riteish all these years and cooking or baking was never something he thought of attempting but for us he did and apart from him being sooo good at it, him doing it for you, makes the world go round … N hey that was just #surprise no.1”

Apart from his first ever cooking attempt, Riteish also tried his hand at painting for the very first time. Sharing

old to celebrate and more importantly celebrate Life.. I know you are going to be embarrassed I posted this but gratitude

the painting, a proud wife Genelia wrote, “N then came something even more special.. HIS FIRST EVER PAINTING … @riteishd I love you and that’s part of my world and part of what I do in a heartbeat but how could I not, when you think of making things special for me, when you make sure my day goes just the way I like it and most importantly when you make me feel we are never too

is something we take for granted and I’m not doing that anymore.. I’m so proud of you and if that means shouting it out from the rooftops I would do that in a jiffy.. #lovemakestheworldgoround #Thisisus” The couple tied the knot in 2012 and welcomed their first child, Riaan, in November 2014. Their second son Rahyl Deshmukh was born in June 2016. (Indian Express)


Hollywood star Robert Redford announces retirement from acting


movie on DC’s superhero Supergirl is in development. Screenwriter Oren Uziel, known for The Cloverfield Paradox and 22 Jump Street, is scripting the project, Deadline reported. Supergirl is the cousin of Superman and has been in publication since the Silver Age in comics in the late 1950s. It is not yet clear whether the movie will fall under the DC film universe umbrella.


Supergirl or Kara ZorEl is the Man of Steel’s older cousin who arrived on earth later than him from her own planet, Krypton, after having spent some time in suspended animation. She is one of the last surviving Kryptonians. There is a CW TV series on the character, but Melissa Benoist, the actress who plays Supergirl in the series, is unlikely to be hired for the film since unlike Marvel, DC’s TV

merican actor Andy Samberg says he is appreciative about the “big and incredible” world of Bollywood, and is willing to explore it. “I am not familiar with the films specifically, but I have known of Bollywood for a long time. But I don’t watch them because I just never have. But the stuff I have seen looks incredible. The production value is so massive,” Samberg said in response to an IANS query over email. “And yes, I would consider singing for one.” Samberg’s humour made him a YouTube star when he started coming out with his own comedy videos with two friends, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. He then launched his comedy troupe The Lonely Island, before getting a gig on the Saturday Night Live show. Samberg has got wider audience and acclaim by attaching himself to projects like Friends With Benefits, I Love You, Man and That’s My Boy, TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the Hotel Transylvania franchise. For the animated franchise, he has lent his voice to the character of Johnny, human and husband of the vampire Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez). He was back as Johnny in Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation, which was brought to India by Sony Pictures. Expressing his love for animation, he said, “I loved a lot of them. I was really into Ralph Bakshi, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, full-on animation and I also loved… I think the first animated film I saw in the theater was The Black Cauldron… I like that movie. I really loved Fantasia while growing up.” How different is a voice-over job from acting? “It’s freeing in a way because you don’t care about what you look like. You also are not worried that you are going to be judged on the acting as much be-

shows and movies are not related. Supergirl will be another DC movie on female superheroes or comic book characters. After the success of Wonder Woman, there appear to be several such movies in development, including Batgirl, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn movie, a Gotham Sirens movie and even a Birds of Prey movie. (Indian Express)

cause they are going to be looking at a different person, a different character when they see it. “So, when the director or someone asks you to push it, take it further,

bigger, and arched, less nuanced, it’s a safer environment to do that,” said the actor, who has also made a name for himself as a comedian and a musician. The reason behind Samberg’s love for the Hotel Transylvania franchise is children. “For me, it’s how much kids love it. When you go out and friends’ kids and other family members’ kids are like ‘You’re in those, oh my God that’s so cool, we watch them over and over again’ and parents tell me, ‘My kids watch those movies over and over’. That’s an awesome thing to feel.” Hotel Transylvania tells a story of monsters and humans understanding and accepting each other. But there are other aspects to it — like love, emotion, adventure and drama. In sync with the theme of the film, Samberg went on to give dating advice and his idea of a perfect vacation. “My best dating advice would probably be just make sure that you are with someone you trust. Someone you can be your true self with. These days, just sitting down with my wife and watching television. It’s like at the end of a day that’s the most relaxed I get now. Watching like Wild, Wild Country or something,” he said while speaking of his idea of taking a break.” Is he open to do more of Hotel Transylvania? “I would certainly never go on the record saying I don’t want to do something. There are no deals, and if they make more, great.” (Indian Express)

Hollywood 49

eteran Hollywood star Robert Redford has announced his retirement from acting, saying The Old Man & The Gun would be his last film. The 81-year-old star said he is making good on his 2016 promise about hanging his boots as an actor. “Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that t h i s would be it for me in terms of acting, and (I’ll) move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21. I thought, Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive? Redford said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The Oscar-winner, who has had an illustrious and varied career as an actor, producer and director, said the story of Old Man further strengthened his desire to retire. In the David Lowery-directed film, Redford plays Forrest Tucker, the real-life career criminal in love with his self-appointed job of robbing banks and breaking out of prison.


“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life. The thing that really got me about him which I hope the film shows is he robbed 17 banks and he got caught 17 times and went to prison 17 times. But he also escaped 17 times. So it made me wonder: I wonder if he was not averse to getting caught so that he could enjoy the real thrill of his life, which is to escape?” Redford said. He, however, did not clarify whether he is also retiring from directing. “We’ll see about that,” he said when asked about committing to future directing projects. Redford won the best director Oscar for his 1980 film Ordinary People. He has directed eight other films besides founding the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival. His most notable films as an actor include The Sting, Barefoot in the Park, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Way We Were, All the President’s Men and All Is Lost. He also starred in director Ritesh Batra’s Our Souls at Night with Jane Fonda. (Indian Express)

ctors Samuel L Jackson and Cobie Smulders are all set to reprise their Marvel Cinematic Universe’s characters in Spider-Man: Far From Home. According to Vulture, Jackson will return as Nick Fury in the sequel to 2017 blockbuster Spider-Man:

was revealed by him in a social media gaffe. Michael Keaton, Zendaya and Marisa Tomei will reprise their roles. The film is also the Marvel debut of Jake Gyllenhaal, who is all set to play the antagonist, Mysterio in the film. Tom Holland earlier posted a video

Homecoming. Smulders will also reprise her role of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill. Both the characters were last seen in the post-credits scene of the summer tentpole Avengers: Infinity War. Jackson’s casting means that Nick Fury is confirmed to appear in at least two Marvel movies next year. Apart from Far From Home, the actor will also appear opposite Brie Larson in Captain Marvel, which will release on March 8, 2019. Tom Holland will return as Peter Parker/SpiderMan in the sequel, the title of which

revealing the title of the film and said, “I wanted to apologize because there is no real revelation coming out this weekend about Spider-Man 2. I don’t know much about it, I’m a little confused because I died. So I don’t really how all this comes into play but what I do know is that I’ve got the script. I’m super excited to read it and it’s gonna be great. So yeah, Spider-Man 2, let’s do this.” Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Far From Home is scheduled to release on July 5, 2019. (Indian Express)

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Brand new Hero CPL trophy launched for 2018 T

he 2018 Hero C a r i b b e a n Premier League (CPL) season is here and there has been a refresh of the trophy for this year. The sleek and modern design integrates the colourful and vibrate Hero CPL logo with a cutting edge look. Designed by Ryan McClean of Ryan McClean Silver, the new trophy will be up for grabs when the tournament gets underway on 8 August with defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders taking on St Lucia Stars. The trophy was delivered to Queen’s Park Oval by Hero CPL’s official logistics partner, eZone. Present at the unveiling were Damien O’Donohoe and Pete Russell, CEO and COO of the Hero CPL, and Dwayne Bravo and Javon Searles from the Trinbago Knight Riders.

Speaking about the vision behind the trophy McClean said: “I designed the trophy after spending time looking at the Hero CPL logo. I wanted to try and tie

the two things together. The logo, just like Hero CPL, is dynamic and colourful and I felt the trophy should mirror this. The swirls from the logo holding a cricket ball

seemed a perfect fit to reflect what Hero CPL represents – the perfect synergy of carnival and cricket.” This year will also see the arrival of the

Bouncers, the new mascots for Hero CPL. The cricket loving siblings – Vivian and Richard – will be helping to keep the crowd entertained across the tournament. They were both present at the trophy launch in Port of Spain to help celebrate the new trophy and get us ready for the upcoming tournament. Damien O’Donohoe, Hero CPL CEO said: “It’s great to be back here again at the Queen’s Park Oval. It is hard to believe for Pete and I that this is year six, we couldn’t be more excited. We definitely believe that this is going to be the biggest and best year by far. It’s great to be playing the home games here at Queen’s Park Oval and the finals at the Brian Lara Stadium. We just want to showcase our new trophy which

we’re very proud of. We had a top silversmith working on this for about six months and we think it’s first class.” Dwayne Bravo, captain of the Trinbago Knight Riders said: “It’s a pleasure for me to be standing here next to this nice trophy. Hopefully I’ll be the first captain to lift it again this year. CPL is a very good tournament, it’s one of the most successful tournaments in the world one of the most anticipated tournaments in the world. Playing the first game here at my home ground here at the Queen’s Park Oval it’s going to be a full house. I want to wish all the teams all the best in this tournament – the fans are going to get their monies worth and once again thanks to CPL for continuing to support Caribbean cricket.”

Hero CPL inks 4-year deal with FOX SPORTS Australia


he Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and FOX SPORTS Australia have announced a new partnership which will deliver LIVE coverage to Australian cricket fans over the next four years. Beginning August 8, 2018, when David Warner takes to the field for St Lucia Stars against reigning c h a m pions, Trinbago Knight Riders, F O X SPORTS will provide EXCLUSIVELY LIVE, ad-break free, during play and HD coverage of all 34 games. A number of Aussies will feature in the twomonth competition with Warner joined by Steve Smith, playing for the Barbados Tridents, Chris Lynn, Ben Cutting and Chris Green. Some of the best cricket talent from the Caribbean will be on show with the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Daren Sammy. Plus, there will be an array of global cricket superstars joining the “Biggest Party in Sport” with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Imran Tahir and Shoaib Malik. Speaking about the deal with FOX SPORTS, Hero CPL Chief Operating Officer (COO) Pete Russell said: “We are delighted to have signed a long-term commitment with FOX SPORTS Australia. It is exciting for the Hero CPL to be partnering with a broadcaster whose repu-

tation for delivering highquality cricket coverage is globally recognised. So we are thrilled that FOX SPORTS will be our home for the next four years.” Head of FOX SPORTS, Peter Campbell, said: “Fans love the excitement and action the T20 format delivers. And with so many Aussies competing in this year’s Hero CPL, including Steve Smith and Dave Warner, there is going to be plenty of interest. “ T h e tournament adds to our extensive line-up of the best local and international cricket as we gear up to deliver a massive summer of action. Every men’s Test, ODI, T20 and BBL match played in Australia plus more women’s cricket will be shown LIVE, with no ad-breaks during play on a dedicated channel, FOX Cricket.” FOX SPORTS Australia Pty Limited (FOX SPORTS) is Australia’s leading producer of sports coverage and is home to Australia’s favourite subscription television sports channels as well as Australia’s number one multi-sports website and app. FOX SPORTS compiles and produces live content across seven dedicated high-definition channels – FOX SPORTS 1, FOX LEAGUE, FOX SPORTS 3, FOX FOOTY, FOX SPORTS 5, FOX SPORTS 6 and FOX SPORTS More, all available via the Foxtel subscription television platform or available to stream via Foxtel Now.

Sport 51


CPL 2018: Bigger, wider and oozing more star power



he Caribbean Premier League returns for its sixth season, with Trinbago Knight Riders ready to defend their title against five other teams. For the first time since the inception of the tournament in 2013, the overseas-player limit in the starting XI has been increased from four to five. We preview the six teams ahead of the tournament opener on August 8.

Trinbago Knight Riders

The defending champions succeeded largely on the strength of their bowling unit in 2017, which had five bowlers take 10 or more wickets when no other team had more than three. Two of those contributors - Shadab Khan and Ronsford Beaton - have withdrawn from the tournament this year. Though the responsibility on captain Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine may increase, a trio of reinforcements have been brought in to maintain depth with the ball. Shannon Gabriel and USA's Ali Khan, who starred in the Global T20 Canada with Winnipeg Hawks, have been brought in to shore up the pace department while Australian legspinner Fawad Ahmed will be aiming to replicate Shadab's success from last year. TKR's batting has been extremely stable as they have continued to show faith in the core of Brendon McCullum, Denesh Ramdin, Colin Munro and Darren Bravo. However, they took a punt on Chris Lynn in the second round of the draft for USD 130,000. If he can overcome recurring shoulder issues, he can show what a menacing force he was in 2016 when he was the tournament's leading scorer for Guyana Amazon Warriors. Squad: Dwayne Bravo (capt), Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Colin Munro, Khary Pierre, Junior Dala, Javon Searles, Terrance Hinds, Kevon Cooper, Nikita Miller, Anderson Philip, Hamza Tariq, Amir Jangoo

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

The Patriots saw their fortunes shift dramatically in 2017 thanks to the arrival of Chris Gayle as captain. Having never made the playoffs before, they went all the way from last place in 2016 to the 2017 final before succumbing to TKR. Gayle and Evin Lewis were a formidable opening pair all season, but Lewis enters this year's competition in a form slump that may be a cause for concern. One of Patriots' shrewd draft picks that paid off in 2017 was the selection of Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi, who wound up taking nine wickets at a superb 6.55 economy rate and also contributed 98 runs at a strike rate of 196 in limited batting appearances. In the wake of Nabi's unavailability for this season, Patriots have banked on a new Associate

gem to make a significant impact. Nepal's 18-year-old legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane continues to see his stock rise after his promising debut with Delhi Daredevils and should be a major asset for Patriots prior to leaving midway through the tournament for the Asia Cup Qualifier. Lamichhane's place will be filled in the second half by South African domestic batting star Rassie van der Dussen, who also stood out recently for the champion Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 Canada. Squad: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ben Cutting, Carlos Brathwaite, Mahmudullah, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tom Cooper, Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Graeme Cremer, Fabian Allen, Sandeep Lamichanne, Shamarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Alzarri Joseph, Ibrahim Khaleel, Glen Javelle

Jamaica Tallawahs

The two-time champions continue to see significant turnover and are almost unrecognisable from the squad that claimed their last title in 2016. After the departure of the Gayle-Chadwick Walton opening combo ahead of last season, Tallawahs have seen two of their top three scorers depart - Kumar Sangakkara and Lendl Simmons as well as two of their three leading wicket-takers - Kesrick Williams and Mohammad Sami - not to mention the Bangladesh pair of Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah. Tallawahs will be banking on the return of 2016 Player of the Tournament Andre Russell, who missed the 2017 CPL via suspension, to provide a measure of stability and have named him captain. They drafted the dangerous legspin combo of Shahid Afridi and Samuel Badree to support the established spin presence of Imad Wasim. On the batting side, two high-profile additions are Ross Taylor and David Miller. Hard-hitting USA batsman Steven Taylor is hoping a change of scenery will rejuvenate his T20 career after flopping with Guyana Amazon Warriors last season. Squad: Andre Russell (capt), Shahid Afridi, Imad Wasim, David Miller, Ross Taylor, Rovman Powell, Samuel Badree, Kemar Roach, Glenn Phillips, Andre McCarthy, Krishmar Santokie, Johnson Charles, Steven Taylor, Kennar Lewis, Steven Jacobs, Oshane Thomas, Elmore Hutchinson, Kirstan Kallicharan

Guyana Amazon Warriors

Perhaps the biggest loss for any franchise ahead of the 2018 season is the absence of Rashid Khan for the Warriors. The Afghan legspinner claimed 14 wickets while tying down batsmen with a sparkling economy rate of 5.82. Imran Tahir was snapped up in the sixth round of this year's draft to replace Rashid overs while Shoaib Malik has also come

over from Barbados Tridents to bolster both the spin and batting departments and take over the captaincy reins. Among key returnees, Luke Ronchi excelled as a late-arrival replacement scoring 172 runs in four innings but will be with the Warriors for a full season this season as he continues to be in sizzling form across the T20 circuit. Walton hasn't had much success for West Indies but has been one of the best batsmen in the CPL over the several past seasons and led the tournament run-charts last year with 458 runs while Jason Mohammed was a solid middle-order presence, scoring 292 runs. Aside from TKR, no side is relying more on their locally-groomed talent to make significant contributions. In the batting department, Shimron Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford, who electrified at the Global T20 Canada with an unbeaten 134 off 66 balls for West Indies B against eventual champion Vancouver Knights, will be the key figures. On the bowling side, it means Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo and Keemo Paul will need to step up to assist Sohail Tanvir. Squad: Shoaib Malik (capt), Devendra Bishoo, Rayad Emrit, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Green, Imran Tahir, Jason Mohammed, Saurabh Netravalkar, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Roshon Primus, Romario Shepherd, Luke Ronchi, Sherfane Rutherford, Gajanand Singh, Chadwick Walton, Sohail Tanvir, Cameron Delport

Barbados Tridents

After going to the final in 2015, Tridents have missed the playoffs for two years in a row. Captain Kieron Pollard and fellow allrounders Shoaib Malik, Wayne Parnell and Akeal Hosein were the leading scorer or wicket-taker in all but a few games. However, in a major shake-up, all have departed, as has Kane Williamson. Leading scorer Dwayne Smith and fast bowler Wahab Riaz are the only big stars to survive the cull. Smith scored two centuries last season, but lacked consistency and only scored 146 runs in his other eight innings. Nicholas Pooran took a step back as well, with a best score of 32 in 10 innings. The Tridents leadership has decided to persevere with him, though in the hopes that he returns to his excellent 2016 form. Steven Smith is the most high-profile new arrival to the CPL this year and is being tasked with revitalising the Tridents batting along with top-draft pick Martin Guptill, who struggled last season with Guyana while dealing with injuries. Hashim Amla comes back to the CPL after excelling with TKR in 2016. A string of Barbadian West Indies internationals are available this year as well

to boost the Tridents stocks, led by Test and ODI captain Jason Holder, Roston Chase and Shai Hope. Squad: Hashim Amla, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Martin Guptill, Chemar K Holder, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Junaid Khan, Imran Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Ashley Nurse, Shakib Al Hasan, Nicholas Pooran, Raymon Reifer, Dwayne Smith, Steven Smith, Sunny Sohal, Shamar Springer, Wahab Riaz, Tion Webster

St Lucia Stars

The new ownership's decision to change the franchise name from Zouks to Stars brought all sorts of bad karma onto the St Lucia team in 2017. A year after making the playoffs for the first time with a franchise-best six wins, the Stars became the first team in the history of the CPL to go winless. The opening combination of Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles that proved to be so lethal in 2016 struggled for runs in 2017. Darren Sammy took the fall for the team's poor start and was replaced as captain by Shane Watson midway through the season, though it failed to inspire a turnaround. Sammy is back, though Charles and Watson are gone. The latter has been replaced by fellow Australian David Warner who hopes to fare better than he did with Winnipeg Hawks on his T20 redemption trail. Taking the spot of Charles is Lendl Simmons, who is with his third team in as many seasons after failing to stick with Patriots and Tallawahs. Both sides of the ball are boosted by the addition of Pollard while another intriguing arrival is Mark Chapman, the Hong Kong-turned-New Zealand international who has been dominant with the bat in New Zealand's domestic competitions but is getting his first opportunity in a foreign competition. On the bowling side, Stars were the only team in the competition to not have a bowler take double-digit wickets in 2017. Kesrick Williams and Mohammad Sami both accomplished the feat last season for Tallawahs and joined Simmons as part of the exodus to the Stars. On the spin front, 2017's leading wicket-taker Shane Shillingford is gone and hoping to fill the void is the lone Afghan in this year's CPL, teenage legspinner Qais Ahmad, who excelled in his country's run to the semi-finals of the 2018 Under-19 World Cup earlier this year. Squad: Mark Chapman, Rahkeem Cornwall, Niroshan Dickwella, Andre Fletcher, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Kavem Hodge, Christopher Lamont, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lendl Simmons, Odean Smith, Mohammad Sami, Kieron Pollard, Qais Ahmad, Darren Sammy, David Warner Kesrick Williams, Rumman Raees, Obed McCoy, Jaskaran Malhotraw

Dindyal only Guyanese in Windies U-15 squad


Mavendra Dindyal

– tour of UK starts August 12

avendra Dindyal is the only Guyanese to make it aboard the West Indies Under-15 squad that begins their six-match tour of the United Kingdom on August 12. For the fourth straight year, a Windies Under-15 squad will go on a two-week tour of the UK in an ongoing exchange between Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the England Barmy Army’s Colts. This year, the team from the West Indies has attracted support from Virgin Atlantic. The squad was assembled following the championship held in March this year, which led to the Bajans having quite a strong presence in the team with

six players, while the Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and Jamaica have two, and Trinidad and Tobago – one. During the tour, they will face six teams in a series of 50-over matches including the Colts. The team will play a 20/20 warmup match against the London Schools Cricket Association on Friday, August 10 before starting the official schedule on Sunday, August 12. The squad reads: Hilroy Andrew, Ackeem Auguste, Nimar Bolden, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett, Mavendra Dindyal, Jordan Johnson, Johan Layne, Jaden Leacock, Tariq O’Neale, Andrew Rambaran, Yawani Regis, Che Simmons, Sanjay Walker, and Rashad

Worrell. Dr Oba Gulston has been appointed as Manager and Physiotherapist and he will be accompanied by Head Coach Richard Clarke and Assistant Coach Steve Liburd. The squad is scheduled to return to the Region on August 20. The match tour schedule reads: August 12 – Windies v Hertfordshire August 13 – Windies v Hampshire August 14 – Windies v South West England August 16 – Windies v Ireland Under- 15s August 17 – Windies v Barmy Army Colts August 19 –Windies v London and East Region

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The 'Biggest Party' has started WEEK ENDING AUGUST 12, 2018 |

…Knight Riders lay down marker with emphatic opening win over St Lucia Stars


olin Munro and Denesh Ramdin powered the Trinbago Knight Riders to a record-breaking total before Dwayne Bravo and spin twins Sunil Narine and Fawad Ahmed sealed a thumping 100-run victory over the St Lucia Stars and a winning start to the defence of their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title. Munro, who started last season with an unbeaten 66 against the same opponents, this time smashed 68 from 48 balls in what Fawad Ahmed strikes again getting his third wicket

was for much of the innings something of a lone hand for the Knight Riders. The champions had slipped to 89/4 before Ramdin (50* off 27) joined the New Zealander in a 50 partnership that helped the Knight Riders post a record-breaking Hero CPL total at the Queen’s Park Oval of 195/6. It was one that proved well beyond the Stars as soon as the spinners got to work. The Stars failed to win a single match in the 2017 Hero CPL and any hope that they might pull off a record chase

were ended within the first eight overs of their reply amid a collapse from 35/0 to 53/6. A fast start was crucial for the Stars, and initially they got it as backto-back sixes for Andre Fletcher off Shannon Gabriel propelled them to 32/0 after the first two overs. But when Fletcher was undone by an Ali Khan knuckle-ball on 19, the Stars’ chase soon fizzled out. Australia superstar David Warner was bowled by Javon Searles for 9 before Rahkeem Cornwall picked out

DJ Bravo and Dinesh Ramdin celebrate the victory

Brendon McCullum at mid-wicket off Dwayne Bravo. Then the spinners took over. Fawad Ahmed’s first Hero CPL over brought two wickets, a googly completely deceiving Lendl Simmons to bowl him through the gate before Mark Chapman slapped a low catch to Sunil Narine at cover. Narine himself then got in on the act, pinning Darren Sammy plumb in front to leave the Stars reeling at 53/6. Fawad removed Qais Ahmad for 14 to finish his matchsealing four-over spell with 3/16. There weren’t any fireworks from new Stars captain Kieron Pollard, who slapped a full-toss from opposite number Dwayne Bravo to Searles at long-off to be eighth man out for just 12 with the score on 81. Bravo added the wicket of Mitchell McClenaghan with a delicious slower ball before Gabriel took the final wicket, hauling his figures back to 3.30-34-1 having conceded 26 runs from his first over. While the batting collapse was certainly dramatic, the seeds of the Stars’ defeat were sown in a sloppy fielding display. The 2018 Hero CPL got off to a rollicking start with two dropped catches, a six and a wicket in the first seven balls of the season. New Zealander McClenaghan bowled the first over of the season after the Stars won the toss and elected to field, and almost immediately had Trinbago Knight Riders new boy Chris Lynn dropped at slip by Sammy from the second ball. Lynn blasted the very next ball over the ropes at square-leg, but fell two balls

later when he could only fend a clever slower ball to Qais at cover. Moments later, Kesrick Williams dropped Narine at midwicket from Mohammad Sami’s first delivery. Narine gave the Knight Riders early impetus with a huge six down the ground but was bowled by Williams, who made amends for his early drop with remarkable figures of 2/4 from an initial two-over spell in which he also removed Darren Bravo for a duck. With Brendon McCullum also failing to get going before being bowled by Stars captain Pollard on 13, it was left to Munro to keep the Knight Riders on track. He was watchful at first, before kick starting his own innings and the team’s when taking 18 runs in four balls from the Stars’ teenaged legspinner Qais. Three successive cut shots for four were followed by a huge slog-sweep for six

as Munro moved from 23 off 24 balls to 41 from 28. Munro duly went through to a 33-ball half century including eight fours and that huge six. By now he had been joined by Ramdin, who initially looked to put the Stars fielders under pressure with hard running before starting to clear the boundary himself. When Munro fell in the 16th over, Ramdin took over in a devastating final four overs that brought the Knight Riders 54 runs. He hit four sixes in all, the first an astonishing pick-up over squareleg off the expensive Mohammad Sami and the last a carve over cover-point to take him within a single of 50 from the penultimate ball of the innings. He duly got the run he needed to reach a classy 27-ball half-century that had put the game well beyond the Stars.







Guyana Times International August 10 2018  
Guyana Times International August 10 2018