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Guyana could become number one oil producer



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...per capita in the world - Rystad Analyst

Rystad Energy Senior Analyst Sonya Boodoo (extreme right) in conversation with other officials of the company at an event in Georgetown on Tuesday

Cops arrest suspect in Campbellville double murder Page 3

‘Constant excuses unacceptable’

Deonarine Liliah and Gopaul Liliah in happier times

…Opposition Leader says of President’s 2 press conferences in 3 years Page 17


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |



Cops arrest suspect in Campbellville double murder

Deonarine Liliah and Gopaul Liliah in happier times


suspect is now in police custody regarding the alleged double murder of a 61-year-old pandit and his son at their Craig Street, Campbellville, Georgetown home between Saturday last and Tuesday morning. This is according to a

police press statement released on Tuesday evening. According to police investigations, 61-yearold Deonarine Liliah aka Dewan Liliah and his son, 28-year-old son, Gopaul Liliah – both of lot 25 Craig Street South half Section' G' Cambellville-

may have met their demise following a break and enter and larceny. This publication was told that CCTV footage uplifted from nearby cameras revealed a masked man jumping the western fence into the deceased’s yard. It further displayed the suspect entering the home from the northern door and exiting from the back entrance, with two bulky bags and a bucket in his hands. Enquires disclosed that the father and son lived in the upper flat of a two -storey wooden and concrete building, facing North at the junction of Craig and Delph Street, Campbellville in a fenced yard. The lower flat is occupied by a 40-year-old home aid worker- a tenant of the deceased. According to the tenant, she last saw the Pandit and his son at about 06:00h on the July 7, 2018 in the yard and

they spoke to each other. She recounted that at about 21:00h the same day, she heard the sounds of someone walking heavily in the upper flat. However, the woman said since then, she never saw the two again. As such, on Tuesday morning, the home aid worker became even more suspicious after a foul smell began emanating from the upper flat. To this end, a report was made at the Kitty Police Station and ranks visited the location. On arrival, investiga-

tors reported that they found the back door ajar. Upon entering the flat, Gopaul Liliah’s lifeless body was discovered lying face down on the floor, in a pool of blood. “His head was pointing in an Eastern direction and his feet to the West, with a red jersey wrapped around his head, clad in a grey jersey and a grey boxer. Stab wounds were seen(three to the back, one to the left and right side abdomen, two to the chest, one right and one left),” a police source indicated. In addition, Deonarine

Liliah was seen lying on his back in the living room “with his head to the East and feet to the West.” He was clad in a pair of white long pants and a multi-coloured top. His face was also covered with the shirt. “Multiple stab wounds were seen on his body (four to the front of his abdomen, four to left side of abdomen, one to the lower back and one to the right hip).” The bodies were identified by Jairam Liliah- the brother and uncle of the two deceased.

The scene at the now dead men’s Delph and Craig Streets, Campbellville, Georgetown home on Tuesday


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

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resh from the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Heads of Government (C-HOGS) meeting, President David Granger pronounced that the manifest failure of the regional body, founded 45 years ago, is not on account of its structure but its “bureaucracy”. Before rushing to judgement based on his perceptions over the last three years, he would have been better served if he had taken time to study the “Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within Caricom and CARIFORUM frameworks which was issued by that country since March 2017 and to which his colleague from Jamaica referred to on several occasions. We will highlight that Report’s assessment on the issues raised by President Granger which are covered in Chapter 4, “Analysing Caricom’s performance against the goals and objectives enunciated in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and identifying the causes of the shortcomings.” The objectives are usefully summarised as set out in Article 6 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas: improved standards of living and work; full employment of labour and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade and economic relations with third States; enhanced levels of international competitiveness; increased production and productivity; greater effectiveness in dealing with third states, groups of states and multilateral entities; functional cooperation in the provision of common services; functional cooperation for the advancement of social, cultural and technological development, especially in health, education, transportation and telecommunications. The achievement of these objectives is to be built on the four “Pillars of Integration”: economic integration; foreign policy coordination; human and social development through functional cooperation; and security.” In assessing the failure of Caricom to achieve those objectives, the Report noted: “At its regular meeting held in Antigua and Barbuda in July 2014, the Heads of Government received and adopted the “Strategic Plan for the Caribbean Community 20152019: Repositioning Caricom” that was commissioned in 2012. It is broader in scope and includes most of the tasks identified in the “Strategic Assessment….Slate of Initiatives to Advance the CSME” document, some of the timelines of which had by then lapsed. The Strategic Plan is now in the third of its five year run.” The Jamaican Report lays the blame squarely on the structure of Caricom which it centres all power with the Heads of Government and which is basically just a talk shop: “The proposals submitted by the Commission on the economy continue to languish for lack of decision or even serious consideration. The immersion in inaction is palpable. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, addressing the 28th Intersessional Meeting of Heads of Government on February 16, 2017, reiterated his call for “the use of whatever powers at our disposal to work towards the speedy and effective implementation of matters we have long agreed upon”. He noted that many of these matters were still pending and the inability of the relevant bodies to meet and finalise them was proving a hindrance to progress. “We can and must do better,” he added. Déjà vu! It is a lamentation that has been heard so often and for so long. Barbadian journalist Arthur Gray writing in 1985 made the sardonic observation that: “It is a pity that people can come together at such a high powered level, talk through their problems in a spirit of understanding and then walk away from those meetings without the slightest intention of carrying out the noble actions which they said they would.” In conclusion, the Report concludes: “The Commission is of the view that the recurring failure of initiatives firmly agreed upon and which are vital to Caricom’s success is due not so much to inertia or the pressure of domestic issues but, rather, the reluctance on the part of member countries to embrace the challenges of the CSME mandate… Caricom leaders should now make a determination as to whether that time has passed, whether a window of opportunity for a single market and economy is still open and whether the appetite for it still exists.” The fault, dear President Granger, lies in Caricom’s structure – specifically the Heads of Government.

Hello from Kamana: Kamana is an Indigenous Village that is located in North Pakaraimas, Guyana (Photo by Girendra Persaud)

The economic potential of CPL I t has now been confirmed that Guyana will host seven of the T20 matches in the 2018 Edition of CPL, including two of the playoff games. The historic announcement that Guyana was given the opportunity to host playoffs was made on Wednesday by CPL’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Pete Russell. Now in its seventh year, the CPL has been truly established as one of the leading T20 leagues in the world, and com-

media that the CPL’s economic impact on Guyana in 2017 was around US$14,183,035. This figure has been arrived at by using organiser spend, visitor spend, and media value, and was calculated for Hero CPL by world-renowned researchers SMG Insight. In addition to the huge economic impact over the years, hundreds of jobs were created, hotel rooms were booked, and there was a huge trickledown effect which saw many

fan base we already have in Guyana. We think it’s due reward for the support that the fans have shown us over the past five years. So we’re very excited about the games, we obviously think they’re going to be sellout matches.” CPL has indeed been a success story, not only as it relates to the development of cricket in Guyana and the region, but because of the potential for growth and the ability to create

pares favourably with the likes of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Australian Big Bash League (BBL). In addition to the high level of entertainment provided for families, many stakeholders in the Caribbean — including governments and private sector bodies — are well aware of the huge economic potential the CPL has for host countries and the region as a whole. Hosting of the CPL games in Guyana is the kind of intervention that is needed to give a much needed boost to the country’s ailing economy. It is well known that, over the past two years or so, several businesses have been complaining of poor sales; companies have had to lay off workers, and some companies are even closing down, due to unprofitability. Guyana, through the CPL, has benefited significantly from hosting the event, since the inception of the tournament in 2013. It was reported in the

other sectors benefiting. There was also significant value for Guyana in terms of the country being given coverage through the television broadcast of the event. Based on official statistics released, the CPL spent just under US$ 1million in Guyana during the 2017 event, with over 40% of that figure going to local staff and suppliers. In essence, the CPL games are a good example of the tremendous benefits that could be derived from a sporting event of such magnitude. The fact that seven games have been confirmed for Guyana is indeed good news for fans. It should be pointed out that destinations like Trinidad and Tobago and the USA had expressed interest in hosting the Playoffs; however, according to Russell, the decision to bring the two matches to Guyana was a fairly easy one. Russell was quoted in the media as saying: “We’re obviously delighted because of the

the kind of opportunities that would seek to improve the lives of citizens. Each year, the National Stadium at Providence, home ground of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, attracts sold out crowds. Also, with tournaments such as these, it is not only the sold out stadiums that warrant the prestige; it is a chance to showcase one’s country on the global market, since television viewership would usually span each continent. It is hoped that all stakeholders — including the Government, private sector bodies, small business owners and so on — would once again capitalise on the many opportunities available due hosting these matches. More particularly, the tourism sector must come up with a sound plan regarding how it intends to take advantage of the thousands of returning Guyanese and other overseas visitors who will be there for the games.



Star witness: Daughter recounts Minister Lawrence apologises to guard caught up in brutal murder of mother …in January 2015 Broomes’ confrontation


omona Sanasie, the daughter of murdered Atlantic Gardens’ businesswoman Patricia Sanasie, testified before a 12-member jury on Tuesday that she put her hand to a hole in her mother’s neck in a bid to stop her from bleeding to death on the night of her demise on January 12, 2015. Richard Stanton, formerly of Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown, is accused of executing 43-year old Patricia Sanasie at her East Coast Demerara home. In giving her evidence-in-chief for over three hours, Romona Sanasaie told the court via Skype that on April 25, 2015, she picked out “suspect number three” from an Identification (ID) Parade that brought back a rush of “fear and emotions” and “flashbacks” to that fateful night when her mother was gunned down. Now residing in the United States, she told the jury that she started at number nine and first stopped at seven but as she continued, she realised that it was indeed number three who was the man she saw pulling the trigger. After leaving a few times from the room and even vomiting, she recalled that she requested that the man she identified turn to the side and from that angle, she recognised him from his features. These, she explained, were big built, five feet, seven or eight inches, fat stomach, fat face, high cheek bones and dark in complexion. The star witness told the court that she saw his body for 15-20 seconds and saw his face “full frontal” for about 10 seconds. Detailing the events that surrounded her mother’s death, the woman noted that earlier in the day of January 15, 2015, her mother drove her to a temple at Timehri, East Bank Demerara (EBD) to take part in a religious function. However, the still shaken daughter said she was prevented from entering the area and she stayed in the car. She told the jury that when her mother returned, she, Ramona, drove the car and her mother was the front seat passenger. Together, they left Timehri and headed back home at 17:45h. Upon reaching home, her mother exited the vehicle and was fumbling with her keys to open the gate. The younger Sanasie said her car lights were on – both inside and outside – while add-

Murdered businesswoman: Patricia Sanasie

ing that that there was a street light on a post eight to 10 feet away. She said moments after they arrived at the residence, a silver grey Toyota Raum pulled up behind them and a man came out and passed her sitting in the car. The witness added, in detail, that the assailant looked at her but did not shoot right away. She added that her mother was bent over still trying to open the padlock. “Two seconds after she looked up in shock with her mouth open. Then she looked back at me and then to him and then he started to shoot. He shot one after the next and she made two steps backwards and fell to the ground. He was shooting with the right hand,” Sanasie explained to the court. She said the vehicle reversed and the shooter jumped in the backseat of the vehicle before it drove off. She explained that the shooter was wearing a due rag on his head and a sheer cloth over his face which she said she saw after light from her car shone on him. Trying to stop the bleeding, she said she screamed out and neighbours assisted her in transporting her mother to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Sanasie recalled later identifying the body which was handed over and shipped to New York where her mother was cremated. At Monday’s trial, the 12-member jury was informed that the defendant was charged three months later, in April 2015, and that he remained silent when investigators at Golden Grove Police Station, EBD accused him of murder. Stanton is being represented by Attorney Mark Waldron while Tiffini Lyken, Narisa Leander and Seeta Bishundial are presenting the case on behalf of the State. The case continues before Justice Brassington Reynolds.

More Venezuelans crossing Guyana’s border in search of food By Yanalla Dalrymple


ver the past weekend, Guyana has seen an influx of the Warrau tribe from Venezuela entering the country through its Amakura River (Region One) border. Overwhelmed by a growing economic disaster back in Venezuela, a group, consisting of more than 50 persons, including pregnant women, children and young babies, came in search of food, medical and other services. According to the group that had an interpreter, they only came to Guyana in search of food

because they are usually hungry. They added that they are also in need of medical assistance, water, mattresses/cots, beddings and clothing. Region One (BarimaWaini) Chairman Brentnol Ashley told Guyana Times International that the Regional Disaster Relief Committee has reached out to the Venezuelans and was able to offer some assistance. Ashley noted that even though the Committee was not able to provide for all of the persons it was still able to assist with food supplies over the two-day period.

“We were able to provide meals, clothing and shelter for them. In the coming days, the Committee will be meeting with other organisations to discuss plans on the way forward, because from how it sounds they will not be going back soon,” Ashley explained. Ashley is pleading with other organisations to assist in any way possible. Donations can be made to the Office of the RDC – Mabaruma Compound. Only recently, Mabaruma Mayor Henry Smith warned that a health crisis may be continued on page 13


Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence and the security guard (Photo: Minister Volda Lawrence’s Facebook page)

n a surprising new development after Minister Simona Broomes’s confrontation with New Thriving security guards, Health Minister Volda Lawrence on Tuesday apologised to one of the guards. The guards had been detained by Police after the confrontation with Minister Broomes and her driver in the parking lot Sunday night. In her brief statement on her Facebook page, Minister Lawrence said: “Tonight [Tuesday night] I met young Josh Rambarran, a security guard at New Thriving Restaurant Providence, who told me a story about what happened to him on Sunday last. According to him, he was wrongfully arrested and detained for 16 hours. From the bottom of my heart, I apologised to him and said I was sorry. Humility and wisdom are character traits we must always ask of our Creator.” Reports are the Minister within the

Natural Resources Ministry’s driver stopped at the entrance of the Massy store to access the New Thriving Restaurant, which is housed in the upper flat of the building. “Apparently, the Minister’s driver parked her vehicle on a tarmac area which is not to be used by customers,” a Police source explained. However, the Minister insisted that the driver drove into the tarmac area to allow her to exit the vehicle after which he was heading to the parking lot. The guard, according to reports, refused to listen to their explanation. Video footage contradicted this version of events. Broomes then contacted the Police, who quickly responded and confiscated the weapon that was allegedly used to threaten her. The guards were also taken into custody on Sunday, but were subsequently released on their own recognisance.


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

The evidence shows that Guyana made tremendous progress under Jagdeo’s presidency Dear Editor, Much has been said since Charles Ramson Jnr declared that he would be running for the position of PPP/C presidential candidate. I must note that his doing so was with a great level of ‘confidence’ – some would say arrogance – and I do not agree with him on trying to decide who his competitors should be when he went through his list of qualities in a candidate. But that aside, the issue, Editor, is whether he is the right person for the job. To this question I must say no. Why? Simply because he has no experience in management; no executive experience.

Editor, Guyana, in the past seven years, has had two presidents without Governmental experience – Donald Ramotar and President David Granger. Neither of them served Guyanese well. The PPP/C and APNU/ AFC debates internally on this issue are another matter, particularly relative to acknowledging and confronting this fact. Much has been said about past president Bharrat Jagdeo. Now he cannot run for a third term, but there are lessons in the process that led to him being chosen as the PPP/C presidential candidate in 2001 and 2006. The fact is that he was a Junior

Finance Minister, then a Senior Finance Minister. He was in Cabinet and he had served in the public service before his ministerial posts. When he was elected as President, he had experience in both the public service and executive management. At the PPP level, he was also a member of the Party’s Central Committee, and later the Executive Committee. Charles Ramson Jnr, on the other hand, is not a member of the PPP Central Committee. He has no significant experience in the public service. He has no experience in Governmental management. He never served in Cabinet. He has no exec-

utive experience. What is the worst that could happen if he allowed himself to work up to these things? Look at the presidencies of Ramotar and Granger against Jagdeo’s. It is true that the debates – both the factual one and those that border on the illogical – which have been playing out in the letter pages of the newspapers about Jagdeo will continue. But the facts will not change. When you look at the big picture, what we saw under a Jagdeo presidency (the debatable points aside) was a better Guyana. Guyanese did better. The country did better. Guyana was

Third parties have always been focused on narrow partisan interests Dear Editor, The lure of power and pecuniary gain will always rule paramount for third parties. This was evidenced in the 1964 elections, and again in the 2015 elections by both the UF and the AFC. The pretenders and the pretensions of these third parties are well documented. In fact, those in the AFC are currently squandering the opportunity to become patriots who can bring about the necessary changes to propel this country towards socio-economic growth. Where have the progressives gone? Without an iota of doubt, they have been utterly consumed by the PNC, because of their greed and lust for power. Another third party just dissipated! It must be recalled that the main thrust and objective of the leaders of the AFC was to ‘get rid of the PPP’, as evidenced even before the coalition was formed by the subversive tactics they used in Par-liament. It was never about putting Guyana first, but rather

about getting rid of their arch enemy. At no point in time was the AFC honest about tackling the socio-economic problems facing this country. They made the country ungovernable, and this led to a vote of no confidence tabled by Nagamootoo, the dissolution of Parliament, and the calling of an early Election in 2015. It must also be recalled that, at its formation, the founding leaders had vowed never to coalesce with either the PPP or the PNC, since they claimed that both had destroyed this country. They had vowed to remain independent, but the grand entry of the genuine pretender Moses Nagamootoo just before the 2011 Elections changed all of that, with his guile and innate ability to manipulate. Therefore, Mr Ralph Ramkarran’s proposal outlining the characteristics which a third party must have in order to be viewed as utopian in nature is meant for academic discourses rather than being based on the realities of our situa-

tion. I am sure he is genuine in what he has proposed, but it simply will not work. There will never be ‘political unity,’ such stuff are what dreams are made of; it is a myth! The ‘waste, extravagance and corruption’ of our oil monies have been set in motion. Furthermore, no third party will be willing to hold the reins of the Presidency until the Constitution is amended to include shared governance, in accordance with the parties’ support at the elections. This will happen only if the third party wins a majority and can get a two-thirds majority or call a referendum. This will never happen! On the other hand, if the third party does not secure a majority or a plurality, then it will be in opposi-tion advocating for a unity Government. This, again, will never happen, since the winner takes all men-tality bears a strong incentive against this. The alternative scenario is that, if this call is ‘resisted,’ then the third party will

support ‘the party which agrees to implement its policies of constitutional reform, leading to inclusive governance,’ to fight poverty, crime and corruption. In opposition, the AFC has proven that it will work to topple the Government to secure power and a ‘good life’ for itself. So this, again, will not happen. Where will we find a third party which possesses ‘that higher purpose which resonates with the Guya-nese people’? Third parties have proven themselves to be the means by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of Government. Another third party is criminal! When I was a boy, I once said to my father, “Dad, we need a third political party.” He said to me, “I’ll settle for a second.” (Ralph Nader) Yours sincerely, Haseef Yusuf RDC Councillor, Region Six

These critics are fooling no one Dear Editor, The debate on the presidential candidate of the PPP is dominating the newspapers. What I find interesting is that critics of the PPP are advocating a particular process to be used to determine the presidential candidate. What is even more interesting is that these same people will be in the front lines, criticising whoever is voted in as the presidential can-

didate, as we saw in the last Elections. These critics are fooling no one. I have read the comments of Ralph Ramkarran, and he advocates for the PPP to have a new system to choose its presidential candidate. But he is not a supporter of the PPP; his comments echo the arrogance of the Facebook crowd calling for all sorts of things – all

of them being people who will not support the PPP, regardless of what position it takes. The PPP could select a ‘Ghandi’ or a ‘Mandela’ (hypothetically speaking, of course) and the critics will not support the Party. That is the reason why Guyanese, particularly PPP supporters, have seen – and should continue to see – past the façade being put up by the critics who are

analysing the position of the PPP. The Party should continue to operate in a manner that does not allow detractors to influence its democratic decision-making process, wherein the 35 members of the Party’s Central Committee who were elected by the Congress vote on a presidential candidate. Regards Baldeo Mathura

put on the map for certain major issues, including climate change. As I said before, the debates on the man can continue, but the facts – the numbers on economic growth, wealth creation, housing progress, etc. – will not change. I say all of this to back up my point: Charles Ramson Jr. is young; yes, he is ambitious, and he projects himself as a leader; but the fact is that he has no executive experience, and that is much needed. We do not want to relive the pitfalls we saw under the Ramotar presidency. Nor do we want a repeat of what we are seeing now, which is a

badly performing economy, no jobs, more crime, big borrowing, wasting of taxpayers’ dollars, and increase in the costs that regular Guyanese, like me, have to pay. Charles Ramon Jnr needs to give himself some more time; earn some experience, and maybe then he will have a better appreciation for what it takes to manage the Presidency. At the end of the day, even if the PPP/C says it will push young people into leadership positions, Guyanese still need to know that they have a dependable leader. Sincerely, Erin Northe

Ramjattan has ultimate responsibility for current state of affairs

Dear Editor, I am pleased that Prison Director Gladwin Samuels, a young professional for whom I have tremendous respect, has been able to identify and get rid of five of the corrupt prison wardens involved in the smuggling of contraband into these prisons; for he is often expected to manage the prison population with insufficient resources and personnel. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that basic requirements to secure any prison facility are high-definition surveillance systems and the use of full-body scanners at the entrance of every prison facility. Whatever the cost, these security measures must be procured and installed immediately; the Prison Director should not have to wait on the 2019 Budget to get this done. All Minister Ramjattan needs to do is to come to Parliament with a Supplementary Budget. Government does this all the time for far less urgent matters. Since 2015, the state of the economy has declined rapidly; over 25,000 jobs have been lost, and higher taxes have been imposed on the people. For most families, there is little or no disposable income left after paying utility bills, rent/mortgage, and living expenses. The lack of jobs and high cost of living may be tempting some to engage in criminal activities to provide for their families. After all, desperate people are known to do desperate things. On June 29, Minister Ramjattan got his face on the front page of the Guyana Chronicle with a caption that shamelessly

reads, “Gov’t makes ‘halfa-mil’ in pay-outs”. The article covered the presentation of a one-off payment by Government of a meagre G$100,000 each to five families of Guyanese fisher-men who were brutally murdered by pirates off the coast of Suriname. But this was done only after the PPP had brought a Motion in Parliament urging the Government to offer financial support to these families, for Ramjattan had made it clear to them in Suriname that they should expect none. It would have been kinder if Government had increased this amount to G$300,000 each, the estimated cost of a decent funeral. Nevertheless, I’m sure Minister Ramjattan was happy to be seen in a positive light at a time when just about everyone questions his ability to get the job done. How many more victims must be shot? How many more lives must be lost? How many more cars stolen? How many more businesses must be robbed? How many more Guyanese must be discouraged from returning home? How many youths must be forced into a life of crime? And how many more families must be deprived of their life’s savings before the Hon Minister of Public Security realises that he has failed to protect the Guyanese people, and is totally unsuitable to serve in that capacity? When will Minister Ramjattan finally accept ministerial responsibility and resign? Will he ever? Sincerely, Harry Gill PPP Member of Parliament

news 7


Political will needed to fight crime …US Ambassador tells Guyanese stakeholders


usinesses are the driving force for economic development of any country. Among the factors determining investment climate and Private Sector development, a company’s exposure to crime plays a significant role. Crime may cause high costs and damage to businesses. These points were underscored by United States (US) Ambassador to Guyana Perry Holloway at the Guyana Manufacturing Services Association (GMSA) luncheon at the Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday where he zeroed in on the potential threats that crime can have on the economy. During his feature address, the US diplomat said one of the things that everyone is concerned about is what will happen when oil production begins in Guyana. While there is a general perception that oil may cause an upsurge in criminal activities, he said that he views this differently. Holloway, who has worked in many countries where crime is at its peak, like Afghanistan, told the attendees of the luncheon, “I don’t think that it’s oil and gas that attracts crime. It’s more people, more money. So, Guyana could be having a boom in an agriculture product but if it brought more money and more people… you guys are good business people but let me tell you that the criminals out there are good business people also and what do they want? The same thing you want, more profit.” He said since being appointed ambassador to Guyana, he has had a thorough look at the local crime statistics and he has seen some improvements over the past years. “…not to say that there isn’t a lot of work to be done and not that crime isn’t going on every day all round us, but is a long process.” Using Colombia as an example as one country that moved from being one of worst in the world for its high crime rates to a democracy, the US ambassador said it took political will to get to that place. “Its fine for the Americans to come in and offer some help and okay for the Brits to come in and offer a security programme but if

US cannot reunite dozens of child migrants with their parents A young migrant child waiting to be processed in Texas after the government’s suspended zero-tolerance policy (EPA)


US Ambassador to Guyana Perry Holloway delivering the feature address at the GMSA’s luncheon on Tuesday

the Government, people, Private Sector and civil society do not want it, all programmes will fail. It requires political will and not just at the political level but this is something we want to deal with,” he added. The US diplomat told the packed audience that while crime in Guyana is not at its worst like in some countries, there is some level which needs to be tackled collaboratively. He said, “You can’t have Police…go after 21st century criminals with 19th century utilities and equipment. It just can’t be done. I think that everyone’s heart is in the right place and I think both the previous and current Governments have spent a lot of money on security.” Holloway also declared that the US Government has invested close to US$80 million over the past 10 years in Guyana’s security sector, while hundreds of millions have been spent in the Region as a whole. But the US diplomat said one of the most major concerns that should be on everyone’s mind is the production of cocoa, a prime material to make cocaine, which is soaring through the roof in Colombia. Since Guyana serves as a transshipment destination for cocaine trafficking, the country stands to see a possible spike in these criminal activities, as other such destinations will also have to prepare for it. Meanwhile, GMSA President Sham Nokta in his remarks also touched on the high crime rate which is a key factor to the defects of national security and by extension the business climate.

“In such an environment all citizens and businesses are vulnerable and are potential victims of crime. However, small businesses are particularly vulnerable, as often they do not have the safe guard in place to prevent or to detect criminal activity. And I believe recent events in the last week or so has clearly brought this to the forum,” he added. For small countries like Guyana, Nokta said the state suffers disproportionately both from crime which originates within society and from crime driven by actions sometimes many miles from here. However, he said because the drivers of crime are ever changing and increasing in the international nature in which it is done, it is continued on page 24

he Trump administration has said 27 young migrant children are “not eligible for reunification” with their parents, according to a court filing. Twelve other children’s mothers or fathers have already been deported from the US, said the government. “Legitimate logistical impediments” are delaying reunions for many of the 102 children under five years old who were taken from parents, US officials say. Nearly 3,000 children were split from undocumented adults entering the US. The government was bound by a court order to reunite children aged five and under by 10 July. The Department of Justice (DoJ) and American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) joint status report on Tuesday detailed why the 27 children cannot yet be reunited with their families. The parents of 10 children were being still held in criminal custody after crossing the US border without papers, and have yet to be fully assessed, said the report. Eight other children’s parents have a “serious criminal history” including narcotics, human smuggling, murder and robbery. Two other children cannot be reunited with parents because of a possible threat of child abuse. Five children had been separated from adults who were not their parents.

Another child’s parent is being treated for a communicable illness. The location of another child’s parent has been unknown for more than a year. Records show both parent and child might even be US citizens. Some 75 of the 102 separated children have been determined eligible to be reunited with their families, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). But as of Tuesday afternoon, the government said it had only reunited four of those children with their parents. It said it expected to reunite another 34 by the end of the day, in accordance with the deadline. But 12 children cannot be immediately reunited with their families because their parents have already been deported. For those children, the court filing says they “may be reunified if their parents can be located and if those parents request reunification”. The ACLU said it accepted that those parents in criminal custody cannot be reunited with their children yet. But it said in many cases “the government is not in compliance with the clear deadline ordered by the Court”. The ACLU said: “For the [parents] who were deported without their children, [US government officials] have not even tried to contact them or facilitate their reunification by today.” (Excerpts from BBC)


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |



Govt’s refusal of higher Berbice bridge tolls could result in bankruptcy …company warns


ore than a decade after a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement allowed the construction of the Berbice River Bridge; the bridge company is now facing bankruptcy following Government’s decision to drop the toll and subsequent refusal to allow for an increased as per the initial agreement when the company was formed. This is according to Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) Chairman, Dr Surendra Persaud, during a press conference at the National Communications Network on Tuesday. Persaud is also Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which holds significant shares in the company. According to Persaud, they have had several engagements with Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson. He noted that following a previous engagement, Patterson had informed them that a maintenance proposal would be taken to Cabinet. According to the Chairman, they were subsequently informed that it was not approved. In fact, the company applied for a toll adjustment on three occasions; twice in 2015 and once in 2016, to no avail. They have since made another such application, dated July 9. In that application, the company had requested that the toll increases take effect by August 1. “So, where are we today? We are in a situation where the contractual obligations of a public private partnership have not been met on the Government’s part and if not corrected, is likely to affect the willingness of the Private Sector to partner with the Government in future infrastructure projects,” Persaud said. Here, he cited the construction of the new

From left: Civil Engineer Bert Carter; BBCI Vice Chairman Paul Chung; Chairman, Dr Surendra Persaud; PR Consultant Kit Nascimento and the Bridge’s Finance Comptroller, Steven Ramchan

Demerara River bridge, a project likely to cost over US$150 million; as well as the construction of a natural gas pipeline, where PPPs are also being considered. “The Board believes this situation is fixable. There is a contract, an established formula within the contract and there are obligations to be met. The tolls ought to be adjusted in accordance with the agreement, in good faith, to allow the company to properly maintain and operate this critical infrastructure.” “The current tolls to the commuters are subsidised in two parts, one: internally by the company as it has not charged the toll as per the agreement and two: by the Government of Guyana, having subsidised the old toll prior to the adjustment, in accordance with the agreement of June 12, 2006.” The internal subsidy by BBCI was implemented after Government had rejected the company’s previous toll adjustment application, while the Government subsidy is basic reduction of G$300 in the tolls. The company, according to Dr Persaud, has now accumulated a loss of G$2.8 billion and faces the distinct possibility of going bankrupt. Besides the losses having prevented the company from paying out dividends, it has impacted the ability to service the 39 pontoons under the bridge.

Toll formula

The company is seek-

ing increases in tolls as per the adjustment formula set out by the agreement between BBCI and with the Government of Guyana. It is understood that this tolling requirement was not applicable until 2014, after which they made their first request just prior to the former Government leaving office. According to the toll policy, the increase is calculated based on “the level of traffic on and under the bridge for the two previous financial years.” According to the policy, “it takes consideration of the toll levels at the start of operations, any provisional toll level applied during the year and the toll level at start of operations adjusted for inflation.” The policy goes on to note that the toll level is adjusted by the use of the consumer price index of the most recent period and two years prior to that. The second part of the formula, it added, computes a provisional toll level to be used until near the end of the financial year. “The company’s contractual and non-contractual cash flow requirements are taken into account. These include cash requirements for servicing of debts, routine operations and maintenance, periodic servicing, trustees fees.” “Any excess cash generated by the provincial tolls applied during the year, is used to reduce the cash flow requirement for the next year and therefore the final toll level required,” the policy adds.

Thief caught taking a nap in victim’s bed ...jailed for 24 months


home intruder was on Monday jailed for 24 months after he broke into a Charlestown, Georgetown home, removed a quantity of household appliances, and then decided to take a nap in the owner’s bed. Paul Narine admitted to breaking and entering the home, but had no valid explanation as to why he decided to sleep in the Virtual Complainant’s bed. The 48-year-old man admitted that he was asleep in the bed of Onica Stanford on July 8, 2018 after stealing two gas cylinders, one radio, one electric bottle, a fan and a DVD player valued in total G$51,000, in the company of Ishwan Singh, who was jointly charged.

Police Prosecutor Quinn Harris told the Court that Narine and Singh entered the woman’s premises, and when she returned home, she found Narine asleep in her bed wearing her mother’s sneakers and her house ransacked with the items mentioned in the charge missing. The Police were called in, and the man was arrested. Singh was picked up after residents reported seeing the two with the gas cylinders. Singh, of Albouystown, Georgetown, has, however, denied the allegation and has been granted bail in the sum of G$70,000. The case will continue on July 30, 2018. Narine was jailed by city Magistrate Judy Latchman for 24 months.


Asked about previous statements from the Minister when he pointed to the lack of a maintenance programme and said he would not consider the increases, Persaud noted that the programme has actually commenced. He made it clear that they were willing to accept Government assistance. “The proposal I spoke about was a separate proposal brought to the Minister to discuss the matter of maintenance. The Minister sought the guidance of the folks from the Demerara Harbour Bridge and we had multiple discussions. The Minister asked us to offer other options.” “That was done. We are still awaiting a response. The maintenance programme has commenced. The bridge company is doing it, which requires a pontoon in the Berbice

River to be taken out to the Atlantic Ocean, brought to the Demerara River and towed back… so that process has commenced,” Dr Persaud informed. The ownership structure of BBCI is made up of ordinary share capital of G$500 million owned by private investors and preference shares of G$950 million owned by NIS. The bridge has a wide cross-section of investors including various pension schemes, insurance schemes, local banks as well as private companies and NIS. When asked what the company’s next step is if their request is not approved, Dr Persaud stated that “the Board of Directors, along with its legal team and management, will have to determine the next step.”

No increase

Efforts by this publication to make contact with Minister Patterson

were futile. However, his Ministry later sent out a statement in which they said Government was not contemplating any fare hikes. According to the statement, “Government stands by its decision to reduce tolls in fulfilling a campaign commitment and will continue to work with the Berbice Bridge Company in ensuring that the Bridge is sufficiently maintained and safe for vehicular and marine use.” “Further Government notes that the Bridge Agreement places obligations on all parties, which include scheduled maintenance and associated upgrades. Any request for toll increases must take into consideration a wide array of factors and cannot solely be on the basis of recouping operational costs and profits on dividend.” (Jarryl Bryan)

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WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

Guyana could become number one oil producer …Rystad Analyst per capita in the world G uyana is projected to be ranked among the 30 largest nations in the 2020s for offshore oil services, says Sonya Boodoo, Senior Analyst at Rystad Energy, an independent energy consulting services and business intelligence data firm offering global databases, strategy consulting, and research. In delivering a presentation on Guyana’s share of revenue from oil production and how this is related to international standards for revenue sharing, Boodoo told a small audience on Tuesday at Duke Lodge that the country has enormous potential even though it is a new frontier for oil and gas development. In a detailed PowerPoint presentation, the Rystad senior analyst said that significant wealth was expected to be generated over the next several years based on oil production in Guyana. “Government is estimated to receive up to US$100 billion at US$70 per barrel oil price scenario if all discoveries are sanctioned.” Rystad is forecasting that Guyana’s 600,000

barrels per day (bpd) in production in the next decade will earn the country revenue of US$15 billion annually from oil and gas, pushing it to the position of number one oil producer per capita in the world. Boodoo said based on her assessment of the raw statistics provided so far, she has concluded that the average Government take for Guyana is 59 per cent. She also added that Guyana’s fiscal regime, although favourable in comparison to other offshore regions, is comparable to other frontier regions. “Also, attractive terms are required to incentivise investment in frontier regions. And fiscal regime stability is a key consideration for E&P companies when making investment decisions,” she added. Boodoo stated that for all the discoveries in the Stabroek Block, the average income would be about US$15 billion and this could be as a result of ambitious development plan that would require at least three large Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSOs).

A section of the audience

“Second and third FPSOs larger capacity than the 120,000 barrel per day for Liza Destiny. Stabroek discoveries lie in water depths ranging from 1500 to 2700 metres and across vast distances of up to 150 km between wells … Development will also require extensive subsea infrastructure, having 60 to 100 wells to be drilled and about 12 to 20 rig years to be consumed,” she explained. Only recently, US oil giant ExxonMobil announced another oil discovery following drilling at the Longtail-1 exploration well in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. This is ExxonMobil’s eighth oil discovery offshore Guyana. The company said in a statement

that the well encountered approximately 256 feet (78 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. At present, the Noble Bob Douglas is completing initial stages of development drilling for Liza Phase 1, for which ExxonMobil announced a funding decision in 2017. The company said

Phase 1 would consist of 17 wells connected to a FPSO vessel. This is designed to produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Meanwhile, Phase 2 concepts are similar to Phase 1 and will involve a second FPSO with production capacity of 220,000 barrels per day. A third development, Payara, is planned to follow Liza Phase 2. 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. The Pacora-1 well is located approximately four miles west of the Payara-1 well. ExxonMobil had announced project sanctioning for the Liza Phase 1 development in June 2017. Following Liza-5, the Stena Carron will conduct additional exploration and appraisal drilling on the block. The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited holds a 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.

Guyanese authorities probing landing of plane with suspected fake registration


ours after a private aircraft landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), it was discovered that its registration number was fake and the “Data Plate” which contained vital information about the aircraft was missing. Based on reports received, the private chartered flight, which is suspected to be registered in Venezuela, landed about 15:20h and was being handled by Roraima Airways Inc. However, in keeping with enhanced security postures and intensified collaboration with the management of the various units/agencies operating at the CJIA, ranks of the Customs Anti-

The false registration number of the aircraft

ing the same number. In addition, there were several other irregularities discovered. As such, the matter was reported to the CANU headquarters and orders were given for the aircraft to be detained. The Police stated that after enquiries were

The small private plane

Narcotics Unit (CANU) were alerted and conducted a preliminary inspection of the aircraft during which certain irregularities were discovered. Guyana Times International understands that the registration number of the aircraft is false since another aircraft is carry-

made, it was revealed that the pilots and passengers were invited to Guyana by one Michael Brassington, who was at the airport to receive them. Brassington and the four passengers reported to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) while

the two pilots arrived in the company of agents of CANU. Two of the passengers and the pilots are Venezuelan. They are in custody assisting with the investigations. Meanwhile, when contacted, Roraima Airways Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gerry Gouveia explained that they were only contracted to be the handling agents. He noted that all the other inspections of documents were done by the various agencies that operate at Guyana’s main port of entry. However, when contacted, CJIA CEO Ramesh Ghir confirmed that the aircraft did arrive on Monday afternoon, but was shortly after impounded by CANU members. He could not say what the irregularities were, but noted that different agencies are responsible for making sure that the aircraft was legal. Attempts to contact the CANU Head proved futile.

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City Hall’s restoration could cost up to G$1 billion


he European Union (EU) on Monday handed over a detailed restoration plan for the deteriorating City Hall. The work is estimated at US$4.3 million (GY$894 million), but the National Trust of Guyana has cited a high figure --G$1 billion. It is expected that work will be done on three buildings City Hall owns. The Comprehensive Restoration and C o n s e r v a t i o n Management Plan for City Hall came under a G$64 million European Union- funded project which was formed out of collaboration between the Georgetown Mayor & City Council (M&CC) and the National Trust of Guyana. It has special focus on the physical and structural state of City Hall and the City Engineer’s Building. Minister with responsibility for Culture, Social Cohesion Dr George Norton, formally received the dossier, which has several thousand pages. The document meticulously details City Hall’s restoration plan, and it is being seen as timely since the 1889 Gothic revival structure is falling apart.

“The onus is on us to preserve and cherish all that it has to offer. When City Hall is restored to its breathtaking glory, we must never allow any of our other cites to deteriorate in such a manner ever again,” the minister appealed. C a r d i n a l I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development Director Andrew McLoughlin, who contributed to the

restoration projection, has said that once the schedule is followed, rehabilitation should be completed by 2020, and he estimated that it would cost around US$4.3 million to restore City Hall. It was, however, the National Trust Head, Nirvana Persaud, who said that when other costs are factored in, the figure could reach GY $1 billion. She once

Minister with responsibility for Culture, Dr George Norton, receiving the dossier from EU Ambassador Jernej Videtič

A deplorable section of City Hall

again appealed to local operatives, including the private sector, to support the restoration initiative. “We do not yet have funds to implement this plan. We have to work together to raise the funds that we need, and a lot of the material and expertise [is] all here,” she said. Meantime, Head of the EU Delegation in Guyana, Ambassador Jernej Videtič, observed that stakeholders should look towards correcting the errors that had led to the structure’s current

state. “Now is not the time for blame-sharing and reliving the mistakes of the past, but the people in the driver’s seats have to take full responsibility, or City Hall will crumble if they don’t,” the EU Ambassador pointed out. The building has suffered much neglect over the years, even though millions of dollars have been allocated to facilitate repairs, including some G$20 million in 2012. Town Clerk Royston King told the gathering that the City Council

has made attempts to restore City Hall and other structures within Georgetown. This newspaper understands that money could be sourced from Central Government, as information disclosed is that funding could be factored into the Culture Department’s 2019 budget as Dr. George Norton is moving to engage Cabinet on allocations for restoration. Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, has received digital copies of the dossier. (Shemuel Fanfair)

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WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

PAC Hearing: Region 10 Admin officials face heat over failure to provide adequate answers BY JARRYL BRYAN


ven though Region 10 Regional Executive Officer (REO) Orrin Gordon walked with regional staff and his predecessor, they were unable to account for bypassing the lowest bidders for contracts and unprepared to answer questions leading to their expulsion from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Instances of the lowest bidders being rejected by the Region 10 administration were put under the microscope by the Committee. It is understood that the Regional Tender Board allegedly awarded millions of dollars in contracts to neither the lowest nor competitive bidders. According to former REO Gavin Clarke, the other companies were bypassed because they performed poorly on their evaluations. But the sitting quickly went south when Clarke could not provide the criteria used to evaluate these companies despite repeated requests from PAC Chairman Irfaan Ali. “In some cases you awarded to the sixth and seventh lowest bid. Can you explain to PAC the reasons not to have awarded the contract to sometimes up to the sixth lowest? For example, the Mackenzie

PAC Chairman Irfaan Ali

and the Committee. “The fifth lowest bidder obtained 74 per cent,” Clarke began, but was promptly stopped by Ali, who informed him that “percentages does not help us! The reasoning, what were the factors in the evaluation score? What were the criteria?” The Chairman even went so far as to outline examples of criteria to Clarke, such as National Insurance Scheme (NIS) compliance and experience, but to little avail. This prompted the Chairman to question whether attempts were being made to mislead the Committee. Absent evaluation report As Clarke had made reference to an evaluation report, it was thought that this could improve the process and so Ali requested it. After being asked repeatedly for the report and a thorough search of his desk, Clarke eventually

fore, instructed the auditors present in the chambers to check for these reports. More tension would follow when Gordon was questioned over the overpayment of G$394,962 to a contractor for the construction of a fence at the Coomacka Nursery School. Gordon could not even provide the Committee with the date the contract was signed. He merely gave estimations. Committee Member, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence pointed out that “accounting is an exact science: you don’t guess or say next week; it’s an exact science. The Chairman is asking for the date, you cannot go back and give him the same answer.” “Ask one of your officers to provide the information. If they don’t, then let them get up, go outside, and call the office, and get the date, and just ask the Chair if we can hold on the question while you get the answer.” When they returned without this information, Ali exclaimed: “This has to be unacceptable. You’re coming here and a simple question like the date a contract was signed, you cannot say? Did you walk with the contract?” When Gordon replied in the negative, Ali

Predecessor and successor: Former REO and Engineer Gavin Clarke is followed by REO Orrin Gordon

Primary School repairs and maintenance work?” Ali asked. “Mr Chairman, on review of the evaluation report, along with the tender minutes, it was revealed that the sixth lowest bidder was awarded having obtained the highest evaluations score of 84 per cent,” Clarke responded. This did not bring much clarity to the issue, as Ali was trying to ascertain on what grounds the other companies were marked down. But despite repeated requests for specifics, Clarke continued to give general responses and percentages to Ali

claimed not to have come with it. Ali then asked Gordon if he had seen the report. At first, the REO fumbled. “REO, there’s no need to guess, you know! Your former REO is saying he had no criteria like that. REO, can you tell me the criteria?” Ali asked. Gordon related that there were issues with personnel, tools, and experience in the companies who received low scores. “So you saw the evaluation report, you saw the criteria; you saw the percentage at each criterion?” Ali further asked. Gordon responded in the affirmative. Ali, there-

turned to the auditors who provided the date December 16. But when the Region 10 REO could not say when the final payment was made after being asked by the Chairman, things had gone too far. “Sir, sir, you’re testing my patience personally… You can’t look down at a paper, say you don’t have that and then proceed and just dismiss me like that. You were asked to bring all the information. I am feeling for the PS. You guys know the type of questions; you will sit out there and get your act together!”

Most economically feasible hydropower project to get underway at Hosororo Creek- GEA


Dr Mahender Sharma, CEO of GEA explaining the different components of the Hydropower plant

ith the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) scheduled to commence the construction of a US$165,175 Hydropower project at Hosororo Creek in August of 2018, the Agency held public consultations with residents of Mabaruma and other stakeholders as a part of the process. The team from GEA visited Region 1, from June 18 to 20 and included Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mahender Sharma; Hydropower Support Engineers Dolwin Khan and Winston Setal along with Technician, Christopher Nelson. The Hosororo Hydropower Project was one of 67 sites identified in 1976 as having hydropower potential. Situated at the Hosororo Creek about a 4.6 km flight to the south-west of Mabaruma the initial plant was built in the late 1980’s to supply electricity to an agricultural produce processing facility that was built nearby. The project was abandoned some years after its inauguration. In 2015, the German Government, through its German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) initiative, committed to assisting the GEA with developing the project. The US$165,175 project received US$91,108 in financing from the Government of Guyana and US$74,067 in financing from GIZ/REETA. According to Dr Mahender Sharma, CEO of GEA, the Hosororo Hydropower Project site has been of interest for several years and “…the project is also serving as a capacity building exercise for the GEA, as it allows the Hydro Power Support Engineers of the Agency to gain knowledge and experience of hydro power develop-

ment. He explained that a lot of work was done over the past three years to reach the current level of the project’s realization. Noting that the hydropower project was the most economically feasible when compared to solar and diesel, he highlighted that “…while it would cost US$0.50 to produce a kilowatt-hour from diesel and US$0.36 to produce a kilowatt-hour from solar, hydropower would cost US$0.31 to produce a kilowatt-hour of energy…”. He further stated that “…thanks to grant financing for the Project, this cost would reduce to US$0.21/kWh”. Though the Hosororo hydropower plant will only contribute eight per cent of Mabaruma’s energy demand (approximately 64MWh a year), Dr Sharma noted that the supply “…would help the township diversify its energy mix, provide energy security, and reduce the use of fossil fuel”. He said too that the project is one of very low environmental impact since structures, such as a powerhouse, were already in place from the project’s first attempt in the 80’s. There are currently approximately 700 customers, both residential and commercial, who are connected to the grid. The resuscitated hydropower project, according to a statement from the GEA, will feature a new design that was conceptualized by GEA’s Engineers and will entail the construction of a 20kW run-of-the-river type micro hydropower plant inclusive of weir/ intake and penstocks but will use the existing powerhouse after it has undergone repairs. Construction time is estimated at eight months, with commencement in

August of this year. The beneficiaries of the project were outlined as the Guyana Water Inc. (GWI), National Agricultural Research and Extension institute (NAREI); the Mabaruma Power Company; and the residents. It was explained that supervision of the project during the construction phase will be conducted by GEA’s Engineers, along with their counterparts from the Hinterland Electrification Company Inc. (HECI) and the Mabaruma Power and Light Company (MPLC). Additionally, "regular updates will be provided to the Mayor and Councillors of the Region, and the general community, on the project through meetings and site visits. During these sessions they will be encouraged to participate in the monitoring of the project" GEA said. During the community engagement, Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley, thanked the GEA and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure for ensuring that the project was resuscitated. “Initiatives like these will aid the transformative process of the region,” Ashley emphasized. “I am happy that this is going to become a reality,” he added and indicated that the RDC fully supported the project. He also urged technical support from GEA to allow for the sustainability of the project. The GEA said it will use the knowledge and experience gained from this project to continue its efforts towards the development of Hydropower in Guyana in keeping with its vision to provide reliable energy in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable frame work.


More Venezuelans crossing...

from page 5

looming in Region One, given the large number of Venezuelans who are illegally crossing the border to seek medical attention and engage in trade. Though acknowledging that Guyana has to show care towards its Spanish-speaking neighbours, Smith said that it must not come at the expense of the health and safety of locals. Further, he noted that they can certain-

The Venezuelan nationals

ly bring diseases here, since there are no checks and balances and lots of the migrants have malaria and “we were almost malaria-free here�. He urged that a joint meeting be convened in the town with regional and Health Ministry officials, whereby residents would also be able to make inputs. Meanwhile, the Venezuela Support Group (VSG) has been established in Guyana

to provide advice and assistance to Venezuelans seeking refuge from the deprivations and insecurity currently gripping their homeland. The VSG, consisting of eight civic and faithbased organisations, was assembled to establish possible partnerships with the Ministry of Citizenship in regard to the above situation. The founding members of the VSG include the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA); Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA); Guyana Institute for Transparency Inc (GITI); Moray House Trust; Policy Forum Guyana; Red Thread; the Roman Catholic Diocese of Guyana, and the Ursuline Sisters in Guyana.

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WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

President, Opposition Leader likely to meet soon over Top Cop’s appointment


resident David Granger is reportedly preparing to meet Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, as it pertains to the appointment of the Commissioner of Police. This confirmation comes on the heels of statements made by State Minister Joseph Harmon, who reminded the media last Thursday that the matter of a substantive appointment of a Police Commissioner after Seelall Persaud’s retirement back in April of this year, was still before President Granger. Currently, AssistantPolice Commissioner David Ramnarine is acting in the capacity as Guyana’s Police Commissioner. He has been interviewed as part of the selection process. The other seven Assistant Commissioners interviewed for the post are Crime Chief Paul Williams; ACPOperations Clifton Hicken; Force’s Finance Officer, Nigel Hoppie; A Division Commander (ag), Leslie James; substantive A Division Commander, Marlon Chapman, who is current-

File photo: President David Granger greets Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo upon his arrival at State House

ly on leave; B Division Commander, Lyndon Alves; and for the first time, a woman contender, the ACP-Administrate II, Maxine Graham. The Police Service Commission has to be fully constituted first before any selection could be made. The National Assembly recently approved some of the names following consultations with key entities.

Retired Assistant Commissioner, Paul Slowe heads the list of persons recommended by the Committee of Appointments of the National Assembly for appointment to the Police Service Commission. Paul Slowe had been the Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the alleged assassination plot on the President last year. In his COI report

which was leaked to the state media before Cabinet could peruse it, he outlined several disciplinary actions to be taken against the former Commissioner, Seelall Persaud among other senior officers who were interviewed by the Commission. Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, at that time had indicated his belief that Slowe had “had an axe to grind” and

was acting on the basis of vendetta. He then drew attention to the fact the Slowe had in fact served on the coalition’s campaign team in the last general Elections held in May 2015. Also recommended were Retired Assistant Commissioner, Clinton Conway and Retired Woman Assistant Commissioners of Police, Vesta Adams and Claire Jarvis. The nominations to the Police Service Commission were received from the Association of Former Members of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Police Association. Meanwhile, the Opposition leader has declined media requests to name his favoured nominee for the Top Cop post saying that any decision to identify the person he believes is most suitable would be done following consultations and discussions with President Granger on the matter. Jagdeo said that only after the process winds up then he would be at liberty to inform the na-

tion of both his concerns and who he would have chosen were it solely up to him. The Opposition Leader also confirmed that his office is not in receipt of any official correspondence for a meeting with Granger on the matter nor has been duly informed that a meeting would be taking place anytime soon. As it pertains to the appointment of the Top Cop, section 210 of Chapter 1:01 of the Constitution of Guyana outlines that there must be meaningful consultations with the Opposition Leader and Chairperson of the Police Service Commission. “The Commissioner of Police and every Deputy Commissioner of Police shall be appointed by the President acting after meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and Chairperson of the Police Service Commission after the Chairperson has consulted with the other members of the Commission,” the relevant section of the Constitution states. (Michael Younge)

Baby Bonanza: Triplets and three sets of twins successfully delivered at GPHC


ithin the past week, the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) has welcomed the safe arrival of nine babies. Twenty-six-year-old Mandisa McKinnon is now the proud mother of three boys, all born on Friday, July 6. Dejuan, Demitri and Dekarri were all delivered via cesarean sec-

tion in the early hours of Friday morning. The mother of the triplets said that this was her first pregnancy. Delroy George, the father of the triplets, was overjoyed as he is a first-time father. This is the first set of triplets born at the GPHC since 2012 according to the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Brigadier Ret’d

George Lewis. Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence was among the first group of visitors to mother and babies and she shared her excitement with the family. “Since I got the news, I was so excited and so happy, I couldn’t wait to get down here and meet these boys.” According to a

Minister Lawrence visiting other babies in the ward

Shequita Michael and Vincent Benjamin with their twins, Orion and Venus Benjamin

DPI release, Minister Lawrence, along with elated GPHC staff and other well-wishers, delivered hampers to the family. She also assured the new parents that they will receive assistance not only from her ministry but also from the Ministry of Social Protection, which is headed by Minister Amna Ally, who also had an opportunity to meet the mother via the telephone. Further, Minister Lawrence encouraged

the family to apply for a house lot and assured that such would be easily accessed. This, she said, will form part of the government’s commitment to the well-being of the newborn babies. One of the triplets were receiving special medical attention at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit while the other two slept peacefully in the maternity ward’s nursery. Meanwhile, there were three sets of

twins also resting at the GPHC. Shequita Michael gave birth to twins; a boy and girl on June 29, Nandranie Sampran gave birth to twin girls and Lashanna Murray also had twin girls on July 7, 2018. All deliveries were done via cesarean section. Minister Lawrence took the opportunity, while at the hospital, to visit all other babies and their mothers at the post-natal unit of the GPHC.




WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

news 17


Conflicting reports over stabbing death of 15-yr-old boy at Soesdyke


teenager was in the wee hours of Monday found dead in the vicinity of a wedding house at Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara (EBD) with stab wounds to his body. Ricardo Singh, also called “Cardo”, of Lot 63 Avenue A & B, Diamond New Housing Scheme, EBD, was reportedly stabbed several times, including once to his abdomen. Based on reports received, the 15-yearold former Diamond Secondary School student and his friends left their respective homes on Sunday with the intention of “taking a lime” at the Linden-Soesdyke Highway Junction but instead went to the wedding house, which was closeby. However, while there, a gang of men allegedly attempted to relieve one of the teen’s friends of his gold chain and cash, resulting in the now dead teen intervening. His friend whom he was helping reportedly ran away leaving Singh behind. The young man, who would have celebrated his 16th birthday on Thursday, was subsequently found in a nearby trench with his intestines protruding. He was picked up and taken to the Diamond hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. At the home of the young man on Monday, his mother, Elaine Singh, was being consoled by relatives and friends. She related that her son left home just after noon on Sunday to meet his friends. He was riding his pedal cycle. The grieving mother related that as night fell, she called her son several times on his mobile phone, but her calls went un-answered. His father also attempted to call but to no avail. The devastated woman recalled her son’s friend visiting their home at about 08:00h and related that the young man was stabbed. “He (the friend) tell we that he was wearing a gold chain and had money and some people tried to rob he, but meh son went to his assistance … He also tell we that after they run, they thought my son was behind them, but he was nowhere around …,” the grieving mother related. She maintains that

Dead: Ricardo Singh

something is not adding up. “If they know that my son get stab since midnight or just after mid-night, why they wait till 8 o’clock to tell we? Is whole night I didn’t sleep because I was worried about my son… He didn’t tell we where he going, so I get worried,” she stated. Upon receiving the news, the teen’s father contacted the Police and subsequently visited the Lyken Funeral Home where he positively identified his son. The woman noted that the friend with whom her son had gone to the wedding was later taken into custody. She told Guyana Times International that her now dead son would normally go out with his friends, but would return home by nightfall.

Another scenario

Meanwhile, this publication was reliably informed that the young man was misbehaving at the wedding and the Police were called in to intervene. However, at the time, members of the Community Policing Group (CPG) were patrolling the area and as such, they reportedly arrested the young man. He was placed in the back of the motor vehicle and as it took off for the Timehri Police Station, he reportedly jumped out. A woman who asked to remain anonymous explained that from all indications, the members of the CPG used excessive force on the young man. She indicated that after the young man jumped out of the vehicle, it kept going. Upon the discovery of the young man in the trench, the Police were contacted. A CPG member and another man were arrested and are assisting with the investigations.

‘Constant excuses unacceptable’ …Opposition Leader says of President’s 2 press conferences in 3 years


pposition Leader and former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday asserted that President David Granger’s constant excuses to not host press conferences is a clear indication that he is “abdicating his responsibilities,” and this is clearly unacceptable. Jagdeo was at the time making this pronouncement based on Granger’s recent request that the media be “tolerant” of his low levels of engagement since the APNU/ AFC Administration came into power three years ago. On Monday last, in defending why he has not held a press conference in months and why there were fewer formal engagements with the media, Granger said that his schedule was a major factor. “My heart is in the right place, but right now, I’ve had a really difficult period of public engagement and overseas travel,” the President told the media on the sidelines of an event. He added that “this time last week, I was in Montego Bay, the week before I was in Da Nang, Vietnam. It could be a very challenging period and soon as I get the opportunity I will engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot … I’m asking the media to be tolerant.” However, on Wednesday, Jagdeo lambasted this, saying that Granger’s “sojourn abroad” has resulted in nothing significant for Guyana or its people. “President Granger, in over three years in Government, held two press conferences about 30 minutes each, he spoke about 20 minutes, and took on average 5 questions each…The President said as soon as I have more time, I will engage the media. I’m asking the media to be tolerant… Yes he has been travelling a lot but what’s the purpose of the travel? …A meaning-

less speech in Vietnam?…He’s busy travelling, yes, but achieving nothing,” he told media operatives. Granger had also said that he was preoccupied with dealing with several local issues. “It could be a challenging period and as soon as I get the opportunity, I would engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot and then to deal with domestic issues – the sugar industry, we have to deal with the petroleum industry, I have to deal with crime and security,” he had explained. However, according to the Opposition Leader, this is a baseless statement. “He claimed that he was busy… travelling quite a lot and have to deal with domestic issues, petroleum and sugar industry…and crime…He shamelessly cites the Petroleum industry [when there are so many unanswered questions]. What is he dealing with in the Sugar Industry? [He] laid off thousands of people, there’s no social safety net, people can’t feed their families…they raised G$30B through SPU and not saying what they will spend the money on…The President has been addressing the sugar industry so much that he can’t even name a board…but he’s busy… When this country is being ravaged on a daily basis by criminals and we have a hopelessly misguided British consultant...We don’t see any specific measures being rolled out… They can’t move ahead with the appointment of a substantive Police Commissioner,” Jagdeo chided. In the past, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) and other groups, including the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), have urged Granger to meet with the press. These groups have also criticised Government for its silence on a number of matters of national importance, calling on the President to toughen up and face the entire local

President David Granger

media corps. The GPA had acknowledged that the President was not averse to speaking with the media on the side-lines of public events or during his “Public Interest” televised programme; however, the Association said that they believe that accountability to the Guyanese people would be best served through press conferences. Public officials under the coalition Government have gone mute for a while now. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who has responsibility for public information, is also unavailable to the media and does not host press conferences to update the media or the public on what is going on with his office or the Government. Political analysts and commentators have also noted that there was a new culture seemingly developing whereby Ministers of Government were abusing and assaulting the media directly when displeased with a specific line of questioning, coverage of an event or editorial position of a newspaper on a particular matter. After two years in office, President Granger held a press conference in December 2017, only the second since the coalition came into Government in May 2015. (Ramona Luthi)

Govt living quarters

132 buildings occupied, but only 26 occupants paying rent BY JARRYL BRYAN


he Auditor General found in 2016 that out of 300 buildings owned by the Region Four Administration, 132 were occupied. However, only 26 of these occupants were actually paying rent, and the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) has since been called in to assist in the eviction of those not paying rent. The matter came up before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday, and Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas was asked to account for the matter. The Auditor General had noted that occupants included individuals from Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) and TOPCO. Committee Chairman Irfaan Ali observed that if the tables were turned, squatters would have been thrown out. He therefore expressed dissatisfaction with the situation. Lucas revealed that in addition to the guidance from the Auditor General’s findings, she asked

SARA to get involved in the matter since last year. Committee Member Nigel Dharamlall made the observation that instead of going to the Attorney General, she approached SARA. He therefore questioned why the AG Chambers were not approached, as the entity with responsibility for legally defending the state. “SARA first came to me,” the REO replied. “SARA came to me for assistance. I needed assistance, and that is why I asked them. SARA came to examine some buildings in my region. They wanted a list of all the buildings, and I furnished them the information; and during the discussion, I asked for assistance.” But when Dharamlall asked for an update on SARA’s involvement, Lucas revealed that there has been no progress on the matter. She noted that there have been several instances when she discussed the matter with them. According to Civil Service Law, 2004 public service rules, “Government quarters provided to

public servants as a condition of service, eg in the case of hospital staff where presence on a hospital compound may be required on a continuous basis, shall be free of rent.” It goes on to state that: “in lieu of quarters, a house allowance may, with the approval of the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Ministry, be granted to a public servant who is entitled to free quarters but for whom quarters are not available.” It is understood that for unfurnished quarters, an employee who does pay rent is required to pay 10 per cent of his or her salary, while the requirement for a furnished apartment is 12 per cent of that employee’s pay. When Auditor General Deodat Sharma flagged the issue in his report in 2016, he could not verify that they were entitled to rent free accommodation. He had therefore recommended “that the Regional Administration take steps to ensure all outstanding amounts for rent are collected and deposited into the Consolidated Fund.”


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |



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WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

Lindo Creek CoI granted another extension


resident David Granger has given the Justice Donald Trotman headed Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (CoI) several more weeks to complete its work. The inquiry was established to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the murder of eight miners and to report its findings and recommendations to President David Granger. In public documents seen by Guyana Times International, the retired Judge has now been granted until July 31, 2018, to complete his work. Before that, in April, the Judge was given no later than Tuesday, May 15, 2018, to complete his report. Afterward, Justice Trotman was given no later than June 30 to get his work complete. This is now the third extension Justice Trotman has been granted to complete the CoI. Following much public criticism of the CoI, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had said it felt the CoI was being geared to clear notorious mass killer Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins’ name from involvement in the incident. However, the Government maintained that the Lindo Creek CoI is just the first of what they say would be a series of inquiries into the hundreds of killings which occurred during a crime wave in Guyana. Concerns were also raised since the lone Commissioner was the father of Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and the Commission’s

Retired Justice Donald Trotman

Counsel was Patrice Henry, the brother of Education Minister Nicolette Henry. The PPP had also expressed scepticism about participating and supporting the work of the Commission, as the Party believes commentary from senior Government officials signalled that the CoI was designed to achieve a political outcome and to continue what it says is “witch-hunting” of Opposition personalities. Sometime between June 12, 2008, and June 24, 2008, miners Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres were shot and killed, and their bodies burnt at the Upper Berbice River mining camp, which was being operated by Leonard Arokium. In June, relatives of the murdered miners held a memorial walk in honour of their loved ones. Most of the relatives said they have completed application forms for assistance which was offered by President David Granger. While some called for finances, others said they needed new homes and jobs for their children.

news 21


NY Mayor announces record low traffic fatalities for first 6 months of 2018

One year on:

Cops still hunting prison escapees


Mayor Bill de Blasio

ew York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that under the Vision Zero program, New York City had ended the first six months of 2018 with the fewest traffic fatalities ever measured in any six-month period. According to a release from the Mayor’s Office, as of June 30th, the city had recorded 81 fatalities, the lowest ever in a six-month period, and only the second time that fewer than 100 lives had been lost in a half-year period. The Mayor also noted how the data continue to show New York City bucking national fatality trends, giving much of the credit to the speed-camera law, which because of State Senate inaction, now faces expiration later this month. “No loss of life on our streets is acceptable,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Under Vision Zero, we have made enormous strides towards safer streets for all, with traffic fatalities declining for the past four-and-a-halfyears. But we will never rest on our laurels, and will keep fighting for the safety of our fellow New Yorkers. The state Senate’s failure to act on speed cams puts this progress, and the lives of school children, at risk. They must act now – lives are at stake.” The Vision Zero highlights from the first six months of 2018 include: Fatalities are down or even in all modes except among motorcyclists. Cyclist fatalities dropped from 10 to 7, motor vehicle occupant fatalities fell from 27 to 15, while pedestrian fatalities remained at 47. Motorcyclist fatalities have increased from 11 to 12. New York City’s previous record-low for traffic fatalities during a six-

month period was the first half of 2017, when 95 fatalities were recorded. Declines by borough have been largest in Manhattan (9 fatalities in 2018 compared to 21 in 2017) and in the Bronx (13 this year from 22 last year). “Nowhere else in America has seen our continued year-overyear declines in traffic fatalities,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Now, under the Mayor’s leadership, we are going on a fifth straight year of overall declines in fatalities with national trends going in the reverse direction. Given the central role we believe speed cameras have played in making our streets safer, we are however concerned that inaction by Albany could bring a tragic end to that progress. We urge the Stare Senate to return to Albany save lives by expanding and renewing our speed camera program.” “From running background checks to conducting on-the-ground enforcement, the TLC ensures that professional drivers are on the road and holds its licensees accountable for driving safely. Our agency’s Vision Zero work ranges from field enforcement against speeding drivers and red light runners to ensuring that drivers with poor records don’t get behind the wheel of a taxi or for-hire vehicle,” said Commissioner Meera Joshi. “We celebrate the diligent work of our city’s safest and most talented drivers at our annual Safety Honor Roll, and make certain that the thousands of new licensees every month who want to drive a TLCcontinued on page 24

Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels

t is now one year since remanded murder accused Cobena Stephens escaped from the Camp Street Prisons in Georgetown after that facility had been set on fire. It is also almost one year since convicted murderer Paul Goriah escaped from the holding area of the Lusignan Prisons on the East Coast of Demerara. Both men are still on the run, and according to Prison Director Gladwin Samuels, the hunt is still on for them. Stephens, 26, also called “OJ,” formerly of Lot 82 Gopie Street, Middle Walk, Buxton, was on remand on a murder charge when he escaped on July 9, 2017 while prisoners were being transported to the Lusignan Prisons after the July 7, 2017 fire at the Georgetown Prisons. Goriah, whose last known address was given as Grove Squatting Area, East Bank Demerara, escaped from the Lusignan holding area along with 12 others after he was successfully transported to the said facility. According to Prisons Director Samuels, while the search is not making headlines in the media, the Prison Service and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) are on the hunt for escaped prisoners. “While it is not in the news every day, there are a lot of persons who have escaped over the years.

Efforts are always being made in order to have these persons recaptured,” Samuels noted. Samuels disclosed that information pertaining to escaped prisoners is always being circulated with the intention of having them recaptured. “We would do circulation of names and possible descriptions. We have prison officers who are familiar with these persons who are constantly looking for them in villages that they are from, and so on. We have Police (ranks) who are on general patrol and so

from the Camp Street penitentiary. One prison officer was left dead and several others injured during that fire. Varswyk was killed in a shootout with Police in Linden, while Williams, Alexander and James were all recaptured; but Stephens was never found. Goriah was among the 13 inmates who dug their way out of the Lusignan Prison on July 24 of last year. He remains the only prisoner at large from that batch of escapees. Goriah and three other men

Paul Goriah

Cobena Stephens

on; and (we) have not given up in the hunt for these persons,” he explained. After the entire penal facility at Camp Street had been destroyed by fire, a decision was made to transport the inmates to the Lusignan Prisons. In the process of being transported, Stephens made good his escape, and has been said to be hiding out in Bartica. During the fire at the Camp Street Prisons, Lusignan mass killer Mark Royden Williams, excop and double murder accused Uree Varswyk, murder accused Stafrei Alexander and murder accused Desmond James all escaped

had been charged and remanded to prison for the murder of remigrant agriculturist Anthony Breedy, who was found dead in his Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara home in March 2016. It is believed that the men escaped from the swampy pasture of the Lusignan Prison by digging a hole about five feet in length and another five feet in depth under the perimeter fence. While there are three layers of security at the penitentiary, the men were able to escape presumably during a downpour that occurred in the wee hours on the day of their escape.

Mabaruma to get fish processing plant


a b a r u m a , Region One will see the introduction of a seafood processing plant in the near future, to assist residents with the preservation of their day’s catch, which is usually wasted owing to the lack of a processing and storage facility. This was announced by Junior Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe, who told Guyana Times International last week, of the intentions of the Ministry to provide the residents with the new facility. She noted that the shelf life of the seafood that is caught will be extended enabling fisherfolk to earn more. “The facility will be for crab and fish. That is for a longer shelf life so that the people can earn a living there. Normally, the Waraus would just come and bring their crabs. If they bring a

Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe

crate, two or three might get sell and they have to carry it back home,” the Minister noted. “If they bring fresh fish, all of that wouldn’t sell but if we have smoked fish or salted fish, it can be preserved. Now if we have the facility, it can supply the whole region,” she added.

Meanwhile, GarridoLowe also commented on the status of the coffee and cassava flour projects in the Moruca sub-district which are currently ongoing. For the cassava flour project, the site for the building as well as the design has been finalised. “With the coffee, the

seeds are being brought from Brazil. [National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute] NAREI will germinate it and the farmers already cleared their lands to plant. They would have to do intercropping because with coffee farming, you can reap until next year and a half or two. So they would do intercropping with peas, melon and cassava,” she added. The area is strategically positioned to engage in significant economic gains and the coffee and cassava flour projects will be among other sustainable initiatives to change the trajectory of the lives of residents. Some 15 farmers from Santa Rosa Village is expected to be involved in the coffee project, while 35 will be involved in the cassava flour project in Kwebanna.


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

White elephant! By Lakhram Bhagirat


he residents on the Island of Leguan in the Essequibo River are concerned about the future of the multimillion-dollar plantain chip factory, which is yet to become operational some two years after it was completed. The project was started in 2015. However, since its completion in 2016 and several commitments towards operationalising the facility, the residents on the island of Leguan are yet to benefit. The factory, which has the capacity to employ over 30 persons, is yet to be opened and residents are growing concerned as they expressed disappointment at Government’s apparent disinterest in the facility. During a recent visit to the island by Guyana Times International, residents said the Business Ministry needs to provide answers about the facility. Resident, Hans Buer, told this publication that they have received word that Government is considering selling the factory. He added that efforts to confirm whether this is the case proved

The Leguan plantain chip factory

futile since the Business Ministry does not respond to correspondences regarding the factory. “The factory was never opened and they said yes they would open the factory last year. They will open it this year and the Ministry don’t answer my messages via email or Facebook. I know nothing,” he said. “I hear they are going to sell out the building. If opened, that it can employ 20-30 people and it is good for the people, but we hear nothing. They have security guards but the factory is empty as it is,” Buer added. Presently, while the building is completed, this publication observed that electricity is yet to be connected and residents indicated the

building has no equipment for the functioning of the factory. However, the regional administration is paying two persons to guard the unoccupied, empty building. According to Government, the size of the property is 8625 square feet and includes machines such as slicing processors, blanching, dewatering, frying, de-oiling, seasoning and packaging equipment. In 2016, the Business Ministry in a local newspaper advertisement invited interested investors to submit Expressions of Interest along with their business proposal for undertaking the factory. In addition, in May 2017, Permanent Secretary of the Business Ministry, Rajdai Jagernauth, told

the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that the factory would be operational by the end of June but that never came to fruition.

Plantain chips business

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has repeatedly accused the Government of running a “plantain chip economy”, positing that there is no vision for proper economic development. In response to those allegations, last year President David Granger said that if it has to start with plantain chips then so be it adding that small things could end up big. “I know somebody who started off producing fruit juices at Timehri and today those fruits juices are being bottled or boxed…it may start

…Leguan residents blast Govt for failure to operationalize plantain chips factory

with plantain chips… small things could end up big,” Granger was quoted as saying. However, when Guyana Times International contacted Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, he related that the Ministry is not in the business of making plantain chips. Gaskin said they had previously advertised for persons or businesses who were interested in running the factory to indicate such, noting that they received one response. “We got someone who was interested and there was some issues relating to the suitability of the equipment and the electricity supply and a number of things and then we finally got it resolved they said they were no longer interested. So we have to start all over again looking for someone to take it up and that is the situation as it stands,” he said. When asked about whether the process has restarted, the Minister explained that there are some additional issues to be ironed out before they can proceed further on the project.

“The equipment (for the factory) was ordered since 2014, before our Government came into office. This equipment was ordered, and I don’t know really how the specifications were generated for the equipment, but it was delivered afterwards, and the equipment met the specifications of the contract. However, apparently it looks like it is not the most suitable for what it is required for so we don’t want to advertise it again and run into the same problem. So we have to figure it out what to do with this, right now what is the problem,” Gaskin explained. This project falls under the previous Administration’s Rural Enterprise Development programme, which commenced back in 2014. These projects initially comprised the construction of two call centres – one in Tuschen in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and one in Enmore in Region Four (DemeraraMahaica), and two chip factories, one in Leguan and one in the neighbouring island of Wakenaam. continued on page 23



White elephant!

from page 22

ing island of Wakenaam. However, the Wakenaam factory was deemed unsuitable for a number of reasons. The main economic activity on the island of Leguan is farming, particularly rice, but since the announcement of the plantain chip factory, a number of farmers converted some of their property to facilitate the anticipated demand for the commodity. Ever since a number of farmers have been left with large plantain fields and not enough market. However, some residents say the increased plantain production is nothing compared to the lack of job opportunities on the island. They said they have accepted the fact that there are only so many jobs that would be available on the roughly 12-square miles island, nothing that is the reason the factory is even more important to them. “We got no jobs for the young people. They go to school here and write CXC and get all them subject but then them got to go to Parika or town (Georgetown) fuh look wuk. What sense that make because them can’t stay here and develop the island. Them got fuh move out. Government got to do something man,” resident Bharrat Narine said. The man then explained that the proposed 30 jobs that the factory was expected to create would have been a step in the right direction towards improving the standard of living on the island, as well as increase its economic standing. For now, the Leguan plantain chip factory sits idle, with no electricity, two security guards, and sheep grazing in the yard on overgrown grass.

Several unanswered questions about Govt’s renewable energy plans – Opposition Leader


Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

ith Government expressing goals such as 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025, the parliamentary Opposition believes critical questions that would bring clarity on how Government intends to make Guyana’s energy mix work, are not being answered. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo recently zeroed in on solar energy plans for Guyana. He noted that one crucial question with the Government’s solar power initiatives involves using back-up energy generation. But he said Government is caught in a policy vacuum, hence specifics like these are not being addressed. “There is an entire policy vacuum now, because this is precisely what the Government is not doing. So it goes off to Norway, it makes an announcement that we want 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025. It then goes out to advertise for 50-megawatt gas fired power plant. That has disappeared now from the horizon, totally disappeared. A year

has passed since they made that advertisement, no update about what is happening there,” he said. “The President goes to India, talks about a solar state, they come back and want to see solar power replacing hydro now. They still have not answered the questions as to if this is possible. Given the storage needs. I can understand during the day, but there are enormous storage needs and the capacity for this. And the need to replace batteries, whether it could become base load and what happens if for four days or so you have overcast conditions in the country and you have very little solar in the country. What happens then?” According to Jagdeo, who conceptualised the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), this situation would then warrant extra backup energy being introduced, as much as 100 megawatts if that was the wattage being generated by the solar power. Added to this, Jagdeo noted, was constant rhetoric about a green state economy but without discussions on how natural gas and oil would conflict with this ideal. “You would then have to put in, if you get 80 megawatts, or 100 megawatts solar energy you may have to put in another 100 megawatts of back-up energy for that period when you don’t have solar power, you’d have to switch over. These are questions that need to be answered,” Jagdeo declared.

Energy targets

A number of renewable energy farms and facilities form the thrust of Government’s goals. In the case of solar energy, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson recently provided an update on a US$3.8 million solar farm.

The farm, to be funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will be constructed at Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). The Minister had indicated that construction of this farm would be completed by the end of 2018. He had also spoken of securing funding from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to establish photo-voltaic (PV) farms at Port Kaituma, Region One (Barima-Waini) at a cost of US$1.8 million; Kwakwani, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) to the tune of US$2.6 million; and Matthews Ridge, Region One at a cost of US$2 million. Patterson also referred to President David Granger’s India visit a few months ago to attend the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Founding Conference and Solar Summit, saying Guyana is now a member of this alliance. He pointed out that a line of credit of approximately US$15 million will be available to Guyana. While it has not yet been allocated, Patterson noted that the idea is to provide funding to utility scale energy for Indigenous villages to the tune of four megawatts. He revealed that the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry and the Communities Ministry will identify these villages. Government has been heavily criticised for the Green State Development Strategy that has been touted as a blue print to developing a “green economy.” The Opposition has described the document as a hollow one. But with Government recently getting the green light to access funds from Norway for its renewable energy initiatives, questions remain over exactly what policy document was presented.

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WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

Cops hunting man who attempted to Granger, Bouterse meet smuggle ganja in boots for prisoner A on security of fishermen …commit to agricultural trade, tourism, investment


Presidents David Granger and Desi Bouterse

resident David Granger has met his Surinamese counterpart, President Desi Bouterse, on the sidelines of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom, to review the changing situation in the Caribbean and South America. According to President Granger, the opportunity was taken to discuss matters of mutual concern. “Whenever we meet, we try to speak. Unfortunately, because of various reasons, I have been travelling quite a lot, and we have not been able to have our regular meeting; so we are just reviewing the changing situation in the Caribbean, and also on the continent of South America,” President Granger explained. The Guyanese Head of State said the meeting also allowed for the two neighbouring presidents to plan for future meetings, and identify matters to be discussed. “In a sense, we’re setting the agenda for a further meeting between President Bouterse and myself. So, it’s an agenda- setting meeting and at the same time it’s a review of certain developments which have taken place since our last meeting,” he said. Security matters such as piracy were discussed, and the two Heads of State have agreed to work to find short- to long-term solutions. “As a matter of urgency, you know we have the security problem affecting the fishermen,

and we are looking to deal with issues which could be resolved in the short and middle terms, to ensure that there is no lawlessness as occurred in April,” President Granger said. In July 2016, President David Granger had made a visit to neighbouring Suriname with a view to expediting the implementation of various decisions that had been taken earlier. President Desi Bouterse in turn had made a oneday state visit to Guyana in December 2016 for a working meeting in Georgetown. The two countries have agreed to work to expedite re-establishment of the GuyanaSuriname Cooperation Council, along with the appointment of a special envoy whose main responsibility would be to advance the implementation of agreements reached by the two States. Additionally, a joint communique issued by the two parties had stated that technical officials from Guyana and Suriname would meet to discuss, through their respective committees, issues in relation to the protection of the environment, agricultural trade, tourism, investment, and cross-border activities. “Both leaders agreed that full advantage should be taken of the opportunities for combining human and capital resources to further the economic and social development of the peoples of Guyana and Suriname,” the communique had stated.

uthorities are on the hunt for a male who on Sunday attempted to smuggle marijuana and cigarettes into the Lusignan Prison when he took there an outfit for an inmate to wear to court. At about 14:30h on Sunday, the suspect went to the Lusignan Prison’s checkpoint to deliver the clothes and footwear. According to Prison Director (ag) Gladwin Samuels, whenever items are taken for prisoners, they have to be documented and scrutinised. He noted that the person delivering the items would have to produce a form of identification as part of the documentation process. When the suspect arrived at the checkpoint on Sunday afternoon, he reportedly placed the items on the table for “booking,” and produced his National Identification Card. However, before the rank on duty could commence the booking process, he observed that the footwear looked strange. Realising something was amiss, the suspect immediately grabbed his ID Card and bolted from the booking area, leaving the items behind. Further scrutiny of the items, revealed that four packets of cigarettes were in one side of the sneakers and 108 grams of marijuana in the other. Although no details

The items that were found in the prison compound earlier on Sunday

of the suspect had been documented, the officer was able to observe his physical description, and same will be provided to the Police. The prisoner to whom the items were being delivered has been identified. He is housed in the facility’s holding bay. Authorities at the Lusignan Penitentiary had, earlier on Sunday, unearthed a quantity of marijuana in the compound. Samuels said the ranks were conducting security checks at about 09:30h when they observed a black plastic bag in a drain next to the pig pen. The bag was opened and searched, revealing a quantity of marijuana, lighters, bambu wrappers and small Ziploc bags. The smuggling of contraband items remains a pervasive problem within the prison system, and while authorities have

been working to curb the practice, several prison officers have been caught facilitating the illegal trade, which is said to be a “big business”. In fact, Samuels disclosed on Friday last during a press briefing that five prison officers have been relieved of their duties after they had been fingered in the May 1, 2018 incident in which a parcel containing cannabis had been thrown into the Lusignan Prison Holding Bay area. “…We also have five officers who have been interdicted from duty following the May 1 matter at the Holding Bay, where our CCTV footage would have revealed that a number of what is suspected to be contraband items were thrown into the Holding Bay facility… Based on the reviews we would have conducted, it is clear that the officers were working

in collusion with each other in order to facilitate the movement of the suspected contraband into the prison,” he explained. Samuels further disclosed that legal advice has been sought from the Director of Public Prosecutions on the way forward; and he has decried the behaviour of such ranks. “It is quite disturbing, it is quite embarrassing, to have to face these situations on a daily basis; but this is not a situation whereby the prison administration is failing to act. The reality of it is, despite we would do vetting and so forth, these prison officers are drawn from communities…and for some strange reason, despite they’re given their dos and don’ts, they allow themselves to be sucked into the financial gains that these activities can bring you,” he said.

Political will needed to... becoming ever more important. Referring to an InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) study, the GMSA President said the Caribbean circle has some uniquely high levels of violent crimes. According to the study,

estimates of the cost of crime and violence range between 5 to 10 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “There is the view that intra-regional drug trafficking is a main force behind the upsurge in violent crimes in the

Region, more recently there have been indications that crack downs in parts of central and south America have displaced cartels who are now intentionally moving into the Caribbean,” he added. Nokta said this is

NY Mayor announces record ... licensed vehicle learn about Vision Zero and the rules of the road in mandatory driver education,” Joshi said. “Vision Zero helps keep students safe as they travel to and from school, and we’ll continue working in close partnership with the NYPD and DOT to ensure a safe commute for all families,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “We need the State Senate to act so that we can continue to have speed cameras in school zones over the summer and during the entire school year.” Traffic fatalities have declined for four consecutive years under Vision Zero. Over that time, New York City has embraced a multi-faceted variety of changes in education, engineering and enforcement, including: lowered the City’s default speed limit to

25 MPH; targeted priority geographies in every borough through a historic number of street redesign projects; added over 2,000 new Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) that serve as pedestrian head-starts; calmed dangerous left-turns; added more than 60 miles of protected bike lanes; and increased enforcement by NYPD of the City’s traffic laws. Finally, in addition to its robust camera enforcement program for speeding, the City also used automated enforcement against drivers who run red lights and drive in bus lanes, the Mayor’s Office added. However, the Mayor noted that the speed camera enforcement program faces potential shutdown within weeks if the State Senate fails to act on the renewal and expansion. The program resulted in a 63 percent decline in speeding

from page 7

not good news, considering where Guyana is geographically between suppliers and markets coupled with inadequate patrols of the expansive coastline and territorial waters.

from page 21

violations at a typical school-zone camera location, and 81 percent of vehicle owners who received a violation within a school zone did not receive a second violation. State legislation currently allows for 140 school zone locations; legislation in Albany has passed the Assembly that would increase the number of zones to 290 and expand the enforcement area to within a quarter-mile of schools. The DOT has noted that 84 percent of deaths and severe injuries between 2012 and 2016 occurred at times or locations where cameras are prohibited. The renewal bill has 33 sponsors in the Senate where you only need 32 votes to pass any given bill. However, it still needs to be brought to a vote on the floor.




WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |




WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |


CARICOM concerned over violent protests in Haiti


Andrew Holness

he Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply concerned at the violent protest in Haiti, a Member State of the Community. This is according to current Chairman of CARICOM, Andrew Holness, who in speaking on behalf of the Community, in a statement, said that "The Community deplores the loss of life, property and the damage to infrastructure and calls for restraint and an end to the protests and the violence." Moreover, he posited that the Community notes that the issues that have triggered these protests can only be resolved in an atmosphere of calm. "In that regard the Community welcomes actions being taken to defuse the situation" Holness said. "The Community looks forward to an early return to normalcy and welcomes in the interim, the support of the United Nations in monitoring the situation." Haiti's troubles were sparked by a government announcement that gasoline prices would rise by 38 per cent, diesel by 47 per cent and kerosene by 51 per cent starting on Saturday last.

The capital Port-au-Prince and its environs had stood paralysed since Friday afternoon, with major routes blocked by barricades, some made of burning tires, and some protesters even calling for a revolution in the impoverished country. According to the AFP, at least one person died in violence overnight Friday, and an AFP reporter heard the sound of sporadic gunfire in the capital. Shop and car windows in some affluent districts were broken. Similar angry protests broke out in Cap-Haitien, the second-largest city, as well as in the communes of Les Cayes, Jacmel and Petit-Goave. Just before the suspension was announced, the leader of Haiti’s lower house of parliament had threatened a government takeover if the fuel price increases were not reversed. On Friday night the bodyguard of an opposition-party politician died in an altercation with demonstrators in central Port-au-Prince as he attempted to force a passage through a roadblock. His body was then burned in the road. According to the AFP, a framework signed in February between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Haiti implied the ending of subsidies for petroleum products, which are a major source of the budget deficit. But subsidies also help make fuel affordable in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, where most people live in extreme poverty, joblessness is widespread and the inflation rate has exceeded 13 percent for the past three years. Following the deadly and violent protests, Haiti’s Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant on Saturday announced the suspension “until further notice” of the unpopular fuel price hike.

news 29


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |


Snake oil…


…on gas power

ow that we in the Caribbean are moving closer to legalising ganja, we’ve got to be on the lookout for some Government flunkies jumping the gun and puffing on spliffs while pontificating!! Case in point is Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, who keeps making statements that clearly aren’t grounded in reality. Remember him promising the new Demerara Harbour Bridge by 2020?? Everyone had a good snicker at that, since that would’ve given him only 2 years. And unless he was planning on another floating pontoon structure, he was clearly delusional, or high!! Well after the Chinese Ambassador derided his plans for a drawbridge type of Bridge as “so 19th century”, he’s back to the drawing boards!! Anyhow, he’s promising us a 200MW gas-fired generator — obviously to placate a restive populace whom he’d promised “no blackouts!” two years ago, but who still experience blackouts at a level not seen (pun intended!) since the first PNC iteration!! So what’s this hot air about gas-based power? Patterson says he plans to use the excess gas Exxon will produce as a by-product from its oil production – and which contractually belongs to Guyana. Now, what’s Exxon ACTUALLY been saying? Firstly, that it’s not drilling into any GAS FIELDS, but OIL FIELDS which have some associated gas coming up with it. Secondly, once it separates this gas in its FPSO, it has first dibs on using as much as it wants to operate the facility. Thirdly, it’ll be using whatever remaining gas to pump back into the oil fields to push out as much oil as possible. It makes the not unreasonable point that more oil means more revenues for Guyana!! So what to make from Patterson’s gaseous effusions? Well, over a year ago, Trotman said Exxon said there’d be an excess of 50 million cubic feet of natural gas daily, and this would be used to fuel a 200MW generator – to run an alumina plant!! Well, that WAS LAST YEAR. This year? Exxon hasn’t confirmed any excess gas of that magnitude. But even if there were, there are some questions that Patterson studiously avoids answering: What’s the cost of constructing and maintaining the 150mile pipeline to bring the gas ashore? What’s the cost of the plant to convert it into LPG for storage purposes? And then the cost of the plant to reconvert it back to gas? Then what about the cost of the actual combined cycle power plant (CCPP)… this can range from US$200 million to US$400 million. But most pertinently, what will be the cost of the transmission lines to move this 200MW into the national grid and into the homes of consumers? Inquiring (un-stoned) minds want to know!! …on medical supply If there’s anything that shows this Government don’t give a damn about what people think, it’s their blatant corruption in the supply of medical supplies – even as their own people report massive countrywide shortages that are unleashing death on the poor and powerless. First, of course, was the G$600+ million contract to ANSA McAL for which there’s never been any explanation. Then there was the quarter-billion-dollar bottom house for storing non-existent pharma! Now comes news about a sole-sourced contract for G$367 million in medical supplies from an individual in NY who’d been identified as a PNC financier two years ago, when there was a scandal in the supply of fertiliser! It’s rather pathetic there’s been no PNC soul searching on sole sourcing!! OK… these people are contemptuous of the general populace…but do they think the media will roll over and play dead? There was only the gentlest of raps on the knuckles for the previous pharma indiscretions and corrupt practices. Let’s make sure, dear reader, at least someone goes to jail this time!! …on Williams’ “third term” In the three-way fight for the PNC Chairmanship, how come no one’s protesting that Basil Williams is pursuing a “Third Term”? If democracy – according to the CCJ – forbids this practice, isn’t the PNC democratic?



WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

'Rebuilding my life'



By Lakhram Bhagirat


or almost a decade, Omawattie Alvin or Ann as she loves to be called was the subject of constant physical and verbal violence at the hands of her then husband. But one day she said enough was just enough and left the relationship with her two children in tow. A few years later, she would meet the sweetest man possible. He fathered her four other children and treated her the way she wanted to be treated, but little did she know the future would be worse than what she had to endure with her then ex-husband. Ann met Lionel Thomas in the early 90s and she said for the first few years they led a peaceful and happy life, but everything took a turn downhill around 1997 when he got involved in drugs. She explained that he first started smoking marijuana and then graduated to crack cocaine. At the time, the couple had been rearing cattle and gradually the animals began disappearing and the abuse started. At first, it was the constant pestering and demand for money to purchase drugs, but late 1997 the physical violence started. Many times while Ann toiled in the market as a fish vendor, Lionel would just show up and begin assaulting her while taking away whatever money she had earned. “He get this demanding way that you got to give him what he wants and he does beat me like bad in front them children and thing. You know many nights me does have to go away by my friend or his sister to hide from the licks,” she recounted. Ann, 47, spoke to the Sunday Magazine on Wednesday, the day after Lionel’s funeral, and she said despite his constant abuse and addiction, he was a wonderful man. She remembers hid-


ing from the beatings, but refusing to leave, because “I had six children and how you can take six children and go live by yourself”. The couple’s life progressed and they constructed a small house on a plot of land that belonged to Lionel’s mother where they lived together until 2016 when the abuse intensi-

fied and Ann decided to leave. She got a place to rent within the same Babu Jaan Village in Port Mourant and continued life. Jogging her memory, Ann says she remembers everything like it was yesterday

...after 28 years of abuse

explaining that after a time, Lionel started to “trip out” and would always find her and threaten to kill her. However, she never reported the beatings and threats to the Police, because she always thought he would mend his ways and they would go back to being the family they once were. “One time he chopped me pon me hand. But everyone been saying that he was a good man because they would get him to do anything for a little money. So people are saying that he was good, but towards me he was abusive. He was a good person, but the drugs in him made him a different person.” For Ann, the 28 years she spent with Lionel felt as though they were seven lifetimes that ended when she left him. But he still followed her

murder were increasing as the days progressed and on June 21, 2018, Ann saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but refused to follow it. “I went out and the afternoon when I came home and he start abusing me and he start the fighting and my daughter came in and tried to part. He try to buss meh neck, meh throat and me get away and then he run behind me and after that he came back and burn the house down. After he see people start to come, he run through the bush…because people were not paying attention to he. They were paying attention to me, because I was bleeding and my daughter was crying out because she is pregnant and so, and they take we to the hospital,” she detailed. Ann would receive four stitches to her neck while her

and the threats were intensifying, so she decided to get the Police involved and he was charged several times. He was even placed on a bond to keep the peace which he violated by continuing to threaten Ann or beating her. The threats of

pregnant daughter would receive two. Fearful for her life, after the incident Ann went into hiding while Police looked for Lionel. They later found him hanging from a tree. Now Ann spends her days trying to rebuild her life. She is

Lionel Thomas

looking for a plot of land to relocate the house she built with Lionel since some of his family members are now blaming her for his death. With the exception of Lionel’s eldest sister, all other members of Lionel’s family were silent during the years of abuse and now that he is dead, they are out to get Ann. “I feel bad because I know that I am free and he can’t do me anything, but my children them are without a father because of his stupidness. His behaviour now leave his children them without a father. I feel a way about that, because at least he could have moved on with his life. He didn’t want to move on with his life and now his family is blaming me. I knew him very well and if he had catch me after this, he would kill me and kill heself; that was his intention and he always tell me that.” She attended his funeral on Tuesday despite some objections from his family because they would have spent almost three decades together. At the end of our chat, I asked Ann whether she still loved Lionel or had any feelings for him. Her gasp was audible as she thought about the answer to give me and after some time, she said she had no feelings for him. The love was lost when the abuse started and any residual feelings died when he did. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

Mechanic who caught fire while Lawrence gets tough with health care providers who turn away patients discharging fuel succumbs


he mechanic who caught fire in the Frenchman Hill area, Upper Essequibo River Road, some two weeks ago while attempting to discharge fuel from a tanker has succumbed at the Georgetown Public Hospital. Shawhinshaw Ally, called “Imty”, 35, of Plot H22 Left Bank Tabatinga Drive, Lethem, reportedly caught fire on June 23. Guyana Times International understands that on June 23, Ally, along with a porter called “Jerry”, left Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) and was heading for Lethem. However, upon arrival at the Frenchman Trail, it was discovered that the trail was blocked owing to a broken bridge. After several days had elapsed without the bridge being fixed, Ally, along with two other lorry drivers, decided to use another route through the Frenchman Hill area. The route, however, was steep which caused Ally to encounter yet another setback. He and other persons had to use ropes in order to pull the fuel tanker truck with licence plate GRR 1622 over a hill. While being pulled with a wire rope, the motor lorry toppled down the hill falling onto its side. Reports are after mak-

Shawhinshaw Ally

ing contact with his employer, Marlon Johnson, Ally was instructed to wait for his arrival. When Johnson arrived at the scene of the accident, the men decided to discharge the fuel from the tanker into another truck. However, reports are while discharging the fuel using an electrical fuel pump which was powered by a generator, the pump encountered issues causing Ally to take the hose out from the tanker and put it into a barrel. While doing so, the mouth of the hose flipped causing fuel to spill onto him and the generator at the same time causing a fire which engulfed Ally. This publication understands that the man began to scream which caused his colleagues to run to his assistance and attempted to put the fire out. However, this initially proved futile as Ally’s clothing was covered in

gasoline. After some time, the workers managed to douse the flames and they quickly rushed him to the Mabura Health Centre; he was later taken to the Linden Hospital Complex. While there he was visited by Police ranks to whom he conveyed what had occurred. The severely burnt man was treated for thirddegree burns and later rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he succumbed on Friday last. On Sunday, his employer refuted claims that there was an explosion. “While at this time, emotions are high, understandably, we simply ask that there be pursuit of truth in the circumstances of the incident and Imty’s demise. There was no explosion of fuel truck as is alleged, and Imty was questioned by the Police on the incident at the Mabura Hill Health Centre, Linden Hospital and at the Georgetown Public Hospital. I have cooperated fully with the Police in providing information on what occurred, having been present, and have given the names of other eyewitnesses,” the dead man’s employer, Johnson, said in a statement. The Police visited the scene of the incident and are said to be investigating.

due to alleged drug shortages Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence


overnment is getting tough on health centre staffers who have been turning away patients because of alleged drug shortages. Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence has made it clear that centres can always call the Public Health Ministry and request supplies of drugs. Asked on Monday what she was doing about reports of patients being turned away, Lawrence was adamant that this practice needs to be brought to an end. According to the minister, such complaints are being investigated at internal and external levels. She said that various measures, including increased impromptu visits and regular check-ins with centres, are being implemented by the Ministry of Public Health. “Whenever we get a complaint, we investigate immediately. When the person has been told that there is no drug or medical supply, we also investigate internally, to see whether a request was made, and where that was request-

ed, or when was the last time they (were) supplied. No centre should be saying they don’t have anything,” Lawrence declared. “They can pick up the phone (and) call the next centre or the hospital within their district,” Lawrence pointed out. “That is how it works, but some staff are not doing that. So we have some staff who are designated to call up various institutions to ensure that they have the critical drugs, these medical supplies, and we have instituted a lot of impromptu visits.” The issue of shortages of various medications has been raised throughout Guyana at

various intervals. As recently as in April, this issue prompted staff at the Linden Hospital Complex to stage a sitin protest. According to LHC Public Relations Officer Toshanna Alicock, the Hospital’s CEO, Dr Farouk Riyasat, had reassured the staff that their issues were being addressed at the bimonthly section heads’ meeting, and management was pursuing all possible avenues to have the issues rectified. The same issue occurred at one of the public hospitals in East Berbice, Region Six. Just over a day after this episode, Lawrence had announced that the Public Health Ministry is modernising delivery systems to address this sore point. That included the hiring of a consultant who has worked with The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a plan for the retrofitting of Guyana’s medicine and medical supplies distribution system.

Father of 5 remanded for hitting 'child mother' with hammer


father of five was on Monday remanded to prison when he appeared before Magistrate Judy Latchman slapped with three offences: discharging a loaded firearm, possession of ammunition and wounding. Forty-seven-yearold Marlon Dominic of Lot 73 West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, denied that he used a hammer to hit his children’s mother, Samantha Ricky, to her face on July 6, 2018 at West Ruimveldt. On the same day at the same location, he reportedly discharged several rounds at Huran Medowzi with intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or to cause actual bodily harm to him. He also denied having a 9mm spent shell in his possession which was

Marlon Dominic

allegedly found when ranks swooped down to arrest him. In court on Monday, Police Prosecutor Quinn Harris disclosed that Ricky and Dominic were arguing when he picked up the hammer and struck her to her face, splitting her nose and seriously damaging her

forehead. According to the Prosecutor, Dominic then proceeded to the home of Medowzi, who was asleep in a hammock and fired a shot in his direction. He then allegedly pointed the gun and ordered Medowzi not to move. However, according to the Prosecutor, a frightened Medowzi decided to run which prompted the defendant to fire several shots at him. The man hid in a clump of bushes and then proceeded to the Police Station when Dominic left to file a report. The prosecution’s application for bail to be denied was upheld and Dominic was remanded to prison. The case will continue on July 30, 2018.



Preserving our literary heritage


Petamber Persaud

(Extract of interview with Oliver Hinckson, December 24, 2007, Georgetown, Guyana. Hinckson won the Casa de las Americas Literary Prize in 1978 for his first novel Enemy Within. It was reported in the local press that Hinckson passed away recently.)


P: You are now part of a group of significant Guyanese writers who have won the Casa de las America Literary Prize; writers like John Agard, N. D. Williams, Fred D’Aguiar and recently Mark McWatt. How does it feel to be part of that distinguished body of writers? OH: You mentioned some dignified names. I was always impressed with Mc Watt and his writing. But when I got a letter three months after winning the prize from Jan Carew and he was fulsome in praise; to my mind I couldn’t ask for greater glorification. Jan Carew is the doyen of literature after C. L. R. James whom I consider the greatest Caribbean writer ever, but it is an honour to be amongst these guys – it has taken a long time. In fact, Carew’s letter has encouraged me to keep on writing but I got caught up in business. However, I still managed to finish three books. PP: By what means were you informed of winning the prize? OH: In actuality I was on the run from the … government [of the day]; I’m not casting any aspersions on the […… Government] or whatever but that’s how it was – I was on the run. Having come out of the army from the Intelligence Corps, some people might have been paranoid; they felt that a few other ex-officers and I might be a threat. So I had some serious problems with them and I had to evade/take evasive action so to speak. During my sojourn, if you could call it that, the runners from the Cuban Embassy came with a telegram written in Spanish and gave it to my mother who got it to me very quickly. Through my basic knowledge of Portuguese, I was able then to interpret…. especially the word, ‘premio’ which means prize. PP: What was the feeling then - you said you were on the run, your thriller/espionage book a prize winner…on the run and you got this wonderful news, what did you make of the moment? OH: That is the best and most profound I had heard in the longest while. As a matter of fact, that was what convinced me to give myself up in 1978. I was on the run for two years, and I decided based on what Jan Carew had told me – that is…. he sees some future in this whole thing; it means I have potential as a writer, it was convincing enough. So I said let me get this matter off my back. The moment was euphoric of course. But it is nice to win anything; I am telling you even if you go to the fair and win a bottle of rum, it feels good. PP: Since the book, Enemy

Within, won the prize, almost thirty years [ago]…. What are the factors responsible for bringing this book to publication a whole generation later, and I am stressing this particular length of time? OH: Well, let me do this in reverse. The fact that it has come out after thirty years does have some nuances in a scenario that kept this book suppressed so long. The Cubans did write and say they would publish this

be that that is what caused the publishing houses to shy away from publishing it? OH: No doubt you have read the book and many others have read the book which was issued in America over the Labour Day weekend but there is nothing political in the book. As a matter of fact that formula is factual, it was discovered by laboratory analysts at the Linden mine and I read that article in the newspaper and I said, wow, at a time

book but then they were some political implications and they said I have written a book and submitted under my son’s name which is Kacey and they used that as a reason or pretext to say they can’t publish the book. I then submitted to Longmans Publishers of England and they did write me a letter saying that they were impressed with it – they particularly mentioned that the characters breathed a sense of life and so on, and that the book was full of description. They did write and say they would publish it. Two weeks after that, again, I got a letter saying they couldn’t do it. They did not specify any reason. I clearly remember Longmans saying that; it was a personal interview, I went up to England in 1981 and the editor told me personally she was going to publish it in the African and Pacific and Caribbean Series first and then go worldwide. I was crushed when I came back down to Guyana and got this notification saying everything is off. PP: You said you were crushed. Do you think there was something in the book… let me extend this question and rephrase it? This is a first book and many first novels tend to be autobiographical; could it

like this when Guyana needed a boost with its economy, this is 1978, the IDB was turning the screws on …. Government [of the day] and we were suffering the impact of the hike in oil prices, nothing there political. A lot of the intrigue in the book is based on the fact that I worked in the intelligence service. And you know every writer is influenced by some previous writer. PP: And whom were you influenced by? OH: Alistair McLean was my favourite writer; in fact he had a strong influence on me particularly because I wanted to move away from the Caribbean style of writing where you harp on the nigger yard and the stand pipe and so on. You hardly have Caribbean writers doing spy thrillers. PP: Not many names to mention here but Guyanese Christopher Nicole is one such writer with an amazing output – over eighty novels! Michelle Fitzpatrick – two slim volumes, Godfrey Wray – one down and one on its way. So Enemy Within would be a pioneering effort in a genre of writing still to be fully explored by our writers. Where do see yourself, where do you see this book, this type of writing going in the near future? OH: Well, you know, we tend to judge whenever it’s a

sportsman, an athlete, or whatever by past performance. Everyone who has read the book so far including the esteemed Jan Carew and the prolix praises heaped on the book gave me a lot of hope that I can pull it off. I also have evidence from Penguin Books where they said there were many good points in the book especially the live characterisations and the pacing of the work. I did marketing at UG, my daughter has an MBA and the two of us have put together a marketing strategy on how to get it on the shelves of the big houses abroad especially Random House. PP: Which is an excellent move on your part - marketing. Which is what is needed by local writers apart from a few other things like good editorial advice and writers workshops. This cannot be overemphasised, marketing, marketing, marketing – we need to market ourselves as writers and our product also. So I am delighted with this move by you and your daughter to market the book and hope emerging writers take note. Let’s look at the novel of mystery and intrigue. For me it was smooth, too smooth, very slick…. OH: Too slick? First of all, as I said before, this book was written while I was on the run and it was written in six weeks. Now it was almost twice this size and Longman Publishers of England said it was too long to be a thriller. So immediately I learnt something that thrillers should not be too long. And when you look at the size of Earl Stanley Gardner, James Hadley Chase and Alistair McLean – they are basically 140 pages or so; quick, fast, nasty and over with. In terms of the book being too slick it is because you were convinced by the characters. PP: And numerous descriptions of local scenery which slowed down the action but also added to the intrigue. Now which is the real title: Enemy Within on the cover or The Enemy Within on the title page? OH: Enemy Within…the first time I heard this phrase was in a speech by John F. Kennedy.... PP: I asked this because ‘the’ is a definite article, pointing your finger to a particular object/subject. Now with Enemy Within as Godfrey Wray mentioned, points to many things. Were you writing as the conscience of the nation? OH: That question speaks a lot…can be quite revealing. If you are on the run during the [.... government] of the day, everybody, everybody fancies himself to be a KGB agent and everybody is out to get you. There were massive posters of me all over the country, police stations, ferry stellings etc. It was a new phenomenon in this country, and in my sight, to be singled out in this era when the maximum leader had everybody under his control; you know he was a populist leader, very charismatic and everybody seemed to want to please him. He was also paranoid about army men and

Oliver Hinckson

at the time there were many coups in Africa, leaders who had visited this country were overthrown. Then there was the Rodney phenomenon and the WPA giving the government blows left, right and centre; massive rallies, great support from every quarter…take all of that into account, there was an enemy in every hole. PP: This book, Enemy Within surfacing some thirty years ago shows what could happen in a Guyana that is somewhat laidback, complacent, where everything in the society seem nice and rosy, at least on the surface, where things are brewing below the surface that the masses may not be privy to…. OH: Professor Lear Matthews who is at New York University wrote a little critique on the book and those were his exact sentiments. He saw it from that perspective that here it was in a society… as you said, laidback, the enemy was outside there willing to do whatever it took to usurp the sovereignty of this state and the economic potential of this state – those were his exact sentiments. PP: I noticed with many first books, like many first achievements, you have dedicated this book to your mother - ‘All that I am I owe to her. Everything I have I owe to her’. Of course, I’d like you to expand on the impact your mother has on your life and writing. OH: Any man, any child, any boy will tell you his mom is the greatest person on the face of the earth. And I honestly feel this having passed through so many unsavoury experiences with people. We grew up in a one-parent family, I was the last child. One incident my mother use to recall was her hurrying with me down to St. Mary’s School to write the government county scholarship, in those days there were only 15 scholarships offered to the whole country. So there were thousands of 10-year olds and 11-year olds hoping to make the mark to QC, Saints, Rose’s or Bishops. At that time you had Sacred Heart in Main Street and St Mary’s with Mr. Arokium and Mr. Walcott respectively, those two gentlemen were the greatest teachers arguably in the history of this country…. nobody can refute that. And every year they produced the county scholarship winners and I was fortunate to be one of the fifteen. And having been a Catholic all the days of my life, having attended Sacred Heart and having been an altar boy and choir boy, Saints follows and I have no regrets, it taught me how to mix and mingle PP: The Jesuits [are] celebrating 150 of service in Guyana OH: Fantastic Jesuits, all of them with a Masters degree … continued on page 36


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

Coping after the death of a mother ...the effects of domestic voilence on children

By Lakhram Bhagirat


very night them children does wake up and call fuh mommy and start cry. Them accustomed to me so I does get up and give them the tea and put them back to sleep, because that is what she use to do when she was alive and them custom to that,” says Jacklyn Henry when I asked how her grandchildren are coping after their mother’s death. Jacklyn’s daughter, Tovanie Simmons, was fatally stabbed by her exhusband at approximately 23:20h on June 21, 2018. She is survived by four children: eight-yearold Marcia Lyte, six-yearold Marica Lyte and fouryear-old twins Malique and Miles Lyte.

Jacklyn explains that her daughter and son-inlaw, Imran Lyte, had a very good relationship and she never knew Imran to be an abusive person. She related that he was always nice to her and would go out of his way to provide for his family. Jacklyn said over the years she would occasionally stay with the couple whenever she visited from neighbouring Suriname where she lived and her daughter never complained of being abused nor did she witness any such act. Prior to June 21, Imran confronted Tovanie about having her friends laugh at his new girlfriend and then they became involved in a physical altercation after which her sister intervened. Subsequently, her was passing and be-

came involved resulting in Imran stabbing him and escaping. Imran’s relatives pleaded with Tovanie not to involve the Police in the incident citing his financial position at that time. On the fateful day, Imran visited Tovanie’s Limlair Village, Corentyne home to discuss a misunderstanding between him and her brother, but then became involved in an intense argument with the 28-year-old. This resulted in him whipping out a knife from his pants waist and stabbing her several times. Jacklyn was there when the incident occurred and she screamed for help and her daughter barely managed to run out of the house, jumped from the veranda, and ran about 200 metres east before she fell to the ground.

Imran then ran behind Tovanie and slit her throat before fleeing the scene to hide out in the backdam area of the village. She was rushed to the New Amsterdam Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She sustained 12 stab wounds to her neck, left breast, back, left hip, left forearm, right chest and chin, collectively. According to Jacklyn, what Imran did next was an act of cowardice: he consumed Gramoxone and died a few days later while receiving medical treatment. After her daughter’s life was taken, Jacklyn was forced to move into the home to take care of the four children. The young children have not been able to process properly what transpired and would ever so often look for their mother. Her grandmother has tried her best to explain to them that their mother is gone and could never come back to them, but there is only so much that they understand at that tender age. “Me daughter is now gone and them mother gone. I is the only body them got right now and I got to stand up for them. I does try tell them what happen so they can understand. The two big one them understand what happen, but the two boys does ask and then in the night is when I does got to worry when them does get up and cry. It does hurt me to know that they have to grow up without she and I am old too, so I don’t know what will happen when I

gone from here. I does worry real bad,” Jacklyn tells me. The children asking questions constantly interrupted our chat but that did not bother either of us. Jacklyn is patient with her grandchildren and she treats them like fragile possessions. The love they have for her is evident, but you can feel the sense of loss whenever Jacklyn speaks. The children cannot articulate what and how they feel about losing their mother and subsequently their father, but it is fair to say growing up will be a battle for them. I cannot even begin to imagine how they feel and I think no one ever will be able to. A few days before their father died, he requested that they all visited him in the hospital, but Jacklyn told me that she initially refused to allow them to meet him because of the anger she felt towards him, but she was eventually persuaded to send them. Her sister facilitated the visit and Imran held his children and begged their forgiveness for making them orphans. He cried bitterly, Jacklyn says, but the children did not understand what he meant when he told them “daddy is going to join mommy

now, me going away for good.” Imran would die the following day. When I asked Jacklyn if she forgave Imran, she paused, inhaled, exhaled deeply, sighed and then said yes. “I done forgive he long time. He was a good bai and I don’t know what make he do this, but I forgive he. Let he soul rest and only God can judge he. I am sad he do what he do but I forgive he, I forgive he.” For now, the primary focus is getting the children settled. In addition, Jacklyn is preparing the twins for nursery school which they will be starting in September. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

... so it was like going to a mini-university and unto this day I honour and adore Fr. Scanell because with my second term I was granted another scholarship, a Wm. Fogarty’s Scholarship, so I went through there [Saints] on two scholarships having been a very poor boy, you know and the Jesuits made life easy for me; I love them, that’s all I can say. And I love my mother and cherish those memories. PP: Now to the future; I like the name of one of the two titles you’d be publishing in 2008: Cry Havoc OH: And Let slip the dogs of War PP: What is Cry Havoc made of? OH: Cry Havoc encapsulates all

from page 35

that has happened from 2002 to 2007 in Guyana especially after the jail break and the massacre that followed… the political overtone… it’s action packed, it’s over 400 pages. I have the emery cloth and the sandpaper out polishing it up. PP: In this season of good will and with Janus coming, I am looking forward to see how you deal with that period of our history, still awfully fresh in our minds. Responses to this author telephone (592) 226-0065 or email: (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

news 37


Caricom expresses support State must lead way on local content blueprint – Govt MP for judicial process to E settle Guyana-Venezuela border controversy

Group photo of CARICOM leaders ahead of the start of Thursday's business session at the 39th Regular Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (DPI photo)


a r i b b e a n C o m m u n i t y (Caricom) member states have expressed their support for the judicial process underway before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to settle the matter of the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela. This significant support for Guyana’s position was contained in a communique at the conclusion of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caricom held in Montego Bay, Jamaica. President David Granger attended the meeting along with Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge. The Heads of Government “expressed support for the judicial process underway which was intended to bring a peaceful and definitive end to the long-standing controversy and which was in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter.” The communique noted that the Heads of Government had “received an update on the most recent developments between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” “They noted that Guyana had filed its Application with the International Court of Justice on March 29, 2018, in accordance with the decision of the United Nations Secretary General, which was issued on January 30, 2018 to choose the International Court of Justice as the means that is now to be used for the settlement of the contro-

versy between Guyana and Venezuela…. Heads of Government further noted that Venezuela had indicated its decision not to participate in the case and that in such a case, the rules of the Court provide for a full hearing of the case and a final judgement that is legally binding on both the participating and nonparticipating countries. Heads of Government reiterated their firm and unswerving support for the maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana,” the communique noted. On March 29, Guyana filed an application requesting the World Court to confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the 1899 Arbitral Award regarding its boundary with Venezuela. This application follows a decision by the UN Secretary General earlier this year in choosing the ICJ as the next means of resolving the controversy that arose as a result of the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 about the frontier between British Guiana and Venezuela was null and void. According to Guyana’s application to the World Court, for more than 60 years Venezuela had consistently recognised and respected the validity of the binding force of the 1899 Award and the 1905 Map agreed by both sides in furtherance of the Award. “Venezuela had only changed its position formally in 1962 as the United Kingdom was making final preparations for the independence of British Guiana and had threatened not to recognise the new

State, or its boundaries, unless the United Kingdom agreed to set aside the 1899 Award and cede to Venezuela all of the territory West of the Essequibo River, amounting to some twothirds of Guyana’s territory,” Guyana submitted in its application to the World Court. The court document further noted that while Venezuela has never produced any evidence to justify its belated repudiation of the 1899 Award, the neighbouring country has used it as an excuse to occupy territory awarded to Guyana in 1899, to inhibit Guyana’s economic development, and to violate Guyana’s sovereignty and sovereign rights. The UN Secretary General’s authority to choose the ICJ as the means for resolving the controversy is rooted in the Geneva Agreement of 1966, negotiated just before Guyana attained independence. On January 30, 2018, Secretary General Guterres concluded that the Good Offices Process – which the parties had engaged in for almost 30 years, but failed to achieve a solution to the controversy – and chose the ICJ as the next means of settlement, for which Guyana has long been advocating. United States oil giant ExxonMobil had announced back in May 2015 that it had found oil offshore Guyana. Venezuela has staunchly been against oil exploration in Guyana’s Stabroek Block, where multiple oil deposits were found by ExxonMobil, and has since renewed claims to the Essequibo region.

xxonMobil’s appearance before the Parliamentary Natural Resources Committee last Friday saw the oil company being grilled about local content and corporate social responsibilities. However, while the company has been doing work in this regard, it was a Government Member of Parliament who noted that the state must take the initiative on providing a local content framework. ExxonMobil Country Manager Rod Henson related that, during the first quarter of 2018, Exxon used 227 local companies, with US$14.1 million going into the economy. He stressed that regardless of the size of the companies Exxon used, the services they provide are all

responsibility to lead the way on local content and laying out a frame work. “With respect to asking (whether) Exxon has a local content (policy) that they are desirous of providing the Government, that (question) should be the other way around. Local content, of which Exxon will be implementing, should be heavily influenced by the Government,” Figueira said. “The local content policy should be of an indigenous nature. It must reflect the Guyanese significant input on what it is we want… I don’t believe you should lead the way on local content. I believe it is the other way around,” Figueira stressed. Government has faced much criticism for the

(IPED) in a bid to extend their reach beyond Georgetown. But questioning the rationale, Figueira referenced a particular instance when Exxon allegedly contracted a catering service from Trinidad, which then sub-contracted the work to a local company. The MP also probed how many contractors and sub-contractors were used, with Figueira noting that while companies may have been used and paid by Exxon, it is important that the money remains within the local economy. Initially, Henson appeared confused, and explained that making this distinction does not matter. Figueira, however, received support on this point from Committee Chairman Odinga

ExxonMobil representatives met with the Natural Resources Committee

important. Henson also revealed that, in the first quarter, the company grew by 40 persons, of whom 28 were of Guyanese nationality. Henson noted that Exxon has hired several engineers of Guyanese nationality, including engineering graduates from the University of Guyana and the University of the West Indies. He revealed that they received additional training opportunities, and that their expertise would be used by the time first oil is produced in 2020. In addition, Henson noted that those Exxon had hired are also being promoted after being afforded training opportunities. Here he cited examples of drivers who were promoted upwards into senior positions in the company’s operations. But when suggestions were fielded to Henson that Exxon had a role to play in helping Government to formulate local content legislation, Government Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira intervened. Figueria noted that rather than Exxon providing a blueprint of what local content it would initiate, it’s the other way around. He pointed out that Government has the

draft local content policy it released to the public, with the political opposition referring to it as hollow, and even civil society criticising it. A criticism was that the document does not cater for issues such as how to avoid procurement fraud, conflict of interest and favouritism, among other (things). Instead, the draft Local Content Policy framework seeks to address the suite of opportunities that may arise, and the approaches to be taken in selecting and developing opportunities related to enhancing the capabilities of Guyanese nationals and businesses. Since the criticisms first emerged, Government has been holding consultations with different representative bodies. And when ExxonMobil was granted a production license, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, asked the company to submit its Local Content Plan to the Government.


Regarding the Center for Local Business Development (CLBD), Henson spoke about outreaches that the Center has done with the Institute of Private Enterprise Development

Lumumba, with the end result being Henson promising to make this information available at a later date. The issue of the company’s corporate social responsibility was also raised, with Figueira noting that Exxon has spent millions in countries like Nigeria on such projects. In response, Henson revealed that the company gets thousands of requests from locals, including to construct buildings. “We do this all over the world! Seventy per cent cent of our employees are Guyanese. It’s where we live. But it’s not our role to fix every problem. But it’s something that we want to do… to the degree that we can,” Henson explained. “There’s a lot of need here, and we recognise we can’t meet all those needs.” That being said, Henson went on to reel off all the social projects Exxon has engaged in, including in the areas of science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) and outfitting learning resources centres. He made it clear that the company does see fulfilling requests from non-governmental organisations as part of their corporate responsibility.

38 News

WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

Guyana’s First Lady urges youths to embrace technology at robotics exhibition F irst Lady, Mrs Sandra Granger, last Saturday attended the Second Annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Robotics Exhibition hosted by STEM Guyana in collaboration with the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) Company. The event was held at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Homestretch Avenue. The First Lady, in her remarks at the opening ceremony, emphasised the importance of STEM and expressed the hope of having robotic teams from every region in Guyana participating at this event next year. “If you want to be relevant in the 21st Century… you must become involved in STEM. You must embrace technology…because our lives are attuned to technology,” she said. She also took the

opportunity to congratulate the STEM Guyana Team for their hard work and on their tremendous success and said that she is confident that Guyana`s participation in the Global Robotics

Championship, which is slated for Mexico in August, 2018, will see even greater success than last year. “I think we are in for great things…Our team had ten months of experience in robotics and

place tenth out of 165 countries …So I expect much greater results,” she said. Mrs Granger, last week, received a cheque on behalf of the STEM Guyana team to the value of G$500,000

as part of an instalment of a total pledge of G$6,000,000, from the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, to support Team Guyana’s preparations for the Global Robotics Championship.

Co-Founder of STEM Guyana, Ms Karen Abrams said the exhibition’s main objective is to motivate youths and help them to prepare for the future with the technological skills necessary to succeed “…We are trying to expose our young people in Guyana to technology and we want them to be able to get the jobs in time to come and to be ready for those jobs,” she said while noting that STEM Guyana intends to increase the number of robotics teams from 18 to 100 throughout the country, over the next year. The exhibition also included an actual demonstration with a robot by Team Guyana’s members, Lego brick play stations for children under 10 years old, the STEM app booth, a booth by Starr Computers Incorporated as well as exhibits from STEM Robotics Teams and Schools.

been providing support through a boat shuttle service for residents from 06:00h to 18:00h every day. Reports reaching this publication state that the Deep South Rupununi’s main access road enroute to Aishalton is partly washed away. However, vehicles are presently traversing on the back road through Karaudanawa to get to Aishalton so that they can access those communities. In addition, residents who live in low-lying areas in close proximity to the Moco Moco and Tabatinga Creeks in the municipality of Lethem have been evacuated and are being housed in the temporary shelters. Nevertheless, a number of the residents have chosen to remain in their homes since the water

continues to fluctuate. On Friday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon led a team to the region to assess the situation. The Minister said the current weather patterns in the region and in Brazil will see the water rising and receding at frequent intervals; but with a coordinated approach, some semblance of order can exist. Minister Harmon noted that, overall, he is satisfied with the arrangements put in place, as the response and preparation this year has far surpassed those that were in place last year. The CDC, on Friday, carried in the supplies requested by the region, including water purification tablets, collapsible bottles, detergents and cleaning supplies, beddings and blankets, among other materials.

Several roads washed away as water levels fluctuate in Region 9


evere flooding in Region 9 (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) has washed away a number of roads, leading to several parts of Deep South Rupununi being cut off from central Lethem. Additionally, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) said the water

level continues to fluctuate, making it tough for them to assess the level of damage. The flooding is as a result of the overtopping of several rivers, particularly the Takutu River, due to heavy rainfall in the region and over in neighbouring Brazil which resulted in

overtopping of the Rio Brancho River. At present, 59 persons have been evacuated and placed in three shelters which were established, and they are being tended by the region with support from the CDC. The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has also


15 , 2018|

Feature 39


hile it was not always a bed of roses for us while growing up and we would have had our fair share of challenges, for Kelvin Fortune he prayed for the good days since the bad ones were far outnumbering the good ones. Kelvin is almost 30 and is now about to share part of his story with the world, through his movie “Choices.” As the name suggest, the movie is all about living with the consequences of our choices and how they affect the lives of, not only us, but also those around us. The movie is about a young man (Timothy) who is living a hard life with his single mother. He dreams of becoming an optician and while working with an optical company, he meets and falls in love with a young woman. Like many youths, Timothy is head over heels but his mother disapproves because she knows of the girl’s character. The girl usual-

ly sleeps with men for money and material things but Timothy feels it is different with him and pursues her. After some time, t h e g i r l g e t s pregnant for Timothy and later discovers she is HIV positive but was living with Timothy at the time. What happens next will be revealed when “Choices” is released. Like Timothy, Kelvin says some of the events in the movie are depictions of what occurred in his earlier life and the lessons he learned.

At the tender age of six, Kelvin saw his family ripped to shreds when his father walked out and according to him, things only went downhill from there. His siblings would move on to live with his grandmother and aunts but he remained with his mother Patricia. He felt as though she needed someone to be there with her so he re-

mained and it was the beginning of an unstable childhood for him. He attended the Smyth Street Nursery and later Ketley Primary School but because of the effects of his family life, his education suffered. He, despite having the potential, did not push himself. “Everyone knows Kelvin was a bright child growing up but was faced with many difficult and painful challenges in life. Kelvin grew up in a family full of drama, disagreements and separation. His life was never stable around his family due to many personal problems around each other,” Kelvin says. While preparing to sit the National Grade Six Assessment (the Common Entrance Examination), Kelvin got the shock of his life when

he found out his mother was diagnosed with both cancer and HIV. Being young, he could not comprehend with the severity of his mother’s illness but knew her days were numbered. “While I was going to school I would have to help bathe my mother, cook for her and wash her clothes while my siblings and other family lived a happy and normal life.” In 2001, his mother collapsed in the apartment where they lived. Blood was gushing from her mouth and it was at that point Kelvin said he knew his mother were dying. On March 15, 2001, his mother passed on and though expected, the loss hit Kelvin harder than expected. “While trying to cope with my mother's death

and still pursue my education, I still was trying to understand the continuous dispute and confusion among my family. My family was lack of love, kindness and understanding towards me,” Kelvin recounts. Kelvin has a passion for entertaining people and making them laugh. He loves writing poems, short films, songs, drama and is into overall youth development. His love for drama is what got him into the business, which led to him writing his first movie script. For those who are thinking whether they should follow their passion or not, Kelvin advises them to forge full force ahead and realise their full potential. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)



Mala Mahabir

fter they saw everything on the news and then the newspaper too, he know that his mother died. But I still sit him down and I talked to him and explain things to him. Now I have him with me and I have to be strong for him. I can’t breakdown every time I miss her because he will be affected too,” says Mala Mahabir. Mala’s 25-year-old stepdaughter, Simone

Hackett, was brutally murdered by her reputed husband Clevaughn Hamilton on April 16, 2016 leaving behind their then three-year-old son Clevaughn Jr. According to information, sometime around 20:30hrs he called Hackett out of her 2968 ‘C’ Field Sophia home to collect a package for their son’s birthday and then he showed up. He told investigators that an argument ensued and while they were at a dark spot, he choked her from behind and began stabbing her. He then dumped her body in a trench between Third and Fourth streets, Cummings Lodge where Simone’s body was later discovered in a decomposed state. He then fled to Mahdia where he was apprehended and charged for the crime. The duo were separated for over a year prior to the murder after he would have repeatedly abused her. Mala told the Sunday Magazine that losing Simone was hard on the family but her son took

WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

A grown Clevaughn Jr

it the worse. Despite him not fully understanding the circumstances surrounding his mother’s death he does miss her dearly. Clevaughn Jr. is now in the care of his grandmother and grandfather. Mala says that right now they have to be strong since he is growing up and would usually ask questions they are unable to provide answers to. Since his mother’s

death, Clevaughn would have developed some medical complications that are being dealt with. “So far one time we went home with the papers and we didn’t notice the article in the papers and when he saw the article and pictures he took in and started to panic. He get an asthma attack and since then he travelling with that. We are trying our best to give him the best life he can get. We want him to remember her but not be sad about it. Should be so happy to see how big he grow,” Mala said. Clevaughn Jr. just finished the Budding Roses Nursery School and is preparing to start Primary in September. His grandmother describes him as a fun and smart child. However, she could not contain her sadness when remembering Simone whom she raised from the age of 10. “At times your emotion take hold of you but as I said you have to let the emotion go because you cannot keep breaking down in front of him.

Simone and Clevaughn Jr

We was close. I take care of her since she was about 10. She lived with me and I don’t tell people I have step children she is my daughter because she grow with me and she lived with me till prior to her death.” Mala is leaving no stones unturned to ensure her grandson has the best life and explains that he is attending Private Schools since

it was his mother’s desire for him to have the best education. In addition, to help deal with the psychological trauma Clevaughn Jr. is receiving counselling and therapy. “The hurt never goes away but you got to deal with it one day at a time,” she said. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)



lot of us must have heard about the village of Kwakwani but because of its remoteness and the hassle of getting there, we would have never visited. So come and let us explore Kwakwani together and discover all it has to offer. Kwakwani is home to more than 4000 people and located along the bank of the Berbice River. The main economic activities within the village are mining and logging, since it is one of the many gateways to the interior of Guyana. Kwakwani can be accessed by both water and land through Linden in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). The village is located some 100 kilometres south of Linden. The other way to get to Kwakwani would be from New Amsterdam via the Berbice River, but mainly bauxite transporters use this route, according to residents. The approximately three hours bus ride to the village is one that awakens the sense of adventure in you as you pass through the old bauxite mines and come into contact with the lush green forests. The sounds of birds chirping or water flowing from natural wells make it all the more enjoyable. When you enter the village, the warmth and hospitality afforded to you is a testament to the type of people that coexist in Kwakwani. Since mining and logging are the main economic activities, there are certain ills associated with the community. Kwakwani has its fair share of problems in the form of bad roads, drug and substance abuse as well as teenage pregnancies. But according to the residents they are banding together as a community to address the social ills and calling on those in authority to address infrastructural and other issues. Kwakwani has a lot of creeks and pools ideal for liming and enjoying family time. In addition, the village has its own schools and hospital to tend to its residents. However, like the patients of every other remote hospital, residents would have to travel to Linden or Georgetown for specialised care. So if you are up for an adventure, get a crew, hop on a bus, and enjoy the bumpy ride to Kwakwani.

(photos by Rayston Downer) (Guyana Times Sunday


Travel & Tourism 41


WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |



44 Intimate partner violence

WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |


t is the end of it (the relationship) because numerous times he hit me. I got black and blue in my hands. I got slap to my mouth, burst up and I keep forgiving him. How long am I going to keep forgiving him? At this moment, I could see that he wanted to kill me. If it was not for my father and brother, I would be dead by now.”

By Lakhram Bhagirat


stayed because everyone deserves a second chance and try. I know there is something bothering him, making he do this, so I tried talking to him and eventually I does get what’s bothering him and I told him that he can’t be hitting me.” That is what 22-year-old Zennell Persaud-Joseph told me one day after her boyfriend had severely beaten her. Zennell is mother to a six-year-old and like many women, she knew her relationship with Mark Anthony was toxic, but she loved him and enjoyed the time they

spent together. Zennell began a relationship with Mark about nine months ago after she and her husband mutually

separated. At first, like any other relationship, Mark was a caring and understanding partner but after a few months, things began getting worse. He became extremely possessive and jealous. Zennell explained that after her marriage ended, she moved back to her parents’ Foulis, East Coast Demerara home, which is a stone’s throw away from where Mark lives. She currently works as a sales girl in Georgetown. The couple would normally have heated arguments over petty things such as text messages or her having conversations with other peo-

Zennell Persaud-Joseph and her boyfriend Mark Anthony

ple. The first instance of physical violence was a few months into their relationship while having drinks at a bar. Zennell was sitting on a stool when Mark started an argument which resulted in him kicking her to the side of her stomach in the crowded bar. The other instance was when they were hanging out with friends at a bar-beque when he dealt her several slaps for no apparent reason. “People knew that I was actually in this abusive relationship and people keep telling me Zennell you should get out because this is not healthy for you. I told him that he can’t be hitting me because since I am small I am travelling with a headache and he knew of my head injury,” she said. As time progressed, so did the level of violence in their relationship, but Zennell stayed because she felt that she could change Mark. She wanted to show him that she was faithful and loved only him but the jealousy clouded that judgement and on Caricom Day this year, she saw him at his worst. Recounting the day’s events, Zennell said earlier in the day she was out at the Enmore seawalls on a fishing trip with her friend’s family and would have informed Mark of her whereabouts while he was on a drinking spree. At some point, one of her co-workers and her husband from La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara visited her and after that, she left with them

to celebrate the couple’s anniversary. When she returned home later in the evening, Mark began accusing her of being unfaithful while verbally abusing her and they got into an intense argument. Later in the night, he called her and continued his abuse rant but she disconnected the phone after which he sent her a message asking her to visit his home. She left the house without informing anyone and after arriving at Mark’s, she was told to leave. “So I turned my back and took three steps and from behind he came and start hitting me and start accusing me of being unfaithful. While he keep talking he keep hitting me constantly. One cuff after the next till I fell on the ground and he stomp me in my head. He kicked me and he keep hitting me. He start thumping me down the road right through, start pushing me, eventually he hit me behind my head again and I fell and when I fell it is like if I lose consciousness and when I do catch back myself, he was still hitting me and I start bleeding from my mouth and nose. He was hoisting me and lashing me down, that was when I was unconscious.” Zennell says Mark was taking her to the friend she had gone fishing with to verify her story and while walking over there, he was repeatedly hitting her while she screamed in pain and begged for mercy. Eventually someone

saw what was happening and informed her parents after which her father and brother rushed to the scene. However, Mark saw them approaching and quickly made good his escape. “Eventually I went to my friend and cried and told her what happened and we took a taxi and went to Enmore Police Station and they gave me a medical. I was at the Georgetown Public Hospital doing my medical whole night and I came home like 6:30 this morning because I had to go through X-rays and blood tests,” Zennell recounts. On Tuesday morning, she revisited the Police station where she gave a detailed statement and was sent away by officers. She had been receiving threats from Mark throughout the day but the Police did nothing and it was only after she got into contact with a senior official did the ranks at the Enmore Police Station act on the report. “It is the end of it (the relationship) because numerous times he hit me. I go black and blue in my hands. I got slap my mouth, burst up and I keep forgiving him. How long am I going to keep forgiving him? At this moment, I could see that he wanted to kill me. If it was not for my father and brother, I would be dead by now.” Zennell is advising all women who are in abusive relationships to ensure that they remove themselves before it is too late. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)




WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

STEM provides many opportunities for students in Guyana

Free enterprise…

By Ashley Anthony


his Saturday, STEM Guyana held its annual robotics exhibition at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Since its formation in 2016, STEM Guyana has turned heads, perhaps most notably when Guyana’s first robotics team surged to a respectable tenth place (out of 165 teams) at the Global Robotics Challenge. STEM education in Guyana, I believe, has a far way to go. I remember being in high school and entering numerous science fairs and seeing the same projects recycled over and over winning the prizes every year. There was very little innovation, and very little encouragement to think bigger or to be inventive. I loved competing in the science fairs, it was an amazing experience; a great way to bond with peers, and also a fun way to step out of the CSEC syllabus guidelines for Science and explore the topics in real life. But the projects themselves are most times unoriginal. Now, I

don’t expect that every project submitted at a regional science fair would be groundbreaking research, but I just feel like it can become easy to hurriedly present a project simply because the school wants a project to be done. And that there, I think, is the problem: treating STEM activities as an obligation. Children already see schooling as something they have to do, and because of that, some of the joy of learning is lost. Activities such as science fairs are supposed to encourage independent thinking, and are supposed to be a fun way for a child to voluntarily explore a topic of their interest. Whenever learning is driven by genuine interest, success — be it in the form of understanding a new topic, solving a difficult problem, or even passing a test — is much more meaningful, and comes a lot easier, as opposed to when one is told what to learn. One of the reasons that I think STEM Guyana has done so

well is because it, for the most part, attempts to create a non-pressure environment. The organisation hosts clubhouses, workshops, and even partners with STEM clubs within schools. Everyone, regardless of age or knowledge background, is encouraged to attend and try their hand at something; and I believe that, for young kids, this can be incredibly empowering. When I was younger, and I thought about robotics, I had two main thoughts; the first being that robotics was incredibly complex and would probably take years of studying before I could produce something remotely interesting, and the second being that robotics sounds really, really cool. It was as though the entire field was abstract. Having programmes like the ones that STEM Guyana facilitates helps to make robotics and careers in the STEM field seem much more attainable to Guyanese children. They take away some of the mystery sur-

rounding the fields, and allow children to work hands-on, developing robots and writing bits of code. This early exposure helps to foster a deeper and more appreciative understanding of STEM fields. Whenever you tell people you’re in STEM fields, the automatic assumption is that you either study medicine or that you’re an engineer (most times mechanical or civil). Children can grow up feeling like these are their only options, and that is why I’m so glad that there are programmes that exist which show them otherwise. Will every child who goes to a workshop or exhibition enter fields such as Computer Science or Robotics? No. But at least these events provide Guyanese children with the avenues to explore their interests, and to expand their ideas of what they think they can become.

Teen busted with cocaine at CJIA …CANU swoops down on trafficking ring


anks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) arrested a 19-year-old female at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and took her to a city hospital where she excreted 44 cocaine-filled pellets. Reports are the teen was a passenger on outgoing flight BW 526 destined for JFK International Airport

CANU ranks swooped down on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) last Friday evening. During the exercise, they stumbled upon 279 suspected cocainefilled pellets. CANU ranks have arrested an additional three persons while they are hunting another two suspects who remain at large. It was reported that one of the

in New York on Friday. CANU ranks approached the teen after they suspected she was a drug mule. After her arrest, the teen was escorted to a city hospital, where she was admitted. Having excreted the pellets, the young woman still remains a patient under observation as of Saturday evening. Meanwhile, based on information obtained,

suspects still at large was at the ECD residence and when the ranks arrived, but managed to escape. This bust comes less than a week after CANU ranks intercepted a 37-year-old cosmetologist, Natasha Blair, who was about to travel with her 11-month-old baby. The woman had ingested and inserted cocaine pellets.


…and defending it

ppearing before the bi-partisan Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources, an Exxon management team, headed by its country director, became quite offended when asked by one PPP member to comment on perceptions that the oil giant might be financing local politicians. “Hogwash!” he exploded. Now you, dear readers, would know your Eyewitness is a die-hard free enterprise partisan. So he doesn’t have much patience with those who thought the Exxon fella was rude!! Hey…do free enterprise proponents have to take brickbats and even flagellate themselves?? Lobbying politicians to look out for your company’s interest is as American as apple pie!! The old crass days of funding political campaigns are over and in fact, only a couple of months ago, an article in the ultra liberal New York Times, described how modern businesses “make friends and influence politicians”. In fact, the article, “Charitable Giving by Corporations Is Also About Getting,” made the point that political contributions are neither politically correct nor legal and corporations has to find new ways to get their point across in a world where business is reflexively made to be the bad guys. Because they’re portrayed a cold, calculating cash registers, businesses from Exxon to Bill Gates Microsoft have decided that donating to charities is the way to go! In fact, both Gates and Exxon have spent billions to eradicate malaria in Africa. Mark Zukerberg has committed 90 per cent of Facebook’s profits to charitable causes. Politicians get votes by convincing voters they help improve their lives… and that they do this by taxing businesses to the max. But we know to our cost that these “tax and spend” governments – like the PNC’s – invariably direct their spending to their friends and cronies. Do we have to be reminded about the bottomhouse warehouse in Albouystown? The wood ants stadium at D’Urban Park? At least the corporate donations go directly into areas that have been identified as needing assistance to help ordinary folks. Now, of course, this is a form of lobbying and is meant to earn goodwill among a constituency that has been indoctrinated to see business as “robber barons” and worse. Nowadays, the approach is enshrined as “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR)!!”. Now what is wrong with “ExxonMobil Foundation” donating US$10 million to Conservation International (CI) and UG to collaborate in initiatives such as the Guyana’s Green State Development Plan? It wasn’t done in secret, was it? CI now has to be even more vigilant about conservation matters where Exxon’s concerned so it doesn’t get panned!! ExxonMobil’s country director, upon the advice of the Committee’s chair, withdrew the “hogwash” categorisation of his company’s CSR. But our lawmakers have to get off their 19th premises! …or trade war Well, if politics is war by other means, then trade is definitely one of those “means”. It’s therefore not a coincidence that what was unleashed by Donald Trump against China is described as a “trade war”. The funny thing is, one of the lessons on waging war that’s come down the ages is, you try to minimise the number of fronts you have to fight on. If you’re trying to split the enemy forces, that’s one thing…but when you take on different armies you’re splitting your own!! Hitler fighting the Allies in the West and the Russians is the East was only the last in a long line of ignominious failures of this strategy. So it’s rather curious that Trump hasn’t only taken on China with this tariffs…but also some of his strongest allies such as Canada and the EU! We all know he wants to impress his rust-belt and farming voters…but the counter tariffs will soon start pinching all America. Why win the battle but lose the war? …and “Nancy story” Now if there ever was a “nancy story”, it’s the one by the City Constabulary and the private security council that they heard nothing during the FIVE HOURS it took to burn through the iron safe of Seepersaud Maraj at the Stabroek Market!!



Politics for new presidential aspirants W

ith the elimination of the presidential candidacy of the PPP’s Bharrat Jagdeo in the 2020 elections, the process for that party to name a successor has begun. It has already thrown the media into a tizzy of speculation as to who will be that person. Over in the PNC, while there has been no exogenous event like a CCJ ruling to remove the PNC’s incumbent President, David Granger, from consideration, a three-way race between three senior functionaries for the PNC’s Chairmanship suggests that Old Man Time may have whispered into Granger’s ear. While the discussion – such as it has been – has centred on the relative “youthfulness” or “experience” of the candidates, I would like to suggest that we have been presented with the opportunity to introduce a criterion that few would deny is necessary for a candidate from either side to be an effective president: a realistic and credible approach to address the ethnic insecurities in our country. Across the globe, eth-

nic conflict has mushroomed to become the dominant political confrontation – often spilling over into violent confrontations. While many of these ethnic conflicts have an economic nexus, the intensity and persistence of the struggles indicate that there is something more fuelling these disputes. Man needs to be “somebody”, and this imperative unleashes drives that go to the heart of ethnic conflict. Presidential candidates cannot just exploit the psychological aspects of political behaviour. Luckily, our new politicians have jettisoned “class” as the aggregator of our “objective” interests, as was the wont of the Jagan and Burnham generation. Class fails to satisfy the affective emotional need of Man to belong to a wider collectivity, and in Guyana is subsumed in ethnicity, which, being simultaneously instrumental and expressive, accomplishes both tasks. A person’s conception of self is formed, to a large extent, by the socialisation provided by his primary (read ethnic) contacts during his

early years, as he attempts to satisfy the basic needs of affection and belonging. Psychologists tell us of the processes of externalisation, projection and displacement that the child deploys to both define himself and, just as importantly, others. He projects and displaces much of what his group considers negative onto members of groups defined as “the other”. Thus, by the time the individual enters the wider world of economic and wider societal concerns as a young adult, the new influences are much more dif-

fuse, with the class and other roles typically not as intense as the ethnic one. On the other hand, his ethnic group is the home — the womb — to which he can always return, and from which he cannot be turned away. It is the only social grouping that accepts him for what he is, and not for what he does. The need for self-esteem and self-worth in the individual is integrally connected with the esteem and worth of the group from which he comes, and is reflected in the recognition, attention, prestige and status the group has “earned”. If this is denied one’s group, the negative self-esteem results in the individual feeling debased, abandoned, and basically unwanted. This reflection of the group’s ethnic identity in the individual’s identity has several consequences. The potential rage generated from these feelings if the individual or group is violated may be internally or externally directed. If it is felt that the ethnic group’s interest is threatened, the individual can be motivated to defend it at al-

most any cost, since to him it is also literally a matter of his own survival. It is for this reason that ethnic conflicts are so intense. For the alienated group, active violence is seen as a defence of life: as Menachem Begin, once “terrorist” and later P.M. of Israel, said, “We fight, therefore we are.” The political implications of the psychological aspects of ethnic conflict are several, but they all demand that our ethnic groups be treated equally. Firstly, the depth of the connection between the individual and his group must be accepted, and not dismissed by some “one-love” utopian exhortation. Economic justice alone is not going to solve the problem. The role of the Chief Executive, for instance, is a powerful symbol of groupworth in any society; any political solution must address the psychological need. A d d i t i o n a l l y , Governmental policies on the whole must openly discuss the group-impact of their implementation: presidential candidates should promote the use of Ethnic Impact Statements in Guyana.

Reconstruction of St Rose’s High to commence soon after demolition of old building


Force ripe and gums

atiricus was gloating, and he had no problem admitting it. After years of taking it on the chin – and below the belt! – from his friends at the Back Street Bar, about the KFC and its leaders: Nagga Man and Rum Jhaat, it was now payback time!! He couldn’t wait to wade into them about the brouhaha precipitated by one of their PPCEE young ‘uns throwing his hat into the ring to become their Presidential candidate. “So what you guys have against young Ran-Son running for the Presidency?” Satiricus began as soon as he sat down – and before he even grabbed a beer. “Who seh abee gat anyt’ing ‘gainst de bai?” asked Bungi. “Well, your Leader slapped him down after he announced his candidacy!” replied Satiricus. ”Wha’ slap dong?” asked Cappo. “De Bass just seh abee party gat abee way fuh do t’ing.” “But what’s wrong with the young man putting up his hand?” asked Satiricus. “Since Jagdesh can’t run.” “Sato, the young man didn’t just put up his hand,” said Hari quietly. “He boasted that he ‘exudes integrity, passion and vision’, and that he has a family of his own!” “Now, yuh know ‘e bin a show aff!” observed Bungi. “Da na de way abee a talk ‘bout abee self.” “An’ ‘e t’row talk pan some a dem adda bais in ‘e party w’en he talk ‘bout family,” said Cappo. “The bottom line,” said Hari, “is Ran-Son know about the party’s tradition to select candidates, and he insisted on doing things his way!” “But what’s wrong about telling people about your strengths?” asked Satiricus. “’E fo’ce ripe, da wha’ me t’ink!” said Bungi. “Lil bai nah climb ladder fuh tu’n big man!” “Yuh cyaan jus’ TALK ‘bout yuh strength,” said Cappo. “Yuh gat fuh SHOW yuh strength!’ “In other words, Sato,” said Hari. “Our party insists you must have experience.” “Yuh cyaan chew bone wid gum!” grinned Bungi. “Abee party guh decide who gat teet’ and who gat gum!!” “An’ yuh need teet fuh fight de Pee-an-see!!” concluded Cappo. “Ran Son still gat ‘e baby gum!!”


emolition works at the St Rose’s High School on Church Street, Georgetown commenced on Monday with the tearing down of the aged wooden section and other relevant adjoining areas of the building, which was in a state of disrepair. When Guyana Times International visited the site, workers were busily breaking down sections of the building and clearing the area to make room for the construction of the new structure. While some parts of the building will be saved, this exercise will take approximately four weeks to complete before moving on to the next phase. Prior to the demolition works, information from the institution’s Board of Governors re-

vealed that the works were scheduled for during the August vacation to minimise accidents since students would not be present at the worksite. The destruction of the timber building will be conducted un-

der the guidance of PD Constructing Inc. The reconstruction project is expected to take place immediately after the demolition exercise by Courtney Benn Contracting Services Ltd, and will last for an additional 24 months.

The intended new replacement structure will incorporate many aspects of the original school building’s design and will integrate the design of the Marian and other wings of the property. This includes the retention of the green space courtyard area, a unique feature of the school. In February of this year, a G$16.9 million contract was approved by Cabinet for the demolition of the St Rose’s High School. At that time, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon had stated that the tearing down of the old building would have commenced during the Easter vacation. However, these plans did not materialise and the works were postponed to the longer school break.

48 Bollywood

WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |



ollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has thanked Hollywood actor and wrestler John Cena for “spreading goodness” and said it is important to inspire children who look up to him as their hero. Cena on Monday shared an inspirational quote by Shah Rukh from Ted Talks. “‘Neither power nor poverty can make your life more magical or less torturous’ Shah Rukh Khan,” Cena posted on Twitter. To this, Shah Rukh replied, “Thanks my friend for spreading the goodness. It’s important to inspire so many kids who look up to you as their hero.” On the work front,

Shah Rukh will soon be seen in Zero. The film is slated to release in Decem-ber. It also stars Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. The three stars have previously shared screen space in Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The superstar, who completed his 26 years in the industry recently, has also been in the news lately for his vacation photos that he has been sharing on the social media. Shah Rukh, who recently completed his shoot for the Aanand L Rai directorial, will play a vertically challenged man in his upcoming release. The movie will also feature Salman Khan and R Madhavan in a special cameo. (Indian Express)


anhvi Kapoor is yet to speak about her mother Sridevi’s demise, but her Dhadak co-star Ishaan Khatter and director Shashank Khaitan on Monday shared how she dealt with the loss. “I shouldn’t be speaking much about it because it is a bit too personal. Janhvi was very professional. She showed great strength. She was able to come to the set and make better of the situa-tion,” said Ishaan. Shashank said he was amazed at the professionalism of Janhvi and her family. The young actor resumed the shoot within weeks of Sridevi’s death. “From our end, we were with her in whatever way we could be. More than any one of us, it was Janhvi and her family who dealt with the situation beautifully. Honestly, it’s a situation I can’t even talk about because I haven’t experienced a loss so grave. “I was just amazed

ollywood actor Priyanka Chopra on Sunday began prep for her upcoming film The Sky Is Pink. Helmed by Margarita with a Straw director Shonali Bose, The Sky Is Pink revolves around Aisha Chaudhary, who became a motivational speaker after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 13. A source had earlier told, “The movie is based on Aisha’s life and her book My Little Epiphanies. Priyanka and Farhan will play her parents’ role. Zaira Wasim will be portraying Aisha’s role in the film.” The Sky Is Pink won the Script Pool Award at the Tallinn & Baltic Event 2017 Awards. Talking about the film, the jury in a statement said, “The script is a complex narrative about fate. How does a girl who is suffering from a life-threatening disease feel? Aisha tells us her fate in a nonlinear way as a love story


ishwarya Rai Bachchan plays a singing sensation in her upcoming film Fanney Khan, and she will be introduced in the film through the song “Mohabbat”. Choreographed by Frank Gatson Jr, “Mohabbat” is said to be one of the highlights of the film. Talking about the song, Fanney Khan director Atul Manjrekar said, “The concept of the song came through Aishwarya’s character in the film. She is the number one singer and the most beautiful woman in the country. The song sees her character touring across India and performing in front of a live audience. For the sequence, we referenced recent concerts that featured Arijit Singh, Ed


how this young girl, her younger sister and family dealt with it and the professionalism they showed in coming to the set so fast. I am really proud of my team for giving her a comforting environment and still have the focus on work and not reminding her of what happened,” said Dhadak director Shashank Khaitan. Bollywood star Sridevi passed away on February 24 in Dubai. Her sudden demise left fans and the film fraternity shocked.

(Indian Express)

ollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty’s son Mahaakshay Chakraborty, also known as Mimoh, on Tuesday tied the knot with actor Madalsa Sharma in Ooty. Last week, Mimoh’s wedding had to be cancelled after the police arrived at the venue of wed-ding to investigate the rape and cheating charges filed by a woman against him and his mother Yogita Bali. In her plea, the complainant had alleged that

of her parents. The script is about to become an extraordinary experience that can truly inspire, challenge and entertain audiences when it is further developed in a consequent way.” While Aisha Chaudhary was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, her medical condition didn’t deter her spirit. At a very young age, she started speaking on platforms like TEDx and INK among others. With her never say die attitude, she inspired people. Unfortunately, at the age of 18, Aisha bid adieu to the world. On the work front, Priyanka Chopra will soon begin shooting for Salman Khan starrer Bharat. Helmed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the movie also stars Disha Patani, Sunil Grover, Shashank Arora and Tabu. Shonali Bose’s last outing was the critically acclaimed Kalki Koechlin starrer Margarita with a Straw. The film won many awards at various film festivals. (Indian Express)

Sheeran, Coldplay. That was the starting point.” Producers Bhushan Kumar, Anil Kapoor and PS Bharathi brought in Frank Gatson Jr who has earlier worked with Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and others so they could achieve a similar look. On working with Frank, Atul said, “There is great talent in India and one of them, Ganesh Acharya is the main choreographer for my film. However, with Aishwarya’s song, we were attempting a performance of an international calibre. That said, let us not call Frank a choreographer. He is more of a performance designer. It’s more of a performanceoriented number than a dance sequence”. He continued, “When we approached him, he

Mahaakshay had cheated and raped her after being in physical relation with her for around four years on the pretext of marriage. The woman alleged that when she became pregnant,

Mahaakshay had given her some medicine which led to an abortion. In her complaint, she claimed that Bali had threatened her of dire con-sequences if she continued the relationship. The complainant also said s h e

was very excited about the project and wanted to work with Aishwarya. The prospect of doing a Bollywood song appealed to him.” To present Aishwarya like the diva she is, Manish Malhotra has done the costumes. Atul further revealed that Aishwarya is a good singer off-screen as well. He said, “She would sing in-between takes and I was stunned when I heard her voice for the first time”. Fanney Khan revolves around a father going the extra mile to fulfill his daughter’s dream of being a singer. Alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Fanney Khan also stars Anil Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in lead roles. The film is scheduled to release on August 3.

(Indian Express)

moved to Delhi from Mumbai as she feared for her life in view of threats made by Bali and her son. Following the Bombay High Court’s refusal to grant any interim relief from arrest to Mahaakshay Chakraborty and Yogita Bali, the duo moved the Delhi court. Special Judge Ashutosh Kumar last Saturday granted anticipatory bail to Bali and Mahaakshay, saying they have deep roots in society and are not likely to abscond. (Indian Express)

Hollywood 49



ctor Simon Pegg has opened up about his struggle with depression and alcoholism, saying that he checked into a rehabilitation centre to seek recovery. The 48-year-old actor said while he was shooting Mission: Impossible III in 2006, he was “fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic”. “It was awful, terrible,” he told The Guardian while talking about his struggle. “It owned me.” Pegg said his depression did not allow him to enjoy the experience of working with the likes of Tom Cruise on the Mission: Impossible films and J.J. Abrams on the Star Trek reboot. “I would feel like — I’m in a film with Tom

Cruise, I’ve got the part of Scotty in Star Trek”, he told the publication. “This should be making me feel happy. But it wasn’t.” “When I watch that film back, I can see where I was then, which was fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic,” Pegg added. The actor said he “micro-managed” his condition for quite some time, till the ball dropped. “One thing (addiction) does is make you clever at not giving anything away. People think junkies and alcoholics are slovenly, unmotivated people. They’re not – they are incredibly organised. They can nip out for a quick shot of whisky and you wouldn’t know

they have gone. It’s as if … you are micro-managed by it,” Pegg said. “But eventually the signs are too obvious. You have taken the dog for one too many walks,” he added. Pegg revealed that while he was on a trip to Comic-Con to promote his 2011 movie Paul, he went missing for four days. The actor said when he returned to the UK, his home, he went into rehab which helped him turn his


t was recently reported that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin got engaged on a trip to the Ba-hamas and now Bieber has announced it himself through his Instagram handle. He shared a post of himself with Hailey on the social media site and wrote a wonderful caption alongside. Justin Bieber’s caption read, “Was gonna wait a while to say anything but word travels fast, lis-ten plain and simple Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY. I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting


aptain Marvel’s release is still months away, but the film is already high on hype despite promotional material for it being scarce. The primary reason is that this will add Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that is expected to lead to a larger story arc in Avengers 4. It would also add characters like Lee Pace’s Ronan the

Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make. My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anybody else. You make me so much better

and we complement “each other so well!! Can’t wait for the best season of life yet!.” The caption further read, “It’s funny because now with you everything seems to make sense! The thing I am most excited for is that my little brother and sister get to see another healthy stable

Accuser, Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson and, most of all, Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury. We will see a young Nick Fury, played by Jackson himself with the help of advanced digitally de-aging technology. Speaking to Slashfilm, M a r v e l S t u d i o s President K e v i n Feige said, “Well, I think having the option is pretty amazing. And I

think having the technology and even without spoiling anything, Sam Jackson is shooting a movie for us right now that takes, where he’s entirely 25 years younger the whole movie [Captain Marvel]. So that’ll certainly be the one”. When asked about Coulson, he said, “And Coulson. So that’ll be the first one where it’s a char-acter for the whole movie, as opposed to a glimpse at a certain period of time. It’s the whole movie. So it’s possible, assuming that works. It’s possible. It’s very good when you are starting by the way with somebody like Michelle

life around. “I got into it. I got into the reasons I was feeling that way. I went into AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) for a while, too. I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had help,” h e said. (Indian Express)

marriage and look for the same!!! God’s timing really is literally perfect, we got engaged on the seventh day of the seventh month, the number seven is the number of spiritual perfection, it’s true GOOGLE IT! Isn’t that nuts? By the way I didn’t plan that, anyways My goodness does feel good to have our future secured! WERE GONNA BE BETTER AT 70 BABY HERE WE GO! “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains FAVOR from the Lord!” This is the year of favor!!!!” Justin wrote that the two got engaged on July 7 and completely believes that seven is the number of spiritual perfection.

(Indian Express)

Pfeiffer or Michael Douglas or for that matter Sam Jackson or Clark Gregg. All four of them…” De-aging has been used before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Robert Downey Jr was shown as an angsty teenager in Captain America: Civil War. Kurt Russell was shown as a young man in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. As Michael Douglas recently said, there are opportunities to use older actors, deage them and make prequels if the technology is so far advanced that one cannot tell the difference between the de-aged version of the actor and his or her real younger self. (In-dian Express)


ctor George Clooney was taken to the hospital in Sardinia and released after being involved in an accident while riding his motorcycle, hospital officials said. The John Paul II hospital in Olbia said Clooney was released on Tuesday. Local media that had gathered at the hospital said Clooney is believed to have left through a side exit. Local daily La Nuova Sardegna said the 57-year-old Clooney had been headed to a film set on Tuesday when his motorbike was hit by a car. Private Mediaset, citing gossip magazine Chi, said the accident occurred near Costa Corallina, in the province of Olbia. Police had no immediate information. Calls and emails to Clooney’s


urns out Gal Gadot is a hero in real life as well. The Israeli actor, best known for playing DC superhero Wonder Woman, visited a children’s hospital in Annadale, Virginia, fully dressed in her iconic superhero outfit. Gal has essayed the role in three movies to date – Batman v Super-man, Wonder Woman and Justice League. She is currently shooting for Wonder Woman sequel titled Wonder Woman 1984, which is due for release next year. Dr Lucas Collazo of the Inova Children’s Hospital tweeted ,”Thank you @GalGadot for visiting us @ InovaHealth Children’s Hospital. You are a true Wonder Woman. The kids loved it…and so did the staff #wonderwoman84.” In the photos uploaded by Dr Lucas and a fan account, Gal can be seen posing with the kids and the staff. Wonder Woman was a step ahead of other DC film universe mov-

spokesman weren’t immedi-ately returned. Clooney has a home on the Italian mainland, on Lake Como. The actor and his wife Amal along with their year-old twins are spending quality time with each other at the place. Recent reports had stated that the two have been joined by the actor’s parents as well. At the work front, George Clooney will be seen in the Hulu series Catch-22, for which he is cur-rently shooting. (Indian Express)

ies that had solemn or out-and-out dark tone. While dark tones suited Batman, fans did not like what Zack Snyder did with Superman. The most optimistic of superheroes was written as a fascist thug who – wait for it – wasn’t averse to killing people. Patty Jenkins rightly ignored everything that was done before in the cinematic universe and went for a hopeful film with a lighter tone and a more colourful palette. Released last year, Wonder Woman earned 821.8 million dollars worldwide, and broke several records. Director Patty Jenkins became the first woman to helm an American superhero movie. The film itself became the highest-grossing female-directed liveaction movie of all time, highest-grossing origin movie and so on. It remains the only critically acclaimed DC film universe movie so far. Wonder Woman is due out November 1, 2019. (Indian Express)

50 sport

Sky Sports to broadcast Hero CPL 2018 in UK and Ireland T

he 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be aired live in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland via Sky Sports, which will show all 34 matches live. This year’s tournament will run from August 8 to September 16, and will see some of the best cricketers in

WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

biggest yet. Broadcasting Hero CPL further cements Sky Sports’ commitment to bringing the best action from around the world on their dedicated cricket channel. Damien O’Donohue, CEO of the Hero CPL, is delighted with the news that Sky will be a broadcast part-

Lee cops another chess championship the world taking part in the “Biggest Party in Sport”. With Caribbean cricketers Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard joining global superstars Chris Lynn, David Warner, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and others, this year’s tournament is set to be the

ner in 2018. “Sky Sports (have) an unrivalled heritage and portfolio of sports in the UK and Ireland. As the number one sports broadcaster in the region, they are the perfect home for cricket fans to enjoy the Biggest Party in Sport this year,” he said.


The winners’ row at the Wendell Meusa Chess Foundation Kids Tournament

ifteen-year-old Ethan Lee continues to cement his name in the world of chess after recording yet another win over the weekend, this time at the Wendell Meusa Chess Foundation (WMCF) Kids Tournament. Lee has been having an extraordinary 2018, being crowned as the Saint Stanislaus and Marian Academy chess champion respectively. The tournament over the weekend was no different with Lee convincingly winning seven out of seven games, similarly to another competition just under two weeks ago. Given that the likes of Jaden Taylor, Ghansham Allijohn and National Junior Champ Joshua Gopaul were missing from the event, Lee’s only challenge came in the form of Rajiv Lee of Queen’s College. In their encounter, both players opted to execute the tactical Sicilian defence. However, being Lee’s pet line of defence, the Marian Academy champion managed to outplay the Queen’s College stu-

dent by using his superior knowledge and experience to capitalise on a few errors made by Rajiv. Meanwhile, Rajiv had some recognition of his own after he played superbly in what was his first mainstream tournament. Aside from his loss to Ethan Lee, Rajiv played to a thrilling draw against young prospect Chelsea Juma. The young man showcased tons of potential and was not expected to perform that well. He made use of aggressive and tactical combinations and as such, he took home the second-place trophy gaining 5.5 points from seven games. Another promising Marian Academy student took the third position. Odit Rodrigues finished on 4.5 points ahead of 12-year-old female Chelsea Juma of St Stanislaus College. After allowing illness to deter her on the first day of the event, Juma rebounded on day two to showcase her prowess. For her strong finish and eventual best female title, the 12-year-old earned

herself one-month free training at the chess foundation. Eleven-yearold Ronan Lee took the youngest player prize when he finished on three points followed by Jonathan Stepney of Marian Academy and Jarrell Troyer of St Stanislaus College. Juma, along with 14-year-old Sasha Shariff of Marian Academy, is training and gearing up for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Women’s Championship, which is scheduled to be hosted in Barbados from July 27 to August 3. This will be Guyana’s first time having female representatives at such a tournament and these young ladies are expected to grace the list of national players who are ranked by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). These young ladies will be seeking financial assistance to cover their airfare cost and any person who is interested in provided financial assistance can call Mr Meusa (664-0124) or Mrs Jardin (692-2708).

Sport 51


Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus sign Real Madrid forward for £99.2m

Taken from BBC


eal Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Juventus, becoming one of the four most expensive players of all time. A deal worth 112m euros (£99.2m) has been reached between the two clubs that has seen the Portuguese sign a four-year deal with the Italian champions. Ronaldo, 33, won four Champions League titles in his nine years at Real. "The time has come to open a new stage in my life, that's why I asked the club to accept transferring me," he said. The top two world record transfer fees have been paid out by Paris St-Germain - the £200m they paid Barcelona for Brazil forward Neymar last August, and the fee of around £166m for France forward Kylian Mbappe in July after a successful season on loan with PSG. Barcelona also paid Liverpool £142m for Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho in January. For Juventus, the fee they will pay for Ronaldo is set to eclipse the £75.3m they paid for forward Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in July 2016. Juventus are set to play Real Madrid in a pre-season International Champions Cup tour-

nament in the United States, with the match taking place at FedEx Field in Washington on Saturday, 4 August. 'Real Madrid have conquered my heart' Ronaldo's letter to fans These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life. I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for its fans and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received. However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our fans, to please understand me. They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years. They have been nine unique years. It has been an emotional time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of the highest demands, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way. I have had fabulous team-mates on the field and in the dressing room, I have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd and together we have won three Championships in a row

Cristiano Ronaldo (Photo:

and four Championships in five years. And with them also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won four Gold Balls and three Gold Boots. All during my time in this immense and extraordinary club. Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thanks to the club, the President, the directors, my colleagues, all the technical staff, doctors, physios and incredible workers that make everything work, that tirelessly pursue every minute detail. Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish Football.

During these nine exciting years I have played against great players. My respect and my recognition for all of them. I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I'm leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to always feel part of me wherever I am. Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Go Madrid! 'Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols' - Real Madrid's reaction Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester United for £80m in July 2009 and scored a club-record 450 goals and won the

Ballon D'Or - awarded to the world's best footballer - in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. He has helped them win the Champions League in four of the past five seasons, scoring in the 2014 and 2017 finals. "For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols," said a club statement. "Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football. "Real Madrid will always be your home." Who next for Real

Madrid? Despite their dominance in Europe's premier club competition, Real struggled domestically, finishing 17 points behind champions Barcelona last season. Real are keen on reshaping their team under new manager Julen Lopetegui and the 33time La Liga winners have also been linked with a move for Paris StGermain's 26-year-old Brazil forward Neymar. However, it would be a controversial move as Neymar spent four years at Real's fierce rivals Barcelona before joining PSG in his world record transfer of £200m last summer. Real have also been linked with a move for another PSG forward, Mbappe, the 19-year-old who has helped France reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. Italian football expert James Horncastle told BBC Radio 5 live: "Real would be reluctant to lose Ronaldo without a replacement in hand. They have been linked with Neymar, who joined PSG for a world record fee last season, and their flirting with the Brazilian appears to have put Ronaldo's nose out of joint at Madrid. "We don't know who is being lined up, be it Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard or Harry Kane."

Rabada will take over from Steyn as spearhead - du Plessis


o get your mind around exactly how ridiculous South Africa's pace gifts are at present, consider this: Dale Steyn, almost certainly the greatest fast bowler of his generation, has the worst average among the frontline quicks in his squad. His 419 wickets have come at 22.32; Vernon Philander averages 21.46, Kagiso Rabada, 21.59, and Lungi Ngidi, 16.42. What makes the presence of these riches more incredible, is that Morne Morkel, one of South Africa's best ever, retired in their previous series. Now, some of these stats are skewed. Ngidi has only played three Tests, all at home, and his record will probably worsen. Philander's numbers are substantially skewed by a phenomenal home average of 18.27 - his average in Sri Lanka, from two 2014 Tests, is 76. But while Rabada also has modest figures

in Asia, his only previous experience on the continent being his three Tests in India, there is a feeling in the South Africa camp that he is a much improved bowler now. If it is true that Steyn is not at his best following a series of frustrating injuries (coach Ottis Gibson described his bowling as "rusty" following the two-day practice match), here is the bowler that will assume the role of attack leader, South Africa believe. There is pressure on spinner Keshav Maharaj to shine on his first series in this part of the world, but captain Faf du Plessis still has plenty of faith in reverse swing, and in Rabada's ability to extract it. "Dale has been the spearhead, but I think KG (Rabada) will take over that mantle. He's got the skill, he's got the pace and he's got the control to do well in all conditions around the world," du Plessis said on the eve of the first Test. "I have

Kagiso Rabad (Hindustan Times photo)

seen growth in him since the India tour. I think that's what's remarkable about KG, is how quickly he learns. That was his first subcontinent tour and I believe he'll learn from that - the way he's improved his control. "With his skills, he's got the ability now to swing the ball both ways with a reverse-swinging ball, which is a skill that not a lot of bowlers

have. And once again, pace against any subcontinent team is something you want try and expose. We'll have to see to what extent the wicket allows for that. It's good to see him bowling quick again after his recent injury. He looks hungry to perform in the series." Not that Steyn is expected to fade away. When South Africa were last in Galle, he had

claimed 9 for 99, using reverse swing to devastating effect in both innings, to propel his team to victory. This time around, Steyn's pace may not be what it was four years ago, but his skill - particularly with the old ball - remain undiminished, du Plessis said. In fact, in a threeman pace attack, it is for those later overs that Steyn may be reserved. "Dale's X-factor is how he picks up wickets with a reverse-swinging ball. His way of getting wickets with the new ball is getting it to move around a little bit with swing, and a little bit of seam, really consistently. But there's a period of the game when Dale gets his tail up. He gets one wicket, and is up there with the most dangerous bowlers in the world, because he is so skillful, and he can get the ball to reverse swing at pace. I'm hoping to see Dale bowl really quick again. He hasn't bowled for a long time, so he'll be ex-

cited to get the opportunity. It's a good sight to see when he gets the ball reversing, and he's running in and keeping those legs really really fast." In almost any other side in the world, a bowler of Ngidi's potential would command a place in every Test, but signs are, he may have to miss out in Galle. While Steyn, Rabada and perhaps Maharaj are aggressively looking for wickets, du Plessis suggested that it is Philander who will be relied on to provide control from the other end. "With Vern, his control is exceptional," du Plessis sad. "He won't offer you much as a batter. Even if there's not much grass and seam movement, Vern is still a guy that will hold a game for you. And then from the other side, from a captaincy point of view, you can bring a guy and try and get wickets." (ESPNCricinfo)

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WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

4th Roy Fredericks Cup slated for July 21

Khan bags maiden Odyssey Transport Golf title


lairmont Centre Cricket Club will be hosting the fourth annual fundraiser, Roy Fredericks’ Floodlight Cup Revolution, at the Albion Community Centre on Saturday July 21. The cricket competition will be a day-and-night affair, and leading cricket clubs in Guyana have already confirmed their participation. Apart from competition in the shortest version of cricket, volleyball and dominoes competitions are also on the cards. The day’s activities are expected to commence at 09:00 hrs and conclude at 22:30 hrs, with the seven teams competing for the Roy Fredericks Cup 2018, a symbol of supremacy in cricket. Two-time defending champions, Blairmont Blazer, will be hard pressed to retain their crown. They are expected to face stiff challenges from other teams, such as Albion Cricket Club, Demerara Cricket Club, Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club, Port Mourant Cricket Club, Young Warriors, and Upper Corentyne Association. The late Guyana and West Indies star batsman Roy Frederick started his cricket career at the Blairmont Centre Cricket Club (BCCC), and he later went on to play with the Demerara Cricket Club. BCCC executives and members have named the BCCC main pavilion after this great son of the soil. Fredericks played 59 tests, scoring 4,334 runs at an average of 42.49. He blasted 8 centuries and 26 half centuries during that time. Fredericks gained international fame for his scintillating 169 scored

Winners and several of those who received gift bags pose with Odyssey CEO Feroze Barakat, Kassim Khan, Aleem Hussain and Mohanlall Dinanauth

at Perth against Australia, playing against the likes of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. This tournament has, since 2015, been a tribute to Fredericks, and it has become one of the club’s major fundraising events. The club’s executives and members are seeking sponsorship for the event, and would welcome any contribution toward its success. Proceeds will go towards the intended purposes of maintaining and developing the cricket club. The club’s main project is to build an indoor cricket facility for club members and other non-members to utilize during the rainy season. For more information in regard to this tournament, interested persons are kindly asked to contact BCCC Assistant Secretary Ameer Rahim on 626-2563.


easoned pro Kassim Khan stunned a high-profile field of golfers as he emerged champion of the inaugural Odyssey Transport Golf tournament, which teed off last Sunday. Torrential showers did little to deter the large flock of golfers who were enthused to get themselves further finetuned ahead of the Club’s July extravaganza set for a few days from now. Khan landed his first-place finish after scoring 65/9, followed by the likes of Mohanlall Dinanauth, 66/6; and Lusignan Golf Club President Aleem Hussain, 69/11 while the sponsor of the tourney and CEO of Odyssey, Feroze Barakat, played well for his fourthplace finish (70/18). Dinanauth, a former Guyana Open Male Champion, obtained the Best Gross trophy with a score of 72 as the

next highly-ranked 10 placers received gift bags, compliments of Barakat in appreciation of the competitive spirit so many golfers exhibited. Those placing in that cohort included – Paton George 72/19; Patrick Prashad 74/9; reigning Guyana Open champ Avinash Persaud 75/2; Ian Gouveia 75/15; Nazeem Haniff 76/8; Maurice Solomon 76/22; Miguel Oviedo 76/28; David Harry 77/12; Joaan Deo 78/17; and Danny Mangra 79/26. Barakat, along with Manager Troy Khan and three other Odyssey staff, was on hand to congratulate the winners and distribute the awards. LGC President Hussain and Dr Joaan Deo, standing in for club Captain Chatterpaul Deo expressed gratitude to Odyssey and the golfers who participated for their contribution to the day’s programme.

West Indies tour has prepared us for South Africa's pacers - Roshen Silva


ri Lanka's series in the Caribbean last month has prepared the batting order for the kind of pace they are likely to get from South Africa. That, at least, is what middle-order batsman Roshen Silva hopes. Sri Lanka only won one Test in the Caribbean, but had dominated the Test in St. Lucia (which ended in a draw) as well. They had they faced spirited seam bowling from the likes of Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder in the series, which was played largely on seam-friendly decks. A much more accomplished South Africa seam attack awaits them in this series, but the theory is that having countered movement and pace on those difficult pitches, they will be able to neutralise a tougher opposition on dustier tracks. "Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander will be a huge challenge, but the toughest series for me was the one in the West Indies," Roshen said. "You can see how tough it is there given how Bangladesh have struggled there since. They kept a lot of grass on the pitches for the last two Tests there. There was also the challenge of having to face the pink ball under lights, when it moves a lot. On top of which there had been wind as well. It was a really tough challenge." While Sri Lanka had to contend with conventional swing, zip off the surface, and uncomfortable bounce in the Caribbean, those are challenges they are unlikely to face at home - particularly at Galle, where low bounce is the norm once the ball loses its shine. It is, instead, the old ball that is likely to pose the greater threat. "We have been working on playing reverse swing, because South Africa have bowlers who bowl fast," Roshen said. "We are prepared for that chal-

Roshen Silva punches through cover (CWI Media)

lenge." Where Sri Lanka have recently tended to stack their attack with spinners at home, often playing one frontline seamer in their XI, the West Indies tour also appears to have raised confidence in Sri Lanka's own pace-bowling stocks. The Barbados Test had effectively been won on the back of an outsanding third-innings fast-bowling effort from Sri Lanka, when they had dismissed West Indies for 93. At home, they are likely to rely on their spinners again, but perhaps not as heavily as they generally have in the past two years. "We realized in West Indies that we had good fast bowlers," said Roshen. "Lahiru Kumara bowls at 148kmph, Suranga Lakmal can move the ball, and Kasun Rajitha also did well. The future of our seam bowling looks good." (ESPNCricinfo)


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ING JULY 15 , 2018|


Afridi pumped and ready for CPL return


fter making his CPL debut back in 2015, world class all-rounder Shahid Afridi is highly anticipating his return to the “biggest party in sport”, come August. Afridi shared a little of his expectations for the tournament, and what

he plans to add to the mix of superstar players. Back in 2015, Afridi was a part of the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots team, this time around, the all-rounder will join forces with the likes of Andre Russell, Ross Taylor and Rovman Powell in the Jamaica Tallawahs line-up. Despite knocking 5 sixes out of the park in his debut year, Afridi is of the belief that he underperformed in 2015. “I think my first experience was not that good, because I didn’t perform well. But still I think it’s an honour for me to be part of CPL. I think that atmosphere is very good, and whenever I was there with the Pakistan team, I enjoyed. I think the islands are very beautiful. St. Lucia, where I played a few times for the Pakistan side, is one of my favourite places, so that’s why I love to play there. The atmosphere is very good; the people, they want to see us there as well,” he said. Stating that he considers himself a bowling all-rounder, Afridi admitted that he is not always consistent with the bat. “I always consider myself as a bowling all-rounder. I think (that)

Guyana Wrestling Association to open new avenue for sport


here is now a body to govern and promote wrestling in Guyana. Dubbed the Guyana Wrestling Association (GWA), this entity was formed

in June 2017 and has gained affiliation with United World Wrestling in February 2018. United World Wrestling governs wrestling worldwide. It encourages the development of all wrestling styles, promotes the sport in all countries, and provides support and technical assistance to all affiliated members. President of the local association, Marcello Small, has said the GWA’s mission is to coordinate, promote, and

develop the sporting activity of Wrestling in Guyana, in order to achieve the highest standards possible in the sport. Small indicated that while it’s a huge task

ahead, he believes it’s achievable, since wrestling is an Olympic sport and this will now give Guyanese the opportunity to participate and compete in something new. Guyana will now have the opportunity to compete in Wrestling at the national, regional and Olympic levels. According to a release from the Association, the next step in the coming months will be to embark on training coaches.

in batting I’m not that consistent, but in bowling I am very consistent; and when I started my cricket, I started as a bowler. So I think I feel good, and if you look into my performance, I’m always very consistent with my bowling,” he explained. As such, Afridi is expected to bring some attacking bowling to the Tallawahs side. Aside from that, the former Pakistan player disclosed that he is excited to play, especially in the USA, a venue he has never played at before. “I heard that we are playing three games in America, and I have never played any game in America; but let’s see. I don’t know how is the ground, or how the pitch will behave, but I’m very excited to play in America,” he noted. On a different note, Afridi is rallying for his former team, Pakistan, to participate in the World T20 on basis of their strong performance against Windies recently. This is something Afridi was delighted to see, and he was full of praise for Cricket West Indies for making it happen. “I must thank the (West Indies) Cricket Board. I think they really support us, they really support our cricket. I think they really done a great job, especially all the players. Really, it’s a big thing for us, because we want to

see cricket back in Pakistan, and I’m always thankful to them (for) the way they supported us,” Afridi explained. The next big global T20 tournament will be the World T20, and Afridi thinks Pakistan are moving in the right direction. They have made it to the number one ranking in the format; have won nine successive T20I series; and have experience of success in ICC events, having won the Champions Trophy in England last summer. “I think it’s still a long way to go, and I think the way our boys are playing is very good. All the youngsters, they’re doing a great job; and Inshallah, we’re hoping they’re going to do well for Pakistan,” Afridi declared. Asked if he fancied having a go at playing in that tournament, he was unequivocal in his response. “No! Not at all! I’m done! I enjoyed my cricket for Pakistan, I’m playing just my league cricket, and I’m enjoying myself,” he said. The Jamaica Tallawahs will be playing three matches in Florida this year, taking on Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Tridents at the Central Broward Regional Stadium in Lauderhill on 18, 19 and 22 August.

Global T20 Canada…

Coach Estwick confident Windies B will continue dominance


oach of the West Indies ‘B’ Team, Roddy Estwick, is fully confident this team will continue to dominate proceedings at the ongoing inaugural Global T20 Canada tournament as they head into the second stage on Tuesday. Having topped the points table with eight points from five matches, the West Indies ‘B’ Team can churn out more triumphant performances, according to the former Barbadian speedster Estwick. West Indies “B” won four successive games before their winning streak was stopped by the Chris Gayle-led side Vancouver Knights on Sunday at the tournament’s venue, Maple Leaf ground, King City, Toronto. The Caribbean boys will engage the Montreal Tigers who ended up at the bottom of the points table in the six-team competition, which began on June 28 and will conclude on July 15 with championship fixture. “I [am] proud of the performances so far,” declared Estwick. “We came in as the underdogs, but the guys are proving everyone wrong. Obviously, as a young

Roddy Estwick

team, there is still room for improvement, but every game is a learning experience,” Estwick revealed. In the first match, West Indies “B” defeated Montreal Tigers by two wickets, while they beat Edmonton Royals by three wickets in the next game. They continued to be prolific in every department of their game, trouncing Winnipeg Hawks by nine wickets and then thrashing Toronto Nationals by a handsome eight-wicket margin. The loss against Knights was by a 35-run margin. “I think those four games were great to see. The players just went

out there and played their natural game. This is a talented bunch of guys, and I am not too surprised at their impact; so I am confident they will continue to do well,” Estwick, who featured in 20 first-class matches ranging from 1983 to 1986, commented. Skipper Anthony Bramble also spoke enthusiastically about his team’s outstanding run, and is understandably upbeat about them getting to the final and ultimately winning the championship at the historical event. The first prize is a trophy and US$500,000. “I think we are play-

ing good, and we will maintain that. We have to stay focused, because at the other stage the competition will be stiffer,” the Guyanese firstclass wicketkeeper/batsman related. Bramble further stated that the level of dynamism in the camp is astounding, and everyone is motivated to create a huge impression. Meanwhile, the second-placed team Knights will confront the fifth-placed Toronto Nationals, while thirdplaced team Edmonton Royals will do battle with fourth-placed Winnipeg Hawks, before Qualifier 1 starts on Thursday. (Ravi Madholall)

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WEEK ENDING JULY 15 , 2018 |

Windies speedster; Joseph returns for Sabina Park Test



dies speedster Alzarri Joseph was named in the 13-man squad to face Bangladesh in the second Test which gets underway at the Sabina Park Ground,

Jamaica on Thursday. Joseph on his return

to international cricket recently was the most successful bowler for the President’s XI side versus Bangladesh with figures of 4-53. His inclusion came in light of Kemar Roach’s orders to

rest following hamstring strain in the first innings of the Test in Antigua that the Windies won by an inning and 219 runs. Roach was named MVP for his scorching returns of 5-8 which helped the Caribbean side plot the Bangladeshis’ eventual downfall inside three days. Also p r e s - ent in the squad are the Guyanese pair of Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer who were on the bench for the first match. The win in the first Test also saw some positive movements in the ICC rankings for several players. Roach shot up to 20th and Kraigg Brathwaite 16th; they are now in the Top 20 in bowling and batting re-

spectively. Captain Jason Holder also moves up two places to 52nd and to 23rd in the bowling while Kieran Powell moves up five places to 61st and pacer Miguel Cummins going

up 12 places to 55th. The squad reads: Jason Holder – Captain; Devendra Bishoo; Kraigg Brathwaite; Roston Chase; Miguel Cummins; Shane Dowrich; Shannon Gabriel; Shimron

Hetmyer; Alzarri Joseph; Shai Hope; Keemo Paul; Kieran Powell and Devon Smith. BANGLADESHWEST INDIES 2018 (Start time in brackets)



Guyana Times International July 13 2018  
Guyana Times International July 13 2018