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Former AG Doodnauth Singh passes on


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You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at week ending august 25, 2013


Caribbean Airlines to review airfares for Guyana route Page 16

U.S. backs Amaila hydro project

Battle of the Champions!

Page 15

Governor Cuomo announces $71M to build thousands of housing units across NY State Page 6

Captains of the LCPL T20 Semi-final teams (Chris Gayle - Jamaica Tallawahs, Dwayne Bravo - Trinidad Red Steel, Kieron Pollard Barbados Tridents and Ramnaresh Sarwan - Guyana Amazon Warriors ) pose with the Tournament trophy before the start of the semi-final matches in Trinidad and Tobago).


week ending august 25, 2013 |



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Former AG Doodnauth Singh passes on F

ormer Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Doodnauth Singh passed away Wednesday evening while undergoing treatment at the Dr Balwant Singh Hospital. Singh, a senior counsel and former chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, had undergone bypass surgery several years ago. He retired from legal practice and serving as a Cabinet minister in the Bharrat Jagdeo administration and a Member of Parliament in 2009.

President Donald Ramotar, in an immediate reaction, said he is saddened by the news of the death of the former AG. “Mr Singh, also a senior counsel, was a man of high intellect, having amassed great experience during his legal life, both locally and internationally. He served Guyana with utmost distinction, pride and selflessness,” Ramotar said in a message released by the Government Information Agency (GINA). He said Singh had given decades of service to Guyana, mostly in the legal profession,

Former Attorney General Doodnauth Singh

in which he was known as an outstanding legal luminary. During a special farewell retirement ceremony for him in the House, the then Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran was quoted in a section of the media describing Singh as a man “always on the side of justice”, and noted his accomplishments as an attorney across the Caribbean. Ramkarran hailed him for his fearless representation of clients in an era when it invited unwelcome sanctions. “It is a fearlessness that has marked

his character, then and now,” Ramkarran remarked, while noting that their first encounter was in 1973, when they represented 17 people, most of them political activists, charged with various criminal offences before the elections of that year. Among them was current People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/ C) Member of Parliament Indra Chandarpal. Although the lawyers appealed, since the defendants were refused bail for offences that carried no imprisonment, the case was dismissed.

Guyana could Money laundering deadline missed again –face sanctions


oday (Thursday) is the deadline when Guyana should have submitted its updated anti-money laundering act to be in compliance with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), but with no parliamentary consensus and the bill stuck at a select committee, government said the country is now exposed to international sanctions. The CFATF had given Guyana up to August 22 after it failed to reach an earlier deadline. To this end, the country now stands to face serious international sanctions from the CFATF. The CFATF upon receiving the update from Guyana would

have sought to remedy the deficiencies that were uncovered in Guyana’s Anti-money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism Act. According to Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon at his weekly post-cabinet briefing on Wednesday, “Guyana is due to submit the CFATF multilateral evaluation mechanism update, and this is to be done by August 22, 2013; the update advises on action that have been taken by the country to address the recommendations made by Guyana’s evaluators as they sought to remedy the deficiencies.” Dr Luncheon said the move by the opposition members within the parliamentary se-

lect committee to defer the completion of the work on the bill was a planned one, despite the government parliamentarians’ warning and pleas to have the bill reviewed during the last sitting. However, the considerations were pushed back to the end of the recess when the House meets again in October. Dr Luncheon said the opposition members on the committee turned out in full force and essentially to vote for the adjournment of the bill. “That deadline was much advertised and one can only assume that the act by the parliamentary opposition was deliberate and one that was planned to ensure that Guyana

would not meet the deadline,” he added. He said even though the parliamentary opposition was aware of the consequences on the health and operations of Guyana’s financial and banking system if the deadline was missed, it again showed it cared less about the country. Apart from facing international sanctions, Guyana’s financial sector will now be seen as weak and international monetary institutions will either withdraw its partnerships with Guyana, or decline to make any kinds of investment in the country. Also, customers will now be required to pay more for banking services, with local banks

struggling to process foreign incoming and outgoing transactions. Banks in Guyana will also be monitored closely by the few institutions that agree to work with Guyana and the entire financial system will be moving at snail’s pace, with the strict guidelines, monitoring and overseeing of transactions. Guyana on May 27 failed to meet the first deadline given by the CFATF after the opposition announced its non-support of the critical legislation. The country was granted an extended deadline after Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall requested an extension at a CFATF meeting in June.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

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Minority veto


he decision of Sithe Global to withdraw from the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project (AFHEP), because the government failed to obtain the approval of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) in Parliament on two bills concerning the project, amounts to a minority veto on the development of Guyana. APNU executive Carl Greenidge identified Sithe’s concern when he pointed out that the company was concerned about the impact of “political risk” on its projected US$150 million investment. Greenidge proposed, “This government – you can’t guarantee that it will be there for 20 more years. Even less likely, the chances are that they might not even serve out their term. The problem is if a new government comes in, they will look at a project like this, which is controversial, and they may wish to revisit the financing. That’s what Sithe recognises.” What Greenidge did not spell out precisely is that if Sithe’s concern is about a possible new government reversing the financial arrangements, they would be actually concerned about the intentions of APNU/People’s National Congress (PNC). They are the only political party other than the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in Guyana, which has a possibility of securing office – remote as that possibility might be. Sithe would not have made such an assessment after spending so much time and effort over AFHEP if it did not have some hard information on the thinking of APNU/PNC of this matter. As the majority equity partner with the government of Guyana on the ‘Build, Own, Operate and Transfer’ (BOOT) project subsumed under the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Amaila Falls Hydro Inc (AFHI), Sithe would obviously be concerned with the overall political risk that the local situation presented. While political risk is measured by a large number of variables involving external and internal factors, the government, important local players – it is now clear that the internal factors that includes the opposition and their intentions, loomed much larger than anything else and were deemed unacceptable. It should be noted that Sithe and the entire project had already been protected by insurance that cost over US$55 million. The question that arises is what was it about APNU/PNC’s position that made Sithe take such a drastic step as walking away from a deal such as AFHEP. It could not just be the possibility that the government could change and alter the contracts: this process is, after all, subject to an international environment that should give pause to extreme action. The PNC had made Guyana into an international pariah once when they refused to honour their obligations to the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in the 1970s. We do not believe they want to go down that road again. What is more likely is that Sithe would have concluded that APNU/PNC does not stand a chance of regaining power, and they would resort to an internal destabilisation plan that would put the entire AFHEP at risk. They would have seen how far the PNC was willing to go at the turn of the millennium when they supported the attacks on the state and innocent citizens by marauding gangs based in Buxton. They would have seen how the PNC was willing to cut off the interior of the country from the coastland, during the Linden protests they organised along with their junior opposition partner. In addition to the strangulation of traffic into the interior, massive acts of vandalism and arson were committed on infrastructure and businesses. Not coincidentally, that protest was over the rationalisation of electricity tariffs for the community of Linden. How farfetched would it be for Sithe to conclude that, in any future disagreement over government policy, on electricity rates or another area, the APNU/PNC would resort to similar acts of sabotage against the electrical transmission lines from AFHEP or indeed, AFHEP itself. Based on such an assessment, Sithe conferred a “minority veto” to APNU/PNC.

The top five contestants of the Miss Jamzone International 2013 Pageant. From left to right: Miss St Lucia Consuelo Dupal; Miss Curacao Marvia Laurence; Miss Jamzone International 2013, Miss Trinidad and Tobago Breige Wilson; Miss Guyana Alicia Bess; and Miss St Kitts and Nevis Zinga Imo

Visiting U.S. professor holds talks on sustainable forestry, climate change


atural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud last Friday met with U.S. Embassy Economic and Commercial Officer Jeffrey Barrus, and Dr Janaki Alavalapati, senior fellow with the Energy and Climate Partnership of Americas (ECPA). Barrus expressed his appreciation to the minister for organising the meetings with Dr Alavalapati and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC); Protected Areas Commission (PAC); and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier in the week. He noted that Dr Alavalapati also met with other government officials and NGOs throughout the week. Dr Alavalapati reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to energy and climate change by making reference to President Obama’s 2009 visit to Trinidad and Tobago. He emphasised that there are seven pillars under the broad thematic area of energy and climate change; however, one of them which is of vital importance to Guyana is sustainable forestry and land use. Dr Alavalapati brought to the attention of the minister, five themes which emerged over the course of the week in the meetings with the agencies and commissions under the purview of the ministry. These five themes are: research in lesser used species (timber and non-timber); exploration in value added opportunities; assisting Amerindian communities to increase their competitiveness; capacity building, both at the governmental and academic level; and ad-

dressing multiple land-use concerns. He added that an idea for consideration is reclamation of mined-out gold and bauxite sites.

Priority activities

The minister responded by discussing several priority activities and policies that the

ed that two plant species that are considered for cultivation on mined-out sites are bamboo and teak; however, he noted that they must be commercially viable species. The minister recognised that there is a need to build technical capacity within this area and a high

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud with U.S. Embassy Economic and Commercial Officer Jeffrey Barrus (right) and Dr Janaki Alavalapati, Senior Fellow with the Energy and Climate Partnership of Americas (ECPA)

agencies and commissions are working on as it relates to the themes that Dr Alavalapati mentioned. He recognised the importance of all of the themes, but specifically elaborated on value added products and multiple land use. The minister explained that for value added production to increase, Guyana needs reliable and renewable energy sources to boost its competitiveness. He made reference to the Land Use Plan, which is being finalised, and added that it will aid in the planning process for multiple land use. Minister Persaud indicat-

level of dedicated expertise in developing policy and implementation is required. Dr Alavalapati briefly discussed the possibilities of bioenergy in Guyana with the minister. The minister alluded to a draft bio-energy policy and a road map and believes that there are tremendous possibilities within the industry. In concluding, the senior fellow asserted that the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has the unique strength to balance the extractive sector (mining and forestry) with environmental management in Guyana.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Rice Board officials meet over cocaine bust


irectors of the state-run Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) on Wednesday convened an emergency meeting to discuss the interception of cocaine on a rice shipment from Guyana in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. GRDB General Manager Jagnarine Singh disclosed that he has not been officially contacted by local law enforcement on the issue. The 69 kilograms of cocaine was on August 12 discovered in a shipment of rice which left Guyana for Venezuela. The seizure was made by law enforcement officers in the Dominican Republic in a container of rice being shipped by the GRDB. The shipment of rice left Guyana and was in Jamaica for trans-shipment to the Dominican Republic where the discovery was made. Singh in an invited comment stated that he was made aware of this development via the me-

GRDB General Manager Jagnarine Singh

dia which prompted an emergency meeting with the board of directors. Singh stated that rice is shipped from Guyana to Venezuela via Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, thus, the organisation will have to track the movements of the vessel before a conclusion is made. He said that if and when the GRDB is contacted, they will cooperate with investigators. Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Commissioner General Khrushid Sattaur told Guyana Times International that he

was not too familiar with the case since he was on an overseas visit. Meanwhile, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) continues to investigate the drug bust and confirmed that one person has been arrested by law enforcement officers in the Dominican Republic. CANU officials are continuing its investigations locally as it searches for answers. One of the most important questions lingering in the minds of drug enforcement officers is whether or not the container was scanned before it left Guyana. Early last week, the police intercepted more than 15 kilograms of cocaine in a shipment of ochroes at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. The cocaine was discovered in several boxes of ochroes which were among other boxes that contained vegetables. One man was later jailed for four years and fined Gy$ 40.5 million for ship ping cocaine.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Governor Cuomo announces $71M to build thousands of housing units across NY State


overnor Andrew M. Cuomo earlier this week announced that $71 million is now available through New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) for shovel-ready projects to build affordable housing units across the state. “Expanding affordable housing for New Yorkers in need has been a priority of the administration over the last two years,” Governor Cuomo said. “This latest investment will leverage hundreds of millions in public and private resources to further our goal of ensuring every New York family has access to housing, as well as launching shovel-ready construction projects across the state.” The Early Award and Unified Funding Rounds for 2013 incorporate several new elements which reinforce the State’s housing goals, including Disaster Relief Projects, TransitOriented Development, and projects in the Fort Drum Impact Area. HCR Commissioner/ CEO Darryl C. Towns said, "Governor Andrew Cuomo has charged state

agencies to bring state resources together with local and federal resources in the most productive way. For us, that means working with our partners to create and preserve affordable housing, and doing it differently based on the diverse needs of specific regions. We will be looking for projects that will make a difference in local communities, and will leverage other resources, both public and private.” Updates to the Unified Funding awards for 2013 include new resources in the Community Investment Fund (CIF) which appropriates $5 million for the new Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund; energy efficiency/green building performance requirements; and considerations for cost effectiveness. Of the new $5 million allocated for CIF awards, 60% percent will be allocated to projects in urban areas of New York State, and the remaining 40% will be allocated to projects in rural areas of the State. CIF funds can support the non-residential piece of mixed-use affordable housing developments in rural and

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

urban areas, and in rural areas will support the preservation and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing. For projects to be eligible for the Early Awards they must be high quality, shovelready projects which advance one of the State’s specific housing goals,

which include: • Priority projects identified in Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) plans • Fort Drum Impact Area projects (North Country) • Disaster Relief Projects (for communities directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee) • Mixed-income/ mixed-use revitalization

• Supportive housing projects serving veterans with special needs • NYS Office for People with Development Disabilities (OPWDD) supportive housing projects • H o u s i n g Opportunity Projects • T r a n s i t Oriented Development (TOD) • Mitchell-Lama Portfolio Projects • R u r a l Preservation Projects • State Public Housing Restructuring Projects The funds are available through HCR's Unified Funding Application, a singlesource process to apply for several funding streams for affordable, multifamily developments. The unified application streamlines the process, as part of the Governor's efforts to break down the inefficient and duplicative silos that had previously governed state funding. The $71 million is expected to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private resources. In 2012, HCR made 33 awards, totaling $91 million in low-interest loans and tax credits to build and preserve 2,060 units of affordable housing. The projects leveraged over $485 million

in grants, loans and private resources. In this round of funding, applicants are competing for: low-interest loans through the LowIncome Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF); Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC); the HOME Capital Program; State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (SLIHC), and the Community Investment Fund (CIF). Specifically, applications will be accepted for: • HTF - $32 million • LIHTC - $25 million o $ 2 2 , 0 0 0 / u n i t maximum o $1.43 million/ project maximum ($1.65 million for projects in which 50% or more of the units built will serve large families or persons with special needs) • HOME Capital - $5 million (subject to availability of appropriations) • SLIHC - $4 million o $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 / u n i t maximum o $750,000/project maximum • CIF (Community Investment Fund) - $5 million The application and reference materials are available on the HCR website.

St Kitts-Nevis PM says same sex marriage debate is not just for legislators


he introduction of legislation allowing same sex marriage in St Kitts and Nevis is for national debate, especially among stakeholders and not just legislators. “I believe the church will want to have its say upon this particular matter. I believe the various groups that are pursuing the human rights of people in a vigorous way in the fundamentals of what people can do or what people cannot do and also looking at what governments can do to lend support to the debate,” said Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas in response to a caller during the weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister”. “I believe it will generate quite a bit of national debate. I believe we would be guided not only with what is happening in North America

Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas

and in Europe, but to some extent what have been cultural norms in our own Caribbean society and in our own St Kitts and Nevis society. This is a fundamental question I believe that will definitely need to be brought to national debate at some time,” Douglas said. The St Kitts and Nevis leader has been one of the leading advocates in the Caribbean

region on the human rights of people, “especially those who are homosexuals, those who are gays, lesbians, I believe that they have a right.” He is of the view that the stigmatisation and the discrimination against homosexuals, those persons who are sex workers are matters of human rights that have to be discussed in the open at some stage. “As a country, we have been called upon to look at some of the existing laws that we have on our law books. The buggery law for example, we believe that the time has come for debate to take place in our country with regard to whether these laws which continue to perpetuate discrimination and stigmatisation against certain people,” Douglas told listeners. (Excerpt from CaribbeanNews)



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Miss TT wins International Jamzone Pageant By Umadevi Bux


rinidadian, Breige Wilson, 23, was early Wednesday morning crowned Miss Jamzone International after an exhilarating four-hour contest held at the National Cultural Centre. Meanwhile, Guyana’s Alicia Bess, 23, came in as first runnerup; Curacao’s Marvia Laurence, 28, as the second runner-up; St Kitts and Nevis’ Zinga lmo, 18, the third runner up and St Lucia’s Consuelo Dupal, 21, as the fourth runner-up. The beauties were given the final question: “If you were a doctor and the Caribbean was your patient, what would your prescription be to cure the region from crime and violence.”

Show more love

Coming on stage first was Miss TT, who said the Caribbean needs to show more love and focus on youth and development as a unit because it is too disconnected. She said there should be more focus on law and regulations. The queen went on to note that countries need to relate to their neighbours so that they

Miss Trinidad and Tobago Breige Wilson

can work together in addressing delinquent children by enforcing laws under the security sectors throughout the territories, and by instilling good morals in youths. The contestants also took part in the Fantasy Swimsuit Segment where Miss Antigua displayed her swimsuit under the theme “What Antigua has to offer”; Miss British Virgin Islandswore a blue swimsuit representing water of the Caribbean Sea; Miss Curacao had an amazing display of bright

colours depicting tourist attraction to the region; Miss Guyana’s swimsuit displayed royalty, advocating for a better Guyana; Miss Jamaica showcased a sunshine girl with balloons attached to her swimwear to reflect her personality; Miss St Kitts and Nevis showcased her simplicity with an elegant swimwear; Miss TT displayed a theme highlighting the pacific gardens; while Miss U. S. Virgin Islands showcased the vibrancies of nature.

Crowd favourite

Meanwhile, the Evening Gown segment was judged on model appeal, confidence, stage presence, impact and crowd appeal. During this segment, Miss Curacao who was decked out in a glamorous green gown was the crowd’s favourite. She took the stage with immense poise, grace and charm. Miss Antigua graced the stage with a handpainted gown called “Fire and flame”, which represented talents of the country through lust, passion and desire. Miss BVIs’ gown was themed “Pearl of the sea”, shimmering to reflect the beauty of the sea. Miss Guyana’s theme focused on the idea of “Scorch by sunset”, displaying sunrise to sunset and the golden mythical city of El Dorado. Miss Jamaica’s gown was themed “Girl on fire”. Miss St Kitts and Nevis depicted “Nature’s Fantasy”, with a vision of the Caribbean Sea. Miss St Lucia highlighted St Lucia’s sunset with a stunning orange and red gown. Miss TT’s gown featured a theme depicting a breezy and cool Caribbean belt, with charm and simplicity.

Miss U.S. Virgin Islands showcased the night’s sky by displaying the Caribbean sky with her shimmering blue gown.

Lively performance

The contestants and the crowd were also treated to performances from

their collection of talented artistes to keep the audience alive with her new releases. The contestants also took part in on stage chitchat on their careers and dreams, most of which was inspiring to the audience.

The newly-crowned Miss Jamzone International 2013, Miss Trinidad and Tobago Breige Wilson with the out-going Miss Jamzone International Queen, Miss Jamaica Kerrie Baylis

the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT& T) Jingle and Song competition winner Ryan Leonard Hoppie, who serenaded the girls with his renditions. Hits and Jams Entertainment also included Lisa Punch to

Meanwhile, the outgoing Miss Jamzone International Queen, Miss Jamaica Kerrie Baylis noted that her experience and reign has allowed her to reach out to people and focus on the region, not just one country.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Rohee elected PPP Streaming General Secretary in schools – “I have full confidence in him that he will do a good job” – Ramotar

Clement Rohee By Michael Younge


ong standing People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP) member Clement Rohee was unanimously elected to serve as the party’s fourth general secretary when its recently installed 35-member central committee met on Monday to renew its leadership team. Rohee won the committee’s support after incumbent secretary President Donald Ramotar declined reelection and backed his candidacy for the helm of the party, explaining that he was unable to bear the burden of managing the affairs of the country and the party simultaneously. Ramotar stated that since he became president on December 3, 2011, “the task of managing the party had become extremely overwhelming”, and he was no longer in a position to give his full attention to party matters. He said

Irfaan Ali

Gail Teixeira

Dr Frank Anthony

he was cognisant of the need for the party to be given the necessary leadership and management to ensure that it remains viable, strong and vibrant to take on the challenges which could confront it in the short term and the long term.

Janet Jagan and Cheddi Jagan in that order. Rohee joined the PPP in 1967 and was the party’s executive secretary until 1992 when he became the foreign affairs minister. Before that, Rohee was also the party’s international secretary and held other portfolios under the leadership of the Jagans. In his maiden address as the new PPP general secretary, Rohee said he was “humbled” by the decision of his comrades. He stressed that the task of managing the party was a “heavy responsibility”, which would require the collective efforts of all of its leaders in moving forward. He also gave the undertaking to work assiduously towards restoring more vibrancy within the ranks of the party, while ensuring that the new policies are “implemented smoothly”. Asked whether he would be resigning or stepping down as home affairs minister, Rohee

said “not in the immediate future”. He also said that that would be something for the president to decide on and “something that will have to obviously be looked at sometime down the line”. At the press conference, Ramotar said that the party will come up with its own timeline as to when it would make its decisions on this matter. However, there was no conflict of interest on this matter, according to party officials.


“I have every confidence that Comrade Rohee will do a good job. I have known him for most of my political life and we grew up in the PYO together. I know his ability... and I believe the PPP is in extremely capable hands,” President Ramotar told a late afternoon media conference at the party’s Robb Street headquarters. He said he remained a member of the party’s central executive committee and will retain his member on every standing committee of the party as he is entitled to do. Ramotar was the party’s third general secretary and assumed the post in 1997. His predecessors are former Presidents

New executive

The central committee also elected a new executive, which includes Donald Ramotar, Dr Roger Luncheon, Zulfikar Mustapha, Gail Teixeira, Alli Baksh, Bharrat Jagdeo, Bheri Ramsaran, Mohammed Irfaan Ali, Navin Chandarpal, Komal Chand, Robert Persaud, Dr Frank Anthony, Clinton Collymore, Pauline Sukhai, and Kellawan Lall. Those persons who are not returning to the party’s executive committee for various reasons are: Harripersaud Nokta; Janet Jagan (deceased); Reepu DamanPersaud (deceased); Ralph Ramkarran; and Ulric Ramanah. Three persons were also elected as candidate members. They are Shyam Nokta, Neil Kumar, and Dharamkumar Seeraj. A new secretariat was also established with Zulfikar Mustapha being re-elected as the executive and organising secretary. Clement Rohee will be responsible for membership, Kellawan Lall for propaganda, Komal Chand for trade unions, Hydar Ally for education, Seeraj for mass organisation, Gail Teixeira for international affairs, and Irfaan Ali for finance. Additionally, Lall was elected as the editor of the party’s organ, the 'Thunder'.

By Anu Dev

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself – John Dewey


eeing the (amazing) spike in the number of subjects the high-achievers wrote this year, I was particularly interested to see what exactly were the subjects written by these students. It was no surprise to discover that several wrote subjects across “streams”. I’ve had time to think long and hard about our system of streaming in our educational system in Guyana. I’ve always liked our system of streaming students into groups of subjects centred on an endeavour of life – like science or business – by fourth form. Some would say that forcing kids to choose a stream is tantamount to have them make career choices at that early age. That this just makes “education” all about training you to get a job later in life, when instead, you should want to learn, for learning’s sake. And it’s good to learn. I love to read, I love learning. But realistically, in the future, I’ll have to work, I’ll have to earn money. I’ll need to prepare myself as best as I could to be best equipped for whatever field I choose. It’s no good for me to just float around aimlessly with no sense of direction until ‘I find myself’. Picking a stream in fourth form and sticking to it gave me a sense of direction. And by the time I reached sixth form, I knew my choice of career would be the natural science stream. So to the parents of secondary school kids, I encourage you to have discussions with your kids about possible career paths so that by the time they reach fourth form they’ll have a general idea of what stream they’ll want to be in. The other day I realised (with a start!) that my parents have known me for over 17 years. Every day since the day I was born, they’ve been there to see me grow up, to see my personality unfold, to see my habits and preferences. So as parents, you’re in the best position to advise your child, to encourage them to realistically pursue career choices or streaming choices that they’ve always seemed partial to. I’ve always felt that it’s important to be well-read and not one-track. I did all three social sciences at CSEC, both because I was interested in them and also because I didn’t want to fall into the stereotype of doctors just being able to carry on conversations about medicine. But at the same time, it wasn’t necessary to stray so far out of my chosen field and do subjects that I’ll never really use, and still I was able to widen my knowledge base. So I’d like to encourage students, parents, and teachers to remember why we streamed kids in the first place – it gave us structure and order. Choose your stream, stick to it, and be the best in your stream and later, be the best at your career. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Choose a stream you like, choose subjects you like, things that seem important to you as a person, and it’ll be much easier to get through. In all aspects of life, when you do something just for the sake of doing it, it’s much duller than if it was something you cared about, or were passionate about. It’s never too late to start thinking about your future. Make your choices wisely; because we’re the children of Guyana, we’re the future of this great nation; especially the great majority of my fellow students who may not have done as well as they may have wanted.

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


week ending august 25, 2013 |

Smart move by AFC on Amaila Dear Editor, The Alliance For Change (AFC) made a smart move to reverse course and support the Amaila Falls Hydropower project. When I was in Guyana, I told friends the AFC would change course. I had expected A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to do the same, as popular opinion is in favour of the project, but the party coalition is stubbornly holding on to its anti-Amaila position. I have been conducting an opinion survey for the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) on the initial rejection of the hydro project, among other issues, to find out whether or not public opinion supports the initial vote of the opposition to oppose Amaila. People are not looking at cost benefit on Amaila. They simply want cheap hydro power and are sold on the government’s position that Amaila would provide cheaper energy. The NACTA poll found overwhelming support for the project throughout the country, although people had concerns about the cost. And even with the cost, a majority of the supporters of

the APNU back the project as do almost all the supporters of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/ C) and AFC. People want cheap electricity although questions were raised on whether energy would be cheaper under Amaila. The majority of them seem to have faith in Amaila, believing it will fast forward the development of the country. The AFC must have tested the opinion of its supporters and found that they were angry with the party, thereby forcing it to reverse course and back the project. The AFC would have lost a lot of support had it not change course and endorse the Amaila project. A significant number of APNU supporters also approve of the Amaila project and it is not clear whether they will vote against their party for opposing the project. APNU should survey the views of its supporters and the party would be surprised to find how many back Amaila. APNU is not listening to its supporters or considering their views and the party could lose support, although the poll has not made that determination.

The coalition should follow the move of the AFC. It should sit with representatives of both the PPP/ C and AFC. The three should find a common solution that addresses APNU’s concerns so as to rescue Amaila, that is, compromise and give-and-take on what is needed to preserve the project if it makes financial sense. Opposing just for opposing sake is not a solution and will only serve to stymie development. APNU should propose alternatives to Amaila and explain to the population why its alternative is a better option. Guyana needs cheap non-fossil energy, since we have not had much success at finding gas or oil. And solar and wind are not being considered by mass numbers of people or encouraged. That leaves hydro as the only option. If not Amaila, then what – APNU should tell the nation. It should tell the nation of some cheaper or better alternatives for hydro power development, so that the nation can become self sufficient in energy. Yours faithfuly, Vishnu Bisram Queens, New York

Urgent action needed to stop gender-based violence Dear Editor, In my quest to represent a land that I am very passionate about seeing thrive and reach a place where justice, peace and the rights of all are protected, I writhe with disbelief and anguish at the recent events of genderbased violence that are being perpetuated in our society like an untreated contagious plague. In my role as an ambassador for Guyana, I cannot sit in a corner and remain silent about an issue I have been advocating for endlessly, both nationwide and internationally, in an effort to bring about change. It would seem that my efforts and the efforts of all those who stand up against any form of violence in our country are, and have been, in vain. I have read repeated-

ly about several attacks of grievous bodily harm and the deaths of women and children over the past weeks, inclusive of young and old, who are victims of these unmerciful series of assaults. I am puzzled as to why the issue has not been made one of national urgency, because, from where I sit, this is the sort of situation that calls for the state’s intervention. Our country is undergoing a current plague of violence as it relates to domestic disputes and child abuses that are not only hurting our old, but young ones as well. It is high time that we stop being bystanders! According to local media, police have since issued wanted bulletins for Richard Lord of Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo

and Shawn Fordyce of ‘B’ Field, Sophia. Fordyce is wanted by the police for the attempted murder of his wife Dorothy Blackman, 42, and malicious wounding of his daughters, 12-yearold Donette Fordyce, 26-year-old Wanda Fortune, and 20-year-old Latoya Wilson on August 2. Lord is wanted for the murder of his two children, Kimberly Houston, five, and her two-yearold brother Tarif Lord on July 31. But, clearly, we are yet to see a statement being made on the handling of these issues and/or on conversations regarding solutions in a legislative manner. In fact, nothing is really being said by the relevant offices that can actually make a difference. I beg to ask how many

The Guyana Watch medical team was incredible

Dear Editor, Maybe all of the reports have not been collated as yet, but from what I am gathering, the Guyana Watch medical team did an incredible job during its visit to Guyana that just ended over the weekend. We just have to congratulate all of the members, but we cannot forget the local support base. A big thank you is in order for the Education Ministry, as it allowed for its various schools across the country to be used, together with the

Health Ministry, for facilitating the visit. The president of the Guyana Watch medical team was very passionate about the visit and he was able to muster help from a number of people and places. According to the doctors, many of the patients came with high blood pressure and rashes. They seemed to be suffering from common illnesses. Guyana’s medical care may not be supergreat, but chronic illnesses, particularly diabetes,

are basically treated for free. With good patients’ input, I see no cause for worry. So my word is that as much as patients have to be cared for, they must cooperate and live according to a good medical plan. They must also attend to their situation in a very prompt manner. Maybe next time there is any kind of medical outreach, there should be some lectures on the importance of lifestyle. Yours truly, Shoba Sukhdeo

more lives will be lost before stern action is taken. Sincerely, Ruqayyah Boyer Miss World Guyana 2013

Helping those with suicidal tendencies

Dear Editor, I hate the idea that we have poisonous chemicals ‘knocking about’ our homes. I know of people who ingested poison and died. They actually committed suicide by virtue of the fact the poison was available. Outside of the home, it is the same too. Just about anyone can go and buy chemicals from pharmacies. Making matters worse is that prescription drugs are now obtained very underhandedly. So, even if the house is safe chemically, still potential suicidal victims can access their lethal doses unimpeded. Something has to be done to curb this carelessness that exists in the Guyanese society. Right now, India is abuzz. The tragic incident in Bihar where 23 schoolchildren died after eating a school meal contaminated with monocrotophos is getting people’s attention. There are talks about the need to speed up the withdrawal of highly hazardous pesticides from markets in devel-

oping countries. Let us say, at the level of government, some steps are taken along this line, I am wondering how much of a help that will be, especially where Guyana is concerned. Suicide and suicidal behaviours usually occur in people who are not normal, many of them not being able to cope with life and through no fault of theirs. We may never be able to help many from this lot. However, when stressful life issues such as serious financial or relationship problems lead to suicides, we can help. We need to find ways to help people who are likely to commit suicide, all because of a life situation that seems impossible to deal with. Many who attempt suicide are seeking relief or escape from fixable things – feeling ashamed, guilty, or like a burden to others; feeling like a victim; or feeling a sense of rejection, loss, or loneliness. We can all help here by being supportive. Yours respectfully, Penelope McNeil



week ending august 25, 2013 |

More Jamaicans could be employed in Canada and U.S.


he Jamaican government says it is seeking to expand the overseas employment programme so that more nationals can benefit from employment opportunities in Canada and the United States. Labour and Social Security Minister, Derrick Kellier, said the move comes as the demand for skilled Jamaicans continue to grow in the two North American countries. He said the Canadian farm work programme should see a 10 to 15 percent growth this year. “The same goes for the United States where we were down a couple years ago, but the numbers are creeping up again and we expect to

see, based on new legislations that President Obama is trying to get through the Congress and the Senate, additional opportunities for us here in Jamaica, if that legislation is approved. So, there is going to be growth.” Kellier met with representatives of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to formalise agreements for flying Jamaican workers to the U.S. and Canada. He pointed out that Canada, in particular, has a huge labour market that needs to be filled and that Jamaica is currently doing well in filling some of that demand, but “we can double the numbers in another three years”.

He said the programme is of mutual benefit to the countries involved, as it provides work for Jamaicans, so that they can take care of their families as well as help to generate economic activity within the U.S. and Canada. “So, it is a cross border win-win situation for both of us and hence we in Jamaica have something to protect and to uphold, to ensure that this programme runs smoothly and that it develops and expands for the benefit of all our citizens who have the ability to participate in it; and that the employers in North America can be satisfied that they get good quality workers to expand their business in

a productive way.” Kellier noted that the government has put in “a lot of effort to grow the programme,” and warned against any illegal activity that might compromise the programme. “We have put in a lot of resources to ensure the integrity of the programme at all levels. We want to ensure that we stand up to the highest level at scrutiny… We cannot afford to have persons travelling on the aircraft with illegal substances,” he said, adding that the overseas employment programme benefits the country immensely, through the foreign exchange that is remitted. (Jamaica Observer)

Jamaica’s Labour Minister Derrick Kellier

Packed programme to celebrate Amerindian Heritage Month T he Amerindian Affairs Ministry on Tuesday unveiled the calendar of events for this year’s annual Heritage Month celebrations which features a range of activities to reflect the way of life of the first people. The month will be observed under the theme “Honouring our culture, advancing our future”. The month will commence with an interfaith service at the Umana Yana on August 31 at 17: 00h, followed by the grand launch on September 1 at the Amerindian Village, National Exhibition Complex, Sophia at 17: 00h. The programme will

Members of the head table at the launch of Amerindian Heritage Month. From left to right: sports organiser Eghen Mayers, Heritage Village coordinator Alexi La Rose, ceremonial launch coordinator Jude Da Silva, adviser to the minister of Amerindian Affairs Yvonne Pearson, Stephen Campbell Reflections coordinator Sharon Hicks, pageant coordinator Jolene Brown and heritage coordinator Claire Emanuel

include several cultural items from the nine Amerindian tribes of Guyana and President Donald Ramotar is expected to deliver the feature address while Amerindian Affairs

Minister Pauline Sukhai will give brief remarks. Coordinator of the launch, Jude Da Silva said more than 500 persons are expected to be in attendance. “We look forward to

have persons from the various ethnic groups to come and join in celebration.” There will also be a craft and food exhibition at the Amerindian Village from September

2 to 5, from mid-day to 22: 00h, which will display and have for sale bamboo, tibisiri and balata products, as well as indigenous jewellery such as beads and necklaces, while the food exhibition will afford Guyanese the opportunity to taste a wide variety of dishes prepared by Amerindians. There will also be cultural nights from September 1 to 5 at the Amerindian Village from 17: 00h. This year, the highly anticipated Heritage Village celebration will be held in Karasabai, Region Nine on September 7, with numerous activities planned. The heritage walk will also be held at Karasabai. There will also be a reflection on the life and achievements of Stephen Campbell, the first Amerindian to be a member of Parliament on September 10, at 10:00h. Coordinator of the activity Sharon Hicks said this year will be more educational for young people, highlighting that the presentations will be

done in the form of two dramas. The heritage dinner and fundraiser will be held at the Georgetown Club on September 15 at 19: 00h. Tickets for this event cost Gy$ 7000. The funds raised will assist Amerindian patients seeking medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital. The Arawak Language Revival Project, which will be funded by the Amerindian Affairs Ministry, will be launched on September 19, at Capoey Village, Region Two. Sporting activities will be held from September 21 to 22 at GNS ground and athletes from the 10 administrative regions will compete in games such as cricket, football and volleyball. Bringing down the curtains for the month of celebrations will be the Miss Amerindian Heritage Pageant on September 28 at the National Cultural Centre at 18:00h.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Bioethanol plant signals great potential in Guyana’s energy sector

President Donald Ramotar cutting the ribbon to commission Guyana’s first bioethanol demonstration plant on Tuesday at the Albion Sugar Factory By Svetlana Marshall


uyana’s first bioethanol demonstration plant was commissioned by President Donald Ramotar and Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy at the Albion Sugar Factory on Tuesday. The Gy$ 85 million plant funded by the Inter-American Development BankJapanese Special Fund for Sustainable Energy and Climate Change and the government of Guyana was developed through a technical cooperation. It was designed to fulfil three primary objectives: demonstrate the production of fuel grade ethanol locally, provide fuel for future demonstration of use of ethanol as a vehicle source, and develop the facility for training of local personnel in biofuel technologies. In delivering the feature address, President Ramotar said the plant signals the great potential that lies within the country’s energy sector. In wake of the many challenges faced by the sugar industry, the president remains a strong believer that it is the gateway to greater industries, as he alluded to alternative sources of energy. “It has remained fundamentally the producer of raw sugar, but it has enormous potential, so we can produce many other things from the sugar industry. One of it is fuel,” he said. Reflecting on the late 1990s when the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) had developed the concept of the Skeldon Sugar Factory, the president said the

company had underscored the importance of building the industry into one that was multifaceted, as it took into consideration a range of projects, including the production of fuel. He said the commissioning of the bioethanol demonstration plant is the manifestation of government moving a step closer to realising its goals. “This demonstration plant has confirmed that the plans that we have are feasible plans,” he lamented. Bioethanol, like hydro power energy, is an alternative source of cheap and reliable energy, which is critical to the development of the country’s commercial sector. The usage of alternative energy also aids in the fight against climate change and global warming, he stressed.

Energy policy

Dr Ramsammy said while Guyana has produced bioethanol before, it is the first time the country has produced almost pure bioethanol. The bioethanol produced by the plant will be used in GuySuCo’s laboratories and industrial processes.


The demonstration plant is a two-component system – the first produces hydrous ethanol (95 per cent from molasses) and the second; anhydrous ethanol (99.9 per cent) which uses membrane technology. These systems were designed by Green Bio of Porto Alegre in Brazil and the second by White Fox from Calgary, Canada. The plant will be run by GuySuCo technician Sharma Dwarka. GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer Paul Bhim; the National

Agricultural Research and Extension Institute chief Dr Oudho Homenauth, the Agriculture Ministry Bio-energy Programme Coordinator Dr Clairmont Clementson, Green Bio representative Bruno Mallman and White Fox representative Dr Stephen Blum were among the other officials present during the commissioning ceremony. Dr Blum, who had led the team for the construction of the demonstration plant, said it is a corner stone to Guyana’s development. “For us at White Fox, we see this as a very, very important project and we believe that it ac-

tually gives you a wide variety of opportunities,” he said, noting that the plant is the first of its kind the company has created in the world. According to the White Fox representative, the demonstration plant is easy to operate, pointing out it is possible to scale up the plant without major changes. “It gives you the capacity to produce ethanol within any range and quantity that you want.” A seminar on expanding bio-energy opportunities in Guyana in August 2007 had sparked an interest in the production of biodiesel and bioethanol, in wake of increasing fuel prices.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

top U.S. backs Amaila CAPE student heads hydro project into medical field – urges all parties to work in country’s interest


n its strongest statement yet on the Amaila Falls project, the United States government on Monday urged all political parties to come together in the national interest to support the investment “that will improve the lives of its people with less expensive and more reliable energy”. In an op-ed column, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana D Brent Hardt said the demise of this project is likely to diminish Guyana’s future attractiveness to international investors, and make future investments in the energy sector riskier and more costly. He prefaced his column by referencing the recently concluded investment conference organised by the Canadian high commissioner with the support of the U.S., EU, and U.K. diplomatic missions and an array of local private sector organisations and enterprises. He said at the conference, participants were able to examine both the

U.S. Ambassador to Guyana D Brent Hardt investment opportunities available in Guyana and some of the obstacles investors face in pursuing opportunities in the country.

Political stability

“One of the most critical elements for investors is political stability and reliability over the term of an investment. They need to know that a project, once launched, will enjoy continuing support regardless of potential political shifts. Such political stability and re-

liability requires political leadership that is willing to pursue policies that will advance long-term national interests, create new opportunities for people, and improve the standard of living for all,” Hardt said. According to him, over the past month, the apparent demise of the Amaila project had vividly demonstrated just how these issues can directly affect economic development and progress. “Until recently, the project which has been under development for six years under Sithe Global, appeared to enjoy the implicit support of all political parties. In recent weeks, however, the project suddenly became enmeshed in political battles that had little to do with the potential of the project to generate cheaper, more reliable, and more environmentally-friendly energy for decades to come.” Hardt said that to mitigate potential political concerns for a project that represented 25 percent of

Guyana’s GDP – the biggest single investment in Guyana’s history – the investors determined that they would require a unified commitment from all of Guyana’s political parties. Such a commitment was necessary to ensure that the investment required would not become subject to a loss of support in the event of shifting political configurations, the U.S. ambassador asserted.

Sad situation

“Sadly, the country’s political parties have thus far been unable to come together to support a project that offers all citizens – of all parties – the prospect of lower electricity rates and more reliable energy. The demise of this project is likely to diminish Guyana’s future attractiveness to international investors, and make future investments in the energy sector riskier and more costly.” Since Sithe Global pulled out of the project last week, government had been trying all out to get the initiative back on stream. Sithe Global, a New York-based company had cited the lack of political consensus for it not going forward with the project. The project secured the votes of the government and the Alliance For Change (AFC), but the main opposition, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) voted against it, citing a lack of transparency by the government and the need for more information. It is also sceptical as to whether the project will succeed. In its statement, Sithe Global had said that because the project was not supported by all three political parties, it cannot move forward, despite years of work and over US$16 million of independent Sithe Global expenditures and more than US$15 million of government expenditures. “We had hoped that the project’s 40-91 percent reduction to power prices for consumers, its significant environmental benefits and material positive to impact on the economy via access to lowcost reliable power, would have been sufficient for all political parties to support such a non-partisan project that would have served as a catalyst for growth for generations to come,” Sithe Global had said.


Shalita Appadu, top 2013 CAPE performer

n aspiring cardiothoracic surgeon, this year’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) student, Shalita Appadu is all set to pursue an associate degree in Biology at the University of Guyana, Tain Campus, come September. Appadu, a former student of the New Amsterdam Multilateral School (NAMS), achieved six grade ones and one grade two. She studied a combination of science and business subjects at the sixth form level at President’s College, but has decided to build her career in the medical field, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said. She added that even though her time at President’s College meant living away from her family in Berbice, it was a wonderful experience. “I made a lot of friends and met a lot of interesting people; President’s College is a great environment,” Appadu said. She explained that living in the dormitory has its advantages, as it enables group studying and discussions, which she and her peers often did. She credited her success to God, her family and her teachers at President’s College, who she said are extremely dedicated and hardworking. This year, 748 candidates from eight secondary schools and two private centres in May/ June 2013, wrote the CAPE in Guyana. Appadu said that President’s College being placed in the top will motivate the students there to challenge themselves more to perform even better. The top student is excited to commence the new UG academic year in her hometown. She explained that attend-

ing the Tain Campus will allow her to be close to her family from whom she has been way for the past two years. “It’s a marvellous thing to have that Campus at Tain, now a lot of Berbicians are not settling for CSEC level jobs, they are aiming for better paying jobs because they are pursuing higher education,” she said. Speaking about this year’s overall performance both at the CAPE and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, she said that it is clear that the education system has improved greatly over the years. However, she agreed with Education Minister, Priya Manickchand that much more emphasis should be placed on the two core subject areas, Mathematics and English. Queen’s College has also come out shining at this year’s CAPE exams with six of its students copping five grade ones each and five others, four grade ones each. Of the latter category, three of them got one grade one each and other a grade three. Some of these outstanding performers include: Melodie Lowe, Kaleshwar Singh, Prashant Shivdas, Deowattie Narine, Anuradha Dev, and Benedict Sukra all of whom secured five grade ones each. Overall, Guyana has recorded a slight increase in performance at the CAPE exams with improvement in the number of grade one and three passes. In 2012, the number of grades ones attained was 266 or 9.31 per cent, this year it is 314 or 10.55 percent and in grade threes, from 621 or 21.74 per cent in 2012 to 657 or 22.07 percent in 2013.


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week ending august 25, 2013 |

Best commissioned as Rear Admiral UG students return from OAS programme P in Washington

Members of the University of Guyana International Affairs Association. From left: Kadasi Ceres, Donette Gilbert, Keon Thom, Latrecia Belle, Le-Shante Marks, Kirly Bacchus, Latoya Garraway, Abigail Adams, Travez Daly, and Derwayne Wills


he University of Guyana International Affairs Association (UGIAA) students recently returned from an enlightening and rewarding experience at the Model of the Organisation of American States (MOAS) held last month in Washington DC. Representing the UG was a delegation comprising nine international affairs students who were selected after a stringent process. The group attended the MOAS from July 2326 held at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. It was the first MOAS for universities of the hemisphere to be held in Spanish in the United States.

Group sessions

The students represented Paraguay and its position on various issues relating to politics, international affairs, and human rights developments. They discussed the issues through working group sessions with other delegates from more than 100 other universities who all gathered to address the issues of global politics and human rights activism. The working group sessions were done in the four main committees: the first dealing with legal and political issues, second –

hemispheric security, third – committee on summits management, and fourth focusing on the administrative and budgetary aspects of countries in the hemisphere. Members of the delegation included outgoing UGIAA President Travez Daly, who was in the general committee; Derwayne Wills; outgoing UGIAA Vice President Kirly Bacchus; Donette Gilbert – first committee on juridical and politics affairs, UGIAA Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Latoya Garraway; Keon Thom – second committee on hemispheric security; Abigail Adams and Le-Shante Marks – third committee on InterAmerican Summits management and civil society; and Latrecia Belle – fourth committee on administration and budgetary affairs.


The students were accompanied by their faculty adviser and lecturer Kadasi Ceres. The focus of the model was application of the principles of the Social Charter of the Americas to strengthen democracy. The model was attended by some 500 students from over 34 countries of the Americas. MOAS is a simulation

exercise of the proceedings of the OAS Permanent Council and the annual regular sessions of the General Assembly that provides students in the discipline of international relations with the experience of participating in a replica of a functioning OAS General Assembly.


It is aimed at engaging students of the hemisphere in debates, lobbying, negotiations and working groups experiences, while familiarising them with important topics of interest and problems affecting the region. Over the years, the UGIAA has helped UG students to develop their knowledge and skills of participatory democracy through the experience of representing a member state at the model general assemblies of the United Nations and OAS. The UGIAA has also been grooming students who have a drive for academia and an interest in the fields of diplomacy and social activism. The university body through its selection panel has propelled students to the MOAS, allowing them the privilege of representing the UG and Guyana at the international level.

resident of Guyana and Commanderin-Chief of the armed forces Donald Ramotar has promoted Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Commodore Gary Best to the rank of rear admiral. Best is the first Guyanese to be promoted to rear admiral; a naval commissioned officer rank just above that of a commodore. He was bestowed with the badge of rank by head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon at the Office of the President on Monday, in the presence of his wife, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, senior GDF officials and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) parliamentarians Winston Felix and Joseph Harmon. In offering congratulatory remarks, President Ramotar said Rear Admiral Best has offered an exceptional service to Guyana by creating a safe haven for Guyanese and visitors. This, he said has helped the country to move forward with nation building and development of the economy. “Mr President, it is a distinct pleasure on my part to thank you for the confidence the government of Guyana has invested in me, over the past six years as the

Beaming Rear Admiral Gary Best is being decorated with his new badge of rank by Commander-inChief, President Donald Ramotar and Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Defence Board Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon. The ceremony was held at the Office of the President (Carl Croker photo)

chief-of-staff,” Best said. According to him, he could not have done it without the support of his wife and the staff of the GDF, as he expressed optimism that others would follow his footsteps. “I trust that I will be setting a path for others to follow. So for me, this is a fulfillment for my years of service, and testimony of the confidence the government of Guyana has in me, also the confidence of my own officers in me to rise to this level,” he said. Rear Admiral Best has served the GDF for 33 years, with the last six years being as chiefof-staff. He is set to retire on September 17. Asked about the current state of GDF, the newly-promoted rear ad-

miral told the press that it is ready for transformation and modernisation. Since the commencement of the year, Best has been calling for a reformation in the policies governing the GDF. At the army’s conference in February, Best said in this current era, there should be a shift from the “conventional construct of territorial defence”, and a move towards “writing and defining of new missions for the Guyana Defence Force”. According to him, the GDF must modernise its strategies and systems, positing that no amount of sophisticated equipment could enable a more professional and progressive defence force if it is not done in a strategic manner.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Caribbean Airlines to review airfares for Guyana route By Svetlana Marshall


mid allegations of abuse and exploitation as it relates to the exorbitant ticket prices levied on Guyanese passengers, Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) Chairman Philip Marshall said his company will rework its service and review its price structure. “We have to re-architect our service to the citizens of Guyana. Guyana is a very important market for us... servicing the combined needs of the government and the private sector is extremely important,” Marshall said shortly after a high-profile meeting at the Tourism, Industry and Commerce Ministry. Marshall, accompanied by Caribbean Airlines acting Chief Executive Officer Jagmohan Singh, Airport Manager Carl Stuart and Corporate Secretary Nalini Lalla, met with acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali, Transport

Acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali (in centre) flanked by Transport Minister Robeson Benn (right), Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) Chairman Philip Marshall, along with other CAL executives and members of the private sector

Minister Robeson Benn and Cheddi Jagan International Airport Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir, along with executives of the private sector on Sunday ahead of the unveiling of a “crystallised agreement”. The board chairman said CAL will not only strengthen its communication base, but with increased knowledge

about Guyana’s economic development and needs, the airline would incorporate needs of the country into its strategic plan. Customer service, in-transit process, and security checks of Guyanese passengers at Piarco International Airport, Caribbean Airlines’ capacity, airfare and its flag carrier status were the key is-

sues placed on the table during the meeting.


“The relationship between the government and Caribbean Airlines, I want to reaffirm is one that is positive, is one that is collaborative, is one that seeks to bring the best service and product to customers of CAL who, to a larger extent, are Guyanese,” Minister Ali told the press. He said Caribbean Airlines’ flag carrier status was extensively discussed, with Guyana detailing its expectations. “What it entails, what it means and how we can ensure that the flag carrier status works

in the interest of all of us – CAL, the government, the wider region and the issue of customer service and pricing,” Ali noted. In less than two weeks, the acting tourism minister said a report compiling the agreements made between CAL and the government of Guyana will be unveiled, noting that it was in the process of being finalised. Within the agreement are the review of the price structure, improved customer service and added capacity. In an effort to meet the customers’ demand, the airline will increase its seating capacity by 30 percent during the

upcoming Christmas season, as well as make “a commitment on the review of the price structure to come up with a medium kind of pricing that would benefit all customers”. The transport minister lobbied for the airline to capitalise on the opportunities that would be presented during the staging of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Private Sector Commission Chairman Ronald Webster and Public Relations Consultant Kit Nascimento were among private sector executives present.


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week ending august 25, 2013 |

Conundrums The impacts of and conflicts climate change

By Mohabir Anil Nandlall Part 1


rom its conception and by its name, the Alliance For Change (AFC) professes to be the political movement to catalyse change in Guyana’s political landscape. A common thread which runs throughout almost all of its public pronouncements, is that it advocates for a high standard of political morality. “Transparent government”, “accountability in public office” and high decorum from public officials have all been ideals espoused by this party. Indeed, these are ideals for which all political parties ought to protagonise. But none has done it as empathic as the AFC. Equally, none has failed more abysmally to practice what it preaches than the AFC. In this article, I will chronicle just a few examples to support my hypothesis.

Nagamootoo and NICIL

From the inception, the AFC has been critical of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), accusing it of innumerable financial irregularities, lack of transparency and accountability in its operations, and much more. In the elections campaign of 2011, NICIL had been a focus of theirs with all the leaders, including, Moses Nagamootoo, castigating and denigrating the work and functions of NICIL. After the elections, and in Parliament, they continued to be critical of NICIL in their presentations. In the press, the onslaught persisted. Not once, however, was it disclosed to the unsuspecting public that Nagamootoo, the vice chairman of the AFC and one of its Members of

Mohabir Anil Nandlall

Parliament, was a lawyer, retained by NICIL and actually received almost seven million dollars in legal fees from this very organisation, which they describe as so corrupt. It was only after I disclosed this information in a debate in the Parliament did it become public. To date, no member of the AFC has denounced this patent conflict of interest and political hypocrisy. Pension and prevarications The pension and other facilities to which former President Bharrat Jagdeo is entitled by law, has evoked tremendous controversy. The fact that this law was simply a codification of the benefits which all former presidents enjoyed, was simply ignored. The issue was propagandised to its fullest. The most prolific crusader against it was Nagamootoo. He spoke in length about it during the elections campaign, at public meetings, rallies, in the newspapers and on television. To quote him, “It rattled my soul”. Not once did he disclose that when that very law was passed in the Parliament, he voted in support of it. In fact, from all his utterances, he deliberately conveyed the impression that he voted against it. It was only after I produced the Hansard dur-

ing one of my presentations in Parliament, and revealed that he voted in support of it was that information made public. Indeed, seconds before I read from the Hansard, which obviously he didn’t realise I was about to do, his bold assertion was “I never voted for it”. Again the AFC has offered no apology to the public for this blatant prevarication. Meridian and Marriott The disclosure that a Marriott Hotel will be built in Guyana was made early in 2011. Indeed, a few months prior to November 2011 elections, there was a public sod turning event at the proposed site, which was published in all the newspapers and aired on television. No public criticism came from the AFC. As the elections were approaching, Robert Badal, the owner of the Pegasus Hotel, made public his association with the AFC. I have no doubt that this association came with great financial benefits. It is not rocket science for anyone to quickly realise that a Marriott Hotel, in close proximity to the Pegasus Hotel, would pose significant competition in that realm of the hotel industry in which the Pegasus Hotel enjoys an almost absolute monopoly. Almost immediately after Badal’s association with the AFC was consummated, the party launched a sustained and vitriolic campaign against every aspect of the Marriott Hotel project, casting every conceivable reason as a basis for it to not materialise. But again, not for one moment during this sustained attack, did the AFC disclose or even concede that the party has a close and politically consanguine relationship with the Pegasus Hotel.


ore recently in 2011, continuous heavy rainfall in Region Nine and in the Roraima State of Brazil caused overflow in the Rio Branco, Ireng and Takutu rivers, which resulted in severe flooding in Lethem, its environs and other lowlying areas of Region Nine. Moreover, within the last century, Guyana has experienced an increase of 1.0 Degree Celsius of the mean annual temperature. It is projected that by the end of this century, temperatures can increase by up to four Degree Celsius and weather patterns will become more extreme. Sea level is projected to rise at a rate of one cm/ year, about 40cm- 60cm by the end of the 21st century. These projected changes may translate into eco-systems disruptions, floods, landslides, storm surges and droughts, among other impacts. These threats will impose severe social and economic constraints to Guyana and would need to be addressed with effective adaptation measures, which the government is undertaking such as improvements to drainage and irrigation, rehabilitation of sea defences and disaster risk man-

A scene of flooding in Guyana

agement. T h e Hydrometeorological Service, a department of the Agriculture Ministry, is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the weather and water resources in Guyana. The department continues to observe and archive Guyana’s weather and climate and provide meteorological information. New projects and initiatives have been implemented including a Doppler digital radar, which was setup to improve weather monitoring and forecasting in Guyana.

Mitigation measures

The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), also within the Agriculture Ministry, continues to monitor the D& I systems in Guyana and ensure all measures are taken to mitigate the effects of the heavy rainfall. Further, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the national disaster management organisation in Guyana, has embarked on a Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) programme, which will outline appropriate measures, making Guyana better prepared to handle disasters and lessen

the vulnerability to disasters that are repeated such as flooding. Additionally, priority projects on adaptation are outlined within Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which is an innovative strategy that seeks to merge the fight against climate change while simultaneously encouraging economic development. The LCDS will support the upgrading of infrastructure and assets to protect against flooding through urgent, near-term measures. Specifically, the LCDS update, which was launched this year, identified the project area “Climate Resilience, Adaptation and Water Management Initiatives” for which up to US$ 100 million will be allocated to improve Guyana’s capacity to address climate change. This, along with other initiatives and projects within the LCDS will be explained in detail in a future article. Next week’s article will feature, in detail, the projected impacts of climate change in Guyana that will likely occur if measures are not put in place. Models used to project climate change impact will also be featured.

Guyana enters 11 short films at CARIFESTA A

preview of a documentary highlighting the life achievements of St Lucian Noble Prize Winner Derek Walcott was the first to be shown at the Film Festival on Sunday, part of the events at CARIFESTA XI, being held in Suriname. That film is scheduled to be shown in its entirety, next month in Trinidad and Tobago. This was followed by the old Surinamese film “One People”. Film coordinator for the Guyanese delegation, Richard Pitman noted that Guyana has

entered 11 films into the festivals. “Most of them are ‘Cineguyana’ films which the president sponsored two years ago and under the present film endowment project,” he said. These films include “To the Night” and “Beached” by Kojo McPherson; “You Are Not Alone” by Stanley Bennett Clay and Antoine B Craigwell; “Luck Beat Handsome” by Errol Chan; “Hope” by Shaundel Philips; “Three Cards” by Michael James; “Tradition” by Margaret Lawrence; “The

Encounter” by Bonny Alves; “The Bottle” by Smolana Varswyk; “The Back Yard” by Denise Harris and “Look In A Different Way” and “Flambeau” by Errol Brewster. There are several workshops which touch on low-budget filmmaking, animation, challenges of filmmaking and stop motion, and sessions that target children who are interested in animation. Pitman explained that the festival presents a good opportunity for local filmmakers to gain exposure

in light of the growing Guyanese film industry. He stressed that being able to view the films from other countries, and the networking, are also very important for the Guyanese filmmakers. Surinamese Foreign Minister Winston Lackin emphasised that the concept behind CARIFESTA is exactly what his country is addressing due to its geographic location and regional integration. “CARIFESTA is one of the most important vehicles to improve and ensure that we reach the

objectives set for integration,” he said. The minister illustrated that the name of the Surinamese film “One People” is a reflection of Caribbean and South American integration. Organiser of the Film Festival, Hennah Draaibaar in her remarks highlighted that there are many reasons why filmmakers do what they do. “One of the reasons is filmmakers love to share, and making a movie means sharing because it is a gateway to countries and cultures through the

lives of those who live far way,” she said. Draaibaar emphasised that such is the purpose of the CARIFESTA XI Film Festival which will see the sharing of the celebrations of cultures and the passion and determination of filmmakers. Patrons will be able to view short films, music videos, animations and documentaries. The festival also includes productions from Chile, Indonesia and the Netherlands, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said in a release.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Linden-Lethem road crucial to boosting trade – Dookhoo T he LindenLethem road is among the major stumbling blocks hindering trade with extra-regional partners, former Private Sector Commission Chairman Ramesh Dookhoo said at last week’s National Economic Forum. According to him, the road has the potential to “bring the entire South America to Guyana”. Improving the 454-kilometre stretch of road is among projects listed on the Priority Integration Projects Agenda of the South American Council of Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN) of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). In addition to the deplorable state of the Linden-Lethem thoroughfare, Dookhoo said the Takutu Bridge was not designed to facilitate the transport of containers from Guyana to Brazil, asking the question, “Do you know that a container truck cannot

cross the Takutu going to Brazil, but coming to Guyana it can?” Citing an example, he said NAMILCO exports flour to Brazil; however, containers are forced to offload in Lethem before the goods are exported to Brazil, because of the aforementioned issue. Turning his attention to the drug trade in the country, he called for the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) to enhance its monitoring capacity at ports of exit, noting that the drug trade is affecting the commercial sector. “We have been profiled as a high-risk nation when it comes to exports, especially to North America. Legitimate exporters are sometimes profiled highly by the authorities in North America and these result in frustration and some have left the business entirely,” he complained. Just days ago, 15 kilogrammes of cocaine was discovered hidden in seven boxes of ochroes

Former Private Sector Commission Chairman Ramesh Dookhoo

awaiting shipment to New York at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. During an inspection, the boxes of ochroes seemed a little heavier than the other boxes of vegetables. One of the boxes was opened by ranks of the Police Narcotics Branch to facilitate further checks, and the discovery was made.

Institutional constraints While



Revenue Authority (GRA) has done well in its interdiction efforts, the former PSC chairman underscored the importance of a pro-active Customs and Trade administration that put forward initiatives that facilitate greater trade between Guyana, the rest of South America and the Caribbean and North America. He explained that the clearance of goods out of Guyana is done in a slothful manner, resulting in a backlog. According to Dookhoo, the lone scanner available is one of the main contributing factors. “The single-window programme is now five years old but the bureaucracy continues. Too many systems remain manual and automation needs to take over quickly. We do not need a Gy$5 million project to submit customs documentation electronically,” he lamented.

Russian youth forum was an enlightening experience – Guyana’s representative


uyana’s representative, Umadevi Bux has returned from a successful stint at the International Youth Forum Seliger 2013 held recently in Russia. The international forum featured representations from over 130 countries and mobilised over 2000 participants from around the world with the aim of uniting the world leaders of tomorrow. According to Bux, during the forum, representatives were meaningfully engaged in discussions and sessions delivered by experts and professors from across the globe in the areas of youth policies and projects and international relations, innovation and enterprise, growth and sustainable development, creative media and public relations. The forum was twofolded with the Seliger Project compromising of Russian youths and the Interseliger Project, which involved youth leaders from across the world. The forum was aimed at fostering an active social position among young people worldwide

Guyana’s representative Umadevi Bux, flanked by Ethiopia's Youth Ambassador Simon Alebachew (right) and Barbados' Youth Ambassador Jamonn Roberts (left)

by putting objectives of leadership skills into practice while developing youth policies and projects which will help strengthen social consciousness among young people, and for them to participate in the everyday governance of their respective countries. Meanwhile, Russian embassy Charge D’ Affaires Petr Sizov, speaking with Guyana Times International, said the forum emphasised the importance of empowering youths globally. “The experience, knowledge and skills gained from the forum will enhance the capa-

bilities of the participants to foster change and further develop youth empowerment projects and policies within their countries, therefore, giving participants real opportunities to put their leadership skills into practice,” the diplomat said. Sizov revealed that next year, the embassy will hopefully send more participants to the forum through further cooperation with Caricom. Bux participated in sustainable development educational sessions geared towards creative media and public relations, youth policies and project work-

shops, the Interseliger Model United Nations 2013, international debate, the Interseliger Model World Trade Organisation (WTO) discussions, leadership skills training, public speaking sessions and international business. In addition, the forum presented an opportunity for the representative to share information about Guyana’s youths. Bux’s attendance was made possible through a collaborative effort between the Russian embassy in Guyana, Caricom and the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry.

The Naga diaries...


atiricus was having the time of his life. And why shouldn’t he? His favourite cricketing Warriors were at the top of the hill... headed for the semis. “And for the finals,” he grinned to himself. He had a beer in one hand and the diary of the Naga Man in the other. His wife’s trusty niece, maid to the big-time funded opposition, had been a bit lax recently with the purloining of the opposition diaries for his perusal. How was he to keep up with his inside scoops on politics? Dear Diary, Ah cyaan tek it no mo. Even Lot didn’t have to bear so much like me. Ah wonder if the Big Man testing me? Is wha Ah do He? The only thing is Ah does drink every Sunday... that ain’t so bad, is it Dear Diary? After all, He should know that even when Ah does go to church, Ah used to think abut the drink more than the sermon. But lemme tell you about me worries. After all the scheming Ah plan – to throw out the Rum Jhaat from the KFC leadership and me and NoGel gon tek over for the next election, look what stupidness NoGel get heself in!! He turn secretary for the same company we in KFC cussing down – till it don’t have water to wash it. He don’t listen to me. He think because Ah just come out from law school Ah don’t know anything. But I know enough that I only cuss down NoCIL after Ah collect me Gy$ 7 million from them. NoGel don’t realise that Ah got graduate degrees in lying – which is my main qualification to become a lawyer. So now Ah got to start all over again to find somebody to help me throw out the Rum Jhaat and show people KFC “multiracial”. And Ah turn President. (Ah is all right, Dear Diary. Ah had to tek a “tupps”. Is bush rum dem boys in Canje give me.) And as soon as that story ease up – look what happen. Rodee turn general secretary of the party. Can you believe that, Dear Diary? Is enough to turn me stomach. The general secretary is supposed to be the “brains man” in the party. I is the brains man. Rolf used to think he got brains, but he ain’t got brains. He know some book stuff, but Ah got street smarts. And now that I turn lawyer in me old age, I got book smarts plus street smarts. You know, Dear Diary, I coulda been a contender. If only Ah coulda keep me mouth shut. Ah shoulda tell merely “Keep yuh so and so mouth shut!” (Excuse me Dear Diary... Ah go to finish the bush rum.)



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Guyana creating waves at CARIFESTA celebrations Coming out… C T

…into the opposition here are a lot of things hidden in closets. But nowadays more and more people are coming out of the closets. Take the ex-speaker Ralph Ramkarran. Ever since he pouted and flounced out of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) because of some “hard words” one of his comrades tossed his way, he’s been sounding increasingly “opposition”. In the beginning, he found an outlet for his criticisms in the opposition Stabber News. They played ducks and drakes about their relationship for months. Ramkarran pretended he was writing a blog into which he was pouring out his heart and the Stabber pretended that they were simply republishing it. Problem was the printing in the paper was invariably before the posting on the “Conversation Tree” site! The Tree has since died, but coverage of Ramkarran’s views has increased. First by Stabber when they carried them also as news articles. Now the virulently opposition MuckrakerKN has followed suit. But this was all circumstantial, isn’t it? Where’s the smoking gun, you ask? Well, it’s all there in black and white in Sunday’s opposition newspapers. Seeking to cover their behinds after they murdered the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project (AFHEP) and consigned poor Guyanese to another decade of astronomically high electricity bills (excepting Linden), the opposition’s been playing “blame the government” non-stop. So in their MuckrakerKN’s free column, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) rips into President Donald Ramotar preventing them from sitting down with him to give Amaila the goahead!!! And how did the president achieve this astounding feat? Well at the PPP/C congress, the president used some “hard words” to describe People’s National Congress (PNC)/APNU’s actions in the last year. And, according to these sensitive souls in PNC/APNU, this really hurt their sensitivities and sensibilities. And if the feelings of these poor dears were hurt, how can we expect they would not torpedo the single most critical infrastructural project in our history?? Reminds you of somebody, doesn’t it. Well, in case you didn’t connect the dots, Ramkarran in his latest blog/news/propaganda piece, explicitly did: he supports the PNC’s position! He also rips into the president and affirmed that if only he had spoken sweet words into the ears of the PNC/APNU, we would be getting power from AFHEP by now. This from a man, who in the past has explicitly pointed out that the PNC, in whatever incarnation, has always insisted that “the only thing the PPP/C understands is force”!! But it has always been said that politics makes strange bedfellows, hasn’t it? But it’s not so strange when you consider the lust for power is the strongest human drive. Even stronger than sex. …with self-fulfilling prophecies We’ve had it up to our kazoos with the AFHEP sabotage. But we have to take some time out with the latest revelations – which the opposition saboteurs knew about all along. Sithe Global, as the majority equity partner, was paying for the due diligence that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as a potential provider to the project, had undertaken. If they pulled out of the project, then it should’ve been obvious that they wouldn’t be funding a report that was of no use to them. Now both the Alliance For Change (AFC) and APNU claimed that they were waiting for the IDB’s due diligence findings – due out in October – before they pronounced definitively on the project. But the moment Sithe conditioned its participation on the approval of the bills by which the government would backstop Guyana Power and Light (GPL) payments, they knew if they voted “no” there would be no due diligence. AFC voted “yes”. APNU ensured that its stance of “no Amaila” was a self-fulfilling prophecy. …with sugar It is now very clear that whether or not the Skeldon Sugar Factory is operating, we will be having a disastrous production shortfall this year. We must not wait until the crop ends before we begin to make contingency plans.

ARIFESTA XI picked up speed on Saturday with the start of the Grand Cultural Market where the participating countries set up booths in the literary, visual and culinary arts, and fashion displays. Guyana has the largest collection of booths. Other countries’ booths showcased displays of craft, fashion and literary works. Guyana’s largest booth – arts and craft – has on display mainly handmade products which include leather slippers, mats, bags, key rings, crochet, earrings and bangles, handbags, jewellery sets, ceramics, tie-dye material and information on Guyana’s tourism offerings. Guyana’s art and craft representative Denzil Hollingsworth noted that there would be demonstrations of how Amerindian craft items are made. In this regard, she pointed out that most of the people who have since visited the booth are going after the handmade products. “Not many persons today are into handmade items, and that’s our niche market,” she said. Kim Gordon, who is attached to the Education Ministry’s Craft Production and Design Division, explained that some of the products in Guyana’s exhibition were made by students of the unit. They were able to produce the items while on attachment with the Education Ministry, which provided them with a stipend.

Good sales

She emphasised that patrons are not only viewing the displays, but are purchasing as well, noting that, “I am afraid

Guyanese artistes entertaining the audience in Suriname

that we might run out of some of these stocks… we could not bring all that we have at the department.” Most of the patrons are going after the tiedye pieces and leather products. Gordon highlighted that there have been expressions of interest for two students from the Craft Production and Design Division to work on tie-dye pieces and two others were requested by a designer to produce leather products. With regards to the visual arts, Philbert Gajadhar noted that Guyana is showcasing paintings, sculptures, tie-dye and batik work. Guyana is featuring three artists including the wellknown Bernadette Persaud; emerging artist Akima McPherson and a young and promising student Shimuel Jones. The contingent also includes presentations from other artists, including the Main Street Art Group, Winslow

Craig, Ivor Thom, Betsy Karim and artists from the University of Guyana and Guyana Women Artists’ Association.

Art displays

Gajadhar mentioned that Bernadette Persaud was recently inducted into the Caribbean Hall of Fame for artists. Her collection on display entitled the “Green series” includes depictions of Guyana’s rainforest, the mysteries it exudes and the concept of Shiva with regards to life and death. M e a n w h i l e , McPherson’s pieces entitled “Walk with Me” and “Walk with Me 2” focus on the issues faced by women and girls and their decisions to step out of negative situations and move forward. Jones’ presentations are collectively titled “Continental Relations”, with each painting illustrating the cultural similarities among the Western and Northern regions of Africa and the Guianas of South America.

Gajadhar explained that the visual arts exhibition ties in with several observances in Guyana, namely; the 250th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion, the 190th year of the Demerara Slave Revolt, the 175th anniversary of emancipation from slavery and the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the East Indians to Guyana. Apart from the cultural aspects of the event, patrons were entertained by performing artiste Peter Ram and were able to witness fashion displays by the participating countries. Meanwhile, at Independence Square which was packed to capacity, the crowd was treated to a concert where Pastor Donnie McClurkin sang several of his hits. At the end of the concert, Surinamese President Desi Bouterse belted out one of McClurkin’s songs while greeting him.

U.S.-based man to face trial for killing wife


.S.-based citizen Ramdhanie Persaud, called “Prakash” of Canefield, East Canje, who is accused of killing his wife, has been committed to stand trial in the High Court for murder. Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo at a special court sitting last Thursday found that a prima facie case had been made out against Persaud. The ruling came at the end of a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the death of Bibi

Shameena Deen. It is alleged that Persaud murdered his wife of 27 years on March 20, 2012, at their East Canje home. Deen was found with bullet wounds to the head and chest. Persaud had denied killing his wife and told investigators that he was away all day at his farm, and when he came home during the night, he heard the news of his wife’s death and the accusations that he was the killer.

The man became afraid and ran away and hid in the bushes. He subsequently gave himself up in the company of his attorney, Mursaliene Bacchus. A post-mortem performed on Deen revealed that she was shot at close range in the head and chest, and the cause of death was given as shock and haemorrhage due to gunshot injuries, laceration to the brain and a fractured skull. According to reports,

Persaud reportedly fled the home while the victim’s son was attempting to summon help after hearing his mother’s screams. The couple had two sons, ages 13 and 16. The alleged murder weapon was subsequently found at a residence in New Forest, following police investigation. Eleven witnesses testified in the trial, including five police officers. The state’s case was presented by Corporal Orin Joseph.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Gouveia makes Bahamas defends decision another push for to repatriate Cubans strategy to market T Guyana abroad


esort owner and prominent Guyanese businessman Captain Gerry Gouveia has made another appeal for the Guyana government to invest in marketing the country overseas. He also called for the establishment of a national marketing strategy to propel tourism in Guyana. A national marketing strategy has been long in the making, but due to non-support, it has not materialised. He said the time has come for a public-private partnership with the backing of the tourism ministry, which would result in the formation of a national marketing strategy. “So while we can deal with the security issues, we can deal with the education issues, the number one issue for us is marketing and we urge the government to embrace a national marketing strategy.” According to Gouveia, the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) has

Captain Gerry Gouveia

already acquired the service of an expert who will aid the country in the formulation of the document that will promote tourism as an economic tool for development. With increased popularity, the private sector official said the tourism sector can now accelerate its action plan to draw people to Guyana to explore its pristine forest, breathtaking waterfalls, terrain, flora and fauna, and not forgetting the wide range of international events

staged in the country annually. He said too that the local media should do more to promote the untold beauty that lies within the country. Supporting the notion of a tourism-driven economy is nothing strange to the Caribbean and the rest of the world, Gouveia said, as he called on all Guyanese to promote Guyana as a tourism destination. “All over the Caribbean, they have been doing this for decades.” According to him, Guyana’s branding is non-existent due to the lack of an effective marketing strategy. He said the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) has put Guyana on the world stage. The LCDS, an initiative by former President Bharrat Jagdeo, was designed to rake in financial support for the country’s contribution in the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

he Bahamas government says there is “quite a lot of misinformation” regarding the detention and repatriation of migrants in the country and would not participate in any discussions with protesters in Miami. Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell in a statement said he would also hold the protesters responsible “if something should jeopardise the safety and security of our personnel and facilities in Florida. “They have engendered an atmosphere of hostility which has led to physical threats against our property there. The United States government has assured us that they take these threats seriously and will be acting appropriately to protect our people,” Mitchell said. His statement comes as media reports indicated that Nassau has repatriated 24 Cubans to their homeland despite reports that other countries, such as Panama, were willing to take them. Mitchell confirmed that 24 people, all Cuban nationals, were repatriated to their home coun-

Bahamas Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell (The Bahamas Weekly Photo)

try on Friday, August 16, making a total of 64 for the year so far. He said there are 20 others who will be returned home shortly and that 275 Haitian migrants were returned to Haiti last week as well, making a total of 1848 repatriated so far this year. Meanwhile, a Florida lawmaker has branded as “spineless” and “immoral” The Bahamas’ decision to repatriate the Cubans. In a press statement posted on her website, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the

U.S. representative for Florida’s 27th congressional district, said, “It is unconscionable that the Bahamian authorities have decided to forcibly repatriate Cuban freedom-seekers back to their brutal oppressors under the Castro regime.” Ros-Lehtinen said the Bahamas government took this “misguided approach” despite the fact that Panama had offered to grant asylum to 19 Cuban nationals. (Excerpt from Antigua Observer)

APNU urges stronger measures to address domestic violence T he A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has “vehemently denounced” the continuing perpetration of all forms of inter-personal violence and, particularly, violence against women. More than 11 women have been murdered so far this year. “APNU is aware that the Guyana Police Force has long promised to install a Central Domestic Violence Unit at its headquarters and at divisional, sub-divisional, and station levels,” APNU said in a statement.

Special unit

“APNU, therefore, calls for the establishment of a special Inter-Personal Violence Unit to pro-actively counter this raging crime. The existing neighbourhood, community policing and citizens’ security programmes must be given specific roles to identify human safety situations, which have the potential to become violent. “The partnership insists that incidents of inter-personal violence must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of the class, race, status or wealth of the perpetrators,” the statement added. APNU feels that inter-per-

taken to protect women from being subjected to such abuse, and to aid their easy access to justice and safety. Women deserve the protection of the state. APNU encourages all Guyanese to work together to eliminate inter-personal violence, the coalition said, and remains committed to protecting citizens’ rights while ensuring that all citizens can attain the good life to which they are entitled.

Government system

APNU Chairman David Granger

sonal violence, as a result, has been allowed to reach epidemic proportions in terms of its frequency, brutality and widespread nature. Reports indicate that there have been numerous incidents in urban, rural, and hinterland areas. The partnership recognises that vulnerable women and young girls must be protected by more sympathetic, better-trained law enforcement agencies, supported by a stronger judicial system. It recognises the need for more support systems for vulnerable women and girls in crises and an increase of the number of safe homes for

Human Services and Social Security Minister Jenifer Webster

abused, battered, trafficked and sexually-exploited women and girls. APNU insists further that the early education curricula for boys and girls, beginning with the primary schools, should include the teaching of values and standards aimed at eliminating the mentality and factors that contribute to disrespect and the abuse of women and girls. There must also be a positive change in political culture that recognises the worth of women and girls. The partnership demands also that, where such violence occurs, measures should be

The Human Services and Social Security Ministry earlier this week had expressed sadness over the recent loss of lives and injury as a result of domestic violence, and urged the perpetrators to seek help through the government system or non-governmental organisations. “These incidences are preventable, but require much effort from perpetrators, victims, communities, civil society, government and other partners. Domestic violence is everybody’s business,” the ministry stated in a press release. The ministry observed that it has been addressing the scourge of domestic violence in Guyana independently and in collaboration with its partners through training,

advocacy, sensitisation, and awareness programmes. This is being done in keeping with the ministry’s mandate through many of its sections/departments, which have launched a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted approach to deal with this problem in a holistic manner. Officers of the Probation and Social Services Department work in communities across the country sensitising the public about the services available to victims, providing counselling services to victims and perpetrators, and makes community members aware of their social responsibility to report cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) that occur in their respective communities, the ministry said. In the past two years, the Men’s Affairs Bureau has been working with young boys and men in schools and sports clubs to address issues such as anger management, domestic violence prevention, and interactions with the opposite sex via the “No More Black and Blue” and the “Red Card Domestic Violence” campaigns. The ministry has worked in more than 30 schools and communities, reaching more than 20,000 boys and men.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Amaila project economically viable – due diligence report T

he government has reported that an early due diligence report on the Amaila Falls project has validated the project as economically profitable and beneficial to Guyana. In early June, the government consulted and shared with the joint opposition, a number of key Amaila Falls-related project documents and reports. One report, titled “Economic and Financial Evaluation Study: Guyana Amaila Falls Project”, prepared by Mercados Energetics Consultores and commissioned by the government in 2009, found that the Amaila Falls project would provide an economic rate of return of 33 percent to Guyana, reduce the Guyana Power and Light Company’s (GPL) average supply costs and bring structural benefits to GPL.

Financial evaluation

In a release, government said in 2009, it retained Mercados Energeticos Consultores to perform an economic

duce the cost of generation to 11 U.S. cents, a 40 percent savings over the first 12 years, and falling to 5.6 U.S. cents in the next eight years of the concession, a 71 percent savings to today’s generation costs.”

Structural benefits

An artist’s impression of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Plant

and financial evaluation of the Amaila Falls project. The study, conducted by an expert team of energy sector specialists, sought to evaluate the economic profitability of the Amaila project for GPL and ensure the supply of power would be consistent with GPL’s

medium and long-term demand projections. “While the report’s conclusions date back to 2008 and 2009, the fundamentals of the economic profitability are only more pronounced today in a high-fuel cost environment. The Mercados report evalu-

ated the Amaila project against oil prices of US$75 a barrel. Fuel prices today are significantly higher, translating into an average generation cost for GPL in excess of 19 U.S. cents per kwh. This cost is compared against Amaila Falls which would re-

The report’s findings which stated that the Amaila project would bring structural benefits to GPL, is the optimal low-cost generation solution and is economically profitable for Guyana, were a key factor in assessing the merits of moving forward with the development of the Amaila transaction, and are only more relevant today than ever, the government said. Despite numerous consultations with the joint opposition, access and availability of confidential information for many months and incontrovertible facts showing the economic benefits of the Amaila project, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) still denied the advantages of cheaper and reliable hy-

dropower to the people of Guyana. M e r c a d o s Energéticos Consultores is internationally recognised for its expertise in assisting governments in the design of policies for the energy sector, and in advising companies on how to identify the right strategies to conduct their business successfully. The company offers consultancy services on market design, regulatory solutions, and the definition and implementation of public policies for the energy sector. The professional team in Mercados Energéticos Consultores has played a fundamental role in the design and implementation of reforms in the energy sector in Latin American and Caribbean countries. It has also worked in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Their recommended solutions have been successfully applied in very different social, economic and institutional conditions.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Malaysian envoy presents letters of credence M

alaysian High Commissioner Dato Sudha Devi Vasudaven presented her letters of credence to President Donald Ramotar on Friday, expressing hope to strengthen bilateral relations between the countries. In the presence of Guyana’s Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, the Malaysian high commissioner said her goal is to explore and diversify collaborations in the various sectors, making specific mention of tourism, information communication and technology, education and construction. She noted that the common values shared between the two countries at the social, economic and political levels will serve as a mechanism for strengthening existing ties, in the same breath reminding that they not only share re-

President Donald Ramotar shakes hands with new Malaysian High Commissioner to Guyana Dato Sudha Devi Vasudaven

lations at the bilateral level, but at the multilateral level as well.

Both countries are members of the United Nations, The Commonwealth and

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. “Malaysia values these relations and it is our hope that these relations will grow from strength to strength in the years to come to the benefit of both countries… and provide opportunities for enhanced cooperation in economic trade and culture sphere.” Vasudaven explained that Malaysia is committed to continue on this strong and positive path. “As high commissioner, I look forward to the relations between the two countries and I am committed to the relationship… I look forward to work with your government and people of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana during my tour of duties.” President Ramotar noted that the cooperation between the two countries provides a useful platform to support

each other in their respective national development efforts. “In this regard, the government of Guyana welcomes Malaysia’s commitment to the intensification of our relations through the Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme… as well as the conclusion of the trade and economic agreements.” He said this will “provide the opportunity for our private sector to explore means through which they can contribute to the economic development of our countries”. “I am convinced that Guyana and Malaysia can actively explore several areas of cooperation,” he added. Ramotar pledged his country’s commitment towards ensuring bilateral ties between the two countries are strengthened through the newly-appointed Malaysian high commissioner to Guyana.

Trade, bilateral issues to be discussed during Maduro’s visit


uyana is looking to move beyond the new rice agreement in terms of trade relations with neighbouring Venezuela. Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, in a recent comment, said while the rice agreement is working well, the government would be exploring the possibility of exporting other local products to the Spanishspeaking state. Speaking about the impending state visit of newly-elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro later this month, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said: “Venezuela has been a very good friend to Guyana and this visit will strengthen those relations.” This will be Maduro’s first official visit to Guyana in his capacity as president. It will allow him and President Donald Ramotar to discuss not only bilateral issues, but regional and international issues as well. Among some of the bilateral issues that will be discussed is Guyana’s associate membership with MERCOSUR, of which Venezuela is the latest full member. Additionally, discussions are also expected to be held on the PetroCaribe deal. Rodrigues-Birkett said despite media reports, Venezuela has given no indication thus far, of any changes with regards to the PetroCaribe deal. However, she stated that this is an appropriate time for Guyana and other members of PetroCaribe to review

Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and take stock of what has been happening. “Guyana has been adhering to the PetroCaribe arrangement, more than many others I think… we have been supplying rice and we have been receiving oil, so in a way we have been repaying our debts,” Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said. Guyana has been benefitting significantly as a PetroCaribe member state. The PetroCaribe programme, the brainchild of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. It was launched in June 2005. The PetroCaribe deal beneficiaries list now consist of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Venezuela.



week ending august 25, 2013 |

School of the Nations records impressive results S

chool of the Nations has recorded a 95 per cent pass rate at the Cambridge University Advanced Level (AL) examinations in May and June, with 28 per cent of students who sat the examinations obtaining an A or B grade. According to a release, some 170 students sat the examinations and the outstanding performers were Alicia Bankay with As in Chemistry, Maths and Physics; Nikisha Logan with As in Law and Sociology; Tishina Ramkishun with As in Law and Psychology and B in Sociology; Bisham Ramoutar with As in Law and General Paper and Bs in Psychology and Sociology; Pawan Daswaney with As in Business and Economics and B in Mathematics; Shaian Haniff with As in Accounts, English, Mathematics and Economics; Tomika Major with As in Law and Sociology and B in Business; Brendon Khan with As in Economics and Maths and Bs in ICT and Accounts; Jiamin Gong with A in Business and B in Accounts; Natasha Ramalho with

made me stronger. My parents have been the driving force behind my success… School of the Nations made learning fun… the staff have always helped me in very important ways… I hope I never let them down in the future,” Ramkishun said.


Sarah Akbar

Calvin Ming

Leigh Riane Amsterdam

A in Chemistry and Bs in Biology and Maths; and Keshant Samaroo, with A in Chemistry and B in Maths. Some 54 fifth form students wrote the Cambridge University International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations in 18 subjects, and an overall pass rate of 82 per cent was recorded.

As and five Bs; Fleur Blanckaevt with three As and four Bs; Riasoya Jodah with seven distinctions and one B; and Sarah Akbar with one distinction, two As, two Bs, and three Cs. Bankay thanked her teachers and parents for their support, and disclosed that she intends to study engineering overseas. Ramoutar was pleased with his performance, noting that his hard work has paid off. “Thanks to my mother and my extended family and to all my teachers at School of Nations. Don’t underestimate the standard of work that is expected. But then you will be rewarded for the efforts you put in.” Logan expressed similar sentiments, and advised students “not to let negative associations hamper your true potential. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

“I have always had high expectations for myself… any failures along the way have only

Top performers

Among the top performers were Troy Broomes with one distinction and seven As; Calvin Ming with one distinction and six As and one B; Famke Van Dijk with four As and three Bs; Leigh Riane Amsterdam with three

Hot Hell need mek over


e guvament stop de seawall lime and people not goin deh now as before time. So everybody can see de Peg Ass Hot Hell real good. But what dem also seein real good is how bad it lookin. Is no wonder de seawall limers didn’t want to move from Sheriff Street to Kingston in the first place. Dem don’t want to look at tings that gon spoil de whole night. De Marriott Hotel ain’t start paintin yet, but it lookin better than de Peg Ass. It lookin more clean too. This was one of de big tings from de guvament that de opposition friken so much that dem start behavin like when cow buss rope. Even de Kocheur man friken this big ting so much that he tryin to divide it, so he could handle every ting piece by piece. And everybody used to believe that he always like big tings. At least when tings too big fuh he, he learnin to tek it piece by piece. One of de workers seh de best ting to do is to mek over de Peg Ass to a big parkin lot fuh de Marriott. Another one seh it might be better to mek over de whole of de Peg Ass in white and use it as one big tomb fuh FLAPNU, KFC and dem boys who seh dem is boys but is really not boys. But before any makeover can tek place at de Peg Ass, somebody gon have to call de workers at de Marriott to repair de Hot Hell sign fuh dem. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Talk about signs of de times!

Haniff was also thankful to her parents, teachers and friends. “When you study hard and then see the fruits of your labour, it is so rewarding. Now I am looking forward to year two of sixth form. My goal is

to get into the field of accounts and finance.” “I want to thank my parents, my wider family and my teachers who motivated me. Especially, I want to thank Dr and Mrs O’Toole for all their support over the years not only in the area of academics, but also in terms of life lessons. I also want to thank Mrs Brisport as I have been at Nations my entire school life. In particular, I want to thank Jesus, without His support, I would not have been able to achieve anything,” Akbar said.


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week ending august 25, 2013 |

East Berbice Life Savers’ Club S

aving lives from the cruelty of abuse through loving support and vital interventions is what the East Berbice Life Savers’ Club was founded to do. The club, whose motto is “We Care”, was organised as a result of the numerous interventions made by persons trained in gender-based and sexual offences at Roadside Baptist Church Skills Training Centre. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Yatrawatee Katryan of the Roadside Baptist Church Skills Training Centre, said the monstrous plague of gender-based violence against women and girls, especially domestic and sexual violence, is the catalyst that propelled Roadside Baptist about 12 years ago to identify and train a core group of persons to make interventions and work with those directly or indirectly affected by gender-based violence, and to work with perpetrators as well. East Berbice Life Savers’ Club was officially launched in 2003 by Varshnie Singh, First Lady at the time, at one

Yatrawatee Katryan. One of the key individuals in the club

time, about 25 members, included school welfare officers, a community development officer of Skeldon Sugar Estate, religious leaders, office and community workers and housewives and teachers from the entire Region Six inclusive of Black Bush Polder. They were trained in the areas of domestic violence, child abuse, suicide prevention, and counselling skills. Katryan disclosed that suicide is still a matter of grave concern in Region Six. She pointed out that over the years, the group, in collaboration with Roadside

Bush Polder. Besides awareness sessions, they also made numerous interventions with individuals and families affected by domestic and other forms of violence. Interventions, Katryan explained, include counselling at either Roadside Baptist, at individuals’ homes or at places mutually agreed upon, accompanying victims to the police station, and for medical services as well as even giving support to court cases. She added that other instances of support are in the form of cash or in kind contributions and even providing safe spaces/shelter to

modate a female and her young girl children who were travelling from the Corentyne to their safe place. At one time, quite a few years ago, even Camal’s Children’s Home on the Corentyne accommodated a female victim and her young children for a short while, through discussions by Ms Nalin Katryan, CEO of the Life Savers and Mrs Carmen Kissoon. We’re very thankful to these individuals,” Katryan related. She pointed out that since launching of the Life Savers’ Club, some members have migrated. The group was dormant

were trained in counselling skills and are busy in their communities, sharing information. Additionally, capacity building to enhance the skills of Life Savers is ongoing, and only recently two full days of training were conducted at Roadside to update previous trainees with the Sexual Offence and Domestic Violence Acts and the Child Protection Policy. Quarterly meetings are held by the group, at which time they share and discuss challenges and positive results. Life Savers is fully supported by the Guyana Police Force and from

Karen De Souza, Luella Chichester, Vidyaratha Kissoon, Dionne McCammon and Varshnie Singh. “Roadside extends gratitude to all the donors who have supported our initiative to reduce and prevent genderbased and other forms of violence. They include UNDP, CIDA/ Gender Equity, UNICEF and USAID. Special thanks are also expressed to the offices of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and of Child Protection for their support in enhancing the skills of Life Savers. Roadside extends congratulations to the East

A few members of the club

Workshop on life counselling

of the centre’s annual graduation ceremonies. About 100 persons were present at the launch. Katryan said that the membership at that

Baptist, conducted several awareness sessions at different locations including Orealla, Siparuta and Black

victims and children. “Help and Shelter is of great assistance, and made the necessary arrangements once in the night to accom-

for a while but individual members were still involved in interventions, and Roadside Baptist never ceased from continually training others in counselling skills and gender-based violence prevention. In 2012, the group was resuscitated, and those trained are now actively involved with Life Savers. The most recent training for the new recruits was conducted this year during the months of January to July for 25 youths and 25 adults. Of the 50 trainees, 25

time to time CEO, Nalin Katryan, communicates with the Commander of Division “B” and the Officer in Charge at Springlands Police Station. At the start of the gender-based violence programme, discussions were held with the then Commissioner of Police. Notably, three police officers were among the last batch of trainees. Trainers over the years include Rosemarie Terborg, Beverly Braithwaite Chan, Paulette Henry,

Berbice Life Savers for their continuous effort to reduce and prevent the social ill that is devouring the family unit and wishes to encourage them to continue the fight,” Katryan said gratefully. East Berbice Life Savers’ Club can be contacted on 338-4215 or 338-4213. Additional information can be obtained from the Roadside Baptist Church Skills Training Centre page on Facebook. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Extreme Ice Survey

Art meets Science T

he Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an innovative, longterm photography project that merges art and science to give a “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystems. In 2005, internationally acclaimed nature photojournalist James Balog travelled to Iceland to photograph glaciers for The New Yorker. This led to a 2006 National Geographic assignment to document

changing glaciers in various parts of the world. In the course of shooting that story (which became the June 2007 cover story, “The Big Thaw”), Balog, who, in addition to being a photographer is a mountaineer with a graduate degree in geomorphology, recognized that extraordinary amounts of ice were vanishing with shocking speed. Features that took centuries to develop

were being destroyed in just a few years or even just a few weeks. These changes are the most visually dramatic and immediate manifestations of climate change on our planet today.

Seeing is believing

Real-world visual evidence has a unique ability to convey the reality and immediacy of global warming to a worldwide audience. Founded continued on page 34

A tourist walkway provides access to the Mer de Glace glacier in France. It is a graphic indicator of the glacier’s shrinkage. In 1988, the platform in the upper right of the image reached the ice. Over the next 18 years the glacier receded so much that downward extensions of the walkway were added to allow visitors to touch the glacier. Note the figure on landing in the middle of the stairway for scale.

34 feature Pomeroon student defies odds, excels at CSEC week ending august 25, 2013 |

Social Biology, Economics, EDPM, Agricultural Science, Office Administration, Principles of Business, Principles of Accounts and Physical Education. Her grade two subjects are Spanish and Information Technology. “I feel so happy and excited – but a little shocked because I didn’t expect to do so well,” an elated Thakurdin told Guyana Times Sunday Magazine in an interview. But while the sixteen year-old now celebrates her success, her journey has not been relatively easy.

tives) from home in Jacklow to Charity; other days she used the commercial boat service. Maria then had to take a minibus from Charity to ARMS. She left home as early as 7.30 hrs in the morning and would return late in the evenings. The travels incurred a daily expense of about $1,000. The situation was challenging but Maria was undaunted. She remained focused on her studies and continued to perform well throughout her

some of the lessons were private, some were free of cost, offered by Maria’s subject teachers at ARMS. “The teachers gave us free lessons outside of the school curriculum. They took time off of their schedules to give us extra teachings so I am very thankful for that,” Maria highlighted. The headteacher, she observed, directly supported students too.

Crucial days

Coming up to CSEC, the

With 13 grade ones and two grade twos, Maria Lisa Thakurdin of Jacklow is top hinterland scholarship student Nevertheless, it was still a struggle for Maria. “My mom had to wake me sometimes….I barely got to sleep. Sometimes I barely got three hours of sleep,” she reflected. Today though, her efforts have paid off and she can advise other hinterland students to “…study hard, focus on your education and make the best of every opportunity.” With a passion for banking and finance, Maria plans to further her studies in eco-

School experiences

Maria is this year’s top hinterland scholarship student


rowing up as a child along the Pomeroon River presents many challenges as well as opportunities. Travelling to school is usually frenzied as children often travel far distances by boat, at the mercy of heavy rains or hot sunshine. Such travels also incur a financial burden on parents, many whom are unable to meet this demand. These harsh realities sometimes force students to abandon their dreams of a quality education; but there are those who eventually defy these odds. Like Maria Lisa Thakurdin, of Anna Regina Multilateral School; she earned 13 grade ones and two grade twos at this year’s CSEC examinations. In addition to being one of the top five students at ARMS, which includes the country’s two best performers, Thakurdin of Jacklow, Pomeroon, a traditional rural farming area, is this year’s top CSEC hinterland scholarship student. She secured grade one passes in Mathematics, English A, English B, Integrated Science, Social Studies, Human and

Born Sept 13, 1996, Maria is the eldest child of Calvin Thakurdin, a farmer, and Indera Thakurdin, a housewife; and big sister to brother, Ken. She attended the Jacklow Primary School where she wrote the NGSA a few years ago and earned a place at Queens College, placing 13th overall among Guyana’s best NGSA performers for that year. Then she also emerged top NGSA student for Pomeroon and the hinterland, gaining a government scholarship. But excited as she was to earn a space at QC, considered the country’s top premier secondary school, her parents decided Maria should attend ARMS, located in the Essequibo district. This decision is quite common in the Pomeroon: parents opt to send their children to schools that are situated closer to home instead of choose relocation as a result of NGSA allocations. However, for Maria this meant hours of daily travelling by river and road to get to school. “It was fatiguing... stressful, but eventually it became enjoyable as I got accustomed to it every day,” Maria related. Some days she was lucky to get a “passage” (a free boat ride with family or rela-

Art meets... in 2007 by James Balog, The Extreme Ice Survey provides scientists with basic and vitally important information on the mechanics of glacial melting and educates the public with firsthand evidence of how rapidly the Earth’s climate is changing. EIS is a voice for landscapes that would have no voice unless we humans give them one. EIS imagery preserves a visual legacy, providing a unique baseline—useful in years, decades and even centuries to come—for revealing how climate change and other human activity impacts the planet. Guided by the recommendations of glaciologists, in 2007 the EIS team installed its time-lapse cameras at sites that represent regional conditions and have high scientific value. One aspect of EIS is an extensive portfolio of single-frame photos celebrating the beauty–the art and architecture–of ice. The other aspect of EIS is time-lapse photography; currently, 28 cameras are deployed at 13 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese

Maria and her mom share a photo with Education Minister Priya Manikchand (MOE photo)

school years, always securing the highest grade in her class. She acknowledged the support of her parents, especially her mother, who stayed up late at nights with Maria as she studied, and who actively participated in school-related events. With an overarching desire to excel, Maria said she was further motivated by her parents and teachers. She began taking extra lessons for mathematics and English A in Form Three. By fourth form, she was taking extra lessons for all subjects not only in the afternoons after school but during her lunch break. While

from page 33

Aerial view of Columbia Glacier in Alaska. The trimline (seen on the slope to the right) shows the deflation of the ice mass of the Columbia Glacier since 1984. Greenish snow-covered vegetation is above the trimline and uniform gray rock is below the trimline. In 1984, the glacier was 1300 feet (400m) thicker than it was at the time this picture was made in June, 2006; the height of deflation is equivalent to the height of the Empire State Building

Himalaya, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. Plans to expand the EIS camera network into South America and Antarctica are currently underway. (Source: EIS website)

experience became more challenging for Maria. Already burdened by extra lessons, the School-Based Assessments (SBAs) and regular in-class assignments kept piling up. Maria had to spend many hours late in the nights, sometimes way up into the morning, to get the work done in time for submission. There is no electricity in the Pomeroon, and while Maria was fortunate to have solar powered electricity, there are children who are not so lucky. They often resort to lanterns or battery-operated flashlights to do homework and study.

nomics at the University of Guyana. She has already been accepted to Republic Bank’s apprenticeship programme, and plans to pursue this opportunity in the meantime. While Maria celebrates her success, so is her entire community of Jacklow and the wider Pomeroon. She has clearly demonstrated that notwithstanding the challenges in hinterland areas, children can rise above obstacles and perform on par with their peers from coastland areas who can access better facilities. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Why do glaciers matter? The melting fresh water from glaciers alters the ocean, not only by directly contributing to the global sea level rise, but also because it pushes down the heavier salt water, thereby changing what scientists call the THC, or Thermo (heat) Haline (salt) Circulation, meaning currents in the ocean. This has an immediate effect on the near region, such as the north Atlantic off the coast of Greenland, but ultimately the impacts can ripple far beyond the immediate area and climate. Ice that took centuries to develop can vanish in just a few years. A glacier doesn’t melt slowly and steadily like an ice cube on a table. Once glacial ice begins to break down, the interaction of meltwater and sea water with the glacier’s structure can cause increasingly fast melting and retreat. Today, Earth’s surface is made up of 71 percent water, 10 percent ice and 19 percent land. Most of the world’s ice is in the Arctic and Antarctic, but some of it is scattered around Earth in the form of mountain glaciers. Water not only expands when frozen, but also when heated, and it is estimated that in the 21st century the melting of ice caps and glaciers combined with the thermal expansion of ocean water will cause an average increase of sea level of roughly a meter (a bit more than one yard). That’s an average; in some places it will rise more and in others less, in part because (as we now know through satellite measurements) sea level itself varies, bulging in some places and slumping in others. As the planet’s air conditioner, the polar ice caps impact weather and climate dynamics, such as the jet stream. Glaciers are also early indicators of climate changes that will have a somewhat more delayed impact on other parts of the Earth system. Glaciers are sentinels of climate change. They are the most visible evidence of global warming today. In addition to raising sea water levels, widespread loss of glaciers will likely alter climate patterns in other, complex ways. For example, glaciers’ white surfaces reflect the sun’s rays, helping to keep our current climate mild. When glaciers melt, darker exposed surfaces absorb and release heat, raising temperatures. Our way of life is based on climate as we know it. (Source: EIS website)



week ending august 25, 2013 |

The diverse art of Aubrey Williams T

Explosions of colour rule in his art but by no means define him

he late Aubrey Williams has significantly placed himself as a celebrated Guyanese artist among prominent international ones. His work is valued worldwide, and although he has passed on, his legacy still lives. Williams was born in Guyana in 1926, and began painting and drawing from the age of five. He joined the Working People’s Art Group while still at school, studying under E. R. Burrowes, a man he credited as “opening the Guyanese eyes to art.”

to opportunities to exhibit his work. He was also part of the spectacular explosion of creativity, optimism and productivity generated by the influx of Caribbean writers, artists and intellectuals to London at the time. This cultural foment was exemplified in the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM), founded in 1966 by poet and historian, Kamau Braithwaite; poet and activist John La Rose, and novelist and journalist Andrew Salkey. Williams was a found-

sion, including debates on visual sources, strategies for change, and the stifling effects of being categorised as either a quintessentially Caribbean or British artist. When Williams had arrived, London was a city with few apparent signs of a black presence, and as such, the visibility of Williams’ work represented one of the first challenges to the white dominance in the British art establishment. Over the years that followed however, Williams found himself increasingly con-

er member and participated fully in CAM’s activities, as did sculptor Ronald Moody. Within this mutually supportive network, Williams founded, and contributed to an enriching framework of ideas and discus-

fronted by ‘institutional indifference’, his work framed and discussed solely in terms of ‘otherness’. By the late 1950s and 1960s, Williams was winning acclaim in the UK for his abstract can-

Late Guyanese artist Aubrey Williams

A trained agronomist, Williams’ work took him to the north-west rainforests of Guyana, where he lived for two years among the indigenous Warrau people, a period which proved one of the most formative of his life and where he said, “I started to understand what art really is.” By 1952, when he returned to Georgetown at the age of 26, Guyana was nearing the end of its time as a British colony and Williams sailed to London, initially on six months paid leave, to become a painter, and began life drawing at St Martin’s School of Art. As a painter with detailed knowledge of flora and fauna, with personal experience of momentous political change, and with a growing interest in pre-Columbian cultures, he arrived in London with a unique visual and intellectual vocabulary. Over the following years he took the opportunity to travel extensively around Europe, returning to London and

'Hymn to the Sun IX' (Olmec Maya Series), 1984. Oil on canvas.

'Night and the Olmec' (Olmec Maya series), 1983. Oil on canvas.

vases. During the 1970s and 1980s, he worked and exhibited regularly overseas, in Jamaica, Guyana and Florida. By the early 1980s, he had completed a series of luminous abstract paintings based on the music of Shostakovich. The subsequent “OlmecMaya” series drew deeply on his broad knowledge of historic Central and South American cultures. He broke the artistic norms of the time by merging representational elements within abstract painting. His paintings have always resisted classification, evolving through many distinct phases over the course of his career. From immaculately accomplished depictions of birds, to figurations, to explosive, vibrant abstracts, Williams drew influence from abstract expressionism, from Olmec, Maya, and Warrau imagery, from science fiction, from the symphonies and quartets of Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich, and from artists such as

Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Diego Rivera, Yves Klein and Rufino Tamayo. Williams was a visionary artist far ahead of his time, and his work expresses the urgency of his concerns about the destruction of the global ecological balance by far predating our current rudimentary realisation as to the complexity of the problems we face. Speaking of his art’s relevance to “the anxieties and tragedies of our time” in 1978, he said: “I know that the sea is now 38 percent polluted. We live off the sea, and we can’t now turn the clock back. It’s getting worse every day. Our resources of oxygen are shrinking, and it can’t be reproduced. We have now also punctured the last source of oxygen, which is the South American Selvas [forests] by building that stupid road through the Amazonas. We have done colossal ecological damage… Pollution is beyond our ability to reverse. Cosmic rays’ bom-

bardment is growing and we have no shield against its harmful effects, so leukaemia will become like a common cold. We are seeing the terrible catastrophes of man-made diseases. All these anxieties inform my work all the time. My work is only important when people realise these things from it.” In a post-Copenhagen Summit world, Williams’ concerns remain all the more prescient, considering they were voiced over 30 years ago. These vital concerns inform all of his work from his painterly musings on the destruction of the Mesoamerican Olmec, Maya, and Toltec cultures, to the beautifully depicted visions of the natural world seen in his “Cosmos” canvases– breathtaking pictures of galaxies against the inky darkness of the night skies– and his brilliant portraits of birds, some of which are on the brink of extinction. In the UK, Aubrey Williams’ work has been exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery, the Royal Festival Hall, the Commonwealth Institute and the Hayward Gallery. Of note is the October Gallery, UK, which has represented Williams work since 1984. But it was not until after his death in 1990 that a major retrospective of his work was held in 1998 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, so serving to confirm his unique place in British art history. Additionally, his work is represented in major public and private collections throughout the world. Williams was honoured in Guyana with the award of the Golden Arrow of Achievement in 1970 and then with the Cacique Crown of Honour in 1986. (Excerpted from


fun time

week ending august 25, 2013 |

This week's Crossword

J k es

No more worries Henry always worried about everything all his life. But one day his co-workers noticed Henry seemed like a changed man. They remarked that he didn’t seem to be the least bit worried about anything. Henry said he’d hired a professional worrier and no longer had any problems. “A professional worrier? What does that cost?” “Twenty thousand dollars a week.” “Twenty thousand dollars! How on earth are you going to pay him?" "I’m not worried. That's his problem." Visitors My doorbell rang last weekend. When I pulled it open there was a nice-looking young couple on my porch. The man said, "Good morning, sir. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we’d like to give you some literature. If you have a minute we’d love to chat with you about our work.” I wasn’t busy so I invited them in for coffee. When they were settled I asked them what they wanted to tell me first. The young guy said, "Beats the heck out of me. We never got this far before.” Right answer A mafia boss needed a new accountant. He interviewed several guys for the job by asking one question, “How much is two plus two?” Only one applicant had the right answer: “How much do you want it to be?” The mime I was walking down the street and saw a mime pretending to be trapped in a box. He did a great job, so after he finished, I pantomimed putting a dollar in his jar.

This week's Puzzle

State of mind Recently my wife and I were sitting in our den together, she was reading and I was watching pro wrestling. I told her, "In case it ever comes up, I would hate to ever live in a vegetative state, dependent on a machine. If that time ever arrives, please pull the plug." She immediately got up and unplugged the TV. Wrong verb A man is walking down his street and sees a friend sitting in his front yard all alone, looking bummed. “What’s the matter with you?” he asks. The friend says, “I screwed up on one of those questions wives ask, and now I am so deep in the doghouse, I’ll never get out.” “What question?” the first guy asks. She asked me, “‘When I’m old, fat, and ugly, will you still love me?’ ” “Heck, that’s easy," the first guy replies. "You just tell her, “'Of course you will.'” “Yeah,” says the friend, “that’s what I meant to say. But what came out is “‘Of course I do.’”

see solution on page 46

Big game hunting Against his better judgment, the big game hunter is talked into taking both his wife AND her mother along on one of his expeditions. It does not go well. The mother-in-law is, if anything, harder to get along with in the wilds than she was in the city. And to make matters worse, she won't even abide by the simple camp rules designed to keep the safari safe. One night after dinner, the hunter's wife realizes her mother is missing. Panicked, she rushes to her husband and begs him to institute a search. He sighs, and together they set out. But before they've gone far, they hear throaty growling. Soon they come upon a small clearing in which the motherin-law stands, backed up against thick, seemingly impenetrable jungle brush, and facing a huge male lion. The wife whispers urgently, "What are we going to do?" "Nothing whatever," responds her husband. "The lion got himself into this mess, now let him get himself out of it."


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Designer Carol Fraser

Veteran Carol Fraser, popularly known as a “go-green designer”, has been promoting Guyana’s rich biodiversity through her many fashion collections. The doyenne of fashion launched her collection of tropical shirts, ideal for the contemporary man. Stunning dresses for women, prefect for a breezy look, completed the collection at the recently held fashion week events in French Guiana and Suriname. Her pieces were also a highlight at the Guyana Fashion Council’s June 30 “Fit Me 2013” fashion show held at the Umana Yana. “I received overwhelming responses in French Guiana. All my bags and hats were sold out. Even my fashion collection was on the front page of the Suriname Times newspaper. History was also recorded when most of the former and reigning queens: Miss Guyana Universe, Miss World, Miss Jamzone, Miss Guyana India Worldwide, Miss Talented Teen and other seasoned models, graced the stage at the Fit Me fashion show. At that event, I also received much praise for my collection,” the designer disclosed in an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine. For more information on collections by Carol Fraser call 612-7846.


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"My 'heart and soul' has always been Guyana and always will be" U.S.-based Guyanese Shanie Persaud forges vital ties to develop her homeland


GABPC Executive Director Shanie Persaud

s executive director of the Guyanese and American Business and Professional Council (GABPC), U.S.-based Guyanese, Shanie Persaud, works tirelessly to develop stronger ties between Guyana and the United States in an effort to forge a closer relationship between the business and professional communities of both nations. Not-for-profit organisation GABPC is the first and leading Guyanese-American business organisation that provides a vast array of services aimed at promoting and advancing business relations between Guyanese and Americans. Persaud migrated to the United States in

1999 with the expressed purpose of networking the Guyanese population with the greater community. She helps to connect advancing Guyanese entrepreneurs to all of the networks they need to succeed in the business world. This includes investments, marketing and technology. The executive began her public service career while still living in Guyana. At 18, she started working with the Guyanese media as a reporter for a national newspaper. She went into television as a weekend news anchor, and augmented her work within the community by involving herself with economic development and health education. By the time she left Guyana at the age of 23, she was

marketing manager for the state television network. Her first home in America was in Texas, where she gave birth to her son, C.J. Persaud. Before joining GABPC, Persaud was CEO for El Dorado Media and Marketing, which focuses on reaching the Guyanese American community with directto-consumer messaging services. Aside from her work with GABPC, Persaud has also been on the York College President’s Advisory Board since 2006. In 2010, she was one of 40 young professionals who were honoured with the Rising Star Award by the Queens Courier for exemplify outstanding leadership skills, not only in their chosen fields, but also in their community. Persaud was also a key player in helping Guyanese students benefit from a new master’s degree programme. The programme provided new educational opportuni-

ties for several Guyanese community development leader-practitioners. The Future Generations Graduate School in the U.S. admitted the seven Guyanese community development

communities. Through GABPC, unique platforms are provided to promote business brands, services and products to a high-level audience through its educational, health, financial

Persaud (left) with Guyanese Virologist & HIV groundbreaker, Dr Deborah Persaud

professionals into its accredited master’s degree program in Applied Community Change and Conservation. The Guyanese group joined a global class of 20 students from 10 countries that visited India, the United States, Peru and Nepal as part of their two-year course of study. The students brought their experiences back to Guyana, where they continued their online coursework and completed a hands-on research practicum to benefit their

and business seminars and workshops, business expos and trade shows. “A group of us, both Guyanese and Americans, put it [GABPC] together. It was formed primarily for that and to give more prominence to the Guyanese community over here and to allow Americans to market themselves for this community,” Persaud had revealed in an interview with U.S. publication Queens Tribune. Persaud applied her

media experience in both Guyana and Queens to good use, using her ability to make contacts as a way to drive together the Guyanese community with organisations such as the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Queens Economic Development Corporation and the Greater Jamaica D e v e l o p m e n t Corporation. “More and more, I try to partner with other organisations within the community to bring services to our members and the business community at large,” she added. In addition to business and career services, the New York-based GABPC also works with charities in activities such as raffles to assist the American Cancer Society and others. For the future, Persaud said she hopes that GABPC’s membership will continue to grow and that the organisation will be able to do even more to help members of the Queens Guyanese community. She pointed out that while she lives in the U.S., her heart is still in Guyana. She tries to visit her family as often as possible, but when she cannot, she relies on technology to connect with her with loved ones. “My 'heart and soul' has always been Guyana and always will be,” she declared. (Information from Queens Tribune and Queens Courier)



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U.S.-based Guyanese designer: Felicia Persaud

Label Name: Bela Criacao Website: Origin: Guyana, South America “I’m beyond excited to be a part of such a dynamic group of talent for the spring collections at Nolcha. My travels between my home in South America and New York City truly served as a major source of inspiration this season, so I’m thrilled to be bringing the sea & sunshine to the runways of New York Fashion Week." Background: I am half West Indian and half Brazilian. I was born and raised in Guyana, South America. As a young girl, I watched my mother own and op-

erate a textile company. At that point of my life I realized how strong my love was for the fashion world and it is amazing to see a simple sketch come to life. At the age of 20, I migrated to the US and started working in the Real Estate industry. At the age of 24, I opened my first company, which is a title insurance company named Empire Land Services. This business became successful but I felt that I was still missing something in my life, and I realized that I was suppressing my burning desire for what I love most "Fashion." I am at the right point of my life with my two boys being old enough to take care of themselves. I've decided to move forward

Health Feature

Important facts about Sickle Cell Trait and Disease By Tisha Boston


ickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder in which red blood cells that are responsible for transporting oxygen around the body, take on a sickle or crescent shape. Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped, compact and flexible, enabling them to fit through small blood vessels while sickled red blood cells are stiff, sticky and crescent-shaped, causing them to get stuck within the small blood vessels and therefore, depriving the body of oxygen. Sickle cell trait is common in most people, especially those whose ancestors are from sub-Saharan Africa; the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy. However, research has shown that sickle cell trait is most common among Blacks and African Americans; it affects 1out of every 12 Blacks or African Americans in the United States. People with the sickle cell trait do not have the disease, but have inherited the gene from their parents and can also pass it on to their children. For instance, if both parents have the sickle cell trait, there is a 50% chance that any of their children will have the trait and there is a 25% chance that any of their children will have sickle cell disease. This is why it is important to know if you and your spouse are carriers of the sickle cell gene. Normally, people with the sickle cell trait do not have any symptoms of the disease, but under extreme conditions of high altitude, increased pressure, low oxygen, and dehydration they may experience some complications associated with the disease. For example, athletes who carry the sickle cell gene are more likely than those without it to experience heat stroke and muscle break down because they usually engage in strenuous exercises that can result in very low oxygen levels in their body. The presence of sickle cell disease can easily be determined through a simple blood test. Like any other disease, early detection is the key to successful management. People living with sickle cell trait are generally healthy and live full lives, but for those living with the disease it can be a challenge so here are some healthy tips: - Find good medical care such as a hematologist and get regular checkups - Practice healthy habits such as drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily and try not to get too hot, too cold or too tired - Engage in non excessive physical activity and remember to take plenty of rest - Avoid infections, for example, the flu and take necessary steps to prevent them such as by getting vaccinated.

with creating the Bela Criacao fashion line. Vision: As a designer, my main focus is on the beauty of a woman’s body. I have a strong belief in creating that unique fit that will accentuate the beauty and curves of every woman. I would like for women who wear my collection to feel confident, sexy and sophisticated about themselves. Signature style: A collection of staples designed to seamlessly fit into a woman’s wardrobe and take her from day to night. Not to be forgotten, Felicia’s signature prints inspired by the colors and textures of the Brazilian rainforest are also a collection mainstay.

Influence: For Spring 2014 Bela Criacao is inspired by the sights, sounds and culture of South America coupled with a love for the pace and intensity of the modern woman’s lifestyle. Celebrity crush: Jenifer Lopez, Mark Harmon and Gwyneth Paltrow What does New York City mean to you? New York City is the fashion capital of the world. It inspires and influences my fashion thoughts and ideas because New York City is, culture, fashion, colors, and fabric. There is nowhere better than New York City to design, create, and make your dream into a reality. New York City gives you that and more.


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feature The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

By Petamber Persaud

(Part one of an excerpt of an interview with Vibert Cambridge, Georgetown, Guyana on July 28, 2007. Cambridge is Emeritus Professor at Ohio University. For many years, he held the Chair of African-American

beginning to understand that situation and what it has done to the people themselves and to their descendants. Let’s discuss the reasons why we are still so embroiled in the past; starting from what we came out of and how we are dealing with the situation now. VC I think the first thing

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were made captive for various reasons. So we have to get into this language distillation. The other thing about the discussion on enslavement is for us to understand the geography of enslavement so we can put faces to the peoples who were enslaved. PP Is this some sort of

Professor Vibert Cambridge

Enslaved persons bought or captured from different regions in Africa worked mainly on sugar, coffee, cotton or tobacco plantations in the Americas

Studies. He is a driving force behind the Guyana Cultural Association, New York.) PP Centuries on, we are still coming to grips with the effects of slavery. But I feel now more than ever, we are

we have to do is to deal with language. Slavery connotes there’s got to be a something called a slave; there is nobody who is born into this world a slave, people are enslaved, so I think that is the first position. Africans were enslaved; they


new scholarship? If so, let’s apply it to the Guyana situation. VC If we use Guyana, I may not follow a straightforward geographic or historical timeline. We refer to many Muslim people as ‘fullaman’. A ‘fullaman’ is a ‘Fulani’, the

very first Africans who came into this region. Then in the early and mid 17th century, the trade in African captives moved into what is contemporary Ghana. So we would find those to be Akan, Ashanti, Ibo, Yoruba. So names like Cuffy or Cofi, and Akara, will tell of a specific West African community. By the end of the abolition of enslavement, we move into the period of indentureship. PP Was it a deliberate ploy to bring people from different areas with different skills, different languages? VC There are multiply theories about that. One, availability; two, specific skills. For example, rice: the establishment of rice as an in-

dustry in the Americas is directly tied to the people of the Sene-Gambian region. On the other hand, directives were made not to import Mandingo because they were found to be arrogant, full of pride; they resist. Yes, there was a specificity of labour. However in the latter period, when the trade was being suppressed by the British and the Americans, liberated Africans were placed in St Helena, and plantation owners in Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados etc would have agents in St Helena suggesting to these liberated Africans not to go back to Liberia, Serra Leone, but instead to come to the Caribbean. Guyanese writer, Professor Monica Schuler in her important book, “Alas, Alas Congo”, speaks of liberated African coming to the Caribbean aboard ships that were bringing indentured Indian labourers. PP Interesting find that – earlier we discussed similarities in various cultural patterns of both groups. VC Yes, and hear this: you will also find Africans who were ‘jihaji bai’ too. So in understanding the African presence as a function in the trade of African captives, you are looking over time at changing ethnicities as points of departure. Continued on page 47



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n the grip of a desire for independence from colonial rule and a fervour for a national identity beginning perhaps from the 1940s, a proliferation of patriotic poetry flowed from the pens of a group of men and women that was made into music over the years leading up to and just after Guyana’s eventual independence. Few young people are aware of a genre in the country’s musical heritage known as national or patriotic songs, excluding the national anthem, and even fewer can be said to be familiar with the songs and historical figures behind a once vibrant tradition celebrating national identity and patriotic passion.

Republican status was announced that saw the selection of a poem called “Song of the Republic” to be put to music. Submitted by a Thomas Theophilus Halley, it was the pen name for Hamilton who was concerned about political issues arising since he may have ruffled a few feathers in the then administration’s side for his outspokenness in a matter. It would take a long while after he was adjudged winner before he stepped forward to claim his place in Guyana’s history. He died Feb. 22, 1991.

Valerie Rodway

Walter MacArthur Lawrence

Born January 1896 in Georgetown, Walter MacArthur Lawrence is arguably one of the first poets to express a patriotic enthusiasm with his poem “My Guyana, Eldorado”, which would later be put to music. Many of his poems have entered influential book collections around the world. MacArthur Lawrence died in 1942.

Cleveland Hamilton

Cleveland Hamilton was a busy legal practitioner who would also excel in his other love: poetry. Late 1969, a competition to select a national hymn to celebrate Guyana’s

“Guyana the Free”, a piece written and composed by herself and second husband James Rodway. Born Valerie Fraser in New Amsterdam in 1919, she showed an early interest and talent in music, which was nurtured by leading music teachers of the day, and she went on to earn the Licentiate of the Royal College of Music (LRCM). She became a music teacher and one of Guyana’s most famous composers. Her other compositions include “Water Music” (words by A J Seymour); “Kanaima”; “Kaieteur” (words by J A Lawrence); “The Weeding Gang” (words by CEJ Ramcharitar-Lalla) and “There Runs a Dream”. She also composed music for Martin Carter’s “Let Freedom Wake Him”. Valerie Rodway died in 1970.

and “Out of School”. Initially sent to be in Guyana for six months, she ended up spending almost a lifetime – some 54 years – instead. Sr Rose Magdalene died in Trinidad, where she had returned after retirement, on Apr 25, 2011.

Dave Martins

at Lamaha Street, Georgetown Guyana in 1950. It was while she later taught both academics

Guyana-born Dave Martins of the Tradewinds fame is often synonymous with what he calls “win’ down music”, but after pleas from the late Pat Cameron in the 70s to compose something about a boundary dispute that arose, he came up with one of the most famous patriotic songs of modern times in Guyana, “Not a Blade of Grass”, and later, after being inspired by the audience at

and music at the St Mary’s Junior School in New Amsterdam that her talent in teaching and music stood out. She founded The Marigold Choir, a children’s choir, in September 1990, which rose to international recognition. Sr. Rose Magdalene’s compositions that reflect Guyanese life and nationality include, “The Berbice Ferry”, “The Golden Arrowhead”, “Children of Guyana”, “The Mango Sellers”, “In an Aeroplane”, “My Kitchen Garden”

a Guyana Night performance, wrote, “Is We Own”. There are also several other notable writers and composers of Guyana’s national songs such as M. A. Cossou who penned “My Native Land”; George Noel: “To Serve My Country” and “Treat All Guyanese Equally”; RCG Potter: “Way Down Demerara” and “A Song of Hope”; Frank Daniels who wrote the music to Cleveland Hamilton’s “Song of the Republic”; W. HawleyBryant: “The Song of Guyana’s Children”; Hugh Sam: “River Song”; W.R.A. Pilgrim: “Let Us Cooperate” and “Salute to Guyana”; Jodina: “BlueSaki” and “Citizen Man”; Hilton Hemerding: “Beautiful Guyana” and Walter E Hewick: “On The Banks of The Kako River”.

Sr Rose Magdalene

Valerie Rodway is perhaps best known for her musical composition pieces set to Vere T Daly’s, “Hymn for Guyana’s Children”; “Arise, Guyana” by J W Chinapen; Walter MacArthur Lawrence’s “O Beautiful Guyana” and

Sister Rose (Magdalene) D’Ornellas was a Sister of the Community of Carmelite Sisters, former Folk Research Officer in the Department of Culture, and social activist in the cultural community of Guyana. She was born Elaine Mary D’Ornellas on Oct. 30, 1923 and joined the Carmelites in Trinidad on Jan. 10, 1946. She was assigned to the St Bernadette’s Hostel for Girls

Preserving our heritage through pictures


British Guiana Railways, Demerara 1921



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Giving back: Helping with sports, community development T

he Bannas Foundation has been in existence since 1997. It promotes youth and community development by providing a reliable, organised means of participation in a range of recreational and social activities in the U.S. and Guyana. The founders of the organisation, Keith “Roddy” Walcott, Kevin “Jahman” Walcott, Johnny “Overseas” Barnwell and Clarence “Starry” Coleridge, athletes who have all been involved in the development of sports in Guyana in varying aspects, felt the need to contribute in some way to the development of youths in their homeland. It is not surprising that the Bannas Foundation chose the arena of sports development as its main focus. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Keith “Roddy” Walcott stated that in 1999, their mission was expanded to include community development because they felt it nec-

Donating sports and school supplies to students in Guyana

essary to do something about the children playing basketball and football in the Meadow Brook Garden streets. “A dangerous activity for both drivers and players, it was this same problem that had galvanised Meadow Brook Boys and

Bannas Foundation awards young football players

Girls Club about 25 years ago to actively campaign to have a recreational field erected in their community. The club had attempted clearing the ground themselves but to no avail. They held fundraisers to raise the necessary capital to have the field cleared, but the success of having a playfield in the area still eluded the community. Today, residential dwellings have been erected on the old playfield. As a result, the Bannas Foundation decided to undertake the responsibility of rehabilitating the Meadow Brook/Backlands playing field and another field in the adjoining Lodge Backlands community,” Walcott disclosed. This effort by the foundation resulted in the birth of the ‘Fields of Dreams Project’ which has its focus on community development. Walcott said the Bannas Foundation in the U.S. does its work in Beltsville, Maryland. In the beginning, the foundation’s team was tasked with providing football (soccer) equipment for the organisation in Guyana. In fact, it still

collects used equipment and donates trophies to ship to Guyana, where Kevin (Keith’s brother), and Johnny Barnwell would organise football and basketball tournaments. Walcott pointed out that the foundation has started its soccer programme in Maryland, where it provides training to more than 40 girls and boys. “Our mission is to make playing soccer an easy process, since sometime location, and finances can make it difficult to get involved. We run an all-year programme. In the fall and spring in the U.S., we play in an outdoor league, in the winter we play indoors, and in the summer we do a 6-week summer programme. In the last year, we have started a shuttle service to get some of the kids to practice and games. Hopefully, in the future, we can bring a team to Guyana. As we progress, we want to become more diverse in our mission, and focus on community, as well as youth development through recreational and social activities,” Walcott

outlined. Additionally, Kevin Walcott, the foundation’s project coordinator

tirelessly at expanding the current sports and recreational programmes in the Meadow Brook/ Lodge Backlands community. “We’re constantly donating to our communities, helping with sports development in Guyana. We grew up in the Meadow Brook area, and my brother and I decided we wanted to give back to our community and create opportunities in the sports field for our youths. This we have been doing not only in Guyana but in the U.S. One of our vital projects in Guyana is providing school supplies. Every September we organise a back-to-school event where the youths of the foundation are given school supplies. This we hope will encourage them not only to be star athletes but also star academics,” Kevin noted. For more informa-

In the U.S., Keith encourages his students to be the best in their game

in Guyana, told Sunday Magazine that the organisation is working

tion on the Bannas Foundation, call 2267599. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Language of enslaved...

from page 45

PP Different peoples, various skills, changing ethnicities; changing values too? VC Different and similar; similar religious values and common linguistic root. We must bear in mind, Africa is not a static society, it’s a huge continent where people are moving up and down, but you would find a linguistic continu-

ity. PP Many of the enslaved peoples who came, they came from highly civilised, advanced societies. Many too were royalties, others highly regarded and respected. How were they able to deal with this transition from that lofty position to lowly slave labourer? VC That is difficult

to answer but in any society, you will find social classes. The leadership class is always very small, so in wars, when people are captured and sold into enslavement, you would find some of the ruling class and you would find some who are the working class, the foot soldiers. I would say that is diversity. Now to the question of how they

were able to cope with work in this new space. Walter Rodney talks about enslaved Africans humanising the coast of Demerara, the coast of Guyana. He said with shovel in hand moving over a million tons of waterlogged clay. That is serious work. So when we look at the humanising of the coast of Guyana, we have to think of that

nature of work, tending to agriculture – that is a standard thing. The nature of the work, the conditions of work, the abusiveness of work showed that they were a people who worked very hard. (TO BE CONTINUED) What’s happening: • The Guyana Annual 2012-2013 magazine is now available

at Guyenterprise Ltd and at city bookstores. This issue of the magazine is dedicated to E. R. Braithwaite. The magazine also features articles on copyright, law of intellectual property, creative industries and the future of books. • Coming soon: “An Introduction to Guyanese Literature” by Petamber Persaud.



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‘The Lunchbox’ wins at Madhuri Dixit introduces film fest in Amsterdam ‘dancercise’



he audience at the World Cinema Amsterdam Film Festival chose Indian director Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’ as the best film of the 2013 edition, according to reports from IANS. Co-produced by Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga, among others, the movie was awarded the World Cinema Amsterdam

Audience Award at the fest, which was held from August 7 – 18. According to the official website of the festival, the movie won with as many as 4,396 votes, followed by international films such as ‘Gloria’, ‘Songs of Redemption’, ‘Le Passe’ and ‘Het Geheim van Marienburg’. The film, which stars Indian actors

Irrfan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, will be release in the Netherlands on December 12. ‘The Lunchbox’ had also won Critics’ Week Viewers Choice Award at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival held earlier this year. In India, the movie will be released September 20. (Times of India)

adhuri Dixit Nene who had started an online dance academy for keen learners to master the art, has now come up with ‘dancercise’, a fusion of dance and exercise, according to TNN reports. A source said, “Staying fit is the mantra of today and it can be fun when you combine dance and exercise to stay in shape. The actress’ online dance academy will now have a new module, dancercise, a combination of dance and exercise, introducing a fun way of staying in shape.” Madhuri has incorpo-


aran Johar takes a step forward to end all rumours about Kareena and Hrithik back together


as an on-screen couple and transforms it in to a fact. He recently announced that the actors are a part of Dharma

he trailer of ‘Krrish 3’ is garnering stupendous response from viewers on YouTube. The promo has already crossed the 13 million mark on the social video website, according to IANS reports. Action-packed and laced with amazing special effects, ‘Krrish 3’ has even left behind two huge Hollywood blockbusters – ‘Thor’ and ‘The Avengers’. While ‘The Avengers’ promo was seen almost 6 million times on YouTube, ‘Thor’ had received more than 4 million views. Hrithik Roshan plays a superhero in this third film of the franchise which began with ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ in 2003, followed by ‘Krrish’ in 2006. Directed by Rakesh Roshan, ‘Krrish 3’ is slated for a November 4 release. (Bollywood Celebden)

gime will assure a great workout and help to tone your entire body. (Times of India)

Amrita Rao proud of performance in ‘Satyagraha’

Hrithik and Kareena for A love story ‘Shuddhi’ Production’s next project, ‘Shuddhi’ which will be directed by Karan Malhotra. The movie is said to be a reincarnation-based love story in a dramatic form and Karan Johar believes that both of the actors are best suited for the roles and that they will be able to create the chemistry required for the movie. The duo was last seen onscreen a decade back and are excited to be a part of this new venture. The shooting for the movie is yet to begin and once it starts, ‘Shuddhi’ is filed to release in October next year. (Bollywood Celebden)

rated her famous signature steps to make the exercise sessions more interesting and the re-

fter playing docile roles in ‘Ishq Vishk’, ‘Vivah’ and ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur’, actress Amrita Rao is gearing up to show her rebellious streak in Prakash Jha’s ‘Satyagraha’. Though, the 32-yearold actress is happy about her previous roles, Amrita says she is particularly “proud” of her performance in the upcoming political-thriller. “I have done a lot of

films which I am happy about, but this one (Satyagraha) I am proud of. As an actress it is a privilege to play someone representing the youth of our country. It is such a sensitive subject... It almost felt like I was living the angst of the youth. There were moments while shooting, where everyone felt frustrated seeing what is happening in our nation today,” Amrita told PTI. Amrita describes her

character in ‘Satyagraha’ as a morally upright and strong girl from a small town who represents the “aam aadmi”. ‘Satyagraha’ deals with the movement of the middle class against corruption. With a stellar star cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpai and Kareena Kapoor Khan. The movie is set to hit the theatres on August 30. (Times of India)

Amitabh and Rishi team up after 22 years


hey were part of the cast of ‘Delhi-6’; however, the duo didn’t have any scenes together. But Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor will face each other on the big screen after 22 years to play friends who have not spoken to each other for 25 years, in Sudhir Mishra’s ‘Mehrunissa’. The duo, who were last seen together in Shashi Kapoor-directed 1991 film ‘Ajooba’, will go through a period of re-

hearsals and workshops to play two hostile friends in Mishra’s film, according to IANS. According to a source close to the project: “The two friends, one a Muslim and the other a Hindu, fell out because they were both in love with the same girl. Now 25 years later, they will confront each other.” Mishra wants the two actors to get comfortable being uncomfortable with one another. “Bachchan saab and

Rishiji have to project the friction of two people, two friends who know one another so well that they can remain bonded even without talking for so many years,” added the source. Chitrangda Singh plays the girl they both love. But most of her scenes would be with the actors who play the young Amitabh and Rishi. Mishra will begin shooting the film in September. (Bollywood Celebden)



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Big names among stars headed to Toronto film festival


ORONTO – Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Hugh Jackman are among the A-listers heading to next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, a glitzy parade organisers touted Tuesday as ground zero for those seeking awards season glory. Festival organisers say this year’s star-packed guest list also includes Sandra Bullock, Marion Cotillard, Daniel Radcliffe, Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Wiig. The roster emerged as the final films were announced for the 11day movie marathon, bringing the final count to 288 features and 78 shorts bound for the fest. “I think that unquestionably Toronto is now positioned as one

of the key — if not the key — festivals for awards-season launch, so of course many of the stars will come to the festival as well as the major directors,” festival director

Piers Handling said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. “They’ve looked at the track record of Toronto over the last 15, 20 years, which is very impressive. Many films go on to multiple nominations and we’ve had a track record of picking best picture as well as many of the best actors over the years.” Toronto has done particularly well in predicting awards success for foreign-language films, Handling added, noting that over the last 25 years, 24 of the Oscar winners in that category screened at TIFF. The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15 and opens with the WikiLeaks drama ‘The Fifth Estate’. (Yahoo OMG!)

Hugh Jackman dismisses rumours of multimillion dollar ‘Wolverine’ deal


ugh Jackman has dismissed reports that he was being courted for a US$100 million deal for four more movies in the Wolverine franchise. The latest outing by Jackman's clawed mutant is still running in theatres but the 44-yearold actor, who embarks on a strict diet and exercise regime to prepare

for the role every time, said he would not go into that space without any good reason, reported Entertainment Weekly. "No it's not true," Jackman said. The actor is currently in Montreal shooting for next summer's highly anticipated ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’. "I would never do that. I've never done that

Dick Van Dyke saved from burning car in LA


eteran actor Dick Van Dyke survived a car fire without apparent injury on Monday, after his Jaguar burst into flames on a Los Angeles area freeway. According to the California Highway Patrol, the 87-year-old actor, who is known for his television series the ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’, was driving near the

suburb of Calabasas when his car caught fire, reported. The man who rescued him told the publication that he himself was driving along the 101 highway when he saw a car full of smoke on the side of the road and an elderly man hunched over at the wheel. The man said that he ran over and rescued the actor on time.

The ‘Mary Poppins’ star’s wife later tweeted that her husband is “fine”. (Times of India)

Naomi Watts plays Princess Diana in new movie


rincess Diana’s life and death has probably been one of the most discussed in the media over the years. Gracing the cover of Vanity Fair’s September issue, Princess Di continues to live on as the people’s princess. The magazine pays a tribute to the late princess’ upcoming biopic simply titled ‘Diana’ starring Naomi Watts. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the first full trailer for the film has been released. Diana’s trailer shows Watts as the much loved royal, mother of Prince William and Harry and the lover of a certain cardiologist Dr Hasnat Khan. Rumoured to be Diana’s last true love, Khan met her a short two years before her tragic death. The trailer, that released recently, has brought the Aussie actress many compliments for her performance. “Watts, donning a blonde wig, ex-

udes the grace and elegance the late princess was known for, portraying Diana during a tumultuous time in her life,” commends The Daily Beast. “Playing Princess Diana was the hardest thing I’ve done. I wanted to try to embody her and get the essence of her,” Watts told the tabloid. The film is scheduled to open on September 20 in the U.K., just a few weeks after the 16th anniversary of Her Royalty’s death. (Hindustan Times)

mainly because, for the fans and for me, each time I've gone around there's been a really good reason to do it and I don't know what that reason is from here. I'm in the middle of making this and I just promoted the other and I'm really happy with the way ‘The Wolverine’ came out," he added. (Hindustan Times)

Steve Job’s partner criticises new Ashton Kutcher movie


teve Wozniak has criticised Ashton Kutcher’s latest movie ‘Jobs’, based on Apple founder Steve Jobs. ‘Jobs’, which stars Kutcher as the late Apple boss, has received mixed reviews from critics. Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, talked about the movie, saying, “I saw ‘Jobs’ tonight. I thought the acting throughout was good. I was attentive and entertained but not greatly enough to recommend the movie. I suspect a lot of what was wrong with the film came from Ashton’s own image of Jobs.” The tech innovator also addressed Kutcher’s recent claim that Wozniak was being paid to criticise ‘Jobs’, calling his statements “disingenuous and wrong”, reported Huffington Post. “These are examples of Ashton still being in character. I was turned off by the ‘Jobs’ script. But I still hoped for a great movie.” (Hindustan Times)

Lindsay Lohan determined to stay sober


ctress Lindsay Lohan says she feels “whole” after completing her stint at a rehabilitation centre recently. The 26-year-old was ordered a 90-day stay at the Cliffside Malibu rehab centre for her alcohol addiction. She was discharged July 31. Lohan is keen on keeping herself sober now, reports Talking about her new life on Oprah Winfrey’s show ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’, Lohan said: “I feel whole again and I have such a desire to want to keep this feeling and stay this way, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes.” Lohan will also appear on an eight-part documentary on her life for Winfrey’s channel Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which will air next year. (Times of India)



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Usain Bolt seals place in World Championship history


Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin in the men’s 4x100m relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images)

sain Bolt guided Jamaica to victory in the sprint relay in Moscow to become the most successful athlete in the history of the World Championships on Sunday. The 26-yearold added 4x100m gold to his 100m and 200m triumphs and now has a total of eight golds and two silvers. Carl Lewis and Allyson Felix also have 10 medals but have eight golds, one silver and a bronze respectively. Jamaica won in 37.36 seconds with the United States second and Canada third after Great Britain was disqualified. Britain finished third but lost their bronze af-

ter an appeal was lodged against their second changeover. However, the women’s relay team was later promoted to the bronzemedal position after France was disqualified for a similar infringement. Bolt’s latest triumph meant he joined Americans Michael Johnson, Felix and Lewis on a record-equalling eight world titles overall. The 100m and 200m world record holder also secured a sprint triple in World Championships for the second time, matching the trebles he completed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. “It is just great,” Bolt

said of the comparison. “I’ll continue dominating. I’ll continue to work hard. For me, my aim is to continue into the greatness thing.” The United States team gave the Jamaicans a scare but Rakieem Salaam’s handover to Justin Gatlin left the individual 100m runner-up off balance. He clearly strayed into the Jamaicans’ lane outside him but somehow escaped disqualification. It made no difference to Bolt, who streaked clear to complete victory in the sixth-fastest time ever. “I wasn’t really worried about Justin. I knew if he got the baton in front of me, I could catch him,”

Bolt said. “So it was just going out there to run as fast as possible.” Bolt delighted the

baton in time and the team was disqualified 30 minutes after the race. Jamaica also won the women’s 4x100m relay to give Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce her third gold medal of the competition. Carrie Russell, Kerron Stewart, Schillonie Calvert and Fraser-Pryce won in a championship record 41.29 seconds. Britain was second at the final changeover but Hayley Jones was overhauled by France and the United States and finished in fourth place. However, Britain’s protest was upheld two hours later and the

and bronzes to hurdler Tiffany Porter and both women’s relay teams. In other finals, Teddy Tamgho jumped 18.04m – becoming only the third man to clear 18 metres - to take gold in a high-quality triple jump competition which ended with Olympic champion Christian Taylor in fourth. Kenya secured two golds with Asbel Kiprop retaining his 1500m crown and Eunice Sum surging through to deny Russia’s Mariya Savinova back-toback 800m titles, while Germany’s Christina Obergfoll, a two-time silver medallist, finally

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (left) also won her third gold medal, in the women’s 4x100 relay, giving Jamaica a sweep of the six sprint events at the world championships

crowd with a celebratory Cossack dance before parading round the track with teammates Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade. The British quartet also celebrated wildly after finishing third, but James Ellington and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey failed to exchange the

team of Dina Asher Smith, Ashleigh Nelson, Annabelle Lewis and Jones could finally celebrate a medal, with the United States promoted to silver. It meant Britain finished the championships with six medals in total, with golds going to Mo Farah (two) and Christine Ohuruogu

won javelin gold. Russia finished top of the medal table with seven golds while the United States won six, although the Americans secured 27 medals in total to the hosts’ 17. Jamaica also claimed six golds, Kenya five, Germany four and Ethiopia and Britain three. (BBC Sport)

Guyana and T&T name squads for two T20 matches


he Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Boards have named their respective squads for the two T20 matches scheduled for August 30 and 31 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence. The games are organised as part of preparations for the Trinidad and Tobago team ahead of their participation in the T20 Champions League in India from September 17 to October 6. Meanwhile, the GCB has also organised one exhibition match each day starting from 14:00hrs. The feature match begins at 19:00h and tickets for the game cost Gy$1000. Guyana team reads: Trevon Griffith, Robin Bacchus, Leon Johnson, Ramnaresh Sarwan,

Ramnaresh Sarwan

Narsingh Deonarine, Christopher Barnwell, Steven Jacobs, Anthony Bramble, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Rajiv Ivan, Paul Wintz, Keon Joseph, and Zaheer Mohamed. The coach is Esau Crandon, while the assistant coach is Orin Bailey. The manager is Alvin Johnson. Trinidad and Tobago team reads: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Yannic Ottley, Jason

Lendl Simmons

Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin, Nicholas Pooran, Adrian Barath, Samuel Badree, Sherwin Ganga, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Shannon Gabriel, Navin Stewart, Rayad Emrit, and Darren Bravo. The technical team consists of Dudnath Ramkeesoon, Omar Khan, David Williams, Kelvin Williams, Oba Gulston, and Denesh Mahabir.


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Star of the week

Actor Gerard Butler supports Tallawahs



imble, Chaplinesque right-hander Ramnaresh Sarwan, born June 23, 1980, was brought up on the island of Wakenaam. As his passion for cricket intensified, Sarwan developed his game and was popularly known as a promising cricketer who played with fervour and represented his homeland well. On his first tour to England in 2000, Sarwan lived up to the hype by topping the averages. His footwork, which seemed to require no early trigger movements, was strikingly confident and precise. In the 2009 home series against England, Sarwan recorded his personal best of 291 in the first innings of the fourth Test, equalling the highest score for the West Indies made by Sir Vivian Richards. He scored his 15th Test century against England at Chester-le-Street in May of the same year but West Indies lost the series 2-0. A recent notable appointment was being made captain for the Guyana Amazon Warriors to compete in the ongoing Limacol CPL T20 tournaments. So far, he has led his team with great valour resulting in victories. (Excerpted from ESPN Cricinfo)

TT’s Jehue Gordon...

from page 52

Championships, that started 30 years ago in 1983. Ato Boldon won TT’s first gold medal in 1997 with victory in the 200m. “It was just an unbelievable feeling being there to experience it. It was a dream of mine and the team with me and it felt so great and made me so very proud for everyone who has supported me,” Gordon said. “When the national anthem was being played, I felt as if, yes, this is for my country, this is for the people of TT and this is to show that we can achieve success with the work from local coaches, Dr Ian Hypolite and Edwin Skinner,” Gordon indicated. “I was a little nervous but just to receive the medal and to experience this makes me want to do more. This is great incentive to continue to learn and to continue to listen, and I hope that others in TT can use the success that we had in this event to inspire them as well,” said a focused Gordon. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)


Jehue Gordon

i n g s t o n , JAMAICA – The excitement and fun of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League continues to appeal to Hollywood celebrities with officials announcing that actor Gerard Butler has taken an equity interest in the Jamaica Tallawahs team, and hopes to be supporting his team at the semi-final and final in Trinidad & Tobago. “My good friend Ajmal Khan has been telling me about the Limacol CPL and I’ve had the opportunity to watch some of the matches. It is obvious that this tournament is the home of the greatest party in sport so I wanted to get in on the fun,” said Butler. “Having said that, as a Scotsman I definitely have an appreciation for cricket and I also recognise that the LCPL is a great combination of sports and entertainment. I’m excited about joining the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise, and hopefully being a part of the team that wins the inaugural tournament.” Ajmal Khan, Chairman of Verus International and Founder of the Limacol CPL stated, “Celebrities owning sports teams is nothing new but to have two Hollywood actors taking a vested interest in cricket teams is quite novel. The Limacol CPL continues to attract that

Gerard Butler

‘star power’. I think it’s a testament to the quality of the tournament, the carnival party atmosphere, the music, the entertainment, the fans, and the experience that only the Caribbean can deliver. “We’re just a few days away from the semi-finals and final but the interest in, and desire to be a part of the Limacol CPL is still there because the tournament just keeps getting better with every game that’s played. I am excited to have my good friend Gerry come to the Limacol CPL to join the party.” “We are thrilled that Gerard has seen the enormous potential of the Limacol CPL and has taken an equity interest in the Jamaica Tallawahs,” said Limacol CPL Chief Executive Officer Damien O’Donohoe. “Now that the tournament has ac-

tually started, I think more people are realising its global appeal, and how it is an experience like no other. Celebrities such as Gerard further raise the profile of the tournament, and expand the fan base to reach new markets. We look forward to seeing the many ways in which this partnership will benefit both Gerard and the LCPL.” Butler’s next movie, How To Train Your Dragon 2, comes out in 2014. He is best known for his roles in films such as Olympus Has Fallen, 300, Law Abiding Citizen, The Ugly Truth, P. S. I Love You, and sports themed movies - Chasing Mavericks (surfing) and Playing for Keeps (soccer). The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League began on 30 July in Barbados, and concludes on Saturday in Trinidad. (CPL)



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Guyanese cricketers continue to shine in Canada By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto


everal Guyanese cricketers continue to dominate in Canada after a number of impressive, individual performances over the weekend for the annual Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite and Premier divisions at King City ground. Former Guyana Under-19 captain Eugene LaFluer captured a five-wicket haul in the Premier League division for Victoria Parks Cricket Club while his compatriot Travis Blyden chalked up an attractive century (122*) for Civics Cricket Club. Soraine Durand

also waltzed his way to an unbeaten 118 for Vikings while former Guyana and West Indies batsman Royston Crandon turned in with a fine all-round performance for Vikings making 33 runs and picking up three wickets. Left-arm orthodox spinner LaFluer spun web around Mississauga Ramblers batsmen to collect five wickets for four runs from his economical four-over spell. In another game, he snatched three wickets to help Victoria Park beat Lords by 17 runs. His team batted first and made 179 all out with former Canada Under-19 batsman Ryan Lall topscoring with 61. Islanders Cricket Club had mixed for-

Eugene LaFluer

Travis Blyden

tunes on Saturday and Sunday. They lost to Brampton by a massive 182-run margin while they rebounded on Sunday to defeat Toronto Cricket Club by five wickets. Former Guyana Under-19 and Canada fast bowler Eion Katchay proved his bat-

ting capability by making a fighting 44 on Saturday while Shan Shadrose compiled 46 runs the following day. Meanwhile, Blyden, who has scored four centuries this year so far in different competitions, expressed delight with his form, thanking former Guyana and West

Indies batsman Keith Semple for his support. Semple, who captained Guyana at the highest level, was with him on 33 while fellow Guyanese Fredi Pestano chipped in with 30. Offspinner Elton Baker, another Guyanese, grabbed four wickets for 19 runs from five overs when they bowled out the opposition cheaply. Ex-West Indies opening batsman Ryan Ramdass also showed rich form with his consistency in the Etobicoke and District Cricket League with another composed halfcentury (69) on Sunday. The right-hander so far has cracked two centuries, including a double, and four half- centuries.

Other Guyanese Ricardo Jadunauth, Dominick Rikhi, Anthony D’Andrade, Rajindra Chandrika, H a r r i n a r i n e and Hemnarine Chattergoon, Krishna Deosaran, Ian Gonsalves, Zaheer Haniff, Trevor Henry, Rakesh Goberdhan, Trevor Garraway, Garvin Singh, Ejaz Mohamed, Wasim Haslim, Arjune Nandu, Troy Gobin, Kenneth Wong, Rovendra Mandolall, Damodar Daesrath, Jeremy Gordon, among others are plying their trade in the competition as well. The action continues on Saturday and Sunday with a number of matches across the Greater Toronto Area.

Guyana cops overall squash title at Caribbean championships


he Digicel Senior Caribbean Squash Championships concluded Saturday with Guyana winning the overall title while Barbados won the veterans’ title at the Georgetown Club squash courts. Guyana also copped the men’s and women’s team title. In the final set of men’s team matches Guyana beat Jamaica 4-1, Cayman Islands, who placed second in the men’s race, defeated Barbados 4-1 and Trinidad and Tobago got the better of OECS 3-2. For Guyana, Jamaal Callender defeated Julian Morrison 11-8,119,11-7, Jason Ray Khalil

defeated Bruce Levy 115,11-5,11-9, Sunil Seth lost to Chris Binnie 11-9,6-11,1-11,6-11, Alex Arjoon beat Dane Schwier 3-11,11-7,115,11-6 and Richard Chin beat Bruce Burrowes 113,11-9,9-11,11-2. In the Cayman Islands/Barbados matchup Julian Jervis beat Zaki Williams 11-1,114,11-7, Daniel Murphy lost to Stewart St John 11-8,6-11,7-11,11-8,1012, Mark Chaloner beat Gavin Cumberbatch 11-3,11-4,11-4, Gabby Rabess beat Rhett Cumberbatch 6-11,119,11-8,9-11,12-10 and Cameron Stafford beat Shawn Simpson 11-6,116,11 5. Paul De Verteuil of

Action on the last day of the competition at Georgetown Club squash courts

TT beat Jason Doyle 11-9, 5-11,11-7,11-5, his compatriot Chase Mc Quan beat Deion Anselm 11-8,11-4,11-9, and Kale

Wilson beat Jules Snagg 11-5,11-8,11-5. Mandela Patrick lost to OECS’s Kevin Bailey 3-11,115,11-7,7-11,6-11 while Don Lee went down to Kevin Hannaway 5-11,911,8-11. On the distaff side, Guyana played Barbados

and defeated them 4-1. Guyanese Ashley De Groot was the only casualty when she lost to Nadia Mc Carthy 4-11,11-9,11-8,3-11,7-11. However, Keisha Jeffrey beat Amanda Haywood 11-5,11-6,118, Nicolette Fernandes beat Karen Meakins 11-5,11-2,11-7, Mary Fung-A-Fat beat Gylla Mckenzie 11-7,11-6,11-7 and Ashley Khalil beat Alex Jordon 11-8,113,11-6. In the veterans’ game played on Saturday, Ayoni Bradshaw of Barbados defeated Janet Sairsingh of the Cayman Islands 11-5,11-6,211,11-9. OECS also beat TT 3-2 in the men’s veteran category. OECS Winston Findley lost to Richard Hart 9-11, 8-11,4-11 while his countryman James Bentick

rebounded to beat Peter Pirtheesingh 11-6,114,11-1. Keith Boyea lost by walkover to John Holley, Sherian Slater won by walkover and Monique Lovell won by walkover. Final team results: Men’s Winner: Guyana; Second: Cayman Islands; Third: Jamaica; Fourth: Trinidad and Tobago; Fifth: Barbados; Sixth: OECS. Women’s Team Winner: Guyana; Second: Barbados; Third: Jamaica.Veterans Winner: Barbados Second: Guyana; Third: OECS; Fourth: Trinidad and Tobago. Overall Team Winner: Guyana; Second: Barbados; Third: Jamaica; Fourth: Trinidad and Tobago; Fifth: OECS; Sixth: Cayman Islands. The championship was powered by Powerade and Smalta.

TT’s Jehue Gordon wants more success


o stopping Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon as he seeks more success after his spectacular showing at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. The 21-year-old arrived in London Monday to compete in two more meets before he returns to TT in September. “I am looking forward to this. We have some commitments now in Europe that have been finalised and that I will be participating in,” said the 21-year-old Gordon. “There is still work

to do on the track. I have to remain focused and therefore I am looking forward to this. Of course winning this means that people will be aware of me more, but that is just part of success, the important point is to keep focused and the team around me is making certain of that,” he added. His gold medal in the Men’s 400 metres hurdles final, propelled TT to joint 12th place on the medal table with Colombia, New Zealand, Croatia, Sweden, Ireland and Uganda. Host Russia made

full use of home advantage and topped the table with 17 medals—seven gold, four silver and six bronze. USA was second with six gold medals, 14 silver and five bronze, 25 in total; while Jamaica was third, matching the Americans six gold with two silver and a bronze to tally nine medals overall. Gordon last Friday stood on the medal rostrum, holding his hand to his heart and sang along as the national anthem of TT was played for only the second time in the history of these continued on page 51



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Hafeez hopes to be back for LCPL after stint with Guyana Amazon Warriors “I know my replacement (Lasith) Malinga is coming into the side and I hope his arrival will give us more confidence to lift the trophy,” he said. “The belief in each other is a strength of our team and I hope we can continue that belief. I wish and believe this tournament belongs to Guyana and I hope in the last two matches the boys will finish the games for me and the Guyana people.” The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League concludes on Saturday; the two semi-finals take place on Thursday and Friday in Trinidad.


Mohammad Hafeez

t John’s, ANTIGUA – Pakistan T w e n t y 2 0 International captain Mohammad Hafeez has said he would love to return for next year’s Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) after piloting the Guyana Amazon Warriors to the semi-finals of the inaugural tournament. Hafeez blasted a spectacular unbeaten 50 from just 23 balls against the Antigua Hawksbills on Saturday night, his last action before linking up with the Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe. It sealed an impressive league campaign for the Warriors who topped the six team table with five wins from seven matches and they now face Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in the first semi-final at the Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday. “It all depends on the international schedule (next year) but if I can then I will definitely come back,” said Hafeez. “To be honest, I was very sure the Limacol CPL tournament would be a success because the crowd here is very passionate about cricket. The crowd response to the whole tournament has been exceptional. We saw that, and I personally believe the tournament will get more and more success.” Hafeez said he was fully committed to the Pakistan cause but his departure ahead of the business end of the tournament left him with a bittersweet feeling after having a thoroughly enjoyable time as part of a successful squad. “I am definitely sad to be leaving and I am going to miss it but inter-

national duties always come first,” he said. “I was happy to join and in the same way I am happy that I am leaving on a happy note. The (Guyana Amazon Warriors) team is a very good one, the franchise is good and the teammates are happy and supporting each other. “Martin Guptill, James Franklin, Sunil Narine, RamnareshSarwan, these players are all top players and it has been great to get together and play for each other, and (coach Curtly) Ambrose is a great cricketer who gives us lots of confidence before and after each game, always encouraging us.” Hafeez signed off with a spectacular display of high-class hitting to dump the Hawksbills out of the competition, blasting two fours and four sixes in his swansong match for the season, and breaking the hearts of the majority of the capacity crowd at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. He got his side home despite an asking rate that never dipped below ten runs per over all the time he was at the crease. “When I went in I knew I had to take a chance but in a technical way,” he said. “If I tried too hard I knew I wouldn’t get it (right). James Franklin played a good role. Early on he shifted the momentum, then I was thinking to believe in myself, playing to my strengths. I tried and it worked for me.” And does he now think the Warriors’ name is on the trophy for the inaugural event?


week ending august 25, 2013 |



week ending august 25, 2013 |

Guptill hopes Limacol CPL serves as shop window for New Zealand cricket


t John’s, ANTIGUA – New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill hopes the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) has acted as a shop window to help sell the best of his country’s cricket to the rest of the world. The Black Caps have struggled to convince other countries to provide them with lengthy international engagements, especially at Test level, something spoken of last week by fastbowling legend Sir Richard Hadlee. However, with Guptill, who has been put on the injury list for the remainder of the inaugural tournament with a broken bone in his right hand, and James Franklin impressing for the Guyana Amazon Warriors and former national captain Ross Taylor slotting into the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel line-up, Guptill hopes the Limacol CPL has helped to lift New Zealand’s global cricketing profile. “James Franklin and I have had reasonably successful tournaments (for Guyana Amazon

Warriors),” he said. “It puts us out there and hopefully people will take notice. From what I read, Sir Richard’s comments were more to do with (New Zealand’s limited amount of) Test cricket than anything else and we are struggling a little in the Test game at the moment. “The only way we can get better is by playing more Tests and if that can come in the next few years and we can keep developing as a team then who knows where we can go from there,” he added. The Warriors ended up topping the group stages of the six-team LCPL with five wins from seven matches, earning themselves a semi-final date with the Red Steel at the Queen’s Park Oval today (Thursday) as a result. Despite his injury and the loss of Pakistan Twenty20 International captain Mohammad Hafeez to national duty in Zimbabwe, Guptill said he still believed the Warriors could still go all the way and win the title with Sri Lanka’s Lasith

Martin Guptill

Malinga drafted in and newcomer likely to replace Guptill himself (Tillakaratne Dilshan was announced as his replacement shortly after this interview). “I definitely think we can,” he said. “We showed we can with our

chase of a decent total against Antigua (on Saturday night). We got to the last ball and we came through. The spirit is good in the camp and hopefully we can take that forward to the semifinal and hopefully the final.”

Guptill has actually been filling a dual role in the Warriors camp – opening the batting and also acting as a spy in the camp, trying to pick up some inside information on West Indies players ahead of the Caribbean side’s tour of New Zealand set to start in November. That information has included an attempt to decipher the skills of mystery spinner Sunil Narine, his Warriors team-mate although, as Guptill admitted, trying to crack Narine’s code and read his spin has been anything but easy. “I have only faced him once in the nets and he was only bowling off-spin then so I do not know what is going to happen when he comes to New Zealand at the end of the year,” he said. “I have been trying to see when he bowls how he does what he does but it is pretty hard to pick it up.” One thing Guptill is sure about, however, is how much he has enjoyed the tournament and how much he wants to come back next year. “It has been a hell of a lot

of fun,” he said. “Everyone has got behind it really well and it has been fantastic. “In the dressing room it has been pretty cool as you see these guys (like coach Curtly Ambrose, captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, Narine and Hafeez) on TV but you never meet them and then to be part of the same team (is great) as we have got along really well. “We have gelled as a team pretty quickly and it has been fantastic. “I have absolutely loved it. It has been a great atmosphere with the crowds; we have had packed houses pretty much everywhere we have been and I would love to (come back). “It all depends on the scheduling of New Zealand’s future tours and when they are going to schedule the Limacol CPL but hopefully there will be a gap in our schedule and I will be able to come back and play some more cricket,” he added. The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League ends on Saturday. (CPL)

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

week ending august 25, 2013

Malik predicts “huge” future for Limacol CPL


ort of Spain, TRINIDAD – Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik of the Barbados Tridents has said he expects the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) to become “huge” after the success of the ongoing inaugural tournament. Malik has been one of the stars of the show as the leading batsman with 223 runs from seven innings, as well as three wickets, and his side – led by Kieron Pollard is getting ready to face Chris Gayle’s Jamaica Tallawahs in Friday’s second semi-final. Having played cricket all around the world – including for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League - he has no doubts about the qual-

ity of the current tournament and its potential for longevity. “After the IPL and the Big Bash League you can take this as third (in the world) and it is just the first year,” he said. “The response from the West Indies people has been awesome. Whenever you are playing a league it is about people coming to the ground; that is the key to success, and I have seen that here. “People have been coming from everywhere. I was talking to the Jamaica players and they were saying ‘We were not expecting much of a crowd in Jamaica’, but we played there and even in a day game I saw the ground full and energetic. “It is a great thing. I went out to dinner with

(Muttiah) Muralitharan here in Trinidad and people met us and said they had tickets for the rest of the games here. “A few said ‘We do not follow cricket but we are still coming to support our team’. “It is just the first year but I would give these guys credit for the way this has been handled and organised. I am sure next year it will be even better, it will be huge. That is what all the overseas players are expecting,” he added. For Malik, the Limacol CPL has been something of a re-birth. Having slipped out of international reckoning for Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe he has not only been a star with the bat but has also featured prominently with the

ball, relishing pitches that have often assisted the slower bowlers. “I was struggling with my shoulder and my elbow but I have had surgery for my elbow and I have worked hard in the gym every day,” he said. “Now I am absolutely fine. I can even bowl 30 overs in one day. I am very happy and I want to play as an all-rounder; that is my priority.” Malik says he met with Kieron Pollard during the (ICC) Champions Trophy in England and Pollard said that he wanted him to play as an all-rounder. “When someone gives you that confidence it is always good.” Malik, still only 31 despite being a veteran of 32 Tests, 216 One-Day Internationals

Barbados Tridents batsman Shoaib Malik

and 53 Twenty20 Internationals, said he still has international aspirations. The inaugural

Limacol Caribbean Premier League runs until Saturday with the first semi-final today (Thursday).

WICB happy with success of Limacol CPL S

– President Cameron heartened by response to tournament

t John’s, ANTIGUA – President of the West Indies Cricket Board Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron said he is very pleased with the success of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) T20 Tournament so far, and impressed with the response the League has received both regionally and internationally. The WICB signed an agreement with LCPL with the goal of further developing and strengthening West Indies cricket by expanding the global fan base as well as increasing the number of West Indian cricketers under regional retainer contracts, and showcasing the talent and beauty of the Caribbean internationally. Cameron says he believes these objectives are being met. “The support of the Limacol CPL by the West Indian fans has been overwhelming and this is evidenced by the sold out crowds at each and every match so far. That says to me that the interest and pas-

sion for the game is still there, and it’s our responsibility to continue to nurture that love which is what the LCPL is all about,” said Cameron. “In addition, the entire world has come to play through the global reach and appeal that the Tournament has achieved. The combination of some of the best regional and international T20 players with the amazing carnival, party-like atmosphere for which the Caribbean is renowned has turned the eyes and ears of the world to our shores, and we could not be more pleased about that exposure”. The Limacol CPL is being broadcast on television in India, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean and the USA, reaching millions of viewers through such networks as ESPN3, Fox Sports, BT Sports and Sony. ESPN Caribbean also produces a weekly highlights show of the Tournament which airs on the ESPN Caribbean television network and online at ESPN

Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron

Play. In addition, the Line and Length Radio Network offers live ball-by-ball commentary of all the matches which airs on 22 radio stations in the English-speaking Caribbean and reaches over 850,000+ listeners. The Limacol CPL has

also developed a strong presence on social media networks Facebook and Twitter with thousands of fans and followers keeping up to date on the latest news and match information from the six franchise teams. Celebrities such as actor Mark Wahlberg – part owner of the Barbados Tridents – and Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson – sponsor of the Antigua Hawksbills team – who tweet about the Tournament have added to the interest. Cameron said that he is impressed by the hidden talent that is emerging as a result of the League. “Players like young Nicholas Pooran (Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel) and the likes of Rayad Emrit (Barbados Tridents), Sheldon Cotterell (Antigua Hawksbills) and Steven Jacobs (Guyana Amazon Warriors) to name a few, that may have flown under the radar or been overshadowed by the bigger names in the region have now been given their

time to shine, and they are indeed taking advantage of that opportunity. “I expect that the Limacol CPL will open many doors for these young men to play cricket all over the world and it’s satisfying to know that it all started with the LCPL.” Limacol CPL Chief Executive Officer Damien O’Donohoe agrees. “As the Governing Authority for cricket in the region, the WICB have shown great foresight and support in how they have partnered with us to develop the LCPL. While in our inaugural year of the Tournament we recognise we have a long way to go to build and achieve all our mutual goals, we are warmed by the reception that the WICB and all local territorial boards have provided throughout and the passion with which they have interacted with us concerning our future development programmes which we think will yield far reaching results for the sport in the region.” (WICB)

Guyana Times International - (Guyana Office) email:, Tel: (592) 227-0704, 227-0709, Fax: (592) 225-8696, 227-0685 (NY Office) email:, Tel: 718-658-6804 PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GUYANA TIMES INTERNATIONAL INC.; AVAILABLE AT ALL MAJOR WEST INDIAN STORES.

Guyana times international week ending august 25, 2013  

the beacon of truth

Guyana times international week ending august 25, 2013  

the beacon of truth