10-11 February, 2018 / Vol. 10 No. 8 / Price: $100
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Jagdeo rejects President’s nominees for Chancellor and Chief Justice PAGE 2
Oil sector is mired in controversies, chaos and confusion - PPP PAGE 2
Stop Plans for Closure; Reopen Wales Private sector not sleeping – Boyer tells oil and gas summit PAGE 3
Granger's oil Advisor lashes out at gov't - ExxonMobil deal PAGE 12
APNU/AFC and Trotman shamelessly sold us out
Ramphal says ICJ’s decision on border controversy will be binding PAGE 11
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Jagdeo rejects President’s nominees for Chancellor and Chief Justice
pposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has rejected the appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin as Chancellor of the Judiciary and Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards as Chief Justice following their nomination by President David Granger. In a letter dispatched to the media late Wednesday evening and addressed to the President, Jagdeo said, “I have duly considered the two nominees for whom you seek my agreement for appointment as Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice, respectively, in accordance with Article 127 (1) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.” However, he noted that his decision was made following due diligence done on the candidates. “As promised, I have done the
requisite due diligence. It is with deep regret that I inform you that I am unable to offer my agreement to the appointment of Mr Justice Kenneth Andrew Charles Benjamin, as Chancellor of the Judiciary and Madam Justice Yonette Decina Cummings-Edwards, OR, as Chief Justice”. When contacted for a comment on the reason for his decision, the Opposition Leader told Guyana Times that he will discuss this matter at length today during a scheduled press conference. Jagdeo also defended a report that was published by the Department of Public Information (DPI) with the headline: “Opposition Leader a no show at scheduled meeting with President Granger.” Accompanying the article is a picture with the President, along with
Attorney General Basil Williams and Minister of State Joseph Harmon seated at a table staring at three empty chairs across the table. The Opposition Leader said, “This odd photograph bears the caption: ‘No Show’. It is accompanied by a brief statement explaining that the Leader of the
Opposition did not show up at a meeting with the President which was scheduled a month ago, to take place today.” However, Jagdeo said having received no information confirming the meeting for Wednesday, which he said is a usual practice; he dispatched three letters which contain his response to issues raised at the last meeting. Minister Harmon was later contacted about the letters and stated that he remains ready and willing to meet with the President at a mutually convenient time. The last meeting held in January was held in keeping with Article 127 (1) of the Constitution which speaks to the appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice. It states that both the Chancellor and Chief Justice shall be appointed byJustice
Kenneth Benjamin the President, acting after obtaining the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition. The provision was a key aspect of the 2001 amendment to the instrument. President Granger had announced at his first press conference in two years, in December last year, that he has accepted a proposal from a committee that had been set up to review and interview applicants interested in the top judicial post after it advertised locally, regionally and internationally. Jagdeo had earlier warned that even though the President has to make the first move to resolve the decade-long failure to appoint a substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice, he would not allow himself to be coerced into accepting nominees just to fix the situation.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader in another missive to the President noted his approval of the appointment of members of the Integrity Commission. “I offer no objection to the four persons whom you have identified for appointment to the Integrity Commission, in accordance with Section 3 (4) of the Integrity Commission Act Cap 19:12, Laws of Guyana. “I consider the totality of our engagement on this issue to be in satisfaction of the requirements of “consultation” as contemplated by the letter and spirit of section 3 (4)…” Under the Integrity Commission Act, the President is to appoint a chairperson and other Commissioners. Although the number of nominees has been identified, the names were never disclosed. (Guyana Times)
Oil sector is mired in controversies, chaos and confusion - PPP
he People’s Progressive Party, in commenting on the “The Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GIPEX 2018)”,
said that this seems to be another “bread and circus” event and that it is intended to “divert attention away from the real problems of
joblessness, poverty, crime and overall hopelessness engulfing the nation”. In a statement, the Party stated that the government
has failed to put in place a clear policies regarding investments and as a result the oil sector is “mired in controversies, chaos and confusion.” The full test of the statement reads: The Government, through the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), is hosting an event described as “The Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GIPEX 2018)”. We have examined the programme and it does not help one to understand what is the true nature and objective of this event. This activity seems to be another “bread and circus” exhibition, which the Government will use in its propagandistic efforts to divert attention away from the real problems of joblessness, poverty, crime and overall hopelessness engulfing the nation. The Government has developed a propensity to launch distractive confabulations like these to hide its incompetence and incapacity to deal with the real problems facing our citizens.
From the outset, we have stated that any competent Government inviting investment interests in the sector must set out clear policy objectives; must establish the requisite architecture and create an attractive environment that will conduce to investments. None of these prerequisites currently exists. On the contrary, the entire sector is mired in controversies, chaos and confusion. The Petroleum Bill that ought to set out the legal framework and policy infrastructure for the sector is still in a Select Committee in the National Assembly, which Select Committee has never even met. The Bill itself is deeply flawed, in that it preponderates excessive power and authority in the subject Minister. Even the Minister is on record as so admitting and has promised to shed some of these powers. The promised Sovereign Wealth Fund has not been established; neither is there any clear policy in relation
to local content. The contract itself is overwhelmed in controversy. The signing bonus still resides, unlawfully and unconstitutionally, in an account in the Central Bank instead of the Consolidated Fund. No explanation is forthcoming from the Government in respect of the multiplicity of criticisms and queries raised in the press and by Guyanese everywhere about the contract. All we have from the Government is a glib indication that future contracts will not be similarly structured and negotiated. There is absolutely no clarity on the Government’s “Green State Strategy”; neither is there any guidance in respect of how this will impact or interface with the petroleum sector. In the circumstances, we have no alternative but to conclude that this event is another publicity gimmick of the Government, where those in attendance will have to endure another platitudinal speech of the President and more exhibition of Minister Trotman’s remarkable incompetence.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
n the evening of January 6, 2018, at the reception to observe India’s Republic Day, the Indian High Commissioner and Guyana’s President spoke at the event. Both of them alluded to India’s readiness to assist Guyana to develop the sugar industry. That has put to rest some government spokesperson’s claim that they knew nothing of this, which I had mentioned on several occasions before. Now, all have admitted that the offer is there for the taking. Therefore, there is no sound reason to continue the programme to close estates. Indeed, the argument can be made not just to halt that programme, but also to reopen Wales Estate. The reopening of the Wales Estate should be done now before its infrastructure is destroyed. The task of GuySuCo’s management and the government is to clearly identify the help that is needed and to make concrete proposals to the Indian government and allow the industry to emerge from its present difficulties and become prosperous again. In this regard, I wish to
THERE IS STILL TIME TO SAVE SUGAR:
By Donald Ramotar Former President
make some proposals, not exhaustive, but some which I think can help change the fortunes of the industry. In the first place, it is clear that we need to immune the industry from the crisis, which has come from outside, that is, mainly low prices on the international market. To do so, we have to move towards producing new products. The PPP/C administration had begun that process. It needs to be continued. New revenue streams must be pursued. One of the important products that can be produced by GuySuCo is ethanol. This offers great possibilities. Ethanol can take 10% of the gasoline that is imported for vehicles immediately. That would be a big revenue enhancement to GuySuCo. The fact that GuySuCo is still state-owned and that we have in our hands GUYOIL, another state-owned company, helps to facilitate this easily. The two companies can partner to blend ethanol with gasoline and sell at the pumps. Both companies stand to gain greatly. Our country can save valuable
Stop Plans for Closure; Reopen Wales foreign exchange in reducing our gasoline imports for vehicles and equipment by 10%. This is another cost cutting measure for GuySuCo, whose fuel bill is significant. It can use fuel that it produces. Moreover, it is a product that can be exported to many countries. That can earn us quite a bit of foreign exchange and enhance GuySuCo’s fortunes greatly. GuySuCo was already pursuing value added policies. We have established packaging plants at Blairmont and Enmore. That can allow us to get higher prices for our sugar and we can become independent of the world market prices. This process has gone a far way. We have also seen the concern of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) in relation to getting molasses for its own distillery. It is also a fact that Banks DIH Limited spends millions to import raw alcohol to produce its brand of rum. It is clear that both or one of these companies can partner with GuySuCo to produce raw alcohol right here. It would save our country the
foreign exchange that Banks DIH Ltd now expends to import this product. It could earn money by supplying alcohol to our hospitals and export to the Caribbean. Banks DIH Ltd and DDL are already branded product, therefore, our returns here would be great. We could get premium prices. We have started the production of electricity from the bagasse at Skeldon. We can establish two others at Albion and Enmore to supply our grid! More revenue streams for GuySuCo. In the absence of the hydro-power project, this offers an important source of renewable energy. Here again, the stateowned GuySuCo and GPL can partner to make this profitable for both companies. The social benefits of having reliable energy are incalculable. With cheaper energy, more businesses can grow. With such a project we can reduce the importation of fuel for electricity generation and even bring down the price to consumers. It is a win-win situation. In the agriculture side of the business, Indian techni-
cal assistance can make a huge contribution. GuySuCo spends millions to import fertilizers for the sugarcane. India is using liquid fertilizers made from the cane leaves and other materials now thrown away. The cost is a fraction of fertilizers coming as a by-product of fossil fuel. Here, too, the rice industry can benefit. It will reduce their costs appreciably. We were experimenting with that while the PPP/C was in office. This is worth pursuing with Indian technical assistance. We were also in the process of buying a compactor for baggasse so that we would make ‘bricks’ from the baggasse and use them in our boilers to eliminate the use of wood. That would save millions for the company. Successful trails were already done with the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) at the University of Guyana. At the factory level, we need to do much re-capitalization. India is one of the largest producers of spare parts for sugar factories. Its prices are a fraction of the prices if parts are sourced
from Europe and North America. This can be a major help to the industry and the country. It would help us to rapidly improve efficiency of the factories, increase recoveries and earn more. One of the most important benefits is the amount of jobs that could be created - technical and good paying jobs for our youths leaving schools. Right now, because GuySuCo is not hiring, graduates in agriculture from the University of Guyana cannot find employment. They are kicking bricks on the road. If the regime can remove its animus towards sugar workers and the industry and view the situation objectively, we could see that sugar will still play a leading role in the development of Guyana. All our people stand to gain, directly and indirectly. The Indian offer has now been acknowledged. Go for it and help our Guyanese people who are suffering from the lack of jobs and a slothful economy. It is time to have a national conference on the future of the sugar industry and stop the closures.
Private sector not sleeping – Boyer tells oil and gas summit
s the first-ever oil summit and exhibition was launched on Wednesday, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) spared no effort in reminding Government of the need to be transparent in its work especially, as it relates to the oil and gas industry as it called for the establishment of a good governance system to oversee the sector. In delivering his address, PSC Chairman Eddie Boyer urged that the Government ensure there were a well-managed Sovereign Wealth Fund and a transparent Petroleum Commission. Boyer said that the PSC has been paying keen attention to the sector and would play a large part in its development. Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman delivering the keynote address at GIPEX 2018 held at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown The PSC Head said his organisation would like to see stability of Guyana as a democracy “and our interest in the oil and gas sector maintained with clear frameworks
of sector development, strong local content policy and a well-managed Sovereign Wealth Fund”. Boyer declared, “The Guyanese business community, though inexperienced, is not sleeping. We are aware of the developments and we are educating and informing ourselves about this new sector to grasp every opportunity. We will continue to expand on that in the coming months.” He also used the opportunity to encourage the several hundred delegates attending the conference, to see Guyana as an investment opportunity not only in oil and gas but in other critical sectors. In her remarks, Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) Chairperson Patricia Bacchus urged investors to cultivate strong business relations with the view of tapping into the oil and gas industry. “This forum is also critical to the development of meaningful sector and cross-sector relationships, as it provides the opportunity for networking among those
involved in oil and gas, and those involved in the provision of related products and services,” she explained. Similarly, for participants, especially Guyanese participants interested in operating in this new sector, Bacchus said they would benefit from relevant expert presentations through which insight into the sector’s best practices could be gained and then subsequently manifested in the way business is done here. While noting that Guyana has recorded stable macro-economic growth over the last eight years, she also pointed out that there has always been a dire need to diversify the economic base. “The advent of the oil and gas sector is, therefore, regarded as a significant step in the country’s economic diversification efforts, and we hope that it is the springboard through which wider economic diversification can be facilitated,” she added. The GO-Invest Chair said though Guyana, with its young economy, provided
immense opportunities for investors, and she urged all the participants to view the gaps in the economic activities not as shortcomings but as opportunities. “GIPEX provides a forum through which the emerging oil and gas sector can be carefully explored, with a view to determining the various economic opportunities along the value chain, which are ripe for investment.” Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman delivered the keynote address although President David Granger was listed to deliver the address. Prior to that Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge gave brief remarks. While a few Cabinet Ministers were present, the President was notably absent. No reason or explanation was given for the President’s absence at such an important national event, which was heavily promoted by the Government. Trotman told the opening that while Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is
relatively low, he also believes in the predictions made by leading global economists that there will be growth of 2000 per cent within two decades. “At this juncture in our national development, being at a place where we will travel on a fast and furious trajectory, we don’t want simply to be known as an oil-producing nation, but rather as a country that took its resources and revenues – and used them to fashion and carve a nation that is geographically and strategically positioned to produce the food required for the 48 million people who are projected to live in the Caribbean by 2050 – just over 30 years from now. And that’s just the projected context.” Trotman said the wave of investment in all kinds of sectors had already begun and the evidence was everywhere. “In boardrooms across the world, Guyana is the talking point as the place to be. “My humble word of advice to local entrepreneurs is to be prepared for a level of
investment and hive of business activity that is unprecedented. Upgrade your skills and knowledge, improve the standards of your business, form alliances and partnerships, get ready to compete with the best for they are already here on your doorstep.” The inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Exhibition and Summit (GIPEX) has attracted local and international business executives and operators in the oil and gas and ancillary services sectors. These groups and individuals will have the chance not only to network and form alliances, but also to build capacity through the sharing of expertise and experiences as the country gears for oil production. The 300-plus delegates and more than 100 companies have much to expect from the activities on the agenda for the balance of the summit. About 57 per cent of the companies that supported GIPEX 2018 are young Guyanese companies. (Guyana Times)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
More sordid True meaning of aspects of oil ‘Freedom of the Press’ deal revealed N
ow that the oil contract between the Guyana government and the US oil giant – ExxonMobil - has been made public, there has been close scrutiny by various organizations and individuals. After that, the government and to some extent, ExxonMobil, have been involved in a variety of public relations stints to get the public to appreciate the contract. The government’s main plea is that the deal is done and all Guyana should work with it. That plea, however, is a hard pill to swallow. From all indications, the agreement with Exxon is a disaster. With each passing day, there are revelations of how bad the deal was to the extent that it seems that the government does not have a clue about what it is doing with such a serious matter. It is now clear in the minds of all Guyanese that the deal was a sell-out. It is a shame that after all these efforts for decades to get investors to hunt for oil, when we finally got it, the APNU/AFC government has bungled it. ExxonMobil, according to the experts, literally will be minting money from its Guyana operations. While there is talk about Guyana soon becoming an oil producing nation, the reality is that the Agreement, which the government signed gives the oil company total control of the resources, with the country getting mere pittance. Most, if not all, Guyanese today believe that Guyana will lose out badly under the agreement signed by the government. The government and ExxonMobil, faced with a barrage of criticisms from all sides, have put together a public relations programme to lure the population into accepting the agreement. The pathetic line being peddled by the government is that the deal is done and let’s live with it. But that is not going down so well, given that Guyana went down this road already, when the sugar giant, Bookers, literally ruled the country. Last week, even more razor-sharp criticisms on the oil deal came from an insider – the President’s advisor on the oil sector, Dr. Jan Mangal. Mangal, who claims that he was part of the pressure group to have the contract with ExxonMobil released, now says that the 2 percent royalty is too low and the Guyana, like other countries, could have gotten more. He also made the statement that the deal as it is could be re-negotiated. Many of his criticisms are in line with what former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, has been saying about the deal. More sordid aspects of the deal will come to light as we go along.
Quote: “Our investigations have definitively indicated that Fineman and his gang are the persons responsible for the murder of the Lindo Creek miners,” Crime Chief Seelall Persaud
indly permit me a space in your column to express some of my views regarding freedom of the press. Your newspaper, like so many others is a guardian of freedom of speech, a watchman of democracy, and a beacon of truth for some who seek to expose wrongdoers. Without these guides, we would be in a state of anarchy. Like your newspaper, a film was recently released, “The Post”, which tells of a historical moment in America, where a newspaper company, the “Washington Post”, stood up against some of the most impossible odds and re-took its traditional stand of reporting, by exposing “TOP SECRET” government documents of the US losing the Vietnam War, during the Kennedy era up to Nixon’s tenure, and where at home the Government was deceitful in its depiction of the war. The renowned director, Steven Spielberg, skillfully and willfully, captured the US politics of the 60’s, where “Freedom of the Press” was subdued by its hierarchy in Government. I believe Spielberg made the “The Post”, to bring back that spark that made us glue to the newspapers, and make us aware of our political surroundings. What is alarming about this film is that it sways me into nostalgia of “press
freedom” in the “Burnham” era and “press freedom” now, under President Granger. What is more alarming is how the US government of that era, treated the press - with contempt and scorn which mirrors today’s Guyana, and how our Government treats the press. Furthermore, there is a sense of depleting repetition by certain media companies. One media company would go as far as editing a photo of the President with children of African descent, with another photo of children of Indian descent, to give the impression that the President has bipartisan characters. Likewise, another media house would print falsified political information to gain sales and political support, thus transforming reporting to sensational “comic book” reading. Do bear in mind that these remarks are not an attack against certain media houses, but highlights of certain ideological defects in the media that sadly do exists. Guyana is a politically sensitive country, and unfortunately, today we are experiencing some of the worst separatist politics that would make the “Burnham Era” looks like a “walk in the park”. On the other hand, the media houses in Guyana should be congratulated for their firm stand against their inhumane treatment they encountered at Camp
Ayanganna earlier in the year. This would remind me of the “TIMES UP” campaign that is gaining momentum in Hollywood, where women are standing-up publicly to expose “BIG” men in the film industry, who were sexually forcing them against their will. In a like manner, we see our media finally in the stand against being controlled and slapped around. The government should protect all media houses. The media even took a stand against being removed by the Speaker of the House of Parliament, late last year. I do see some revolutionary changes in our media houses of lately, which can any be derived and be defined in society that is living in fear of its Government. Finally, before departing, it would be pleasing for Guyanese to know, that our “Media Houses”, should inform its viewers, readers and listeners on: correct information; non-separatist views; its firm stand for a democratic society; never to be muted. The film, “The Post”, should be viewed by all Members of Parliament and our media houses. After watching the film, I do hope that all will be enlightened towards their purpose they serve. “Press Freedom” is about responsibility, and a free will to say and write to inform the public. Dimitri Ali
Wales workers are entitled to their due severance Dear Editor,
y attention was drawn to a Guyana Times article of February 7, 2018, captioned “GuySuCo snubs Wales cane cutters – says workers not entitled to severance pay”. The article stated, inter alia, that approximately 400 cane cutters who were attached to the now closed Wales Estate may never receive a severance according to the acting CEO, Paul Bhim. The CEO declared that they are not entitled since they are at “risk of self-termination because of their refusal to take up the offer” of working at Uitvlugt Estate. I gather the CEO meant the workers would have voluntarily terminated their services. Further, the CEO “argued” that his position is being supported by the collective labour agreement that exists between GuySuCo and the sugar union –the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU). The CEO stated that 120 Wales’ cane cutters have taken up the offer to work at Uitvlugt Estate in similar capacity. It would appear that since these workers have taken up the company’s offer, the others were, and are, obligated to do likewise, and their refusal therefore constitute the voluntary termination of their service.
I would think the company would have been properly edified on the provisions of the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act (TESPA) that states under Section 21, clause 4 (b) that the payment of a severance will not apply where the employee “unreasonably refuses in case of redundancy to accept an offer of re-employment by the employer at the same place of employment or within a radius of 10 miles therefrom under no less favourable condition than those such employee enjoyed immediately prior to the termination”. Editor, even if the collective agreement makes provision for the transfer of employees within estates, such transfers were in the context that the estates were all operating estates. In the case at point, Wales is closed. The extant law, therefore, supersedes the provisions in the agreement, because workers’ jobs at Wales have been made redundant. There are a few fundamental points in the aforementioned clause of the TESPA. First it speaks of “re-employment” and “immediately prior to the termination”, which clearly means that the service of the employee has to be terminated and then be re-employed, if re-employment meets the full requirements of this clause. It is obvious there-
fore that a severance allowance will have to be paid for the services at the point of termination, before re-employment takes its course. Secondly, re-employment must be within a radius of 10 miles therefrom (therefrom means the original place of employment). Uitvlugt is reportedly 20 miles away from Wales Estate (the original place of employment). The law, therefore, protects the 400-odd workers from being compelled to work at Uitvlugt Estate. Their refusal, therefore, cannot be considered that they have voluntarily terminated their service. It matters not if sufficient amount of productive work is available at Uitvlugt. It is for the company to convince the workers, in all forms and inducements, to accept the offer to work at Uitvlugt. It cannot impose upon them to work at Uitvlugt. In all fairness and in sincere application of the law, the 400 workers at Wales are entitled to their due severance. The sugar company should not, and cannot, deny these workers on the absurd claim that their refusal to work at Uitvlugt means that they have voluntarily terminated their service. Yours faithfully, Selwyn Narinedatt
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Another day, another episode in a crime-ridden state
Nagamootoo drifts wherever the wind blows Dear Editor,
have noted the statements by the Prime Minister Nagamootoo in the Guyana Chronicle with some amusement, where he expresses solidarity and mounts, in his view, a defense of older comrades and leaders of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – comrades he claims are the ones who former President Bharrat Jagdeo wants to push out of the Party. Does he believe that we are suffering from such short memories? Moses Nagamootoo has always been the chameleon, much to the amusement of some of the older heads of the PPP who have known him all too well…unfortunately. He waxes and wanes, drifts wherever the winds blow and dances to the piper’s call once his objective of personal aggrandizement is met. Nagamootoo believes that we have forgotten how he has vilified the entire PPP and its leaders, calling the PPP “racist,” “fascist”, “fat cats”, to name a few, at sittings in the National Assembly and at other public forum. Now he is pretending to ‘defend’ the older leaders of the PPP as a means to target once again his nemesis, Bharrat Jagdeo. His obsession with Jagdeo is understandable as he knows he is no match, nor could he ever be, with Jagdeo, or, in fact any of several leaders of the PPP. Instead, he should be more concerned about whether his party, the AFC, will survive the 2020 elections and whether it will be able to attract support to maintain its seats, or any seat for that matter. Surely he recognises that he is the one who will be pushed out; these are his ‘swan song’ months as Prime Minister Nagamootoo’s legacy in Guyana’s history will be one of the ‘whipping boy’ of the APNU to attack the Parliamentary Opposition with vile lies. Any time an assault has to be made on the PPP, it is Nagamootoo who is sent in by APNU to do its dirty work. It is he who was sent to the estates after the dismissal of 5000 sugar workers to try to convince them that sugar wasn’t dead, and that the government cared. His usefulness to the APNU, however, will grow thin despite his loyal gymnastics. No truer were the words written by our national poet, Martin Carter, that “the mouth is muzzled by the hand that feeds it”. Thus, his recent public foray to appear to defend the older leaders of the PPP is nothing but “classic” Nagamootoo - nakedly opportunistic, deceptive and self-serving. Nevertheless as an older member of the PPP leadership, and, in fact, the most senior female leader, I have no fear of being pushed aside by Jagdeo or anyone else. As a member of successive PPPC administra-
tions, I have been a constant and honestly served my government and the nation to the best of my ability. As a member of the PPPC Parliamentary Opposition, l continue to serve and to carry my responsibilities with dignity and integrity. Yes, I am proud to be a part of the older leaders who have served and continue to loyally serve our party and nation. My work continues to be hectic and challenging, and, I watch with admiration other leaders like Dr. Roger Luncheon, Clinton Collymore, and former Prime Minister Sam Hinds, selflessly contribute their time, energy, experience and love to the Guyanese people from all walks of life who are suffering in these trying APNUAFC times. I believe that my role will keep changing as long as I have life; I am morally bound to help to groom and nurture the younger leaders of the party to be courageous, principled and resilient in the struggles of the future to regain our threatened democracy and save our nation from its spiraling decline under the APNUAFC regime. My sense of duty to the younger leaders is bolstered by the fact that in the 1970s older leaders of the party gave me, a young woman in her twenties, the guidance and opportunities to grow and be elevated in the PPP. Just as in 1997, the party gave its support to young Bharrat Jagdeo to be the successor to Mrs. Janet Jagan after those elections. The PPP/C has no generational conflict, nor has it ever had. It began with youthful leaders in 1950 and has never been afraid of young people, but instead has embraced them and pushed them up, not out. They only have to work hard and serve with energy and courage, those that are “spent” – whether old and young – will not make it to the top. Every PPPC government from 1992 to 2015 has been characterized by young Ministers in the late 20s and those who were middle aged who brought experience to the table. Maybe Nagamootoo is reflecting on the generational gap that exists in his government’s administration where the very male senior citizens of urban upper middle class extraction reign supreme. I do not need any Nagamootoo to defend my survival in the PPP, and, in fact, no one should. One’s inherent political instinct would tell you if you listened that he remains a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. Sincerely, Gail Teixeira, M.P., PPP Executive and Central Committee Member
t is another day, and another murderous assault has taken place on another citizen of this country. The media reported the spine chilling statistics of 32-gun crimes in 35 days of the year so far. These are the occurrences in an area of the seat of Government where that very same Government has promised to deal with crime and bring back safety and security to its citizens. Guyana is a far cry from the ideals of what that Government promised. Today crime is at an all-time high, with a Government that is clearly looking the other way, or one that pretends that these things are not happening. Another media report captioned “Guyana edging towards another crime wave”, this in referral to the crime wave that engulfed Guyana from 2002 to 2008. During that time, the PPP/C Administration was in office and much of the blame for that crime wave was laid upon it. The then Opposition — which included many of the Coalition members — levelled some of the most humiliating criticisms at the
PPP/C; even calling for the resignation of Home Affairs Minister Mr Clement Rohee. That Coalition is now in Government and the crime situation remains; in fact has escalated to an all-time high. So what has become of the Public Security Minister now? Is he asleep? And what of the Government? Have they forgotten their moral and legal obligation to this nation? Quite interestingly, and food for thought for the Coalition, is that although workers were brutally axed from their jobs without any means of sustenance in the foreseeable future, they are not the ones doing any of these brutal armed robberies. Further proof also is that armed robberies are not a statistic that is mentioned in the constituency of the dispossessed sugar workers. Armed robberies and murder continue to be a prominent feature, as well as the way of life of the constituents of the PNC-led Coalition. It is a horrible disgrace on their part. I rest my case. Respectfully, Neil Adams
Private Hospital wins case to import drugs from India
he Dr. Balwant Singh Hospital has won the case against the Government’s Food and Drug Department which was blocking the health institution from importing pharmaceuticals from India. The privately-owned hospital had filed an application to quash the Food and Drug Director Marlan Cole’s refusal to issue an import licence for 18 lifesaving drugs, the hospital’s lawyer, Devindra Kissoon said in a statement. Kissoon said Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire on January 30, 2018, ruled that Cole’s refusal to grant the registration of various life-saving drugs to the hospital was arbitrary, capricious and unlawful.
Cole reportedly refused to register these drugs because the Food and Drug Administration entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) which implemented a New Caribbean Regulatory System in Guyana, and since those drugs for which applications were submitted were not registered with CARPHA, licences could not be issued. Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital, in its application, argued that it had routinely been issued licences for drugs manufactured in India pursuant to Section 78(2) (k)(v) of the Food and Drug Regulations. In August 2017, the Government introduced a new pharmaceutical im-
portation system where a regional hub will be tasked with recommending approval for drugs to be imported in member States including Guyana. CARPHA was tasked with hosting the Caribbean Registration System (CRS) – a body established to assess drugs for importation into various Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. Previously, suppliers would have submitted dossiers to local regulatory bodies for review and approval of the drugs they wanted to sell on the market. Under the new system in place, suppliers will now have to make electronic submissions to the CRS, for it to peruse and do an assessment of the drug.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Moment in history
Is Guyana To Be Another Vietnam By Cheddi Jagan (published in 1968)
he United States of America is today at the crossroads. Among a broad cross-section of its citizens, there is an agonizing reappraisal. Many question and challenge the basis of US foreign policy especially as it unfolds in Vietnam - crimes against Vietnamese humanity and a great deal of personal loss and suffering for the American people. It is my purpose to remind Americans of what is being done in their name in Guyana, to make them aware that step-by-step Guyana is being transformed into a dictatorship by a similar policy, which has resulted in such tragedy in Vietnam. In Guyana, as in Vietnam, United States involvement started out under the administration of the late President J.F. Kennedy. At first there appeared to be goodwill towards us. This was expressed in refutation of charges by a former editor of Izvesita of US interference and subversion abroad. President J.F. Kennedy. At first, there appeared to be goodwill towards us. This was expressed in refutation of charges by a former editor of Izvesita of US interference and subversion abroad. President Kennedy in early 1962 declared: “…the United States supports the idea that every people should have the right to make a free choice of the kind of government they want. Mr Jagan who has recently elected Prime Minister in British Guiana, is a Marxist, but the United States doesn’t object because that choice was made by honest election, which he won.” But soon after, the Kennedy administration launched a three-pronged attack against my government. This included: Diplomatic pressure on the British government to withhold independence and change our electoral system. Diplomatic pressure on the Venezuelan government to renew a long-dormant claim to two-thirds of our territory. CIA-fomented demonstrations, strikes, riots, airline and shipping blockage aimed at bringing down the PPP government and providing the British government with excuses for denying independence to Guyana under the PPP government. Those subversive moves
Cheddi Jagan and PPP members picket in front of the US Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana
have been documented, particularly by the Nation, the New York Timesand the London Sunday Times. Journalist Drew Pearson exposed the special trip Kennedy made to London in mid-1963 to persuade the then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan not to permit British Guiana to go forward to independence. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, one of Kennedy’s aides, wrote in his book A Thousand Days that, after meeting LFS Burnham in Washington in May 1962, he advised Kennedy that the way to remove from the government my party, which had won three successive elections, was to change our traditional firstpast-the-post district electoral system to that of proportional representation, what Harold Wilson when in opposition called a “fiddled constitutional arrangement”, but when in office failed to correct. “Thus far”, continued Schelsinger, “our policy had been based on the assumption that Forbes Burnham was as the British described him an opportunist, racist and demagogue, intent only on personal power.” Mr Schlesinger went on: “the State Department at first thought we should make a try (to work with me - Cheddi Jagan) - then Rusk personally reversed this policy in a stiff letter to the British early in 1962.” Why did Kennedy go back on his pronouncement on Guyana? According to Schlesinger, “the President went on to express doubt whether Jagan would be able to sustain his position as parliamentary democrat. ‘I have
a feeling’, he said, ‘that in a couple of years he will find ways to suspend his constitutional provisions and will cut his opposition off at the knees…Parliamentary democracy is going to be damn difficult in a country at this stage of development. With all the political jockeying and all the racial tensions, it’s going to be almost impossible for Jagan to concentrate the energies of his country on development through a parliamentary system.” It would seem that the aim of the United States is the attainment of economic development and social progress, through a parliamentary democracy. What is the record of the US-backed, Burnham-led, coalition government? The puppet government has brought the country to near-bankruptcy. And stepby-step a neo-fascist dictatorship is being established. BANKRUPTCY Instead of progressing, Guyana is retrogressing. Agriculture in a predominantly agricultural country is in decline. Industry, with the exception of the foreign-owned extractive bauxite industry, is virtually at a standstill. The country is heavily in debt, short-term and longterm. A credit balance at the end of the PPP term of office in 1964 has been turned into a growing budgetary deficit. Increasing short-term loans from the banking system have led to a credit squeeze with high interest rates and to deficit financing. The balance-of-payments position has moved from a
surplus to a deficit, necessitating standby credit from the International Monetary Fund to help maintain the external value of the Guyana dollar. And tied as Guyana is to imperialism, it was forced to devalue her currency with the devaluation of the British pound. Besides, fiscal, trade, economic and foreign policies have been tailored to suit Washington. An American is Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister. The first Governor of the Central Bank of Guyana was a West German. The Guyana government voted against the seating of People’s China at the United Nations; and has refused to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. There has been a break on trade with Cuba. And severe restrictions have been placed on imports from other socialist countries, although the economic advantages, including lower prices, are obvious. Fiscal policies have resulted in a crushing burden on the poor while over-generous tax, mining and other concessions have been made to the foreign monopolies. Meanwhile, mass poverty grows and spreads with rising unemployment, coupled with a policy of discrimination in employment, of wasteful public expenditure, of nepotism and corruption. The former Lord Mayor of Georgetown (the Capital), a government appointee, in a broadcast in May 1967 cried out against a new elite creating “a new, larger area of snobbery”, and against bribery which “is all over the place and is fast
becoming a national industry…the harm done in any situation in which bribery, corruption, nepotism and favouritism assume national proportions and is a way of life from top down, can never be calculated.” Commenting on the growing disillusion, dissatisfaction and frustration columnist “Lucian”, a strong government supporter, writing in the Sunday Graphic of July 16, 1967, said: “Many people -- Guyanese and non-Guyanese are disgusted with the present state of affairs in this country. Some are packing up to leave out of sheer frustration, while others are dejected from unbearable disgust.” Frustration and dissatisfaction are leading to increasing militancy on the one hand and to anti-social tendencies on the other. During the last 3 years, Guyana has experienced a record-breaking number of strikes - 146 in 1965, 172 in 1966 and over 120 in 1967. Violence, crime and juvenile delinquency are on the increase. And there is every indication that the situation will further deteriorate. Apart from wasteful expenditure, the burden of the debt repayment is falling heavily on the Guyanese masses. For three successive years, indirect taxation has been imposed and direct (capital) taxes drastically reduced. The tax load in the first three years of the 7-year Plan is already more than 60 per cent of what was originally estimated to be levied for the entire period. Debt charges already amount to 16 per cent of budgeted expenditure. This percentage would have been higher had it not been for a moratorium on some loans provided by the United States and Great Britain. It is likely that in the not-too-distant future debt payments will approximate the amounts received from abroad as loans and grants. As the budget position worsens, the government will impose additional taxation and/or cut the already pruned social services. RIGHTIST DICTATORSHIP In the face of growing dissatisfaction, discontent, and militancy, the coalition government is preparing to muzzle the working class and to rig the general election, due to be held not later than the spring of 1968.
An anti-strike bill has been introduced in the National Assembly to make provision for compulsory arbitration. Already enacted is the National Security Act, even more draconic than the US National Security Act of 1953. It gives the government the power without trail to restrict or detain any Guyanese for an indefinite period. In February 1968, the government refused to issue passports to five Guyanese who were proceeding abroad on scholarships. From February to June 1968, the biggest attempt at fraud will be mounted. A national Register of all Guyanese 14 years and over is being compiled, out of which will come the electoral roll of persons aged 21 and over. In the compilation of this register, the Constitutionally proved Elections Commission, made up of a chairman appointed by the Prime Minister and one nominee each of the three political parties, is being completely by-passed. The operational headquarters is under tight security and police guard. And the whole machinery of handpicked appointees is under the control of the Minister of Home Affairs. Supervising the registration is Shoup Registration System International, which according to Paul L. Montgomery in the New York Times (December 17, 1967), “has previously performed national registration tabulations in Trinidad, Jamaica and Venezuela. DE McFeely, the concern’s resident manager, said in an interview that he also (understood) that the company had helped with registration last year in South Vietnam.” The registration officers are armed with a great deal of discretion which will be used to advantage for the government. In the case of which our supporters, young persons of voting are can be classified below 21 if they do not have tangible proof. For government supporters, on the other hand, manipulation can permit persons below 21 to be classified as voters. The government also proposes to register Guyanese resident abroad, estimated to be about 42,000 persons. This will make Guyana probably the first country in the world to adopt this procedure. Clearly, the coalition government hopes to make up the loss of its support (The (Turn to page 7)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Squandermania now the order of the day T
he excesses of this de-facto APNU/AFC Coalition Government has been overwhelmingly overflowing. The over-indulgences are evidenced by unparalleled heights of corruption and squandermania, which has become the order of the day. The benefits regrettably, are primarily themed towards the enrichment of the Government/PNC supporters and must be challenged. The core drivers of the government’s approach, no doubt, has its origins in ‘lust and hunger for power’ coupled to personal enrichment/ greed of many of the key agents who seek to achieve these outcomes by all means necessary. Unfortunately, the impositions are being advanced at the sacrifice of the welfare of the poorer class of Guyanese citizens at large. The government is currently in the 34th month of its tenure of office, and its Ministers and leaders have invoked an almost immeasurable negative displacement on the welfare path of citizens. Their threats to a further unleashing of attacks on citizens’ rights seem duly imminent. While at it, their actions have become shamelessly uncaring and there is
much evidence that the extremes of further viciousness to deprive basic survival needs. Guyanese at large are called upon to speak out against the wickedness being rolled out from the very sinews of the Coalition. We have consistently observed emerging from the very echelons of the Government, a lack of support and frequent authorization of disruptive development activities. Only recently, the Minister of Communities reaffirmed his threats to derail the progress of the elected Councils in Local Authority Areas (LAAs), where the Coalition lost at the 2016 Local Government Elections. He has moved to implement, of his own design, a Local Government control system through several moves to minimize the authority of the Elected Councils. In fact, the Minister has taken ludicrous steps in many cases to approve the rebuffing and suppression of council’s decisions by selected Overseers and Regional Executive Officers to address his own political agenda, which goes against the core of the people’s needs and choices. The moves to date of de-emphasizing the relevance of the
Local Government Commission, runs counter to any positive ideals in the interest of citizens’ representation, and the intent of the constitution to balance against political excesses. The malicious deprivations to thousands of workers in several regions have resulted from the closures of several sugar estates without any realistic job options. It creates sufferings unforetold, makes a mockery of the job creation and the focus on youths’ platform on which the APNU/AFC campaigned and promised Guyanese citizens. For those of us who were temperate enough to survive the role plays of the PNC of the 70s, 80’s, and period prior to 1992, would be familiar with the most economically damaging and brutal playbook from which the Government’s strategic choices are being drawn. Amidst the lavish spending and squander by the Government, Guyanese would have never imagined or experienced the increased sufferings of so many, in such a short period of time. The unleashing of or uncontrolled escalation of the criminal terrors on citizens, seems to be one of the areas
Is Guyana To Be... People’s National Congress won 40.9% and the United Force 12% of the votes at the December 1964 general election) at home by votes obtained by fraud abroad. Another possibility of fraud will be multiple registration (a person registering in more than one place) and multiple voting, which is facilitated by the right to vote by proxies. During the 1964 elections, my party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) sharply criticized the Governor, Sir Richard Luyt, for enlarging the scope for voting by proxy. Although we polled 46% of the total votes, we secured only 8.6% of the 7,000 odd proxy votes. This was no doubt the reason why the Commonwealth Team of Observers on the Election commented that the “one administrative provision which seemed open to manipulation was the proxy vote…we feel it is our duty to point out that the proxy system is liable to abuse.” Sir Richard Luyt’s powers are now assumed by the PNC Minister of Home Affairs and Shoup International. Is Shoup International a CIA front? The New York Times of December 17, 1967
wrote: “The CIA had no comment on the assertion that the Shoup concern is a front.” Whether Shoup is a CIAfront or not, one thing must be taken for granted. In pursuit of its foreign economic policies based on the Truman Doctrine, now Johnson Doctrine, the US government by force and fraud will not hesitate to use electoral fraud to maintain its puppets in office. Meanwhile, top-ranking US politicians and administrators will continue hypocritically to moralize, to proclaim their beliefs in freedom, democracy and the rule of law. This hypocrisy - saying one thing and doing the opposite - has reached the point of deep crisis in respect of US intervention in Vietnam. Under the flimsy excuse of defending freedom and democracy, the US has violated the Geneva Agreements, and is committing genocide in its intervention to prop up a government, which cannot be propped up by its own people. While US presidents talk about parliamentary democracy, their policies and support are heading Guyana towards a right-wing Latin American type of dictatorship. Arthur Sutton, a US citizen sees
(From page 6)
Guyana as a potential Haiti Writing in the Frontier (January 1965), he said: “Our troubles in Vietnam stem, in part, from our efforts to implement policies not particularly supported by the masses. Our troubles in Guyana, where we are attempting the same strategy, are just beginning. They will be equally as perplexing and proportionately as expensive as our Southeast Asian adventure and out ultimate success is just as unlikely. Guyana, has, unfortunately the potential to become another Haiti. Is that the goal of our present policy? Continued chaos in the hemisphere benefits on one but our enemies, and Guyana, thanks to our inept actions, is poised on the brink of national suicide.” After this was written, the Guyana Evening Post, a strong backer of the neo-fascist United Force, replied: “The other answer is not easy; it is removing from the scene the Jagans and the Suttons.” On February 5, 1965, a columnist, the late Percy Amstrong, of the same newspaper called for preventive detention, which was provided for in the National Security Act of 1966. All US citizens must now
designed for intimidating or rather, one that the Government is totally incapable of addressing. Many of the issues can be linked to the economic situation and the unconcerned approach of the Coalition in many areas. It is extremely sad to know that APNU/AFC Regional Councilor, Amarnauth ‘Bobby’ Chinkan was brutally chopped and is presently in a serious condition at the hospital. One cannot help observing, however, accommodation of the power-drunk approach and treatment of another APNU/AFC agent, Mr. Abel Seetaram, from Region #5, who has been also involved in all sorts of questionable activities. The defiant Ronald Bulkan must not be allowed to pretend that a deaf ear is acceptable. He is obligated to, and must make sure that the members of the Local Government Commission get their salaries and be provided with a properly equipped Office with adequate staffing. People in the Local Authority Areas have shared the view that if the Local Government Commission was operational, then many of the reported, serious in-fighting and corrupt activities would be avoided.
The corruption under this administration has become ingrained. The Regional Democratic Councils, through the government controlled REOs, are micro-managing the Local Authority Areas. Contractors are offering serious bribes to scrape a contract so that they can keep their staff and small business in operation. Word on the street is that for a contractor to get a small ‘job’, he has to bribe the officials at the Ministry, RDC, and the APNU/AFC activists for his survival. Several contractors have complained that they are unable to grease all the wheels and demands of the coalition’s agents. Some of them are getting desperate, leading to what they refer to as a serious fight-back. These are likely to lead to more serious attacks on people who are illegally ‘drawing down’ and cannot keep their promises. Money is not circulating, cost of living has skyrocketed, forcing people to get involved in all sorts of activities for their survival. The Local Government Commission must look in to these numerous issues and develop an immediate response to help our citizens,
since it does not seem to matter to many in the Government. NDCs are pivotal to our communities’ development. Many NDCs are encouraged to work closely with the active social groups in the villages. Policing Groups and citizens’ development groups along with youths, sports and cultural groups must work together for the good of our people. Comparatively, the neutral observer would clearly rationalize that the genuine path to a better life started with the real development that took place during the PPP/C tenure in office. Guyanese must take a stand to make sure that the gains under the PPP/C are not further eroded. It is notable that in the face of government’s non-support and squander, several PPP/C administered LAA’s are boasting of their quality leadership and fight back and successes. This column will be highlighting the good work of the related NDCs. Let us all join and demand that the LGC be put into full operation now! (This article is prepared by Neil Kumar, Ms. S & Mr. A)
seriously oppose their government’s foreign policy, which has made their country completely amoral. Gone is the high purpose that inspired it nearly 200 years ago. Then, the United States preached about “unalienable rights”, and governments “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Now it has arrogated to itself the right of intervention ostensibly in defence of freedom and democracy, but in reality for the protection
of vested interests. The ballot box is being rigged. And when rigging cannot suffice, bullets replace ballots. The American people have a manifest duty to call the warmongers, the war-makers and the war-profiteers to order, to return to the spirit of 1775. Then, Americans, as colonials of Britain, fought a just revolutionary was for the right of self-determination. Today it behoves all decent Americans to support the right to self-de-
termination of all peoples, be they black, brown, yellow or white, in all countries Guyana, Vietnam, Greece and elsewhere. They could do not better than follow the lead of General David M. Shoup, who recently bluntly asserted: “I believe that if we had an would keep our dirty, bloody dollar-crooked, fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own.”
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
APNU/AFC and Trotman shamelessly sold us out By Dr. Leslie Ramsammy
CoI into the oil contract is necessary. Each day, the magnitude of the black-gold betrayal worsens as Guyanese find out more details about the ugly contract. The oil contract was not a case of an international company with incredible financial backing and human capital outsmarting us and out-negotiating us. Rather, the oil company wins in every way and Guyana is left with another natural resource that has been stolen from us. Worse, our own government aided and abetted the stealing of our national patrimony. Raphael Trotman handed our oil wealth to the oil company
with Guyana merely scraping crumbs off the floor. We were sold out, not outsmarted. If a CoI is ever necessary, the oil contract cries out for a CoI. Someone or a group of people is responsible for the fiasco, a fiasco that will see Guyana robbed billions over the decades to come. Our national patrimony, equally belonging to all Guyanese, has been recklessly squandered. Whomever is responsible, one thing is certain, the buck stops with APNU/AFC and President Granger. There was a reason APNU/AFC wanted to keep the contract a secret. They allowed the company to walk into Guyana
and take ownership of our God-given wealth. Now we are supposed to be happy with crumbs taken from the floor. When the paltry US$18 million secret bonus was exposed, APNU/AFC was forced to release the contract, knowing that the most reprehensible giveaways were contained in the attachments to the contract, attachments that were never released. Gradually, every day, we find out more and more of what is contained in these attachments and it makes the blood of every objective Guyanese boil. Soon after the contract was released, the Leader of the Opposition raised the issue of gas as a by-product of oil production. The oil company gets total ownership of the gas resources from the oil fields for free. The gas production can prove to be as big as the oil itself. In Trinidad and Tobago, gas
resources have proven to be now bigger than oil. It is early yet to determine what the gas reserves are from the oil fields in Guyana, but to give it away without safeguarding our interests is preposterous, reckless, and a clear betrayal and abrogation of the welfare of the Guyanese people. We have permitted the company to wrap gas into the oil deal, when we should have had two deals, one for oil and one for gas. The gas giveaway is an aspect that we have not yet focused on in the national discourse. I urge the Leader of the Opposition to keep this discourse active. Incidentally, the signing bonus giveaway is now looming a bigger sellout than people initially thought. One economist in another section of the media a few weeks ago, using evidence from other jurisdictions, calculated that instead of
US$18 million, Guyana should have received a minimum of US$250 million. Now a Guyanese energy expert who works in the energy sector in the US has estimated that Guyana should have received US$1 billion. Indeed, this is closer to what I believe we should have gotten. In the US, the oil company pays private owners between US$350 and US$800 per acre to lease their land for oil drilling and oil production. Guyana has leased over 6.6 million acres to Exxon. This means we get about US$2 per acre. Consider it another way, Exxon paid Brazil a signing bonus that is equal to about 9 US cents per estimated barrel of oil in their reserve, but Guyana gets half a cent per barrel estimated in our reserve. It is a travesty, an absolute sellout. Each additional detail proves the contract is a crime
against our people. We find out that the oil company has already indicated it needs to recover US$460 million for expenses it incurred since it came into the exploration business in Guyana. This is a tip of the iceberg. Incidentally, the visit by a big team of Ministers and their assistants to Texas to visit that they claimed the company paid for, we now find out is being billed to Guyana as part of the US$460 million expense account Exxon just gave us. There are additional reckless giveaways – the company pays no taxes of any kind, does not have to incur cost of insurance for environmental disasters, can import any amount of vehicles duty-free. This is a government that is nickel-and-diming poor sugar workers, but give away hundreds of billions to one of the richest companies in the world. A CoI is necessary.
The Granger-Coombes Security Report - Review By Eddie Rodney
t is by now an accepted reality that the assumption to the White House by the Donald Trump power brokers and Family signals a discernible shift in bilateral relations between the United States and territories regarded as ‘peripheral’ to the global security system. An item published in the Economist issue, The World in 2017 by that publication’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, identifies the beginning of a new and darker global order rooted in ‘anger and division’. In the same write-up Helen Joyce, the International editor predicts that “not only racism but misogyny too will be more freely voiced”. And whilst these opinions focused on Trump’s “illiberalism” there was the implicit connection with Theresa May’s Brexit on the alte of the Transatlantic. An early indicator of this shift manifested itself
nearly a year ago when Trinidad’s Prime Minister Mr. Keith Rowley took the initiative to assure Mr Trump that the good relations associated with the Obama years between the two Western Hemisphere countries were more or less “irre”. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Mr. Andrew Holness voicing the concerns of that island’s national bourgeoisie may have proceeded even further with platitudes, particularly against the background of the vexed issue of Jamaican deportees from the United States (Criminal justice system) and the still simmering aftermath of the Dudus Clarke Affair. THE APNU-AFC SECURITY PARADIGM POST BREXIT Last year’s Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that devastated entire islands in the Eastern Caribbean served to demonstrate that in the post Millennium, the
Regional Security structures in this instance the Coast Guards of Barbados and Trinidad, were capable of timely interventions despite the obvious need to “right size” the Rapid Response bureaucracies at the Caricom level. These units were positioned to deliver as part of a security assignment vital humanitarian items and even facilitate law and order detachments where the devastation was beyond the resources of islands such as that of Barbuda. The APNU-AFC leadership however, demonstrates a trait that was cemented during the decade plus years of the Obama administration that identified the “criminalized state” as a severe constraint to national unity and a democratic transparent governance system. A security system that can be operationalized without radical altering of the ethnic imbalance inherited from the Colonial period has always been a
preference for the Granger-Felix-Harmon-Williams quartet. And indeed the Granger approach seeking assistance from the United Kingdom reflects this factor. (E.g. Stabroek News, August 7 2017, editorial ‘Security’). Unlike the PPP/C and the national democracy, professional army and modernized police force approach with regard to the security and modernized police force approach with regard to the security law and justice (judicial) system that was conceptualized as an integral component of the socio-economic growth pathway, 1) the APNU-PNC Granger-Harmon-Felix strategy objectifies a Total National Defence dispensation with no realistic ‘capitalization’ input (Stabroek News, January 26 as well as editorial, Sunday Stabroek, January 28 2018, ‘Spending on the Military’). With a visibly contracting economy that is increas-
ingly dependent on the imposition of new “right sizing” taxes and fee charges, the Guyanese people have a right to query whether this Total Defence strategy is part of a longer term trans regional posture. PPP/C initiatives such as SOCU and CANU remain despite a degree of ambivalence in terms of operational and administrative/ fiduciary functions. At this level the role of the Guyana Police Force and that of tactically trained intelligence units appear to be subsumed under the overall or, overview terms of reference of the Coombes Report. This reflects the continuity of the Brendt Hardt (US State Department) LEAD recommendations that were countervailed by the PPP and the more community improvement Citizens Security Programme. At another level there must be some analysis of Lt Combe’ track record. Was his experience
based on security ‘stints; or services in societies that have polarized communities that are similar in some ways to that of Guyana? Will the Report be made accessible (or declassified sections) at some point in time before the next general elections? Has the Report considered the recommendations of other critical Commissions of Inquiry such as that of the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Walter Rodney? And just as important given the burdens imposed on the Guyanese taxpayers, what consideration has been extended to the material needs and requirements of the officers and ranks of the uniformed branch in the security sector including the recently renovated Youth or Cadet Corps? 1) As set out in considerable detail in PPP Manifesto, 2015 Guyana Version 2.0. Section ‘Fighting Crimes and Protecting Our People’.
Wales’ cane cutters severance pay demand covered by law
he Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has noted the comments made by Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder and GuySuCo CEO (ag), Paul Bhim in relation to the call by the 350-odd cane cutters of Wales for them to be paid
their severance payments. The Wales cane cutters are the only group of redundant sugar workers’ who are being denied their severance pay though they are entitled to such payments arising from the closure of Wales Estate in December, 2016.
The Agriculture Minister, in the February 06, 2018 Guyana Times, is reported to have said:- “…careful consideration has to be taken into account because making such a move, as it could potentially cost the Government to be placed in a bad situation”.
We are at a loss as to the ‘bad situation’ the Minister referred to. His reference in the Guyana Times article to the Rose Hall workers can only be likened to the invocation of a red-herring The Rose Hall matter is distinct and, we believe, should not be con-
voluted with the situation at Wales. The Minister’s stance that a judicial adjudication is necessary we see as nothing more than the Government and the GuySuCo’s intention to punish the workers for reason/s best known to them. It seems, from the article,
the Minister is not aware of all the relevant details with regards to the issue. Also, we expect that he deals with the matter impartially and possibly have knowledgeable person/s examine the matter carefully. We would want to (Turn to page 9)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Horse Another politicized Commissioner of Inquiry By: Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MP Attorney-at-Law
e are only in the second month of 2018 and another Commission of Inquiry (CoI) is upon us. The suddenness with which this one has emerged and the alacrity with which it was established have baffled many. I recall the newspapers of January 27, 2018 bearing the headlines that Minister of State, Joseph Harmon “hinted at the possibility” of the establishment of a CoI into the killings which took place between 20022009. Immediately, the Government spin-doctors begun to work and did irreversible damage to the credibility of any such CoI which was to be established. In both the conventional and social media, they begun to peddle the notion that this was going to be an exercise to inquire into killings, which took place under the PPP Government and more specifically, during the “Jagdeo era”. Quickly a nexus was established between the PPP Administration and what were described as “killing gangs” or “phantom squads” of that era. Expectedly, the race card was introduced. The impression conveyed was that some of these deaths were racially inspired. The ethnicity of some who per-
ished was highlighted. Police officers killed by bandits, ordinary Guyanese killed by bandits, bandits who died in cross fire with the Police, or killed in gang related shootouts and even persons who died of natural causes – were all included in the death toll by the raging propaganda. These prejudicial outpourings were condemned by the Leader of the Opposition who welcomed such an inquiry but demanded that it be carried out by international jurists. Speaking for myself, initially, I found it difficult to rationalize a reason for a CoI in the first place. The material facts of what transpired during this period are known to most Guyanese. In any event, this saga of violence did not originate from the jailbreak of 2001. I agree with former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who puts the beginning of this violent spree immediately after the 1997 elections. I will readily concede that the jailbreak of 2001 gave it a great impetus. Almost every one of the massacres which occurred during this period, including Lusignan, Bartica and even Minister Sash Sawh’s murder, were investigated and criminal charges instituted. Some of these cases are still pending in the legal system. Of course, I am unable to
pronounce on the quality of the investigations conducted. I hope someone is considering the impact, if any, that any proposed CoI would have on the criminal charges pending in our legal system. ONE MAN INQUIRY In any event, the CoI is here already. On my Facebook page, I questioned why confine any such inquiry to 2002-2009. I requested that it be extended to include the death of Courtney Crum-Ewing. His killing was shrouded in controversy equal to any. However, it is clear to me that this Government is not interested in truly investigating these killings. Based on the outpourings of their propagandists, the main objective is a political one: to implicate the PPP Government in criminality during this period. I surmise that this is being done to accumulate political ammunition for the local government elections later this year and the 2020 general elections. I am fortified in this view by the modus operandi of the Government in moving forward on this issue. The average Guyanese, I am sure, expected a little more information about this impending CoI. Having regard to the volume of work, which ought to have been anticipated and the political
sensitivities surrounding this matter, one would have expected a responsible and serious Government to engage in some modicum of consultation, if not with civil society, at least with the political Opposition. Such an approach would have silenced critics such as myself. I draw parallel with the two CoIs which were done in the 2011-2015 Government of which I was a part. Those are, the CoI into the shootings at Linden, 2012, and the Walter Rodney CoI. In both, the Terms of Reference (ToRs) as well as the Commissioners who sat on those inquiries received the consultative input of the then Opposition. In relation to the Linden CoI, there were five Commissioners, two from Guyana, two from Jamaica and one from Trinidad. In fact, Commissioner Dana Seetahal from Trinidad was nominated by the Opposition. All three Commissioners on the Walter Rodney CoI were from the Caribbean. These Commissions took months to be established with their ToRs published long before their establishment. Compare the above with what is happening now. Within a mere few days after Minister Harmon’s disclosure, the nation was confronted with a swearing-in of former Justice Donald Trotman to head a one-man
Wales’ cane cutters severance pay... believe that such an approach may very well cause the Minister to reconsider his stance. Following the Minister’s statement, we saw in the February 07, 2018 Guyana Times, the GuySuCo CEO (ag) saying that the Wales cutters “…were at risk of self-termination… based on the Collective Labour Agreement signed between GuySuCo and the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU)”. We recognize the GuySuCo CEO (ag) is repeating a sim-
ilar statement made during 2017 by a lower level Corporation official and which our Union had then pointed out was patently unfounded and false. We wish again to point out that should the Corporation deem that the concerned workers as having self-terminated their services then it would be engaged in contemptuous behaviour bearing in mind that the matter is engaging the attention of the Courts. But more than that, the GAWU/GuySuCo Collective Labour Agreement
at no point mentions or provides that a worker is deemed self-terminated after some period absence from work. The CEO (ag), goes on in the article, to say:- “… we require the workers at Uitvlugt… [w]e are still insisting that we need them to go…”. We could not help but wonder if it was the same person making this statement considering that just a few paragraphs before in the same article we noted the virtual threats being made to the workers. Moreover, if indeed
CoI, only into the Lindo Creek killings. Personally, I have no reason to doubt Justice Trotman’s credibility, nor competence. However, a one-man Commission is simply unacceptable. That his son is the Leader of the second largest Party in the Government, compounds the problem. However, most fundamentally, the nation was told of a singular inquiry into killings, which occurred between 2002-2009. How this massive proposed undertaking was miniaturized to a one-man inquiry into a singular incident, which occurred in 2008, virtually at the end of the proposed timeframe, remains most mindboggling. The President’s explanation that the inquiry into Lindo Creek deaths would, “lead to the unraveling of the criminal network” is equally bewildering. WHY LINDO CREEK? The nation is still at loss as to whether the killings which took place between the period 20022009, will still take place. If so, how will it manifest itself: an inquiry into one incident at a time? Or Lindo Creek was plucked out for special treatment? If so, why? Does the President have some peculiar knowledge of the Lindo
Creek incident, which has caused him to catapult its inquiry at the commencement? Why not start from the beginning, 1997, or even with the jailbreak of 2001? Is Mr. Justice Trotman going to be the singular Commissioner into all the various inquiries? Or will there, at some point in time, be a broad-based Commission staffed with international jurists? I can go on, but it is clear that the CoI established has raised more questions than it was possibly established to answer. It is equally clear, that the Government is not prepared to make a full and frank disclosure on these matters. Instead, its propaganda arm continues to peddle politically prejudiced information. By so doing, the Government is undermining itself, its own credibility and the CoI itself. I predict that this will turn out to be another CoI that will be lacking in credibility and whose report will be left on a shelf in some office, where it will gather dust. In the meanwhile, millions of scarce taxpayers’ dollars would go down the drain, once again. It is a fact of public notoriety that CoIs are not cheap.
the Uitvlugt cultivation have been allocated to farmers and for the areas that remain under the estate’s supervision, the Uitvlugt labour force is obviously sufficient. Mr Bhim, from the article, lamented the turnout of cane cutters to work but, seemingly, fails to connect the obvious dots. At a time when workers real wages have declined about 7 per cent and their nominal wages have fallen by 15 per cent between 2015 and 2016 alone, the situation for the workers
is not encouraging. The reality of no pay rise, no API, cutting down of benefits, disrespect of customs and practices, among other things, must have their effects. Such a situation we saw and experienced in the last half of the 1980’s and was only corrected when the workers rates-of-pay were reflective of the cost-of-living. Clearly, it seems the GuySuCo has not learnt from its previous mistakes and, therefore, from all indications, may be repeating them. (GAWU Release)
(From page 8)
the Corporation is so desirous of having these workers going to take up work at Uitvlugt then certainly a prudent management would have engaged the Union and the workers in discussions to examine its feasibility. The GAWU suspects that the statement is not sincere but rather a ploy through a veiled threat to force the workers to leave the industry thereby giving up their service, and with it their severance allowance; a rather wicked ploy. We are not unaware that large areas of
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
The PNC-led Coalition's Style of Governance: Utilizing their 3-D Tools to Maximum Advantage! By Dr Tara Singh
good friend says that the style of governance by the PNC-led coalition is remarkable for its authoritarian character, its practice of racism, and its lack of transparency and accountability. He also traces the authoritarian rule and other traits to Granger’s unconditional embrace of Burnhamism. Granger can get away with this form of governance firstly because he controls the coercive arms of the state (police, army, para-military, and prison). And he receives the full support from the AFC in this regard. Secondly, the Granger administration skillfully utilizes the 3-D approach to their perceived advantage. The 3-D represents Deception, Diversion and Destruction. These are important tools in their governing apparatus. Currently, there are major national issues afflicting the country, such as the urgency to determine the constitutionality of the unilateral appointment of the GECOM Chair; the status of the secretive Exxon bonus deal, the humanitarian crisis precipitated by the closure of 4 sugar estates; the escalating crime problem; growing unemployment, the decline in sectoral output, among others. The Granger administration continues to engage in diversion, deception and subtle destruction. It feels that deception had worked well for them at the general elections, and that also allowed them victory at the polls. “If that tool secured for them victory, well, why not employ it in governance?” In
re-negotiating the Exxon contract, for example, for which they were granted a $(US) 18 million signing bonus in 2016, they concealed that fact from the public and vehemently denied ever receiving it, until they were forced to capitulate in response to soaring pressures from the public and civil society. Their pretexts for earlier non-disclosure of the signing bonus were clumsy. An examination of the provisions of the contract reveals some glaring deficiencies. For example, Guyana has to pay the bill(s) for legal expense should either Exxon or Guyana decide to go to the court to settle any dispute. Why was the bonus payment not paid into the Consolidated Fund according to the law? Why didn’t the government accept the Opposition’s suggestion to pay sugar workers (earning $(G) 500,000+) their full severance from this bonus? On the signing bonus issue, a visiting oil expert says that Guyana should have received at least between $(US) 25 to $(US) 50 million as the signing bonus, but instead got only $(US) 18 million. It seems that the coalition’s re-negotiation of the contract did not bring much benefits to Guyana, except the signing bonus [$(US) 18 million] and $(US) 2 per barrel of oil instead of 1$(US) per barrel. The oil expert says that Guyana should have received $(US) 5-7 per barrel of oil. These are a few of the sore issues that the coalition operatives are trying to hide and to shift blame away from center stage politics. They hope that their calculated efforts to divert and deceive
people, will work to their advantage! Joblessness is a serious issue. A person who is unemployed for a long time becomes demoralized, feels worthless within his family and tends to develop a negative self-image. Solving the unemployment problem, especially among youth, could restore their hope and faith in the country, but the government does not have this as a top priority. A national economic development strategy is yet to be formulated in which unemployment reduction would be integral. The high level of youth unemployment (40%) in particular feeds into criminal activity and threatens national security. The public as well as the ABC countries (America, Canada and UK) don’t believe the government’s reports that the crime rate is going down. They have issued travel advisories to their citizens. Bandits are so brazen now that they attack their victims with impunity and at any time of the day. They even engage in oral sex with victim(s). They rob the blind, the church, the hospital, the bank, the street vendor, the beggar, the diplomat, the office, and even the dead. How many more of these types of crime occur but are not reported for fear of reprisal and/or embarrassment! Public safety is the foremost responsibility of any government. The government doesn’t think so. But the reality is that the majority of Guyanese live in fear of being victimized. Is there a national crime fighting strategy? Has the government been able to curb the drug trafficking?
A major humanitarian crisis is emerging in Guyana. Thousands of sugar workers have been laid off with no alternative employment offered to the majority of them. Over 80,000 people would be directly affected by the government's decision to close 4 sugar estates. The coalition’s major objective was to weaken the PPP support base. Other sugar estates were closed before but the transition was not ruthless. Despite the pleas from various sources for the government to conduct a social and economic impact study first before the sugar estate closures, the government rejected this. They are treating sugar workers with contempt, having denied them their pay increase, their API (Annual Production Incentive), and reluctant to pay workers (entitled to $(G) 500,000+) their full severance in accordance with the law. Not only that, the future for the displaced sugar workers is extremely bleak? Social problems will also multiply. Here’s another attempt at diversion. WPA operative Tacuma Ogunseye lavished praises on Komal for disagreeing with Jagdeo on the modality of payment for the severance package. Tacuma never praised Komal as a unionist before. Rather than addressing the way forward for the sugar industry and how he and his government could solve the emerging humanitarian crisis in the sugar industry, they resort to side show, creating a storm in a teapot. Nagamootoo has jumped into the arena. He also praised Komal, while criticizing Jagdeo. When
Ramjattan’s AFC launched a bitter attack on Komal and GAWU (Stabroek News of 1/23/2018), both Nagamootoo and Tacuma remained silent. They never chastised Ramjattan’s AFC for that lethal outburst against KOmal and GAWU. Isn’t this a case of duplicity? GAWU rebuked the AFC for providing distorted information designed to deceive. “The AFC columnist(s) has sought, unashamedly, to castigate our Union for the sorrowful state the sugar industry finds itself today. This simply is hogwash emanating from the AFC. During the AFC’s short, and one can say destructive, excursion in which the sugar industry is under the direct responsibility of an AFC Minister, sugar production has fallen from 231,071 tonnes in 2015 to 137,297 tonnes in 2017…Today, the AFC has shown its hand and exposed its charlatan-like qualities.” The coalition is trying very hard to divert attention from the distress of sugar workers by displaying expressions of superficial concern for laid-off sugar workers. Their theatrics are amazing, though not surprising. I hope that Komal don't fall for this subterfuge, with all their (coalition’s) patronizing attitude! Jagdeo has dismissed any notion of a power struggle between him and Komal. Nagamootoo and Tacuma should first explain why the coalition rejected not only the 2016 GAWU sugar proposal depicting the way forward for the sugar industry, but also, why they allowed the sugar situation to grow into a humanitarian
crisis. They were the ones who said that the PPP was fooling the people that they (coalition) would close the sugar industry once they got into power. Instead, they (coalition) vowed not to close the sugar industry and proclaimed, “sugar is too big to fail” and further stated that they would give sugar workers a 20% raise. What a colossal lie! The coalition government does not want people to focus on Guyana’s sectoral decline. They don't want people to express their fear about the crime problem. They don't want to talk about the growing joblessness that afflicts the country. They don't want to talk about constitutional reform. They don't want to talk about the numerous constitutional violations committed by the coalition, including the illegal appointment of the GECOM Chair. They don't want to talk about their deep involvement in corruption (40+ cases). Why does the government refuse to investigate these acts of corruption? For how long will they seek cover in deception, diversion and the destruction of opposition supporters’ dreams, and then cast the blame onto the PPP? True to form, they (coalition) have just established a COI into the Lindo Creek blood bath. Jagdeo and many others regard this COI as another diversion. Once they perceive that deception and diversion work for them, they will continue to embrace these tools. They have already forgotten their solemn promise to fix the problems of the country, whether inherited from the PPP or otherwise.
Estates closure lead to decline in production of molasses ‒ DDL operations affected
ne of the negative aspects of the closure of sugar estates by the APNU/ AFC government is the decrease in the production of molasses. This has led the country’s major rum producer, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), looking to import this commodity from overseas. The political opposition had long advanced the argument that there was the need to do serious studies on the
effects of closure of estates but this was not heeded by the government. “We’re looking at a wide range of options at the present time; our goal, our objective is to have adequate and ready supply of molasses, or sugar cane juice to meet our rum requirement,” said Komal Samaroo, Chairman of DDL. Mr Samaroo was speaking Wednesday during an interview at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.
Sugar factories at Skeldon and Rose Hall in Berbice and the one at Enmore, East Coast Demerara were closed just over a month ago; the one at wales, West Bank Demerara was closed a year ago. “I think the rum industry in Guyana is at a very critical juncture because we depend on molasses from the sugar industry for production and this year we’re seeing a sharp decline in production of molasses, which could affect our production,” Samaroo said.
The company had previously expressed interest in investing in the Enmore estate to keep operations going there and guarantee its supply of molasses. Samaroo said while the interest in Enmore remains, the company is considering other options that could be more feasible. “Because the market (for rum) is so competitive and it is price driven…we are looking at the option of investing in Enmore, to be part of the supply chain, and at the same time we are exploring the possibility of
outsourcing from outside of Guyana so that we can do the comparative economics that can be in the long-term interest of the company and the country,” Samaroo stated. He suggested the company was not in panic mode yet, saying that it has taken steps to ensure it has continuity of production and can meet its market commitments. A significant amount of DDL’s rums are shipped out in bulk, but increasingly the company has invested in
high-value brands which are distributed in about 60 countries; 2015 was the first time in the company’s history that the export value of branded rum exceeded the value of bulk rum. DDL’s distillery and associated operations employ 1, 200 persons. Samaroo said these are “high-quality jobs, people who are well trained, people who have careers and have served our company for many years.” “So we have a duty to protect those jobs,” Samaroo stated.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Ramphal says ICJ’s decision on border controversy will reassembling same team be binding ‒thatUrges won against Suriname ‒ It could take years
that the ICJ process is time consuming and could take years to be finalized. Speaking at inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Business Exhibition (GIPEX) summit at the Marriott Hotel this morning, Ramphal said whether or not Venezuela heeded the advice of the United Nations and went to the ICJ to fight the matter, “Guyana is moving forward.” He related that the process to have a final settle-
ment to this issue could take years, which to a large extent has a lot to do with how Venezuela responds to the matter. He has also advised that the team that won the border matter against Suriname should be reassembled to handle the border controversy with Venezuela. The international diplomat, who also happens to be Guyana’s top legal adviser in the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy, told the media today that finding the legal fees to pay a team to represent Guyana is miniature. Venezuela has already rejected the decision taken by the UN to have the border controversy settled by the ICJ. The Guyana Government had said it plans to use a signing bonus of US$18M received from ExxonMobil to stand the expense of a legal team.
family,” Dr Persaud told those gathered at Enmore. Twenty students in the Community were presented with bursaries from the Dharmic Sabha, while approximately 100 families of ex-sugar workers received hampers. Dr. Persaud said she hopes that the contribution will bring some sense of security to those persons who would have lost their jobs at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) at the end of 2018, as she promised that her organization will stand with them during their challenges. Dr. Persaud noted that the bursaries are given out every year through the Dr. Reepu Daman Persaud foundation in memory of
her father. The 20 bursaries given to students in Enmore is only a fraction of what is being given out across the country. She explained that 82 bursaries are being given out this year since her father would have celebrated his 82nd birthday this year. The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has expressed an interest in setting up a Special Purpose Company with the Government to manage the operations of the Enmore Estate on the East Coast of Demerara. The PSC promised retrenched workers that once the private sector takes control of the Enmore Estate, they can regain employment.
uyana’s Sir Shridath Ramphal has said that the decision taken by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy would be legally binding and hence would have to be accepted by the parties involved. Guyana has fully accepted the decision of the UN to take the controversy to the International Court of Justice whereas Venezuela has rejected that position. “The decision of the court will be binding. It is not going to be in an advisory capacity. Unfortunately, some pretty wild things have been said in Guyana which are far from legally accurate… Don’t be misguided by these wild opinions. This is not a time for Guyana to argue these issues in Guyana with Guyana,” he said. He is also of the opinion
Dharmic Sabha reaches out to ex-sugar workers P
resident of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, Dr. Vindhya Persaud has noted that her organization is compiling a database of the skills existing in communities where retrenched sugar workers of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) reside. Speaking during an event hosted in the community of Enmore, East Coast Demerara on Sunday evening, she noted that her organization will use the information to help in the training of persons and assist them with gaining employment. “We want to offer you training, we want to set up something whereby you can earn a livelihood and it can be sustainable. So I want you to help us with this process so that we can get that information from you; the women, the men, what skills you have? Whether its agriculture or sewing –let us put that together and let us see how we can train you a little more and let us see how we can set up some small industries so that you can at least earn to support your
Worrying signs on the horizon
Premier Dr Cheddi Jagan and the Council of Ministers in September 1961
By Hydar Ally
he PPP has always been in the forefront when it comes to constitutional reforms aimed at deepening the democratic and governance process. During the period of rigged elections, in particular after the massively rigged election of 1973, the PPP in the national interest changed its political line from ‘non-cooperation and civil resistance’ to that of ‘critical support.’ The PPP always put the national interests ahead of narrow partisan interests. That critical support saw Dr. Jagan and the PPP participating in the May Day celebrations together with the then Prime Minister L.F.S Burnham as well as a decision to re-enter Parliament which was initially boycotted by the PPP. Other initiatives taken by the Party included formal talks between the PPP and the PNC with the possibility of critical support leading to a political solution. From the very inception of the talks, the Party took the position that the talks should deal with the situation comprehensively. The PNC however had limited objectives. Because its approach to the talks were partisan, narrow and based on self interest not much was achieved. In actual fact, the talks collapsed on December 3, 1976. The occasion for the collapse was an ultimatum by Burnham that the PPP retract an editorial in the Mirror newspaper captioned ‘ Guns instead of Bread’. The PPP, true to its fighting spirit on behalf of the working people, had opposed a mini-budget in October 1976, which would have placed greater burdens on the people. The money was intended primarily for the military and the para-military in addition to cuts in subsidies to poultry farmers, which would have resulted in steep increases in the price of eggs and poultry. It was against the back-
drop of the failed talks that the PPP came up with the idea of a National Front Government, which was conceptually a broad-based government made up of all parties and groups that were progressive and which subscribed to an anti-imperialist and non-capitalist path of development. The government was expected to be constituted on the basis of political, economic and social justice. At the political level, the expectation was that there should be full exercise of democratic freedoms and free and fair elections at all levels of government. Perhaps more importantly from a governance perspective was the ‘winner does not take it all’ principle in which the two major parties become part of the executive. The Constitution was intended to provide for an Executive President, a Prime Minister and a National Assembly elected every five years. Interestingly, the proposal catered for the President to be elected by the people as in the United States or by members of the National Assembly. He or she shall have veto power which could only be overridden by a 2/3 majority vote in the National Assembly. The Prime Minister would be drawn from the party that had the majority of seats in the National Assembly. He will preside over a Cabinet drawn from each party in proportion to its strength in the National Assembly. These proposals for a National Patriotic Front Government as advanced by the PPP were made at a point in time when the balance of forces in the world was shifting in favour of socialism. By the late 1980’s both the objective and subjective conditions in Guyana and the world had changed markedly. The world socialism system, for all practical purposes, had disappeared following the disintegration of the USSR and the destruction of the
Berlin Wall. In Guyana, the call for democracy and an end to PNC authoritarian rule was gaining momentum. The United States, which was hitherto ambivalent on the issue of democracy for Guyana issued a call for free and fair elections. That call came from no less a person than President George Bush who in a Republic Day Message to then President Hoyte expressed the hope that the forthcoming election due in the early 1990’s would be held in accordance with democratic principles shared by the peoples of both the United States and Guyana. Based on the above, the writing was on the wall. The days of PNC dictatorial rule was clearly numbered. At the elections of October 5, 1992, the PPP as widely expected, won a comfortable majority in partnership with its Civic component. It is fair to say that the first attempt at some form of shared and inclusive government was initiated by Dr. Jagan and the PPP after the October 5, 1992 elections. Since then, the Civic remained a fixed component of the PPP in all subsequent elections. Based on an unwritten formula, the Prime Minister was drawn from the Civic component. The search for a governance mechanism reflective of our ethnic and political diversity still remains a challenge. In this regard, it is disappointing that the issue of constitutional reform which was a major campaign plank by the APNU-AFC coalition has now been put in cold storage. Instead, there are some worrying signs on the political horizon following the unilateral appointment of a new GECOM Chairman by President Granger. This is a clear and in my view, unnecessary departure from the Carter Formula which had worked so well in previous elections.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Granger's oil Advisor lashes out at gov't ExxonMobil deal ‒ Oil contract could be amended ...says presidential adviser on petroleum …while criticising low royalty and large concession …not invited to Guyana’s first Oil and Gas Summit
contract is an agreement between two parties and when one is dissatisfied then the terms of that agreement could be reviewed and amended, according to the Presidential Adviser on Petroleum, Dr Jan Mangal. Dr Mangal made the statement while speaking to reporters following a discussion on the Government’s vision for the oil and gas sector at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus on Wednesday. “A contract is an agreement between two people and both parties need to be comfortable. If one party becomes really uncomfortable it will be changed. Guyana is a sovereign country, the evidence out there from around the world is that when situations change, like look at the price for natural gas people sign contracts for natural gas at very high price long-term contracts, the price for natural gas has dropped drastically, people are renegotiating those contracts,” he stated. He added that if a contract is amended then the oil companies would contend that Government is discouraging investments but noted that investments ought to be weighed compared to the level of comfort with the contract. He explained that if Guyana decided to amend its contract with ExxonMobil then there will be the perception that it does not know what
it wants but noted that he believes otherwise. “We have to be careful not to simplify too much. It is not black and white, there could be a whole lot of grey area in the middle,” the petroleum expert noted. Dr Mangal has a Doctorate in Offshore Geotechnical Engineering from Oxford University and a Bachelor in Civil Engineering from the University of Edinburg. He worked in the marine and oil and gas industries for over 18 years, where he spent 13 of those with US oil giant, Chevron, working on major projects in the USA, West Africa and Asia. When asked about whether he thinks the contract should be renegotiated, Dr Mangal stated that while he has his views he is not ready to pronounce on that publicly but did say it is a topic of discussion with the Government. “Last year the focus was getting the contract out so Guyana could get a comfort level of what the contract was about. The process has just started; it will probably take some time for the people to do analyses and Guyanese as a whole to decide what they want to do… sticking with things how they are or looking for another solution,” he explained. He further explained that if Government needs to get to a point where Guyanese are comfortable and trust them
when it comes to the oil and gas industry. “It is part of my remit to push for transparency so don’t want to be in a situation where information is withheld from citizens and then they develop mistrust or further mistrust of the industry. We need Guyana and Guyanese to be comfortable with what they have and the direction they take. So, the way to do that is by putting information out there and not withholding information,” he noted. Dr Mangal informed that following the release of the contract in December of 2017, he is now in the process of organising a team of experts to review the contract for the Government to decide a way forward. “I am pushing to get experts… to get support from the IDB, IMF, etc to go and do thorough review of the contract. Some of them already have reviewed the contract so it’s the case of doing more of that and getting results and then for Government to look at the results and decide what to do,” he related. When asked if those reports should be made public, the oil and gas expert said it is his belief that all things should be made public so as to encourage transparency. LOW ROYALTY
Under the renegotiated agreement, Guyana receives
two per cent royalty on earnings from ExxonMobil’s oil sales while the US oil giant would not be required to pay taxes on its share of the profits and according to the President’s Petroleum Adviser that is low compared to global standards. He also raised concerns about the system used to negotiate that agreement and also the expertise of the persons doing the negotiating. “What we can do is look at what are the international norms. Royalty, when you look around, is more between 10 and 20 per cent, not two per cent. Tax is usually 20-30 per cent in some places, the production split of 5050 is not too bad,” Dr Mangal noted while responding to a student’s question about whether the Government negotiated a fair contract. “If a process was fol-
lowed then we would know who was involved, knew their competencies, expertise and that they went there to bat for Guyana. A lot of people in Guyana right now are questioning that,” he added. The presidential advisor said generally oil companies are very powerful and experts in everything they do and they know how to influence governments to a “T” but would buckle under public pressure and as such he encouraged Guyanese to engage in “intelligent debates” on the future of its oil and gas sector. LARGE CONCESSION
Based on the 1999 agreement and the new 2017 deal, ExxonMobil is controlling the entire Stabroek Block of about 600 blocks or 10 times more than what Guyana’s laws allow. That was raised by a law student of the university who sought to get clarification and Dr Mangal’s opinion on the control of such a large concession. “It is not good for one company owning too much of your acreage. Exxon already owns over 50 per cent of the acreage in Guyana. That’s not good for Guyana,” he said. “The other thing to consider in Guyana that this is a first project. Guyana is trying to attract international investment, however, Guyana needs to also remember that the Stabroek Block is a
huge block and that contract promises the whole block. It could be that all of Guyana’s oil is in the Stabroek block… So if this was a small block then it would be okay to say oh well let’s leave it to the next block we will get a better deal but the block is a huge block so Guyanese need to weight the tradeoff with that situation of the blocks and trying to attract foreign investments,” Dr Mangal added. He noted that in some countries, they mandate competition and control who the blocks are allocated to while recommending that a review of the block allocation be done. GIPEX SUMMIT
The University of Guyana hosted the discussion on the day the inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GEPEX) opened and his absence from the event was notable. When asked about that, he told reporters that he was never invited to the event despite his boss, President David Granger, being listed as one of the speakers. “I was not invited to go so that’s the main reason. If you looked at the website, you will see President Granger picture was there. I would assume he was invited,” he said. However, the President was a no show at the event. (Guyana Times)
Ministry of the Presidency distances govt from Petroleum Advisor’s criticisms of ExxonMobil contract A bout five hours after Dr. Jan Mangal, Petroleum Advisor to President David Granger delivered a number of hard-hitting criticisms of the controversial ExxonMobil contract, government sought to dissociate itself from his positions. “The Ministry of the Presidency puts on record that Dr. Jan Mangal, Presidential Advisor on Petroleum, is not authorised to speak on behalf of His Excellency, President David Granger or the Government of Guyana,” the Ministry of the Presidency
said in a one-line statement issued at 9:50 PM. Mangal delivered his presentation between 3 PM and shortly after 5 PM in his capacity as Presidential Advisor on Petroleum as was stated on the University of Guyana programme for its “Discussion on the Government of Guyana’s Vision for the Oil and Gas Sector”. He was introduced by that designation and at no time did he say whether or not he was speaking in his private or official capacity. He stopped short of say-
ing whether or not he would like to see the contract revised, opting only to remark that he would make known his views known in the coming weeks. Mangal’s latest shortterm contract expires in March. At the forum, Mangal said the two percent royalty that Guyana secured from ExxonMobil in the 2017 Production Sharing Agreement was way below the globally accepted norms of between 10 and 20 percent. No tax on oil revenues did not find
favour with Mangal who has worked in several oil producing nations. He, however, welcomed the 50-50 percent split in profit oil. Taking credit for pushing for the release of the ExxonMobil contract in December 2017, Mangal said that was needed to stimulate public debate so that civil society and the wider Guyanese community could determine whether it is a good or bad deal. Mangal said he was also behind efforts to have the
contract reviewed by experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to review contract. At the same time, he cautioned against amending the contract because that could send a bad signal to investors. Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman has repeatedly defended the contract, saying that previously there were no provisions for funding training and corporate social responsibility and there was no real
royalty. He said the contract takes into consideration the political, financial and border-security related risks associated with the Guyana-Venezuela boundary controversy. Guyana begins commercial oil production from the Liza well at a rate of 120,000 barrels per day. ExxonMobil is also eyeing the possibility of increasing its daily production soon after with the addition of another Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. (Demwaves)
STRAIGHT TALK 13
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
THE WAY BACKWARD
By Cheddi Jagan 15th JANUARY, 1955, THUNDER
old Party Congress – throw out the “extremists” – have new General Elections. This is the new slogan of a section of the Party. In fact, I have being told that at least two persons are going about actively recruiting new members for the sole purpose of throwing out the “extremists.” This is in complete conformity with the plans laid down by the imperialists. Recall the words of the Robertson Constitution Commission “… but we can find no escape from the logical conclusion that so long as the present leadership and policies of the People’s Progressive Party continue, there is no way in which any measure of self-government can be restored in British Guiana.” The imperialists have come to the realizationthat at any new election, a united PPP cannot be defeated. Consequently their recommendation of “a period of marking time.” During this period of marking time, the imperialists hope one or the other or both of two schemes will materialize. One, the weakening of the PPP vis a vis the otherparties: two, a split within the ranks of the party. In support of scheme number one, the Commission stated that, “we would hope that in the period (of marking time) plans for social and economic development would be energetically pursued and that the gradual improvement of social and economic conditions would help to bring about a change in the political outlook of the electorate”. In other words by “pump priming” with “gifts” and loans from H.M.’s Treasury, the people must be bribed away from supporting the PPP in its fight against imperialism. DIVIDE AND RULE But just in case the people are not foolish enough to give up the PPP then there is another road – the old
policy of divide and rule. Split the Party. Separate the moderates from the radicals. The Robertson Commission took great pain to divide the party into two groups, the “extremist”, communist and the “democratic” socialist. Having done this, it clearly pointed in paragraph 214 the road of opportunisms and treachery when it said: “the extremist leaders of the PPP and the policies for which they stand are the sole barriers to constitutional progress. The people and even some of the leaders, the Commission then went on to suggest, must purge the Party of this “extremist” leadership, must change its policies. The right wing must kick out the left wing. The moderates must bring their policies in line with the imperialist plans. After this there may be hope for new elections. I regret to say that this opportunist line is now peddled by a section of the party. Remove Cheddi Jagan from the position as leader of the party,and kick out all or the majority of his “extremist” supporters;Sidney King, Ramkarran, Martin Carter, Janet Jagan, Rory Westmaas, Lionel Jeffrey, Fred Bowman, George Robertson, Nasrudeen, Mohamed Khan, Eric Huntly, Harry Lall, Pandit Misir. As long as these people remain, argue these deluded individuals, there is no hope. The British don’t like them. Let us fool the imperialists therefore, by taking them out for a while until we get back our constitution and then they can come in back again. What they fail to understand is that for the British imperialist the definition of the term “extremist” has a wide range of elasticity. Was it not only yesterday when Prime Minister Nehru of India and other Indian leaderswere the wildest extremists. According to British yardstick, even the Kabaka of Buganda was an extremist. I recall a speech made by Comrade Burnham in India. He said that we were thrown out of the government al-
legedly for communism and extremism but what about the Kabaka of Buganda. He was so far removed from Communism that when he arrived in England he even stayed away from the Labour Party Socialists. In fact, Lyttleton shed crocodile tears about his deposition and deportation when he said that the Kabaka and his son belonged to the same club at Cambridge University. SHADOW NOT SUBSTANCE OF POWER Assuming that the “extremist” in our Executive and General Council are kicked out or isolated, what then? Are we going to get new election straight away? As I see it, no. The imperialist will watch carefully – what is the line taken in Thunder, what are the trade unions doing in which the PPP leaders are placed, are they fighting or backsliding? Only when they are completely satisfied that there has been a change will they granta new constitution and elections? Assuming however that the imperialists are fooled, elections are held and the extremist purged PPP wins a majority. What then? Then the party will be able, say the splitters, once again to fight for the people. But will it? Let’s look at the report of the Robertson Commission. They clearly stated that the Waddington Constitution must be revised backwards. The future Executive Council they said will have five elected Ministerand five nominated and official Ministerswith the Governor having casting vote. They further suggested “that all statutory Boards, Committees of Inquiry, and Boards with Executive functions should be appointed by the Governor, on the recommendation of the Executive Council, but that the Governor in approving or refusing consent should act in his discretion. With regards to the Committees solely advisory to a Minister, the Minister should make the appointment.” And further
the Legislature will have no financial control over the Governor and his staff, the Auditor and his staff, the Public Service Commission and the Judiciary. In other words, the future PPP Ministers would be mere puppets, having the shadow, and not the substance, of power.Under such a constitution, it is only self-delusion to think that the PPP will succeed in doing anything for the working people. Of course, if we are only thinking of warming seats in the Legislature and Ministries and replacing the puppets, Kendalls, Cummings, etc., then that another matter. But let’s assume that after the purge, the new constitution is the same as, or better than, the Waddington Constitution. What is to prevent the Tory Government from throwing out the future PPP government if it is bent on carrying out the same economic programme as the last one. Having done it once, they can do it again. Remember that it wasn’t communism that caused us to be kicked out. That was only the excuse. The British knew of our “communism” long before the elections and up to the time when the Queen gave the Coronation Medals. They watched us
during the three months “honeymoon” period. Onlyafter they were convinced that we were not going to sell out to them that the gun boats and bayonets moved in. The splitters in the party are now saying that we must do anything, even kicking out the most militant party fighters, to get back political power. When we get back in the Legislature, then we will able to fight for the economic demands of the workers and farmers. These people have not learned the lesson of Guatemala. That small unfortunate country has proved that even a sovereignindependent country (much less a colony) which is prepared to use its political power for the people against the imperialist will have itself overrun and its government overthrown. THE WAY FORWARD The basic mistake of the splitters- and hence the opportunism - is that they look upon our situation as hopeless and static. They do not see things in terms of struggle and movement. They fail to take cognizance of international events and the strengthening of the position of the international working class. But these factors must
be given the fullest consideration. In the UN:the imperialists are on the defensive. On colonial issues the so called “mother” countries save their face only by maneuvering and claiming that colonial questions are domestic matters. We have seen that 30 countries are soon to meet at an Asian African Conference. The chief topic will be colonialism. We have also seen the powerful London Cooperative Societies resolution calling on the Labour Party should it win the next Elections to restore Constitutional life here. Colonial issues are assuming larger and larger proportions in Britain’s affairs. And it is almost certain that the Labour party will win the next General Elections to be held either in this year or early next year. For our part, we do not have to retreat and beg. We must strengthen the Trade Union Movement. We must become more intimate with the workers and farmers and their problems. Only by relentless struggle we will get what we want. United the imperialist will never defeat us. This temporary setback must not be used to weaken us. Rather it should be a period of consolidating our forces and raising the ideological level of the masses.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Coalition Gov’t Repor President pardons prisoners
Reporter under fire from Nagamootoo, he says Chronicle is a ‘gov’t paper’
Guyana slips 6 points on 2015 Global Democracy Ranking report
Harmon says 34 ‘Honorary’ Advisors APNU+AFC Ministers appointed, admits under fire for ‘selling’ political favours APNU+AFC supporters received positions
The Democracy Ranking 2015 released the new results and data scores of its latest report over the weekend and Guyana slipped from the 55th position out of 113 countries to 61st place – a slip of six points.
Granger mocks judicial system; pardons prisoners without revealing names or crimes.
WEEKS after promising to address the scandal over the appointment of Brian ‘BK’ Tiwari as a Ministerial Advisor, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, released a short statement. And reiterated that persons who supported the campaign of the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Administration were appointed to various positions.
Two months after declaring of the Guyana Chronicle is “bastion” of public information and committing to reform of the Public Information sector, so that it informs and empowers members of the public to make wise choices, rather than fall prey to narrow and partisan agendas. And switching from the position he held in while in Opposition, now as Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo contends that the Guyana Chronicle is not a State newspaper, rather it is a government newspaper.
AFTER public comments by his Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, about supporters being given appointments, and Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, defending a wind energy power purchase agreement with a party supporter, as a political investment, President David Granger made public another view.
Granger ‘recycling incompetence from Gov’t buckles under one Ministry to ‘criticisms’: Granger another’, Cabinet confirms demotion of reshuffle fools Norton, other moves no one - PPP in Cabinet reshuffle The criticisms that bombarded the David Granger-led Coalition Government have seen the Administration buckling. And President David Granger has confirmed that Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton, has been demoted to head the Department of Social Cohesion – which falls under the Ministry of the Presidency. As such, Norton will not have to report to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon. Norton, over the last few weeks, has had to apologise to the National Assembly for misleading the House on the matter of the controversial ‘drug bond’ issue. He has also been at the centre of another scandal where he allegedly mandated the release of large consignments of imported foods, which the Food and Drug Administration deemed unfit for consumption.
The Cabinet reshuffle confirmed by President David Granger, has been dubbed as an “appeasement measure by Granger towards its junior coalition partner” – the Alliance For Change (AFC) – by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
Office of the President’s operatives tear down ‘Cheddi Jagan Research Centre’ sign Several men, in shirts emblazoned with the Ministry of the Presidency logo, reigned nothing short of terror down on the staffers at Red House – saying that they were acting on the instructions of Minister of State, Joseph Harmon
Drug bond scandal: Rental contract reveals professional office leased for over $14M, not bond The recent release of an incomplete unsigned contract (Agreement of Tenancy) between the Ministry of Public Health and the Linden Holdings Inc., to the Parliamentarians, is adding more shock waves to what is now being popularly called the “drug bond scandal’.
Jordan says Bill to impose more fees a ‘win-win’, PPP/C MPs argue against more hardships on Guyanese The Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2016 – Bill No. 25/2016 – was first up for debate at the sitting of the National Assembly, the first sitting of 2016. And the political Opposition kicked off 2017 in the National Assembly with a fight against what it called oppressive tax measures that will make the lives of Guyanese people worse.
Granger tells Congress – ‘PNCR ‘constitution’ is our supreme law’ “Our Constitution” is our supreme law, President David Granger declared at the opening of the 19th Biennial Delegates Congress of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
rt Card ... in headlines Politically appointed REO in Region 9 facing sexual assault charges
After allegations of sexual harassment leveled against the politically appointed Regional Executive Officer (REO) in Region 9, Carl Parker, by a top elected female official in the region, he was charged on February 8, 2017, and brought before Judge Judy Latchman. Released on bail set at GY $200 000, he is scheduled to return to Court on February 16, 2017.
2016 ends with robberies near the 3,000-mark The Guyana Police Force has disclosed its report on the crime statistics as at the end of 2016. And the various cases of robberies almost at the 3,000-mark, with 1,267 reports being cases of break and enter and larceny.
First sitting for 2017: Speaker called out for attempt to muzzle PPP/C MPs
At the close of the first sitting of 2017, House Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland, expressed his intention for the House to sit up to 22:00hours at future sittings and attempted to dictate the content of speeches made by People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentarians.
Rice Industry Shocker… Alesie walks away after 25 years
Government supporter and Chairman of the Alesie Group, Turhane Doerga, has confirmed that the company is closing its five mills and will cease doing business in Guyana because he claims the rice industry is in rapid decline and government is bereft of ideas to halt the decline.
68 out of 86 drugs on essential drugs list in short supply at Public Hospital Despite government denials, over 50 per cent of essential drugs are in short supply or have run out at the Georgetown Public Hospital. These include paracetamol, aspirin, insulin and other essential drugs. It was reported to PAC earlier that 186 drugs were out of stock or in short supply, earlier this year.
Ramjattan admits to ‘having drinks’ with UK advisor to SOCU, after Luncheon and Jagdeo arrested Days after British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, denied that staff from the British High Commission were with a Government Minister at a café in Georgetown a day after the arrests and detention of top People’s Progressive Party (PPP) officials, Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, confessed a different story. The matter relates particularly to British Advisor to the Special Organised Crimes Unit (SOCU), Sam Sittlington. At a fundraising dinner, Ramjattan said, “The fact (is) that I had some wine with Sam on Wednesday evening at Oasis was because I wanted to thank him for the great work he did at SOCU.” The ‘drinks’ came after top PPP leaders were arrested. Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has called for an investigation.
Overcrowded St. Ignatius Nursery School forces children under dilapidated APNU+AFC inks five benab for classes Parents of students at the St. Ignatius Nursery School in Central Rupununi, Region 9, have expressed concerns over the fact that representations of a major issue have not been addressed.
PSC condemns moves to restrict foreign currency market The Private Sector Commission (PSC), has said that it has read with consternation the pronouncements of the Minister of State as these relate to the introduction of stricter regulations and closer monitoring of the foreign exchange market in Guyana.
Economic slowdown threatening businesses Businesses are scaling down operations, while several others are closing down, contributing to the increased unemployment levels.
multi-million dollar loan agreements in less than two weeks
The David-Granger led government continues to plunge the country into early inextricable debt, borrowing heavily from IDB. The IMF has said that the debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to reach 61 per cent of GDP by 2019 and has recommended fiscal adjustments.
‘Basil Williams remains in contempt of court’ Attorney General, Basil Williams, despite a court order, has failed to appoint the Governing Board to the Deed Commercial Registry Authority, (DCRA) and has filed an appeal in the matter. However, former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, contends that the filing of an appeal does not translate to operating as a stay of execution of the High Court’s decision for him to appoint the Registry’s Board.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
PPP leaders and activists in outreaches, party meetings and election work
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
The Hinterland Connection (Part II)
traditional network of exchange relationships links the Akawaio with their neighbors and, via these, to more distant Amerindian groups. Notably, they obtain Yecuana cassava graters, blowpipes, and quivers; brewing pots from the Patomona; and curare from the Piaroa. They traveled to the coast to work and barter for metal tools, utensils, cloth, beads, guns, salt, and a great variety of exotic goods, which they also traded in the traditional network. Members of a village and its surrounding settlements have a collective right to use of the land and resources of the neighborhood. Others use them only in collaboration or by paying. Vacant areas between villages, used for long-distance hunting and gathering, ensure that conflicting claims are rare. Coastal miners have increasingly worked in the area since 1959, but Akawaio believe that the resources of their ancestral land should be exploited only by Akawaio. The Akawaio are a territorially based cultural unity, expressing interrelationships in the idiom of kinship and a conceptual and moral identity. There is no central in-
digenous institution; they conceive of themselves as a people against other, similarly organized peoples. They divide themselves internally by referring to river-valley settlements. Relations between river groups are marked by mutual suspicion, accusations of sorcery, and reference to former raiding, but marriage, exchange, and mutual feasting between families in different river groups also make for friendly relationships. A village community consists of a number of allied extended and joint families, each family headed by the most active senior couple and autonomous in its own family settlement. Mutual aid, sharing, and frequent intermarriage characterize a village community. The traditional village leader (epuru) is a prestigious man, skilled, generous, hospitable, and a good speaker. He is sometimes addressed as “Father” (Papai) and allied family heads are his assistants. A formal elective system was introduced in 1958 whereby a captain (Toshao), secretary, treasurer, and councilors are voted in every three years. Since councilors are often heads of families from the
surrounding settlements, the traditional structure is maintained. Anger and violence are censored. The customary response to conflict is separation, and village conflicts are usually contained by the aggrieved parties dispersing to their family settlements. Village and church leaders lecture their followers on morality and remonstrate privately. Sickness and deaths in a village community are sometimes attributed to alienated and aggrieved families and, in rare instances, the deceased’s kin may attempt assassination, both to avenge the dead and in self-defense. Mining activity has led to increased violence, owing to freedom from customary restraints and bouts of excessive drunkenness. Shamans (piai’chang), are religious practitioners, treat with the akwaru of the universe during night séances. Hallucinating through dieting and the use of tobacco, shamans are possessed and also detach their own vital force to search the cosmos for aid. Traditional song-anddance festivals are associated with animals, fish, and forest fruits and their availability.
They have been superseded by Hallelujah sung and danced prayers, for communication with God and spirits in heaven (akwa) and to obtain an increase in akwaru, goodness, and well-being for all on earth. The shaman’s séance is a skilled theatrical performance for curing sickness and misfortune. It is also a commentary on community affairs, with audience participation as each spirit character possessing the shaman talks and sings. Sick Akawaio rest, diet, and take plant remedies. Healing invocations (taling) and shamanic séances are used. Cold illness is cured when the shaman returns the lost or captured vital force to the body. To cure hot illness, he ejects malevolent forces possessing the patient and summons cold ones to effect a cooling down. Sudden death is attributed to sorcery (edodo), whereas death after a long illness is attributed to a curse (evil taling). Deep-seated envy is the stated reason for sorcery, which may be the work of a personal enemy but is usually attributed to other, hostile groups. The body, in its hammock, is interred in a space between two sheets of tree
bark, the head of the grave being orientated toward the sunrise. The family leaves the house for three months. Death of a settlement owner may lead to definitive abandonment. A series of deaths of important people in a village formerly led to the formation of a new village. Many Akawaios complain that their communities are facing the negative impacts of what the government is calling “development” of their lands. Through the mining activities, many of which have been granted to foreigners and coastal persons. As stated by a leader “the women – adult and children - are being kidnapped and even males have been abused sexually by the coastal miners.” Also other impacts include the contamination of the rivers where miners are disposing waste into the waters of the rivers where we bathe, fish and even drink our water. “I was born in this land, the same as my ancestors, and coast landers should never take advantage over us and this should not be allowed any more”. The existence of the Akawaios were once threatened before Survival Interna-
tional a Global Non-Government Organisation based in the United Kingdom, came to their rescue and had reported that Guyana’s Energy Minister summoned five Akawaio tribe leaders in 1973, under the Burnham PNC Government, to inform them that their communities were going to be flooded by a hydroelectric dam on the Mazaruni River, and that they had no choice but to consent. One of the Akawaio men refused to agree, but the other four signed a statement of acceptance on behalf of their communities. When the rest of the Akawaios learned what had happened they were outraged, and within a month all but one of the statements had been withdrawn. The Mazaruni dam was shelved after a high profile international campaign by the Akawaio and Survival International. The Akawaio people remained resilient, despite like all others, they too are facing the hardship of this present dictatorial regime .The People’s Progressive Party continue to receive their support in Regions 1,2 and in most parts of Region 7, where they dwell.
Govt not responding to calls to pay dismissed Wales workers severance
espite being protested against at the Ministry of the Presidency and the High Court, Government has remained steadfast in its decision not to pay severance to Wales cane harvesters, as they feel this would add to the already huge severance bill that is currently before them. Agriculture Minister Noel Holder told Guyana Times on Monday that the matter is a legal one. The minister did not buy into questions in relation to whether Government would consider paying the severance to these workers. He maintained that the Government has already taken a position. The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) had indicated that, during discussions with President David Granger and members of the Cabinet, they had vowed to withdraw the court matter for any guarantee that the Wales workers receive their severance. Asked if consideration
would be given to the issue on that basis, Holder reiterated that the matter is before the courts. He, however, stated that careful consideration has to be taken into account because making such a move, as it could potentially cost the Government to be placed in a bad situation. “We have to be very careful with this; because if that is done, then every single person who has been transferred from Rose Hall to Albion and Rose Hall to Blairmont could have the same argument. and therefore the severance would be $5 billion to now $10 billion,” he told this newspaper. Minister Holder asserted that Government would stick with the current process of having the court decide on the outcome. He recalled that prior to the closure of the Wales estate in 2016, an offer was made to the cane harvesters to work at the Uitvlugt Estate, but the workers refused. GAWU had said that the workers were being pres-
sured by the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) when they are aware that the estate is located more than 20 miles away from Wales. The Union still contends that this move is contrary to the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act. The workers’ argument was that it would have been uneconomical for them to travel beyond 10 miles for work, and that there was not enough harvesting at the estate to cater for the large workforce that Wales intended to send home. Te workers are pushing for a date to be set for a court hearing. They promised to put pressure on both Government and the Court to move swiftly to have the matter involving the former cane harvesters of that estate heard as speedily as possible. GAWU lawyer Ashton Chase had compiled and filed documents for the matter regarding the non-payment of severance packages to hundreds of sugar workers to be called up at the High
Court. Several of these former cane harvesters picketed on Thursday last, as they renewed calls for the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government to pay their long overdue severance immediately, as they declared that President David Granger’s Government had failed them. This picketing exercise has added to the mounting complaints and massive denunciation the coalition Government has already received over the past few months, — since the announcement of the downsizing of the sugar industry and the firing of thousands of workers whose livelihoods depend on this key sector. Close to 1,600 fired sugar workers who are eligible to receive $500,000 or less in severance pay have been paid in full, others would be paid 50 percent of the amounts due to them. The Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had put Govern-
ment on blast for its decision to pay the sacked sugar workers their severance payments in two tranches. A move by Opposition Leader Bharat Jadgeo as well as others had on multiple occasions outlined it as being illegal. According to Jadgeo, the Government knew that over 4,000 severance letters were issued even before Budget 2018 was passed, and had made no provision for severance, hence the move to approach the National Assembly recently for additional funds. In what is described as the largest retrenchment by a private or public corporation in recent history, state owned GuySuCo, as part of its plans to restructure the sugar industry, has dismissed in excess of 4,500 sugar workers from various estates. Even as workers at Wales fight for their severance, hundreds of sugar workers and senior persons in the sugar industry are dissatisfied with the way the GAWU
had handled the sudden closure of sugar estates along with severance benefits and other issues relative to the sugar industry, and they are calling on GAWU President, Komal Chand, to resign. The case for the Wales workers was filed by GAWU on behalf of the workers but workers have lamented that even as the court system is slow, their Union has not been pushing the issue in the public domain so as to bring about swift response. Wales ended operations in December 2016 and some 375 workers who refused to take up employment at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, remain without severance payments. As the former employees continue to anticipate their payments, many from Wales and the surrounding communities on the West Bank of Demerara are finding much difficulty in garnering consistent employment since the closure. Many have noted the reduced earnings they have been garnering since losing their jobs one year ago.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Student body to challenge Govt’s publicity stunt increase in administrative O fees by UG
niversity of Guyana Students Society (UGSS) President Norwell Hinds said that the body is contemplating mounting a legal challenge against the University of Guyana (UG) administration over the move to raise administrative fees. The UG had outlined 28 different services offered by the administration that would be increased, in some cases to 20 per cent, while in others over a 100 per cent. The University released a statement on Sunday, which revealed that a Special Meeting of the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) approved the increase in various service fees since June 1, 2017. According to the F&GPC the new administrative fees “were approved by the last year with the understanding that they would be instituted during the 2017-2018 academic year.” According to the statement, the new fees were sanctioned after a comparative analysis revealed that
the administrative fees of the University were lower when compared to other tertiary institutions. It was also stated that it has been almost a decade since these fees were last adjusted. Moreover, the F&GPC posited that at “no point did the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar or any other senior official act unilaterally in instituting the revised fees. The new rates initially were to take effect from January 1, 2018, but they were deferred to be effective from March 1, 2018 after formal and extensive engagements with the current UGSS President and Executive Members in a spirit of genuine and transparent collaboration.” However, the current UGSS Executive, which was installed in October of 2017, is disagreeing with that contention. The UGSS President maintained that a new Council has not been installed yet; hence, the “unilateral decision” by Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, to
implement the new fees was “unconstitutional”. He explained that the body was seeking the court’s opinion so as to prevent any further reoccurrence of such an issue. “Our interpretation is that the action to implement the fees requires the approval of the Council. That is our contention and the University disagrees and their contention is that the approval of 2017 stands. Our position is that the approval of 2017 was a part of budget estimates for 2017 so until you present the budget for 2018 as approved by the Council, there is no legal standing,” Hinds said. “Our view is that we want to go to the court and let the court say to us whether we are right in our interpretation or the administration is right. We are pursuing it (the court action) right away. We have been doing that since last week,” he added, while shying away from revealing when they would file for the proceedings to commence.
Media urged to boycott Oil and Gas summit
he Guyana Press Association (GPA) yesterday afternoon urged the editors of all media houses to strongly consider not covering the Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GIPEX). The event opens today at the Marriot Hotel and will conclude on Friday. The GPA’s recommendation to boycott the event comes on the heels of guidelines which were issued yesterday to the media by the public relations officers for the event. The guidelines, which the GPA considers to be “burdensome”, state that while the Opening Ceremony of the event will be open to full coverage for all accredited media; all other sessions will be limited to photos only in the first 10-minutes, except for those so identified for open coverage. The Organizers also note that arrangements will be made by the GIPEX Communications Team to facilitate interviews between media personnel
and key participants of the Summit/Exhibition. It notes, however, that “Unauthorized interviews in the Conference Hall are not permitted. However, the media room provided will be available for pre-planned interviews.” The GPA subsequently wrote Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Owen Verwey, to register concerns about the said constraints. The Association stated in its letter to the said authorities that while it objects to closed door sessions about an industry that Guyana and Guyanese know little about, it holds firm to the belief that transparency and open discourse is at the heart of the natural resources sector, which is the patrimony of all Guyanese. The GPA said that the concept of unauthorized interviews is unheard of at any international conference. The Press Body em-
phasized that this smacks of gross disrespect and a violation of Access to Information and Media Freedom. It further stated, “We acknowledge that there may be roles for the Communication personnel to act as liaisons wherever necessary, but not to grant or refuse permission/authorization. The Guyana Press Association urges Sagacity, its clients and associates to take swift remedial action in response to our objections. Please note that the Guyana Press Association reserves the right to encourage our members not to cover any aspect of the event.” The Association noted that up to 5pm yesterday, its correspondence was not acknowledged. The Press Body said, “We urge editors to strongly consider not covering GIPEX, as this clearly opens the door to justify these and even more restrictions now, and in the future that amounts to nothing more than insulting and degrading treatment to the media.”
ur attention was drawn to a bewildering photograph in circulation of President David Granger sandwiched between Attorney-General, Mr. Basil Williams and Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon seated at a table staring pensively at three empty chairs across the table. This odd photograph bears the caption: ‘No Show’. It is accompanied by a brief statement explaining that the Leader of the Opposition did not show up at a meeting with the President which was scheduled a month ago, to take place
today. Having received no information confirming the meeting for today, as is the usual practice, the Leader of the Opposition dispatched three letters which contain his response to issues raised at the last meeting. Additionally, at or about 16:00 hours this afternoon, the Leader of the Opposition contacted Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon via telephone and informed him of the three letters to the President which were sent. The Leader of the Opposition also indicated to Mr. Har-
mon that he remains ready and willing to meet with the President at a mutually convenient time. In light of the foregoing, it is quite surprising that the government would engage in the publicity stunt which is on display. To clarify this matter, we enclose copies of the three letters. They are self-explanatory. The Leader of the Opposition will deal more elaborately with this issue at a Press Conference to be held tomorrow. PPP Statement. Wednesday, February 18, 2018.
Former President Jagdeo gives keynote address to World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF)
uyana's former President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo in his capacity as Patronin-Chief delivered feature remarks at the World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF). The forum which convened in Mexico City over the period February 1-2 2018, brought together leading luminaries and global personalities in the area of climate change and sustainable development. Among those making presentations were several former Heads of States -Mr Jose Manuel Barrosa, former Prime Minister of Portugal and former President of the European Union, Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, former Prime Minister of Malta and Mr. Yukio Hatoyama , former Prime Minister of Japan , along with representatives from the Government of Mexico. Leading CEOs and representatives from business, academia and civil society were also part of the two day event which saw presentations from former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hollywood actor and climate change advocate Leonardo
Di Caprio . Also present were representatives of international organisations including the United Nations. The forum which is being hosted by Mexico's capital city and with sponsorship from the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation, United States Energy Association among others, focuses on critical issues such as Ambition and the Paris Agreement, Energy Transformation, The Leadership Challenge on climate change and sustainable development and the role of key stakeholders such as businesses and civil society. Dr. Jagdeo, in his remarks indicated that WSDF is being convened at a time when there is loss of political momentum from the high note of Paris 2015. He said "we need to push for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to raise both the level of ambition and financing to support implementation. " Dr. Jagdeo pointed out that the discussion is shifting from one of cost of implementation to one of opportunity and where there is a significant role for the private sector.
He also pointed out that there is no single approach for all countries, especially developing countries, where support is needed to assist them for both climate adaptation and mitigation. In relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. Jagdeo stated that similar to the building of momentum for action on climate change, there is need for broader awareness and action involving not only Governments but also the private sector, academia and civil society. Also in attendance at the Forum is Shyam Nokta, former Adviser to the President on climate change and who is a member of the WSDF International Advisory Board. Mr Nokta participated in several sessions including the key one on Ambition and the Paris Agreement where he used the opportunity to highlight the Guyana Norway Forest Partnership and the importance of forests in achieving climate change goals. WSDF is expected to be an annual event to help raise awareness and push for action on climate change and sustainable development.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
bandits rob New Amsterdam Probe into cocaine-in- Knife family, one in custody O fish bust ongoing ne man is now in police custody following a robbery at a home in Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam, during the wee hours of Wednesday morning where he and two other suspects reportedly relieved a 32-year-old man of a substantial amount of cash and valuables. According to information received from Police “B” Division Commander, Lyndon Alves, the incident occurred at around 01:50hrs today as the victim- identified as Jimmy Mohabir
ollowing Tuesday evening’s cocaine bust at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), ranks from the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) on Wednesday afternoon released six of the seven persons detained. The lone individual who remains in custody is reportedly the shipper of the batch of frozen fish which had a quantity of cocaine stashed inside. Based on information received, CANU officers do not have the sufficient amount of evidence required to institute a charge and as such the shipper is expected to be released after his 72 hours detention period would be up today, unless of course officers were able to acquire the necessary evidence. However, the shipper will be required to report to CANU, provided that he is released. The suspected cocaine
ly fled the scene using the main door of the house but the perpetrator who had been fighting with Mohabir was subsequently detained by public spirited persons who rushed to the victim’s assistance. Upon inspection of the house, it was revealed that 3 gold chains and 4 gold bangles valued at $700,000 in addition to $350,000 in cash had been stolen. Police say the bandits are known thieves in the area. Investigations are on-going.
Elderly woman assaulted, robbed of vehicle, valuables by armed bandits was extracted and weighed, amounting to 9.366 kilograms. The consignment was scheduled for export to the United States. Initial investigations had led anti-narcotics agents to seven persons, who were
taken into custody to assist with the probe. According to CANU, the six others who have since been released were mere porters handling the shipment. The company which was used to ship the fish is from the West Bank of Demerara.
Four persons in custody for money changer’s murder
etectives probing the murder of money changer Shawn Nurse, have arrested four suspects for questioning, two of whom reportedly robbed him before but had their charges dropped after they subsequently returned the money they took. According to the police in a released statement, a red Honda CG motorcycle suspected to have been used in the commission of the crime, based on CCTV footage, and found in possession of one of the suspects is impounded. Nurse, 47, also called “Fabulous”, who resided at the Shopping Plaza, South Ruimveldt Georgetown, had been sitting in a chair at the corner of Avenue of the Republic and America Street when he was approached by a man armed with a handgun. The man demanded that Nurse hand over a bag he had been carrying, which contained an undisclosed sum of local and foreign currencies. Nurse resisted the man, and in retaliation he pulled
of Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam- and his family were asleep. Three males, armed with knives broke into the man’s home and began searching for cash and valuables. However, Mohabir was awakened by the noise and confronted one of the bandits, which resulted in a brief scuffle. The victim sustained a cut across his left side face but managed to raise an alarm in the neighbourhood by shouting “thief!” The bandits immediate-
senior citizen was on Tuesday was attacked and robbed of cash and valuables, including her motorcar by two masked men in her South Ruimveldt, Georgetown home during the wee hours of the morning. The victim has been identified as 71-year-old Joy Proctor of Rosa Drive, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown. According to information received, Proctor occupies the upper flat of her two storey wooden and concrete home. At around 21:00hrs on Monday night, the woman secured her house and retired to bed.
However, at around 02:30hrs on Tuesday, the pensioner said that she was awakened by the feeling of being choked. Proctor recalled that the masked man who had his hands wrapped around her neck began to threaten her and demanded that she turn over her money and jewellery. The other perpetrator reportedly placed a pillow over the woman’s head before proceeding to ransack her home. After the ordeal, which lasted some 15 minutes, the bandits made good their escape with the woman’s
silver/grey Dualis motorcar bearing licence plates PWW2862, in an unknown direction. They also managed the relieve the elderly woman of one Sony flat screen television set, one laptop, three tablets, two Samsung cellphones, a quantity of gold jewellery valued at $500,000 and $22,000 in cash. In all the woman estimates that over $6M was stolen from her. Inspections at the scene revealed that the suspects gained entry into the home by removing several louvre window panes located behind the house.
Suspected teen bandit shot by businessman, accomplice in custody
17-year-old labourer of Coldingen, East Coast Demerara (ECD), who was earlier today found on a private premise at Enterprise, ECD, was shot once in the left upper chest, after he allegedly attacked the
the trigger, shooting Nurse once to his head. Nurse collapsed and died almost immediately. Police had retrieved a 9mm spent shell at the scene, and questioned several persons, who gave a description of the shooter. At the time of the shooting incident, the suspect was reportedly clad in a red hoody and a pair of brown trousers.
Nurse had been robbed two months ago, when gunmen had swooped down on him as he was entering his yard. The money ($500,000) and other valuables they had taken were reportedly returned, and the matter was quashed. According to the police, two of the suspects currently in custody were from that previous robbery.
owner of the property who is a licensed firearm holder. According to a police statement, the teen is presently admitted in a stable condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he underwent an
emergency surgery. A 16-year-old who was also found at the businessman’s premises with a donkey cart was detained, along with the shooter, who is assisting with the investigation. According to the police statement, the businessman who resides at Strathspey, ECD and also owns the other property where the incident occurred, was alerted that thieves were on his premises. On arrival he was confronted by one of the suspects who allegedly attacked him with a cutlass and he drew his licensed pistol and shot him.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
School students 71-year-old man robbed Secondary robbed by armed bandits of pension ‒ Perpetrators in custody S
Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara (ECD), pensioner, who ventured out of his home Monday before the break of day to collect his monthly pension, was robbed by two armed bandits who police were able to subsequently apprehend. According to Police Public Relations and Press Officer Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, as the 71-yearold was making his way home, he decided to stop and purchase something to eat at a supermarket at Vryheid’s Lust, ECD and as he was leaving on his pedal cycle, two males pounced and relieved him of an envelope containing his entire pension. The suspects identified as Devon Watson, 25, of No-
ble Street, Friendship, ECD and Philbert Rogers,25, of Friendship, ECD violently pushed the septuagenarian to the ground before fleeing on a bicycle. Minutes later, the elderly victim managed to flag down a passing police vehicle, in which was seated, the Deputy Commander of ‘C’ Division, Superintendent Walter Stanton and reported the matter.
According to Ramlakhan based on the general description of the suspects, the Superintendent along with his driver arrested the street robbers at La Bonne Intention (LBI) with the victim’s property, including his Identification Card, which one of the perpetrators hid in his crotch. The suspects have since been charged with Robbery with Violence.
Woman robbed while headed to Cancer Walk
woman who was on her way to a cancer walk on Sunday morning was attacked by a lone bandit and robbed of her valuables. According to reports, the woman, Maria Hardat who was in the company of a friend, had just exited a taxi on Waterloo Street at around 06:00hrs. While proceeding along
Middle Street, a lone man rode up on a motorcycle and stopped them. Hardat attempted to run but was cornered by the man who dismounted his cycle, approached her and grabbed her purse containing her cell phone and an undisclosed amount of cash. He then hopped back onto his motorcycle and
made good his escape. The matter was reported to the Police who are now investigating.
even students fell victim to robbery under arms on Friday last, resulting in a quantity of cash and valuables being stolen, while in the vicinity of Macaw Lane, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown. The traumatised youngsters are said to be between the ages of 15 and 16 and are attached to the South Ruimveldt Secondary School.
According to information received, the incident occurred at around 14:30hrs. According to reports, the children left school, at the said time, to visit a shop nearby to purchase snacks nearby. However, two unmasked males rode up from the western side of the street on two bicycles, with one of the men reportedly brandishing a handgun.
The suspects allegedly entered the shop where the teenagers were and held the victims at gunpoint, before relieving them of a total of $5,000 in cash, 3 mobile phones, and one Nintendo 3Ds game. The bandits then fled the scene in a western direction. Police confirmed that CCTV footage in the area will be checked as investigations continue.
Female pump attendants robbed by lone gunman in Mc Doom A n alleged robbery under arms was committed on three female pump attendants at the Shell Gas Station in Mc Doom, East Bank Demerara (EBD) on Friday last. The victims have been identified as 28-year-old Tamase Jones of Meadow Bank, Georgetown, 32-yearold Latoya Parris of Sophia, Greater Georgetown and 24-year-old Carletta Gir of Agricola, East Bank Demerara. According to police information, the robbery occurred at around 19:00hrs on the said day in question. The victims were on duty at the time when a lone gunman approached from a
southern direction on foot. He reportedly held the women at gunpoint, and demanded that they be quiet, before relieving them of approximately $60,000 of the
day’s earnings – property of Sol Guyana Inc. The gunman then made good his escape on foot, north then east into a nearby street in Mc Doom, EBD.
Pouderoyen general store robbed GTT Manager trailed from bank, by armed bandits
robbed by gunman A senior manager of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) Company was trailed from a city bank last week and robbed of cash he withdrew along with valuables at his Werk-en-Rust home. Forty three year old, Roderick Dyer of Bent street Werken-Rust, Georgetown was about to enter his yard at around 20:30hrs when he was attacked. According to reports, the man paid a visit to a bank on
Robb Street, Georgetown and withdrew cash after which he entered his car and proceeded to his home. Upon his arrival there, he
parked his vehicle and was about to enter his home when the lone gunman pounced on his from behind. The perpetrator reportedly held onto Dyer’s neck, placed a gun to his face and relieved him of $30,000 and valuables amounting to $210,000. The man then quickly made good his escape in an unknown direction. The matter was reported and the Police are said to be investigating.
Armed men on Saturday afternoon invaded a Pouderoyen general store, bound and robbed the owner along with her family members of a large quantity of cash and valuables. According to information received, the owner of the store, Ferida Wahab, 65 along with her son, 29 year old Kashieve Wahab, his wife Siddeeqah Khan and an employee Jainarine Mahadeo were in the business establishment at around 16:00hrs when two men entered. The men reportedly rode up on bicycles, which they parked
outside the business place before entering. The victims were all standing together when one of the
perpetrators approached and whipped out a gun, pointing it at Mahadeo demanding that he
lay on the ground. The men complied and his accomplice approached the store owner and family members using duct tape to bound their hands behind their backs. Duct tape was also placed over the Wahab’s mouths. The two men then proceeded to ransack the store carting off with gold jewellery, an undisclosed amount of cash and other valuables. After the perpetrators escaped, the Police were called to the scene and the matter was reported. No arrest has been made as Police continue their investigations.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Belgian court should acquit Paris attacks suspect: lawyer
Russia election: Strawberry tycoon among Putin challengers confirmed BBC -- Eight candidates have been officially confirmed to run in Russia’s 18 March presidential election. Vladimir Putin, hoping to win a fourth term, is the clear favourite. Opinion polls give him a lead of more than 60%. Mr Putin comes fourth on the ballot pa-
per, as candidates are listed in alphabetical order. Police have repeatedly arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who wanted to run for president but was barred. For years the anti-corruption campaigner has organised mass protests against Mr Putin.
(Reuters) - Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect of the 2015 Paris attacks, should be acquitted of a attempted murder during a shootout with police in Brussels in 2016 because of procedural errors, his lawyer said on Thursday. Lawyer Sven Mary told a Belgian court that the principal error was prosecutors’ use of the French language, rather than Dutch. “It is a real problem which should make you declare the proceedings void,” Mary told the judge. Belgium is split along
linguistic lines with Dutch speakers in the north and French speakers in the south and the choice of language in trials, as well as in politics, is based on a complicated web
of legal texts. Prosecutors in Belgium have charged Abdeslam, 28, with attempted murder over the Brussels shootout, days before his arrest, and called for a jail term of 20 years. He still faces a trial in France over the 2015 Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed. By the time of the shootout in March 2016, Abdeslam had been hiding out in Brussels for four months after fleeing Paris on the night of the November 2015 attacks. His elder brother was one of the attackers.
Opposition increases discredit before public opinion in Venezuela (Prensa Latina) Most Venezuelans are feeling today a combination of uncertainty, inconvenience and distrust, due to the delay by the opposition to sign an agreement on political coexistence that the government penned in the Dominican Republic. With futile justifications, the representatives of the right wing are delaying the ratification of the accord, due to pressures by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from Colombia, according to the head of the govern-
ment’s delegation attending the talks, Jorge Rodriguez. In statements to reporters, Rodriguez noted that Tillerson, who is ‘embarked in an interfering campaign in several Latin American countries, told Julio Borges, president of the opposition commission, over the telephone, not to sign the final Agreement on Democratic Coexistence for Venezuela’. According to Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN), the Venezuelan vice-president recalled that
the accord contains the issues agreed upon on January 31 in the Dominican Republic and other issues that were negotiated later in Caracas. Among the items, Rodriguez mentioned electoral guarantees, a group of observers and audits in the elections, Constitutional Democracy, the economic and social situation and all the actions to accompany the people of Venezuela, the Truth Commission and a delegation to oversee the compliance with the agreement.
Panama’s institutions sign agreement to rescue Canal Zone’s history (Prensa Latina) The Panama Canal Zone and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement to rescue, preserve and use documents and materials of historical value related to the interoceanic highway. According to a press release, this cooperation will allow to collect, digitize and preserve valuable documents such as the negotiations of the Torrijos-Carter Treaty, which are in the National Archives of Panama and the Library of Congress of the United States. Deputy Foreign Minister Miguel Hincapié said that ‘the nation has a debt to the administration of the Canal Zone for its interest in this historical material’, while described as very valuable what the public entity does to recover a part of the history of the nation. The initiative, which was completed yesterday, emerged in 2014 as a result
Cuba updates data on the effects of climate change for 2020 of the program Recover the Historical Memory of the Panama Canal Zone, developed by the institution to enrich and know, in detail, the history of the road and its impact as an international maritime route. According to the Panama Canal Authority, the country maintains to date working relationships with associations, libraries, archives and entities in France, Colombia and Spain, in addition to the National Archives of the
United States, the Library of Congress and other presidential offices that hold documents related to that ancient work. The pact and other related documents were signed on September 7, 1977 in Washington D.C. by former General Omar Torrijos and former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, a fact that marked a milestone in the Panamanian history and the full sovereignty of the country.
(Prensa Latina) Cuban scientists prepare a new report with updated data on the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, in view of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for 2020. This was announced at a press conference by Eduardo Planos, one of the leaders of this project. These results, compiled in the Third National Communication, will be presented to the UNFCCC by the end of the decade.
These are Cuba’s commitments to face this global phenomenon. It also includes mitigation and adaptation measures; as well as others associated with education, awareness and technology transfer, he said. Vulnerable due to its geographical situation to the effects of climate change, Cuba has identified its main threats: increase in air temperature and the average level of the sea, the increase of hydro-meteorological extremes; along with the decrease in rainfall.
At the same time, Cuba implements several adaptation measures in some socioeconomic sectors, natural sources and strategic ecosystems that involve climatic, hydrological, coastal marine resources, agriculture, human settlements and the use of land, agriculture, biodiversity and health. Parallel to the report, Planos explained, experts work on the first biennial update report to the Convention, executed with funds from the GEF and UNDP as the implementing agency.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Grade Six Assessment
EXERCISE A Instructions: Select the word or phrase from the list below that best completes each statement. nontoxic; natural resource; geothermal; recycling; point source; nonpoint source; fossil fuels; petrochemicals; greenhouse effect; renewable 1. ...........................is using the material in an old object to make a new object. 2. Trees are a........................resource. 3. A.............................is any useful material or energy source found in nature. 4. ...............................Nutrient pollution that comes from a specific source that can be identified such as a factory or waste water treatment plant. 5. Chemicals that are...........................do not harm the environment. 6. Heat from inside the earth............................. 7. The trapping of heat in the earth’s atmosphere by certain gases in known as the................ ................... 8. A chemical produced from oil for use in other products is............................... 9. Non-renewable resources formed when the remains of plants and animals are buried quickly:.................................... 10. .............................pollution comes from many sources and that can be difficult to identify.
8. An instrument used to measure air temperature is the . a. thermometer b. anemometer c. hygrometer d. barometer 9. What weather instrument has been used for over 100 years to collect data on a variety of weather conditions that occur up to about 20 miles above the earth’s surface? a. radar b. balloon c. satellite d. barometer 10. As part of a school weather project, Jesse needs to record the amount of precipitation that falls at her home on a warm day. Which instrument should she use? a. barometer b. anemometer c. windsock d. rain gauge EXERCISE D Muscular System Anatomy Write the letter (A - V) that corresponds with the listed muscle of the muscular system.
EXERCISE B Landforms Diagram The diagram below shows major landforms and water bodies. Select the letter from the diagram that best matches each word or phrase. - Waterfall - Peninsula - Cliff - Stratovolcano - Forest covered hills - Lake - Rock outcrop - Bay - River headwaters - Plain - Glacier covered mountain range - River mouth - Weathered mountain range - Ocean - Island EXERCISE C Weather Instruments 1. A weather instrument consisting of a camera attached to a device orbiting in space, high above the earth, that takes pictures of clouds here on the earth would be a . a. barometer b. anemometer c. radar d. weather satellite 2. A device used to measure wind speed, that often consists of cups on spokes attached to a pole is: a. barometer b. wind vane c. windsock d. anemometer 3. An instrument used to find wind direction, and has a cloth bag that is narrow at one end and open at both ends is: a. wind nave b. windsock c. anemometer d. barometer 4. What weather tool measures wind direction? a. Wind Vane b. Anemometer c. Thermometer d. Barometer 5. Which instrument is used to measure air pressure? a. thermometer b. weather vane c. anemometer d. barometer 6. A weather instrument that uses microwave frequency radio waves that bounce off water droplets in clouds in order to produce a map of the cloud locations would be . a. barometer b. anemometer c. radar d. weather satellite 7. An instrument used to measure the relative humidity in the air is the . a. thermometer b. anemometer c. hygrometer d. barometer
- Trapezius - Pectoralis major - Masseter - Tibialis anterior - Orbicularis oculi - Sartorius - Sternocleidomastoid - Orbicularis oculi - Peroneus brevis - Latissimus dorsi - Adductors
- Occipitofrontalis - Flexor carpi group - External abdominal oblique - Zygomaticus major - Quadriceps femoris - Iliopsoas - Biceps brachii - Gastrocnemius - Rectus abdominis - Deltoid - Peroneus longus
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
The Stranger in the Garden
nce upon a time, there was a man who had a big garden. He had planted many fruit trees and cared for them till they bore fruits. Now he wanted to harvest the fruits and sell them to make money for his family. One fine day, while picking the fruits with his son, the man saw a stranger sitting on the branch of a tree and picking fruits. The man became angry and shouted, “Hey you! What are you doing on my tree? Aren’t you ashamed of stealing?” The stranger sitting on the branch looked at the gardener, but didn’t reply, and continued picking the fruits. The gardener was very angry and shouted again, “For a whole year I have taken care of these trees. You have no right to take the fruits without my permission. So come down at once!” The stranger on the tree answered, “Why should I come down? This is the garden of God and I am the servant of God, so I have the right to pick these fruits. You should not interfere with the work of God and his servant.” The gardener was very surprised at this answer and thought of a plan. He told the stranger to come down from the tree. As the stranger climbed down the tree, the gardener tied him to the tree and began beating him with a stick. The stranger began to scream,
“Why are you beating me? You have no right to do this.” The gardener paid no attention and continued beating him. The stranger screamed, “Don’t you fear God? You are beating an innocent man. The gardener answered, “Why should I fear? This wood in my hand belongs to God and I am the servant of God. You shouldn’t interfere with the work of God and his servant.” The stranger hesitated and then spoke, “Wait. Don’t beat me, I am sorry for taking the fruits. This is your garden and I should seek your permission before taking the fruits. So, please forgive me and set me free.” The gardener smiled and said, “Don’t use God’s name to justify your ill-conceived actions.” Then the gardener untied him and let him go free.
Name: ............................................................................................................................................ Address: ........................................................................................................................................ ......................................................................................... Tel. No: ................................................
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
DNA suggests 10,000-year-old Brit had dark skin, blue eyes
ull facial reconstruction model of a head based on the skull of Britain's oldest complete skeleton on display during a screening event of The First Brit: Secrets Of The 10,000 Year Old Man at The Natural History Museum, in London Wednesday Feb. 7, 2018. DNA from a 10,000-year-old skeleton found in an English cave suggests he had dark skin and blue eyes. Scientists from Britain's Natural History Museum and University College London have analyzed the genome of "Cheddar Man," who was found in Cheddar Gorge in southwest England in 1903. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP) LONDON (AP) â€” DNA from a 10,000-year-old skeleton found in an English cave suggests the oldest-known Briton had dark skin and blue eyes, researchers said Wednesday. Scientists from Britain's Natural History Museum and University College London analyzed the genome of "Cheddar Man," who was found in Cheddar Gorge in southwest England in 1903. Scientists led by museum DNA expert Ian Barnes drilled into the skull to extract DNA from bone powder. They say analysis indicates he had blue eyes, dark curly hair and "dark to black" skin pigmentation. The researchers say the evidence suggests that Europeans' pale skin tones developed much later than originally thought. "Cheddar Man subverts people's expectations of what kinds of genetic traits go together," said Tom Booth, a postdoctoral researcher at the museum who worked on the project. "It seems that pale eyes entered Europe long before pale skin or blond hair, which didn't come along until after the arrival of farming." "He reminds us that you can't make assumptions about what people looked like in the past based on what people look like in the present, and that the pairings of features we are used to seeing today aren't something that's fixed," Booth said on the museum website. It's thought ancient humans living in northern regions developed pale skin because it absorbs more sunlight, which is needed to produce vitamin D. Cheddar Man shares a genetic profile with several other Mesolithic-era individuals found in Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg whose DNA has already been analyzed. The group, known as Western Hunter-Gatherers, migrated to Europe from the Middle East after the last Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago. Dan Bradley, a professor of population genetics at Trinity College Dublin, said the findings were credible. "There are other data from hunter-gatherers who lived in western Europe, and they also show darker skin and light eyes, blue eyes," said Bradley, who was not involved with the study. "Modern Europeans are a mixture of people like this, who are older hunter-gatherer inhabitants of western Europe, and people who came in with the advent of agriculture, and people who came from the east in the Bronze Age and who also brought new genetics into the region." Cheddar Man is the oldest complete skeleton found in Britain. Humans had lived in Britain off and on for thousands of years before his time, but they had been wiped out during periodic ice ages. Cheddar Man would have been one of a tiny population of hunter-gatherers in Britain at the time. Scientists, who have been studying his skeleton for decades, say he appears to have had a healthy diet but died in his 20s, possibly through violence. Dutch "paleo artists" Alfons and Adrie Kennis created a likeness of Cheddar Man based on the British scientists' findings, showing a man with long curly hair, a short beard and striking blue eyes. The research will be explored in a television documentary on Britain's Channel 4 on Feb. 18.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
The Other View
Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth By Nick Dearden
frica is poor, but we can try to help its people. It's a simple statement, repeated through a thousand images, newspaper stories and charity appeals each year, so that it takes on the weight of truth. When we read it, we reinforce assumptions and stories about Africa that we've heard throughout our lives. We reconfirm our image of Africa. Try something different. Africa is rich, but we steal its wealth. That's the essence of a report (pdf) from several campaign groups released today. Based on a set of new figures, it finds that sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world to the tune of more than $41bn. Sure, there's money going in: around $161bn a year in the form of loans, remittances (those working outside Africa and sending money back home), and aid. But there's also $203bn
leaving the continent. Some of this is direct, such as $68bn in mainly dodged taxes. Essentially multinational corporations "steal" much of this - legally - by pretending they are really generating their wealth in tax havens. These so-called "illicit financial flows" amount to around 6.1 percent of the continent's entire gross domestic product (GDP) - or three times what Africa receives in aid. Then there's the $30bn that these corporations "repatriate" - profits they make in Africa but send back to their home country, or elsewhere, to enjoy their wealth. The City of London is awash with profits extracted from the land and labour of Africa. There are also more indirect means by which we pull wealth out of Africa. Today's report estimates that $29bn a year is being stolen from Africa in illegal logging, fishing and trade in wildlife. $36bn is owed to Africa as a result of the damage that climate change will cause to their
societies and economies as they are unable to use fossil fuels to develop in the way that Europe did. Our climate crisis was not caused by Africa, but Africans will feel the effect more than most others. Needless to say, the funds are not currently forthcoming. Africa's lost billions (25:00) If African countries are to benefit from foreign investment, they must be allowed to - even helped to - legally regulate that investment and the corporations that often bring it. In fact, even this assessment is enormously generous, because it assumes that all of the wealth flowing into Africa is benefitting the people of that continent. But loans to governments and the private sector (at more than $50bn) can turn into unpayable and odious debt. Ghana is losing 30 per cent of its government revenue to debt repayments, paying loans which were often made speculatively, based
on high commodity prices, and carrying whopping rates of interest. One particularly odious aluminium smelter in Mozambique, built with loans and aid money, is currently costing the country £21 for every £1 that the Mozambique government received. British aid, which is used to set up private schools and health centres, can undermine the creation of decent public services, which is why such private schools are being closed down in Uganda and Kenya. Of course, some Africans have benefitted from this economy. There are now around 165,000 very rich Africans, with combined holdings of $860bn. But, given the way the economy works, where do these people mainly keep their wealth? In tax havens. A 2014 estimate suggests that rich Africans were holding a massive $500bn in tax havens. Africa's people are effectively robbed of wealth by an economy that enables
a tiny minority of Africans to get rich by allowing wealth to flow out of Africa. So what is the answer? Western governments would like to be seen as generous beneficiaries, doing what they can to "help those unable to help themselves". But the first task is to stop perpetuating the harm they are doing. Governments need to stop forcing African governments to open up their economy to privatisation, and their markets to unfair competition. If African countries are to benefit from foreign investment, they must be allowed to - even helped to - legally regulate that investment and the corporations that often bring it. And they might want to think about not putting their faith in the extractives sector. With few exceptions, countries with abundant mineral wealth experience poorer democracy, weaker economic growth, and worse development. To prevent tax dodging, governments
must stop prevaricating on action to address tax havens. No country should tolerate companies with subsidiaries based in tax havens operating in their country. Aid is tiny, and the very least it can do, if spent well, is to return some of Africa's looted wealth. We should see it both as a form of reparations and redistribution, just as the tax system allows us to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest within individual societies. The same should be expected from the global "society". To even begin to embark on such an ambitious programme, we must change the way we talk and think about Africa. It's not about making people feel guilty, but correctly diagnosing a problem in order to provide a solution. We are not, currently, "helping" Africa. Africa is rich. Let's stop making it poorer. Nick Dearden is the director of UK campaigning organisation Global Justice Now.
that spills out showing the name of the voter, his vote, serial number of the ballot, etc. This is called the Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail which is evidence that the vote has been counted. The button cannot be pressed again, so no multiple voting can occur. No electricity is required with the use of the 6-volt battery. I am sure a Filipino techie can duplicate this EVM, or perhaps we should get a license to replicate it here and be done with Smartmatic and its dubious machines. In truth, Indian engineering is at par with the best of the developed countries. India has notable engineering schools like the Indian Institute of Technology established all over the country taking in students that master its tough courses to get a degree and go on to design all kinds of machines, computer
applications, inventions and other innovative solutions to problems without throwing money into them, emphasizing instead ingenuity, practicality and low cost. With Indian engineering prowess at hand and nearby, shouldn’t we tap it for our infrastructure projects? Another thing I noticed from my visit to India late last year was the excellence of their expressways. Wellbuilt, and easy to navigate, these roads take in everything from cars and buses and to tricycles, tractors, motorcycles, bicycles. They are for everybody. The driving may be a bit scary but apparently it is the norm and the expressways can take it. They are not overwhelmed and they don’t have traffic jams. India has also pioneered and solved the pharmaceutical needs of its population by coming up with generic drugs. Through research, use of patents in the public domain and their ability to manage
the industry in a huge but less capital-intensive way compared to other countries, they are a leading drug manufacturer in the Third World with drugs for every need, disease and emergency. It is not at the mercy of Big Pharma as we seem to be. And they have survived Big Pharma’s attempts to shut them down. In the process, they have provided affordable medicines to their general population and other Third World countries at affordable prices. It would be a good move on our part to source our pharmaceutical needs from India. It will save us a lot of money compared to buying drugs from multilateral drug manufacturers from the West. Government support for small and medium industries was also observed on our trip to India. Small textile manufacturers could rent buildings to use for spinning thread and weaving textiles at subsidized prices in zones set aside for the purpose. Indian electricity rates are a
fraction of ours. Another admirable accomplishment of India is that they have been self-sufficient in food for a number of decades now. Not that their agricultural problems have been solved as farmers sometimes are in deep debt leading to high suicide rates. But on the whole, the days of famine and outright hunger from lack of harvests is over. Publishing is also a thriving industry there with international connections. Many books from all over the world are published in India at lower cost but high in quality. English is widely spoken and books in English from all over the world are readily available at lower prices. What I am trying to say is that India should be looked at for its solutions to Third World problems with the judicious use of scarce capital. The Indian economy is booming and expected to hit 7 percent growth this year. There are many lessons for us to learn from this country.
Look to India Feb 2 2018 (Manila Times) t’s really time the Philippines pays serious attention to how India solves Third World problems in a practical and inexpensive but ingenious Third World way. And follow suit. While the Philippines and India have had trade relations probably from pre-history (Tamils from South India may have been sourcing gold from Mindanao) as well as during the colonial period (the Manila Galleon trade had precious stones, textiles and other items from India), modern India has not quite had the influence and impact that could be useful to us. Perhaps because we are not paying attention. An example is the way they conduct their elections, which is actually the largest electoral event in the world with their huge population
of more than a billion people and an electorate of 814 million-plus voters from the last election in 2014. It is the world’s largest election. It takes place in phases (nine) and in all of six weeks. From the mountain villages in the Himalayas to the deserts of Rajasthan to the islands on the Indian Ocean and on to their teeming states and cities, it is an epic event. About five million electoral workers are involved in more than 935,000 polling places. It is managed with the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) invented by an Indian using a 6-volt alkaline battery (made in India). As a parliamentary democracy, India has 1,600 parties. They are shown as symbols on the EVMs; the voter presses the button (blue) on the symbol of the party he chooses and it is quickly recorded and verified with a slip of paper
LGC join forces with Torginol Paints
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Hero Caribbean Premier League 2018: Player Draft set for March 1
The 2017 Player Draft took place at the Lone Star Hotel in Barbados after which CPL staff and officials from the six franchise teams captured the moment
H Fenton Persaud (left) hands of the sponsorship check to LGC Vice President Payton George in company of the company’s executives and LGC President Aleem Hussain (2nd from left)
he Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) and Continental Group of Companies under their Torginol Paints Brand continued their long-time partnership by officially announcing the 2018 Torginol Paints Open set for June 2. Attended by numerous executives of both entities, most notably; LGC President Aleem Hussain and Vice-President Payton George, Torginol Paints Production Manager Fenton Persaud and Continental Group of Companies Secretary M.S Ally; the brief ceremony highlighted the entities drive to redevelop the sport. Torginol Paints Produc-
tion Manager Persaud who handed over the sponsorship check to LGC President Aleem Hussain, said that they were happy to be onboard the event as they two have been in good spirits over the years. Persaud added that the aim was not only to revamp golf on the course but rather the company had pledged to help in the LGC restoration project. Mr. Ally, who was brief in his remarks, said that the entire concept was brilliant as both parties are in support of the sport’s expansion. Meanwhile, Hussain said that he will ensure the competition is a big as the
sponsor’s name, adding that the support golf has received recently will continue to help the sport in in growth. LGC Public Relations Officer Guy Griffith also called out for more persons to be involved in golf. He disputed notions that the sport is for the upper echelons as he encouraged persons to come and have free hands on training at the course. Griffith closed by saying golf is a mental sport and one that should be played with a relaxed mind and as such should not be restricted or classed to a certain faction of society.
ero Caribbean Premier League has confirmed that the highly anticipated Player Draft will take place on Thursday March 1. This will be when the six franchises will select their lineups for the sixth edition of the tournament which will take place between August 8 and September 16 this year. The Hero CPL will have the best cricketers taking part in the tournament, from around the world as well as from across the Caribbean. The window for this year’s event means that there are no West Indies fixtures that clash with the Hero CPL so the very best West Indian players will be available for selection. This year, the draft will take place in London, which is a reflection of the global nature of the tournament. With owners and sponsors
from around the world investing in the Hero CPL and the Caribbean as a whole having the draft in London helps from a logistics point of view and helps sell the region to a global audience. Speaking about the upcoming draft Damien O’Donohoe, CEO of Hero CPL, said: “Our draft is such an important date in the Hero CPL calendar. It is when we get to find out who will be coming to join the ‘Biggest Party in Sport.’ We know that the quality of players that we have coming to this year’s tournament will generate a huge amount of excitement. “While the Hero CPL is about bringing the Carnival atmosphere to cricket, the quality of the sport on display is just as important. The world-class cricketers that will be selected on March 1
are what make the cricket at Hero CPL so special.” This year marks the first time that this very important aspect of the Hero Caribbean Premier League will be hosted outside of the Caribbean. In 2017, the Player Draft took place at the Lone Star Hotel on the West Coast of Barbados in a carnival-like atmosphere right next to the beach. In 2017, the Guyana Amazon Warriors acquired the services of 18-year old Afghanistan leg spinning sensation Rashid Khan who had an impact in his debut season. Trinbago Knight Riders are the defending champions after beating first-time finalists St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 2017 final at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy which hosted CPL matches for the first time last year.
Drayton wins National Senior Chess Qualifier
he seven-round National Senior Chess Qualifier concluded at the weekend with the top seven players being confirmed to compete for the title of National Senior Chess champion later this year. Anthony Drayton, the top ranked FIDE player in the Qualifier, will lead the pile into the tournament proper, having played unbeaten in the qualifying event, which was hosted by the Guyana Chess Federation
at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal. Candidate Master Drayton, with a FIDE rating of 1,945, accumulated 6.5 points, inclusive of six victories and a draw against former national champion Taffin Khan. Khan, with a FIDE rating of 1,928, finished second overall with five points, but suffered a huge loss to Ronuel Greenidge, who has a rating of 1,688. The lone female, Maria
Varona-Thomas, also ended with five points. The other four qualifying players were all locked on 4.5 points, enough to secure their passage to the main championship. They are Greenidge, Saeed Anwar Ali, Glenford Corlette and Loris Nathoo. Those who narrowly missed out on qualification were former national champion Kriskal Persaud, Roberto Neto, David Khan, Calvin
Giddings and Errol Tiwari, all of whom finished on four points apiece. President of the Guyana Chess Federation, James Bond, was on hand to congratulate the seven players on their qualification to the National Championship later this year. He wished them well, noting that he expect a highly competitive tournament judging from what he witnessed in the Qualifier.
The top seven players that have advanced to the National Senior Chess Championship pose with GCF President James Bond (sitting at right). Anthony Drayton (sitting at left) was unbeaten in the qualifiers
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 FEBRUARY, 2018
Sport View by Neil Kumar
Sports and politics make poor bedfellows
ricket glorious cricket! Hearty congratulations to our national cricket team on their recent tremendous success at the Regional level. Winning the Regional Four-Day Title for four consecutive years is indeed
a great accomplishment. Guyana also continues to do well at the Regional Under-15 and Regional Under-19 tournament. Hence, with all these achievements, congratulations are also in order for the administrators
of Guyana’s cricket. However, it is now time for ‘healing’. Cricket stakeholders in Guyana must collaborate for the further development of the game. The elections period Guyana is always a frenzy
of activities, be it National, Regional or Local Government Elections. But the elections of the national sports associations are a quite different phenomenon altogether! The sport fraternity must not forget the nasty campaign that was carried out in the press against the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) last year. This column was brave enough to support the best team, which was the winning ‘slate’. Where are all the journalists who were writing against and ‘cussing out’ the President of the GOA? The struggle in the football arena was also very bitter. However, things seem to have improved a little in this arena. As for our cricket, this burning issue is much more than the game itself. Further, the issue of cricket must be taken in the full context. West Indies crick-
et and the regional cricket boards are totally together. Cricket is a business and the stakes are too great for those in authority to lose. Cricket associations, like all other sports disciplines, are autonomous. The international federations are extremely strong and ‘hell bent in supporting their local base’. The ICC and WIC Inc. are very powerful organizations and they need to be more transparent and accountable. It is indeed a big joke to listen to the APNU/AFC coalition calling for a swift resolution to the many cricket issues in Guyana. What a farce! The APNU/AFC is in the process of naming a new cricket ombudsman. The selection of this person will have to be done with meaningful consultation with the West Cricket Board. Inside sources are of the view that the coalition government is in the process of getting control
and/or winning over people in leading position in various organisations. Party parmountcy will only destroy autonomous associations. Political interference failed under the PNC and it will fail again. The time is most opportune for free and fair elections at all levels in Guyana. We must not forget that the Chetram Singh ‘era’ was the most successful period in both Guyana and West Indies Cricket. Even though Guyana’s cricket was in the deep red then, we came out of all those difficulties, dominating youth cricket for several years and produced five West Indies captains. Today, we are experiencing serious difficulties, the most serious being the infighting of major stakeholders. Cricket must be allowed to be played on the cricket fields where it rightfully belongs and the opportunist political failures should be nothing more than spectators.
Western Tigers aiming for Elite League fame W
ith four new acquisitions and two inactive players set to turn the switch, Western Tigers Football Club is setting their sights on winning the third season of the Guyana Football Federation Elite League. At the January Transfer window they roped-in the talented quartet of Daniel Wilson, Quason McAulay, Anthony Sancho and Rafael Edwards. More so, star players Hubert Pedro and Devon Millington are set to resume duties after their absence for the first two matches and add to the likes of Collin Nelson, Cleon Forrester, Linden Picket, Randolph Wagner and Andrew Murray Jnr. Now with a fountain of some of the country’s best players, Head Coach Calvin Allen firmly believes the only thing to measure their success is on winning the league in their first year. “We are aiming to win the tournament; I know it’s our first year but there is nothing wrong with ambitions, we are looking pass the top two and we are looking to come out as champions. We have a very strong squad from the inception and we proved that in the [Georgetown Football] Association
their ground is in dire need of rehabilitation, an issue which the club’s Executives are trying to address. Wilson, a Golden Jaguars International and former Alpha United player explained he was as happy to return from Suriname club Nishan FC and use his exploits to help Tigers achieve
Rafael Edwards (centre), Andre Murray Jnr and another teammate engaged in intense drills at Tuesday’s training session
Leagues and tournaments; with the addition of these players I don’t think we have any excuse but to go for it”, he revealed to Guyana Times Sport on Tuesday at their adopted training area in Rasville. The West Ruimveldt unit, currently sit fifth on the 10-team points table with four points from two matches and with nerves now settled, Allen believes the players must show the desire to do well from the “get go”. “Judging from our first match against Guyana Defence Force we were a bit timid in the first 25 minutes
but after that we flowed well. From that aspect it is just to get the guys going from the get go and the match against Milerock we saw some improvements”. Reflecting on his signings, Allen felt they are top quality but still missed on signing other key players but for now he will focus on building the team chemistry. Regarding having to train next to busy the Mandela Avenue with the balls constantly rolling into the bustling traffic’s path, the coach vented it was far from ideal given they cannot get to do training with field goals but said it has to suffice since
championship glory. Can they achieve their coach’s aspirations? According to 24 year-old, they certainly can. “We have what it takes, the players have all it that it takes but we have to come out and show it and not just talk it. I wanted to play some football back home and bring glory to Western Tigers; I’m
here to listen and execute”. With a 1-1 score line against Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and then a 2-1 victory over Linden’s Milerock, Tigers are scheduled to play their third match against the star-studded Fruta Conquerors on February 16 at GDF Ground, Camp Ayanganna.
COI for Lindo Creek massacre done in bad faith by govt T
he Guyana Peace Council notes with great concern the announcement by the President and the subsequent swearing in of the Commissioner to inquire into the deaths at Lindo Creek in June 2008.
We hold sacred the values of finding the truth, promoting reconciliation and healing among our people. So any attempt in that direction done with sincerity should be embraced. However, we find it unusual that such an
important Commission of Inquiry has not benefited from the involvement of all stakeholders to ensure a national embrace but it is presently situated as a partisan political witch-hunting adventure. We make the following
observations: a. The Commissioner appointed is the father of a sitting member of Granger’s cabinet and also the Leader of the Alliance for Change, and also a past PNC operative where accusations
have been made of contact with the “Buxton Freedom Fighters.” b. The Commissioner is domiciled in a village on the East Coast of Demerara where during that troubled period there was much focus and attention. How does his interaction with the rumors, spit-press and reactions and defenses of citizens in this area, influence his objectivity and what influence will it bear on the outcome. c. Why are we starting with Lindo Creek which was the culmination of the mass killings and why are we not starting at the beginning? Why is there an attempt to serialize this investigation and why is there not one mother Commission covering the entire period. These unanswered questions create suspicions among our citizens and it is clear that we are starting on the wrong foot. We do not believe that any useful purpose can be served by proceeding in this direction. d. The comments in the media alluded to His Excellency and also the Minister
of State reeks of prejudice and a predetermined political outcome. e. The naming by the President of the period as the “Jagdeo Era Killings” is highly prejudicial and damning. It is language that is divisive. Any Commission of Inquiry paid for by taxpayers money must deliver justice to the citizens of Guyana and must not be used to gain political advantage. The Guyana Peace Council expresses the view that this approach by the Granger administration is an exercise in bad faith and will not build trust among our people and doesn’t foresee any attempt at unifying our people. It will escalate the suspicions that exist and the tensions that are currently felt in our society. It is not too late to rework this approach and for us to benefit from an independent and impartial Commission where the Terms of Reference are known and embraced by all and the selection of a minimum of three Commissioners are above board. (Guyana Peace Council)
PPP will scrap Parking Meter System
harrat Jagdeo, Leader of the Opposition has signaled his intention to withdraw the Parking Meter System when or if the People’s Progressive Party returns to power. The Opposition Leader, who was today speaking at a press conference at his office on Church Street, said his party believes the Parking Meter System between the Mayor and City Council and Smart City Solutions is a corrupt deal since it lacks transparency and sees the city receiving minimal returns. He said once the PPP is returned to power it is willing to go through all legal proceedings to remove the system which according to him is designed to kill Georgetown, noting that his party cannot allow the city to die. The Opposition Leader said since this Government had to approve the Parking Meter Project then future Governments can withdraw it. Jagdeo expressed the view that the System could have been directly implemented by City Hall, citing several other alternatives where the
City would have benefitted more directly. He noted too that private companies and other individuals wanting to invest in Parking Meters is actually a plus for City Hall, citing that M&CC could have offered a deal where persons utilize land in the Capital to build Parking lots. The Opposition leader pointed to the fact that City hall only receives 20 percent of the ticket sales under the Parking Meter System but if it was done directly they could have charged 25 percent of the current rate, utilizing the 5 percent for administrative costs. He noted that if M &CC and Central Government truly had the interest of the city and people at heart then there are many other models they could have utilized. But while Jagdeo made it clear that what was approved by Government can be disapproved, he alluded to the fact that both Local and Central Government is involved which would make it less categorical than him stating definitively that he would change the VAT regime. (Bibi Khatoon)
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