Govt claims of oil leading to ‘magical transformation’ pathetic – Jagdeo 10-11 March, 2018 / Vol. 10 No. 12 / Price: $100
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PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo in walkabout - Georgetown lastweek (above) and celebrating Phagwah (below)
‘Don’t buy into rumors about Exxon keeping APNU+AFC in power’ – Jagdeo PAGE 2
Jagan’s peopleoriented legacy
PPP delivered its pre-1992 March 6 marked 21st death anniversary of Dr. Cheddi Jagan promise of Constitutional Reform March 6, 2018, marked the 21st death anniversary of the founding leader of the oldest political party in the country, the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). Dr. Cheddi Jagan was born on Mar ch 22, 1918 and he played in instrumental role in Guyana’s politics, the fight for independence and to restore democracy. Since his death in 1997, the life and works of this iconic Guyanese, who served as the
A youthful Cheddi Jagan
nation’s 3rd Executive President, have been celebrated annually, with thousands flocking the Babu Jaan Crematorium at Port Mourant on the Corentyne Coast in East Berbice. The annual tribute will be held again this year on March 11, 2018, at the Babu John Monument Site in Berbice and all are welcomed to participate. Notably, this year also marks the 100th birth anniversary of the Dr. Jagan, who is widely regarded as the Father
of the Nation. PPP General Secretary, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo urged all Guyanese, regardless of whether they would have voted for the Party, to come out and support the activities in his honour. Jagdeo also urged the younger generation to research on the contributions of Dr Jagan to society and to even recognize his work by making his photo that of their profile picture on Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
APNU+AFC should admit that the PPP started the PAGE 3 “500 jobs” manganese project – Edghill
Govt claims of oil leading to ‘magical transformation’ pathetic – Jagdeo G
overnment’s efforts to excuse the inexcusable negotiations that were concluded with ExxonMobil continue, according to Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, who dismissed recent comments by Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin. “Frankly speaking, if the content of his speech, matched his assumed erudite demeanor, then we would have been better off as a country, but unfortunately that is not the case,” he said today (March 1, 2018) at his Church Street office. Jagdeo pointed out that Gaskin’s comments confirm that the view that the Coalition Government is only looking at the governmental sector. “So we saw Gaskin taking about what we will get from oil, as opposed to what we will collect from the mining sector….he did not look at impact of mining sector on the lives of about 100,000 people….it provides income for them, they pay taxes…he did not look at the linkages with the gold mining sector…all of those things were not factored into his presentation…. all this government thinks about is how much money it can collect in taxes…. the $56B more that will
be collected in 2018, compared to 2014.” According to him, while the Coalition Government is taking up the sector, even ExxonMobil is careful with what is said. “If you look at the pieces that Exxon has put out….Exxon has put in a caution statement on their own graphs (projections)….yet our Government sell this (projections) as gospel,” he said. Jagdeo added, “…I think the reason government is pushing this is because this is the only thing that they have left to sell…what else do they have….they claimed commitment to transparency and we have seen what has happened….they prom ised jobs and we have lost 25,000 jobs in the last three years….now we
have a ton of corruption, dwarfing anything they claim happened in the past, which they cannot prove.” The Opposition Leader noted that with the increasing number of failed promises piling up, Government’s seems intent on selling the view that oil revenues will “magically” transform the lives of Guyanese people. “They are telling supporters that wait until 2020…for those who think this will the case, they will be disappointed…the reality of the numbers do not support such a conclusion,” Jagdeo said. In addition to the ‘promise’ of oil, Jagdeo noted that the only other card in the hands of the APNU+AFC Coalition is the race card. “These are the things we have to be cautious about,” he said.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
‘Don’t buy into rumors about Exxon keeping APNU+AFC in power’ – Jagdeo
omments about ExxonMobil being involved in keeping the APNU+AFC Coalition in government have been reported by activists, who have indicated that this is the line that the Coalition Government is peddling to excuse it actions with respect to the increasingly controversial ExxonMobil deal. However, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, has urged Guyanese not to “buy into rumors” being peddled. The 1999 agreement was renegotiated by the APNU+AFC Coalition Government. Jagdeo addressed the “rumors” at his news conference on Thursday (March 1, 2018) at his Church Street
office. And he stressed that they should be discounted. Jagdeo contends that the PPP/C is looking to win the 2020 General and Regional Elections by 50,000 votes. He said much work is being done on the ground and he added that the APNU+AFC Coalition has failed to deliver on its manifesto promises. “I don’t know what new they will come up on. All of their manifesto promises have been broken….the only card they are left with is the race card,” he said. According to him, rumors and stereotypes are being peddled about the PPP, many of the latter having been rubbished.
Jagdeo made clear that the PPP’s work continues and all Guyanese are welcomed as supporters of the PPP. “We are working to change that and we urge people to look at the facts…. we are leading the struggle to retake Government,” Jagdeo said. At a prior news conference he stated that efforts are being made to: the need to strengthen the PPP family; the need for the PPP to remain open to new members and be accommodating to supporters who had left, but are returning; and the need to defend existing freedoms by understanding what is happening.
Forensic auditors come up empty-handed: Jagdeo says ‘finally we have an admission’
inister within the Finance Ministry, Jaipaul Sharma, earlier this week, disclosed that a number of these forensic audits failed to unearth the fraud and corruption that the Coalition Government claimed occurred under the former PPP/C Government. “Some (of the) reports weren’t sufficient to send forward to Police,” Sharma said. And today (March 1, 2018) at a news conference, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said, “Finally we have an admission.” Meanwhile, the David-Granger-led Government has been criticised for the manner in which the
audits were commissioned, since many supporters of APNU+AFC were given contracts – including Christopher Ram’s company and Dr. Annand Goolsarran. The highest sum for a single audit – $8M – was paid to Christopher Ram’s company, Ram and McRae, for the audit of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). In total Ram’s company was tasked with eight contracts totaling over $37M. Dr Goolsarran received four contracts totaling over $6M, with the largest contract sum being $2.3M. How much remaining five audits costs – a total of
50 having been cited by government as intended pursuits – remains unknown, despite multiple attempts to have Sharma answers questions on the matter. Notably, while Granger has also said that the audits were not done with the purpose to “witch hunt” former government officials, Jagdeo, has called for APNU+AFC to release not only the completed audit reports, but also the responses to the audit reports. This has not been done. The $133M of taxpayers’ money was spent on about 45 audits. Only about 30 forensic audit reports were released.
Nandlall blasts AG for hosting PNC event at Parliament
ormer Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall has condemned the actions of the General Secretary of the PNC, Basil Williams, who on saturday gave an address to a PNCR group calling themselves “Patriots” in the National Assembly. According to Nandlall, “The Parliament of this nation is a most sacrosanct, constitutional creation, which houses our nation’s legislative branch of Government. The nature of its work and its constitutional role under the doctrine of Separation of Powers, mandate that it must not be contaminated by petty party politics, neither should its facilities be used to accommodate the activities of political parties.” Notably, the tour was facilitated by the Clerk of the
National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs and included presentations from other staff of the Parliament. Williams congratulated the Patriots and its Education Coordinator, Dr Taishan Shanks for the innovative exercise. However, “It is public knowledge that the Chairman of the PNC maybe incapable of appreciating the transgressions, which he committed. However, I wish to register my deep dismay that the Speaker would permit such a pantomime to take place in the sacred halls of the National Assembly and that the Clerk has allowed himself to be used in the process. These officers are responsible for the preservation of the sanctity of our Parliament. Or is it that they have now become full-fledged creatures of the PNC.”, Nandlall argued.
Nandlall further stated that “Against this backdrop, we must condemn in the strongest terms, the use of Parliament building and the hallowed halls of the Chambers of the National Assembly to host an event, which, from all indications was a PNC activity, where a grouping calling themselves “Patriots”, gathered in the National Assembly, seating themselves in its chairs, where the Chairman of the PNC, Basil Williams, addressed them about the importance of Parliament. Alarmingly, the news report says that the Clerk of the National Assembly facilitated this exercise and the Clerk and staff of the National Assembly made presentations, as well.” “Is it that party para(Turn to page 7)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
By Donald Ramotar his PNC led APNU+AFC regime continues to mislead the public in relation to the real situation in he sugar industry. They have relied on half-truths, distortions and downright lies to perpetuate the disinformation. This is a real tragedy and immoral on the part of the regime. Recently, through the acting CEO of GuySuCo, it was stated that GuySuCo has a debt of some $77B dollars. That is not the whole truth. As I have mentioned before, GuySuCo has some serious problems, but they are not insurmountable. No
By Donald Ramotar Former President
estate needs to be closed. No one should lose her/her job. Indeed, with the development of new products, new jobs can be created. This regime, motivated mainly by racial consideration, is determined to shut it down. The Granger-led regime is not prepared to look at any other solution. Hence, the distortions intended to mislead the public and to justify the attack on the industry. Most of the debt that GuySuCo has is not immediate. They are long-term debts. Once the decision is taken to fix the industry, these debts would be paid by the industry. The composition of the
APNU+AFC should admit that the PPP started the “500 jobs” manganese project – Edghill
he manganese project which Government claims to have launched in Region One (Barima Waini) was actually conceptualised and started under the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Administration. Billed to create approximately 500 jobs, the APNU+AFC Government announced through one of its PR-machineries, that it has cleared the way for the project. But former Government Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill told Citizens’ Report that it is saddening that the APNU+AFC is taking credit for a PPP-initiative. “It would appear that the APNU+AFC government is desperate in trying to show that they are bringing about foreign investment and creating jobs in Guyana but if the truth be told, this manganese project is not a new project, it is not something that has been negotiated and sealed or developed under this administration. It is a PPP/C project started during the presidency of Bharrat Jagdeo,” he said in an invited comment. Edghill said he was “extremely shocked” when he saw this government taking all the praise for the project. “I was extremely shocked and surprised when they are
talking about this project and how much jobs it will create and there was not a single acknowledgement that this project was established, concessions granted, the community involved and engaged since before 2006,” he stated. Edghill said the APNU+AFC should do the honourable thing and give credit where due. “I think that the APNU+AFC government should at least be a little bit more ethical, they must at least be honest enough to say this is not a new development,” he stated. A firm called Guyana Manganese Incorporated (GMI) has purchased the mine site from Reunion Manganese Inc(RMI) of Canada. GMI, a Bosai Mineral Group company, is currently on track to develop the mines, plant, and factories to begin extracting the mineral by early 2019. Construction is set to begin in July and some 550 locals from the region and across Guyana will be employed during this phase as well as the production phase. Currently, GMI is employing 20 locals in the engineering design and survey phase and is investing US$100M in the first phase development.
SUGAR: HALF TRUTHS AND LIES debt is as follows: The amount owed for the Skeldon Factory is $32B. This debt was being paid by the PPP/C government. It is a debt on the government books and not GuySuCo. True, it is expected that the industry would repay government and it could easily do so if the regime works toward getting it back on its feet by using soft credit available to it from the Indian government. President Granger is going to India soon. He should pursue the Indian Government’s offer, which he himself acknowledged is available. In fact, in that ‘debt’ is the Co-Generation Plant. The administration knows that that plant, according to Dr. Clive Thomas, is supplying 80,000 persons with electricity. GuySuCo is not benefitting from this revenue split, which favours GPL. This should be corrected.
So that $32B is not a burden on the industry. The second component of that debt is what they government claimed is GuySuCo’s pension funds. They claimed that this amounts to $33B. This is not the true picture. This amount is payable to persons when they reach the age of sixty (60). Everyone knows that all the persons would not arrive at sixty at the same time. Therefore, this is a major distortion. This is not an immediate demand. Indeed, this is a good reason to adopt the PPP/C’s plans to turn the industry around and keep it going. Doing so will postpone that ‘debt’ way into the future. Moreover, this PNC-led APNU+AFC has written off much more than that amount to their friends and party contributors. Not only have they waived the high amounts, but regularly the Attorney
General’s office has been settling many cases which were before the Courts for their friends. Indeed, this has raised a lot of concern and suspicion of massive corruption. It is also said that the industry owes $7B to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). The regime can either write this off, as it has done for some others, or wait for GuySuCo to recover and pay this. Why then can’t they help an important industry as sugar! That accounts for $72B. This means that GuySuCo’s obligation to its creditors and suppliers amounts to $5B. This is manageable. It is clear that the industry can be saved. Estates that are closed can be re-opened and could prosper. All that is needed is the investment to operate efficiently and develop new products. Another factor that has to be looked at
is good management. The regime can get these things. As was mentioned above, the Indian government is willing to assist with re-capitalisation and technical assistance. I have no doubt that they would be willing to provide managerial services if requested to do so. The regime’s handling of the sugar industry is really questionable. While Jamaica is working to recapitalize and fix their industry, the APNU regime is destroying ours. Why are no efforts being made to put it on a sustainable basis? The only reason it appears is that the regime is motivated neither by good economic sense nor the welfare of sugar workers. It is purely a racist attack on the Indo-Guyanese population, which began with the purging of Indians from the public service.
Tribute to Kowsilla's heroism
(March 06, 2018) marked 54 years since Kowsilla was crushed to death by a scab-driven tractor at Leonora Estate. Kowsilla a.k Alice, a member of the Leonora WPO Group, was giving solidarity with striking workers of Leonora Estate as they protested the Manag-
er’s denial of work to them and heightened their call for the recognition of GAWU. Our Union together with the WPO since Kowsilla’s death has been organising annual activities to commemorate her heroic sacrifice. This year’s activity featured a march from the Leonora Primary School to the Anna Catherina cemetery where Kowsilla is interred. At the cemetery, there was laying of wreaths on Kowsill’a tomb. Tributes were made by GAWU General Secretary, Seepaul Narine;
PPP Executive Committee member, Irfaan Ally; WPO General Secretary, Shelia Veerasammy; FITUG General Secretary (a.g.), Dawchan Nagasar; PYO representative; Ronald Harsawack, and Region #3 Chairman, Julius Faerber. All the speakers in paying tribute reflected on Kowsilla’s heroism and the solidarity of her times. They said the need for such collaboration and co-operation is needed in these days as they took stock of the allround and many-sided challenges which confront our country and our citizens. The situation in the sugar industry did not escape focus as all the speakers were critical of the ill-conceived decisions in the industry. On March 6th 1964 during an industrial strike at Plantation Leonora she and several other women stood resolutely, shoulder to shoulder, on a bridge and faced-off a PNC scab driving a tractor inexorably toward them under the direction of the colonial managers. Kowsilla’s body was cut in two, while several other women were severely injured, with some being crippled for life. This was an extraordinary act by ordinary women; who nevertheless were agents of change in the labour movement, because their supreme sacrifice catalyzed the recognition of
the bargaining agent for sugar workers – The Man Power Citizens’ Association (MPCA) which, although it subsequently proved a disappointment for the sugar workers, because it later degenerated into a supporter of the oppressive PNC regime, paved the way for the emergence of the GAWU; but not without years-long, unrelenting struggle, spearheaded by Dr. Cheddi Jagan and the PPP, with the WPO giving optimum support to the cause. It was this struggle that precipitated the strike of 1964 and culminated in the murder of Kowsilla. However the sacrifice of these indomitable women did not go in vain, because GAWU gained recognition by the Booker Tate sugar plantations in 1973. Kowsilla lost her life, succumbing on her way to the Georgetown Hospital,
and two other women – Jagdai and Daisy Sookram suffered broken spines, remaining crippled for the rest of their lives; while several other workers received severe injuries to various parts of their bodies. Some never recovered from those injuries, suffering one kind of disability or another, which precipitated their demise. Although they did not die directly from their injuries, their quality of live and lifespans were severely diminished, which was indirectly attributable to Felix Ross’s murderous act, for which he was acquitted. Kowsilla was born in 1920 in Seafield, Leonora, West Coast, Demerara. Her parents were very poor and, although little is known of her married life, reports indicated that she became a single mother of four children whom she worked as a huckster to provide for.
Jagan’s peopleoriented legacy
ust after assuming office in 1992, President Dr. Cheddi Jagan, elected after the first democratic polls in Guyana since independence, reduced the prices on rice and flour and increased old age pension. These were indeed modest actions, but given the fact that these came at a time when the PNC, which governed since independence, had practically impoverished the nation, they were indicative of studied approach to the fundamentals of developing the country. In 1992, Dr. Jagan inherited a country with a monumental development deficit, a huge debt burden, high cost of living, widespread poverty and unemployment, poor social services. One could imagine that in such a situation the then President dedicated time, energy and scarce resources, to reduce the prices of rice and flour and increase old age pension. From the first day in office, he and his Cabinet immersed themselves in planning to tackle the huge economic/finance issues facing the country. Those around him then, (some still are around) would recall Dr. Jagan’s constant leadership role in guiding the process in such a fashion that would see economic growth within the context of people-oriented approach to development. Of course, Dr. Jagan had no difficulty in finding right approaches in those early days as the Cabinet was made up of PPP stalwarts who were similarly seized with such a direction and agreed that the eradication of poverty most be a central plank of the country’s economic recovery. During the first 100 days of the new government, Dr. Jagan made dozens and dozens of important speeches. During most of these he would reiterate these ideas and taking stock today of those moments, one could easily fail to understand the reasons behind this constant exhortations. A closer look at the prevailing global situation would observe a marked absence of such an approach within the dominant models for development. Dr. Jagan knew this, but the fighter in him told him that to commit the country, lock stock and barrel, to those models, which he considered to be failed experiments in similar situations such as Guyana, would be disastrous. He was consciously creating elbow room to adjust those models, advocated mainly by the main lending institutions. These institutions, at that time, were willing to partner with Guyana to climb out of the crisis, but there were the usual strings attached. So, as he himself stated on more than one occasion, Guyana has to walk between the rain drops. Guyana should be forever proud that it had a leader that brought to government his immense wealth of experience and knowledge, together with an uncompromising dedication to the working people. Today, “people-oriented” development is used commonly. But that was not always the case. Dr. Jagan’s balanced approach to development and its actual application in evolution of policies and practices in government during those few years he occupied the Office of the President, are worthy of emulation, especially to when the ship of state under the present government is without any known direction. Dr. Jagan, for the first time in the history of Guyana, fashioned and designed, first conceptually and then in practice, an approach to development with people at the centre! The result has seen a comprehensive social programme that led to giving greater access to education, health and housing, improved infrastructure, private sector development, increased wages and pensions, etc. These have all led to betterment to the condition of the working man. Subsequent PPP administrations continued with this model and have achieved great successes. But that was the nature of the man, who was born 100 years ago last week. His basic essentials of his political philosophy were rooted in notions of “people and country.” For some fifty years he walked this land, went to every nook and cranny, and saw and felt, the pains, sufferings, exploitations, and hopelessness. But he also saw hope and that was what inspired him to fight, first the British and then authoritarianism under the PNC. It was though those years he committed himself to bring justice to the working man. As Guyanese from all walks of life, friends and foe alike, pay respects to this leader, uppermost in their hearts, is the image of a tireless fighter of the working people. That legacy of his lives on!
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
his year's International Women’s Day theme “Time is now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives” could not be more apt as women’s activism globally is on the increase in sharp contrast to a slowing down on the advancement of the women's agenda. This slowing down or reversal is no more telling than here in Guyana. After decades of activism, especially sustained by rural and working women for their right to vote, to work, equal access to health and education, to end discrimination against women and to end domestic and sexual violence, and to hold political office, we are witnessing our proud achievements as Guyanese women being rapidly undermined and reversed by the APNU+AFC government. The World Economic Forum 2017 Global Gender Gap Report concluded that:“On current trends, the overall global gender gap can be closed in exactly 100 years across the 106 countries covered since the inception of the Report, compared to 83 years last year. The most challenging gender gaps remain
in the economic and health spheres. Given the continued widening of the economic gender gap, it will now not be closed for another 217 years. However, the education–specific gender gap could be reduced to parity within the next 13 years. The political dimension currently holds the widest gender gap and is also the one exhibiting the most progress, despite a slowdown in progress this year. It could be closed within 99 years. The health gender gap is larger than it stood in 2006.” Guyana, which was reported on for several years in the Global Gender Gap reports, was ranked # 66 of 145 countries in the 2015 Global Gender
Gap Report with a ranking of 1 for both Educational attainment and Health and Survival, and 37 for Political Empowerment and 124 for Economic Participation, its weakest area. Guyana, however, strangely is no longer included in the reports of 2016 and 2017. Of note is that of 125 achievements advertised by the APNU+AFC Coalition government for its second anniversary, not one related to the status of women, youth or children in our society. These omissions are most significant. Despite the fact that the APNU+AFC Coalition government inherited a healthy economy and an emerging (Continued on page 6)
Is this the righteousness and good life that you voted for? Dear Editor,
orruption is a plague that must be resisted, rejected and condemned in every form and fashion, wherever and whenever it is identified. Last week, we learnt of the fiasco involving Integrated Security Services with the non-payment of its workers for, in as much in some instances of two months, was reported from the Berbice area. My colleague, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP), Harry Gill is representing this cause. What is worrying is that officials of both Central and Regional Government allegedly in defense of the contractor, instead of addressing the issue based on merits of the claims raised by the workers, they sought to obfuscate the issue by saying that I, Bishop Juan Edghill is a shareholder/part owner of Integrated Security Services (ISS). This, obviously, was an attempt to have the guards drop their claims and to have MP Gill fade into the background and for the matter to die a natural death. Editor, I would like to state publicly for the record thatI, Bishop Juan Edghill is not a Director or shareholder or part owner or is in any way, form or fashion connected to ISS. My position on this matter is clear, if you employ persons and they deliver services, they must be paid. The guards
must receive their full benefits for services from ISS. Against this backdrop, I am not at all surprised or dismay by the attempts by the PNC-led APNU/AFC Government to hide their corruption, incompetence and nepotism by creating smokescreens. The corruption of the Government, in such a short period in office, stinks to the high heavens. They are undoubtedly unashamed, brazen and bold face in the execution of their devious plans, even when large number of persons are affected. They ensure that their small elite group receives maximum benefits. We know as a country that individuals and companies with known alliances to the political directorate are sole sources and awarded contracts to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, annually. A simple case and point is the Sussex Street Drug Bond that was sole sourced to a known PNC financier/supporter. Now we have this developing situation of a contract being awarded to a shady character with no experience in the procurement of drugs and medical supplies being awarded contracts for $1.4B GYD, for the procurement of medical supplies. That came on the heels of a lucrative fertilizer contract. Notably, this person’s only qualification is that he is the friend of the right people. This is the latest addition to the long
list of persons without the requisite qualifications being either, handed contracted or employed with super salaries, most of them being relatives or friends of some senior government functionary. The list of corrupt deals and transactions of this Government, in just over two years, are too many to mention. So, in the interest of space, here are a few: the Durban Park, where over $1.4BU GYD was expended and to date no documents are available for the Auditor General; the Ansa Mcal $605M sole sourced contract for the GPHC; Guyanese have also witnessed the mishandling and the corruption surrounding the new river crossing across the Demerara River, which is not over yet. The unacceptable reconfiguration of the scope of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, which includes a reduction from eight air bridges to a mere two and yet the contracted sum remains the same; The lack of accountability and transparency at the Georgetown City Council as it relates to expenditures to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. This list is by no means exhaustive. Guyanese beware of wolves in sheep clothing. Is this the righteousness, good governance and good life that you voted for? Yours truly, Bishop Juan Edghill
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Guyanese now have less disposable income Dear Editor,
continually ask myself this question: Why is Guyana still so poor in spite of it having so many resources? Why are we not seeing progress under this Granger regime? After all, President David Granger was the one who promised the nation the good life. But after three hard years, he is the lead proponent of the backwardness that passes for public policy in Guyana today. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight with a sustainable solution. All this promise of oil money is more of the same carrot tied to the donkey on a stick. Yes, there will be pennies on the pound coming Guyana’s way but after the politicians apply their discounts, there will be very little left for actual human
development. The big challenge today is that the majority of our citizens have less disposable income that they had before Mr Granger acceded to power. So they have few options to make the choice between saving and investing. You cannot save what you do not have and when you have to buy food. Rather it is an environment of survival of the fittest and this brings out the worst in our people. Just observe the current crime wave. On top of that, the politicians are not prepared to provide world-class public goods and services to the people because they are so entrapped in the process of their self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement. This statement helps understand why Mr Granger’s government
Signs of dictatorship Dear Editor
t the last statutory meeting of the Regional Democratic Council of Region Six, I rose to highlight that during the PPP’s 23 years in office, no regional councillor of the PPP was a regional contractor with the RDC in Region Six. Now we are seeing not only regional councillors being contractors, but numerous Government officials and party activists of the coalition Government being given contracts. This is replicated across the entire country. I deem this action as corruption of the highest level under the APNU/AFC coalition Government. While I was trying to establish that this Government is a corrupt regime, I was cautioned by the Regional Chairman to rephrase my statement by saying that there are numerous alleged acts of corruption by the Government — a statement that’s too decent for the description of this Government. Let us start with the first evidence of corruption: As we enter Berbice, there is the monument site at Palmyra. The minister says that no geo-technical survey was done, and as such, millions were spent and no answers were given as to who and when taxpayers would be refunded their monies, which will
be of tremendous benefit to Guyana. Not so long ago, an investigation was launched into corruption at NCN Berbice Branch. This is also a massive cover-up of corruption by the coalition Government. The reflective marking of the Corentyne Highway was completed only in January 2018, and the painted lines have already faded. I was made to understand that the paint was purchased by MoPI, charging for high quality paints and purchasing the lowest quality at the same price. The recent work that is being executed by the Works Services Group of the MoPI is the worst I have seen for a very long time. The Republic Road (in New Amsterdam) and the East Bank Berbice public road are just a few examples of poor standard and quality. This ministry needs to be investigated now. NDIA is another agency that needs to be investigated. Millions are being spent to execute works in Region Six. Some works are being done, while some are not being done but contractors are being paid. Sometimes contractors are paid ten times the cost of the volume of work done. Sincerely, Zamal Hussain
‘No need for international firm to advise on remaining oil blocks’ – Jagdeo
or months the political Opposition has been calling on the Coalition Government to come clean on how it manages to deal with the remaining oil blocks, following major oil finds by ExxonMobil. Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, has only this week stated that an international firm will be engaged to advise the government on how to handle the remaining oil blocks. Today (March 1, 2018), Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, slammed the Government for its latest expression of incompetence. According to him, the Government’s Advisor, Jan Mangal, has already advised that the oil blocks be
subject to competitive bidding. While agreeing that this is one transparent option, Jagdeo noted that the Coalition Government could also go the route of inter-generational equity, where the blocks remain un-allocated for another 10 years, to allow another generation of Guyanese to benefit from a finite resource. “You don’t need international firm. You don’t need foreign advisor,” Jagdeo said. The APNU+AFC Coalition Government has come under fire for its management of the emerging oil and gas sector, more so given claims of corruption.
has chosen to build a bridge across the Demerara River using 1990s’ technology rather than modern technology. Even the Chinese Ambassador had cause to add his voice to this discussion. When President David Granger sold himself to the nation in 2015 as the better candidate this is what he said in his manifesto: “The APNU+AFC coalition is actually more than six parties. It has already become a national movement for transformation.” I particularly raise this declaration made by Mr Granger because it is important that the young people of Guyana understand how empty his rhetoric really is today. It is more than three years now, but Team Granger is still stuck on the record of blaming the PPP for their current failure. But in reality that song is not relevant anymore; the blame today lies squarely at Mr Granger’s feet. The nation is failing in 2018 because of the incapable team he has around him and his own poor leadership. That is why I believe that today Mr Granger’s transformation has been lost in transition. The style and nature of the Granger government today is one of narrow-minded political dominance that exhibits an attitude of ethnic superiority. To add to that defect, we can find all over this Granger regime embedded orthodoxies that tell the youths that they must wait their turn until the septuagenarians and their political creatures complete their period of
office. Married to such a mindset is the rigid inflexibility on how our resources are distributed (no money for severed Wales Estate sugar workers but we have $1.5 billion for a parade ground because the leader loves his pageantry). But the feature of this regime that most distinguishes it is that it exhibits many attitudes of core incompetency and inexperience on many fronts. One just needs to reflect on how it has handled the many crises that have beset the nation since May 2015. So when Mr Granger says that “This Manifesto promises a bright future for all…” (see APNU+AFC Manifesto) any member of the public can quickly observe one of two things: One, a delusional man who is out at sea on what it takes to provide that bright future. Or two, a man who walks a path that will end in the people being deprived of their resources. That is why with “humble hearts and head bowed down” (to quote from a national song), we the children of Guyana must recommit to fighting all the trappings of this odious apparatus being constructed. This fight is not going to be with guns, but with the willpower of the people as they slowly amalgamate to resist this current day oppression and social injustice just as our foreparents did during the Burnham days and won.
facts. The fact is that national events were used to promote national identity and officials at these national events were not made to dress in the colours of any political party – like we saw with the officials along the route for the Mashramani parade last month. The fact is that all Guyanese prospered under successive PPP/C administrations and a simple comparative of the standard of living of our people pre-1992 and post-1992 will attest to this. The fact is that the stereotypes peddled (particularly those pushed along the lines of race) have been rubbished. The fact is that Guyanese in the Public Sector did not have to worry about being sidelined because of differentiating factors – unlike what we have seen in the past three years under the APNU/AFC Government. The PPP is on record condemning moves that divide our people and the Party will continue to protest any such future acts. All Guyanese, regardless of race, religion, or any other differentiating factor, must object to Government actions that divide our people. Looking at the big picture, our country stands to bear significant losses if retrograde actions – including the recent hijacking of national symbols – are given acceptability in our society. The undermining of national unity is unacceptable and any such action must be condemned by all Guyanese, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum. Regards,
Yours faithfully, Sasenarine Singh
Undermining of national unity is unacceptable R
ecent actions by the David Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government have given rise to great cause for concern among Guyanese people, more so when one considers the significant efforts, under successive People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) administrations, that were made to advance a national project aimed at bringing Guyanese people together. Despite claims of efforts to bolster social cohesion, the coalition Government’s hijacking of national symbols – seen in the seizure of the national flag at Corriverton to prevent the flag-raising ceremony on the eve of our 48th Republic anniversary, the repainting on State House in the People’s National Congress (PNC) colour (green) and the repainting of other state buildings (from the Office of the President to RDC offices) in green – can only be described as pernicious. Post-independence, Guyana’s colonisers (and other foreign agents that stood to benefit) left our people with a legacy of division. While academics can debate the factors surrounding this problem, the fact it that a legacy of division has been accepted as such – a problem. And successive PPP/C administrations have worked to ensure that Guyanese are unified – by working to break stereotypes, delivering prosperity for all Guyanese, promoting national pride and bolstering a sense of a national identity among our people. Granted that naysayers may want to argue otherwise, the simple response to such persons is to simply call on them to produce
Zulfikar Mustapha Executive Secretary People’s Progressive Party
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Giving up traditional industries’ export earnings while waiting for oil money is stupid By Dr. Leslie Ramsammy
ecent Bank of Guyana reports confirm economic downturn and the deterioration of the macroeconomic and financial stability framework in Guyana. This past week, former Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive Member and Economist, Sasenarine Singh, thankfully highlighted the precarious situation that is emerging in our country. Between 2015 and the present time, the US dollar foreign reserve at the Bank of Guyana has dwindled from more than US$800 million to under US$550 million; an astounding US$250 million reduction in less than three years since the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)/ AFC took the reins of Government. A similar reduction in US-dollar reserve is evident at the private banks. The disappearing foreign reserve
is hollering a warning to us that the macro-economic and financial stability of our country is at peril. Only countries which are bankrupt or under threat of bankruptcy have weak or negative foreign reserves. Guyana is no stranger to this sin. When the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) took over the Government in 1992, at the time we restored democracy, the foreign reserve was almost zero and the country was virtually bankrupt. For the decade before 1992, Guyana maintained near zero and even negative foreign reserves. Dr Cheddi Jagan and the PPP made restoring and building a foreign reserve a priority. Bharrat Jagdeo made building the foreign reserve at the Bank of Guyana a fundamental foundation of a sound macro-economic and financial stability platform. As Guyana’s foreign currency
(From page 4) middle income, democratic nation, we, in Guyana, have witnessed the regression in the economic participation and empowerment of women, and lack of concern of the APNU+AFC government with its retrograde measures such as the practical abolition of the “Women of Worth” programme, and the “Single Parents Assistance Facility and the abolition of the “Cash Care Programme” for all children in school, the introduction of VAT on essential items and services that were designed to help the poor and vulnerable, and the noticeable reduction of women’s presence and role in the political and public spheres. After 2 years of the APNU+AFC government the emerging trend in Guyana is clear, the government is reversing the democratic gains, bit by bit, methodically; the decline in all sectors of the economy, increased poverty and hardships with 200 new taxes, reversals of the social programmes, including property rights through the housing programme, reversals of social safety nets for children and elderly, and of course, witch hunting of political opponents to the government. Since the APNUAFC Coalition took office we are witnessing at an alarming rate an open level of discrimination against women, most especially of Indo-Guyanese and Amerindian women, particularly in the public sector. Pre-1992, Indo-Guyanese and Amerindian women, held less than 1% of the public service posts, now 26 years later they have once again been reduced to a token presence. The composition of government and state Boards in 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been overwhelmingly male dominated, and, visibly dominated by one ethnic group. This reduction of women’s participation in decision making, workforce and in the economy is
reserve at the Bank of Guyana improved and increased reaching between US$600 million and US$1 billion, the then People’s National Congress (PNC)-led Opposition attacked the PPP and, particularly, Bharrat Jagdeo, for not using the foreign reserve to increase public expenditure. APNU/AFC inherited this healthy foreign reserve in 2015 and then immediately began depleting it by financing wasteful projects like the $1.4 billion D’Urban Park Project, the sole-sourced $630 million procurement of medicines at a cost about 66 per cent above market value, the more than $175 million annual expenditure for a house that serves as a medical warehouse, barely utilised for medicine storage. Since May 2015, Government public expenditure – current and capital – has increased, but an examination of the
telling and an indictment of the government. This discriminatory trend is not only focused on women in high and senior positions but women also at the lower levels of the public service. Women who were in clerical and lower technical areas have been terminated as “suspect PPP supporters” because of their ethnicity or alleged political affiliation. The state owned sugar industry is the largest single employer in the public sector. The closure of Wales Sugar Estate in December 2016 led to 1700 workers losing their jobs of which 300 were female (field and administration). With the closure of three more estates in December 2017, another 5000 workers have lost their jobs with more pending, of these 2000 are females. Women in the sugar sector have become mere “collateral damage.” The multiplier effect of more than 2,000 women in one sector losing their jobs coupled with their male counterparts is devastating at the individual, familial, community and national levels. In a small economy such as ours, their removal is irreparable, unless the government takes corrective measures. Regrettably, the government churns out a time warped mantra of the 1970s of investing in making and selling plantain chips as an entrepreneurial opportunity! Surely this cannot be the answer! The PPP wishes to place on record it's condemnation of the suffering being endured by the women in the sugar belt where estates have been shut and calls on the Government to immediately introduce comprehensive programmes to alleviate the hardships being endured by these workers, their families and communities. Unemployment since 2015, due to the government’s incompetence in managing the economy and ill-advised decisions, has reached alarming levels with almost 25,000
Auditor General’s Report will show an astonishing degree of waste, with more than $20 billion falling in the category of waste in 2016. Given the diminishing foreign reserve with an increased public expenditure, Singh correctly asks the salient question – how are we paying for the extravagance of this Government’s wasteful spending? The genesis of the problem is not merely the wasteful spending by APNU/AFC. They have been collecting more Value Added Tax (VAT), more Income Taxes, more taxes from about 200 new or increased taxes since 2015. One would, therefore, have thought that there was no need to draw down from the foreign reserve. But the fact is that the deteriorating economic base is also resulting in an increase in the balance of trade. Our export earnings have tanked and APNU/AFC
has recklessly began to deplete the foreign reserve to fund wastes such as the 50 per cent increase in their own salaries. Sugar is a major reason for reduced export earnings, leading to an assault on the foreign reserves at the Bank of Guyana. For most of the period between 1992 and 2015, sugar earnings in foreign currency amounted to between US$150 million and US$300 million, with an average annual export earnings of about US$200 million. Because of APNU/AFC’s spectacular failed management of the sugar industry, export earnings fell to below US$70 million in 2017. In fact, the export earnings from sugar in 2018 is expected to fall below US$50 million and this will catalyse the real possibility that the foreign reserve at the Bank of Guyana will further deteriorate in 2018.
workers losing their jobs in both the private and public sectors, a significant percentage are women and single parents. Even the Minister of Business acknowledged that the group hardest hit in the small business sector was businesses headed by female single parents. These include those involved with catering, hair and nail craft, sewing and tailoring. The short and long term socio-economic repercussions of women being removed from the work force, is damaging at many levels:– -their personal careers and advancement are stymied; -their families suffer from reduced incomes and access to goods and services, this is particularly devastating for single parent headed households (29%); their children’s access to health and education are also reduced; -their purchasing power has been reduced which impacts negatively on the quality of their lives and on the economy; - psychologically the levels of depression and anxiety about their future options weigh heavily on them and their families; - contributions to the NIS and income tax are reduced; - their dependents, not only in their immediate families but their extended family, are also negatively affected; - loans for their education, or, houses they built through the housing programmes, and or, cars or motorcycles they purchased, are in jeopardy, thereby impacting negatively on the banking system and the quality of their lives; Poverty reduction, maternal and infant mortality, sexual and domestic violence, and suicide continue with little or no priority given to address these ills. The public health sector upon which over 70 % of the women depend on for services is in collapse mode and hardships worsen. Yet the government blindly sings praises to itself. On this 2018 International Women’s Day, we condemn the APNU+AFC government for its betrayal of our women and all Guyanese. This overwhelming male dominated- senior citizens and urban middle class men and former military and serving military officers at the highest levels- government has little room for women, especially for
While the heroic efforts of the rice farmers and the millers are maintaining a strong performance within the rice industry, its export earnings in 2015, 2016 and 2017 have all been significantly less than the annual US$250 million in the period 2012 to 2014, mainly because Guyana has shifted to lower-priced export market. The APNU/AFC keeps boasting that oil will bring in more than US$300 million annually. But this is only good if it is additive to existing export earnings. If as we wait for oil, we reduce our present export earnings, a reduction that is almost US$200 million, then when oil money begins to flow, instead of improving our socio-economic standing, that new oil money will simply replace money we lose from the traditional industries. It means we are no better off. Is this our oil future? Are we going to use oil money to simply replace what we lose from sugar and rice? This is the very height of stupidity.
young professional women in their midst. After 30 odd months, we conclude that the APNU+AFC Coalition government holds the record for callous neglect and discrimination against women. Here in Guyana, the silence of those who had held themselves up to be protectors of the women’s rights movement is nothing short of curious. This must change, as it remains true, that were we as a county to invest in our women and in empowering our women, Guyana would grow at a far more advanced pace. Guyana cannot develop unless the inclusion of all women, regardless of their ethnicity, class, geographic location, religion, marital status, etc., are treated as critical, urgent and essential to developing a democratic nation. To spout compliments on IWD in central Georgetown while driving irreversible staves of destruction in the lives of so many of the country's women makes a mockery of the lofty goals and intentions of International Women’s Day. The “Time is Now” to expose these dangerous retrogressive trends and to renew the long held traditions of activism for women’s rights and women’s rightful place in our nation-- To be silent in the face of these reversals in to stand on the wrong side of history. In closing, we support wholeheartedly the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres ’s message on 2018 International Women’s Day when he said “Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world….. this is not a favour to women. Gender equality is a human rights issue, but it is also in all our interests: men and boys, women and girls. Gender inequality and discrimination against women harms us all”. In 2020, we are certain that the PPPC will return to office and we shall be able to return, reinstate and advance further the position and rights of women in our nation once again. Sincerely, Gail Teixeira, M.P., Priya Manickchand, M.P., Gillian Burton- Persaud, M.P., Pauline Sukhai, M.P.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
“Integrity” of Integrity Commission threatened
Chairman says Nagamootoo is his friend
he integrity or reliability of the Integrity Commission – which is responsible for ensuring persons in public life upholds certain standards – is under scrutiny after the Chairman Kumar Doraisami declared that he is good friends with Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo. More worrying is the fact that Doraisami told reporters on the day of his swearing-in last month that he was never interested in the position until Nagamootoo called him. Doraisami told the media workers that after he received that call from the Prime Minister, he decided to take up the offer. The aim of the Integrity Commission is to secure the integrity of persons in public life by applying certain measures to create, maintain and strengthen standards of conduct for the correct, honourable and proper fulfillment of public functions. The Integrity Commission – an independent body
– was also empowered under the relevant act to remove public officials who act unprofessionally and/or unlawfully. However, amendments made to the Act by the APNU+AFC government now sees this responsibility with the executive. The change puts the enforcement powers in the hands of the President, David Granger where Government Ministers are in breach and in the hands of the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon in cases of other persons in public life, including elected Members of Parliament (MPs). Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had pointed out that this development is dangerous and unconstitutional. “So, just imagine, Harmon will now decide the fate of Members of Parliament, because persons in public life may be removed from office when s/he contravenes any of the provisions in this code,” he surmised, noting that it would be unconstitu-
tional for a sitting minister to be empowered to remove an elected official in the National Assembly. He argued, too, that both the President and Harmon were subject to the Integrity Commission Act and if they were responsible for enforcing provisions under it, then there would be a major conflict of interest. “So, what they are doing now, moving it (power) from an independent body that the Executive should have no control over, because members of the Executive, including the President, have to submit their statements to this body and be overseen by this body and [it can] initiate prosecutorial actions against the President for breach. They are seeking now to amend that Act under the Code of Conduct, which is for not just Ministers but MPs and put the enforcement power, the ability to remove people from public life in the hands of the President and Minister of State,” he explained.
Peace Council functions independently of the PPP – Jagdeo
laims by controversial commentator, Freddie Kissoon, that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) resuscitated the Guyana Peace Council were dismissed by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, when questioned about the matter on March 8, 2018 at a news conference, held at his Church Street Office. He acknowledged at in the past the Peace Council was close to the PPP. However, he explained that there was no consultation with the PPP prior to the resuscitation of the
Peace Council. According to Jagdeo, while some PPP/C members are part of the Peace Council there is no formal like with the Party currently. Activities, including fund raising activities, of the Peace Council are done independently of the PPP, the Opposition Leader added. Relative to the supposed ‘analyses’ proffered by Kissoon, Jagdeo dismissed these too.
Nandlall blasts AG for... mountcy is now fully with us and that we should next expect that the Chairman of the PNC will soon take another party group, ensconced them in the Court of Appeal of Guyana and then lecture them on how the Judiciary works?”, Nandlall questioned. Notably, Granger recently hosted a PNC function at State House – the official residence of the Head of
State. Granger – who is the leader of the PNC/R – recently hosted members of the Forbes Burnham Foundation at the Baridi Benab at State House, where they held their Annual Fund-Raising Dinner. This political party’s activity was funded by the State’s resources, sending signals of the return of party paramountcy. Last year, Granger host-
(From page 2) ed the PNC’s Burnham Education Scholarship Trust (TRUST) graduation ceremony at State House when it was traditionally held at Congress Place (PNC Headquarters) over the years. At that event, the party’s prayer was a mandatory requirement of the programme and speakers paid tribute to the PNC, reflecting on the accomplishments of its founder, Forbes Burnham.
300 WCD residents affected by high waves
aving lived through the terrifying experience of witnessing monster waves of the agitated Atlantic Ocean demolish a part of the sea defence structure and rush invasively into sections of West Coast Demerara/ East Bank Essequibo, flattening fences, confiscating bridges, ransacking homes, and destroying cash crop and poultry enterprises as flood waters besiege hapless communities, residents of affected villages have called for the placement of boulders, improved sea defences, and proper drainage to reduce the impact of tidal flooding. This call was made by the residents on when Government officials and Civil Defence Com-
mission personnel visited the affected communities. The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has disclosed
that some 300 homes have been affected by the recent tidal phenomenon. Guyana Times saw affected residents cleaning up their homes and premises of the debris deposited therein by the flood, which included mud, water and other articles captured by the ferocious waves, which some estimated were as high as 15 feet. Residents of Ocean View, Uitvlugt, Leonora and Stewartville were bracing themselves for more overtopping the sea defence structure and invading their communities. Already, several families have been displaced and extensive damage has been caused to goods and household items.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Changing The Political Landscape After 1992: Adapting To The Challenges Of A New Era By Norman Whittaker
f We Accept That Conflicts Are Concerned With The Distribution Of Power; The Confrontation Of Powers; The Distribution Of Benefits And With Satisfying Basic Human Needs And Interests: Then One Can Anticipate What Will Follow When People Are Unhappy With Who Governs Them And How They Are Governed; And When The Government, And In This Case, One Fraudulently Occupying The Seat Of Power, Oppresses Them And Doesn’t Respect Nor Assist Them To Meet Their Basic Needs. History Records That Guyanese Experienced A Feeling Of Oppression And Alienation Under The Peoples National Congress (Pnc) Government And That The Several Rigged National And Regional Elections Under The Pnc Government From 1968 To 1985 Added Salt To The Wounds That Never Healed. The Majority Of The Population Of Our Country Was Unhappy With The Fraudulent Elections; The Lack Of Transparency In The Electoral Process And The Way They Were Being Governed. The Pnc Leaders Obviously Did Not Represent A Majority Of The Voting Population And The Undemocratic Way In Which Their Political “Victories ‘Were Secured Added Fuel To An Already Volatile Situation. There Were Riots And Casualties On All Sides; There Were Damages To Guyana’s Societal Coherence, Its Infrastructure And The Economy. Restoration Of Democracy In Guyana – A Sine Qua Non To Restoring Confidence, Rebuilding Social Structures And Our Country’s Economy. Recall October 1992. The Guyanese People Were Despondent, Dispirited, Despaired, Angry, Hungry And Had All But Given Up Hope Of Ever Experiencing A Good Life In The Country Of Their Birth Under A Pnc Government. Indeed, Many Had Left The Shores Of Guyana In Search Of A Better Life. They Were Tired Of Being Fed A Daily Menu Of Slogans By The Pnc Government. Breakfast …The Small Man Will Be A Real Man; Lunch …Produce Or Perish; Dinner… Tighten
Your Belts. Malnutrition (Beri Beri) Was Prevalent. October 1992 Saw The First Free And Fair National And Regional Elections In A Post-Independent Guyana. The Guyanese People Welcomed It. It Was To Be The Dawn Of A New Era. The Leaders Of The Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic Government Who Were Democratically Elected Had Determined To Restore The Confidence Of The Guyanese People In Their Elected Leaders; And So Reform The Unequal And Unjust Society That Had Been Created From 1966 To 1992 And Replace It With A Government Of National Reconciliation And
In The Sharing Of Those Resources Irrespective Of Their Religion Or Ethnicity And Where We Could Together Build A Thriving And Sustainable Economy; For All Of These Measures Had The Potential To Reduce Disparities And Social Tensions Which Were The Root Cause Of Our Political, Social And Economic Conflicts. The Post October 1992 Elections Period
Following Its 1992 Election Victory, The Ppp/C Government Began To Work To Ensure The People’s Expectations Were Met. A Constitutional Reform Process Was Begun And
Leader Of The Opposition, Representatives Of Civil Society. Consultation With The Leader Of The Opposition In The Appointment Of Persons To Key And Critical Constitutional Posts E.g. Chief Justice, Chancellor Of The Judiciary; And In The Appointment Of The Chairman Of The Guyana Election Commission (Gecom) Parliamentary Reform Providing For The Oversight Of The Executive Through An Expanded Committee System That Included A Committee On Appointments, Parliamentary Sectoral Committees On Natural Resources, Economic
Such As Public Assistance, Single Parent Allowance, Uniform Allowance And Hot Meals For Pupils / Students And Other Poverty Alleviation Programmes For The Very Poor; Where Increases Of Income Will Still Leave Them Severely Disadvantaged And Where, For Reasons Of Age, Disability Or Illness They Could Not Participate In The Economy. Then President Dr Cheddi Jagan And Later Ppp/C Presidents Did Also Focus, Ab Initio, On Seeking Financial And Technical Assistance For Advancing Socio Economic Development And Reducing Poverty. They All Recognized The Nexus Be-
Guyana’s Education Sector Became The Best In The Caribbean Under The Ppp/C Administration. This Is Just One Of The Many Transformations Guyanese Experienc3ed During This Period
Unity. Dr Cheddi Jagan, The First Democratically Elected Leader Of A Post- Independent Guyana Had Determined That The Masses Had To Be Involved By Way Of The Consultation Process In Major Decisions On Issues That Would Impact On Their Lives; That Ways Had To Be Found To Redistribute The Nation’s Wealth Among The People In A Manner That Reduced The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor And Set Aside Ethnic, Religious, Political And Other Differences. The Key Focus Had To Be Addressing And Overcoming Conflicts In A Divided Guyana. Recall That Dr Cheddi Jagan And The Ppp Had Taken A First Step Even Before The Elections Of October 1992 By Welcoming In Its Electoral Camp Many From Civil Society Who Had Shared Their Vision Of A United Guyana Where Our People’s Rights Are Respected; Where The People Are Involved In The Development Of Our Country’s Resources And
Included Consultations With The Masses Of The Population Throughout Guyana, Including Civil Society, Community Groups, The Private Sector Etc. This Process Was Led By A Parliamentary Reform Commission And Resulted In A Profound Revision Of The 1980 Constitution. The Revised Constitution Provided Inter Alia For: Inclusive Governance And The Establishment Of A Number Of Commissions To Promote And To Enhance Human Rights; Including The Human Rights Commission, The Women And Gender Equality Commission, The Indigenous Peoples’ Commission Etc. And The Setting Up Of Service Commissions Such As The Judicial Service Commission, The Public Service Commission, The Teaching Service Commission And The Police Service Commission. These Commissions Comprised Of Suitably Qualified Person Appointed By The President After Meaningful Consultation With, Inter Alia, The
Services, Foreign Relations And Social Services With Responsibility “For The Scrutiny Of All Areas Of Government Policy And Administration And A Public Accounts Committee, Which Is A Standing Committee And Which Examines Government Accounts This Latter Committee Is Chaired By A Member Of The Opposition Party. Dealing With Social And Economic Conflicts
The Period Of The 1970S And 1980S Had Seen The Rapid Destruction Of Infrastructure, The Decline Of The Social Sector And A Widening Of The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor. Under Those Circumstances, Political Instability And Increased Conflicts Were The Order Of The Day. The Ppp/C ‘S Restoration Plan Refocused Public Expenditure On The Education, Health Care, Social, Economic, Cultural And Spiritual Needs Of The Masses Of The People. This Plan Also Provided Social Safety Nets
tween Poverty And Conflict. They Recognized That Poverty Is Multifaceted; Manifesting Itself In Low And Uneven Levels Of Income And Consumption, Physical Insecurity, Poor Health, Low Levels Of Education, Disempowerment, High Levels Of Unemployment, And Social And Geographical Isolation. Consequently, The Ppp/C Focused On The Reconstruction Of The Social Sector Including Our Road Network And Bridges; Drainage And Irrigation And Water Systems; Hospitals, Diagnostic Centres, Health Centres; Schools; Sea Defences, Four Lane Highway, And The Enhancement Of Production. The Banking Sector Expanded; The Housing Sector Blossomed And Foreign Direct Investments Increased Tremendously. Working People Benefitted From Significant Rise Of The Minimum Wage And More Disposable Income. Guyanese Were Able To Acquire More Goods And Services And Invest In Various Business Ventures. Furthermore, Agricul-
ture Performed Well Under The Ppp/C That Took Over An Agriculture Sector That Was Struggling Due To Neglect By The Pnc, Neglect Of Farmers, Infrastructure. The Ppp/C Took It To A Height Where Guyana Became Self-Sufficient In Crops/Poultry/Livestock Etc. Investments In Agriculture Became More Viable Under The Ppp/C Government The National Development Strategy And The Poverty Reduction Strategy Also Laid Down An Investment Programme And Recommended Legislative Changes To Expedite Its Implementation. In Short, Guyanese Were Given The Opportunity To Participate In National Policy Making And Contribute To The Social And Economic Development Of Our Country. The Ppp/C Was Able To Chart A Course Of Rapid Investment And Growth In Guyana By Way Of Finding Consensus On The Measures To Be Taken To Accelerate Investment, Attract External Funding And Reduce Poverty In The Medium And Long Term. These Investments Brought Improvements In The Quality Of And Access To Essential Services And In Reducing Social And Economic Conflicts In The Country. The Ppp/C Government’s Policy Changes And Programmes Of The Post-October 1992 Era Revitalised Our Country’s Economy, Reduced Feelings Of Marginalization And Created The Atmosphere And Condition So That The Wheels Of Progress Began To Turn Again. The Post-May 2015 Elections Period
The Almost Two And A Half Years Of The Apnu+Afc Govt Have Been Characterized By Social And Economic Decline And Stagnation And Guyanese Are Suffering The Consequences. The Local Economy Has Contracted Significantly Due In Large Measure To Economic Mismanagement And Fiscal Indiscipline. This Has Resulted In A Loss Of Investor Confidence And The Consequential Inability To Create New Jobs For A Growing Youth Population. The Apnu+Afc Government Is Nowhere Close To Addressing Ten Per Cent Of The Needs And Concerns (Turn to page 11)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Horse PPP delivered on its pre-1992
promise of Constitutional Reform Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MP, Attorney-at-Law
he Stabroek news (2018.02.24) published a letter by Vishnu Bisram under the caption “Jagan and the PPP broke their promise to revoke the Burnham Constitution”. This letter provides me with the opportunity to address a falsehood that has been peddled with alarming frequency by a misguided few. Bisram wrote, “Jagan made a commitment in 1992 before the first democratic election was held that should he win the Presidency, his first act would be to replace the constitution. Jagan and the PPP broke their promise. …Nandlall and his colleagues, including Bharrat Jagdeo and Frank Anthony, are on record as supporting the Burnham constitution.” I am indeed, disappointed that a person of Bisram’s political acumen and academic stature would make such careless statements. Neither Dr. Cheddi Jagan, nor the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) promised to “revoke” the 1980 “Burnham Constitution”. Neither was there a promise to do so as a “first act” of Government. Anyone familiar with constitutional workings would know that either of those promises would have been reckless to make because they are both, practically and politically, nearly impossible to deliver. Revoking a Constitution is a highly technical, financially exorbitant and time-consuming process and it would have been politically suicidal for the PPP to attempt any such thing as its first act of Government after the 1992 elections, having regard to the charged political environment pervading at the
time. More on this will have to be the subject of an article set aside for that purpose. Prior to the 1992 elections, what Dr. Jagan and the PPP promised was “constitutional reform” with emphasis on the reduction of the heavy concentration of power in the Executive, generally and the President, specifically. As soon as it became reasonably possible, the PPP commenced a course of action designed to deliver on this promise. Thus, in 1994, a Constitutional Reform Committee of the National Assembly was established, headed by then Attorney General, Mr. Bernard DeSantos SC. Unfortunately, before this Committee could have completed its work, the life of that Parliament came to an end. Then came the 1997 elections. The PPP’s victory at the polls brought about widespread protests, burning, looting and street violence instigated by the PNC. An intervention by Caricom produced the Herdmanston Accord which embraced constitutional reform. Constitutional Reform Commission In consequence, by an Act of Parliament, piloted by the PPP Government in 1999, a most broad based Constitutional Reform Commission was legally established. This Commission comprised of the political parties, the religious organisations, the private sector, the labour movement, ethnic based organisations, women’s organisations, Amerindian organisations, farmer’s organisations and important civil society stakeholder organisations such as the Guyana Bar Association. Significantly, this Commission was endowed with an
unfettered statutory mandate to review the Constitution in its entirety. In the discharge of this mandate, it was empowered to consult “…within the widest possible geographical area, with as many persons, groups, communities, organisations and institutions as possible including, but not restricted to, religious and cultural organisations, political parties, youth organisations, high school and university students, women’s organisations, private sector organisations, professional bodies and the media.” Ralph Ramkarran S.C. chaired this Commission and Haslin Parris was its secretary. I pause here to point out that the PPP did not seek to monopolize nor dominate this initiative, but rather,magnanimously, delegated it to a multiple-partisan body, vested with an untrammelled mandate to consult with all and sundry across the length and breadth of Guyana with a view of reviewing the Constitution in its entirety. It is difficult to conceive a more effectual and exigent mechanism, which could have been fashioned in order to deliver Dr. Jagan and the PPP’s promise of reform to the 1980 Constitution. This Commission worked for over two years and produced over 200 recommendations, which were culled, refined and crystallised into over 180 amendments that were all incorporated into the 1980 Constitution. A distillation of these recommendations and consequential amendments can be summarized thus: there were formidable diminution of executive powers, including the powers and immunities of the President; there was a discernible devolution
of most of these powers to the Legislature, the Political Opposition and other agencies of State, including, the Local Democratic Organs; there was expansions of the powers of Parliament and the establishment of a series of checks and balances to increase scrutiny of the executive’s exercise of power and an appreciable augmentation of civil liberties and human rights. It would be impossible for me to elaborate on or even list the reforms made. Nevertheless, I will highlight only a few. Presidential Powers In terms of the Executive President, the controversial immunities with which the President was endowed for acts committed after he demitted office, were removed and what now exists is a compendium of immunities, which most Heads of State throughout the Commonwealth enjoy. The power which a President enjoyed to dissolve a Parliament, moving to remove him from office was excised and the number of votes required to move a Motion of that type in the National Assembly was reduced. The powers which the President had to unilaterally appoint a Chancellor of the Judiciary, a Chief Justice and a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) are now shared with the Leader of the Opposition. The power that the President hitherto enjoyed to unilaterally appoint members of all the Service Commissions is now shared with the National Assembly and the Leader of the Opposition. The President is now mandated to act upon the recommendations of the Service Commissions. A discretionary power, which
existed before has been removed. A two-term limit has been imposed on the Presidency. In most of the important constitutional appointments where the President enjoys the power of appointment, he is mandated to engage in “meaningful consultation” with the Leader of the Opposition and “meaningful consultation” is now defined by the Constitution, itself. In terms of Parliament, an Opposition, now for the first time, can remove a Government by virtue of a no confidence Motion. Standing Committees in the Parliament have been constitutionalized. The National Assembly now recommends persons to be appointed on the various Service Commissions and on the Rights Commissions established by these constitutional amendments. The fiscal autonomy and independence of a number of institutions of the state, including the Judiciary, the Auditor General Office and a host of other State “watchdog” agencies have been constitutionalized. An independent Elections Commission, differently constituted, has been established. A modified electoral system was promulgated with greater geographic representation. Democratic Polity In terms of individual rights, the fundamental rights and freedoms section of the Constitution was expanded and new rights introduced. For example: the right to work, the right to pension and gratuity, equality for women, indigenous peoples rights, the right to establish private schools etc., have all been made fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual. All
international treaties dealing with human rights to which Guyana is a signatory, were to some extent incorporated and made part of our Constitution and those charged with the responsibilities of interpreting the human rights embraced by the Constitution, are mandated to take into account the provisions of these international treaties. None of these were in the 1980 Constitution. The Rights Commission for example: the Indigenous People Commission, the Woman and Gender Equality Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Rights of the Child Commission, were all established under these amendments. So was the Public Procurement Commission. The above is by no means exhaustive but it provides a fleeting insight into some of the changes, which were made to the 1980 Constitution. These changes, cumulatively, have immeasurably, liberalised the democratic polity, enhanced the juridical structure and augment the human tights content of the Constitution rendering it radically different from the 1980 document. Therefore those who continue to propagate the view that the PPP did not change the 1980 Constitution and that the 1980 Constitution is alive, are not speaking from a position of knowledge, but are parroting the views of the uninitiated. Should there be more changes? Of course! Constitutional reform, like life and society, is an ongoing and evolutionary process. As an organic document, a Constitution must always remain fluid and dynamic, ready to adapt to the vicissitudes and exigencies of the evolving society in which it operates.
STRAIGHT TALK 10
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Aid and Independence By Cheddi Jagan
o the PNC, independence has certain clear cut objectives. This was very properly set out in its election manifesto, NEW ROAD. It said: “Independence though emotionally satisfying, is not an end in itself. To be worthwhile, it must be an instrument for building a cohesive nation, liberating the people from the economic yoke imposed by the foreigner and establishing a prosperous, self-reliant and free society… Some other Guyanese are militant and noisy in their demand for Independence from Britain, but consciously would immediately pawn Guyana, the moment after Independence, to some other foreign power. Such persons are colonial Christians or at best infants, the witting or unwitting tools and agents of new masters. Theirs is the concept of new servitude not Independence.” Has foreign aid helped or hindered the achievement of those objectives? Has it helped to build a Guyana free from foreign political and economic yoke or cohesive nation? The answer is definitely no. After one year of Independence, Guyana is even more tightly bound to Imperialism. And foreign aid is one of the means. Aid has come principally from the United Nations and Western countries- Canada, Britain, United States of America and Germany .UN aid continues in the pattern set by the PPP government. Aid from Canada and Britain is a carryover of previous commitments with some light increase during the last two years. West German aid mainly in the form of technical assistance has increased substantially. But the major increase is the U.S. aid. External grants from all sources increased from $3,836.110 in 1964 to $4,839,777 in 1965, to$8,910,000, and
to $14,210,400 in 1967. External loans increased from $4,003,200 in 1964 to $4,537,361 in 1965, to $3,740,000 in 1966 and to $17,620,000 in 1967. The quantum of aid has thus considerably increased. But it’s all directed to perpetuate a neo-colonialist economy. Nearly threequarters of seven years $300 million economic plan is devoted to the development of infra-structure- roads, airport, sea defences, public buildings, dredging of rivers stellings, etc. This is in keeping with the overall feature of Western aid. Public funds are to be used by the state for infra-structure development, which becomes an indirect subsidy to foreign and local capitalists. The kind of development means a crushing debt burden, which will soon smother Guyana. Another aspect of Western aid is that the recipient country must make provision for the development of industry chiefly in the private sector. This explains why concessions have been granted to foreign companies- bauxite to Reynolds Metal Company; oil to three foreign oil companies and timber in the whole of Pomeroon and the and North –West districts to the c Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC).This was also why the coalition government has changed the Industrial Development Corporation Act to prevent it from “undertaking the establishment.” of government-owned industries. Meanwhile, the bulk of foreign investments has been directed to the extraction of bauxite. This is also a feature of US aid- foreign investors must be encouraged and given incentives, mainly for extraction of minerals In 1948,59 percent of US investments went into extractive industries in the poor underdeveloped countries and only 22 percent into manufacturing and dis-
tribution .To the developed countries on the other hand, 23 percent went to extractive industries and 59 percent into manufacturing and distribution. An examination of US investments ($1,629 million) in 1964 in Africa shows that such investments are directed not to manufacturing industries. Of this sum,$830 million was invested in oil gas extraction, mainly in Libya;$350 million in mining;$225 million in manufacturing industry, but of this $192 million went into South Africa and only$33 million in the rest of the continent; $122 million in other branches, particularly crude rubber production in Liberia. This clearly fits in with US foreign economic policy. Note the remark of the then secretary of State, Dean Acheson, in 1953. As regards Point Four aid he said: “I think there is a pretty widely hold idea that we are going to build large mills and factories for these under developed people. This is not true” The Woodrow Wilson Institute also clearly set out the philosophy behind US aid when it postulate: ‘‘The US government makes loans or grants to other countries because these are effective and morally valid means for the achievement of American foreign policy objectives. Aid which meets these criteria is justified; aid which does not, should not be provided.’’ D. Vosper, former British Secretary of State for Technical Co-operation, spoke of the need to formulate the British aid policy with an eye to winning “the support of these developing territories which, when it comes to the councils of the world now hold the majority of votes.” On a recent visit to Guyana, the British Minister of Overseas Development, Mr. Aurthur Bottomley said: “In
the current financial year… 1966-1967… we have provided nearly $8.7 million for capital development, nearly$4.8 million towards meeting your anticipated budgetary deficit, and $720,000 to help pay for the 65 British professional and technical people who are serving here in Guyana’s Civil Service.’’ In 1967-1968, Mr. Bottomley said that Guyana would be provided with $12 million plus technical assistance at the present level or possibly greater. AID AND TRADE Apart from dictating to the underdeveloped countries with whom they must trade and in what sectors aid must be put. Western countries so tie their aid as to benefit themselves. A former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Reginal Maulding, advocated the channeling of British aid in such a way as to cut back unemployment at home.I spoke,” he said: “about giving Overseas aid from the products of our industries going through a period of recession…’ It seems sensible that we should try to link the needs of underdeveloped countries with idle productive resources in this country.’’ This simply means sending out more consumer goods to poor countries, which they should be producing themselves. This is why aid from the Western Countries can be regarded packaged unemployment. In the case of Britain, about 10 percent of the aid given has to be purchased from the United Kingdom. For the United States, the figure is higher- 80 percent. This is the condition attached to the US loan for the Atkinson Field- Mackenzie highway. Four out of every five dollars will have to be spent in the USA for more expensive equipment, supplies and personnel. Some countries like In-
dia, Pakistan and Egypt are even forced to take surplus US food under Public law (PL) 480. From 1954 to 1958, various Agricultural, raw materials and food costing $2,960 million were disposed of in this way. In recent years, the figure was about $1,700 million annually. That aid is tied with trade accounts for the fact that Guyana puppet government has abandoned trade with Cuba, and placed restrictions on trade with socialist countries. This has helped to increase the cost of living. It has been announced that the International Monetary Fund would be prepared to back uswith “stabilization loans.” to cushion the loss of our foreign reserves amounting to $12million because of our balance of payments deficits in 1966. Aid in the form of support of the monetary system is of temporary help to the poor underdeveloped countries. It acts as a palliative for an emergency situation. But this kind of aid in no way increases the production potential of the recipient country. That is why in the long run, it can lead to grave consequences for a poor country’s economy. Guyana should learn from countries such as Brazil, Argentina Bolivia and a number of other Latin American countries, which received funds from the International Monetary Fund for Currency stabilization. The end result was still further depreciation of their currencies and a higher foreign debt burden, which further under mined their unstable balance of payments. TECHNICAL AID Another field of Western aid is technical assistance. This comes in various forms economic planning and technical experts, university professors, Peace corps personnel etc. The main objective is to channel the economy
in a certain direction and to mould the minds of the civil servants, intellectuals, students and workers. Mr. Carr, former British secretary of state for Technical corporation showed how it was important for the Imperialist s to win the minds of the people in the third world he said in November 1963: It was long been a tradition in Britain steaming from our Imperial history, to have large number of people overseas. The interesting thing is that since 1947 most of the whole British Empire become independent, but the number of people serving overseas has increased.” Mr. A. Maddison, former head of the technical co-operation service of the organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, says that the efforts of the donor countries in technical assistance; will be fully fruitful if the recipient countries make serious efforts to adapt their social structure and their educational systems to the demand of economic growth obviously capitalist growth as estimated of the Trusted Doctrine of 1947. This indicate why there is a US adviser to the Prime Minister on matters relating to planning of economic development; why Peace Corp personnel have been placed strategically in other institutions in different parts of the country; why books are supplied in libraries and schools; why increasing number of Guyanese are going to US to be trained; why the CIA backed the AIFLD give $60,000(US) per year to Critchlow Institute for trade union education. Naturally, such experts ‘eat up’, a great deal of foreign aid. According to Mehmed Eldemir, a Turkish engineer “the Americans have made this an indispensable condition from1015 percent of credits is spent on these advisers. But the work the advisers perform boils down to determining, (Turn to page 11)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Dr. Peter R. Ramsaroop, MBA, (Economic Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition)
Minister Gaskin Sings for his Dinner ‒ kafuffles gold earnings to justify 2% oil royalty
HE Private Sector Commission (PSC) of Guyana on Tuesday last held an Oil and Gas (O&G) seminar, where Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin attempted to kafuffle the business community by misrepresenting national figures. The Minister of Business said earnings of $300M from Guyana’s oil annually is no chicken feed, and that the 2% royalty is decent, since the royalty earned on gold in the past eight years would amount to just one year of earnings from oil. I would not want to call the Business Minister disingenuous, as he did when he rightfully criticized the misleading comparisons between the Guyana Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) and the Ghana Oil Contract. The Business Minster cannot compare the royalty earned on gold to the profit and royalty earned from oil. For the Minister of Business to ignore the more than $2B in cost recovery and profit that ExxonMobil would be walking away with each year is to assume that the Minister is now singing
for his supper. The Guyana Gold Board saw earnings from the precious metal last year at over of US$0.25 billion. This, versus the projected $300M to be earned from the 2 per cent royalty together with profits earned on the 50/50 split—that is providing oil prices stay at an average US$60 per barrel and not tank to the US$30 per barrel as it had in recent years. Lower oil prices could very well mean Guyana earns little to nothing on royalty, while ExxonMobil secures all earnings to meet cost recovery. Industry experts have long concluded that safeguards against seemingly infinite cost recoveries being added by oil companies are also near impossible. Theoretically, under the Guyana PSA with ExxonMobil, the oil company can, for every year of its operation, claim new investments or expenditure into anything for which Guyanese must now pay—a decent deal, according to Gaskin. Indirect benefits and earnings to the economy
from gold earnings is also multiplied tenfold as a result of the majority of the earnings being re-injected into the country. Unlike the ExxonMobil Agreement, gold earnings are retained in the country. The large foreign corporations repatriate their profits, but the earnings by the country and local miners is retained in country. What’s worse, it appears that the PSC can no longer be seen as the business community’s vanguard. Listening to presentations to the business community and its Executives, one would get the feeling they were singing from the same hymn sheet—including the ExxonMobil officials present. Having decimated the economy by gobbling up the country’s foreign reserves, increasing national debt to staggering levels, together with the loss of hundreds of millions more in foreign currency from the sugar industry, the David Granger administration has clearly run out of answers or has been bought off.
Changing The Political... Of The Guyanese People After Almost Two And A Half Years In Government. In Fact, Guyana Is Now Gripped By Hopelessness And Despair With The Prevailing Business Environment Unfavorable To Local And Foreign Investment. We Are Obviously Experiencing A Return To That Era Of Pnc Rule When Crime, Corruption, Mismanagement Of The Nation’s Resources, High Prices, High Unemployment, Deterioration Of The Economy And Incompetence Were The Order Of The Day. All The Apnu+Afc’s Hope Seem Pinned On Oil. But Oil Alone Cannot And Will Not Transform Guyana’s Economy And The President And His Government Seem Far Removed From These Realities Around Them. The Guyanese People
Are Obviously Fed Up With The Poor Performance Of A No Economic Policy Government Devoid Of Initiatives On How To Attract Investment, Create Employment And Take Guyana Forward. Conclusions
No Decent, Honest Guyanese Would Deny That The Era Of October 1992 To May 2015 Has Been The Best Of The Post-Independence Period Of Our Country. The Pnc Destroyed Guyana In The 1970S And 1980S. They Destroyed The Rice, Sugar, Bauxite Industries; The Education And Health Sectors And Infrastructure And Made Guyana An Un-Creditworthy Country. Compare The Progressive Social And Economic Programmes Of The Ppp/C Governments Of The Octo-
(From page 8)
ber 1992 To May 2015 And Their Direct Positive Impact On Our Lives. Significant Improvement In Social Infrastructure - Better Roads, Bridges, Access To Potable Water And To Electricity. This Improved Access To Lands And Development Of More Communities. In Addition, Our Economic Performance Evidenced Years Of Continuous Growth. Inflation Rate Kept To Single Digit, External Debt Significantly Reduced. The Ppp Worked And Succeeded In Building Guyana; Restoring The Social, Economic And Agriculture Sectors And Ultimately Restored The Country’s Credit Worthiness. That Is Why An Increasing Number Of The Guyanese Population Eagerly Look Forward To Free And Fair National And Regional Elections Come Year 2020.
11 Its answer is to now employ the Executives in the PSC to do its Public Relations bidding and to say that all is well with the ExxonMobil contract. Why else would a Minister of Business, instead of speaking on how the government intends to safeguard contracts for the private sector out of the billions to be turned over for ‘cost oil’ and ExxonMobil’s daily operations, tell its Business Executives platitudes and to respond selectively to outlandish media reports? Gaskin wants you to believe that there is nothing ridiculous or lopsided about this contract and if the Business Community buys into the propaganda and become distracted by the negativity, then they are likely to prepare themselves for the transformation. From all appearances the ExxonMobil PSA is a done deal—a song sung by ExxonMobil’s Kimberly Brassington, Minister Gaskin and each of the PSC Executive Members speaking. There is money still to be made by the local private sector and Guyanese people. Oil exploration companies don’t by themselves actually do a lot of the actual work, but this is instead contracted out and paid for using oil revenues and deducted as cost recovery. One would have expected the Business Minster, for example, to speak to the administration’s efforts in assisting private sector companies with support for training and raising certification standards to international levels; support to the University of Guyana for specialized O&G training or perhaps a new
school altogether. One would have expected the Business Minister to speak to the proposed Sovereign Wealth Fund—itself reducing the annual US$300M available to the country in the year it is earned since some has to be set aside. The PSC executives in February last would have held several high level forums and meetings with the executives of the top oil exploration companies operating in Guyana or looking to operate in Guyana. One would have expected PSC Chairman Eddie Boyer to present a report of some collaborative effort in conducting some sort of gap analysis in the private sector or some special considerations for the local business community given the newness of the sector and the record pace of its development. What the business community instead heard from its leader was a lamentation that Guyanese couldn’t afford to compete—an area that Gaskin could have shed some light on—and must instead look to partner with large, already established (companies) in the business. This is all well and good, but what about teaching Guyanese to catch the fish, instead of providing a single fish? The shortsighted objective of merely bringing the local players together under one roof did not engender any confidence in the business community. In fact, listening to an oil company, the government of the host country and its local private sector all agreeing on the contract being in the best interest of the people is comparable to seeing a unicorn
and his pet leprechaun riding a pot of gold on a rainbow— it simply does not happen anywhere in the world, that is the nature of the oil business. Then again, it is that it just could be a case of whoever pays the piper, but no amount of wordplay by the Minister will hide the reality that Guyana has been handed the short end of the stick in a contract that a foreign interest demanded renegotiated. President David Granger and his trusted quintet of five, have failed the people in its constitutional responsibilities. Guyana’s private sector is at best currently in a position to get crumbs-contracts, since most Guyanese companies are many years away from elevating their business standards and practices to international standards in order to compete with industry behemoths for the lucrative oil and gas related contracts. These are among the reasons a higher royalty on a sliding scale at the beginning of production taking into account annual depletion of the reservoirs, should have been considered. This would have guaranteed higher guaranteed inflows to government, which would in turn be in a better position to distribute the wealth among its citizens through the provision of services and other types of contracts and the improvement of social services, among a range of other evolving mechanisms. Guyanese will now have to settle for US$300M per year as foreign interest run amuck with the country’s oil resources—a decent arrangement according to Granger’s son-in-law turned Minister.
Aid and Independence (From page 10) on the basis of data prepared by our specialists, the profitability of one or another enterprise and to putting all this in a pretty cover.’’ The same can be said for Guyana. One observer has rightly pointed out that every three dollars originally allotted for economic development of newly free countries, only two get to the young Asian, Africans and Latin America State. One dollar is lost on the way; one dollar goes to development and the third dollar goes for corruption graft. Guyana also received $800,000 in the form of US vehicle and supplies as aid to the police. Besides police officers are being trained in the USA. This is also in keeping
with Imperialist objectives. Those who are prepared to form military alliances with the US, or to tailor their foreign policies according to US wishes (we are nonaligned in name only), are given military and economic aid. The total of US economic aid, for instance, to Asian countries in the five year period in 1954 to 1959 increased by 62 percent as compared with the period 1949 to 1954, while economic aid to states which entered SEATO and Baghdad Pact rose by 78.3 percent. It must not be forgotten, however, that those who joined these pacts, including NATO, CENTO and OAS, are committed to foreign and domestic policies dictated by imperialism. This has only one end result greater burdens in the future
– budget and balance of payments deficits, inflation, devaluation of our currency, increasing cost of living, bigger debt charges, bigger government bureaucracy and increasing unemployment. On January 11, 1963, L.F.S. Burnham said in the Legislative Assembly: “If all we are going to do in this country after we have got independence is to pass a few bits of legislation and embark upon a few reforms within the framework of the existing economic and social order, we are wasting our time, and the uneasiness of the masses will certainly catch up with us, and will certainly remove us from the political scene.” Guyanese must now concentrate to remove the US puppets from the Government.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Moment in history
Man of the People Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force pull Dr Jagan’s casket on a gun carriage to Parliament Buildings
Crowds in front of Freedom House mourn
By Janet Jagan (March 2006)
arch is the month when we pause and reflect on one of the most important men of the 20th century in Guyana. It is the month of Cheddi Jagan’s birth and the month of his death. Much has been said, both good and bad, about him all through his adult life and after his death. That is to be expected as all truly great men, with new ideas, with a vision of the future, with integrity, complete honesty and with modesty are bound to offend those whose own ideas differ or whose own life styles and attitudes permit jealousy and vindictiveness. We’ve seen enough of it to know that most societies contain people who have failed to succeed in life and put the blame on others, or as Dr Dale
A section of the massive crowd at Babu John Port Mourant, who turned up for Dr Jagan’s final rites
Bisnauth put it in a column on this page: “It is as if mediocrity cannot live with greatness unless it reduces it to its own size: mediocrity.” However, leaving aside the
“We are struggling today to construct tomorrow. To this task i re-dedicate myself – not for power but for progress; not for politics but for the people; not for the domination of Guyana, but for her free and brighter future. (Cheddi Jagan, Dec 5, 1964)
“naysayers”, the reality is that most Guyanese recognize the worth of Cheddi Jagan, and irrespective of ethnic, religious or political considerations, respect and love him as a Man of the People and the man who dedicated his life to their well being. Before Cheddi Jagan became completely and totally involved in the political life of his homeland, he worked as a professional, a dentist. Those years, also, should be recorded, because they show the measure of the man. I worked as his dental assistant for ten years. He was a perfectionist, a genuine professional who refused to allow any second rate treatment. If a denture, a filling, a bridge, a root canal was not perfect, he did it over. This I witnessed many times. Also, like in politics later, he was an innovator. He refused to extract a tooth before he determined if it could be saved, and if so, he insisted on filling the tooth. Even today we have dentists who just yank out a tooth a patient points out as hurting. He also urged his patients to bring in their chil-
dren and recommended the best dental care for them, which was not being done in those days. Also, he broke the back of the gold tooth trade, when good teeth were covered with gold crowns for “beauty” purposes. He refused to encourage that practice which destroyed good teeth. Also, he annoyed his dental colleagues by having the lowest fees. He said he was there to help the patients, not exploit them. His surgery was used for the early political developments. The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) which began in 1946 used to meet at his office on Charlotte Street. His office continued to be our meeting place until an office was later found. Cheddi’s parents were poor sugar workers. He had ten siblings, still living at Port Mourant when he returned after his studies. Another aspect of his character that is not well known, as he never boasted about it, is that he took over responsibility for the family from the parents. He brought
his siblings to Georgetown, one by one, for education and most were sent overseas for training in the fields of medicine, dentistry, law, nursing, technician and optometry. But his greatest contribution came as he grew closer and closer to the problems of the exploited - the sugar workers, the waterfront and bauxite workers, the small farmers, the unemployed, the plight of women and children. His intellect was challenged to find solutions to these problems. He read voraciously and visited many areas of the then British Guiana. He sought answers and ways and means of tackling the problems. He consulted with others soon to become the hallmark of his being. Up to his death, he never ceased consulting people and never stopped searching for the best solutions. With others, he arrived at the necessity of tackling the larger issue of exploitation colonialism and as early as 1945, enunciated the need to break from colonial rule. He helped found the Political Affairs Committee which set as its aim, the establishment of a political party and four years later, the People’s Progressive Party was formed with the major objective of achieving independence. From then on, the struggle he and his Party led was not easy. It was one challenge after another - one hard blow after another. The machinations of the cold warriors led by the USA used every device to frustrate the PPP from holding on to office after legitimately winning it. That process seems to have never stopped - certainly we are witnessing it again and again and frequently fuelled by the old guards of the former cold
warriors. Why is it that today some 60 years after the advent of Cheddi Jagan into the nation’s political life that he is so revered by the people and no matter how virulent the attacks, he still retains the love and respect of most Guyanese as well as an unstained international reputation? I attended the launching of the 6th edition of The West on Trial last year at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre. The feature address was given by Kellawan Lall, whom he appointed as his Political Adviser when he became President in 1992, finally restoring democracy to a nation beaten into poverty and hopelessness. Lall said this and it says a lot: “And so when Dr Jagan came on the scene and later wrote his book, people began to see themselves differently and became more self-confident. Dr Jagan had put them at the centre of his world - a world where there was freedom and freedom from want. It was the first time they got that feeling of not being just a statistic and a poor cane cutter or rice farmer. Dr Jagan had now put them on a pedestal and allowed them to see themselves as human beings who can be masters of their destiny. It was that sense of hope that as a young man I saw all around me. And that is what I consider to be the most lasting impact of The West on Trial. The masses did not have to read it. They knew that this man Jagan for the first time in history saw them as people, went into their shabby homes, ate their plain foods and forever wearing his trade mark smile, and put them as the main players in a book that was being read not only in Guyana but overseas.”
Jagdeo in GT walkabout WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
ah 2018 - in pictures
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Grounding with residents of Good Hope
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Cheddi Jagan Centenary – PPP Coordinated Activities By Eddi Rodney
eople’s Progressive Party (PPP) activists, members, veterans as well as Civic component supporters will have the opportunity to be involved in activities and learn much more of the life and struggle of Dr. Cheddi agan for the remainder of the year commencing from March 2018. In terms of PPP initiatives, a programme of activities has served to support a significant remit associated with a subcommittee that has for decades been tasked with the Jagan Commemoration Month of events. These include regional and district interventions, as well as the critical local participation of the Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO), the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO), as well as the Guyana Agricultural & General Workers Union (GAWU). Sub-elite interest groups display interest in Jagan’s ideas
This year, according to PPP General Secretary, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Freedom House will be coordinating the Centenary Jagan Programmes (CJPs) throughout 2018 (Weekend Mirror, 6-7 January 2018, cf press conference, 7.01.2018).
It was noted that the PPP will aim for the broadest social impact whilst planning events. “We will not approach the celebration in a partisan way because we want all Guyanese, even those who don’t support or vote PPP to understand. More of his life and his struggles and his ideas and policies led to a better life for all Guyanese.” Jagdeo stated last January. Essentially what has developed since the end of 1996 reflects a sharper and deeper critique of the historical role of Cheddi Jagan as relatively more segments of the sub-elite become familiar with concepts and ideas that originate from the suprastructure of globalization. Additionally, at regional centres of higher level education, the role of pioneer Independence leaders such as the Marleys in Jamaica, Eric Williams of Trinidad & Tobago (the Eric Williams lectures as well as Johan Pengel of Suriname and Cheddi Jagan, have become more recognised as Political Symposia and Consultancies exert legitimacy requirements. The Jagan centenary will involve the University of Guyana directly through the endorsement of the UG Registrar and the Centenary Jagan Planning Committee. This group includes Indra
Chandarpal of the WPO and PPP Central Committee. However the functions proposed and agreed to by this JPC will involve academics, scholars and collegiate students, particularly social science undergraduates. Collaboration with Nadira Jagan and other stake holders
To refocus on the PPP’s Jagan Centenary initiatives, it is expected that the following programmes would be part of a schedule: ● Lectures and a keynote Cheddi Jagan Reflection commemoration in the Diaspora in collaboration with party supporters overseas. ● A special issue of Thunder highlighting the critical significance of the 2018 commemoration of Jagan’s Birth. ● A special reception in the Diaspora, as well as possibly a fund raising dinner event at one of Georgetown’s leading hotel restaurants. ● Collaboration with contributions of Nadira Jagan (daughter of CBJ) to create a special webpage and forge increased social media networking. ● The proposal to have issued a special Cheddi Jagan postage stamp that would establish his freedom fighter credentials, his fight for genuine working class trade
union rights as well as the equally protracted struggle against oppression – for human industrial, cultural as well as political rights. ● The planting of 100 trees in East Berbice in collaboration with regional representatives. ● Freedom House is also expected to collaborate with the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre in other joint activities, including programmes identified to be held in the latter part of this year. General Secretary exposes racist gibe of anti-PPP/C comments
Addressing a press conference on February 22 last, Dr. Jagdeo responded to comments made by a citizen who accused the PPP of racism against Afro Guyanese who subscribe to and welcome the working class policies of the PPP. He stated that for years the upper echelons (levels) of Freedom House has been accessible to Afro Guyanese. “The PPP is open to all ethnic groups”. Additionally he said that a group of (former) APNU supporters or members have become associated with the PPP. “They have been working with us for some time and they are doing well”. From time to time the most putrid and false remarks
are made against the PPP by elements that have access to a particular media section. Babu Jaan: The Centenary Observance
This year’s annual Cheddi Jagan/Janet Jagan tribute will coincide and highlight the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. Cheddi Jagan. PPP regions in East and West Berbice have been actively involved in what from indications promises to be a mega event for the Berbice/ Corentyne communities. Transportation and environment preparations
Weekend Mirror was reliably informed early last week that in the area of vehicle transport, some 30 buses and 4 trucks would be assembled and coordinated by organisers in West Berbice with the main purpose of conveyance of broad sections of citizens to the start points of, or locations identified for the march to Babu Jaan. In fact, there are two marches - one of these being started from the square of the Williamsburg pay office. The second march to Babu Jaan will move off from near the Chilli band. In East Berbice itself, there has been the now traditional intervention of the Commemoration Sub-committee assigned to prepare
the site and its environs; painting as well as the erection of the large marque type tents. Under the chairmanship of the supervisor based in the Region 6A and B, plans have been made to erect some 8 to 10 of these tents to facilitate the several hundred expected to attend. Contact persons
Another related event this time sponsored by the Centenary Committee took place on Tuesday March 6 at the CJRC in Kingston Georgetown. A specially prepared publication titled The Thinker was launched honouring the life and works of Dr. Jagan. Meanwhile, the Planning Committee based in East Berbice has advised that the following contact numbers be retained in the event of these being required: 623-6797 Regional chairman 640-6396 Denis DeRoop 614-1096 Zamal Hussain, Regional Party Supervisor Babu Jaan programmes will be available and these will spell out procedure. The agenda will feature addresses by General Secretary and LoP Dr. Jagdeo, former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and others.
APNU/AFC gov’t has perfected the art of suppression and tyranny
he Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan’s, treatment of the established Local Government Commission (LGC), seeks to put asunder the marriage of Local Government Organs and the communities they are elected to serve. Contrary to his advocacy leading up to the passing of, and assent to the Local Government Act 13 of 2012, we are now witnessing a more than opposite turnaround of intent. Not so long ago, the duplicitous Ronald Bulkan, in his August 2013 speech on the matter to the Tenth Parliament, stated: “The Joint Task Force determined that the commission would monitor the activities of local government organs, some of which included the following: the commission will be empowered to monitor the activities of local government organs, some which include staffing matters, appointment of tribunals, disciplinary matters, hiring of personnel, remuneration matters, vacation and other leave, dismissal of personnel, re-
ceiving complaints, making rules and regulations and regulating the operations of the local authorities. What is envisaged and proposed is a system that leads to and allows for greater autonomy. You can recall article 75 of the Constitution, which mandates that as well as the devolution of powers.” He further advanced that, “what we want is for these local democratic organs to breathe freely and that the oversight that they would be subject to should not be suffocating and subject only to ministerial control. These local democratic organs must be empowered, as is required by our Constitution. They must be able to take decisions in the best interest of their respective communities, not of some political party; it is all about local democracy.” To date, after eons of delays towards establishment, the LGC is without an Office; without any transportation and the monies that were allocated for the LGC by the Parliament is not being accounted for. The
Commission is without any money, although appropriations were approved in the Budget for the year 2018. The bigger question is what is happening to the Commission members’ ‘stipend’? Months have gone by and the members are awaiting their salaries/stipend. It is known that the Commissioners have received scores of complaints that they cannot act on, due to the handed down suppression of the entity the Bulkan-led Ministry under which its finances and empowerment fall. From their shameless actions, one could easily see that the APNU/AFC is deliberately frustrating the members of the Commission to take action against the many delinquent staff. While it cannot be denied that some NDCs are doing their best, others are finding it extremely difficult to implement their work programme because of corrupt and delinquent staff. The Regional Executive Officers (REOs) and Overseers are hell bent on taking political directives from the APNU/
AFC. As a consequence, the NDCs are not getting their work done in the interest of the people. Recently emerging, there have been a number of negative activities by some REOs and Overseers, which are outright unacceptable. At an East Coast NDC, the Overseer has turned away numerous persons from paying their rates and taxes and is demanding new property valuations as the new base for the taxes. This column wishes to make public the nasty situation of REOs enquiring as to whether particular rice farmers have PNCR membership cards, before supporting works are done in their area. It is a travesty that persons in this employ, who have responsibilities of service to the people, utilize their position to advance partisan political positions. Also, the extremely lawless and damning position of the APNU/AFC government to offer protection to its party stooges and political hacks who are placed in these positions to misbehave and
stymie the programmes of elected councils is alarming. With the current approach, the impact of the 2016 Local Government Elections has turned out to be farcical. The gestation period for the empowerment of the LGC, as in the period of the bill referred to by Mr. Bulkan in his speech, has gone way beyond that acceptable for humans, elephants and asses. It is stifling the people, has stultified efficiency and it is leading to ultimate failure and decay. Legitimately elected Councilors are not allowed to function in a proper way, and the undermining of the Councilors is a detriment to development. Readers would recall that in our last column, highlight was given to a few of the many issues, one being that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has been bungling up. There has been a response from the organization, but the matter is still not resolved. As an example, the “E” List for Eccles has not been adjusted and the issues of boundaries still remain un-
resolved in many areas. GECOM MUST get things right in the interest of free and fair elections, and toward the preservation of our democracy. It is of premier importance that the institution, which ought to uphold the highest levels of transparency and accountability, not be found wanting of deliberately trying to misguide citizens and residents. If this situation continues, it is indeed a justification for the highest levels of inward cleansing of the organization, which must be called for or forcefully demanded NOW. Our citizens deserve no less and GECOM will be held accountable! We also call on Minister Bulkan to empower the working of the Local Government Commission. The local democratic organs must be able to breathe freely and the oversight that they are being subjected to should not be suffocating and subject only to ministerial control. (The article is produced by Neil Kumar, Mr. S & Mr. A)
PPP statement for International Women’s Day 2018
he People’s Progressive Party extends greetings and best wishes to all women and girls for International Women’s day 2018. This year’s UN theme “Time is now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives” is most applicable to Guyana, both historically with a long tradition of women’s participation in political struggle for human rights and democracy, and a downward trend at this time in women’s rights. Many have been our women’s achievements are being reversed. The PPP sees movement forward on
too few relevant issues such as economic empowerment of women while retrograde steps like the practical abolition of the “Women of Worth” programme, and the increase in poverty and hardships on our people continue unabated. The PPP wishes to place on record it’s condemnation of the suffering being endured by the women in the sugar belt where estates have been shut and calls on the Government to immediately to put comprehensive programmes in place to alleviate the punishment of the women workers, entrepreneurs and
housewives alike. This day was set aside to raise awareness of the beauty and effectiveness in advancing a country generally with the tangible contributions once women were empowered in every field and sector. This intention needs to be realised in our land. On this IWD, the PPP encourages women to stand firm in defending their hard fought for achievements and to unite actively to advance their economic and political empowerment for the betterment of themselves, their children, communities and nation.
Message from Ambassador Irwin Larocque SG, on international women’s day
t is a distinct honour and pleasure for me to celebrate our women and girls across the Caribbean Community on the occasion of the 107th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day affords us the opportunity to reflect on gender equality and the advancement of women and to continue to #PressForProgress as this year’s theme and call to action suggests. This year’s celebration is being observed in the wider context of significant global movements for women’s rights, justice, equality, development and peace, as well as movements against domestic abuse, sexual harassment and femicide. These movements for change provide opportunities to combat sexual harassment, and gender-based violence and when linked with the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, additional gains such as good health and well-being, quality education and increased political participation may be realised. The global community is on a mission to close the gaps that hinder such achievement and leave some behind. According to the World Economic Forum which measures gender equality on a global scale, “2017 was the first time in more than 10 years that the gender gap began to widen again.” The Report indicates that it could still take “another 100 years before the Global Equality Gap between men and women disappears
entirely. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics.” Women across the world remain an underutilised resource in the labor force. Participation rates according to the International Monetary Fund in 2015 averaged around 80% for men and 50% for women. Therefore, nearly half of women’s productive potential remains untapped compared to onefifth for men. Latin America and the Caribbean saw the largest gains in female labour force participation in the world during the last two decades. Women in the Region are closing the gap with men, and catching up their counterparts in advanced economies at an impressive rate. Since the research shows that approximately half of the women in Latin America and the Caribbean are not in the labor force, increasing female labour force participation stands out as one of the under-tapped engines of growth. The share of women with a college education now exceeds that of men in several Latin American and Caribbean countries and their productivity and contribution to GDP is increasing. Yet women’s pay and employment opportunities still lag behind that of their male counterparts. On International Women’s Day, women across the world come together to highlight the many inequalities, especially those expe-
rienced by groups such as rural women and girls, who will come into sharp focus as the Sixty-Second Session of the Commission on the Status of Women convenes at the United Nations (UN) in New York later this month. These women continue to till the soil and produce the food that feed their families, communities and nations. Yet UN Women reminds us that on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. They constitute less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide and while the global pay gap between men and women stands at 23%, in rural areas it can be as high as 40%. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Country Gender Assessment Synthesis Report 2015 reminds us that in our region, the agricultural sector remains male dominated in relation to land ownership, access to credit and other means of production. People around the world, especially women, are mobilizing to press for a more just society, but women cannot do it alone; men and boys must become involved as we too have a shared responsibility in achieving gender equality. On March 8, please join me and concerned citizens of the Caribbean Community and rest of the world to celebrate women and girls, but above all to Press For Progress!
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
GAWU International Women’s Day Message 2018 T he Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) salutes the women of the world on this International Women’s Day. It is indisputable that women have played an important role in the advancement of civilization and, increasingly today, they are engaged in all spheres of human endeavour in many countries of the world. We recall that International Women’s Day emerged out of the struggles of women workers in the United States, who organized themselves to strike for better working conditions, better pay, and voting rights and against women’s oppression and gender inequality. These struggles made us better understand the inseparable links between economic rights and political rights. Their struggles also show that the concerns of working people the world over are shared between women and men. The day dedicated to women, gained prominence when socialist women workers identified it as a day of action to rally against the First World War. On the same day in 1917, a strike of working women of Russia took place in protest at the killing of 2 million soldiers in the war and which provided a further impetus for the history-making Russian Revolution which occurred in that year and which saw the birth of a socialist coun-
try for the first time in the annals of civilization. In-as-much that women have made worthy contributions to mankind’s development and generally made notable strides in their own lives they must still contend with multi-faceted problems – poverty, economic inequality, discrimination in work life, oppression and various manifestations of violence. Today, the heavy burden of austerity affect women – job opportunities are scarce; services they rely on are discontinued or are cut; working-women face exploitation; millions live with oppression literally on a daily basis, and yet millions make up the most recent phenomenon of refugees driven from their homes and countries mainly due to destructive wars of aggression and severe bombardment of their countries. Apart from work-related problems the question of domestic violence has risen to the fore and has been condemned worldwide. GAWU continues to condemn such abuses of women as we strongly also condemn the violence meted out to them and their families in conditions of poverty, exploitation and wars. This year the United Nations (UN) theme is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. We feel this is a laudable objective. And, it is timely to call on the governments primarily and various
organisations to work towards the realization of this UN theme. Gender equality is possible in our day and will certainly be yet another significant step in recognizing the indispensable role of women in the all-round development of human-kind. The women question has acquired greater prominence in recent times and justifiably so. It is now up to us as individuals or through organisations to remove the hurdles and impediments that put a brake on women’s further contribution to society, development and greater achievements. We are convinced that the women of the world and working-women especially remain a formidable force in mankind’s struggles to address unequal relationships and to bring about a just, democratic and peaceful world. With this in mind, we take this opportunity to express solidarity with our womenfolk worldwide and especially to the major mobilization of women in the USA and other countries on this day. On the occasion of this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day, the GAWU sends greetings to the women of Guyana, to its women members and greetings also to the women the world over, especially those who are in the frontlines, to further the cause of women and for overall social progress and peace.
WPO on International Women’s Day: Stand up against all injustices
owsillia was murdered by a British stooge when she and other women were squattingpeacefully on a bridge when a tractor driven by a scab drove straight into the women killing Kowsillia on the spot and injuring 14 others andmaiming two permanently. The reason for the strike was because cane cutters at Leonora estate went to the back dam for work and were told that the estate had work only for half of them. The workers pleaded that they had travelled a long distance and they should be able to get work. This fell on deaf ears. When they returned home, they formed themselves into a delegation and went to the estate, but management refused to negotiate with them. This prompted GAWU to call a strike, which affected all the plantations. The workers were fed up with the MPCA who was not
interested in their welfare. They wanted to change their unions and had submitted more than 14,000 notices signed by workers who no longer wanted the MPCA. This action did not find favor with the colonial masters who collaborated with the opposition forces to break the will of the workers and eventually destabilized the legitimate government led by Dr. CheddiJagan. Kowsillia and others lived under British rule andwas able to witness the different periods of struggle waged by the PPP. Firstly, the formation of the first political party, the winning of adult suffrage, the successive PPP govts of 1957 and 1961 which brought improvements for the masses of people. Unfortunately, our colonial masters and local reactionaries were not happy with these developments. Overt and covert actions were taken
to remove the democratically elected government through violence, destructions and killings. Kowsillia did not have the opportunity to see her children growing up, neither did she witnessed the successive rigged elections and the massive banning of essential food and commodities necessary for life and limbs. She did not live to see GAWU gaining recognition nor the return to democratic rule in 1992. As we remember Kowsillia, we need to reflect on how the dynamics have changed with the restoration of democracy. While she was not an educated woman she had the political consciousness to be a part of the struggle for improved conditions for the workers. However, under the PPP/C government adequate sums were provided in the (Turn to page 19)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Hearing of Presidential term limits case set for March 12
he hearing of the Guyana Government’s appeal of the constitutional challenge to presidential term limits case has been set 10:00hrs on March 12, and will be done via audio-visual recording at the the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Former Speaker, Raphael Trotman, and Attorney General, Basil Williams, were the named respondents in the original constitutional challenge, which was filed by Georgetown resident Cedrick Richardson in the High Court. This court action, among other things, challenged the constitutionally of the National Assembly-sanctioned two-term limits on the Presidency. Guyana’s Court of Appeal ruled in February 2017 that the constitutional amendments by Parliament to limit the amount of times a person can serve as President were unconstitutional.
During that February decision, then acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh, was supported by Justice of Appeal B.S. Roy in upholding then acting Chief Justice Ian Chang’s decision that the amendments were unconstitutional. The decision which the Appellate Justice upheld signalled that an amendment to the Constitution on presidential term limits, which was enacted when the National Assembly altered Article 90 via a two-thirds vote in 2000, needs a referendum to make a final decision. This enactment was recommended by an across-theboard Constitutional Reform Committee of 2000/2001. This Committee included both Government and Opposition input, and the reform received bipartisan support. Many observers contend that if the CCJ rules in favour of former CJ Chang’s original ruling, it would al-
low for former Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo to run on the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C’s) ticket at presidential candidate for the 2020 elections. Despite this scenario, the party is seemingly undecided on who will be their presidential candidate for next elections Jagdeo, who now serves as Opposition Leader, had in fact told the press that he is more interested in building his party’s base than being bothered by an ongoing court matter. Jagdeo declared: “When the right time comes, we will decide on a presidential candidate.” His comments followed speculation over his future, he having formerly served as President from 1999 to 2011, and having re-entered the field of active politics. Jagdeo has stressed that he is mostly concerned about ensuring that his party is victorious at the nation’s next polls.
Govt advertising for scrap metal buyers when trade still closed
n what seems to be a backward move, the government has put out an advertisement inviting dealers to purchase scrap metal when the trade remains legally closed. The Special Purpose Unit of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has an ad running in the daily papers inviting expressions of interest for the sale of scrap metal for export. The ad said scrap metal would
be coming from the Skeldon, Albion, Blairmont, Rose Hall, Enmore, Wales and Uitvlugt Sugar Estates. However, it is odd that the government would be calling on dealers to purchase scrap metal for export when the trade has been suspended. The APNU+AFC placed a ban on this multimillion trade shortly after it assumed office in 2015 and to date, it is yet to be restarted – causing major hardship for
the hundreds of persons who earned a living in the industry. Despite numerous calls from stakeholders, the government has not budged or made any attempts to resume the trade. At the launch of a new scrap metal dealers organization last month, government was put on blast by key stakeholders for refusing to engage them on discussions regarding the resumption of the trade.
WPO on International... national budget yearly for the social sectors especially education, health, housing and agriculture. Women broke all barriers because of the opportunities which were available to them. Fifty-four years later, Guyana is once again undergoing similar situation. The PNC came to power with a UF coalition in 1964, which they ditched and embarked on a journey of successive rigged elections coupled with mismanagement, corruption, abuse of human and civil rights and an oppressive authoritarian dictatorship. In 2015, they came to power again through another coalition which has become their jockey. The signs of a creeping dictatorship are everywhere. On the campaign trail in 2015 the APNU/AFC campaigned in the sugar
estates and told the workers that sugar was too large to fail. The promised 20% which never materialized. Instead, they closed the estates and have more than 20,000 workers and their families on the bread line. Even the severance pay which workers are entitled to were denied. As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, we do so against a situation where thousands of families are faced with hardships. The government has ensured that qualified persons who were hired by the previous governments were given the marching orders, sent on administrative leave or down-graded. The people were faced with massive taxation in two years, which they never had for 23 years. It is opportune to remind ourselves that IWD came
(From page 18)
about as a result of the poor garment workers who were living on starvation wages and conditions that kept them in servitude. When they took strike against their employers it was because they were slaving without no improvements in their lives. We use this occasion to remind women that they must stand up together against all forms of injustices. They have the right to work and provide for their families. They must expose all acts of discrimination and victimization using the social media and other mediums available to them. They must not allow themselves to be pushed against the wall. Women stand up and let your voices be heard. Happy International Women’s Day
Guyana Stores ordered to pay over $3B in unpaid taxes
he Guyana Stores Limited (GSL) has lost its appeal in a matter involving the payment of corporation tax to the Guyana Revenue Authority, which it had taken before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to determine whether a two percent minimum corporation tax was unconstitutional and amounted to the taking away of private property On Monday, the CCJ dismissed the GSL appeal and awarded cost to the GRA asrespondents. The matter arose in 2012 when the GSL refused to pay more than $3 billion in corporation tax after a notice of demand was sent to the company. The GSL had moved to the local courts, but both the High Court and the Court of Appeal had ruled against GSL, and ordered that it pay the $3,807,346,397 in corporation taxes. The GSL then moved to the CCJ. However, on Monday, the CCJ ruled that the two percent corporation tax was not a forced loan, but the tax was constitutional. The CCJ stated that the Income Tax Act provides
a specialized procedure for challenging assessments, and the GSL should have used that procedure. The CCJ also held that the 2% minimum corporation tax was not a loan, because the State does not repay the taxpayer, nor does the taxpayer have any right to repayment or redemption, which were crucial elements of any loan. Under section 10A of the Income Tax Act, the taxpayer simply gets a credit if, and when, the stated conditions are met, and the taxpayer may then apply that credit in reduction of a tax liability, but the taxpayer is never entitled to repayment. The Court also held in its summary that the provisions of the Corporation Tax Act were clear and unambiguous, so that Parliament must be taken to have considered the implication of taxing turnover as distinct from taxing profit, and felt satisfied there was no need to exclude loss years or safeguard the taxpaying company’s capital. The GRA was represented by Atorneys-atLaw Ronald Burch-Smith
and Mark Waldron. Guyana Stores Limited is owned primarily by Tony Yassin and Glenn Lall, publisher of the Kaieteur News. Meanwhile, Guyana Stores Limited still owes the Government hundreds of millions of dollars for the purchased of the building on Water Street, Georgetown. National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited currently has several court actions against GSL for millions in outstanding monies owed to the Government. Lall and Yassin, directors of Guyana Stores, owe US$2 million of the US$6 million the property was sold in December 1999. Past due interest on the outstanding balance would amount almost to another US$2 million or even more. The matter is sub judice, as the Government owned corporation moved to the courts to recover its monies. In the meantime, the profits of the company are collected by the two owners and shareholders have complained of never receiving any dividends since the company was privatized.
Ramjattan now sees the merit of community policing S ince taking office the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, and the APNU/AFC government have studiously downgraded the role of community police and many of the groups that were very active countrywide became inactive for lack of support. Recently, however, with the crime situation getting out of control, largely due to inept leadership, Ramjattan now wants to revive community policing. He stated recently that the formation of more Community Policing Groups (CPGs) in the police’s ‘A’ Division can help to reduce the high crime rate. At a press conference on Monday, the Minister said it was found that 51% of the overall
crimes are committed in Georgetown and surrounding areas. Ramjattan said the aim is to have young people join these groups to deter them from committing illegal activities, since “we have found that the young people are more indulgent in alcohol, in illicit drugs, in wrongdoings of a variety that including helping out with a lot of petty offences and even serious criminal offences.” He said it is a challenging task to get persons who are educated on domestic violence, suicide prevention and other social issues to join the CPGs. “There are lots of people here who would have tried and pleaded with those members but they are not coming
forward but whenever there is a crisis, they call on these guys to come forward, to do the patrols to take care of my house and all of that,” he told media operatives in the presence of various CPG Heads on Monday. According to police statistics for January 2018, there were two murders in ‘A’ division; the same was recorded in B and G Divisions, but ‘A’ Division had the highest number of firearm seizures. At least fifteen persons are needed to form a community policing group. The persons are screened by the police force before they are approved and thereafter, the Groups report to a liaison officer of the Ministry of Public Security.
Bishops’ High School teacher remanded to prison B
ishops’ High School Teacher, Coen Jackson on Wednesday appeared before Senior City Magistrate, Leroy Daly charged with the rape of a child under the age of 16. Jackson, 39, was charged with engaging in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 by abusing the position of trust at Durban Street, Lodge between December 2010 and May 2011. He was not required to
plea to the charge and was remanded to prison until March 15, 2018. He is represented by Attorneys -at-Law, Sanjeev Datadin and Siand Dhurjon. Jackson, who is a teacher for over 15 years, is at the center of a sex scandal where he is accused of grooming and having sexual relations with his students once they reach the age of consent, which is 16 years old.
Coen Jackson at the Georgetown Magistrates Court
Five persons wanted for daring robbery attack on Republic Park family
olice are investigating an alleged armed robbery committed on a 43-year-old Financial Director and his 30-year-old spouse which occurred earlier this week at their Republic Park, East Bank Demerara address. A police report noted that five men, two of whom were armed with handguns, attacked the family and robbed them of a quantity of jewellery, several electronic gadgets, documents and other valuables. The Financial Director is attached to the Guyana Shore Base, which is a company that is contracted by
ExxonMobil; the man is a United States citizen and his spouse is from Russia. Investigations revealed that the male victim responded to a sound from the house alarm which he had activated before retiring to bed when he was confronted by a male suspect who struck him on his head with an instrument. The other suspects held the couple, including their 10-month-old daughter, at
gunpoint, ransacked the house and escaped via an eastern glassdoor with the valuables. The couple was robbed of a laptop computer valued $300,000, two Apple iPhones, $90,000 in Guyana currency; $200 US currency; a diamond and gold wedding band; nine gold rings and a silver Fossil wristwatch valued US$200; a pair of diamond and gold earrings valued US$2,000 and a silver bracelet valued US$1,000. Police promptly responded and combed the area but the suspects were not seen. No one has been arrested and investigations are ongoing.
30 years jail for rape of eight-year-old
ne week after being found guilty of raping an eight-year-old girl on August 20 2016, Collin Cummings was on Wednesday sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by High Court Judge, Simone Morris-Ramlall. While handing down her sentence, Judge Morris-Ramlall stated that the nation’s children must be left alone. However, outside of the courtroom, Cummings repeatedly professed his innocence. On February 28 2018, Cummings was unanimously found guilty of raping an eight-year-old girl. The
12-member jury, which returned the verdict after two hours of deliberations, made its decision after considering the evidence presented over the few days of the trial. The act for which Cummings was found guilty occurred on August 20, 2016,
in the county of Demerara, but after the jury foreman announced the verdict, the defendant had maintained that he was not guilty. “I am innocent of this charge brought against me,” he noted before spending the next few minutes implicating others in the crime. After an interjection by the court, which reminded him that he was found guilty, Cummings petitioned to be given the minimum penalty. However, his lawyer, Clyde Forde, requested a probation report be prepared and presented to the court before sentencing.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Electrician criticises lack of police response after burglary A n electrician of Enterprise, East Coast of Demerara (ECD) is counting his losses after bandits broke into his yard and stole several of his belongings in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Marshal Karamchan said that he was awoken by a knock on his gate at around 03:00hrs; upon checking, he noticed two men running away from his house. “They were running with two bags so my mother say let’s go check what happen if these guys come in our yard because the place was dark. When we went, we see the car glass break and the trunk open and all my tools and everything that went in the trunk, they gone with it,” he related. The items he said, amount to $180,000. The man said his car was also ransacked but he could
not determine if anything else is missing at this point in time. He sa9id that he decided to drive around the area and look for the men but it was futile. Karamchan said he then called the police but criticized their lack of response. “I call 911, onto now nobody ain’t respond, call
Vigilance, same thing. This morning I went Vigilance and then they take my report and nobody ain’t come to do an investigation and anything and they get my number and address,” he related. The electrician is now contemplating his next move as he is now left without tools to do his work.
US deports key suspect in Cane Grove murder
wo years after a 22-yearold Cane Grove father of one was brutally beaten to death by a group of men, one of the key suspects has been deported to Guyana from the United States of America. Twenty-five-year-old Anthony Bhupdeo was escorted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) and “removed from the United States via a commercial flight” on March 1, according to an article by the New York CMC. “Bhupdeo was transferred into the custody of Guyanese law enforcement authorities upon arrival in Georgetown (the Guyanese capital),” ICE said. Further, Thomas Decker, field office director for ERO New York, said the removal of Bhupdeo is “indicative of ERO’s resolve in carrying out the laws of our nation… We will not provide a safe haven for those who commit crimes in their home countries.”
ICE said that on January 2, 2016- one day after Deokumar Basdeo of Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara was killed, Bhupdeo entered the United States as a visitor, with authorisation to remain in the United States until July 2016. Later that very month, ICE explained that Guyanese law enforcement authorities in the East Demerara Magisterial District, issued an arrest warrant for Bhupdeo for murder and shortly after, in February 2016, the US Department of State revoked Bhupdeo’s visa. However, Bhupdeo failed to depart the United States in July 2016, as was required. As such, in September 2016, ICE said the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) office in Bogota, Colombia, notified ERO New York that Bhupdeo, may be residing in the New York City metropolitan area, and was being sought in Guyana for murder pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice. In October of that year,
Murdered: Deokumar Basdeo
ICE said ERO deportation officers arrested Bhupdeo in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, and placed him into removal proceedings and on July 26, 2017, said Bhupdeo was ordered removed by an immigration judge, however, he appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). On February 1, 2018, the BIA dismissed his appeal, “paving the way for his removal to Guyana,” ICE said. On January 1 2016, Basdeo was beaten to death by five men following an altercation as he was imbibing in the village to celebrate his 22nd birthday.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Two remanded for robbery under arms at Canje T
he two men who were arrested by Police in the Canje River, Berbice, on Friday last have been remanded in relation to a robbery and larceny indicent. Based on information received, Police went in search of their accomplices which led to the shooting of 37-year-old Indarjit Sham of Betsy Ground Village, East Canje and 21-year-old Amar “Punk” Bissoon, of Adelphi Settlement, East Canje. Timothy Sampson, 30, of Lot 12 Adelphi Village, East Canje, Berbice; and Lawrence Van Lewin, 24, of Sandhills, Berbice River, appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore on Tuesday afternoon. The two were jointly charged for robbery under arms. Police Prosecutor In-
spector Bernard Brown objected to bail stating that more charges are likely to be filed against the duo. Prosecutor Brown told the court that based on the nature and facts of the crime, they should not be granted
their pre-trial liberty. He said both of the defendants have a criminal past. The Magistrate accepted the Prosecution’s submissions and remanded the men to prison. The case will continue on March 26.
“Otiesha” arrested as probe into pedophilia accusations heightens
olice in ‘A’ Division today confirmed that they have arrested Otis “Otiesha” Pearson following accusations which were made against him in relation to pedophilia. Crime Chief Paul Williams said that the popular transgender personality was arrested on Tuesday and is still in police custody. “We received the file from the Child Care and Protection Agency and we are now investigating the matter officially”, he said. He could not say how soon charges would be instituted against “Otiesha” Pearson but said that a thorough probe is being undertaken. ‘ The Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) back in February closed its investigation into the alleged misconduct by Otis “Otisha” Pearson, a popular member of the transgender
community, and he is likely to be charged shortly. According to CC&PA’s Director, Ann Green, the Agency has gathered statements from a number of persons, including the young man in the middle of the controversy, and as such, it is expected to move ahead with the case. The public became enraged when Pearson was heard in an interview re-
porting that “he has a little boy for every day of the week”. However, after he was bashed on social media, the transgender personality quickly defended himself, explaining that the term “little boys” was taken out of context. He attempted to cover up his transgressions stating that the term is actually referring to persons above the legal age of consent and is also used when referring to his colleagues. The statement quickly became a serious matter when a photo of Pearson and a young man was leaked on social media site Facebook. Many users of the site were of the opinion that the young man was underage; the age of consent in Guyana being 16. Investigations revealed that the boy was indeed below the age of 16 and was being bullied after the photos were leaked.
client is only guilty of being in the wrong company. She revealed that the Virtual Complainant (VC), who did not appear in Court, was making arrangements with the teen’s family to settle the
matter. However, after standing down the matter, Magistrate Latchman remanded the teen to prison. The case will be called again on March 19, 2018.
More cooperation needed between Police and banks to address rising 18-yr-old remanded for armed number of robberies – Crime Chief robbery
ore cooperation is needed between the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the banks to address the high number of robberies of persons conducting transactions at banks Crime Chief Paul Williams, was quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying: “What we need is a joint approach in terms of dealing with this matter, I’m appealing to the banks, for them to carry out some amount of analysis within their daily operations. There are so many things the banks can do from an analysis. That will really help us to see if there is any inside dealing or inside information. This can assist us in terms of dealing with the situation”. The Crime Chief pointed out the measures the police have since implemented towards addressing the issue whilst highlighting the fact that the banks can also utilise their resources to assist. He added, “We have policemen in plain clothes outside the bank. We are
sending out traffic ranks to ensure persons who are not authorised to operate vehicles and so forth, are not to be there. We are putting little measures in place.” Regarding the manner in which information about persons’ transactions is being passed on to the perpetrators, Williams said the banks can play and instrumental role in deterring this. “The bank needs to carry out a review of the CCTV within the bank itself. See how many persons frequent the bank; whether they are
doing transactions or sitting idly. Follow this daily; see how many persons are being robbed. Check to see if they would’ve dealt with a specific teller, you know. There is so much analysis that can be done in order for us to deal with this situation,” Williams said according to DPI. The Crime Chief noted that despite some police successes, perpetrators have become more observant and have employed ways to avoid ranks. For example, he said they do not make immediate attempts to rob but trail the victims to their homes instead. Williams believes that it is crucial that the banks follow the information as it relates to who has been robbed, which bank the person conducted business and how many persons are being robbed within a certain period of time from the bank. This, he believes, along with the banks’ cooperation with the police force, will ensure efficiency in addressing the matter, DPI said.
n 18-year-old Norton Street, Georgetown resident was remanded to prison on Monday when he appeared before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged for armed robbery. Tyron Arthur denied that on February 28, 2018, while being in the company of another, and being armed with a pair of scissors, he robbed Nashawn Bentinck of his cellphone and jewellery valued in total $115,000. According to Arthur’s Attorney, Tiffany Jeffrey, her
Women robbed at gunpoint in Meadow Brook
olice are on the hunt for a man who robbed three women of cash and other valuables Wednesday morning at Jamoon Drive, Meadow Brook, Greater Georgetown. 45-year-old Sharon Gonsalves Eversley operates a snackette at the said address and she was in the kitchen at the time when the perpetrator asked to purchase an
egg ball. As she was about to sell him, he pulled out a handgun from his pants waist, pointed it at her and took her into the house where he also held the two other women at gunpoint. One of the women was relieved of a $216,000 gold chain and a gold ring valued at $375,000, while 38-yearold Unita Williams was re-
lieved of $7000 in cash and her Blu cellular phone. Gonsalves- Eversley was robbed of her Samsung cellular phone, $6,000 in cash, a $20,000 gold chain and a gold band valued at $ 20,000. The incident occurred at around 10:25hrs; reports indicate that the bandit escaped on a motorcycle. Investigations are ongoing.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Grade Six Assessment
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
The Three Cows
im and Ray were very close companions. They were neighbours, classmates at school, and later, colleagues at work. One day, they decided to go on a sea voyage to explore strange lands. They began their voyage in a cruise ship, and travelled far and wide. However, in the course of their trip, the weather turned very destructive. The ship was wrecked in the middle of the ocean. Most of the passengers were killed, but Kim and Ray could swim to a nearby island. The island was deserted; not even a tree was there. Kim and Ray realized that they could not survive on the island without divine intervention. They decided to pray to God. They wanted to see whose prayer would be more powerful. Kim moved to the eastern tip of the island, knelt down and began to pray there. Ray went to the western tip of the island and prayed there. Kim prayed to God to give him food to survive. Surprisingly, he got a pile of food, fruits and vegetables on the sea shore. After two days, he requested for a beautiful girl as his wife, as he was feeling very lonely on the island. In a few hours, there was a ship wreck near the island and a lone survivor; a beautiful girl. Kim married the girl. Whatever Kim prayed for, was granted to him. Almost a month after the ship wreck, Kim decided to move back to his hometown. He prayed to God to send him a ship to take him home. Sure enough, there came a ship to take Kim and his wife home. As the couple was about to enter the ship, Kim heard someone speak to him. It was just a voice. “Are you going alone, leaving your companion of life here?” Kim was surprised, “May I know who is this and whom you are referring to? I have my wife with me!” The voice said, “I’m the one to whom you
offered your prayers, whom you requested to save your life, and whom you requested food and shelter and of course, a wife!” Kim knelt down in awe and said, “Thank you God!” Then Kim remembered about Ray, whom he had forgotten all this time. He was overcome with guilt. God said to him, “I was not answering your prayers. I was only fulfilling Ray’s prayers. He prayed for only one thing! He said ‘Please fulfill all of Kim’s prayers’. That was his only prayer.” Kim was in tears and rushed to the other side of the island. He realized that he had not even thought about his best friend Ray, and was happily enjoying his own life. He could not find Ray there. He asked God, “Where is Ray?” God replied, “I took him with me. The man with the golden heart should be with me! But I will fulfill all your prayers as I promised him to do so!” Kim was completely broken. He realized why his friend’s prayers were more powerful. It was because Ray’s prayers were totally selfless. Moral: Selflessness is the highest form of prayer.
Name: ............................................................................................................................................ Address: ........................................................................................................................................ ......................................................................................... Tel. No: ................................................
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Go Outside!!!! Get some sunshine in your life!!! F
or those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, we are currently in the “mix weather” period of the year and this can be challenging. This increased uncertainty of rain and/or sun can be problematic, prompting mood swings, lack of energy, depression, etc. But I have got good news! After this week February, we will be past the halfway point of the “mix weather”. If you follow the sunrise and sunset times in your area, you will see that the days are already getting longer. The sunlight will continue to grow stronger as we get closer more sunny days. I know that the idea of sunlight can be a double-edged sword with dermatologists recommending our using sunscreen when we are out in the sunshine. But did you know that it is beneficial to get 15 minutes of unscreened and un-shaded natural light every single day? That is right. While we do need to watch our sun exposure and protect ourselves when we are in the sun for long periods of time, our bodies also need full-spectrum natural light on a daily basis. Incandescent and fluorescent lights do not produce a sufficient amount of lux (a measurement of light) to provide us with positive health benefits. The most efficient way to reap these benefits is to go outdoors. My good Readers, those 15 minutes a day out in the sunlight can do a lot for our body, including positively affecting our endocrine system, reproductive system, and our circadian rhythms or internal biological clock. Light exposure also boosts our serotonin levels to help us stay awake and alert. Plus, natural light helps your skin to produce vitamin D, which helps your body absorb the calcium needed for strong bones. Daily exposure to sunlight also helps reduce stress, reduce weight and improve your mood. How can you be sure to get those valuable 15 minutes of sunlight on a regular basis? Go outside whenever you can. Weather permitting, enjoy time out of doors on your lunch break, take a short morning or afternoon walk, or maybe even just sit by the window to read your morning paper. All of these are excellent ways to safely get the amount of light your body requires. So, my dear Comrades, I hope you will think about your daily dose of sunshine. And now I recommend taking some time to go over your Mirror Newspaper. May it shed light and brighten your path. Have a lovely sunny week. Happy 68th Anniversary to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). Remember to purchase and read your copy of the Mirror Newspaper and tune to Freedom Radio, streaming on 91.1 FM in GT and its environs, 90.7 in Essequibo and 90.5 in Berbice. Streaming online freedomradio 91.com. Follow us on Facebook at freedomradiogy. JOIN THE PPP AND PPP/C AT BABU JOHN ON MARCH 11 AT 3PM FOR ANOTHER REFLECTION ON THE LIFE OF THE LATE GREAT FATHER OF THIS NATION, DR CHEDDI JAGAN WHO DIED ON MARCH 6, 1997. REMEMBER THAT THIS YEAR IS THE 100th BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LATE Dr JAGAN. (G. Persaud)
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
The Other View
Commentary: Its not the end of history:
Why Americans should give socialism a try By Elizabeth Bruenig Washington Post
n the United States, we've arrived at a pair of mutually exclusive convictions: that liberal, capitalist democracies are guaranteed by their nature to succeed and that in our Trumpist moment they seem to be failing in deeply unsettling ways. For liberals — and by this I mean inheritors of the long liberal tradition, not specifically those who might also be called progressives — efforts to square these two notions have typically combined expressions of high anxiety with reassurances that, if we only have the right attitude, everything will set itself aright. Hanging on and hoping for the best is certainly one approach to rescuing the best of liberalism from its discontents, but my answer is admittedly more ambitious: It's time to give socialism a try. Contemporary supporters of liberalism are often
subject, I think, to what I call "everyday Fukuyamaism" — the idea, explicitly stated or not, that the end of the Cold War really signaled the end of history, and that we can only look forward to the unceasing rise of Western-style liberal-democratic capitalism. (As the leftist scholar Mark Fisher recounted: "It's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.") This assumption is reflected in the blindsided, startled unease of liberals in the era of President Donald Trump: "There are moments when everything I have come to believe in — reasoned deliberation, mutual toleration, liberal democracy, free speech, honesty, decency, and moderation — seem as if they are in eclipse," Andrew Sullivan recently lamented in New York magazine. "For the foreseeable future, nationalism is likely to remain a defining political force," Yascha Mounk fretted this past weekend in
The New York Times. "Liberals should strive to make nationalism as inclusive as possible," he warned. Against this backdrop of liberal disquietude, the notion that everything either will be or already is all right, granted the correct attitude — that "we're better than this," as former Vice President Joe Biden confidently declares on his newly launched political action committee's website — appears particularly frail. It's hard to square the lateObama-era insistence that "America is already great" with the palpable sense that something — in the climate, in the economy, in society, in politics, in the wellspring of American ideas — is going badly wrong. What to do? Sullivan's solution to liberalism's peril is contemplative "self-doubt and self-knowledge"; Mounk's is to "domesticate (nationalism) as best we can." But my sense is that while Sullivan, Mounk and
all the other concerned liberal observers are right that something is wrong with the state of American liberalism, the problem is much deeper than they allow. I don't think business-as-usual but better is enough to fix what's broken here. I think the problem lies at the root of the thing, with capitalism itself. In fact, both Sullivan's and Mounk's complaints — that Americans appear to be isolated, viciously competitive, suspicious of one another and spiritually shallow; and that we are anxiously looking for some kind of attachment to something real and profound in an age of decreasing trust and regard — seem to be emblematic of capitalism, which encourages and requires fierce individualism, self-interested disregard for the other, and resentment of arrangements into which one deposits more than he or she withdraws. (As a business-savvy friend once remarked: Nobody gets
rich off of bilateral transactions where everybody knows what they're doing.) Capitalism is an ideology that is far more encompassing than it admits, and one that turns every relationship into a calculable exchange. Bodies, time, energy, creativity, love — all become commodities to be priced and sold. Alienation reigns. There is no room for sustained contemplation and little interest in public morality; everything collapses down to the level of the atomized individual. That capitalism is inimical to the best of liberalism isn't a new concern: It's a long-standing critique, present in early socialist thought. That both capitalism and liberal governance have changed since those days without displacing the criticism suggests that it's true in a foundational way. Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be dem-
ocratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital's stranglehold over politics and culture. I don't think that every problem can be traced back to capitalism: There were calamities and injustices long before capital, and I'll venture to say there will be after. But it seems to me that it's time for those who expected to enjoy the end of history to accept that, though they're linked in certain respects, capitalism seems to be at odds with the harmonious, peaceful, stable liberalism of mid-20th-century dreams. I don't think we've reached the end of history yet, which means we still have the chance to shape the future we want. I suggest we take it. Washington Post Writers Group Elizabeth Bruenig is an opinion columnist at The Washington Post.
Italy’s Election Is A Blow To European Unity And A Boost For The Far Right By Nick Robins-Early
nti-establishment and anti-immigrant parties made serious gains, throwing the country into political uncertainty. Italy’s election on Sunday didn’t deliver a clear victory to any single party or alliance, yet there was an unmistakable winner: the populist and farright parties that campaigned on anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-establishment views and an avowed dislike of the European Union. The preliminary results of the vote show a fractured political landscape with no easy path for parties to negotiate a coalition government. Both established center-right and center-left parties lost support, while the populist and ideologically amorphous Five Star Movement gained the largest single share of the vote. The far-right League party, which vowed to carry out a rapid mass expulsion of migrants, also made huge gains and became the third-largest party. It’s the extreme nationalist party’s best result ever, and the election outcome
gives it a strong hand in talks to form a government. The Five Star Movement Takes The Lead The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, formed only in 2009, emerged as the biggest winner in the election. It drew around 32 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results, and further solidified the shocking gains it made during its first election race in 2003. The party continued to gain popularity through feeding off widespread discontent with the political status quo, laying on populist rhetoric and moderating its controversial calls to leave the Euro currency. Five Star bills itself as neither left nor right, but routinely criticizes the European Union and supports increasing restrictions on immigration. The party’s popularity attracted the interest of President Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon, who traveled to Rome for the vote and lauded the Italians for embracing populism. If the party does manage to form a government, it
would mean that 31-year-old Luigi Di Maio, who is currently head of the Five Star Movement, could become the youngest world leader. The Left And The Right Fall Apart Italy’s election is emblematic of political ruptures across Europe, where once-powerful parties are losing their traditional voter bases to newly empowered radical parties that posture themselves as agents of change. These rising parties have capitalized on deep frustrations toward establishment politics and the EU, while often stoking anti-Islam, anti-immigrant sentiment in their calls to embrace national identity. Traditional left-wing parties have suffered some of the worst losses in Europe’s recent political turmoil, and Italy’s election is no different. The center-left Democratic Party performed even worse than expected, and its only shot at joining a government would be to ally with the Five Star Movement or a combination of right-wing and far-right parties ― both of which are unlikely. Its leader,
former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, abruptly resigned after the vote. Equally disturbing for establishment parties is what happened on the right. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia lost its role as the biggest conservative party, as the anti-immigrant League party surged in popularity and can now claim to be the Italian right’s standard bearer. The two parties have an alliance, but the result relegates 81-year-old Berlusconi to a supporting role when days before the vote he looked set to become kingmaker of a future government. The Far Right Grows In Power The League, led by Matteo Salvini, went from 4 percent of the vote in the last election to what preliminary results predict is around 18 percent this time around. Formerly called the Northern League and focused on the secession of northern Italy, the updated party embraced a nationalist, anti-Islam and anti-immigrant message to broaden its support. Salvini vowed to deport 150,000 migrants in his first
year in office if elected, has called for proposals such as racially segregating trains, and
has blamed migrants for rape, drug-dealing and spreading diseases.
A resident of Lethem pays tribute to Dr Jagan on his death anniversary at the monument dedicated to him
GFF Mid-Season records 188 transfers
he Guyana Football Federation (GFF) released the Mid-Season Transfer list on Tuesday, which saw West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) recording the highest numbers of transfers from the accumulated total of 188. WDFA had a total of 49 transfers, followed by the Upper Demerara Football Association (40), Georgetown Football Association (30), Rupununi Football Association (19), Berbice Football Association (3) and East Demerara Football Association (1). For the Elite Clubs Fruta Conquerors FC and Ann’s Grove FC had seven players
each. Nicholai Andrews, Gregory Richardson, Tefon Daly, Simeon Moore, Miguel Rojas, Sunil Logan and Job Ceasar head to the Conquerors while Les-Charles Critchlow, Dwight Peters, Gerald Sobers, Kevin Smith, Chavez John, William Europe and Justin Herod join Ann’s Grove FC. Ian Alves, GFF’s Competition Director, disclosed that the fans are already seeing the impact of the transfers in the Elite League. He said, “The mid-season transfer period has seen quite a number of player-movement among the Elite Clubs, which has contributed to a
more competitive League. The fans are benefiting from the transfers, as clubs were able to bolster their performance, which is reflected on the pitch. This augurs well for the League, which is a platform, for the engagement of consistent football and for senior national team selection.” For the non-elite clubs, among the top three clubs with a high number of transfers were Pouderoyen FC (31) followed by Haynes-Winners Connection FC (11) and Beacons FC (10). The next transfer window is scheduled from the June 1 – July 31, 2018.
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
YWCC’s Alex Algoo urged to work hard, shows dedication
oung Warriors Cricket Club (YWCC), Berbice and national Under 19 exciting opener Alex Algoo was the recent recipient of a cricket bat compliments of Mukesh Appiah. The handing over was done recently with Appiah stating that he follows the career of this young talented cricketer. He further stated that he is a keen follower of the game in the ancient county and will from time to time make contributions to develop the sport. Appiah wished Algoo well and is confident that he can follow the footsteps of his opening partner for the YWCC, now West Indies opener, Shimron Hetmyer. He added that this will only come with hard work, dedication and commitment. In response, Algoo thanked the sponsor for the
Alex Algoo (right) receives a bat and uniform from Mukesh Appiah in the presence of former national player Huvern Evans bat and promised to make full use of it and do everyone proud, including Appiah. He even urged other youngsters to get involved in sports and stay away from idle and evil things. He said that our society is infested with crimes and
drugs and the “oldheads” target teenagers in an effort to recruit them to ply their trade in criminal life. He called on his fellow youths to join any youth club/sports club in their area. Algoo promised to train hard and stay focused.
best possible Berbice team for the upcoming Guyana Cricket Board Under-19 inter-county tournament. Foster also made special mention of Orvin Mangru for his hard work and dedication in securing the sponsorship. Mangru of the Albion Cricket Club stated that the New York Business Group was delighted to be once again involved in Berbice Cricket. The Group, he stated first sponsored the tournament two years ago but due to the problems affecting Berbice Cricket, the tournament was delayed. He pledged on behalf of the sponsors that the tournament would be an annual event and disclosed that the entire investment would be far more than the announced $700,000 as outstanding performers would most likely receive cricket gears like bats, pads and gloves as incentives. Mangru expressed confidence in the current Berbice Cricket Board’s ability to organise the tournament properly. The current defending Champions of the New York Business Group Under-19 Tournament is the Rose Hall
Town Pepsi Under-19 Team which defeated Albion in the 2016 Finals. The Winning Team would receive $100,000 and a trophy valued $30,000 trophy, the Runner-up team $50 000.00 and a trophy to the value of $15 000. The player of the Match in the final will carry home $15,000 and a trophy worth $10,000. The Best Bowler in the Finals, Best Batsman in the Finals, Best Overall Bowler, Best Overall Batsman and Best Overall Wicket Keeper will each receive a trophy to the value of $10,000. Among the teams expected to play are Upper Corentyne, Port Mourant, Rose Hall Town Pepsi ‘A’, Albion A, Albion B, Rose Hall Town Pepsi ‘B’, Young Warriors, Rose Hall Canje, Tucber Park, Police, Blairmont, West Berbice, Bush Lot United, Tamarind Root and Big Star. Junior Cricketers can now look forward to playing the game at the Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 levels in addition to Intermediate, Second Division, Inter-secondary Schools and First Division levels.
Jaguars’ CONCACAF qualifiers for September start New York Business Group BCB U-19 T cricket tournament launched T he Guyana Golden Jaguars Football Team will open their Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Nations League qualifiers account when they go head to head with Barbados in September. That encounter will be followed by a clash against Turks and Caicos in October then match three will see Guyana taking on French Guiana. In March, 2019 the Golden Jaguars will wrap things up with a match against Belize. Technical Director of the
Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Ian Greenwood said, “It’s a positive and competitive draw for the golden jaguars, we feel we have the ability to perform against each opposition. We’re excited for our tough visit to French Guiana but feel we have the players to rise to this occasion and come out on top. Belize should be an interesting game but with home advantage and the support of a packed Stadium that will help us over the line.” Greenwood added, “The launch of the CONCACAF Nations League opens a
consistent level of competitiveness to further develop the standard of international football in the region.”
Men and women to compete together in European Team Championships (Reuters) - Men and women will compete together in this year’s inaugural European Golf Team Championships after their respective tours announced on Thursday that they had agreed on a format and qualification process. The Aug. 8-12 event at Gleneagles, Scotland, will
involve an equal gender split among participants and offer equal prize money for men and women in the matchplay
championship as well as the 18-hole foursomes team play championship. Players will represent their countries and can qualify through the European Golf Team Championships points tables, which are based on official world ranking points earned from events in the last 12 months up to July.
he New York Business Group, which comprises Seepersaud Charran of Ryan Trucking Service, Richard Mahase of Little Guyana Bake Shop, Jamel Mohammed of City Buyers Garment Factory, Sheik Hassan of West Chester Shairlift, Permaul Trading and Distribution and Ajit Mootoo, an ardent cricket fan, have combined resources to invest over $700,000 for the Berbice Cricket Board’s (BCB) under-19 tournament. On Monday last, with the co-operation of the Albion Cricket Club, they launched the 2nd Edition of the New York Business Group Under-19 Tournament. BCB President Hilbert Foster hailed the launching of the Under-19 Tournament as another red letter day in the history of Berbice Cricket. The New York Business Group Under-19 Tournament will be played on a One-Day Two-innings basis at the Group stages while the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals shall be two-day affairs. The BCB Selection Committee would be looking closely at the first rounds of matches in order to select the
WEEKEND MIRROR 10-11 MARCH, 2018
Sport View by Neil Kumar
Warriors fully pumped for CPL 2018
he Guyana Amazon Warriors’ squad that has been selected to play in the sixth edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) seems to be a winning team on paper. How-
ever, it is the management and astute leadership, along with the loyalty of the entire component that is needed to win this 2018 title. The batting is certainly capable of making enough
runs for the bowling to bowl at or the fielding to defend. Shoaib Malik , Chadwick Walton, Jason Mohammed along with the attacking Luke Ronchi and Shmiron Hetmyer are all capable
of scoring quick runs for the bowlers to bowl at, while the batting all-rounders Kemo Paul, Gajanand Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, and Romario Shepherd are more than capable to strengthen the lower order batting when necessary. As for the bowling, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Veerasammy Permaul and Devendra Bishoo are more than capable of bowling impressively against any batting line-up on the slow Caribbean pitches. The squad also includes players such as Rayad Emrit, Roshon Primus, Saurabh Netravalkar and Akshaya Persaud, who are all capable of representing themselves in any team. The selectors did not find favor with the ‘come-lately to form’ Christopher Barnwell and Chan-
derpaul Hemraj. However, this team must bring home the title this year. The Guyana Amazon Warriors has some very experienced players. Arguably, the batting has the fire power and the soundness at the top. The selectors can also promote Tanvir to be a pinch hitter at the top of the innings, while the battery of quick scoring all- rounders can really put any fielding team in total confusion. More serious is the administrators and management of the players both on and off the field. If the team is not winning, then the persons responsible for their poor performance must be made to answer. The management and coach are the persons who select the players; they are being paid to do a proper job and the end results must be that they
must win. The cost of the product is the title. For too long the Amazon Warriors are not bringing home the ‘beacon’. The franchise holder must read the proverbial riot act to his well paid staff who are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that our team brings home the title. All Guyanese are keenly looking forward to fully support their home team the Warriors. This year, for the first time, Guyana will be hosting the first three opening matches of the competition. The cricketing world will be eagerly anticipating the best performance of all the players at the Guyana National Stadium and expectations are sky high that the Warriors can win all three matches on home soil.
Berbice cattle farmers call for investigation into rustling
he Region Six Livestock Producers Cooperative Society Ltd is accusing Police ranks attached to two stations in ‘B’ Division of facilitating cattle rustling. Officers at the Berbice River Bridge were recently able to intercept a truck with stolen cattle being transported to be slaughtered. An alert constable noticed that the animals in the truck were carrying a fresh brand, and informed his superiors at the outpost.
According to Chairman of the Region Six Livestock Producers Cooperative Society Ltd, Roopnarine Matadial, the truck with the cattle would have been checked by officers at the Albion Police Station and the Lewis Manor Police Outpost situated along the East Coast Berbice Highway. Matadial told this publication that cattle larceny has become a lucrative business in Region Six (East Berbice/
Corentyne). According to reports, the truck was taking six animals to an abattoir at West Coast Berbice when it was intercepted. Matadial explained that in order to pass animals in a vehicle, one would have to pay a fee of $10,000 per head of animal to obtain the pass at Albion. This is checked and verified at the Lewis Manor Outpost. However last Friday, at Albion and East Coast Ber-
bice, the officers apparently did not observe that the eleven head of cattle that were in the truck had a fresh brand that corresponded with the documents accompanying them but not with the original brand. On Friday, a canter load of cows was intercepted at the Berbice Bridge checkpoint, where it was discovered that the animals appeared to have been stolen. Mohamed Nadir Hussain, a farmer of Wellington Park,
Corentyne, Berbice, the owner of the eleven (11) head of cattle, explained that he had taken his animals to graze on Thursday afternoon, but when he returned to his animals later that evening, he had noticed four of his cattle missing. “I look for them and I couldn’t find them, and on Friday I get a call that four of my animals deh in a truck at Berbice Bridge and Police hold it up there. They told me to travel and
go down and identify the animals. The Police take the animals to Central Police Station and I identify the four animals, and from there they took (them) to Whim Station, where they keep (them),” Hussain explained. According to the cattle farmer, there were fresh brands on his animals, but his original brand was still visible.” “I had my brand, C46M, on both sides of the animals,” he explained.
Journal reflecting on Cheddi Jagan’s life launched
he collaboration of 20 editors of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre saw the publishing of a new journal which reflects on the life of late President of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan. Published in observance of the former leader’s 21st death anniversary, the journal called “The Thinker” examines how critical a thinker Jagan was during his time as President of Guyana. The journal is expected to give expression to progressive thinking, to defend human right to democracy and to hold up the proverbial mirror to happenings of our society. As history is replete with publications, the journal was created to keep the legacy of Jagan alive. “The Thinker” explored Jagan as an internationalist and showed how his formative years were influenced by his years of living and studying in the United States, his linkages and alliances, his vision and his leadership. It also covers issues such
as the ongoing tragedy unleashed on the sugar workers at Wales, Rose Hall, Enmore and Skeldon. Dr Frank Anthony, who gave an overview of the journal, noted that some might not agree with some of the articles, however, the journal looks to reveal truth. President of the Guyana Peace Council (GPC) – which was founded by Jagan – Clement Rohee, in his remarks, noted that the journal is intended to stimulate debate in our country which is currently lacking in Guyana. “Critical debate, intellectual debate and discussions, a group of us came together with the intent of reviving the spirit of debate and discussions and as such we created the journal to be a tribute for those kinds of discussions in our country,” Rohee said of the ‘journal with a difference’. Jagan was described as being influenced by many world leaders who made significant contributions such as Charles Baird, an American progressive writer.
PUBLISHED BY NEW GUYANA Co. Ltd., 8 Industrial Site, Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana. Tel: 226-2473, 226-5875 Fax: 226-2472