Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ramjattan and Co should run GuySuCo and each receive GY$35,000 as their monthly salary!

Chairman of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan, had earlier this month described the salary being received by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) as outrageous.

Back then in an invited comment to the media Ramjattan said, “this is outrageous in the context of GuySuCo which is in a pathetic financial situation. This disparity as to what the bosses get and what ordinary sugar workers get is most extreme!”

However, we would like to propose that in the interest of the welfare of sugar workers GuySuCo's current CEO and Board should be sacked and immediately be replaced by a Board which is headed Ramjattan, with the following persons as Board members: Raphael Trotman, Peter Ramsaroop, Robert Corbin, Winston Murray, Everall Franklyn, Tarron Khemraj, Clive Thomas, Freddie Kissoon and David Patterson.

And further, out of their concerns for the current financial situation GuySuCo has found itself in these gentlemen will each receive a salary of GY$35,000 per month, in line with the average public servant.

We are sure that with these measures in place and prudent management by these 'learned' individuals GuySuCo would be restored to its glory days in quick time.

Police closer to building a case against Benschop as investigations continue into the murder of Joel Fraser.

Benschop, the wife beater/sweet-man murderer is hard at work in his effort to discredit the sex tape sent to us via e-mail which contains two teenage females engaging in a sex act, one is purportedly the daughter of a local columnist. Benschop's website, which has a noticeable penchant for spreading falsities, slander etc, quotes an unnamed senior police officer in a manner similar to the Kaieteur News, who indicates that the two females on the tape are the daughters of two city businessmen and that the police are investigating Kwame Mc Coy's publication of the tape via this site.

This, like most of the skunt that emanates from Benschop's cock sucking mouth is a blatant lie, as checks have revealed that no such investigation was launched by the police and we also wish to state categorically that KWAME MC COY is not in any way associated with this blog.
Such a claim is often made to discredit our efforts here which is aimed at giving the other side of the coin, much to the annoyance of Benschop and others of his ilk who are of the belief that they have a monopoly on propaganda and misinformation.

However, we have also learnt that the police are close to building a case against Benschop as investigations continue into the murder of Joel Fraser, who was fucking Benschop's ex-wife Maria. The police are looking for a suspect known only as 'buck man', whom they allege to be Benschop's handyman and was fingered as the killer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Local critic's Daughter caught on sex tape!


We received this video via e-mail today. It is purportedly a video of two teenage girls making out. The sender is claiming that one of the young ladies is the daughter of a local newspaper columnist and fierce critic of the government.

Who has high expectations of Kaieteur News?

Twenty-four pages of precious newsprint – in colour, to boot, dedicated to lampooning persons with public profiles.

But the first page should have started with Glenn Lall, followed by Freddie Kissoon, then Adam Harris, because, if anyone is great subject for caricaturing, it is this trio.

Christmas is a day for peace and goodwill, but the contentious tribe at Kaieteur News only gives lip service to this concept. They publish their lies and twisted truths throughout the year and did not even have the grace or charity to let up even on Christmas Day. The holidays of their victims most likely would have been spoiled, because victims of viciousness are always distressed by vindictive and malicious acts, so whatever feeling of euphoria the spirit of Christmas may have engendered in those targeted by the funny (not ha-ha, but peculiar) creatures at Kaieteur news, would most likely have been dissipated by these ugly caricatures splashed on the Kaieteur pages for the world to see.

But who expects anything uplifting from Kaieteur News when one considers the persons behind the paper?

They are the friends of choice of murderers and thieves, because they are the ones who purport to be trusted by the killers and criminals in the nation enough to be called by the latter whenever the desperadoes have information or warnings they consider momentous or dire enough to want to impart to the public, and the discerning have taken cognizance of this fact.

Pontius Pilate washed his hands, an act with which he presumably washed away the guilt of the Lord’s torture and crucifixion, but he was no less guilty of murder of an innocent as Macbeth’s wife was, and no amount of washing, nor mutterings of “Out, damn spot!” could make either less culpable.

Thus it is that those at Kaieteur News who pretend to be incorruptible are some of the most corrupt individuals in Guyana, as their wives and close associates would confirm; and while one would appreciate a real expose of those who misuse or abuse national assets, stories published in Kaieteur News are most often suspect because of the many instances they have distorted the truth and fabricated evidence, sometimes by photo-shopping pictures to present their “proofs”, and sometimes by unverifiable and unsubstantiated “facts” presented with a holier-than-thou aura by persons whose background and history cannot stand any kind of scrutiny – public or private.

However, while the discerning has grown to expect no better from the tabloid, no-one expected this level of gutter-journalism on the holy day of celebration of all that the Prince of Peace, love and charity represents.

Sure, they may have had a lot of laughs putting together their billious fare, which may in turn have elicited a lot of laughs from others like-minded, but the decent persons - Christian or non-Christian, would have been utterly disgusted by Kaieteur News for spoiling the spirit of Christmas to this extent.

And even Freddie did not disappoint with his usual nasty fare – a platter of gloom and doom served with a side dish of an attack on Chinese products.

But I am pretty sure the rum flowed freely at Kaieteur News, because that is the extent to which they understand the “spirit” (pun intended) of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2000 jobs found this year by Gov't agency!

Government says that it has placed more than 2,000 persons in jobs so far for this year. That is a record number for the 10 ten years, according to the Ministry of Labour.
Minister of Labour, Manzoor Nadir, in the release, said that he is pleased with the performance of the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency – the government’s job placement agency.
According to Minister Nadir, the 2,000 mark has much significance. “It shows that the economy has been performing well and that persons, both employers and jobseekers are placing much confidence in the services of the Agency. The overwhelmingly majority of the jobs come from the private sector and the job seekers come from all sectors and sections of our people.”
The result has been because of the hard work of the staff and outreach campaigns during the past two years, the statement said.
Figures provided by the Ministry yesterday indicated that in 2009, some 2,673 persons asked the agency to find jobs for them with 2,006 of them finding placements.
This is against 2,342 applying to the Ministry last year with 1,650 of them getting jobs.
Since 2001, there has been a steady rise to the number of applicants going to the Ministry for jobs. In 2001, some 1,426 applied for jobs with 679 successful in being placed.
In 2007, there was a significant jump in the number of person applying for help with 2,334 of them applying against 1,352 of the previous year.
In 2007, the Ministry said that 1,454 got jobs when compared to the 991 in 2006.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Copenhagen climate summit… Talks 'held to ransom'

- says British PM Gordon Brown
DAILY TELEGRAPH (UK) - Efforts to secure a legally-binding climate change deal failed last week because talks were ''held to ransom'' by a small number of countries, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said.

Gordon Brown spent four days in the Danish capital trying to secure a stronger deal (Telegraph photo )

As the UK pointed the finger of blame at China for blocking progress at the UN-sponsored summit in Copenhagen, he called for a new international body to take charge of future negotiations.

Days of chaotic talks between more than 190 countries produced an accord that average world temperature rises should not exceed 2 degrees Celsius but without commitments to emission cuts to achieve it.

There was also agreement on a fund, to reach 100 billion US dollars by 2020, to help poorer countries deal with global warming, but no precise detail on where the money will come from.

The Prime Minister, who spent four days in the Danish capital trying to secure a stronger deal, admitted that he feared the talks could collapse without even those advances.

And, in a webcast to be posted on the Number 10 site, he pledged to continue pressing for a binding deal and demanded action to ensure a minority of countries could not block future efforts.

''The talks in Copenhagen were not easy and, as they reached conclusion, I did fear the process would collapse and we would have no deal at all,'' he said.

''Yet, through strength of common purpose, we were able finally to break the deadlock and - in a breakthrough never seen on this scale before - secure agreement from the international community.''

Calling on the world to ''learn lessons'' from last week's frantic scenes, he said: ''Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks; never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries.

''One of the frustrations for me was the lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship.

''I believe that in 2010 we will need to look at reforming our international institutions to meet the common challenges we face as a global community.''

Ed Miliband, the Environment Secretary, earlier accused China of ''hijacking'' the Copenhagen summit and said Beijing had ''vetoed'' moves to give legal force to the accord and prevented agreement on 50 per cent global reductions in greenhouse emissions - 80% in the most developed countries - by 2050.

''We did not get an agreement on 50 per cent reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80 per cent reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries,'' he wrote in The (London) Guardian.

''Together we will make clear to those countries holding out against a binding legal treaty that we will not allow them to block global progress,'' he said.

''The last two weeks at times have presented a farcical picture to the public. We cannot again allow negotiations on real points of substance to be hijacked in this way.

''We will need to have major reform of the UN body overseeing the negotiations and of the way the negotiations are conducted.''

Despite his frustrations, Mr Miliband insisted that Britain was right to sign the limited Copenhagen accord, which he said delivered ''real outcomes'' on temperature rises and finance.

''We should take heart from the achievements and step up our efforts,'' he said.

''The road from Copenhagen will have as many obstacles as the road to it. But this year has proved what can be done, as well as the scale of the challenge we face.''

Corbin should request an inquiry into deaths of Vincent Teekah, Shirley Field-Ridley

Kenneth Singh: I guess that most people already know the cause of death of the late Honourable Minister.

I don’t know what is the big fuss by Robert Corbin about having an inquiry into her death. I think

he should ask for an inquiry into the deaths of Vincent Teekah and Shirley Field Ridley because they were members of the PNC government. The main suspect in these deaths is still living a luxurious life in Guyana.


By Terry Lacey

THE Copenhagen climate change summit attended by 45,000 people, 119 heads of state and the leaders of 26 countries including US President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono concluded with a “Copenhagen Accord” declared as an “attachment” to a conference decision.

If it had been an attachment to an E-mail it would have saved a lot of bother. But the human race cannot be blamed for attempting to save the planet using a combination of scientific research, coordinated responses and political decision-making.

We have just had spate of suicides off the upper floors of our posh new shipping malls in Jakarta and are racking our brains as to why people do it and if we need to put up jump nets or to better identify “jumpers”.

What if the human race commits suicide because it can´t face up to climate change realities and what must be done? This is more like those Norwegian lemmings that throw themselves in huge numbers off cliff-tops.

What if, despite our political cynicism, we don’t want to let the planet go down? What if we want to save it?

The small islanders in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific are waiting for that glug glug glug feeling as the sea rises over the breakfast table. The people in the flat river deltas of Bangladesh may find one day when the floods come up, that they don’t go down again.

QUOTE:If we don’t want to jump off the fifth floor on climate change through collective indecision then we should try and save the world ourselves, in little ways, and every day, and not expect political elites and bureaucrats to save it for us. They will put the cream on the diplomatic cake, eventually, and maybe in Mexico. But it is us who must bake the cake, and eat it. And get more than crumbs from the rich man`s table.

Danny Kaye the Danish entertainer made famous the song “Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen”. Maybe the bright young new Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa was right that Copenhagen was not so bad after all. A stepping stone to a legally binding treaty to be made next year.

“[The accord] is not bad. It is far better than nothing”. As he pointed out, Heads of State intervened in this themselves and the Indonesians put in their paragraphs in along with the world´s powerful.

I sat in on lots of international trade and development negotiations when I was a young European Commission official.

I was always convinced this was a system of permanent institutionalized failure, of never doing enough, and that second hand Rose was always selling second hand clothes, and rebranding old money as new money. And we officials lived so well while we were doing what seemed to be nothing at all.

One time I was told in an UNCTAD Board Meeting in Geneva to quietly talk with the Americans and the Japanese to see what they would say, while the EU prepared its position to present to the poor nations – the Group of 77.

I pulled over the glass table in the Palais des Nations looking out over the lake so I could write a note, and the glass top came crashing off the base, to which it was not attached. “That’s the fifth one this week” said the waitress. I had a smashing time in Geneva.

UNCTAD stood for United Nations Conference Trade and Development, but I thought it stood for Under No Circumstances Take Any Decisions.

But I learned it´s not so wise to build up huge expectations of what states and diplomacy can do and more interesting sometimes to see how society changes.

Social change is made of lots of little decisions, not a few big ones.

Voluntary emissions certificates are gradually becoming more important than the officially certified ones, because the voluntary ones represent a lot of us making voluntary individual market decisions, while the official ones represent a few of us tying ourselves in well-meaning bureaucratic knots.

If we don’t want to jump off the fifth floor on climate change through collective indecision then we should try and save the world ourselves, in little ways, and every day, and not expect political elites and bureaucrats to save it for us.

They will put the cream on the diplomatic cake, eventually, and maybe in Mexico. But it is us who must bake the cake, and eat it. And get more than crumbs from the rich man`s table. So what`s new? Lets get on with it ourselves, while we still can!

(Terry Lacey is a development economist who writes from Jakarta on modernization in the Muslim world, investment and trade relations with the EU and Islamic banking.)

There were successes out of Copenhagen conference

The overall Copenhagen agreement fell short of expectations but because of the hard work put in over a three-year period a very important flaw in the Ktoto protocol was reversed which will be over taken by the Copenhagen accord.
This was President Bharrat Jagdeo’s initial statement after touching down at the Ogle airport yesterday.
Promising more details at a conference scheduled to be held in week’s time, the President shared some nuances that lead to Conference and the final out come of the total agreement with soldiers and hinted that amidst disappointments there were some successes out of the conference.
He said that in the Copenhagen accord there is now a widened ‘REDD+’ that allows for countries to get incentives for keeping standing forests.
He said, “That was our lobby and we have succeeded in enshrining that in the agreement.”
Some “very smart people” (local writers) have opined that Guyana made a wrong move by signing the US$250M five-year agreement with Norway before Copenhagen.
Not so, said the President. “If they were to examine one of the clauses of that memorandum of understanding they would see that it provides for an UNFCCC agreement to over take any of the provisions of the MOU should that be more favourable than the one that we negotiated.”
The President said, too, that countries left Copenhagen without much money on the table provided for forest “but at least with the concept enshrined in the agreement.”
The President said that a significant sum of US$30 billion has been secured over three years for the developing world and added that “we have to make sure that we have the projects ready to move this forward.”

Cilve Thomas's unwarranted attack on Norway deserves condemnation!

Mike Persaud: I refer to Prof Clive Thomas’s Sunday Stabroek columns of December 13 and 20 titled ‘Norway and Guyana’s rainforest’

As usual Prof Thomas does great analysis on major economic and social issues. His columns provide great educational value. But I have serious problems with what I would characterize as his scathing attack on Norway, as well as on the REDD deal between Norway and Guyana.

As of today cap-and-trade is not codified into international law neither is it part of an international treaty on reducing carbon emissions. Norway is not bound by any law or treaty to make a deal with any country that has rainforest. Yet Norway committed itself to pay Guyana $50 million a year to essentially earn carbon credits for itself, and for Guyana in return to preserve its rainforest.

Let the forest trees of Guyana breathe in and store carbon in exchange for the carbon emissions Norway must necessarily release into the atmosphere as part of earning its livelihood, namely, the production and export of fossil fuels. It was a mutual and fair deal neither party was pressured to enter into. So what is the justification for Thomas’s attack on one of the parties to the deal? Norway does not seek to colonize Guyana or take advantage of its forest resource.

In making this precedent-setting REDD deal, Norway has to be seen as a pioneering and generous nation – together with Guyana as a partner – to point the way forward in saving the planet. Did Guyana trade preservation of its forests with Norway at a bargain-basement price? There is no evidence of this. Maxwell, a letter writer to this newspaper claimed Guyana should be paid $68 million a year instead of $50 million. The truth is this whole business of precisely measuring and valuing carbon emissions is a new and emerging field for the world. The preliminary agreement entered into between Norway and Guyana is called an MOU, a Memorandum of Understanding – and I presume, all prices per ton and number of tons of carbon stored by our forest trees can be renegotiated and/or updated.

In last week’s article, Prof Thomas casts blame on Norway for being involved in the business of production and export of fossil fuels. So are Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia and a host of other countries, yet none of these countries feels any moral constraint about putting up money to preserve rainforests anywhere in the world. Also Norway does not force any country to purchase and consume fossil fuels. The consuming countries must take responsibility for their own carbon emissions.

Note: Those who allege so-called colonization by Norway are simply emitting hot air. Colonization has a purpose historically: to acquire territory, subjugate peoples, and exploit both land and people for material gain. There is nothing in the Norway-Guyana agreement which suggests either forests or Guyanese will be exploited or oppressed. Guyana has nothing to lose in this Norway deal. In the end there will be more trees in the forests and more labba running around than there are presently. If Norway decides to terminate its involvement, or if no other country buys Guyana’s LCDS, we will be free to cut our trees and sell our timber with a clear conscience. As for that colonization thing, some people just like to use multi-syllabic words to sound learned.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Since Benschop killed his man-in-law he ent come back in de country yet!

Clinton: US would help raise billions on climate

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton looks on during a press
briefing at the climate summit
in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to put new life into flagging U.N. climate talks Thursday, announcing the U.S. would join others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with global warming.

She made the offer contingent on reaching a broader agreement at the 193-nation conference that covers "transparency," a reference to U.S. insistence that China allow some international review of its actions controlling emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The announcement pointed up the U.S.-Chinese diplomatic duel that has marked the two weeks of climate talks, which ground to a near-halt Wednesday as a chronic rich-poor divide flared into the open again, dimming the hopes of the Danish hosts for a comprehensive deal — a preliminary framework for a formal treaty next year on combating climate change.

Environment ministers, having taken over from lower-level negotiators, got down to the final hours of talks Thursday in hopes of producing partial agreements to put before President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and more than 110 other leaders at Friday's summit.

Such accords might include the issues raised by Clinton at a news conference here: long-term goals for financing climate aid, and monitoring of emissions controls.

The Clinton offer represented the first time the U.S. government has publicly cited a figure in discussions here over long-term financing to help poorer countries build sea walls against rising oceans, cope with unusual drought and deal with other impacts of climate change, while also financing renewable-energy and similar projects.

The $100 billion, a number first suggested by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, falls short of what experts say would be needed. The World Bank and others estimate the long-term climate costs for poorer nations, from 2020 or so, would likely total hundreds of billions of dollars a year. China and other developing countries say the target should be in the range of $350 billion.

In addition, the developing nations want long-term financial support based on stable revenue sources, such as an aviation tax that might be the goal of future international climate talks. Read more...

Hammie's boys looking for a raise!

Minister Desrey Fox cremated

There was a great outpouring of emotions at the Umana Yana, Kingston, yesterday, as thousands converged on the benab to pay their last respects to former Minister within the Ministry of Education, Dr Desrey Clementine Fox, who died last Friday from injuries suffered from a three-vehicle accident last week Tuesday.

Desrey Fox’s remains are cremated at Ruimzeigt

Viewing of the body began at 8:30 hrs, leading up to the start of a three-hour programme which began at 10:00 hrs.

Hundreds packed the benab, and others were seated under canopies on the periphery, in an atmosphere of solemnity and reverence. They filed past the casket bearing the remains of Dr Fox dressed in Amerindian wear.

Among the mourners were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Mrs. Yvonne Hinds; Head of the Presidential Secretariat – Dr Roger Luncheon; Speaker of the House of the National Assembly – Mr. Ralph Ramkarran; Members of the Cabinet and Parliamentarians; Leader of the Main Opposition Party – Mr. Robert Corbin; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; staff of the Ministry of Education; Vice Chancellor and other staff of the University of Guyana; and Pastor Persis Caesar of Trinidad and Tobago – Dr Caesar-Fox’s adopted brother who travelled to Guyana for the funeral.

Floral tributes lie atop the pyre at the cremation site

There was a deluge of tributes displayed on a board for public reading. Tributes came also from Mr. Hinds, Minister of Education Sheik Baksh, Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony, PNCR Leader Mr. Robert Corbin, Professor Al Creighton of the University of Guyana, General-Secretary of the PPP Mr. Donald Ramotar, Dr Fox’s brother Mr. Rexford Caesar, and Dr Raquel Thomas of Iwokrama Rain Forest Project

Additionally, there were tributes in song and other musical renditions from Dr Fox’s mother – Mrs. Annie Caesar and team; the Ministry of Education’s National Schools’ Choir and National Schools’ Steel Orchestra; The Circle of Love Male Quartet;’ the National Anthem sung by hinterland students, in Akawaio and written by Dr Desrey Fox.

The eulogy was read by Mr. Ian Persaud, friend of the late Education Minister who was specifically requested by her to do so, sometime in the past.

Mr. Rexford Caesar, Dr Fox’s brother, said, “She was more than a sister”. Caesar fondly remembered the good times they shared together as family, recalling she was a great cook.

For him, she was ‘ambitious and simple’ yet added considerably to the love that abounded within the family.

The casket leaves the Benab.

General-Secretary of the PPP/C, Mr. Donald Ramotar, like others, expressed profound condolences to Dr Fox’s bereaved relatives, on behalf of the Government and Party, adding that she was “snatched away from us”. He said he believed comfort could be taken from the fact that, even though she was born in very humble circumstances…her achievements and contribution to Guyana have been great. He noted her contribution to Guyana’s development and moreso to the Amerindian community, preserving the language of the Amerindian community, so important for a multi-cultural society.

He also expressed comfort in the fact that over the last few years, Dr Fox was given the opportunity to translate “many of her dreams, much of her thinking into reality,” while working with the Ministry of Education.”

Noting that she played a big role in the life of the community, Mr. Ramotar, reiterated: “That is why it is so sad that she was snatched away so early.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Hinds expressed deepest sympathy and condolences on behalf of President Bharrat Jagdeo and Cabinet, to the grieving relatives and personal friends of the late Dr Fox.

“The loss and grief we feel at Cabinet, would be different from yours,” Mr. Hinds told the bereaved relatives. “But we sense a keen loss at our Cabinet, and a great loss to our nation,” Mr. Hinds said.

Meanwhile, Ian Persaud who eulogised the life of Dr Desrey Fox, born to Gibson and Anita Caesar on January 2, 1955, passionately recalled childhood experiences, and her life of immeasurable successes as it unfolded through the years, and alluded to by many previous speakers. He was particularly impressed by her ‘charm, meticulousness’ and the way she spoke the truth, regardless.’ He recalled that by the time she was the age of 12, her parents concluded that she was destined for great things.
Following the service, the body was cremated at the Ruimzeigt Crematorium.

President Jagdeo meets key World Leaders as efforts intensify in Copenhagen

President Jagdeo yesterday met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar, as efforts continue for leaders to work towards a favourable outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Meeting.

In Copenhagen, from left, Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Among the key issues discussed was the need for some of the major economies of the world to come on board with emission cuts and the issue of financing for developing countries.

During the day, the United States of America announced a global fund of US$1B in total to address deforestation and degradation to 2012, and the Government of Japan announced that they would contribute US$5B per year if an ambitious agreement was reached at Copenhagen.

The United States announcement was made by US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

At the same event as Mr. Vilsack made the announcement, President Jagdeo shared a panel discussion with Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg, Jane Goodall of the Jane Goodall Institute, and UN Messenger of Peace, Sir Charles Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. The event, organised by the Avoided Deforestation Partners under the theme ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation: Opportunities for U.S. Initiatives in Support of a Global Framework’, brought together policymakers along with some of the leading global NGOs working on forests and heads of multilateral financial and corporate institutions.

Among those who participated were Eduardo Braga, Governor of Amazonas, Brazil; Helen Clark – Administrator of UNDP; former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Robert Zoellick; President of the World Bank, Julia Marton Lefevre; Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Carter Roberts, President of WWF US; Peter Seligmann, Chairman and CEO of Conservation International; and Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy.

During the discussions, President Jagdeo highlighted the importance of adequate financing for REDD+ for it to be successful. He highlighted the partnership with Norway and the fact that payments are performance based and subject to Monitoring, Verification and Reporting System (MRVS). Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg indicated that Norway’s Initiatives on forests, which included collaboration with Brazil and Guyana, was one of their best initiatives on Avoided Deforestation, while emphasising that it is one of the most cost-effective abatement solutions available and could be implemented immediately.

The President and Guyana Delegation also participated at the Guyana Presentation, organised to share information and further promote Guyana’s Initiatives and the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

Not all Guyanese who have some measure of success are guilty of wrongdoing.

Dr Randy Persaud: I cannot help but to offer my comments on the unrelenting onslaught against the Government of Guyana and others by GHK Lall. Over the past week Lall has made numerous allegations against government officials, businessmen and women, and everyday citizens. In one fell swoop, Lall has accused the entire nation of being drug pushers, hustlers, thieves, and assassins.

In one of his now familiar Stabroek News letters, Lall suggests that drug-money has seeped into every nook and cranny in Guyana. No evidence for this claim is provided. Instead of providing evidence, Lall rails against the amount of houses being built and the amount cars being sold in the country. In fact, the simplest act of consumption can get you into trouble in political economy of GHK Lall. Be careful, because the nation is now subjected to panoptic eyes that scan the landscape and can put you on public trial in the letter section of Stabroek News. Your conviction is guaranteed.

Lall is obviously a learned individual and a fine writer. He should not, however, sacrifice clarity for erudition. Too many wild claims are made, and all too often, words and expressions of art replace the basic minimum of social scientific grounding.

It is unfair for Lall and others to attack all Guyanese businesses and home owners. It is also unfair to impute impropriety to customers who go out and shop for household items or those who drive nice vehicles. Those who carry out these blanket attacks must recognise that Guyana has a solid middle class and upper middle class. It also has a legitimate ‘business class’ whose members have real purchasing power. Thousands of them can and do buy cell phones for their children and give them generous allowances. That is their right. Most earned their money through hard work or careful investing and no letter writer should attempt to take that away. Lall should stop stigmatising innocent children and their parents.

The naysayers are bent on portraying Guyana as a failed this and that. In this framework of gloom any sign of success is quickly reduced to nothing through baseless personal attacks. In Lall’s world all of those people who live in nice houses and nice neighbourhoods are guilty of something fishy. That would include all the people living in Lamaha Gardens, Bel Air Park, Bel Air Springs, Happy Acres, Subryanville, Republic Park, Nandy Park, Continental Park, New Providence, Queenstown, Atlantic Gardens, Oleander Gardens, Prashad Nagar, Rahaman’s Park, Shamrock Gardens, Eccles AA, Diamond New Scheme, South Ruimveldt Gardens, Alberttown, Ogle, Thirst Park, Peter’s Hall, Meadow Brook Gardens, Kersaint Park, D’Urban Back Lands, D’Urban Park, Courida Park, Blygezight Gardens, and Bel Air Gardens. It would also include everyone with a nice house or a car in Bartica, Linden, New Amsterdam, Skeldon, Parkia, and all across costal Guyana.

In Lall’s logic other categories of people would also be actively participating in various forms of illegality. The logic here being that they have nice houses, nice cars, and that they shop regularly for household items. Here is a short list of Lall’s culprits – all lawyers, magistrates, judges, doctors, accountants, managing directors, CEOs, military officers, senior police officers, principals, senior university lecturers and professors, all senior personnel who work for NGOs; all senior personnel who work for multilateral organisations, newspaper publishers, editors, columnists, T.V. anchors, owners of television stations, all senior management and administrative workers in the employ of government, all cabinet members past and present, all MPs, every regional chairman and REO. This is just a short list from Mr. Lall’s logic.

The time has come for commentators to make good use of the space they are allotted. Regrettably even the brightest among us have shunned that responsibility. GHK Lall is apparently the only letter writer in Stabroek news who can publish without any restraint. I urge him to use his intellect, learning, and access to print in a manner more consistent with the ideals he espouses. He has all that it takes to make a real contribution.

The best place for Lall to begin in pursuit of this ideal is to abandon the current standard of the SN letters. The current standard is this – All Guyanese who have some measure of success are guilty of wrongdoing. They are, so to speak, “Guilty until proven innocent.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Great Divide in America

Dr Randy Persaud: THE United States is known for its high standard of living. No one, therefore, can doubt that there are genuine reasons for millions around the world to seek residence in that country. I suppose the notion of the American Dream is so pervasive it has become a global phenomenon.

A closer look at the United States, however, may cause those aspiring millions to think twice. In many ways, while the United States is indeed a great country to live in and to make a fortune, it is also a country of great disparities.

These disparities run across a number of categories including but not limited to health care, education, income, gender, ethnicity, and regions. Let us take a closer look.
Table I - Median Earnings

Source: The Measure of America: American Human Development Report 2008-2009.

As Table I above indicates, there are huge differences in income distribution in the U.S. based on ‘race’ and gender. Women make about 65% of what men earn and about the same difference exists between American Indians/Alaskan Natives and Hispanic/Latinos compared to Asians and Whites. While African Americans do a little better than Latinos and the Native populations, they also earn significantly less than Asians and Whites.

The distortion of income is also reproduced in huge differences in other areas including regional disparities. Broadly speaking, the bi-costal and Great Lakes states enjoy significantly higher standards of living. Accordingly, the states on the Pacific coast – California and Washington, plus the states on the eastern seaboard – broadly from Maine in the Northeast to Maryland in the Mid-Atlantic, are in the top bracket of income and standard of living.

To these we must add Virginia (especially Northern Virginia), and some of the inland states of the Great Lakes – Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio. Alaska and Hawaii should also be included. States in the South, South-West and the lower Mid-West are at the bottom end. The Table II below demonstrates the point.

Table II – Median Earnings – Selected States

Source: The Measure of America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.

These are raw data and can hide as much as they reveal. A more accurate picture can be painted if we dig down at the level of Congressional Districts. That said, even these nominal expressions can help us to understand that there are indeed great regional disparities.

Aside from regional disparities, there are problems that run across the country. Poverty is one of those pervasive problems. In this regard, the U.S. Human Development Report (2008) paints a picture that is almost unbelievable. Simply put, large sections of the U.S. population are now operating below a Basic Family Budget. The family budget measure is very useful because it compensates for differences in regional costs of living. Let us take a look.
Table III – Percentage of Persons Below Basic Family Budget in Selected States

Source: The Measure of America, 2008.

Table III clearly shows that poverty, defined in terms of living below the family budget, is widespread. The nation’s ‘capitol’ shows a staggering 48% of persons living in poverty. It must also be noted that Washington D.C. has the highest per capita GDP ($119,354) in the U.S.A.

While some regions in the US are decidedly worst off than other regions, the data show problems across the country. For instance in Idaho fully 37.2 percent of the population is living Below the Basic Family Budget. Two thousand miles away in West Virginia the picture is not much different. This is a truly depressed state – with 38% of the population living in poverty as defined above.

The depth of the problem can be further gauged if we recognise that even in the richer states – such as Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – there are still unacceptable numbers of people living below budget.

The data above were collected sometime in 2007 and so they do not reflect the catastrophic situation that developed since the economic collapse of the housing marking and the attendant crash in the economy as a whole.

Since 2008, trillions of dollars have been lost in the stock market; millions of homes have gone under due to an admixture of bad loans and conspicuous consumption habits. The U.S. unemployment rate is now over 10%, and while the rate of economic decline has been brought under some control, the recovery is still a long way off.

Most of the new jobs created in the U.S. economy today are in the low end of the service sector, most of them paying either minimum wage or a little above that. The minimum wage in the U.S. varies from state to state, but generally ranges from $6 to $7 an hour. In Maryland, for instance, the minimum wage is currently $6.15 an hour. In Montgomery County in the same state, however, a two bedroom apartment costs about $1200 to $1400 per month. Most houses sell for over US$300,000 in this area. Do the math.

For a long time we have known about the dismal economic prospects of Flint, Michigan; of the Mississippi Delta, of Appalachia; of the American Southwest; of the Deep South; and of the inner cities across America. How sad it is that rather than these depressed areas becoming part of the American Dream, we have now reached a point where significant sections of middle-class America have now mortgaged their future.

Funeral for the Late Dr Desrey Fox, M.P.,


08:30HRS-10:00HRS Viewing of body Umana Yana
10:00HRS Funeral Service Umana Yana
14:00HRS Cremation Ruimzeight Crematorium
There will be no viewing at the Parlour.

Copenhagen Summit resumes after protests

TALKS at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, resumed yesterday afternoon after protests from developing nations forced a suspension.

Discussions were limited to informal consultations on procedural issues, notably developing countries' demands for more time on the Kyoto Protocol. Some delegates talked forlornly of the vast amount of negotiating left to be done before the summit concludes, and suggested that the suspension, and the underlying tensions to which it speaks, does not bode well for the chances of any meaningful agreement.

Responding to the day's events, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that time was running out for nations to reach an agreement.

"I appeal to all world leaders... to redouble efforts to find room for compromise," he told reporters. "Time is running out. There is no time for posturing or blaming."

Heads of State and government have started to arrive for the final segment of talks due to end Friday.

President Bharrat Jagdeo said “there are still a large number of issues to be addressed and this is a matter of major concern.”

Kevin Hogan, adviser, President Bharrat Jagdeo, Shyam Nokta, Head of the National Climate Committee and Professor Nicholas Stern

Emerging from a meeting with Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, President Jagdeo would not be drawn on the details of their discussion, saying only “we discussed the importance of a comprehensive global deal that secures action both on emissions reduction and on the scale of funding that is needed to enable developing countries to combat climate change.”

Earlier, at a side event hosted by the Norwegian NGO, Bellona, President Jagdeo was one of the key speakers.

At the event, Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and Brazil’s Amazon Fund were outlined as the world’s pre-eminent models for making REDD+ work.

(REDD+ is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change mechanism to create a framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation).

The President was joined by Kjefil Lund from the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and Tasso Azevedo, Senior Advisor to Brazil’s Minister of the Environment.

Also speaking at the event was Lars Lovold, Director of Rainforest Foundation Norway, who referred to the potential of the Norway-Guyana partnership to influence other countries around the world.

He lamented the fact that the REDD negotiations at the Copenhagen summit were far behind the initiatives between Norway, Brazil and Guyana, and said that Guyana’s model had the potential to show the world how national scale action, with broad-based multi-stakeholder support, could be successful.

Mr. Lovold gave a technical overview of how the reference level, against which Guyana will receive forest payments, was calculated and outlined how such a reference level was essential to a global solution.

Guyana and Norway last month signed an historic memorandum of understanding under which Norway has pledged US$250M in support for this country’s climate change model over the next five years.

Former Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Mr. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, said that Guyana and Brazil’s work was “inspiring”.

He said Costa Rica was the first country in the world to reverse historical rates of deforestation and spoke of the key lessons that they had learned.

He said that deforestation was a global market failure, and unless this was addressed, it would be very difficult for REDD to succeed.

At the time of writing, Guyana’s lead negotiator Andrew Bishop was engrossed in the restarted negotiations on REDD which were expected to go late into the night.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Public service employees get 6% retroactive pay increase

HEAD of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, issued a short statement yesterday at the Office of the President, where he announced that “Cabinet has decided to grant a 6% across the board increase on wages and salaries for 2009 for eligible public service employees”.

“The 6% across the board increase will be retroactive to January 1, 2009,” Dr. Luncheon further added.

According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Dr. Luncheon indicated that the payment of the increase was in keeping with the commitment of the PPP/C Administration to the payment of an increase in wages and salaries for public servants despite the global economic and financial crisis that has ravaged the world.

President Bharrat Jagdeo had first indicated that there would be an increase in July of this year and had later confirmed it, stating that it proved that Government had managed the Guyanese economy well in this time of turmoil.

Dr. Luncheon was joined by Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, when he made the statement.

GINA said Dr. Singh was at the time carrying a copy of the financial circular that will instruct the Accounts Departments of all Government agencies to account for the increase.

This follows the 10% increase that was granted to public servants in 2008 which was issued in two parts – a 5% retroactive increase to January 1, 2008 was granted in May 2008 and another 5% increase retroactive to January 1, 2008 was granted in December 2008.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brindley Benn dies at 86

Brindley Horatio Benn

Former Minister of Government, one of the key leaders of the Guyanese independence movement and Deputy Prime Minister Brindley Horatio Benn died yesterday at age 86.

Father of current Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Benn, the Cacique Crown of Honour awardee served in the capacity as Minister of Education, National Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Born in Kitty, Georgetown, on January 24, 1923, Brindley Benn, named after a Methodist Priest, Rev. J.B Brindley, is the second of five boys born to Rosa and Samuel Benn. His humble educational upbringing began at the St. James-the-Less Primary School (now F.E. Pollard) and the Roman Catholic School in Queenstown for a brief period.

After writing the Junior and Senior Cambridge Examination at the Central High School, Brindley Benn sat five subjects.

His journey after school led him to Kwakwani where he gained employment as a clerk with the Bauxite Company where his father served as a senior staff at the Reynolds Mining and Metals Company, and his mother, a caterer and boarder in the community. In 1948 his father Samuel Benn died in Kwakwani where he was buried.

In the 1940s, Brindley Benn returned to Georgetown and began teaching at a high school in Broad Street. He later became the owner of his own school which was located in Evans Street which he operated for about three years.

He went on to teach Latin and French at Richard Ishmael Secondary School.

His religious upbringing as a Methodist led him to become a Choir Master at the St Sidwell’s Anglican Church in 1945, which was popular in the public domain. He served there for about five years.

Influenced by the speeches of the late President Dr Cheddi Jagan about the occurrences in the bauxite industry and colonial rule, Brindley Benn joined the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and became integrally involved in politics. He subsequently founded the Pioneer Youth League, a predecessor to the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO).

His party campaigning activities led him to New Amsterdam Berbice in 1953. This however led to his detention after the constitution was suspended.

After returning to Georgetown in 1956, Brindley Benn was elected Chairman of the PPP and Member of the Executive Committee. He served as representative of the Essequibo Islands and the Interior.

After the party contested and won the 1957 elections, Brindley Benn was appointed Minister of Community Development and Education. It was during this time that he organised the National History and Culture Week (1961 to 1964) under the theme, One People, One Nation, One Destiny, the slogan that later became Guyana’s independence motto.

Brindley Benn was appointed Minister of Agriculture after the PPP contested and won the 1961 General Elections, and formed the Guyana School of Agriculture in 1963. He also had oversight functions of the implementation of the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary (MMA), Boerasirie Scheme, Tapacuma Scheme and Black Bush Polder.

Unrest in the early 1960s lead to Brindley Benn’s detention by the British and imprisonment at the Sibley Hall, Mazaruni Prison for several months. He was released in 1965.

After his release Brindley Benn formed his own party, the Working People’s Vanguard Party (WPVP), and in the late 1970s he joined with prominent figure Walter Rodney and others to form the Working People’s Alliance (WPA).

After the return of the PPP to government in 1992, Brindley Benn joined the list of candidates and was later appointed Guyana’s High Commissioner to Canada from 1993 to 1998.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Guyana Mourns the Death of Minister Desery Fox

The Junior Minister of Education, The Honorable Dr. Desery Fox died this morning as a result of injuries suffered from an accident earlier in the week. She was a distinguished scholar having been awarded a Ph.D in Linguistics from Rice University. She was also the holder of a MA in Linguistics from Rice University, a MA in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a B.Sc in Sociology from the University of Guyana. Our condolences to the family of the late Minister at this time of their grief.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AFC yet to respond to Prakash Persaud!

Why haven't the usually vociferous AFC leaders issued a statement in relation to the allegations leveled against Raphael Trotman, Sheila Chapman and Khemraj Ramjattan by Prakash Persaud in his suit against Sheila Chapman (Raphael's mother), of the legal firm Trotman, Chapman and Associates, for fraud through a crooked transaction which Raphael Trotman signed legal documents as witness to, thus authenticating that transaction that robbed one person of properties valued at millions of dollars?

Prakash also claims that Ramjattan, had accepted payment to represent him in court and failed to do so. His non-attendance at court resulted in Persaud losing the case then, when Persaud took Chapman to the Bar Association for malpractice and fraud, he chastised him for so doing, stating that he had to consider ‘fraternity’.

GPL threatens to plunge Kitty, La Penitence Markets into darkness

The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) has threatened to disconnect the electricity supply to the Kitty and La Penitence markets today should the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown fail to honour agreements that were reached between the parties recently.

Acting Town Clerk Ms Yonnette Pluck told this newspaper, in an interview, that this threat motivated the Council to convene a meeting yesterday in an effort to strategise how the issues will be dealt with.

The meeting in the Council’s Chamber saw in attendance several members of the Council including Mayor Hamilton Green and his Deputy, Mr. Robert Williams.

The three major options that were decided upon yesterday are to seek an injunction, to have a meeting with the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which has been a mediator between the two parties, and to seek the involvement of Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Mr. Kellawan Lall.

Pluck said the Council is now waiting to see if these proposals will come into effect as efforts have been made to organise meetings.

She is optimistic that the outcome will be settled amicably.

In a letter sent to the Council from the Power Company, GPL said it is exhausted from the numerous efforts that have been made since 2004 to resolve the M&CC’s indebtedness.

GPL said it would appear that the M&CC does not intend to have a resolution, leaving the Company with no choice but to disconnect the Council’s electricity services and seek legal redress.

Based on the agreements reached last November 21 when the parties met, GPL said in the letter that the Company is still awaiting the exchange of cheques and the joint audit of street lights and meters.

The Power Company also urged M&CC to initiate steps to fulfill its part of the agreement as the Company stands ready to honour theirs.