Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joint Services simulation exercise cause jail break rumour to circulate.

A simulation exercise conducted yesterday in the vicinity of the Georgetown Prison by the Joint Services caused rumours of a Jail break to circulate. The word around then was that 16 or 60 prisoners had escaped and even persons in the diaspora were reporting such a scenario. This caused the Joint Services to issue a press release which sought to calm the fears of many.

Aubrey Norton! Do suh nuh like suh! PNC rigging machinery intact!

Aubrey Norton

Stabroek News : PNCR executive member Aubrey Norton yesterday said that the voting process that saw him being ousted from the chairmanship of the Georgetown District on Sunday was “fraudulent,” and he accused party leader Robert Corbin of influencing the outcome in a bid to retain power ahead of a crucial biennial congress.

After years of being part of this very rigging process that saw Guyana being denied much needed forward thrust, Norton now complains after finding himself on the receiving end! Ain't Karma a bitch?

Monday, June 29, 2009

The distance some media operatives are prepared to go!

Quite contrary to the views of the writer of this letter in the Kaieteur News, we feel that it was the uncouth behavior of Tusika Martin that resulted in the action taken by the Presidential guard, which in our view, is not as harsh as they might want readers of that News paper to believe.

Is it proper for Ms Martin to be recording the "light gaffe" between the President and a few media operatives?
Condoning this behaviour is an indication of how far some media houses in Guyana are prepared to go in an attempt to obtain a story or be sensational.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Comprehensive rehabilitation plan for homeless persons being put in place!

The removal of homeless persons from the streets of Georgetown has commenced with a number of those being picked up in buses and taken to homes.
Yesterday, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, said that the homeless in the city of Georgetown are being removed to appropriate places for lodging.
Those of unsound mind will be taken into care at the mental public health institution, he said.
The indigent, on the other hand, he said, will be clothed, housed and fed at the state expense.
Dr. Luncheon added that even if the homeless persons leave the place where they are being housed and return to the streets, they will be removed again from the streets.
“The exercise is intended to keep the homeless off the streets so even if they were to return they will be again taken off the streets to ensure that they do not remain there,” he said.

Some of the homeless will be taken to the East La Penitence facility for homeless persons.
According to Dr. Luncheon, the campaign to remove the homeless from the city would be matched by one to enforce the law against littering.
On June 17, Dr. Luncheon announced that the home for the homeless will cost US$2M to build and will be located at Onverwagt, Region Five.
He said that Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn, has submitted the design, the quantities, the estimates and the tender documents for the construction of the home.
Dr. Luncheon said that the home will not be a prison with ‘cells and electrified wire fences’ but instead persons will be housed on a voluntary basis.
According to Dr. Luncheon, the design will include a number of flat buildings with a dormitory type of arrangement.
This facility will house more 100 persons, he said, adding that males and females will be in separate buildings within the complex.

Guyana set to host 30th CARICOM Heads of Government Summit!

Guyana is set to host the Heads of Government conference of the Caribbean Community, commonly called the CARICOM summit. The country has enough accommodation for the regional leaders and visitors who would include decision makers with global and regional financial institutions and this is due to no feat of the critics. In the first place, when Guyana set out to host the World Cup Cricket, there was no end to the criticisms because all of them who found fault argued that the money could've been spent differently. They argued that the government was into wasting money and neglecting its people. Especially since the numbers predicted to arrive for World Cup Cricket did not materialize because two of the crowd pullers were knocked out in the first round of the competition (India and Pakistan). Guyana persisted, however. There were bed and breakfasts and many new hotels, all of which have helped to position Guyana as a host of these major conferences considering that previously we could not host small conferences, the likes of the Lions conventions. Back then. people would come to Guyana in the morning and would have to leave by nightfall because there wasn't adequate accommodation once the Pegasus was full.
Today Guyana will be offering rooms for everyone who comes and this is because of the foresight of the government.

Monday, June 22, 2009

5 Star Hotels at Brickdam and East La Penitence remodelled!

Another aspect of Government’s continuing efforts to modernise the Guyana Police Force and to ensure that the public is served more efficiently was witnessed Friday when the remodelled East La Penitence and Brickdam police stations were commissioned by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee.

These are among 12 stations that are on the cards for modification as the Administration seeks to enhance public safety via the Citizen Security Programme (CSP), with the assistance of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB).

Following the commissioning of the East La Penitence station, Minister Rohee did the same at the Brickdam station.
At the latter, he explained that Cabinet had given the clearance for consultancy services for the implementation of five areas of the CSP: development and implementation of a comprehensive training scheme for the GPF, institutional modernisation of the Ministry of Home Affairs, design, develop and implement an integrated crime information system, update and implement immigration policies and plans, and monitor and evaluate the CSP.

“The law enforcement related challenge we face demands that policy makers design comprehensive and holistic responses aimed at modernising policing to improve professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness. These remodelled Police Stations are a welcome development and represent a significant investment by this Government in its drive to boost public security,” Minister Rohee said.

He indicated that $170M has been spent in refashioning a first batch of 12 Police stations in Regions 4 and 6 through the CSP, and this year, an additional $145M is being provided by Central Government to rehabilitate police stations in all 10 administrative regions.

The stations are now equipped with case management rooms, modern interrogation rooms, ID parade and witness rooms, rooms for domestic violence cases, and children’s waiting rooms.

CLICO bankrolled the 2007 election campaign of the Patrick Manning-led PNM party

A cheque for $5 million, made out to the People's National Movement, dated June 29, 2007, and signed by then CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey, as well as three other signatories, was endorsed less than a month before the November 5, 2007, election by Rose Janierre, assistant party secretary, and Linus Rogers, PNM elections officer.

Trinidad Express: Lawrence Duprey's CL Financial Group provided scarcely imaginable largesse to the ruling People's National Movement (PNM) party in the last general election at a time when it was already on the ropes-short on cash and highly leveraged.

The by-then cash-poor conglomerate bankrolled the 2007 election campaign of the Patrick Manning-led PNM party to the tune of some $20 million, according to sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

And while much of CL's money went through a somewhat circuitous route to sundry suppliers of goods and services: from the printing of fliers and tee shirts to tent and maxi-taxi rentals, the bulk of it was applied to direct billings from advertising agencies for media activity, said sources.

Some of it however, was paid directly into the party's coffers. One such payment was made directly to the People's National Movement from the group's insurance subsidiary, Clico, on June 28, 2007, for the generous sum of $5 million. The $5 million cheque, drawn from a Republic Bank-held account at Independence Square in Port of Spain, was endorsed less than a month before the November 5, 2007, vote by Rose Janierre, assistant party secretary and Linus Rogers, PNM elections officer.

The $5 million Clico payout to the PNM's war chest was made at a time when the country's No1 insurance company had already been red-flagged with solvency issues, a statutory fund deficit of close to a billion dollars and what financial observers warned were dangerously excessive levels of inter-party transactions within the group.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Low Carbon Develpoment Strategy taken to U.G.

The President addressing his audience yesterday

President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday announced that Guyana is working on a declaration it hopes Caribbean Community governments will endorse next month to push the developed world further on a new global climate change regime that will benefit other countries.

His announcement came as he took the bid by the government to place Guyana’s economy on a climate change footing to an interactive session at the Turkeyen campus of the University of Guyana.

A section of the audience listening attentively

At yesterday’s session, UG Vice-Chancellor Professor Lawrence Carrington commended Mr. Jagdeo on his vision on the climate change front and what he called a “daring initiative”.

He said the Head of State’s presentation to students, lecturers and other top university officials was like a “breath of fresh air”.

President Jagdeo, in a detailed one-hour address, said the current debate for countries like Guyana is about, among other key issues, getting payment for helping to save the planet by preserving standing forests.

This, he said, calls for a “serious lobbying effort” to get deforestation included in the agreement from the United Nations summit on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark in December.

He said the developed world was not doing enough towards reducing the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere that is at the core of the climate change battle.

“Clearly all the proposals on the table will not give you the cuts that you need (to reduce emission)”, he said.

“What we have to argue for, CARICOM, and when I host the Heads of Government here in July, I plan to make this point strongly; in fact we are working on a declaration that will guide our negotiators -- all CARICOM countries -- that that’s the first point they must argue for -- deep emission cuts on the part of the developed world…that go beyond their technical potential to deliver even now”, he said.

He said Guyana and its partners also have to argue for sufficient funds to address deforestation, including adaptation, mitigation and technology transfer.

The President reiterated that Guyana is not seeking compensation from the developed world for preserving its forests but wants payment for its services to the international climate change cause through its model.

He advocated a greater partnership with countries like Guyana from the private sector in the developed world “because we can meet their objectives by tough domestic cuts but also by cheaper sources of abatement which deforestation provides.”

Guyana, he declared, is not very happy with the World Bank-type of institutional mechanism for payments for its forest services to the global cause.

He said: “The World Bank has traditionally been very bureaucratic and many of these countries and institutions are still at a loss to address some of the institutional imperatives for moving this process forward quickly. But we may have to settle on this.”

The President said he has made it clear that without compromising on transparency in the use of the funds, or without compromising on the consultative nature of the process, “these institutions shall not use the traditional bureaucratic approach to disbursing funds for climate change because it simply wouldn’t fly”.

The President said the World Bank and other institutions have “a whole repertoire of aid tools that can’t be used in the 21st century that require radical overhaul (and) reform and we are dealing with that through some other lobbying efforts.”

“This is a development strategy”, he stressed and urged the university to support the debate on the document.

“The whole idea is to make this work for our country. This goes beyond a single government – it’s a long term vision that would outlast many, many governments and we all need to work at this because it can provide a whole range of opportunities for young people.

“It would make that leap to our transformational issues because what we are doing is fixing up things – schools, roads, bridges, etc. We need now a new wave of infrastructure, new industries that can be catalysed by this process”, he said.

Mr. Jagdeo also fielded questions from students and lecturers during the session in the George Walcott Lecture Theatre.

Police called in to investigate City Hall fraud after it was found that the system was compromised!

There have been many frauds detected at City Hall recently, said Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall, when responding to questions about a fraud that was publicised lately
He revealed that while the recent episode had gained extensive attention, there are many that have occurred at the city entity that have not reached the media.
“There are many, many frauds there… and even many recent frauds. I know a lot more than you have in the newspaper,” said the Minister.
But according to Minister Lall, the investigation into the recent multi-million-dollar fraud is squarely in the hands of the Guyana Police Force.
The Minister disclosed yesterday that based on the preliminary report that he had received from Commissioner of Inquiry, Keith Burrowes, he had taken the necessary action to have the police address the matter.
Last Friday, Burrowes had provided the Minister with a comprehensive report of the preliminary findings of an investigation he had conducted, along with supporting documentations, which on the surface suggest that fraudulent acts were carried out at the municipality.
“I got Mr Burrowes’s report and he made one request of me and that is to call in the police. I have since written to the Minister of Home Affairs and I have also spoken with him, and he has promised to send his officers (to City Hall).”
However, up to yesterday no police officer had visited City Hall, according to Acting Town Clerk, Yonette Pluck-Cort. Based on the Commissioner of Inquiry’s preliminary findings, Lall revealed that there is an indication of fraudulent activities.
He said that Burrowes’s involvement in the matter saw him doing some systematic checks of the municipality’s financial operation.
“He has indicated to me that the system has been breached. It is susceptible to being corrupted and once it is a systemic problem it would suggest that it may not be the only such incident. There are a lot of loopholes for people to conduct illegal transactions so the police are going in there.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guyana will not prosecute people for TIP just to satisfy US

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Priya Manickchand, has lashed out at the United States of America’s rating of Guyana for its Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report by the US State Department which places Guyana on the Tier 2 watch list.

“Guyana objects completely to being placed on the Tier 2 watch list...we do not believe that we have trafficking on the scale that should attract the attention of the U.S., the report is inaccurate in some of its assertions: it did not give us (government) credit for all that has been done,” she stated.

At the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, President Bharrat Jagdeo had met with United States President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when he addressed the issue of the US TIP rating of Guyana.

The President had said that despite not having even three documented cases of TIP, Guyana was placed on the Tier 2 rank when it takes 100 documented cases for countries to gain US attention and be placed on this rank. After this discussion, President Jagdeo related that the US President asked Secretary of State Clinton to look into this matter.

The Government of Guyana has recognised that TIP is a crime and an inhumane activity; as such it has passed legislation which is comprehensive and holistic, the Minister said.

However, she added that while the US report states that Guyana has made “significant efforts and much progress in these departments”, it claims that in the area of prosecution and conviction the process is not satisfactory.

“We prosecute every person who can be prosecuted under the Act, who would have committed acts of trafficking; what we do not have is a large number of convictions. We cannot dictate what the Courts do, we do recognise that there are some weaknesses in the entire Judicial System in terms of how long matters take to pass through the system; and in that regard, the government is at present engaged in improving the entire Justice System through the Justice Sector Reform Strategy,” she explained.

This strategy is a large investment which, when completed, is expected to provide great improvements. It deals with the entire judiciary to see how quickly matters can be dealt with, how effective the entire system is, and how user friendly it is.

Several initiatives have been undertaken by Government to combat this crime to ensure that it does not become acceptable in Guyana’s society. These include:

  • * the TIP Unit, established shortly after the enactment of the TIP Act in 2005, held several seminars during 2007 to heighten public awareness of the issue and ways of recognizing and preventing it
  • * the Ministerial Task Force on TIP conducts reports and presents them to the Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, and these are used to review the work that Guyana has been doing in relation to this crime
  • * the Task Force also operates as an oversight to the TIP unit, and comprises representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Human Services and Social Security and Home Affairs, the Guyana Police Force, Food for the Poor, Help and Shelter and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • * Government is currently engaged in working with the justice administration to address having cases of TIP heard separately and outside of the “regular” legislation, which states that the case must be addressed in the district that the crime was committed
  • * to ensure that there is effective prosecution, Government has hired private prosecutors who are very experienced in dealing with such cases
  • * in 2008, Government trained over 100 focal point persons who are located in eight of the 10 regions of Guyana.

The report recognises all of this as in terms of prevention and protection, and addressing issues of trafficking. We have progressed and all these significant steps have been made to address trafficking. “The one problem that the report has with us seems to be that we have not churned out these massive convictions, we haven’t convicted hundreds of persons and that is because we do not have hundreds of persons to convict; and to do this would mean that we have to manufacture charges to satisfy statistics; and Guyana will not be manufacturing charges against our citizens so that we can satisfy some US statistics that we should not even be on,” she declared.

Minister Manickchand added, “We, on the part of the government, are doing all that we can do. The report is very comprehensive in recognising all the various moves that we have made to prevent TIP, to protect victims, to make persons aware of the circumstances; so we do not warrant a placement on the Tier 2 watch list, because we don’t have trafficking in numbers that are considered significant… so our placement on Tier 2 is puzzling, especially since the report itself can be considered contradictory.”

Addressing the issue of prosecution and conviction which the report recognises as its main reason for placing Guyana on Tier 2, Minister Manickchand reiterated that Government will prosecute anyone found committing this crime and measures have been put in place to make people more aware of the ways of reporting it. She noted that all of these reports are recognised by the US. `

“We will continue as a government to address weaknesses in prosecution and conviction; not only of matters relating to trafficking, but our entire judicial system; we will continue to make persons aware of the harmful effects and consequences of trafficking and how it can be prevented, and where help can be received and how persons can access the services that we have; because we believe that one trafficking case is one too many; but we reject completely the US judgment of us that places us on the Tier 2 watch list,” she said.

President Jagdeo urges all to be participants of change

-Workers must not be blinded by gripers

In his address to those gathered in commemoration of the 5 workers killed at Enmore in protest against poor working conditions and other infringements of their rights by the then colonial government President Bharrat Jagdeo waded into the earlier presentation of Guyana Trade Unions Congress (GTUC) President Ms. Gillian Burton, pointing out he finds it very strange that the GTUC President spoke eloquently of what happened in 1948 and then made a quantum lead to 1992, creating a massive vacuum of what happened during those years in between.

He said strange enough, no mention was made of what happened to sugar workers, workers generally, and the people of Guyana, in addition to the country’s economic decline, how difficult the task is today for the government to lift the populace out of the dept of poverty created by the former administration.

“I have not heard of any call of the tear-gassing of people around the country when they struggled for democracy to add that to our calendar of events, or the bauxite workers when dogs were let loose on them in their struggle for their rights as workers,” the Guyanese Head of State queried, drawing the applaud of the large gathering.

Recalling his early days as a teacher during the 1948/ 1992 period, Jagdeo said many of his students had nothing to eat and the times were so tough that families’ mere focus was survival.

“I don’t deny that today many families across our country face difficulties, but to ask a question like are you satisfied today ignores the difficulties that we have had to bring people from to levels where we are now.

“We take over a government and the schools are all in a state of disrepair, hospitals don’t have drugs, equipment, beds etc.

“When you have an inflation rate that is triple digit, then you have a debt that the servicing takes up 94 per cent of your revenue and another 20 per cent of revenue goes to pay public servants - you think for your self - how difficult the task would have been for that government, the incoming government, to start framing a policy that will lift people out of that morass,” Jagdeo put forward.

He said the critics, like Burton, must be objective when they ask that the government be fair and for justice and truth to prevail; they must not be convenient with the truth as they will not be paying a proper tribute to the memories of those who suffered.

The President said no one will be satisfied with his economic status and social well-being because the more people get, they more they want and this is normal human behaviour.

“We will never be able to satisfy everyone of our people’s expectation, especially given where we have started from,” he acknowledged.

But the President underlined that government has made significant strides in this regard, pointing to the construction of the poly clinic in Enmore, the many others on the East Coast Demerara, as well as similar facilities at Diamond, Leonora, Mahaicony, Port Mourant and Suddie.

These, he said, are in addition, to the building of massive hospitals at Linden, Mabaruma and Lethem.

“We have 600 kids who will be coming back as young doctors to staff them, that’s where the money is going today.

“Three miles away from here, another new secondary school is under construction (the Hope Secondary School) for the people who live here, that’s where the money is going.

“If you look at pensions, you would see what has happened for the pensioners, if you look at the water supply system which is still bad, but we have awarded a contract of $132M to interconnect the East Coast.

“We are spending on electricity, we lost many of the old units, but we are spending US$30M so that by September, another 22 megawatt plant will come on stream,” President said.

He said too that the housing sector will be further transformed to ensure as many as possible, if not all citizens own their own home.

“We are setting aside in a matter of weeks $2B to assist those people who can’t get money from the bank because they are too old to start their construction,” Jagdeo said.

He underscored that his government cannot satisfy the expectation of every Guyanese, but promised to spend the money on infrastructure to improve their lives and not any trivial investment as has been the case of the former administration.

The Guyanese Head of State also contended that Burton is out of her mind to think that the government which has ratified more International Labour Organisations (ILO) conventions than any other country in this region is anti-labour.

He said it is unfounded to believe that a government who is so pro-labour will go to parliament to take away workers’ right when the very government passed the Trade Union Recognition Act which was opposed by some member of the GTUC.

That legislation allowed workers the right to chose representation of any union of their choice.

“It was this government that passed the termination of Services and Severance Pay Act, it was this government that passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act and several other supportive legislations, Jagdeo declared.

Gillian Burton's false premise!

Yesterday marked 61 years since five sugar workers from Enterprise/Non Pariel on the East Coast of Demerara gave their lives in protest of the working conditions on the Sugar estates as was imposed by their colonial masters. The five have since been remembered as the Enmore Martyrs and a monument erected in commemoration of their bravery and a somber service is also held each year on June 16 in their honour.

Scores turned out at yesterday’s remembrance ceremony, among them family members of the martyrs, Head of State, Bharrat Jagdeo, diplomats, politicians and union leaders. It was on this occasion that President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), Gillian Burton, sought to instill in those gathered that the current working conditions mirror those that caused the five and others to act in a bid to seek change.

She pointed out that there was unorganized system of employment; there were child labour and harsh working conditions for both male and females, there was a starvation salary coupled with a high cost of living, the non-recognition of marriage between Hindus and Muslims which caused dependants not to be compensated adequately among a whole host of other social ills.

She told the gathering those workers, 61 years later, must measure how far the nation has traveled as it relates to working condition.

However such a suggestion by a cantankerous Burton smacks of gross ludicracy as the current working environment can no way mirror what existed during that time or the period preceding 1992. In fact, the shooting of the workers atEnmore was not the first time in Guyana's history that sugar workers were killed whilst demonstrating for better working conditions. The first incident occurred in 1872 at Devonshire Castle where five workers were gunned down by Colonial Police. In 1896 the Police shot five workers and seriously injured several others at Non Pariel. In 1903 eight workers were killed and seven injured at Friends, and in 1913 at Rose Hall fifteen were killed and thirteen wounded. These shootings all occurred on individual estates where workers resorted to strikes and demonstrations in order to force the Sugar Estate owners to improve the working conditions. Do we see any similarities currently?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sex tape featuring Rihanna leaked online

Rihanna Sex Tape

MAILBOX: Captains of industry and succession planning

Ronald Harrison: This issue has been ventilated from time to time by various writers , but given the relatively small corporate sector in Guyana and its seeming lack of influence over policy I think a closer focus on governance is appropriate more so in the state sector and in publicly owned companies.

In one of our high profile companies DDL, the Chairman is over 80 years of age and even though the company has performed reasonably well during his tenure questions must be asked as to how much longer he can properly continue at the helm given the challenges facing businesses worldwide .I do not believe that he or any body for that matter is indispensable and therefore this company should firmly identify someone to take the reign from him together with a time frame for this. Clearly, this should be done to pre-empt any problem that could arise from his sudden illness, incapacity or god forbid his demise.

In fact it would probably be wise for him to resign as executive Chairman and sit on the Board of Directors for a period of time to assist with a smooth transition and power transfer. It appears that his deputy resides overseas from what has been gleaned in a recent article in the newspapers and this would not augur to well for the company if the Executive Chairman could not perform his duties.

DDL may well respond with such rhetoric that they have other senior Management personnel in place, but from what is evident in the public domain is that the current Chairman has the image of a very dominant role in the company and it is doubtful that there is entrepreneurial talent to match the likes of the incumbent. Whatever the argument, change is always a good and desirable thing once properly managed.


Trinidad government takes over running of CL Financial
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Reuters) -- Trinidad and Tobago's government has taken over management of the Caribbean's biggest private business conglomerate, CL Financial (CLF), whose financial troubles have sent economic shock waves across the Caribbean. read more

Cuba's offshore oil hopes rise, US role uncertain
WASHINGTON, USA (Reuters) -- A huge offshore drilling platform will soon be lumbering its way to Cuba, an event that could kick-start Cuba's bid for energy independence and pressure the Obama administration to allow American companies a piece of the action.
Although arrival details are murky, a rig has been found after a long search and could be drilling off Cuban waters in the next six to eight weeks by an international consortium looking to unearth a Caribbean energy trove, according to industry and diplomatic sources. read more

Suriname confirms first cases of swine flu
PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- Authorities in Suriname on Monday confirmed the first cases of swine flu in the country. At a press conference Health Minister Celsius Waterberg disclosed that 11 of 16 volleyball players who last week participated in a tournament in Trinidad and Tobago were tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus.
While a rapid test from the Bureau of Public Health (BOG) on Thursday came back negative, samples from the players were sent to the renowned Pasteur Institute in Cayenne, French Guiana. On Sunday the health autorities here were informed by e-mail that 11 of the volleyballers had tested positive for the H1N1 virus. The same samples are being sent thia week to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, for a second opinion. read more

Haiti has best chance in decades, says Bill Clinton
NEW YORK, USA -- The new United Nations envoy on Haiti, Bill Clinton, on Monday laid out his vision to advance development in the small and impoverished Caribbean nation, stressing that, more than ever before, the country has the opportunity to advance.
“Haiti, not withstanding the total devastation wreaked by the four storms last year, has the best chance to escape the darker aspects of its history in the 35 years that I have been going there,” Clinton told a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York. read more

Guyana will not stand idly by allowing its citizens to be treated unfairly anywhere!

At an interactive media session held at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen on June 12, President Bharrat Jagdeo stressed that he will not permit Guyanese to be unfairly treated anywhere. He was, at the time, responding to concerns raised about the treatment of Guyanese nationals by the Barbadian immigration authorities.
The President explained that he spoke to Barbadian Prime Minister David Thompson at the recent CARICOM meeting in Trinidad and Tobago on the matter, relaying information provided by Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Barbados, particularly with the manner that Guyanese were alleged to be treated.
In response, Prime Minister Thompson stated that he was unaware of such treatment and has expressed his willingness to meet Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Barbados to discuss and investigate any such case. The Barbadian Prime Minister has stressed that his only concern is dealing with undocumented individuals.
He noted that the system is much more complex than the immigration issue, and some countries (like Barbados) benefit from exporting capital and goods to others within the region and get large sums of money repatriated and benefit from large trade deficits in their favour. So complaining that Guyanese are ‘putting stress on the social security system’ is not a valid excuse for unfair treatment. A more holistic view is needed.
“I’ve been trying to be a bit more cautious and balanced but that doesn’t mean that I will not defend Guyanese interests,” the Head of State said.


  • Renowned Guyanese Businessman Yesu Persaud recently went to court in an attempt to prevent the G.R.A from collecting in excess of $5 Billion in taxes owed to the state.

  • Vic Ouditt, former Chairman of GUYSUCO has extended his house and in so doing encroached on the government reserve. The folks from Robeson's Ministry might soon pay him a visit.

  • Tabling of the Opposition Leader's benefits bill delayed because of exorbitant demands by the PNC!

Continued expansions in the Banking sector a demonstration of faith in Guyana's Economy!

Before year-end, residents on the East Bank of Demerara are likely to be able to enjoy the services of two major commercial banks without having to travel far from their homes. Officials of the Guyana Bank of Trade and Industry Ltd. (GBTI) and Demerara Bank, have confirmed that they are establishing new branches at Diamond New Scheme.
Construction has already begun on both projects, they are located near the East Bank Demerara public road.
A GBTI official stated recently that pile-driving has started and the foundation is expected to be completed in six weeks. He anticipates that the entire project will be completed within 16 months.
And a Demerara Bank Ltd. official said yesterday, that the new branch will be a “state of the art” building with the full complement of banking services.
B.K International is constructing the structure which is likely to be completed before year-end.
Demerara Bank Ltd. already has branches in Georgetown, Berbice and Essequibo, while GBTI has a network of eight branches countrywide, including one on the East Bank of Demerara.

Teacher caught in hotel with student

A teacher of a city school on an alleged promise to give better grades, in exchange for sexual favours, lured a female student to an East Bank Demerara hotel for ‘a piece’ but only managed a kiss on the neck before he was arrested Saturday last.
However, while the student’s mother and relatives managed to execute a set-up to corner the amorous perpetrator, the police are stumped on what charge, if any, could be laid against the educator since the act was not completed and because the young lady, aged 16, went along without force.
Recounting her experience yesterday, the student, in the presence of her mother and grandmother, said that the teacher’s advances began about a year ago when she failed Geography and History.
The more recent advances were made last Monday during the Assembly period. She said that the man (name given) called her to the back of the assembly room and alerted her of a proposition he wanted to discuss with her after the assembly concluded.
Noting that the teacher’s tone seemed more deliberate than the way a teacher communicates with a student, she did not comply, even after a form one student was sent to remind her of her meeting with the teacher.
Eventually they met, and she was asked what she proposed to do to pass the two subjects and according to her she explained that she is willing to re-sit the exams, but the teacher would not hear of it.
“He say no; he want he cut and explained that he could help me if I have sex with he,” the 16 year-old said.
A similar advance was made a year ago. On that occasion the student recalled, “I tell he that I would pay he $2,000 but he showed me about $300,000 in a bag and say no amount of money I got can pay he and then he asked me what I gon do to pass?” Read more.........

Scenes from the annual wreath laying ceremony held at the graveside of the Enmore Martyrs !

Scenes from the annual wreath laying ceremony held at the graveside of the Enmore Martyrs this morning.

Tributes continue to pour in following the death of Shri Prakash Gossai!

MR. DONALD RAMOTAR - (PPP General Secretary):
“I am very shocked to have heard about the passing of Shri Prakash Gossai.

I met him sometime earlier in the month and he seemed to be very, very far away from death and that is why I am so surprised.

I think he would be greatly missed in our country, particularly in the Hindu community in which he was one of the very popular pandits.

Also he would be remembered for his beautiful voice. His lovely singing voice that he had that entertained so many people, Hindus and non-Hindus alike, who enjoyed good singing and a good voice and he had that talent. He was a very talented man.

And more over, I think he was one of the pandits who had a real good grasp of the religion and his interpretation of the various holy books, particularly the Hindu religion, was very enlightening, to hear him developing the different aspects of the Gita, Ramayana and so.

I must say that I will miss him and I think generally he would be missed in our country; and I want to take the opportunity to extend to his family, relatives and friends, my own and my family’s deepest sympathy, and also the sympathy of the PPP on this untimely passing.”

MR. NEAZ SUBHAN – (Executive Member of the Indian Arrival Committee and Director of the Government Information Agency)
“His death came as a real shock. Personally, I was not aware that he was ill in any way. Patron of the IAC and Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Robert Persaud, called me this morning and I was in a state of disbelieve.

Prakash and I became very good friends over the last few years as a result of the efforts of the IAC in helping to promote Indian culture.

There were a number of commonalities between us, because he was a man passionate about the promotion of his culture which is similar to what we are doing in the IAC.

He became not only a friend personally but a friend of the IAC. He was always there to provide support, to provide guidance; and at a moment’s notice you could have called upon him and be assured whatever it is we are seeking from him in terms of advice or clarification, would have been given immediately.

Being a renowned Hindu priest, he was very strong about his promotion of Indian culture in general, and not only based on religion.

He always complimented and urged the IAC to continue to promote Indian culture beyond the boundaries of religion.

It is for those qualities that he should be remembered, in addition to his being a very humble and approachable human being. Guyana, the IAC, and the Hindu community have lost a friend and a dear son.”

MR. KOMAL CHAND – (President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union)
“I was very much shocked to hear of his passing because I was one of the persons who saw him off last Friday at the hospital just before he was taken to the airport to receive treatment in Florida. We spoke, he was in a good mood and he looked well; and so I am surprised.

Over the years, his contribution to our culture has been immense. He had a melodious voice and many people liked to listen to his songs and no doubt he has influenced many people in upholding their beliefs.

It is sad; he had much more to contribute to Guyana and its culture and his religion. His passing has robbed us and the many, many Guyanese in the Diaspora.”

BISHOP JUAN EDGHILL – (Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission)
“I have lost a brother, Guyana has lost a son, and the world has lost a decent human being.

His passing was sudden and shocking. I believe he still had a lot more to offer his generation. He was a light that shone in the midst of the darkness of our country.

A man who showed respect for people, even when there were differences.”

DR TARA SINGH - (in the United States)
“My vision is blurred; my senses have become numb; my mind is as turbulent as the wind; my intellect is shattered; and my vision is dazed. The sudden death of our beloved Guruji, Shri Prakash Gossai, at a Miami Hospital, defies logic and reason. It questions the very basis of human existence. Why in the prime of his life, when his contribution to humanity has been exponential, that the good Lord snatched him away from us? If Guruji’s death does not rattle our faith, I don’t know what else would!

Shri Prakash Gossai passed away this morning at around 03:00 hrs at a Miami Hospital pending the conduct of an angiogram and needed surgical procedure. The body of the late legend will be flown to New York from Miami for funeral arrangements. Wake will be held at the Bhuvaneshwar Mandir, 86-06 101 Avenue, Ozone Park, NY 11416.

Messages of condolences and shock have been coming into our secretariat non-stop, and from all quarters. Details of Guruji’s funeral will be announced. The Guyanese communities in the USA and Canada, as well as, in ‘Trinbago’ and Jamaica, are in a state of shock and disbelief. He has gone to a higher calling.”

DR PREM MISIR – (Pro Chancellor, University of Guyana)
Today, Guyana mourns the sudden death of Shri Prakash Gossai.

Undeniably, Guyana and the world have lost a tremendous spiritual leader whose work, character and integrity embodied his concern for the advancement of Hinduism.

Shri Prakash Gossai hailed from Handsome Tree, Mahaica Creek, coming from an active Hindu family, and with parents Pandit Bissoondial and Shrimati Rewti Gossai who laid the foundation for his commitment to Hinduism. It was due to his concern for advancing Hinduism that Shri Prakash Gossai dedicated his whole life to the love and service of God. He exhibited a passion and zeal to uphold Sanatan Dharma, symbolising the importance of service to humanity and the Dharmic way of life.

People will remember Shri Praskash Gossai as a spiritual leader, and the inspiration he bestowed upon the many who crossed his path in Guyana, New York, and elsewhere. His passing, indeed, will create a void, especially, among Hindu folks and others whose lives he touched.

In this time of sadness, I extend condolences to the family and close friends of Shri Prakash Gossai.”

PANDIT REEPU DAMAN PERSAUD – (President, Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha)
The President and Executive members of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha express deep condolences to the family and relatives of the late Shri Prakash Gossai. We are shocked and aggrieved at the sudden demise of Shri Prakash who shared a close association with the President and other members of the Sabha.

Shri Prakash was a very good singer being blessed with a melodious voice and through his bhajans became a household name among Guyanese.

His passion for singing and chanting led him to choose the Ramayan as the Hindu text of choice through which he could promote the teachings of Hinduism. He enjoyed much success in this direction and will always be remembered for his mellifluous chanting of the Ramayan.

Coupled with his talent Prakash’s humility and affable disposition has endeared him to many here and in the Diaspora and he will surely be missed for his contribution to the Hindu community. We pray that his Atma finds eternal peace and bliss.

More carelessness on our road ways! This errant driver somehow found a way to end up almost in the trench just outside Banks D.I.H head office at Thirst Park.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Making use of your resources!

An Old Guyanese man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his Yellow Yam and Sweet Potato Garden , but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent: I am feeling pretty badly because it looks like I won't be able to plant my Garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me....Love, Dad

A few days later he received a letter from his son:

Dear Dad: Don't dig up that garden. That's where I buried the bodies. Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. The next morning, CID agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son:

Dear Dad, Go ahead and plant the yams and potatoes now the ground has been dug up. That's the best I can do under these circumstances.

Shri Prakash Gossai passes away!

Renown Hindu spiritual leader and advisor to the President, Shri Prakash Gossai passed away sometime around 3:00 hrs this morning at a medical institution in Florida after he reportedly suffered heart related complications.

Gossai was receiving treatment at the Caribbean Heart Institute and the decision was taken to have him medevaced to the Florida institution after his took a turn for the worse on Friday last. It was while receiving treatment that he died.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The PNC doing its utmost best to delay the holding of local gov't elections this year!

While all the bills related to Local Government Elections have now been tabled in the National Assembly and the Alliance for Change (AFC) has named someone to sit at the Select Committee of the National Assembly so far, the People’s National Congress Reform are yet to name their members to the said Select Committee so as to ensure that the entire process can move along in line within the necessary timeliness set.

Recently in a interview with the media the general secretary of the PPP correctly stated, “I am getting very concerned when I see issues in the press or statements in the press saying that Local Government Elections would not be held in 2009, and it coincides with the attitude that I am seeing, the whole fact that the PNC not wanting to go to the Select Committee, that there seems to be attempts afoot to try to delay the Local Government Elections,” he observed.

29 years since Burnham killed Rodney !

Yesterday marked 29 years since Guyanese historian Dr Walter Rodney was murdered after an explosive device was given to him by a government agent under the instructions of Forbes Burnham himself.

On June 13, 1980, Dr. Walter Rodney, a historian of international prominence and a leader of one of the opposition parties in Guyana, the Working People's Alliance (WPA), was killed when a bomb exploded and wrecked the car in which he was riding in Georgetown, Guyana. The Associated Press report then on the incident stressed the fact that Rodney was the third senior member of the WPA to have been killed in seven months, the others having been killed by the police.

The killing took place while Rodney and others were on trial for a variety of trumped up political charges, which centered on charges of arson. Independent observers at the trial had asserted that the proceedings were clearly going against the government of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and the trial had been suspended for a two-month period in order to give the government opportunity to "improve" its case. At the same time the government had indicted seventeen people associated with the WPA on a charge of treason. All of this occurred after Burnham had personally vetoed the appointment of Dr. Rodney to a position at the University of Guyana. A representative of Amnesty International present in the court during the preliminary examination on these charges declared that Amnesty International would formally adopt the case as a subject of its inquiry into political repression in Guyana.

Auditor General’s Report did not reflect explanations proffered by the various Government ministries and departments.

Finance Minister Ashni Singh, in a recent interview said that it was regrettable that, in some instances, the Auditor General’s Report did not in every case reflect the explanations that would have been proffered by the various Government ministries and departments.
The Auditor General is required by law to have included in the report explanations for issues that raised an eyebrow.

“I would say that, in the overwhelming majority of instances, the issues that have been reported by the Auditor General have explanations that in many cases would have been offered by the respective Government Ministries and departments.”
The Finance Minister also stated that what was also regrettable, was that some of the issues were being highlighted sensationally in the media, when, in fact, if one were to understand and examine them properly, one would see that there is no question of impropriety at all.

Three new institutional capabilities to be created to ensure successful execution of the Low-Carbon Development Strategy

To ensure successful execution of the Low-Carbon Development Strategy that was launched by President Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday last, Guyana will have to develop three institutional capabilities Office of Climate Change, a Low carbon Strategy Project Management Office and a Guyana Low-Carbon Finance Authority.
The Office of Climate Change (OCC) will consolidate and streamline existing efforts to encompass, among other things, the Forest Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system and related capabilities.
It will also be responsible for the co-ordination of engagement with multilateral processes and negotiations including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Reduce Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation.
This office will be established within the Office of the President to support work on climate adaptation, mitigation and forest conservation.
The OCC will be the entity with overall coordinating responsibility for ongoing national consultations on the Strategy and related stakeholder engagement processes.
The Low Carbon Strategy Project Management Office (PMO) is aimed to drive key projects as part of strategy. Personnel in this office will report directly to the President. Read more...........

The AFC at its mischievous best again!

-Ramjattan in defense of ineligible perspective Toshao who lived outside of the village for the past 30 yrs, contrary to Amerindian Act

The ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP), on Friday last, accused the Alliance For Change of attempting to divide the close knit Amerindian communities of Orealla/Siparuta, which are located in the Berbice River, Region Six.

AFC chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, has been retained by a group of residents of Orealla who claim that the elections in April 28 for Toshao and councilors were held in breach of many of the rules provided under the Law.
The PPP brought to Georgetown Region Six Chairman Zulfikar Mustapha to back up claims that John King has not been in the community for 30 years and therefore was not eligible to contest the elections.
However, Ramjattan has argued that the deeming of John King, one of the candidates, ineligible to contest for the post on Election Day, when on Nomination day, April 27, he was ruled eligible, by itself is sufficient to vitiate the elections, and is good reason to hold fresh elections.
When King was declared ineligible, the only other nominee for Toshao, McLean Devair, was re-elected.
The Amerindian Act states that in order for an individual to vie for post of Toshao, that person must be living in the village for at least three years.
Mustapha produced different addresses for King as proof that he (King) lived outside of the village for the past 30 years, including an affidavit from King’s brother, Glenn. Mustafa also said he had a petition signed by residents regarding King’s non-participation in community activities over the last 30 years.
General Secretary of the PPP, Donald Ramotar, said that the party has no interest in preventing anyone from contesting an election.

How many in the leadership of the PNC can say the same?

Over the past few weeks, pressure has been mounting on Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy for him to resign following allegations originating out of the United States of America by Roger Khan’s former attorney, Robert Simels.

Simels is alleging that it was Dr Ramsammy who facilitated the purchase of a laptop computer, capable of triangulating and intercepting telephone calls.
At a press conference on Wednesday, as he responded to calls for him to submit his resignation, Minister Ramsammy told members of the media that he does not ‘NEED’ to be a Minister of the Government, but he is here serving his country because his service is required.
Over the past three years, not only has Dr. Ramsammy thought of resigning from his position to pursue other opportunities; a day has not passed within these three years that he has not had an offer from many international agencies, to take up what some would term a ‘big appointment,’ he said. But the Minister said that he has refused “each and every one of these offers.”
“I’ve always refused these offers, even when they offered to pay me a hundred times what I’m earning right now. And that is because I am needed. When I am not needed, I will leave.
“I don’t ‘need’ to be Minister of Health for my own sake. More than 15 years ago when I came to this country, I took a salary of less than five per cent of what I was earning and what I earn today is less than ten per cent of what I can earn in the U.S, where I came from.” “I am much poorer. I am poorer today because I became a Minister of the Government.”
Dr. Ramsammy said that he does not own any house in Guyana, largely due to the fact that he cannot afford to pay for a house lot or afford to construct a house.
“If anyone wants to do a forensic audit to test that, they are welcome. I own no car and now when I leave this job, I would not be able to buy a car. I will depend on my family. I own a home in New York. I owned it since 1980 and from then to now, the house is the same,” the Health Minister said.
Surprisingly, all of Dr. Ramsammy’s children attended schools with loans. He explained that forensic audit will show that his son, who is a doctor, owes more than US$1 million for his education.
“I never asked a favour, I never tried to get them a scholarship.” Dr. Ramsammy said that he has never had a family vacation since he came to Guyana.
“My family and I want to but we can’t afford to do so. I don’t need anybody to lecture me on integrity. As a politician, as a Member of Parliament and as a Minister, I am used to people making allegations. This comes with the territory.”

How many of those that have seemingly tried and convicted Dr Ramsammy can say the same?
There are those in the media who display a particular liking for the coverage of drug related stories whose very operations are said to be funded by individuals in the drug industry in an attempt to avoid being highlighted in the public sphere.
At least Dr Ramsammy is not the owner of a 2007 Range Rover.

If that was the case then the PNC would've lasted less than a year in office!

When asked to give his opinion on the contents of the recently tabled auditor genera'ls report of 2007 leader of the Opposition and PNC/R1G leader Robert Corbin proudly stated with absolutely no remorse what-so-ever;

"in any other country the government would have had to resign, given that this was not a one time occurrence; given that in each of the reports there are brazen acts of improprieties as it relates to the spending of taxpayers dollars, by those that have been entrusted to do so"

For years Corbin's PNC whilst in power never even saw it necessary to have an auditor general's report, much less having it tabled in parliament, instead the auditor genera'ls office was grossly understaffed and under funded and reduced to another tool used for oppression purposes by the Congress Place goons.
Today, the anti-government dick heads are given a free reign to unleash their dick sucking lips via the tabling of an auditor general's report on a yearly basis.

Friday, June 12, 2009

President College being used for prostitution purposes!

It seems normal that government bashing has become the pillar that justifies the very existence of certain media houses. These folks will jump on anything!
Within this respect, the publicity whores have once again sought to use a few minor issues at President College for prostitution purposes and the Stabroek News is the chief prostitute.

The amount of coverage given by Stabroek and their cronies to a sit-in by teachers at President College over their demands for a 5% retroactive payment, improved water situation, refurbishing of staff rooms and the complete overhaul of the Home Economics and Science Departments is simply amazing, especially since the Ministry is engaging the GTU (the union representing the teachers) regarding these very matters.

In a recent interview the Minister of Education disputed that the teachers did not receive the additional five percent for 2008, explaining that it was catered for under the Ministry’s agreement with the GTU as the recognised union. However, in December an additional five percent was agreed on and it is this amount that they haven’t received since it is under active consideration by the Ministries of Education and Finance.
The education minister explained that there has been some delay in finalizing a decision because of the various benefits received by PC teachers. “All teachers are receiving what is known as the duty allowances of $5000 to $6000 per month and a housing allowance of $2000 per month, also some of the senior staff receive 25% allowances on their salary…so we wanted to look very closely at what is taking place and who should benefit from the 5% in the light of these various allowances,”
The Minister also acknowledged that water supply has always been a problem at the school and said that provisions have been made in the 2009 budget for more water tanks which are expected to be available in time for the next school year. “The long term objective to solve this problem would be to drill a new well but this would be too costly. To drill a new well would cost about $80M to $90M and we don’t have that kind of money so we have to work with Guyana Water Incorporated to solve this problem,”

Stabroek News, however, sought to place all sorts of spins on what they alluded to as being the government's willful neglect of the institution and withholding of much needed financial resources even though Government has expended significant sums of money on the institution over the years. In fact the expenditure on the school was $163M in 2007, $168M in 2008 and in 2009, $186M. In addition, a dormitory was completed in 2008 at a cost of $84M, it said.

One of the legacies of CARIFESTA X!

-The Caribbean's first publishing house to be established in Guyana!

Professor David Dabydeen

Subsequent to a commitment made by President Bharrat Jagdeo during CARIFESTA X last August, the first publishing house in the Caribbean is now being established in Guyana.
The President has allocated US$100,000 annually towards the execution of the project which was manifested out of a symposium attended by the President and well known writers including Dereck Walcott and Earl Lovelace who felt that a Caribbean publishing house would be another institution that would further unite the Caribbean.

Editor of the press, Professor David Dabydeen, in a recent interview alluded to the view of some Caribbean writers who felt that for too long they have been subjected to the imperialistic process where the raw material of their imagination had to be sent to London to be converted into a book and then return to them at a high price.
"The Caribbean publishing house is meant to address these issues …if we are to be truly independent we can establish a publishing house …that could be something of excellence,” Professor Dabydeen said.
The press would provide jobs while increasing the intellectual capacity as well as the printing capacity in Guyana.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lusignan & Diamond/Grove residents to benefit from the construction of new wells.

Consultant, CEMCO, Paul Bonar; Chairman of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council,
Mon Repos, Richard Bactowar; Manager, Basic Needs Trust Fund, Michael Singh; and
Trinidad based Contractor, Phillip Morren, sign contract for the drilling of the Lusignan well.

Residents of Lusignan, East Coast Demerara and Grove/Diamond, East Bank Demerara will benefit from an increase in water supply as the administration continues to place tremendous focus on improving social services to all Guyanese.
Two contracts valued $107M were signed by the Basic Needs Trust fund for the drilling and construction of wells at the two communities yesterday and witnessing the signing were Ministers of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali and Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh.

Minister Ali said that the signing of the contracts is a testimony to government’s actions and commitment to improving the living conditions and livelihood of Guyanese.
He said the administration is investing more than $240M to improve water pressure and flow to the residents of the East Coast Demerara area, which includes installing service connections and upgrades.

“By the end of this year, we should be satisfied with the level of flow and pressure that we will be delivering to customers,” he said.