Wednesday, September 30, 2009
‘LAST MINUTE TOUCHES’: GuyExpo 2009 is being held from October 1 -6, 2009 under the theme “Promoting Business in a Low Carbon Environment.”
In photos Minister Manniram Prashad monitors preparations for tomorrow’s opening, and workers set up a furniture booth.
The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is currently working out an arrangement with the PNCR to recover millions the party owes to the municipality, as it seeks to avoid yet another garbage crisis hitting Georgetown.
Public Relations Officer of the M&CC Royston King told Stabroek News yesterday that the municipality has sent out demand notices to a number of defaulting rate payers, including the PNCR, which Local Government Minister Kellawan Lall recently stated, is defaulting on its payments by in excess of $100 million.
While he said he could not disclose the exact amount owed by the PNCR, King revealed that the party is in contact with the City Treasurer’s Department with which it is working out a payment arrangement.
Last week, when asked about the party’s debts to the city, PNCR leader Robert Corbin demurred on the sum. “The party like any other institution has bills to pay and we have accounts for several local authorities, which we have continuously tried to pay, but I am not in a position to give any specifics,” he said. Corbin added, “But it is quite possible that we do owe rates and taxes, not only to the city of Georgetown [but] wherever we own property and we always try to honour those commitments.”
(Taken from Stabroek News)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday joined a prestigious list of World Leaders to have addressed a special forum at Columbia University in New York, where scores of persons including many Guyanese turned up to be part of a highly interactive session with the President.
This World Leaders Forum programme, organised by the University’s Earth Institute and the Institute of Latin American Studies, featured a brief keynote address by President Jagdeo, followed by a lengthy question and answer session with the audience.
The Guyanese Head of State, whose extraordinary vision is set to make Guyana one of the most environmentally progressive nations on earth, briefly outlined his plans to build Guyana’s economic development around the preservation of its vast forests.
While explaining the intricacies of climate change and what it would mean for small and poor developing countries, Mr. Jagdeo made it clear that the people who are most susceptible to climate change are the ones that have the least capacity to adapt to those changes.
He also spoke about the “distrust” that currently exists between the developed and developing worlds, and the urgent need for political will and crucial financing from the main players in the climate change fight.
The President used the opportunity to brief the audience on some of the issues that were raised and discussed over the past week at the level of the United Nations.
He also answered questions about the REDD, REDD-Plus and their inclusion on the Copenhagen agenda, carbon trading, financing, the world economic and financial crisis, and Guyana’s development pathway.
Most of the persons who asked questions at the forum lauded President Jagdeo for his vision of developing Guyana, and encouraged him in his committed fight in the climate change battle.
The President also, in a good-natured manner, put senior officials at Columbia University in an uncomfortable position when, during the question-and-answer segment, he exposed flaws in a collaborative study done by Yale University and Columbia University on an Environmental Performance Index.
According to the President, it “boggles” his mind how Guyana got ranked at a number in the 130’s on that index, but the United States (a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emission) is only ranked at number 34.
He had the audience laughing when he politely requested from the University officials present at the forum to kindly ensure that this misconception is corrected.
Many of the persons in the audience whom this newspaper spoke with yesterday alluded to the unprecedented social and economic reforms in Guyana under Jagdeo’s tenure as President, that include improved access to education; healthcare reform; water and sanitation system expansion; and large-scale development of road, river and air transport networks. While pursuing these reforms, President Jagdeo also reduced the national debt and reformed the tax and investment regimes.
President Jagdeo served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group from September 2005 until September 2006. He has been awarded the Pushkin Medal by the Government of Russia and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India.
In recent years, President Jagdeo has spoken frequently of the need for developing countries to be at the forefront of identifying solutions to avert the worst extremes of climate change, whilst ensuring economic development of developing countries. He has repeatedly raised the issue at the United Nations and Summits of Latin American and Commonwealth Heads of Government.
In June 2009, he launched a "Low Carbon Development Strategy," hailed by a wide cross-section of the Guyanese people and the international community as being an unprecedented plan for national development that secures the forest ecosystem in the global fight to address climate change. This Strategy has received much support domestically and internationally, and it expected to be a critical model for developing countries to adopt after the Copenhagen Climate Change Meeting.
Among those from the Guyana delegation accompanying the President at Columbia University yesterday were Advisers to the President Mr. Kevin Hogan and Mr. Shyam Nokta; Mr. Michael Brotherson, from the Climate Change Unit that Nokta heads at the Office of the President; and Mr. Brentnol Evans, Guyana’s Consul General in New York.
Concerned Guyanese yesterday mounted a picketing exercise in Delhi Street, Prashad Nagar in protest against the decorum and behaviour of People’s National Congress reform (PNCR) Member of Parliament, Ms. Volda Lawrence who is also a teacher.
Friday, September 25, 2009
A release from GuySuCo says such an environment has been primarily responsible for workers and the Corporation as a whole achieving certain milestones. Chief among those is the production of over 10,000 tonnes of sugar for the 5th consecutive week.
When such goals are achieved, it is public knowledge that workers benefit through Weekly and Annual Production Incentives, which is why the Corporation is at a loss for the reasoning behind what has been deemed as “acts of sabotage to disrupt its production”.
The situation is even more grave as the difficult economic circumstances which GuySuCo is aggressively focusing on overcoming in the shortest possible period has been well ventilated.
On September 1, 2009, the first act of anti-industrial behavior occurred when a large boulder, weighing approximately 35 kilograms, was placed in a sugar cane punt causing significant damage to the Enmore factory.
The following day, a section of a railway track found itself in another punt, this time at the LBI factory. However, in this case the large piece of metal was detected at the feeder table and damage to the factory was averted.
Such behavior causes unnecessary loss of production from factory down time, resulting in the Corporation incurring unnecessary expenditure.
Being Guyana’s oldest Industry, its largest employer and a significant contributor to the nation’s GDP, the management of GuySuCo remains committed to working with all stakeholders in the industry to ensure its goals are achieved.
As such, the Corporation is calling on those responsible for the recent disruptions to abandon their futile agenda and join in the effort to revitalise, modernise and secure the future of the sugar industry in Guyana, the release concludes
President Jagdeo, who diverted from his prepared speech during a short, ‘direct-to-the-point’ address yesterday to the 64th UN General Assembly in New York, decided to centre his well-received presentation on two crucial issues - the financial crisis and its impact on small vulnerable world economies saddled with facing the brunt of a burden largely created in the first place by the developed world who are not “owning up”; and the ever crucial ‘global front-burner issue’ of climate change.
Noting that the theme selected for this year's General Assembly debate focuses attention on the need for more effectiveness in responses to global crises, President Jagdeo said this emphasis could not be more appropriate, or timely.
“Recent history is replete with examples of global crises that have been faced, and apparently overcome, only to be repeated with greater severity. This sequence, which has repeated itself time after time, leads to an inevitable conclusion that the lessons of earlier crises were not heeded and that the responses were not sustainable,” he said.
Nowhere, he said, is this more evident than in the global economy, which has catapulted from one calamity to another in recent years, each more severe and pervasive than the previous.
And each of them has successively disclosed new vulnerabilities in the global financial architecture, and in the development model that has been advocated by the major capitals to the developing world through the orthodoxies of the international financial institutions, Mr. Jagdeo declared.
You see Boyo was of the opinion that because he struggled with Papa Cheddi, after democracy was restored in 1992 he was entitled to 3/4 of Guyana.
In spite of his under utilization of hundreds of acres of land on the highway, Boyo demanded that the PPP government, under the leadership of Jageo, give him more, this time land that belonged to Amerindians.
During the renovation of the Sophia Exhibition Center Boyo also demanded that he be given the contract to supply all the plants and loom for the then to be constructed car park without taking part in the competitive bidding process. HIS DEMANDS WERE DENIED BY MINISTER MANNIRAM PERSAUD!
Boyo then ran helter-skelter to Freedom House complaining to all who would listen, including the late Janet Jagan, whose intervention he sought and was denied.
Boyo also demanded that he be granted a contract to supply the contractors of all road projects funded by the government with loom! This was also denied!
In the midst of all this Boyo's son Gherard was dragged along with Ramjattan to the AFC after the latter was thrown out of the PPP.
Ramjattan literally pulled Gherard out of a Section K C/Ville PPP group meeting!
Both Boyo and his son are just additions to the long list of disgruntled former PPP members, some of whom believed their membership entitled them to all of Guyana.
All de time de thing was good when deh was in it! Suddenly, de one time deh ent get wha deh wan de thing tun bad!!!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
This fella was once working at NT Computech, he worked there because he was married to the owner's daughter. Guess why he's no longer there.She caught him with a man in New York, he was subsequently fired and lost a wife in the process. Now it seems he has turned to attacking the Government on the various blog sites. Go right ahead Gay Hard!
Monday, September 21, 2009
It is being reported that a significant amount of cash was expended towards manufacturing the tape that saw a person or persons imitating Mc Koy and a female was also paid $300,000 to come forward with the tale of being the mother of the lad that was implicated. The plan was apparently hatched between Benschop, Juliet Holder-Allen, Norris Witter, Lincoln Lewis among others.
We have learnt that it came about as a result of allegations of Mc Koy being behind some of the comments posted on this blog (which we strongly deny), notably, those particularly related to allegations of infidelity on the part of Maria Benschop, the estranged wife of Mark Benschop. The comments were drawn to the attention of Benschop, who is himself famous for making the Andrew Douglas "Freedom Fighter" tape, and Benschop was heard loudly proclaiming "ah gon get he anti-m*n sk**t!"
The allegations have also found favour with some sections of the PNC, particularly Volda Lawrence, who had objected to Mc Koy's nomination and subsequent appointment to the Rights of the Child Committee.
We will bring you more details as they emerge ........................
This is according to ousted PNCR Parliamentarian James McAllister who had defected to Team (Vincent) Alexander at the previous party Congress and had also thrown his support along with the Dr Richard Van West Charles team in support of Winston Murray.
According to McAllister, the purpose of the recent report issued by the camp was aimed at illustrating the need for a new election, given that it has pointed to the massive irregularities that existed even before the elections.
He said that, “one would have thought that the party would have done the proper thing to do by now and annul the recently concluded elections.”
McAllister opined that the party could not effectively challenge the People’s Progressive Party Civic should it contest the elections with its current leadership because “there will be tremendous baggage” as it relates to the party’s credibility.
According to McAllister, team Van West Charles is adamant that there should be fresh elections within the party in order to stand any chance in 2011.
He noted that the information made available in the recently released report has been dispatched to Leader of the Party, Robert Corbin, Chief Whip Lance Carberry and the party’s General Secretary, Oscar Clarke, but there has been no response.
McAllister said that he would support having the media be given access to the Membership List to conduct its own verification investigation, with an understanding that analytical results would be published and not names.
He explained that there could be persons who did not sign but still would not want their names published as being affiliated with the party in such a public way, for fear of discrimination, given that they may be working in the public service.
McAllister posited that should the party not find favour with the media conducting an investigation, then there should be a bi-partisan team that enjoys the confidence of both sides of the divide to conduct such a verification probe.
According to the post-PNCR biennial congress report documenting the preparations, actual congress and results of the elections, Winston Murray who had challenged the incumbent leader, Robert Corbin, would have won had it not been for massive irregularities such as multiple voting.
The report was prepared by the team assembled by Dr Richard Van West Charles and stated that
the adjusted votes for Corbin and Murray are 339 and 358 votes respectively. “This is a clear indication that the irregularities were sufficient to have affected the results of the elections.”
According to the report, of the total votes Corbin received, 150 were as a result of impersonation, 140 as a result of multiple voting and another 15 as a result of disenfranchisement
The report also indicated that the election process in the PNCR commences with membership registration and ends with the declaration of the results at the Congress, and the review of the entire process reveals a conspiracy to undermine democracy in the Party.
It was pointed out that the distribution of membership application forms is organised so that the status quo can determine how many members can exist in any group, district or region.
“Forms are stamped and numbered and groups are not allowed to photocopy them. Only forms collected from Congress Place are deemed valid for the purpose of application. It was found that this mechanism was used to discriminate against the Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM), Region No. 4, Region No. 10 and various groups across the country.”
It was pointed out that a major discrepancy was the falsification of membership forms, and that sufficient evidence of serious padding of the membership register was presented, but those implicated in membership falsification were afforded the opportunity to undermine the findings. The report stated that information was sent to those implicated in the fraud to allow them the opportunity to cover their tracks.
As such, Team Van West Charles is adamant that the result of the elections at the 16th Biennial Congress is not a reflection of the will of the Party’s membership, nor is it reflective of the will of the delegates who turned up.
Meanwhile, this newspaper is in possession of a delegate card that allowed an individual who was neither on the list nor was the person’s name on the card to gain entry into the Congress elections.
A point to note is that only delegates (persons with delegate cards) were allowed to vote at the elections.
When the individual turned up to the congress registration desk to uplift a delegate card the person was found not to be on the list.
A phone call was subsequently made and a senior party member turned up at the desk and managed to secure a card for that individual who was then escorted to the elections.
It has been revealed that Congress place owes the M&CCC $100 million in unpaid taxes, hence the responsibility for the stench emanating from Georgetown should be place solely at Corbin's feet. Coincidentally Hammie who recently rejoined that party said nothing about the unpaid taxes from Kongress place but was to quick to shift the blame to the Government.
Your headline yesterday - “Jagdeo defends contracts” (KN 9.19.09) was off the mark. I watched the interview and I thought the President explained the process of awarding contracts. The difference should be obvious to any average reader. Given the insinuations of fraud pushed by Kaieteur News, the word ‘defends’ in your headline is nothing short of intended mischief. Incidentally, is it accidental that there is a huge pile of trash immediately below the President’s name? There is more.
The inset that KN has on page three where the story is carried also does injustice to the totality of the interview. What is the point of highlighting that particular quotation when, in fact, the point about the interview was to demonstrate the integrity of the contract process.
Kaieteur News also did two other things that warrant comment. One of your Peeping Toms wrote a long rambling story and at the end concluded “[i]t is a dread situation” (KN 9.19.09). This peeping tom wasted an entire column beating up on the commissioning of number of landmark projects which she/he sees as signs of no progress. This particular peeper needs help because she/he may be suffering from transient alteration.
Finally, it is obvious that you are letting Hamilton Green off the hook, even though he is a high ranking member of the PNCR. Green is the Mayor of Georgetown and he has the responsibility for the management of the city. The trash is his to clean up.
President Bharrat Jagdeo has dismissed as spurious, claims by Georgetown Mayor, Mr. Hamilton Green, that the government is to be blamed for the insanitary state the city is in, particularly with regard to the garbage pile-up in recent weeks.
Speaking at a press briefing Friday on the lawns of his official State House residence, the President did not seem inclined to waste much breath on the matter, except to say that City Hall was up to its old tricks as usual, or words to that effect, and that anyone with even a modicum of commonsense would recognise that the problems the entity is facing are being caused by poor leadership, inefficiency and lack of accountability on their own part.
Noting that he was well aware of the problems facing the city, the President dismissed initiatives put forward by Green perhaps to remedy the situation as “ two-by-two,” saying they were not enough to raise even a fraction of the money the Government spends on the City.
“If you look at every road in the City … Campbellville, Main Street, Robb Street, Lamaha Street, Regent Street, Norton Street … almost every road has been fixed by Central Government to the tune of billions of dollars, “ he said, adding: “Every year, we fix all the roads in the city …”
Listing the number of things the government has done over the years to help City Hall meet its obligations, President Jagdeo said: “We bought pumps and transferred those to the City; we paid for drainage and irrigation; we have hired a few hundred people, who are working in drainage and irrigation in the city; we have paid for the dumpsite; we have bailed them out in the past; we are spending US$10M on creating a new dumpsite; we pay the largest taxes in the city… all of these have been done in the past. We even announced a $120M help to them just to cut grass and they can’t efficiently implement that.”
Noting that clearly, the City Council cannot manage the programmes at reference, President Jagdeo also said he knew all about the “cozy deals” it has had with some contractors in the past, and about the system whereby citizens had to pay for the disposal of garbage by weight, when in fact the refuse loaded onto the trucks was never ever weighed.
“So I just see as lame the excuse that Hamilton Green is making; he is from a different era, and clearly, I am not working with him,” he told reporters.
He said however that if Opposition Leader, Mr. Robert Corbin, is in favour of getting a group of decent citizens to take over the management of the City, he will support his decision.
He was yesterday scheduled to meet with Deputy Mayor, Mr. Robert Williams, other officials of the Council, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, Local Government Minister, Mr. Kellawan Lall and Transport and Hydraulics Minister, Mr. Robeson Benn to see what can be done to help the City and its citizens. There was no mention of his wanting to meet with Green, whom he earlier inferred had outlived his usefulness, or to use his own words: “…the now obsolete Mayor of Georgetown.”
What he did say was: “I at least have to work with the people in the City Council who are a little decent and hardworking to see what further assistance can be given to the City.”
"Most public officials cannot escape notice. They are often so prominent that recordings of their voice are as distinct as their visages.
There is no one in Guyana who would have a problem identifying President Bharrat Jagdeo or Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, or Prime Minister Sam Hinds by voice. Many people also have distinctive voices, some to their detriment."
So why wasn't the same logic employed in the case of the tape recording that surfaced a few years back with the then commissioner and a leading PNC official in which plans were made to plant drugs on a cleaner at Congress Place who was accused of stealing money?
Can Hammie say what steps have been taken to recover the said sums?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
BTW! Whom or what constitutes the Guyana Press Association?
Where is its office located?
Who is its President?
Who are the executives?
How often do they meet and where?
When was elections last held?
And best of all; what is its mandate?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
In response to a Caricom communique with a list of recommendations to solve the ongoing dispute with the players, WICB vice president Dave Cameron made it clear the management of West Indies cricket "is the prerogative of the WICB."
"The first line in Caricom's communique is something I'd like to emphasize. The management of West Indies cricket is the prerogative of the WICB. I commend Caricom for having that foresight," Cameron said bluntly on CBC radio in Barbados.
That line reads:
"Recommendations are just recommendations," Cameron said, a strong hint the the WICB had no interest in following through on Caricom's suggestions.
CARICOM Heads of Government have always taken the position that the management of West Indies cricket is the province of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its affiliate organisations.
Cameron's statement follows a WICB executive committee meeting in Barbados over the weekend where the board decided that Caricom had no real say in the running of West Indies cricket.
WICB president Julian Hunte met last night to discuss Caricom's position and to offer the WICB's response.
The West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) has accepted the Caricom recommendations, which include arbitration on a number of outstanding/disputed issues.
The report was prepared by the team assembled by Dr Richard Van West Charles and stated that the adjusted votes for Corbin and Murray are 339 and 358 votes respectively. “This is a clear indication that the irregularities were sufficient to have affected the results of the elections.”
According to the report, of the total votes Corbin received, 150 were as a result of impersonation, 140 as a result of multiple voting and another 15 as a result of disenfranchisement
The report also indicated that the election process in the PNCR commences with membership registration and ends with the declaration of the results at the Congress, and the review of the entire process reveals a conspiracy to undermine democracy in the Party.
It was pointed out that the distribution of membership application forms is organized so that the status quo can determine how many members can exist in any group, district or region.
“Forms are stamped and numbered and groups are not allowed to photocopy them. Only forms collected from Congress Place are deemed valid for the purpose of application…It was found that this mechanism was used to discriminate against the Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM), Region No. 4, Region No. 10 and various groups across the country.”
It was pointed out that a major discrepancy was the falsification of membership forms, and that sufficient evidence of serious padding of the membership register was presented, but those implicated in membership falsification were afforded the opportunity to undermine the findings.
The report stated that information was sent to those implicated in the fraud to allow them the opportunity to cover their tracks.
As such Team Van West Charles is adamant that the result of the elections at the 16th Biennial Congress is not a reflection of the will of the Party’s membership nor is it reflective of the will of the delegates who turned up.
“If irregularities did not exist Winston Murray could have been elected Leader. The small amount of delegates voting undermines the credibility of the entire process. It is quite possible that subterfuge and delays were used to frustrate and therefore disenfranchise delegates…It must be concluded that the elections at the 16th Biennial Congress were stolen through a massive conspiracy that commenced at membership registration.”
Dr. Ramsahoye in the background
Magistrate Haymant Ramdhani set bail at $1M each for Dr. Walter Ramsahoye and photographer Clairmonte Marcus, who were both slapped with abduction charges yesterday.
The two appeared at the Mahaica Magistrate’s Court and although they were not required to plead to the indictable charge of abducting 39-year-old Girdharry Surujdei, they pleaded not guilty to the additional charge of assault causing actual bodily harm to the victim.
They were granted $50,000 bail each for the additional charge.
The charges stemmed from their abduction of Surujdei from a location at Chateau Margot on the East Coast of Demerara, on Monday last.
The two men were arrested on Monday night - Dr. Ramsahoye at his home on Church Street and Marcus, of 2206 Flying Fish Street, North Ruimveldt, when he turned up at the Sparendaam Police Station after being summoned.
They both spent the night in the lock-ups and were speedily placed before the court despite their vehement protestations.
Surujdei, alleged that he was snatched from his home at around 17:00 hrs on Monday, bundled into a vehicle, and taken to Ramsahoye’s Church Street, Cummingsburg home.
He also claimed that he was then beaten on the ankles with a hammer and also whipped.
Surujdei claims that he managed to escape after jumping through a window at the premises in which he was being held captive.
The victim who was in court yesterday, hobbled about with a cast on his right foot, evidence of an injury of some sort. Read more.....
All the political parties including the PPP, PNC, AFC and WPA have had in their leadership people of all racial groupings and can make the claim to being multi-racial.
It is a truth, with the exception of ROAR; all political parties have won the majority of their votes from a particular racial group. ROAR is the only party that has been overtly Indian and has made no bones appealing to that specific voter group.
The AFC is no more multi-racial than the PPP and PNC because Khemraj Ramjattan and Raphael Trotman are in the leadership. Using this point of view the PNC with Desmond Hoyte, Winston Murray and Stanley Ming is multi-racial.
The PPP with Bharrat Jagdeo and Sam Hinds is multi-racial. The WPA with Clive Thomas and Rupert Roopnarine is multiracial.
The multi-racial myth being peddled by Freddie Kissoon and AFC supporters, that the AFC is the only multi-racial party, do not even fool the casual observers.
If the AFC is the only multi-racial party it should have gotten more Indians, at least a third or half, then a solid claim of being the only multi-racial party would have credibility.
In fact Indian votes to the AFC were so miniscule it could not give the party a parliamentary seat and the seat Ramjattan sits in was given to the AFC by African votes.
Ramajattan did not even get a dozen votes from his village. Before the AFC it was said that the WPA was the only multi-racial party. There is no voting evidence to support this either.
The years the WPA won seats in parliament were either from the votes in African areas or the Amerindian regions.
The PNC and PPP have also pulled votes from these areas. GAP has made appeals to the Amerindian regions and under GAP/ROAR coalition won a parliamentary seat.
An African-Guyanese has been appointed to that seat in parliament. Ravi Dev did say were he to have made the choice that would not have been his choice.
I enjoy reading Freddie Kissoon, but sometimes I wish he would resist the temptation to repeat tales in the hope that repeating it often enough makes it the truth. It is not so Freddie and just as how you keep calling Vishnu Bisram out on his lies someone needs to call you out on multi-racial lie.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We were made to understand five men, who according to hospital and police reports, gang raped a young woman, who they took to the Zen nightclub in Trinidad on a Saturday night.
Tests later confirmed repeat rapes and along with traces of Rohypnol in her blood and Progesterex, which is essentially a small sterilization pill.
The drug is now being used by rapists at parties to rape and sterilize their victims. Progesterex is available to vets to sterilize large animals. Rumour has it that Progesterex is being used together with Rohypnol, the date rape drug. As with Rohypnol, all they have to do is drop it into the girl's drink. The girl can’t remember a thing the next morning, of all that had taken place the night before.
Progesterex, which dissolves in drinks just as easily, is such that the victim doesn't conceive from the rape and the rapist need not worry about having a paternity test identifying him months later. The drug's effects ARE NOT TEMPORARY-They are P*E*R*M*A*N*E*N*T! Progesterex was designed to sterilize horses. Any female who takes it WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO CONCEIVE. The weasels can get this drug from anyone who is in vet school or any university. It's that easy, and Progesterex is about to break out big everywhere.
Believe it or not, there are even sites on the Internet telling people how to. Please SEND this STORY to everyone you know, especially girls! Be careful when you're out and don't leave your drink unattended. Please make the effort to PASS this on to all you know!! Guys, please inform all your female friends and relatives.
At the end of these protests, the same divisions that existed before will persist and the country will be none the better off, and all because the politics of Guyana is mired in hypocrisy. The very forces that are now so agitated by the revelations in a US court and who are prepared to take to the streets in protest were not as vocal in condemning the violence that was unleashed on innocent citizens of this country after the 2001 general elections, with Buxton being the epicenter of that violence.
It is not that people’s memories are short. It is rather that it is convenient. People in Guyana have not forgotten what occurred in this country during the crime wave; a wave that affected everyone but which certain sections were more targeted than others.
This was a period when Guyanese were driving on the streets with their vehicle doors so locked that it could only be opened from within, because of the fear of being carjacked. The marauding criminal gangs would carjack vehicles and then use them almost immediately in robberies.
This was the period also when police were endangered. Police stations were forced to close their gates at nights after some were shot at with machine guns. This was a period, which also saw a young traffic rank being senselessly gunned down by the Buxton gunmen while he was on duty on Regent Street.
This was also a period when many police ranks were targeted, so much so that some police officers were afraid to hang their clothes out to dry for fear that their homes would be identified as belonging to a member of the force and thus targeted.
This was a period when young businessmen were kidnapped and ransoms demanded of them. And even sadder, this was the period when a young businessman from Buxton was murdered because someone felt he might have been cooperating with the authorities. This man had a wife and a child, and to this day, not a single picket has been raised demanding an inquiry into his killing that robbed Guyana of an enterprising entrepreneur, a loving husband and a caring father.
There was also a period in this country where women were afraid of being raped by the infamous Inspector Gadget. He was one of the gunmen in Buxton with a proclivity for raping women after he would have robbed them of their material possessions. When he was shot, there were not too many concerns that he had met his demise through extra-judicial means.
This was a period that saw a great many innocent persons being gunned down. Who can forget a young school child that was killed as she peeped through her window as gunmen were raining bullets on her home?
Those were desperate times. And these are desperate times that try men’s souls and also prompt them to sell their souls just to survive. So desperate and helpless were Guyanese that even assistance from the Devil would have been accepted in those days to bring an end to the criminal violence that took so many innocent lives.
This is not to justify any unholy alliances that were forged. It is only to point out the circumstances that may have led to the wrong turns.
Just after that period of madness, it was alleged that there was a phantom gang that was responsible for eliminating the criminals and this phantom gang was connected to a minister. There was then, as there is now, a cobbling together of a political alliance protests in the streets and calls for an investigation.
Ravi Dev in one of his Sunday columns, made the point that during the discussions, the joint opposition agreed that what must be investigated was not just the possible nexus between the killings by the phantom gangs but also the violence that emanated from the epicenter in Buxton.
He noted however that in the speeches that were made at a rally, one select victim were being identified, namely those that were believed to have been killed by the phantoms, and not those who were killed by the criminal gang operating out of Buxton.
He said that he protested this selectivity since if this was not protested it would amount to ignoring the wider context of societal pain and anguish. He observed that today in the new calls for an inquiry (this time we are being told that it is another phantom group that was doing the killing), he has noticed the same type of selectivity.
He is rightly on the opinion that such an approach will only assure further decades of conflict since it ignores cause and effect.
Perhaps Dev is expecting too much from the protestations. But those who are within that alliance and are fair-minded, have an obligation to ensure that these protests are not just about select victims but about all victims; not just about Inspector Gadget but also about Christine Sukra; not just about possible links between the government and Roger Khan but also about the gunmen in Buxton and their political masterminds.
Checks are going to be made. Export documentation has to be approved by the Bureau of Industry and Security and the requisite approvals granted. Unlike what the detractors of the government are saying, however, the process is not always as meticulous as they may feel.
In the case of military sales, this will inevitably involve detailed checks and clearance, but in the case of some device to locate from where a call originates, it is hardly likely that any detailed check would be made.
Today there are GPS systems commercially available. Thus, detailed checks on such purchases and on the authenticity of the requisite authorizations may not take place at all.
In fact, when it comes to the purchase of sensitive equipment requiring a licence, in excess of ten thousand applications are approved each year. It is impossible for meticulous checks to be made for all these applications.
The first thing that the critics should note is that there has to initially be the approval of the sale, for both domestic and export use. In fact, the overwhelming bulk of the applications each year, in excess of 10,000, are for use by foreign nationals within the United States of America. This too requires a permit.
It would be impossible for the US Government to carry out meticulous checks on all applications, including those specifically for exports. In many instances these applications are required for dual purpose items which would include the sort of computers that we learned was purchased and exported purportedly in the name of a Government Minister.
It is inconceivable for the government of Guyana to have purchased such sensitive equipment and to have gone through the diplomatic process and yet deny this. Why would the government deny that it was behind a purchase when there may be records to indicate that it did?
Why, also, it has equally been asked, would a foreign company under oath claim that it sold spy equipment to a sitting Minister of a government? Why would the government ask its Minister of Health of all persons to purchase that equipment? This makes no sense at all.
If the government was interested in purchasing sensitive equipment during a security crisis, why would it allow that equipment to be purchased by its Minister of Health and not its National Security Minister? Why would that equipment end up in the hands of someone outside of the government rather than in the hands of the government?
If this equipment was, as is being alleged, capable of intercepting phone calls, why would the government want it in the hands of someone who could use it against the government? Why would the United States authorities knowing that such equipment could be used for politically advantageous purposes grant an approval for it to be exported to Guyana?
It was in the defence’s interest to support the contention that the equipment was exported with authorization, for that will establish that the computer was not illegally obtained.
The physician has allegedly told police that he carried out the act because the man’s brother, who is his mechanic, owed him $10M.
The two men were still in custody at 01:00 hrs today and are likely to be charged.
The alleged victim, Girdharry Surujdei, 39, alleged that he was snatched from his home at around 17:00 hrs, bundled into a vehicle, and taken to the Ramsahoye’s Church Street, Cummingsburg home.
Surujdei claimed that that he was then beaten on the ankles with a hammer and also whipped.
Surujdei alleged that he managed to escape after jumping through a window at the premises in which he was being held captive.
He was being treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit at press time today.
Dr. Ramsahoye, who is being detained at the Sparendaam Police Station, has alleged that he had given his mechanic, who is Surujdei’s brother $10M last August to buy a Land Rover.
However, the mechanic allegedly converted the money to his own use while claiming that he had been robbed.
Surujdei told Kaieteur News that he was at his home at around 17:00 hrs when his gate was smashed in. According to him, Dr. Ramsahoye was accompanied by a man who identified himself as a policeman. Kaieteur News has confirmed that the man is no longer a member of the Force.
He claimed that he was then beaten and dragged out of his home and taken to Dr. Ramsahoye’s residence.
According to Surujdei, he was told that his brother owed the physician $10M and that he would not be released until the cash was returned.
The alleged victim also claimed that he was then beaten on the ankles with a sledge hammer and beaten with a bull-whip. Read more...
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva yesterday pledged to help Guyana build an 800MW hydro-power plant in the Middle Mazaruni, identified as a priority by President Bharrat Jagdeo.
His announcement came at the historic formal opening of the border Takutu Bridge which President Jagdeo said opens new vistas for the two neighbours and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Lula and Mr. Jagdeo were chief guests at the ceremony witnessed also by members of Brazil’s Congress, the Governor of Roraima State, which borders Guyana, and other top officials from both countries.
President Jagdeo warmly praised Lula for taking time off to be at the ceremony and for his support for including Guyana and Suriname more in the integration of South American countries.
Guyana sees the bridge as the gateway for the Caribbean Community to South America and Lula announced that Brazil will host the first Brazil-CARICOM summit next year, noting that a strong Caribbean presence is needed in South American integration.
Also on the cards with the new bridge link are a quality highway from Linden to Lethem and a deep water harbour on the Berbice River, which will offer Brazil a cheaper and faster route through the Atlantic Ocean for exports from its northern regions, including Roraima.
In tandem with the new bridge, Guyana and Brazil have been discussing plans for the hydro-power project in the Middle Mazaruni with support from the Brazilian government.
President Jagdeo recently met Charge d’ Affaires of the Brazilian embassy here, Minister Rodrigo Fonseca, and two representatives of Andrade Gutierrez Construction, Gianfranco Miceli, Commercial Director, and Pablo Arruda, Business Director, to discuss the possibility of establishing the hydro-power station.
Lula yesterday said Brazil is ready to have Brazilian firms finance construction of hydro-power plants here and announced that a Brazilian Minister will be in Guyana on October 3 or 4 for further discussions.
Monday, September 14, 2009
For whatever obscure reason or reasons these missionaries did not or could not obtain permits or renewal of permits to stay in Guyana, it strongly appears that the whole issue is latently shrouded by anti-Mormon sentiments, coupled with a strong resentment by Hindu and Muslim figures who take exception to the conversion of Indo-Guyanese to Mormonism. Other nationalists have condemned then as a cult, and without properly defining the characteristics of a cult, sensationalising and casting them in the same mould as Jim Jones.
In other words, what might have been simply a breach of immigration protocol, is now shaping into a dangerous political/religious feud, or simply put in Mormon vernacular, political persecution of the Mormon religion - an argument they, the Mormons, have perfected and successfully used from the very beginning of Mormonism. And in any political/religious battle, one does not have to guess that Mormonism will emerge the victor; especially when you consider the tremendous political and economic strength of the Mormon Church in the US - having historically fielded at least four presidential candidates and countless gubernatorial and senatorial candidates over the years, etc.; and that this is the richest Church in the US.
Sadly, the people of the United States have learned this lesson the hard way. That is why they will not touch the Mormons with a ten-foot pole - even the numerous polygamous enclaves in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Idaho. That is why when a hundred or so of children were taken two years ago from another faction of the Mormon Church, they were quickly released.
What then are the lessons to be learned here?
First of all, the authorities need to exercise a super-sensitivity in this issue and seek to avoid at all costs, the possible and likely escalation of this problem into what may well be manipulated or construed by the opposition and religious groups (Mormonism, most of all) as religious persecution or discrimination, or whatever terminology they come up with. Political expedience might necessitate bending, bending, and even surrendering. Indeed, this policy might win the populace in the end.
Secondly, the authorities need to remove the clouds that obscure their understanding and that of the people, of Mormonism. This way they can divorce the real issue of immigration protocol from other sentiments, misconceptions and lack of knowledge about the Mormon Church. The matter must be handled in a most transparent manner that highlights democratic freedoms. The essence of democracy is not to impose or dictate legislations and decisions, but these legislations and decisions must derive from the population through a process of education and understanding.
What I simply mean is, let the Mormons stay, but educate the people so that they can make their personal decisions about accepting and joining the Church.
For those who wish to know more about Mormonism, I am in the process of producing a booklet (called The Counterfeit Christ) about my involvement with it since 1988. Hopefully, the media in Guyana will publish it in a series of letters, beginning next week.
Mormonism thrives among three sets of people - those born into it, those with a little (clouded) knowledge of the Bible (a dangerous thing), and the native Indians of Americas.
The Mormon Church possesses a number of intrinsic peculiarities. First and foremost, they never initially disclose their Masonic and cultic beliefs and practices. One is led into accepting them just as one easily accepts any other denomination such as Pentecostals, Baptists, etc. Then as one progresses, (becomes hooked) the Masonic and cultic truths are released a little bit at a time. The second greatest characteristic about this Church is the presentation of the membership. Their presentation leaves little or no doubt,whatsoever that they are the one of the most disciplined, honest, diligent, altruistic and tithe-giving people in the world. This presentation, no doubt, is what catches the converts.
I, too, was caught by their genuine presentation of total goodness, and like I said earlier, I was instrumental in the establishment of this Church in Guyana.
I was in the US at the time and was "between churches", and was hungrily exploring a number of churches Brooklyn in order to decide which to attend. Co-incidentally my wife and children were doing the same thing in Guyana when this elderly couple, the Hudsons arrived in Guyana seeking a place to establish the first Mormon Church in the country.
Church News, the official organ of the Mormon Church, published at the Church headquarters in Salt Lake, Utah, mentioned Guyana in their issues of May 18, 1991; July 24, 1993; April 19, 2003; and in several other issues. In the 1991 and 1993 issues it is stated, "Among the early converts in the northern South American nation of Guyana in Indra Sukhdeo, baptized October 23, 1988.
"…She was introduced to the Church by Elder Benjamin and Sister Ruth Hudson, who arrived in August of that year. The Hudsons asked if they could hold the first Church service in her home (in Enterprise, East Coast Demerara). She agreed. …After her baptism, she served as Relief Society instructor and later served as Primary President and teacher. She saw the Church moved from her living room to a meetinghouse and the congregation to more than 130...
"The Church gained legal recognition in Guyana the following February and meeting continued in the Sukhdeo home until March 5, 1989. The Hudsons leased a large home (in Pike Street, Kitty) that was renovated as a branch meetinghouse. …
(In March 1990) the first local branch presidency was sustained, with Kenrick Latchmansingh as president…
"…a few weeks later, Sister Sukhdeo's husband, David, was baptized when he returned home from New York…"
I, David Sukhdeo, plunged head long into Mormonism and became totally immersed in Church activities and studying the scriptures and I was quickly sustained and served in several positions in Guyana.
I returned to New York in 1991, and my family came soon after and we continued our active involvement in the Church, all of us serving in various offices; I, at my zenith serving as Counselor to the Presidency of the Richmond Hill Branch, in Queen, New York.
But deep down, and in the depths of my conviction, I was never a Mormon. For fifteen years many questions haunted me, haunted me and haunted me. Then in 1996 I was excruciatingly hurt when my only daughter was married in the Salt Lake Temple and I was denied the opportunity to witness it because it was too sacred for me, having not yet received my temple endowments even though I had been faithfully and diligently serving in various positions. I was dismally relegated to being a mere visitor in the compound of the Salt Lake Temple.
In my earnest zeal to learn more, to know more, and to find answers to the questions that haunted me, I committed the most cardinal sin of the Church. I refused to accept the doctrines as dogma. I told myself God made us into thinking beings and wanted us to make decisions on our own. I started to seek answers to my questions by looking at all possible sources, including non-Mormon, former Mormon and science. This, in Mormon teaching, was allowing Satan to tempt me; it was the nadir of unfaithfulness.
I pursued these answers for maybe two years, spending sometimes, as much as twelve hours a day in research, even studying the rudiments of Egyptology in order to verify the massive fraud foisted by Smith. I visited several temples and Mormon historical places in at least half a dozen states.
The following are only a drop in the bucket of questions that previously bothered me and to which I believe I have found meaningful answers:
Is Mormonism a cult? Why are Mormons not accepted in mainstream Christianity in the US? Is Mormon theology really founded upon polygamy, and is Mormon god really polygamous? Does he really live on a planet near (the planet of) Kolob with countless wives, and are we going to be gods just like him with countless wives on our own planets if we faithfully follow the teachings of Mormonism? Does Mormon god have a mother and father, and they in turn also have mothers and fathers? Is there an infinite number of gods with mothers and fathers, all polygamous? Are Jesus Christ and Satan truly brothers? Were there any horses in America before Columbus? Are the Amerindians really Jews? What does modern DNA say about it? If the Lamanites and Nephites totally killed out each other in a great battle, where is that battle field? Did Joseph Smith really have over fifty wives, most of them young teens? Did the Mormons really commit mass murder at Mountain Meadows? Is the Mormon theology racist? Was the last president (Gordon B. Hinckley) actually involved in three murders in the 1980s? Are the Masonic beliefs and practices really sacred or secret? Did (do) they really believe in and once practiced throat slitting? Do Mormons really believe the Bible? If not why do they parade the Bible at the front of their advertisements? Do Mormons really believe that the work of redemption was done on the cross? Why was the Book of Mormon altered over five thousand times if it is the most correct book ever written? (I have an original copy) Did Smith really steal/ plagiarised Spalding's novel and the New Testament? Why did the 12 witnesses to the golden plates leave or were thrown out of the Church, and why don't the missionaries tell us the whole truth about these "witnesses"? And the jackpot question of them all - why won't the missionaries tell us that Smith's translation of the Book of Abraham is nothing more than a massive fraud, evidence of which is currently lodged at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
The answers that I have found I would like to share with readers, if they are interested and indicate so to this publisher. Otherwise, I urge all Guyanese to do their own digging before joining this group. It has been said many times before: all that glitters is not gold.
Do they block the view of the driver via the placing of placards on the windshield?
Well............Kaieteur News begs to differ here.......
I hope you folks see what the government of the day has to contend with........in terms of the Opposition and politically inclined media houses such as Kaieteur News
And mind you, Kaieteur News is owned by Glen Lall, who once shot and killed a "Peaceful Protester" back in 1997 when his business place was stormed by "Peaceful Protesters"!
Friday, September 11, 2009
THE PNCR says its relationship with the American created Mormon Church is one that helps the destitute in Guyanese society.
A party spokesperson explained that some time ago the Mormons approached them “for assistance in reaching out” to poor and needy communities.
This was most astute of the Mormons who must have realised that this is the party responsible for moving Guyana from becoming the bread basket of the Caribbean to becoming a nation poorer that Haiti. Maybe the church leaders thought that if they wanted to know destitution, they should contact the PNCR.
Still, you have to be wary whenever the PNCR cottons up to an American Church. People can still recall the alleged links the party had with the American Jim Jones and his Jonestown “church” and later it was arm in arm with the House of Israel, which was founded by the late American fugitive, David Hill, or as he was known in Guyana, the Rabbi Edward Washington.
JUSTIN de FREITAS
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Reports from our usually reliable sources indicate that the spill-out from the recent PNC/R leadership imbroglio has resulted in moves by Winston Murray, Van West Charles and Co. to form their own political party. The initiative has managed to attract big names such as Stanley Ming, Vincent Alexander, James Mc Allister, Aubrey Norton, Andrew Hicks, Jerome Khan and many others, all of whom have had falling-outs with the current leader, Robert Corbin. An aggressive recruitment drive has already begun in Linden and the proposed name for the party is being touted as PNC or Peoples National Congress.
Reports also suggest that they have chosen to use an image of Cuffy as the party's symbol, a path that was also taken by Burnham back in 1955 after his failed bid to take the leadership of the PPP resulted in his expulsion.
If this is the the PNC/R's idea of a peaceful protest then I certainly wouldn't like to witness one that is not peaceful in nature.
This was on the occasion of the landmark certification of Ogle Airport as an international airport at the Terminal Building at Ogle yesterday.
President Jagdeo, delivering the feature address, and who had also delivered the feature address during the occasions of the laying of the cornerstone on 17th September 2003, and the first official opening of Phase 1 of this development on 16th March 2007, congratulated everyone who have been involved in the project over the many years until it reached the point where it will be opened to international traffic.
The President commended the initiative as an excellent project, but warned against complacency in the fructification of such welcome and important contributions to the development of our country because of the need to move on to other developmental projects.
He appealed to the private sector for even more involvement and partnerships in such ventures, where there are huge opportunities for private investors to make money, and through those partnerships, for the Government to provide the essential services that our people so badly require for their development.
Speaking of breaking new frontiers, the President said that this project will add to Government’s conception of where we should go in terms of developing transport infrastructure in Guyana – transport infrastructure that supports the growth of our country.
He spoke of the elements of the system that comprise the air transport sector and said that there are other aspects of transportation that are vital for the development of our country, such as deep-water harbours, good roads and better ferry services, among others.
He gave the assurance that the Government has ongoing projects in all these areas that are still in the deal-making stage and expressed the hope that the deals can soon be closed and the project-implementation stage begin. He also spoke of the lengthy but essential process prior to the implementation stage of making the Ogle International Airport a reality.
To approving applause, the President said that we are nearer to making the US$500 million hydropower scheme a reality.
He spoke of the importance of such partnerships between Private Sector and the Government to promote the developmental processes of our country.
The President described as essential a prior need to create the enabling environment for successful entrepreneurial activities, such as a stable economy –stable macro-economic fundamentals, to send the right signals to investors that the Government was serious about managing the affairs of this country in a responsible manner.
President Jagdeo alluded to the fiscal deficit that existed in the past, which severely inhibited socio-economic growth, but he said that, through prudent management of the nation’s fiscal situation, we have reached a level where the environment is now conducive to investments of this nature.
Speaking of the significant spending in rebuilding infrastructure which has transformed Guyana in the recent past, the President said that Guyana’s infrastructures in every sector are light years from what they were in the past, but he reiterated that the country needs to continue its developmental impetus, despite the objections and criticisms of detractors.
He spoke of building at scale, positing that, while small and cottages industries are important, large-scale investments – such as farming on plantation levels, especially in the hinterland, are an imperative and that the Government’s partnership in conjunction with the private sector – with the right mix, is important for the development of this nation, which will have many spin-off benefits to everyone.
It was an uplifting experience to listen to the scion of the Correia family, who have invested in various areas of entrepreneurship in Guyana, even while others were packing their bags and leaving these shores for what they perceive as greener pastures, speak so glowingly of the possibilities and potentials inherent in the developmental paradigm of Guyana, even as others paint the bleakest pictures of this land.
And this optimistic approach to endeavour and achievement – even to the extent of turning negatives into positives, is what has propelled families like the Correias, as well as the other investors who comprise the Ogle Airstrip Inc. (OAI), into concretizing dreams into reality.
Correia recalled returning to Guyana from Canada in 1981 at age 20, when only rice flour was available on store shelves, and compared that to current times when just about anything can be purchased.
Correia told his attentive audience “I believe it important that we reinforce the fact that Guyana is no longer considered ‘a highly-indebted country’ by the international community.
“Our foreign debt servicing is now down to less than 5% of Government revenue.”
According to Correia, most private sector companies cannot boast of such a low debt service ratio.
He quoted the President as saying that Guyana’s foreign currency reserves have now reached the highest in our history and that inflation is stable and in single digits.
“Access to foreign exchange, once an enormous problem, is now a non-issue for businesses in Guyana. Access to finance is now more readily-available, and at lower interest rates. Our banking sector is one of the strongest, and most profitable, in our country”, informed Correia.
Waxing poetical, and anyone knowing of the love of the Correias for adventure, natural things, and Guyana’s interior regions would know of their quintessential harmonizing with nature, Correia elucidated that in the midst of all this development we can simultaneously enjoy our sea breezes, our pristine forests, and our magnificent waterfalls, through the careful management of our natural resources and our environment.
He posited that this is not just optimism, but very real facts.
Correia expressed the excitement of all the investors and operators of Ogle Airport at the formal certification of Ogle as Guyana’s second international airport, almost in juxtaposition with the opening of the Berbice River Bridge and the Takatu Bridge crossing Brazil.
According to Correia the launching of the Phase 11 expansion of this new international airport and the completion of a new 4000 ft runway will result in Ogle Airport being enabled to accommodate larger aircraft which can travel over longer distances. He said that the expansion and completion of Phase 11 will have a timeline of 12 – 18 months, but will be dependent on the duration of the rainy season.
“Mr. President, as I am sure you will agree, Guyana will continue to re-emerge within CARICOM as a force to be reckoned with, both politically and economically….Let us lead CARICOM from the front on the core issue of the CSME and the regional integration of our Caribbean people”, said Correia.
Speaking of the airport hub that connects the Caribbean to South America, Correia opined that regional air transportation is critically important to integration of the Caribbean community and that this initiative is a good start.
He spoke of billions of dollars that have already been wasted, and which will continue to be wasted, because of the need to plan and function as a region instead of individual countries, each operating its own airline, or a single monopoly airline operating inefficiently within CARICOM. He also suggested as an imperative a single airspace, governed by a Central Caribbean Aviation Authority, with offices in each country, with one set of regulations, one set of inspectors that regulate one common safety standard and one common CARICOM licence for pilots and engineers.
Correia informed his audience that a Caribbean Aviation and Security Oversight System has already been agreed on and that Guyana is a signatory to this, but he expressed the concern of the Aircraft Owners Association of Guyana that the concept needs to be expanded and prioritised as a critical objective of CARICOM.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ogle Airport Michael Correia yesterday officially received from Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Benn, the Ogle Airport’s international certificate.
The handing over was done at a simple ceremony hosted at the Ogle Airport on the East Coast of Demerara, and was attended by several members of the Private Sector, Government Ministers and members of the Diplomatic Corps among others.
The certification status comes in wake of the current project wherein the airport is being doubled in size.
The dimensions of the Airport currently are 2,000 feet by 60 feet, and will be increased to 4,000 feet by 100 feet.
The US$6M Phase II enhancement of the Airport includes improvement of taxiways, aprons, perimeter fences, runway lights and the upgrade of terminals among other projects.
The project is being funded by the Guyana Government, CARIFORUM, as well as private investors at the airport.
In his address yesterday, Correia told the gathering that Guyana presently has better economic prospects, over the next five to 10 years, than ever before.
“I believe it is important, that we re-enforce the fact that Guyana is no longer considered a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), by the International Community…Our foreign debt servicing, is now down, to less, than five per cent of Government Revenue, and is being generated mainly from the taxes we pay.”
He pointed out, too, that according to the President, at present, Guyana’s foreign currency reserves have now reached the highest in its history and inflation is stable, and in single digits.
He said that these macro-economic fundamentals, are impressive, and will ensure, “that our free floating currency, remain strong.”
Correia pointed out that, “It is against this backdrop, that the Investors and Operators of Ogle Airport, are now excited, at the formal Certification of Ogle, as Guyana’s second International Airport…It is significant, that this occurs, with the opening of the Berbice River Bridge, a few months earlier, and the Takutu Bridge crossing Brazil, next week.”
According to Correia, the development of the airport realizes the dream of Secretary-General of CARICOM, Dr Edwin Carrington, as well as many others, who depend quite a lot on the services of the aviation sector.
He posited that with the new 4000-ft. runway, the Airport will provide CARICOM with the opportunity for the easy movement of their Heads and their support staff, “and we look forward to the many meetings it will facilitate in the future.
He added also that Guyana is “a critical part of the DNA of our Caribbean culture”.”We have the CARICOM Headquarters here already, and now Secretary General, we have our CARICOM Airport, and a gateway to the South.”
Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo in the feature address to the gathering said that while it is an excellent project and bodes well for the development of the country too much time should not be left to gloat, but rather there should be commencement of work for the next project to enhance the country.
He also pointed out that the extension and upgrade to international standard of the Ogle Airport is an excellent example of what can be achieved for the country through collaboration with the Private Sector.
According to Jagdeo, there needs to be more such cooperation where the private sector could benefit by making money and the government achieves progress in its mandate, namely the provision of a better quality of life for its citizens.
He noted that there are several projects in train to enhance the country where the private sector could get involved, adding that a great deal of work must be placed into the initial negotiations given that, “we’ve, got to get value for money.”
The President explained that over the years what government was doing was to fix the economy and ensure a stable financial environment with mechanisms in place to ensure stability and growth in order to attract investors to the country.
Expanding on the many infrastructural projects executed over the years, the president noted that, “the infrastructural landscape over the past 10 years has been transformed.”
CARICOM Secretary-General Dr Edwin Carrington in his presentation to the gathering confirmed the extension of the airport is in fact a dream realized and he is anxiously awaiting the day when he takes off in an airplane from the Ogle International Airport to one of his many Caribbean destinations.
According to Dr Carrington, when he was first approached to assist in the seeking of finance from Europe, among the reasons proffered was the fact that it could facilitate easier transport between CARICOM countries and Latin American Countries such as Brazil.
He added also that another reason was the merging of the different tourism offered in the Region, in that Guyana’s eco-tourism could be included in the various packages.
Dr Carrington added also that with Ogle Airport, Guyana will now become an even more important country to CARICOM and will soon see more regional meetings being held in Guyana.
European Union Ambassador to Guyana Geert Heikens told the gathering that with the advent of the Ogle International Airport there can be greater connectivity between CARICOM countries which is of great importance to the success of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
He said that the lack of intra regional connectivity was one of the greatest challenges to the CSME.
This he said also will inherently aid in the development of infrastructure.
Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Benn in his presentation said that the extension of the Airport Runway was just one of the many infrastructural development projects aimed at achieving the overall betterment of the country.
He was referring to the soon-to-be commissioned Takutu Bridge as well as the Berbice Bridge.
The Observer: In Part 1, I confirmed what has long been suspected of the Kaieteur News with regards to its deliberateness in misleading the public. This characteristic of the newspaper was expounded on previously.
In this follow-up, at least two additional examples would be cited to further inveterate what is already pellucid in the minds of readers.
The first has to do with the newspaper’s coverage of the protest mounted by a group of concerned Guyanese. This group has been exercising their democratic right to freely protest which, by the way, has been restored by this administration.
They sought, through their peaceful actions, answers to issues of national importance from the Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC) who is also a Member of the National Assembly. Their demonstration attracted the media, including the Kaieteur News.
What was reported by the newspaper and its pro-Opposition colleagues in the fraternity leaves much to be desired of those who proclaim to be professional journalists.
This section of the media sought to grill the group of concerned citizens as to the reason for their protest. Nothing is wrong with this in principle. However, what was given prominence was the reported reluctance of the protesters to talk.
This was despite them bearing placards and having informed this section of the media of the reason for their protest. The Kaieteur News strongly insinuated that the protesters may have been paid.
The newspaper further dedicated much of the space allocated to the said protest to bombard the public with the reported silence of the protesters. What about the real reason for their protest?
This was not the focus of the related articles the newspaper published. The reason I am focusing on this, is because the Kaieteur News and its colleagues alluded to, don’t question PNCR/AFC protesters.
Over the last few weeks a small band of PNCR/AFC supporters was involved in protest outside the Office of the President, State House and even a leading hotel where the President recently delivered an important speech.
While the newspaper is never hesitant to cover such protests, no questions were asked of those involved. They are never asked who is funding them. They are never asked why they were protesting. They are never asked who and where their leaders were. They are never subjected to questioning as compared to the many asked of the concerned group of Guyanese. How can this be considered professional and fair journalism?
This is the same newspaper that dedicates its pages to demand professionalism from others. Is it that only one group can protest? Is it that the newspaper and its political masters were surprised that concerned Guyanese can mount peaceful protests against the Opposition and its establishments?
An article in the Saturday, August 29, 2009 edition of the Kaieteur News, further demonstrates the newspaper’s biased reporting.
This is evident in the page 2 article captioned, “Picketers clash outside Congress Place”. The article was about a protest mounted by the said concerned group of Guyanese outside the PNCR Headquarters. During the said protest, a group of PNCR/AFC protesters arrived to counter protest.
Paragraph 3 stated, “This newspaper (the Kaieteur News) sought to solicit a comment from the group calling themselves ‘concerned citizens’ but was told that the placards they were bearing said everything”. Paragraph 3 stated, “When asked what the group hoped to achieved, they reiterated that the placards were speaking for them, but were vociferous in saying that they were not paid to conduct the activity”.
Why probe, after being told the reason for their protest? The newspaper carried a photograph captioned, “PNC supporters vs ‘Concerned citizens”. It showed the two set of protesters facing each other outside Congress Place. Again, why no questions were posed to the PNC supporters about their motive and funding? The article also stated in paragraph 5 that, “After about an hour-long standoff with the PNCR supporters seemingly defending the fort, some of the obviously agitated party members approached the concerned group and in the process managed to retrieve some of their placards which were promptly torn to shreds.
In other words, the PNCR supporters, as stated in the Kaieteur News, assaulted the concerned group and destroyed their placards. This concerned group was prevented from exercising their Constitutional right. Why wasn’t the focus of the Kaieteur News’ article the assault of peaceful protesters? Why wasn’t the story focused on the destruction of property?
What if it was the reverse i.e. the concerned group being engaged in the disruption of the PNCR’s protest? It that were the case, the Kaieteur News headline would have screamed “PPP thugs assault peaceful PNCR protesters”. This story, had it happened, would have been repeated in the said newspaper and on affiliated television stations.
In presenting the story as it did, the Kaieteur News has further clarified its anti-government pro-Opposition position. Yet, as I alluded, the said newspaper would want the public to believe that it is a professional outfit.
This blatant unprofessionalism has seemingly gone unnoticed by the Guyana Press Association (GPA), which has never missed an opportunity to castigate the State media and the administration.
Why hasn’t the GPA commented on this and other issues raised about the Kaieteur News’ unprofessional and blatant biased reporting? Isn’t the Press Association the advocate to the adherence to the basic tenets of journalistic practices?
Their silence is deafening, but not surprising. The political position its leadership has taken is no secret. Its current President, Gordon Moseley, has been banned from the Office of the President and State House for disparaging remarks he made against the Head of State.
His reporting has shown a bias towards the Opposition. As such he and the GPA would not even entertain the thought of issuing a statement which may be unfavourable to the Kaieteur News.
Gordon’s boss, Enrico Woolford, contributes to the Kaieteur News as evident during the trial of Robert Simels. Julia Johnson, past President of the GPA and Publisher of “Prime News” aired on Hoyte/Blackman Television Station, also contributed to the Kaieteur News. This makes it impossible for the GPA to bring to bear any sanction on the Kaieteur News.
This is stacked against readers who are exposed to frequent inaccurate and biased stories in the Kaieteur News.
As such, readers must demand that the GPA leadership do the decent thing and resign, if they cannot ensure that the Kaieteur News stays steadfast to journalistic ethics.
The second example I wish to mention has to do with the absence of coverage by the Kaieteur News of the two cricket matches played at the National Stadium on Friday 04, and Saturday 05 of September, 2009.
These matches involved leading West Indies and Regional players; Chris Gayle, Ronnie Sarwan, the Bravos and Ganga are some who participated. It was played under floodlights at the Stadium.
This said newspaper sent a reporter, sponsored or otherwise, to cover motor racing in Barbados towards the end of August 2009. This is commendable in an effort for Guyanese here to be kept abreast with that sport.
However, it must be noted that no sponsorship is needed for coverage by the media of the two cricket matches mentioned. The venue is less than a ten-minute drive from the newspaper’s centre of operation. The matches were the biggest in the Region in recent months. The stars absent from the Bangladesh series were present. Why didn’t the Kaieteur News cover the events? Simple, it was held under the auspices of the Head of State.
The Kaieteur News boasts of having a large readership and online following.
Their readers were robbed of the images of a packed Stadium and the details of the two matches. Cricket-starved readers were deprived as a result of the Kaieteur News’ anti-government position which has led it to sacrifice sports for political loyalty to the Opposition.