Thursday, December 30, 2010

GBTI opens $700M Diamond branch

-another demonstration of confidence in Guyana's budding economy

THE Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) yesterday commissioned its $700M branch at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara, catering to the banking needs of a growing community boosted by a burgeoning housing sector and robust economy.
The bank is the first of three located next to each other to take advantage of the economic opportunities by meeting the need of the community of Diamond, Grove and others along the East Bank. Work is soon to commence on the bank’s next branch at Lethem in the South Rupununi. The Diamond branch comes on the heels of the opening of GBTI’s more than $2B corporate office in Kingston in July.
Speaking at the opening of the bank were President Bharrat Jagdeo, CEO of GBTI John Tracey, Chairman of GBTI Robin Stoby and Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh.
The President called the establishment of the bank a strong signal of the direction in which the economy is going, and said that the Government will continue to manage Guyana’s economy in a way that ensures prudence.
He said that the country’s financial growth is rooted in growth in the real sector, and because of improvements in the terms of financial intermediation. “I am so happy that the growth is not only generating bigger financial opportunities, but the financial growth in itself, there has always been this debate about the role of financial intermediation,” he said.
He added that the improvement in the quality and the price of the resources and the competitiveness of resources, have been a big push to growth in Guyana, “because of what you have been doing in the financial sector. Because of the improvement in the quality of the loan, because of the cost of financial intermediation coming down significantly, you have been a big spur to economic growth.”
He said because of the work of the banking sector, people today could come to borrow with the hope of paying back or investing in a project and paying back. He reminded the audience of a time when it was difficult to borrow, when interest rates were in the neighbourhood of 30 and 35 percent.
But he said that with the expectations that Guyana has in terms of increased revenue from oil, hydro and carbon market receipts do not mean that the regulations will be relaxed when it comes to spending. He said that if this is the case, then the gains made from the prudent fiscal management of the economy may be reversed.
Speaking of the health of the economy in the last years, the President said that Guyana’s reserves have grown by almost three times since 2005. He said that there has been growth in disposable income and in aggregate deposits in the banking system.
The President said he was pleased that the Credit Bureau is on its way to being implemented. He said that this will ensure “what we have at the macro level will take place at the level of institutions and intermediary partners, [helping to make the system more reliable].”
He said the enthusiasm seen just after the global financial crisis seems to be petering out. “We are very disappointed that after the financial crisis, the world had this major enthusiasm for financial sector reform and for stronger regulatory endeavours to stave off any future crisis of a similar nature. Unfortunately that enthusiasm has waned...I have seen the Basel Committee a few days ago just taking some peripheral decisions that do not go to the root of the problem...” he said.
He said that such reforms are not going to happen at the global level and “we have the possibility of facing down another crisis of a similar nature in the future.”
He said he sincerely believes that “if we focus on the domestic banking system and the risks and our exposures here, and we make provisions jointly with the sector to price those risks and take care of them, then we can stave off problems.”
Speaking to the large gathering of banking staff, shareholders and account holders of the bank, the President said that as Guyana’s financial sector grows, it will become more exposed to the vagaries of the global environment.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We hope Kaieteur News stop publishing lies in 2011

-Prison Service refutes Kaieteur News report of prisoner dying in cell

The administration of the Guyana Prison Service completely refutes the Kaieteur News’ article “Forgotten Prisoner dies in cell” dated December 28, 2010.
“The administration irrefutably states that the prison has no recorded death of any inmate during the period stated nor any prisoner by the name of Barnes at the Georgetown Prison,” a statement from the Prison Service said last evening.
“The administration is deeply concerned with the continuous flow of mis-information from the Kaieteur News in relation to operations of the Georgetown Prison that has no merit. A number of these articles are mischievous in nature and contribute to disquietude in the prison environment, tarnishes the professional image of the Guyana Prison Service, and de-motivates the hard working staff of the Prison Service,” the statement continued.
“The Christmas season was quiet throughout the five locations and void of any major incidents. Prisoners were served with their traditional Christmas meals, played games and viewed the television as a part of their relaxation.
“The Prison administration wishes to remind the management of Kaieteur News that such irresponsible reporting can impact on the security of the prisons and can have disastrous consequences to the society at large. It is expected that an apology be made,” the statement concluded.

How come Kissoon’s age is suddenly 47?

Former Class Mate: I am kindly asking you to please publish this letter in your newspaper, since columnist Freddie Kissoon through his Defence Counsel Mr. Nigel Hughes told the court on Thursday December 23, 2010 when Kissoon appeared at the Georgetown Magistrate Court Seven charged with obstruction by a pedestrian, that his client is 47 years old. Mr. Editor, myself and Kissoon attended the Guyana Oriental College on Thomas Street, where we sat in the same class, we were the same age, and in a few years I will be 60 years old, so how come Kissoon’s age is suddenly reduced to 47, the same age with President Jagdeo.
Mr. Jagdeo often referred to the five disgruntled old men who are always complaining and writing about him and the government. I assume that Kissoon is one of the old men referred to by the President.
His counsel also told the court that Kissoon has never been convicted of any offence, which is another lie. He was convicted for stealing books many years ago, but was not sentenced by the court.
Please read the attachment extracted from the Guyana Times Newspaper at page 9 of Friday December 24, 2010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Army Major's arrest the results of sound intelligence work

Mrs. Carol-Ann Munroe along with her husband, Major Munroe
and Retired Reservist, Wharton

It was sound intelligence work by the security forces that led to treason charges being laid against 3 persons, one of which is a serving Army major.
The accused, Major Bruce Munroe, his wife Carol-Ann Munroe and former Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, Leonard Wharton were this morning arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Priya Beharry who remanded the trio to custody until January 7 when she will fix a date for the commencement of the Preliminary Inquiry. That inquiry will determine whether there is enough evidence for the trio to face trial by a judge and jury.

Investigations commenced almost two months ago and gained momentum following the capture of Colin Jones who supplied law enforcement officials with vital information. The authorities are in possession of video as well as audio recordings of the accused meeting and conspiring to unleash further terror.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ministry of Health fire… Army major, businessman charged for treason

An army major and his wife are among three persons arrested and facing treason charges for the July 2009 fire at the Ministry of Health. This fire has been blamed on a gang of what has been described as local terrorists.

In custody are Major Bruce Munroe, 36, and his 39-year-old wife, Carol-Ann Munroe of 31 Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara. Carol-Ann Munro is said to be the owner of Achievers’ Academy, a private school at Soeskdyke.

Also in custody up to yesterday were owners of Soesdyke’s La Chalet Country Inn, Leonard ‘Junior’ Wharton, and his wife. However, the businessman’s wife has been released from custody.

According to the relatives yesterday, police have held Munroe and his wife beyond the 72-hours allowed without any charges. However, late yesterday police slapped them with treason charges. Wharton was also said to have been charged.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dem boys seh Adam begging fa Gary

Kaieteur News editor-in-chief Adam Harris is waging a battle to have Gary Eleazer reinstated as a journalist at Kaieteur News. Eleazer was dismissed after he gave Glen Lall a sound beating at the KN Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kaieteur News owner Glen lall beaten by employee.

-Gary Eleazer gives his boss a sound thrashing

Glen Lall

Kaieteur News owner Glen Lall was the recipient of a sound beating at the hands of Gary Eleazer ,a reporter under his employ, at Kaieteur News' Christmas party last night. We have learnt that the fight was preceded by an argument between the two which escalated after Lall became abusive and even hurled racist remarks at Eleazar.

Eleazer responded by repeatedly punching a drunken Gall Lall and had to be restrained by other staff members. Lall was left with several lacerations on various parts of his body as well as a swollen lip and he has ordered Eleazar not to return to Kaieteur News.

GT&T fearful of loosing its death grip on Guyanese consumers.

Brian Azore: IT is clear that GT&T is becoming increasingly paranoid and fearful of measures being taken, and rightly so, by government, to ensure that Guyanese get maximum value for their dollar and the telecommunications sector is transformed into a level and fair playing field for all investors.

The company’s new CEO, in a recent press conference, said that the proposed legislation that will soon govern the telecommunications industry ‘does not reflect an understanding of the challenges of Guyana and/or the telecommunication sector’. In addition, to being insultive, the CEO’s remarks do not reflect a willingness by GT&T to be part of a process that provides for the expansion of the industry and improved and increased service to its customers.

The reason for this is crystal clear. Expansion of the industry means more competition. More competition means that GT&T will have to improve and enhance its services and provide same at more competitive rates. For a company that has enjoyed over two decades of monopoly in the provision of the landline telephone service and close to two decades of monopoly in the provision of mobile service, this is a nasty pill to swallow.

GT&T believes, as reflected by the visibly upset CEO, that they should be treated differently from other investors in the sector. The sweetheart deal they struck under the PNC regime has given them this false sense of ‘a right to control the sector’. The company has a morbid fear of new operators, who incidentally, are merely providing a better service at a more affordable price. That is what consumers deserve.

The claim GT&T makes of expending billions of dollars in expansion must be taken with a pinch of salt. History has shown that in the case of GT&T, expansion and improvement only occur when a competitor enters the picture. A case in point is the arrival of Digicel. If this had not occurred, consumers would still be paying an arm and a leg for sub-standard mobile services.

GT&T needs to accept that gone are the days when Guyanese had to rely entirely on them for telephone services. In this new technologically advanced era, consumers have a right to seek the best available service at the most affordable price. If GT&T is losing revenue as a result of this then the energies and attention of the CEO will be better spent on formulating strategies to improve the company’s service, rather than indulging in a ‘cuss out’ of the government.

Government forced to clean Hammie's mess AGAIN!

GOVERNMENT has once again stepped in to assist the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown in dealing with the issues surrounding the Mandela landfill site in Le Repentir Cemetery.
More heavy duty equipment will be available on site today, courtesy of the government, so that the build up in garbage can be controlled at the site. After the equipment is placed on site, a group of persons from the M&CC will be mandated by the Local Government Ministry to overlook the work there.

Ministers Kellawan Lall and Robeson Benn at the dump site yesterday

President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday morning requested the Ministries of Local Government and Regional Development and Public Works to assist the M&CC and this resulted in the respective ministers paying a visit to the over-used landfill site.
“The president asked us to fix the problem and we will,” Local Government Minister Kellawan Lall told reporters at the site yesterday, adding the reason for the visit was to obtain a first hand look at the conditions existing there.
Both ministers heaped a significant amount of criticism upon the City Council and stressed that the problem is not necessarily a lack of resources at the municipality, but a proper management system. Minister Lall added that government’s advice, admonitions and requests have not been followed by the council.

The road leading to the dump site in the cemetery

Minister Lall said he cannot keep up with the day to day management of the site and pointed out that the Council has direct responsibility for the operations there through its Solid Waste Management Department.
“We’re here to give a helping hand to the M&CC. This is something we have been looking at constantly,” Minister Lall stated.
He observed that the present garbage contractor does not have the capacity to remove the garbage to the pit, hence the present piling up, and moving towards the roadway in the cemetery.
Meanwhile, Minister Benn advised that no one person should be allowed to create a situation that would develop into a blockage on a public roadway.
He said he is calling on the Guyana Police Force and the other relevant authorities to ensure that this does not happen again. Such behaviour interrupts traffic, the minister pointed out, adding that the professional attention seekers in society should be ignored.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Police just a few minutes ago arrested Mark Benschop and Kaieteur News columnist Freddie Kissoon after they blocked the Cemetery Road entrance to the Mandela Avenue dump site and attempted to set the dump on fire.

Government to rebuild Buxton Tipperary Hall

President Jagdeo and Attorney General Charles Ramson among others, turning the sod for the new Tipperary Hall.

The sod has been turned for the construction of a new Tipperary Hall atBuxton Village, with one of the planners dismissing suggestions that the village was begging for government help.

Rollo Younge, a Buxtonian and member of the Tipperary Hall Restoration Committee, noted that every village’s fundamental right and not privilege to access state resources and it was not a case of Buxtonians being mendicants.

“I see it as an economic and social development that should have been addressed a long, long time ago,” Younge was quoted as saying.

Addressing the turning-of-the-sod ceremony, the President reiterated that it is part of his duty and not an act of benevolence to meet the needs of the people as the elected President of Guyana.

“I’m looking forward to Tipperary Hall becoming the place where this community can once again congregate, to a place where it can return to its former glory so that every one can benefit from this wonderful facility,” he added.

Authorities said that labour for the construction of the more than GUY$50 million facility on Buxton Middle Walk/Church of God Roadwould be drawn exclusively from Buxton.

An artist's impression of the new Tipperary Hall

An artist's impression of the new Tipperary Hall

The new facility would include a library, an office, classrooms for computer training, a lavatory block, an auditorium with stage, changing room and a bar.

The decision to rebuild Tipperary Hall dates back to August of this year when the President visited the village, making several promises to the community that was once the haven of heavily armed gangs.

President Jagdeo announced that he would be inviting the Leader of the main opposition Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) to the opening of the Hall when it is constructed.

“What I can promise you is that the leadership of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will be here for the opening and I will call Corbin and ask that the

leadership of the People’s National Congress come here also to the opening of this facility,” said Jagdeo.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Carl Greenidge's 'visionary leadership' devastated Guyana between 1985-1992

Carl Greenidge

PNC/R Presidential nominee Carl Greenidge must tell us if it was with his 'visionary leadership' during his tenure (1985 to 1992) as Finance Minister in the then PNC Government that Guyana went through its worst economic times.
Here are some aspects of Guyana's economic mismanagement which Greenidge presided over:

Public finances were terrible throughout most of the 1980s. The overall budget deficit - the difference between actual expenditures and the revenues - widened from 17 percent of recorded GDP in 1980 to 59 percent in 1985. After experiencing a short-level reduction during 1987-1988, the deficit jumped back to an estimated 55 percent of GDP in 1989. This deficit was rooted in increases in central government expenditure, increased domestic interest payments and decreased revenues due to economic decline and the shifting of many activities into the parallel economy.

The deterioration of the state enterprises also contributed to the budget deficits. Up to 1980, their combined current account surplus had partially financed the deficit. But this surplus turned into a deficit from 1981-1987 as a result of devaluations and a steady drop in production of export commodities.

2. In 1986, Guyana was importing more goods and services from the rest of the world than it was exporting, and was experiencing serious problems in making payments to international creditors. Part of the payments was made from the reserves, including stocks of gold, but when these reserves dried up, the government found itself in no position to continue paying. Guyana thus became a bad credit risk and faced problems in acquiring even short term credits from international lenders. By 1988, the external payment arrears amounted to almost three times Guyana's GDP.

To finance the budget and the overall deficit, the PNC administration with Greenidge as its chief financial officer resorted to heavy borrowing. There was a sharp increase in commercial arrears (US$1.2 billion in mid-1989) and the total public sector external debt reached almost US$1.9 billion by 1989 or more than twice its level at the beginning of the 1980s. Measured by the usual indicators of debt to GDP and debt to exports, Guyana became one of the most heavily indebted developing countries in the world.

4. In 1990, Guyana's debt service payments and interest amounted to 140 percent and 53 percent respectively of export earnings. Our foreign debt by the end of 1991 amounted to US$2.1 billion with debt service payments amounting to 105 percent of current revenue.

Further, as a result of the PNC regime's incompetence and mismanagement, the Current Account Consolidated Fund showed a huge deficit, increasing from G$6 billion in 1989 to nearly G$18 billion in 1991.Earlier, the October 1989 report of the Commonwealth Advisory Group (the McIntyre Report) on Guyana's economic and social situation had emphasised that this state of affairs was "clearly unsustainable".

5. In 1991 there was a drastic decline in the production levels of the key exports - bauxite, sugar and rice. Sugar production declined from 220,995 tons in 1987 to 129,900 tons in 1990. Rice production was 131,700 tons in 1987 but dropped to 94,000 tons in 1990. Bauxite dropped from 1,486,000 tons in 1987 to 1,321,000 tons in 1990. As a result of the decreased production Guyana could not supply sufficient bauxite to Venezuela for the existing bauxite/fuel deal.

Sugar and rice, accounting nearly 16 percent of the GDP, contributed almost half of Guyana's foreign exchange earnings while employing 40 percent of the labour force. But through mismanagement, these two industries, which were net foreign exchange earners, were experiencing a serious production crisis. Sugar production since 1988 had fallen to such an extent that the government was forced to import supplies from Guatemala for domestic consumption. Because of this drop in production, Guyana failed to meet its export quotas for markets in the European Economic Community and the United States.

6. Inflation, which had generally remained within the 20 percent range after 1981, rose to 40 percent in 1988 and doubled to 80 percent in 1989. In 1991, it stood at between 110 percent and 125 percent. Prices, measured by the official Consumer Price Index (CPI) constructed on a 1970 base year, increased by 13 percent annually.

. In 1991, workers were given a 50 percent increase in wages and salaries, raising the daily minimum wage from $43.03 (given in 1990) to $65.56 (or less than half a US dollar), about the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean. This was totally inadequate to meet the cost of living and well below the $193.77 per day demanded by the TUC in 1989 and the $307.07 for 1991. On May Day 1991, the General Secretary of the TUC, Joseph Pollydore, stated that workers were in a state of near destitution and incapable of buying "even basic food"; that Government "has left children breadless and homes rice-less because of the inability of bread-winners to buy even minimum quantities for their families". And TUC President, Frank Andrews attacked the government's policy of removal of subsidies and price controls, while imposing utterly inadequate wages and salaries levels. To illustrate the effects of the harsh cost of living, workers on May Day 1991 carried placards declaring that the ERP brought them "Empty Rice Pots"!

The level of desperation of the workers' situation can be gauged by the purchasing power at the daily minimum wage of $64.56 in 1991. This amount could buy only about one and a half pounds beef, or six eggs, or two and a half pounds sugar. It definitely was insufficient to purchase a pound of chicken.

Noting the marked deterioration in economic and social conditions, the McIntyre Report had observed two years earlier: "But perhaps the even greater loss has been the deterioration in the physical quality of life of the population. Since 1980, average incomes have fallen by 50 percent, unemployment has doubled to 40 percent of the work force; health and educational services are minimal, and many of the best doctors, nurses and teachers have emigrated". Interestingly, the very Carl Greenidge who now talks about visionary leadership, alluded in his 1991 budget presentation to the fact that several economic indicators were in poor shape. So serious was the situation that in 1990 GDP had declined to less that US$370 per capita.

New Global Human Order Resolution accepted at U.N. General Assembly

Dr Cheddi Jagan

The 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly has done justice to the late Guyana President, Dr. Cheddi Jagan‘s call for a New Global Human Order, when, on December 10, it unanimously approved a resolution in support of such a noble concept. This welcome resolution, “The role of the United Nations in promoting a New Global Human Order” was, of course, initiated by Guyana and co-sponsored by 54 countries.
It will be recalled that this was Dr. Jagan’s passionate, untiring, and ceaseless appeal to world leaders at every possible forum for a change in the conduct of international relations that would deal effectively with the increasing problems of social inequality, poverty , hunger, social insecurity, and had been discussed prior, at the UN General Assembly via approved resolutions in 2000,2002 and 2007.
Current United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, highlighted the relation of the New Global Human Order to key UN initiatives in his report on the implementation of the 2007 Resolution.
In this report, the Secretary General made the following observations:
:That the proposal for a New Global Human Order, which had been first introduced by the Guyana Government at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, in 1995, and had since been supported at many international fora, inclusive of CARICOM, the Non-aligned Movement, the South Summit, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, and the Group of 77, is intended to further multilateral approaches to global problems via adopting a holistic framework that will focus on the integration of the economic, environmental, social, cultural and political aspects of development, in a multidimensional manner.
: Further, that many of the ideas enclosed in this concept are found in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Summit for Social Development, and establishes a consensus that places people at the centre of sustainable development, and promotes productive employment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mark Benschop sodomized while in prison-Wikileaks cable

"Oct 20, 2006 Embassy Georgetown 100 Young and Duke Streets Kingston, Georgetown, S...VRVB, CCDT' reference ID: 06GEORGETOWN3310 is the reference number and title of a leaked United States diplomatic cable which reported that Treason accused Mark Benschop was deliberately placed in a particular cell at the Georgetown Prison to be molested by a fellow prisoner who has a record of sodomising other inmates.The cable

The cable said it was suspicious that Benschop was taken from his cell to share cell with this molester who was utilizing a cell by himself for the last 12 years to avoid him sexually molesting other inmates.

The cable said Benschop’s family and friends were deeply concerned about this move by prison administrators but were reluctant to have the news go public and tried in a futile attempt to have him removed.

The cable also said Benschop refused medical treatment while in prison because he feared for his life.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wikileaks cables links AFC's Ramjattan, Trotman to drug dealers on US watch list.

The US embassy in Georgetown, in November 2009 reported it was convinced that the AFC leaders Khemraj Ramjattan and Raphael Trotman were associated with serious drug traffickers with links to Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico.

In the diplomatic cable titled "Nov 12, 2009 Embassy Georgetown 100 Young and Duke Streets Kingston, Georgetown, S...VRVB, CCDT' reference ID: 09GEORGETOWN1310 and created on 2001-11-12 at 13:00:00 hrs, political affairs officer John O'Shers wrote "Messrs Ramjattan and Trotman were seen in Brazilian Clubs with persons suspected of being involved in the drug trade and are also on the US watch list, on about five occasions". The cable said it is highly unlikely that the AFC leaders were innocent to the friendship with these drug traffickers since Ramjatan arranged for two of their allies in Barbados to be represented legally on serious drug charges.

The cable noted that one of the drug traffickers whom Ramjattan engages frequently has been involved in drug deals worth £100m and Mr O'Shers also noted allegations which suggested that the AFC received campaign funds for the 2006 elections from people with links to the drug trade. O'Shers made reference to an unnamed source which indicated that Trotman had given advice to a drug -running gang on how to sabotage scanners at the CJIA.

US Embassy Officials finger Mark Benschop in Joel Fraser's murder-Wikileaks Cables

In one of the Wikileaks cables dated and titled "Dec 15, 2009 Embassy Georgetown 100 Young and Duke Streets Kingston, Georgetown, G… OEXC, OIIP, CVIS, KPAO, GY" with a Reference ID: 09GEORGETOWN1007 and created on 2009-12-15 at 18:06:00 hrs, a US Embassy official reports of Mark Benschop's involvement in the death of actor Joel Fraser who was found with his throat slashed on the Georgetown Seawalls on November 25th of that year. The official also was concerned that Benschop subsequently left Guyana for the U.S and requested FBI surveillance for Benschop while in that country.
Benschop was also labeled an antagonist and threat to local security by the official.

At the time Fraser's body was found he was wearing only his underpants and a t-shirt. Valuables, which he had in his possession, including a laptop computer and production material for the premiere of the Mori J’von Comedy Jam, were missing. Reports back then indicated that Fraser was having a relationship with Benschop's ex-wife up until his death. He also confided in his close friends that he had received numerous death threats by an unknown caller on several occasions.

Khemraj Ramjattan sued for libel.

Khemraj Ramjattan

POLITICIAN and presidential aspirant Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan and Mr. Gregory Rambarran, the latter trading under the name and style of DTV Ch 8, have been summoned to answer a charge of libel in the Supreme Court on 11th January, 2011, at 09:00 hrs. The charge alleges that on 21st November, 2010 the defendants published libelous statements of and concerning the plaintiff, Mr. Donald Ramotar, General-Secretary of the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) party, on the programme, aired in Berbice, “Issues of the People.”

An interim injunction has also been filed by the Attorney for Mr. Ramotar, Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, and granted by Justice William Ramlall on 15th December, 2010, restraining the defendants and/or their agents from further publishing or broadcasting, or causing to be published, the allegations made, or similar charges, against Mr. Ramotar.

Mr. Ramotar is suing the defendants for aggravated or exemplary damages, costs, and any other punitive damages the Court finds necessary to award the Plaintiff.

Mr. Ramotar is charging that on the 21st day of November, 2010, Mr. Ramjattan, on a television programme titled, “Issues of the People”, aired, broadcast and transmitted on Mr. Rambarran’s television station, falsely and maliciously published of and concerning him as a Director at the Guyana Sugar Corporation as follows: “And I have come by of evidence of one bit of corruption, the sugar they sell in T&T, they wanted to give some of their friends in T&T to sell. You does gat to come here to Guyana and bid here at the board level in GT, whosoever want to buy it. And 3 persons, I understand, came here to Guyana and bid. The Neal & Massey firm I understand they won the bid, they bid the highest for the sugar and I understand Donald Ramotar and a couple others were not there, but they had a certain friend in Trinidad, this sugar bid that N&M won was then retaken from N&M and then given to that friend in T&T at a lower price, let them come and deny that. Read more....

President disappointed with misleading reports of his Cancun Climate Change Summit comments.

President Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed disappointment in what he described as a misleading reflection by some sections of the local media in their reportage of his comments in Cancun, Mexico about the release of the Norway climate funds to Guyana.
Speaking to members of the press at the Office of the President, the Head of State said, ‘the money is already paid into our bank account at the World Bank.’
On December 9, the Guyanese Head of State was part of a high level panel discussion on preserving the world’s tropical forest at the Avoided Deforestation Partners forum in Cancun, Mexico.
Included on the panel were Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, international philanthropist George Soros and President Obama’s Advisor on Energy and Environment, Joe Aldy.
Recalling his exact remarks at that forum, President Jagdeo said he noted that it takes more than a generous donor as in the case of Norway and a committed country as Guyana for a model to be successful.
“For the model to work, there are several other institutions that form part of the system including the World Bank, a financial intermediary institution… Norway has the money to deliver to Guyana; Guyana has the projects ready… I was making the point that it took us from September last year to now to negotiate what is basically the setting up of a current account which you can walk into a bank and set up in a day,” President Jagdeo said.
On October 10, the Guyana Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Investment Fund (GRIF) was established and the first payment from the Norway fund of approximately US$30M was processed.
GRIF is a financial mechanism for the ongoing cooperation on climate change between Guyana and Norway which the former will receive based on its performance on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).
President Jagdeo was proud that Guyana is the first country in the world to prove that developed and developing countries could partner for the implementation of such a national scale model.
“All of those who were even saying before we went to Copenhagen, Guyana should not have gotten involved in Norway because Copenhagen may deliver more, it showed that Copenhagen slowed down the REDD initiative… it was the right decision we made because we locked in US$250M for this country even before Copenhagen,” President Jagdeo said.
It is envisaged that by early January 2011 the funds will be dedicated to the implementation of several projects in the area of adaptation and mitigation and technology transfers.
At the Avoided Deforestation Partners panel discussion Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg referred to Guyana as one of three countries in the world leading the REDD+ initiative by example. He mentioned Brazil and Indonesia as the other two.
President Jagdeo was still confident about Guyana being the most advanced in developing the REDD + model.
“Even though Norway has just started a programme with Indonesia and they started a programme with Brazil ahead of us, it doesn’t go to the extent of establishing an entire REDD+ mechanism within the context of a low carbon development strategy,” President Jagdeo said.
Asked what will be the next step for Guyana to actually begin withdrawing the money President Jagdeo said such a move will follow the procedures set out by an established steering committee that will be examining several projects.
The projects which will be executed in the first phase include Amerindian land demarcation, solar panels and the establishment of grants funds for the transformation of village economies in Amerindian communities.
Guyana has been playing a lead role on the world stage with its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) model and President Jagdeo credited the achievements to the contributions of the wide cross section of Guyanese who were instrumental in its creation.
He believes however that the burden on developing countries to finance such projects will be greater if there is continued failure on a globally binding agreement to stabilize global temperature.
Cancun as expected failed to deliver on such an agreement but President Jagdeo nevertheless pointed to areas that made some degree of progress including the fast start funding, financing mechanism, technology transfer, REDD + and a green fund.

Former PNCR parliamentarian Abdul Kadir sentenced to life in prison

In terror plot to blow up John F. Kennedy Airport…

FORMER People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Member of Parliament Mr. Abdul Kadir was yesterday sentenced to life in prison for his role in a failed plot to blow up fuel lines and tanks at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.Kadir was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry in Brooklyn, New York, according to a report by Thom Weidlich of Bloomberg News, one of several reports doing the rounds on the Internet yesterday afternoon.

Kadir and Russell Defreitas, a former Evergreen Airlines cargo worker at the airport, were convicted on Aug. 2 by a federal jury there. Defreitas, a U.S. citizen and native of Guyana, is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Kadir, 59, Defreitas, 67, and their accomplices circulated their plan to an international network of Muslim extremists, according to evidence at the trial.
The attacks were designed to destroy “the whole of Kennedy,” Defreitas said in a taped conversation heard by the jury. The airport is the largest in the New York City area and is located in the borough of Queens.
“There can be no doubt whatsoever that the offences for which Mr. Kadir was convicted are about as serious as they come, short of actual murder,” Irizarry said before sentencing him.
The plot, hatched by Defreitas in 2006, was foiled in the planning stages with the aid of an informant, Steven Francis, according to testimony at the trial.
The plotters conducted surveillance of the airport, including videotaping its buildings, and sought expert advice, financing and explosives, prosecutors said.

Kadir was an engineer who advised on the technical aspects of the plot, prosecutors said. Before entering parliament, he was the Mayor of Linden, Guyana’s second-largest town, after Georgetown.
Kadir was arrested in 2007 en route to Iran. Prosecutors said he was going there to gain financial and operational support for the plot. Kadir testified at the trial that he was travelling to Iran to ask for money for a mosque and to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s former supreme leader.
“Every unbiased and unprejudiced person knows that I am innocent,” Kadir said at his sentencing yesterday.
The Bloomberg report said he testified that he sent reports on Guyana’s economy, politics and military to the Iranian ambassador in Venezuela beginning in the 1980s. He said the reports were based on publicly available information and sending them wasn’t illegal. He denied prosecutors’ suggestion that he was an Iranian spy.

Prosecutors said Kadir should get life in prison, arguing that he played a “key role” in the conspiracy and lied “repeatedly” under oath.
Defreitas compared the plot to terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center in September 2001 when two planes were crashed into the towers.
“Even the twin towers can’t touch it,” he said in one conversation that Francis recorded and jurors heard. “This can destroy the economy of America for some time.”
Kadir and Defreitas will appeal, their lawyers have said.
Abdel Nur, 60, a citizen of Guyana, pleaded guilty in June to providing support to terrorists. He was scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, which has been changed to a status conference to address his medical condition.
Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of Trinidad, was granted a separate trial due to a medical condition. A trial date hasn’t been set yet.