Sunday, February 28, 2010

The mass media as the "new opposition" constantly takes an adversarial stance against the government.

Prem Misir: Each time someone presents a governmental line, there are people out there that invariably see this line as propaganda; and the messenger of this line is seen as not having national credibility, largely because the messenger carries a governmental line.
But when another messenger carries a misleading non-governmental line, those people see their positions as always objective and fair.
And in their presentations, appropriate analytical discussions on Government’s policies, programmes and projects rarely take place; what emerge are a 100% focus on bloopers and very little focus on the ‘non-snafu’ areas.
I have no doubts that there are flubs, or if you like a better term, ‘bull’ on the governmental side. But this country is going ‘nowhere’ if all that people can see are governmental gaucheries or bulls amid some significant growth areas.
And the mass media (new opposition) and some politicians have a lot to answer for, for their daily sordid landscaping of this great land.
Picture your child’s academic performance where there are some pratfalls amid some major areas of academic progress. What would you tell this child? You should point out the areas of your discomfort, but simultaneously and with the same rigor, note that child’s growth areas.
Well, these so-called government watchers possess sneaky and confusing vision, for all they are able to see is solecism.
In the same way that you should ring out the child’s academic progress, we also need to spell out noteworthy areas of development in this country; because they do exist; notwithstanding a sluggish world economy, Guyana’s economy remains buoyant with very few bruises from the current global crisis.
And I will not here indulge in a trail of statistics on development since 1992; here are some over the last two years to arouse your appetite!!
  • 1. Economic growth for 2009 was 2.9%, with positive growth since 2005.
  • 2. A 3.3% increase in sugar production and a 9.2% rise in rice production from 2008.
  • 3. A 5.8% increase in Other Crops’ output.
  • 4. Rise in livestock sector output by 2.5%.
  • 5. Increase in mining and quarrying output by 0.7%.
  • 6. Raw gold output rose by 14.7%.
  • 7. Engineering and construction sector gained momentum at 1.5%.
  • 8. Transport and communication sector expanded by 2%.
  • 9. Increases in the following: distribution sector increased 6.6%; financial services 3%; dwelling rentals 2%; and other services 3%.
  • 10. Balance of payments’ surplus at US$234.4 million, and a reduced current account deficit by 31.6%.
  • 11. Gold export earnings produced a 38.3% increase in export revenues.
  • 12. Increase in the Bank of Guyana’s external reserves to US$628 million, the highest yet; balance of payments’ surplus a contributory factor.
  • 13. Macro economic fundamentals intact - inflation was 3.6%; commercial banks’ lending rate 12.17%; exchange rate appreciated at 0.97% against the USD.
  • 14. Fiscal deficit 5.3% of GDP, declining from 7.6% in 2008.
Clearly, some highlights of development will not stimulate the new opposition to orgasmic satisfaction so to speak.
For this reason, I want to critically apply some of Herman and Chomsky’s ideas here to see if we can bring some sense to the media notoriety in this country.
It is clear that the mass media as the new opposition constantly takes an adversarial stance against the government, invariably, the stance may be devoid of evidentiary foundation; and indeed, these people consistently refute the charge of adversarialism, and assert that their reporting is objective and responsible.
This new opposition is able to get away with this perspective; as they project the view that since the masses or ordinary people are myopic and provide poor judgments of their own interests and needs then these ordinary people, the masses become vulnerable and gullible, enabling the ruling political group to engage in deception against them.
And their only saviour is the new opposition, the mass media, which can manage this deception on their behalf; the mass media convinces the people that they have the necessary wherewithal to deal with the Government on their behalf; for this reason, the mass media as the new opposition maneuver its way, in Chomsky and Herman’s language, to manufacture this consent from the masses.
The deception comes from the new opposition. This is what this new opposition does in this country.
Nonetheless, what will shake the very foundation of the new opposition are its constant differences with ordinary citizens’ higher-order interests; differences that have to do with narco trafficking, going on ad nauseam about Cheddi and Janet Jagan, elected dictatorship, corruption, and things of that nature; it is not that these things are unimportant; it is just that the masses have other more important interests, as securing long-term jobs and sustainable incomes.
For this reason, the mass media as the new opposition dishes up a thin interest within the populace; and its focus is too much on the ‘bull’, but even the bull is without evidence.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Signs placed on Delph Street C/ville giving directions to the home of AFC Chairman Khemraj

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Speaker of the House Ralph Ramkarran exposes Ramjattan's tampering lie.

-Audio recording supports the Speaker's claims

In response to Ramjattan's claim that the Parliamentary Hansard has been tampered with speaker of the House Ralph Ramkarran responded by exposing the AFC Chairman's lying tongue in a detailed response before the resumption of the Budget debate today in parliament. To support his case the speaker played an audio recording of the very sitting in which Ramjattan alleged that Minister of Housing and Water, Irfan Ali remarked "We have spent it already" when it was queried whether the money in question was already spent. The recording proved Ramjattan's tampering claim to be a blatant lie and it remains to be seen what actions may be taken against him.

This is what Vlissengen Road looked like this morning after Mashhh!!

Golden Arrowhead hoisted to mark 40th Republic Anniversary

Guyana’s 40th anniversary as a Cooperative Republic was marked as the Golden Arrowhead was hoisted yesterday morning in the forecourt of at Parliament Buildings on Brickdam in the city.

President Bharrat Jagdeo took the salute prior to the hoisting of the flag, and was invited to inspect the Guard of Honour.

The Golden Arrowhead was hoisted as the traditional 21-gun salute was sounded.

The Head of State’s arrival at the exercise was preceded by that of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.

Prayers were offered by representatives of the three main religions in Guyana-- Hindu, Muslim and Christian, and the national pledge was recited, followed by the singing of the song of the Republic and the National Anthem.

Among those present were Government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, the disciplined services, and civil society as well

Guyana has come a long way after 40 years of Republicanism

We have once again seen the presentation of yet another record budget with promises of major development works to benefit the Guyanese people. Sometimes people would look at the sums of money being spent on projects and programmes annually and say that there are no visible results since they would expect to see the changes immediately.
The critics would say that the budget holds nothing for us, but where would Guyana be without the investment in public infrastructure? In recent years we have seen massive infrastructural projects across the country, either funded by the Government, private sector or international agencies and institutions. Growing up, many of us would remember the state of our roads, but look at what it is today. Leaving out the highways, communities which once had just mud dams have paved roads that children growing up now do not know what a mud dam is.
Listening to the budget debate in Parliament, we have all heard the huge sums allocated to the various sectors and these will all benefit the Guyanese people.Read more..........

Guyana joins Forest -11 group

Guyana, Guatemala and Suriname are now members of the Forest -11 (F-11), following the outcome of a Ministerial-level meeting of group members held yesterday in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.

The F-11 group consists of countries with rainforests and is a forum intended to increase effective cooperation and partnership in sustainable forest management (SFM) in order to overcome the challenges of deforestation, a release on the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry website said.

The other members of the F-11 group are Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Peru.

According to the release, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who co-chaired the meeting with Indonesian Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan explained that “the F-11 member states agreed to accept the three new members not only because of their rainforest, but because of their shared vision and mission on forests.” Representatives from all 11 of the pre-existing members attended the meeting.

The release further said that apart from the agreement on the new member states, the meeting was also marked by the inauguration of the F-11 website, as a means for stakeholders to interact and better understand the work being undertaken by the F-11 countries on forest-related issues and management. “Another milestone in the co-operation was the launch of the program of work and strategic plan that will serve as the implementation mechanism for the F-11 to be completed in the period of 2010-2011”, the release added.
The cooperation among rainforest countries is expected to increase awareness on forest and biodiversity conservancy in international fora. According to the Indonesian Foreign Minister, “Prior to the establishment of the F-11, discussions on forest issues at the international-level had the tendencies to be negative.”

The F-11 is expected to change the paradigm so that future discussions on forest issues can be more constructive.

Mash 2010

Scenes from Mash 2K10

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mandela Avenue dump site on fire again!!

Government commits $258M for El Nino interventions

GOVERNMENT, in continuing efforts to deal with the current El Nino phenomenon, will be injecting $258M more for a range of current interventions as well as the post crisis period.
This announcement was made by President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday when he met with farmers in Region Two

A farmer shares his concerns at the meeting with the Presdent.

(Pomeroon/Supenaam), to discuss the current situation and to listen to their concerns and suggestions.
Speaking at his first meeting at the 8th May Community School in Dartmouth Village on the Essequibo Coast, he acknowledged that farmers are experiencing severe difficulties at this time.
“I just want to assure you that the Government remains cognizant of the difficulties that you are facing, and that the entire apparatus of the Government is focused on bringing as much relief as is humanely possible to our people right across Guyana”, he said.
He observed that the impact of the unique weather condition is severe, and it has taken a toll, not just on crops, but on livestock and even people’s way of life, with some communities having difficulties with drinking water, particularly, in the Amerindian communities in some of the regions.
He assured that ‘there is a full scale effort’ by the Government to bring relief to people, and funds have been dedicated to the efforts which are very costly, such as pumping water or transporting water for long distances.
To this end, he disclosed, “The Minister of Agriculture just brought an additional document to the Cabinet to seek support for intervention in several areas for cash crop farmers and for farmers generally.
He explained that he was informed by Minister of Housing and Water that it could cost as much as $90,000 to transport one load of water into some of these communities.
President Jagdeo noted this is a huge challenge, and pointed out that the intervention also deals with livestock.Read more.....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Meet S.A.S.O.D Executive Joel Simpson

Stability in a volatile Global Financial System: The Jagdeo Factor

Dr Prem Misir: ALL IS NOT well on the world’s economic front. Economic and financial crises in the U.S. continue to carry global consequences. Guyana, nonetheless, remains largely unscathed, due to President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo’s stewardship bringing prudent economic management and strong, sustainable macroeconomic fundamentals; also, the President’s early vision of the utility value of the non-traditional Enhanced HIPC debt relief was a master stroke; where such relief freed up funds for better education, health, and social services.
Remember the Cochabamba Summit in 2006, where President Jagdeo secured the South American Community of Nations’ endorsement of a resolution, asking the IDB for 100 per cent debt relief of Guyana’s stock of debt with December 2004 as the cut-off point, effective from January 2007; this relief amounted to US$467 million. These represent the Jagdeo Factor at work. And there are other aspects of the Jagdeo Factor, even as the global economy remains fragile.

Notwithstanding this global volatility, Guyanese critics’ exuberance for isolationist explanations in the political economy gains momentum. For instance, they attribute the country’s current economic status totally to the Government’s policies and programs. These critics make no attempt to anchor their explanations in the realm of the global crisis. What is happening in the global economy today?
United States Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben S. Bernanke at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Annual Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 2009, noted that since the start of the financial crisis in August 2007, the financial system remains stressed out, with rising inflation due to a commodity boom, a slowing down of the economy, failure of many vital financial institutions and financial markets, and the emergence of the global economy into a deep recession.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) declined by 39% in 2009, from US$1.7 trillion in 2008 to US$1 trillion in 2009. Smaller FDI inflows affected other regions: Africa by 36%, Asia 32%, and Latin America by 41%.
Global trade bore the brunt of the financial meltdown; the World Bank reported that global trade fell 31% between August 2008 and March 2009; but some recovery is now happening, as global trade is now growing at an annualized rate of 11%; and the total worth of global current account balances fell from 5.9% of global GDP in 2008 to approximately 3.9% in 2009.
The East Asian economies after being in dire economic straits for some years, could show a growth rate of 4.2% for 2009 and 6.8% for 2010 (Asia Economic Monitor) because of timely monetary and fiscal policy responses to the international financial meltdown. And the New York Times recently reported that the Japanese economy increased at an annualized rate of 4.6% in the final quarter of 2009, probably avoiding a double-dip recession. But economists now believe that Japan’s growth rate would become lethargic this year, due to decelerated domestic demand.
However, the global economy may return to the growth path this year from a 0.8% global fall in output last year, but its recovery is still fragile, the IMF noted; this year, the U.S. may see a growth of 2.7%, and the Eurozone of 16 countries may expect a GDP growth rate of a mere 1%. In fact, the developed economies may only increase by 2.1% in 2010, slower than other economies.

Caribbean economies also are experiencing an economic slowdown. The Latin America Monitor noted the following: St. Lucia’s tourism sector experienced a downturn in 2009, when its tourist arrivals in the first nine months declined by an average of 8.2%; Belize’s GDP growth declined by 0.2% in the third quarter of 2009; Trinidad & Tobago’s central balance remains in a weakened state at TT$3.2 billion at August 2009.
A UN report predicted only a 2% growth rate for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2009 and an unemployment rate of above 8%; the critical factors explaining this slow growth are decline in commodity prices and restrictions on domestic credit.
And ECLAC reported that in 2009, that due to the global crisis, exports fell 42% in Venezuela, 32% in Andean countries, 29% in the Caribbean, 22% in Mexico and Chile, and only 6% in Central America.
Nonetheless, critics still fail to assimilate the implications of this slowdown in the world economy for their local economy. Trade union leaders making irresponsible demands for wage hikes exemplify only one of many cases of non-assimilation. The current economic scene in Guyana requires some form of wage restraint, given the dismal impacting global economic conditions.
But notwithstanding a sluggish world economy, Guyana’s economy remains buoyant with very few bruises from this global crisis. Let me now present a sample of developmental gains in 2009:
1. Economic growth for 2009 was 2.9%, with positive growth since 2005.
2. A 3.3% increase in sugar production and a 9.2% rise in rice production from 2008.
3. A 5.8% increase in Other Crops’ output.
4. Rise in livestock sector output by 2.5%.
5. Increase in mining and quarrying output by 0.7%.
6. Raw gold output rose by 14.7%.
7. Engineering and construction sector gained momentum at 1.5%.
8. Transport and communication sector expanded by 2%.
9. Increases in the following: distribution sector increased 6.6%; financial services 3%; dwelling rentals 2%; and other services 3%.
10. Balance of payments’ surplus at US$234.4 million, and a reduced current account deficit by 31.6%.
11. Gold export earnings produced a 38.3% increase in export revenues.
12. Increase in the Bank of Guyana’s external reserves to US$628 million, the highest yet.
13. Macro economic fundamentals intact - inflation was 3.6%; interest rate 9.58%; exchange rate appreciated at 0.97% against the USD.
14. Fiscal deficit 5.3% of GDP, declining from 7.6% in 2008.
Keep in mind that the world economy impacts the local economic conditions.

Ramjattan's duty free auto sales alliance.

Flier in circulation around Georgetown yesterday............

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Young people are the primary beneficiaries of this year's Budget, says Culture Minister

As part of its commitment to sustainable development in Guyana, Culture Minister Dr Frank Anthony said, his ministry will be holding special workshops for emerging writers in schools as well as establishing a Music School during the year.

Frank Anthony

As the budget debate ran into its second day yesterday, Dr Anthony, who also holds the ministerial portfolio for Youth and Sport, declared that young people are “the primary beneficiaries of this budget”. He indicated that there had been several initiatives which sought to particularly target youths. Among these are special programmes equipping them to deal with social issues.

Responding to concerns raised by PNCR-1G MP Africo Selman on Monday regarding the absence of a National Youth Policy, Anthony said there is currently a National Youth Policy. Anthony said that the ministry will be moving to upgrade the policy this year with the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Meanwhile, regarding the establishment of the music school, Anthony said it was observed that persons had limited opportunity to learn practical and theoretical music within the country. A specialized team has been developing a curriculum even as the instruments have already been procured. According to Anthony, shortly, the ministry will be recruiting the teachers to start this programme.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport will be sponsoring a special essay competition in schools and the writers of the best 30 essays will be trained during a creative writing workshop to be held in August. This workshop will be conducted by UK-based Guyanese Professor David Dabydeen. During the workshop the children will develop creative pieces which will be performed in December 2010 at the Festival of Words in honour of National Poet Martin Carter. These pieces will then be published, the minister said.

“We feel that this investment by the government will not only help to preserve our rich literary legacy but will also develop a new generation of writers and poets,” Anthony said.

The minister also outlined specific efforts being undertaken to improve the National Museum and the Walter Rodney Archives, which he emphasised, were being treated as very important entities in the country.

Further, Anthony announced that his ministry is also committed towards developing theatre in the country. He said that it is seeking to arrange a national drama festival to have playwrights and actors display their talents. He said this would be held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC). He added that plans are also in the pipelines for the establishment of a National Theatre School at the NCC He also added that repairs on the roof of the NCC will be done this year.

Additionally, Anthony said that the ministry’s effort in developing sports infrastructure has been gaining momentum. The minister pledged that the long-awaiting Olympic-sized pool “will be fully operational by the middle of this year”. He said that this had been delayed due to the lack of technical expertise on the part of the local contractors, but he said they have since collaborated with an international firm.

Work on the racquet centre on Woolford Avenue is ongoing and phases should be completed during the year. In addition, Anthony said it is expected with the assistance from a donor agency, a Resource Centre, which will house a library and conference facility, will be erected.

“In 2010 our flagship infrastructure programme will be the development of a synthetic athletics track,” the minister said. The Guyana Amateur Athletic Association is a partner in this project, he added, while noting that a design firm was already hired and following a feasibility study of four sites, one site has been recommended.

AFC cannot even get an election petition to the Court right, yet they wanna run Guyana.

-Chief Justice dismisses AFC elections petition

Chief Justice Ian Chang yesterday dismissed the elections petition filed by the Alliance For Change, challenging the allocation of a parliamentary seat to the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic.
Justice Chang dismissed the petition on the grounds of procedural non-compliance.
Handing down the written decision, the chief justice noted that the AFC had failed to file an affidavit of service immediately after bringing the petition to the court.
The law states that any election petition must be followed almost immediately by an Affidavit of Service.
However, it was noted that the AFC presented the Affidavit of Service some 10 months after filing the petition.

Justice made the point that the rules of the Guyana Elections Commission are very clear when it comes to the filing of petitions.
The AFC had challenged the allocation of the Region 10 seat, following the 2006 national and regional elections, claiming that mathematically it should have been awarded to them.

C.N Sharma hospitalized after suffering Viagra related heart complications.

Doctors at the Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI) performed an angioplasty on Justice For All party leader CN Sharma yesterday after he complained of feeling unwell. He remains a patient at the institute and his condition is being monitored.

Resident interventional cardiologist at CHI, Dr Pratik Soni performed the operation and according to reports, Sharma had a drug-eluting stent inserted into his arteries. The non-surgical procedure lasted just over ten minutes and Sharma was said to be doing well.

Officials at CHI were tight-lipped on the procedure and would only say that a prominent individual was treated at the institute and remained a patient. However, sources close to the broadcaster confirmed that he went into the hospital yesterday after feeling unwell and a decision was subsequently taken to have the procedure done.

Media reports suggests that Sharma’s relatives had weighed the decision to fly him out of the country for the operation, but later settled on the services offered by the local institute which is located in the compound of the Georgetown Public Hospital. There are also reports that Sharma was a frequent user of Viagra which is the most-prescribed oral medicine for erectile dysfunction (ED), and his ailment might be as a result of one of its many side effects.

Sharma’s family when contacted said they would speak publicly today. His procedure yesterday was reportedly the first ever done in the country because he had a second stent inserted.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hammie's Georgetown Going "Green"!

This is the state of one of the downtown pavements...............Hammie is really doing a good job. I see the City Council has signed on to Bharrat's Low Carbon Development Strategy!!

Corbin celebrated his birthday yesterday

Yesterday was the Comrade Leader's Birthday............

Friday, February 12, 2010

Corlette looses court case!

Clement Corlette

A high court action filed on November 3rd, 2009 by Region Four Chairman, Clement Corlette against the Regional Executive Officer, Shafdar Alli was dismissed on February 9, 2010 when the matter was brought before Justice Roxanne George Wiltshire.

The Regional Chairman through Attorney-at-Law Michael Somersall had moved to the Court since he felt that the R.E.O had been disregarding his direct orders and those of the council.
Ali was accused of executing and awarding projects without the knowledge of the Regional Chairman. Corlette's Lawyer filed a writ of Certiorari against the R.E.O. An injunction was also filed preventing the R.E.O from executing or taking any steps to execute projects and awarding contracts without the lawful authority of the chairman.

R.E.O Shafdar Alli denied all the allegations and said he executed his duties in his capacity as Regional Executive Officer as is prescribed by the law.
Justice George-Wiltshire heard arguments from both the defense and plaintiff before dismissing the matter. The court ordered the Regional Chairman to pay the R.E.O $25,000 for damages.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stabroek News Asst. Editor doing AFC propaganda wuk!

Stabroek News Asst. Editor, Andre Haynes, is busy these days doing AFC propaganda work on various blog forums instead of doing his work at the Stabroek News.
On any given day Haynes spends close to 3 hours on various political commentary forum regurgitating AFC political hash during working ours. Doreen De Caries needs to ensure that she gets value for her money, but then again, the Stabroek News has become an unapologetic AFC mouth-piece with the infiltration of its staff by AFC elements.

Murray and Co asleep while the Budget was being read.

Stabroek News: The $142.8 billion budget announced yesterday by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh has been lambasted by members of the parliamentary opposition who say that the budget offers “nothing new” to Guyanese.

Shadow Finance Minister PNCR-1G MP Winston Murray said that Singh’s presentation was “long on words and short on substance”. He noted that Singh had delivered a three-hour presentation but he criticised the finance minister for not outlining how the administration plans to “lift Guyanese out of poverty” and improve their general lives. He noted that the budget also failed to address the issue of unemployment.

He also spoke about the burden of the value added tax (VAT) which he described as a millstone around people’s necks. He noted that VAT has proved to be a great revenue earner for the government but he opined that this money was being spelt widely without it being channelled to lift the burdens of the people.

Winston Murray

Murray noted that while this year’s budget which amounts to $142.8 billion, is the largest in the country’s history, there was no mention of measures being put in place to address corruption. He said corruption is causing funds to be “leaked out of the system” and it appeared that the administration had no interest in addressing this issue.

Winston Murray agreed that Dr Ashni Singh is boasting the largest budget in GUYANA’S HISTORY ($GY 143B).
But Mr Murray goes on to whinge that there was no mention of measures being put in place to address corruption.

Perhaps Murray went for a nap when the Finance Minister informed that … “Custom trade taxes are projected to collect $8.3 billion which is partly due to IMPROVED SURVEILLANCE ACTIVITIES”

Wrap up the good news any way you like, Murray:

1 The buoyant PRIVATE SECTOR has generated an increased taxation by 5% from corporation taxes and income from the self employed.

2 GDP growth last year was 2.3%. This year it is projected at 4.4% and the world is in a downturn.

3 Guyana’s inflation rate is now 3.6% and I wonder if Murray can remember what the inflation rate was like when Dictator Burnham lorded it over Guyana?

It is not the responsibility of any Government to "lift" its citizens out of poverty. And such a suggestion by Murray speaks volumes about the PNC's attempts to make the citizens and their supporters dependent on the state.
Rather, it is the citizens who who must 'lift' themselves through hard word.

It is the responsibility of the Government however, to create the conditions necessary for such a development and the significant investments in infrastructure highlighted in this year's Budget is geared towards creating jobs as jobs generate spending power and thus gives the citizens ample opportunity to 'lift' themselves out of poverty.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Citizen's security foremost in the Government's mind

-$473M for construction of forensic lab

With the security of its citizens being in the front burner the sum of $473 million has been allocated by the government for the construction of a forensic laboratory which will significantly improve our forensic investigative capacity

The mobility and efficiency if our forces will benefit from an allocation of $544 million for the purchase and maintenance of vehicles including the purchase of one water cannon and one mobile police station.. In addition, over $256 million will be extended to train our forces including the training of trainers in the police force in areas of investigation and detection of crime, information management, case management and strategic management.

AFC recruits a 'Mc Coy' of their own in Leon J. Suseran!

See here: We backed the AFC hoping they might be better . Now we are thinking different . Our nephew is admin in a chat room and he says Leon .J. Suseran is gay and troubles men . He(Suseran) curses people and does nasty things in chat rooms.

Budget 2010 at a glance.........

Real GDP

-The Guyanese economy grew by 2.3 percent in 2009-a fourth consecutive year of positive growth since the 2005 floods.

-Non-sugar gross domestic product grew by 2.2 percent in 2009.

Viewed in the global and regional context, this sustained domestic performance is demonstrative of the increasingly strong fundamentals on which our economy now rests.

Sectoral Performance

-Sugar production amounted to 233,736 tonnes, an increase of 3.3 percent over the previous year.

-The rice industry expanded its input by 9.2 percent to produce 359,789 tonnes, the highest annual production level in a decade and the second highest production level in the entire history of the industry.

- The other crops sector grew by 5.8 percent, reflecting continued returns to the 'Grow More' food campaign and more efficient market access, particularly with the bridging of the Berbice River.

-The fishing sector contracted by 10.5 percent, mainly on account of lower demand in export markets.

-The forestry sector also contracted by 0.6 percent driven by lower log production and reflecting lower demand for forest products in the export markets.

- The mining and quarrying sector recorded growth of 0.7 percent, reflecting mixed performances in the sub-sectors

- The manufacturing sector continued to record mixed performances, with some sub-sectors such as aerated beverages, mineral or distilled water and stock-feed recording increased production.

-Growth in the engineering and construction sector moderated to 1.5 percent.

- The transport and communication sector grew by 2 percent, while the distribution sector expanded by 6.6 percent, financial services by 3 percent, rental of dwellings by 2 percent and other services by 3 percent.

Balance of Payments

-The balance of payments reflected significant improvement to end 2009 with an overall surplus of US$234.4 million, compared with a surplus of US$5.6 million in 2008
The overall balance of payment surplus enabled the Bank of Guyana to increase its external reserves position from US$356 million at the end of 2008 to US$628 million, the highest ever in our country's history.

Monetary Developments

-Credit to the private sector increased by 5.7 percent

- Government increased the ceiling on mortgages granted by the New Building Society Ltd. from $8 million to $12 million. In addition, Government increased the ceiling on loans granted by participating commercial banks under Government's low income housing programme from $2 million to $8 million.

Price and Income

-At the end of 2009 inflation was 3.6 percent

- The value of the Guyana dollar appreciated by 0.97 percent against the US dollar.

Fiscal Position

Non-Financial Public Sector

-The fiscal performance of the non-financial public sector continued to improve in 2009, with an overall deficit of $13.5 billion or 5.3 percent of gross domestic product, a significant reduction from the 7.6 percent in 2008.

Central Government

Current revenue amounted to $94.9 billion, an increase of 15 percent over 2008, as a result of improved performance of both tax and non-tax revenue categories

Total expenditure increased by 11.4 percent above 2008 to $127.4 billion primarily as a result of significant increases in investment expenditure of 30.7 percent to $47 billion and a moderate increase of 2.5 percent in current expenditure. The former was mainly due to increased investment in the agricultural, construction and housing sectors.

AFC Cocaine Lawyer attempting to deprive man of his land on drug dealer's behalf.

A L.B.I family is now fearful for their lives after an encounter with a local drug baron and his lawyer over their refusal to sell land that belongs to them. According to Jaipaul Mohabir, his land which he obtained lawfully back in 1995, is in close proximity to a property which was acquired by Bramanand 'Brammo' Nandalall a.k.a Bramanand Rambarichie some time in 1997. He said that in 2009 he was approached on Brammo's behalf by AFC executive member and Lawyer, Nigel Hughes, who along with his wife, Cathy Hughes, shares a very close relationship with Brammo, to sell his land and he refused. Jaipaul says that ever since his home was repeatedly visited and he and his family were threatened by men in several heavily tinted vehicles. He and his wife were even followed on some occasions, all the way to Georgetown.

He recently learned that moves are afoot to deprive him of his property through the manipulation of the legal and judicial system after he was told by a friend of his at the High Court's Registry that Hughes made several attempts to obtain his transport. He later confronted Hughes, who told him bluntly that, "you cannot win di boss, cause di big man more powerful and got more money and connections than you". Jaipaul and his family have since relocated in fear for their lives.

Former PNC/R Parliamentarian had ties to Iranian terrorist-FBI Investigator

An FBI officer has sworn in an affidavit that former PNCR parliamentarian Abdul Kadir, indicted over a conspiracy to blow up the JFK airport in 2007, had links to Iranian Moshen Rabbani who was charged in Argentina for masterminding a deadly attack on a Jewish centre.

Abdul Kadir

US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officer, Robert Addonizio made this disclosure in a recent affidavit in a Brooklyn Federal Court in an attempt to convince Judge Dora Irizarry that all evidential material before the court was seized in accordance with the law. The prosecution was forced to make this move after Kadir and his co-accused, Russell Defreitas, a Guyanese with US citizenship who has since claimed to be ‘the brain’ behind the alleged conspiracy, applied to have evidence gathered during the investigation suppressed.

The agent’s affidavit shed light on the local investigation in this case which investigators here had been silent on.

According to Addonizio, in June of 2007 Guyanese lawmen obtained and executed two warrants to search Kadir’s Linden residence and it was during one of the searches that documents establishing a relationship between him and Rabbani were uncovered.

Rabbani-who was a cultural attaché at the Iranian embassy in Argentina in 1994- is being sought for allegedly masterminding the 1994 car-bombing that killed 85 people and injured hundreds more at the Jewish Mutual Association of Argentina (AMIA).

The FBI agent said that Kadir- whose only contact with the US was back in 1996 when he was intransit on his way to and from The Bahamas- is linked to the plot through telephone conversations and surveillance.

The officer argued that the search by the Guyanese lawmen and those in Trinidad, who had examined his luggage after he was arrested in that country on his way to Iran through Venezuela, were all done in accordance with the laws of the two countries.

“Trinidadian law enforcement further advised that it had initially turned over Kadir’s luggage to a third party, but later had obtained and executed a warrant, issued under Trinidadian law, to seize and search the luggage. The luggage contained, among other items, the thumb drive that is referenced in Kadir’s motion to suppress”, the agent deposed.

The FBI agent swore that on or about June 3, 2007 and June 10, 2007 Guyanese law enforcement agents conducted two searches and it was during the first that the documents were found.

He said he was present during the second of the two searches done at the home of Kadir in Linden and it was executed in the presence of his family members and among the items seized were two computer hard drives which were not searched until they were taken to the US.

“Guyanese law enforcement turned over the hard drives and other evidence to JTTF (New York Joint Terrorism Task Force) and FBI agents present in Guyana including myself, and the FBI shipped the evidence to New York. The hard drives were never searched in Guyana. In an abundance of caution, the JTFF sought and obtained a warrant to search the hard drives, issued by United States Magistrate Judge Joan M Azrack of the Eastern District of New York on July 5, 2007”.

He related that the drives were then searched with the assistance of FBI computer forensic experts for documents, video clips, photographs and other relevant files.


President Bharrat Jagdeo was on Saturday conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.

President Bharrat Jagdeo with his honorary doctorate (GINA photo)

The Guyanese Head of State attended the University 20 years ago where he obtained his Masters Degree in Economics.

The Government Information Agency said that President Jagdeo was selected by the Academic Board of the University on January 25, 2010 for the award.

The conferral was held in the Kremlin on the 50th Anniversary celebration of the founding of the University established by the Government of the Soviet Union on February 5, 1960.

President Jagdeo in receiving the honour delivered a speech in Russian to the packed auditorium, his first Russian address since attending the university.

The Guyanese Leader thanked the University for presenting him the honour and praised the institution for its multiculturalism, GINA said.

AFC is not about change-Joey Jagan

Cheddi Joey Jagan Jr: I would like to comment on the recent articles in both the SN and Kaieteur News, reporting Mr. Robert Corbin’s statements concerning the revelations by Mr. Raphael Trotman and the AFC, that, there are ongoing “secret” talks between the PPP and PNC and furthermore, Mr. Trotman’s insinuation that there is something sinister in such talks.

The PNC and the PPP are not mistake-free and guilt-free in the history of Guyanese politics but the deep schism between them is the primary cause of our nation’s troubles, both in the past and down to the present; but there has always been a dialogue between them and a reluctance to take Guyana to a everlasting political/racial conflict which would have made us poorer and more devastated than the worst parts of Haiti.

As a teenager, I remember, during the ‘Dark Period’ of the early 1960s, when the PNC and PPP were engaged in spreading violence, my godfather, Forbes Burnham, and my father, Cheddi Jagan both met on several occasions secretly (they even went to the seawalls some evenings) to, I am sure, contain the violence.

As recently as 1985, these great Guyanese leaders met to discuss a coalition government of the PPP/PNC, and Mr. Trotman, as a former leading luminary of the PNC, has to be aware of these historical events; he also has to be quite aware that his party’s six seats in Parliament with single digit support at the 2006 polls, with the present constitutional arrangements, is really a ticket to no-where.

So why is Mr. Trotman so opposed to Mr. Corbin asking and seeking shared governance, which is what we really need, and why is he attacking Mr. Corbin for alleged talks with the PPP (especially when shared governance will hopefully get the AFC a chance to participate in a government of national unity)? The answer is simply that even though the AFC wants us to believe that it’s about change, it really is about politics-as-usual and a power seeking mentality aggrandized by what they perceive as wider support in the next elections, which will never happen. Read more....

Friday, February 5, 2010

To whom shall they turn when the AFC is in bed with the PNC?

Seopaul Singh: The PNCR leader R. Corbin is cited in SN 2/05/10 Corbin accuses AFC of downplaying contact with PNCR as follows, “Corbin added that the policy was formulated even before the AFC existed, while noting that the party has been consistently consulted on matters of common interest. “While the PNCR has held no discussions or meetings with the PPP, the party held several meetings, discussions and consultations with the AFC over the past three years. Mr. Trotman should, therefore, explain to the public whether he considers those meetings between the AFC and the PNCR a secret,” he said. “The PNCR does not classify its meetings with the AFC, or any other political party or stakeholder, as secret.”
Clearly there is the interdependency between PNC and AFC for each to (help) fight the other’s battles (against the PPP). When I wrote earlier that AFC is a decoy for the PNC, one commentator was riled up to accuse me of being enthralled with the racial divide and Political Parties which foster Race voting etc. The facts are now surfacing here in the ‘lovers quarrel’ between Corbin and Trotman.
Let’s see where it goes from here ladies and gentlemen. Would their three years new-found romance end in a botch re-marriage? Remember their’s was already a Legal Separation? So I maintain that if the PNC and PPP come to some form of detente, there would be no place for the AFC. Or is it that the AFC hopes for a wholesale defection from the PNC? This seems the punch line in the joke of the standup comedians. Such would never happen ladies and gentlemen
Now let me hasten to add that the PNC requires the AFC (like it does the other Opposition Parties) as an outsider battle axe to chip away at the PPP support base if it can. The move of former PNCites to AFC has virtually ended. And Mr. R. Corbin has unwittingly confirmed my suspicion that AFC was the PNC decoy and has exposed one of his allies in the not so secret talks they were having since 2006. Sorry Mr. Ramjattan I do think you are sitting very uneasy in your seat right now being a ally of the PNC.
The PPP support base remains solid in spite of the Strike in the Sugar and Bauxite Industries. Furthermore, it will take better cocks than Mike to crow over such a wasting of the PPP support base. To whom shall they turn when the AFC is in bed with the PNC? The likes of AFCites, PR, TK, BS and many initials of other eloquent voices would be silenced sooner rather than later at the double role of the AFC.
Those who get disenchanted with the PNC may go over to the AFC, but this is not guaranteed seeing what is played out in the talks between PNC and AFC. However, in reality there is a strong retreat for the majority of Indians Amerindians and and Afro-Guyanes nowhere else but the PPP. If you cannot beat them you have to join them.
This paradoxically has been fuelled by the terror meted out to Indians everywhere in Guyana. And while the PPP has been accused of all and sundry Human rights violation and extra-judicial killings, let me dare to state most of it was done by the late HD Hoyte’s kith and kin “dogs of war” in and out of the Disciplined Services. As such those were yes! race violence involving one race.
And Mike this is not what I want this is what was/is happening on the ground. Those who get riled up over what I am writing should take a harder look at the scenario.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

AFC whorishness...........

Could you imagine that this had to be published?

The AFC gives this fire victim a small box of food stuff and a cheque for GY$5000 and had it published in today's Kaieteur News.

“Fear’, the New Shopping Item for the New Opposition

Dr Prem Misir: I want to use this letter to add to and reiterate some previous comments I made on elected dictatorship and by implication ‘fear’, in another context.

Sometimes, I wonder if political wisdom suddenly is the new kid on the block among some unique breed of columnists, editors, and paid letter writers of this country; who seemingly and arrogantly posture themselves as owning and controlling all the solutions to developmental problems here; these would include columnists including the Freddie Kissoon gang and, indeed some other assumed journalists; but on closer introspection, their solutions fail to withstand rigorous testing; their solutions are not grounded in the full breadth of data and information; their solutions are false.

The bottom line is Guyana unhappily bears the misfortune of accommodating a growing false journalism; crooked political writings passing for journalism among some columnists; writings inducing incitement and excitement to the usual suspects’ belligerent behaviors that typify their local pastimes.

These pen pushers peddle a false battle cry and an evil battle hymn today, painting Guyana as an elected dictatorship, and a failed state, and indeed, the ad nauseum allegations of corruption, money laundering, and narcotics connections. But then mine eyes see the new emerging election season upon us, and provides me with instructive insights into the minds of the pen pushers; insights that propel this unique breed of so-called journalists to metamorphose into the new irresponsible new political opposition.

Most recently, we see the use of ‘fear’ as a method to drive the new opposition’s political agenda. This is not novel and it is almost simplistic by all standards. Read more....

AFC launches misinformation campaign. Iran not in GY to seek Uranium.

GINA: The Office of the President is dismayed at the grossly inaccurate and misleading report by the Associated Press (AP) out of Georgetown today attributing statements to President Bharrat Jagdeo that he did not make.

At no time during his press conference at the Office of the President on Tuesday, January 26, 2010, did the President say that “Iranian scientists will identify uranium deposits using updated technology” in Guyana as AP claimed.

A release last evening from the Office of the President said, “ This is totally inaccurate and the Office of the President urges AP to immediately retract and correct the report by its Georgetown correspondent who was not even at the press conference.

“For the record, President Jagdeo said Iran has agreed to deploy its world class geo-scientific techniques to help Guyana accurately map its mineral wealth deposits and an Iranian mission is due here soon to begin working with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission on the project.

“The President noted that because Iran is in a very active earthquake region, it has developed world class geo sciences labs and uses the same science employed to predict earthquakes to map mineral potential and resources.

“Guyana has long lacked this capability and because of the absence of data on its mineral resources, it has relied on investors to seek prospecting licences and then develop a project in a “hit and miss way”, he said.

“The Iran offer opens new vistas and the President said GGMC Head, Mr. William Woolford, is excited about the prospects.

“There was no mention of “uranium deposits” or any other mineral and the Office of the President deplores this disgustingly misleading report aimed at sensationalism.

“The President also reported that Iran will provide Guyana with a US$1.5M grant for the health sector and did not say that Iran will send doctors to fill shortages at state hospitals as AP claimed.

“The Office of the President hopes that AP will take the necessary course to avoid a repeat of such despicable reporting by its Guyana correspondent,” the Office of the President statement concluded.

However despite the above Trotman went on to report say this :

Guyana opposition slams Iran uranium deal

Published on Thursday, February 4, 2010 Email To Friend Print Version

By Neil Marks

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Reuters) -- Guyana's opposition leaders said on Wednesday the government may be helping Iran enrich uranium and damaging ties with the United States with a plan to have Iran map the South American country's mineral resources.

Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo, who traveled to Tehran last week, announced the upcoming visit of a team of scientists from Iran, which is facing heavy criticism from the United States and its allies over its nuclear enrichment program.

Iran raised eyebrows last year with offers to help map uranium deposits in Venezuela, where leftist President Hugo Chavez supports Tehran's nuclear program.

"Iran makes no secret of its search for uranium, it is doing the same in Venezuela," says Rafael Trotman, top legislator for the opposition Alliance for Change Party.

"There are known uranium deposits in Guyana and so it doesn't take much speculation to figure out what is going on."

He said this could sour relations with the United States, a major provider of development aid that plans to spend $52 million over the next five years to fight AIDS in Guyana, and is financing other trade, investment and governance programs.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes but Western powers suspect it is seeking to make weapons.

Guyana's Foreign Ministry did not comment on the accusations.

Iran has also agreed to give Guyana $1.5 million to build an institution to train specialist doctors as part of an unrelated cooperation deal.

Trotman said the nuclear mapping accord contrasts with the country's standard practice of requiring investors to secure a prospecting license before mining for minerals including gold and diamonds in the country's vast provinces.

A Canadian company is currently in Guyana exploring for uranium. The company, U308 Corp, has exclusive uranium exploration rights in an area covering approximately 1.3 million hectares that straddles the edge of the Roraima Basin in Guyana.

Uranium is found naturally in a variety of forms but only a particular adapted form of the mineral -- rather than simply the mined ore -- can be used for electricity or explosives.

This type, called U-235 to represent its mass, is present in less than 1 percent of mined ore.

We should also note that despite the headline being titled "Opposition" only Trotman is quoted.Is Trotman the spokesperson for the Opposition?

AFC against Muslims

Dr Randy Persaud: It is unfortunate that some elite Guyanese have become so slavish in their perspectives about the wider world. They have become more loyal than the King. They have become more American than the Americans. The Americans after all have opened relations with Libya, and have called for dialogue with the Muslim world. Not so in Guyana.

The anti-Middle East posture coming out of the AFC is alarming. In a recent press release the AFC says that starting relations with countries in the Middle East (most of which are Muslims) represents a dangerous shift. Here is the AFC in its own words – “We warn that the high wire act being performed by Mr. Jagdeo could lead to our becoming embroiled in a dangerous game being played out in a larger arena and one in which we could find ourselves impaled on the horns of an axis of death and destruction.”

It is regrettable that a political party in Guyana (in this case the AFC) would borrow the languae of ‘axis of evil’ to describe Guyana’s relations with United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Iran.

In closing I want to emphasise that Guyana’s relations with the Middle East in well within the ambit of this country’s sovereignty. Mr. Kissoon should look at our national interest in broader and more nuanced ways. His solipsistic understanding of the concept is not helpful.

I also call on the AFC to abandon its new programme of scaring Guyanese citizens about the Middle East. Please, let us not go there.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Benefits from the President's overseas travels immeasurable.

AFC leader Raphael Trotman in his criticisms of what he terms "the cost/benefit ratio for the Head of State’s numerous trips overseas" based his pronouncements on information received which purportedly suggests that the cost of Jagdeo’s overseas trips in the two and half years is nearing $1B. The AFC leader stressed that if one does a cost/benefit analysis of the visits, one would quickly realize that Guyana’s economy is not recording any net gains as according to him the costs of these trips far outweigh the benefits.

Apart from the fact that the $1B figure seems exaggerated by Trotman if we are to examine the benefits derived from just a few of these said trips we could easily deduce that it is another falsity being perpetuated by the seemingly dishonest AFC:

-During early 2009 Guyana secured a US$41M (GY$8.2B) write off from Libya as a result of successful lobbying by Jagdeo

-Iran committed to assisting Guyana in mapping its mineral resources along with the US$1.5M (GY$300M) grant it has allocated towards boosting the local health sector.

-Guyana will benefit from Kuwait's US$10M(GY$2B) grant aimed at enhancing the GOG's housing programme

So far using 3 instances in totality i have listed GY$10.5B in financial aid to Guyana.
Added to that is the fact that the President is invited to many of these trips abroad and in such instances incur no expenses to the state since these are covered by the host country.

In the same instance the AFC leader also chastised Jagdeo for seeking to forge new alliances with some middle eastern countries, specifically Iran and Kuwait. However Trotman seems unaware that since 2003, oil producing states have reaped a revenue windfall. As oil increased from $27.69 per barrel on average in 2003 to as much as $79 per barrel in 2006, Saudi Arabia, for example, saw its gross domestic product (GDP) increase by well over $130 billion over that time period, and the United Arab Emirates took home more than an additional $80 billion. Such revenues have generated enormous liquidity among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—and created unprecedented opportunities for large-scale overseas investments.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Proprietor refuses Benschop entry to Bartica Hotel-Reminds Benschop of his support for Fineman Gang which killed 12 Barticians!

Former treason accused, Mark Benschop, was denied was refused entry to the Platinum Inn hotel in Bartica after the proprietor claimed that Benschop was only in Bartica to stir up trouble in light of the protest held by miners yesterday and reminded him of the support given by him (Benschop) to the Fineman gang who were responsible for the massacre of twelve Barticians.

Barticans refuse to allow themselves to be prostituted by Opposition politicians!

As residents of the mining community of Bartica staged a peaceful protest yesterday in defiance of the government's proposed six months notice by miners before mining activity could take place, opposition figures scrambled desperately in a bid to use the opportunity for political mileage, their hopes were however dashed as the Barticians criticized them severely for not raising their voices in protest on critical mining issues and warned them that they will not be welcomed to use the occasion for politics since Bartica stands ready to fight its own battles.

Chavez writes off USD 295 million in Haitian debt!

Haiti has no debt with Venezuela -- on the contrary, it is Venezuela that has a historic debt with Haiti-Chavez

Caracas, January 26th 2010 (FOCUS News Agency) – President Hugo Chavez on Monday said that Petrocaribe, Venezuela's cut-rate regional energy alliance, will forgive quake-stricken Haiti's debt, AFP reported.
Haiti's debt with Venezuela is USD 295 million, about one-third of its global foreign debt of USD 1 billion, according to International Monetary Fund figures.
"Haiti has no debt with Venezuela -- on the contrary, it is Venezuela that has a historic debt with Haiti," Chavez said as he made the announcement.
Chavez was referring to the support that Haiti -- which obtained its independence from France in 1804 -- gave Venezuelan independence leader Simon Bolivar in 1815 and 1816 in his quest to free his country from Spanish colonial rule.
Chavez made the announcement at the closing ceremony of a meeting of foreign ministers from leftist countries with the ALBA trade alliance, a Cuba and Venezuela-supported regional common market founded in 2004.
Petrocaribe provides preferential oil pricing for its Caribbean members, with Venezuela picking up 40% of the cost if oil is selling over USD 50 a barrel.
When oil prices are above USD 50, member states will have up to 25 years to pay the bulk of the debt at a one percent interest rate, with two years grace.
Haiti, struggling to recover from the January 12 devastating 7.0 earthquake, received in the past days 225,000 barrels of Petrocaribe oil sent through the neighboring Dominican Republic.
Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic are Petrocaribe members.
Other Petrocaribe members include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, St Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as founding member Venezuela.
Separately, ALBA foreign ministers approved an aid package for Haiti that includes sanitary, energy, financial and educational assistance.
The ministers also expressed their concern over the "excessive foreign military presence" in the Caribbean nation, with no clear parameters over its "authority, purpose, role and length of stay."
Their presence "threatens to further complicate conditions on the ground and... international cooperation" for Haitian reconstruction, the ministers said.
They called on United Nations to take a central role in coordinating emergency efforts, and emphasized that the Haitians must take the lead in their country's reconstruction.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Freddie Kissoon's madness confirmed!

Click on the picture for an enlarged version

Lusignan resident responds to Freddie Kissoon.

R. Bisnauth: The Freddie Kissoon column dated Wednesday January 27, “An appeal to the East Indians of Lusignan Village”, has raised many eyebrows, especially among residents of Lusignan. It has prompted me to respond.

Mr. Freddie Kissoon, please be informed that we, the residents of Lusignan, on the East Coast Demerara, are not indentured servants and we respect ourselves and also impart not some, but enormous dignity to our character.

However, we the residents of Lusignan are not short-sighted, blind or masochistic, and if we pack our bodies on the Lusignan tarmac on the night of reflection for the victims of the Lusignan massacre, we are not reducing ourselves to robots in the eyes of the PPP politicians; rather it’s about lending our support and comfort for relatives and friends of those victims.

Mr. Kissoon, we, the residents of Lusignan, are not foolish and if we pour out our support for the PPP government which I am of the opinion it deserves, that is none of your business.

Mr. Kissoon, I will not get into the issue of what the Government did or did not do for this country in terms of crime reduction or why the government does not want foreign officers from the UK to be based in Guyana.

Finally, Mr. Kissoon I am appalled that you did not use your column to lend support to the families of those persons that were massacred. Rather you are interested in who hosted the night of reflection.

Jagdeo among the Early Callers for a New Bretton Woods Agreement

Dr. Prem Misir: Our own President Bharrat Jagdeo and some other Heads of State, time and again, are on record demanding change in the architecture of International Financial Institutions (IFIs). I will return to this point later in this letter.

Nonetheless, most recently, French President Nicholas Sarkozy in his keynote speech at the current World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, echoed a populous call for a new Bretton Woods agreement to control exchange rates and the function of the dollar, according to the Financial Times of London; Sarkozy now has become a member of the team in demanding significant changes at the IFIs.

President Sarkozy intimated that this will be an agenda item when France chairs the G8 and G20 in 2011. He really attacked the archaic and exploitative architecture of the IFIs.

In this vein, the French President issued an incisive assault on the structure of market capitalism, and felt that the currency exchange rate is the cause of serious inequities in the global economy. He argued that exchange instability and the undervaluation of some currencies are the chief culprits for unfair trade practices and unfair competition, including the huge disparities in the global economy; for this reason, he argued for exchange currency control which must involve a new Bretton Woods agreement.

The Financial Times of London recently noted that many significant changes that impacted the management and regulation of the economy were due to cataclysmic upheaval, and eventually the Bretton Woods Pact. For instance, it pointed out that in order to finance military expenditures in Europe, the English came up with the idea of central banking in 1694; to finance the Napolelonic Wars, the British introduced the modern income tax system; and subsequently, the Great Depression between 1929 and 1935 and then the Second World War brought us to the Bretton Woods agreement which created the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for crisis lending, and the World Bank for development aid. But these changes flowing from serious conflicts should not be surprising, as only conflicts generate change. Nonetheless, we have to manage the conflicts, in order to engineer desirable changes. And the early callers for change in the international financial structure are intent upon redesigning the IFIs.

The Financial Times went to say that these IFIs’ weaknesses in managing a changing economy continue unabated to influence decision making; the Financial Times of London asserted “But despite a torrent of rhetoric about a new Bretton Woods, the world ends the decade with much the same system as it began. The lesson is that institutional fiddling is not a substitute for political courage.” Excessive rhetoric and not political will to effect a transformation of the IFIs remain the current strategy of some politicians in both the developed and developing world; and some of these politicians should latch on to Ernest Hemingway’s assertion and assimilate this view in their personal construct: “Courage is grace under pressure.” Or they should take on board Arthur Schopenhauer’s idea that “Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.”

Criticisms of the IFIs abound. Our own President Bharrat Jagdeo at the 64th UN General Assembly in 2009, noted that “because our fear is that if we continue along the same path then we will have a new architecture that caters only for the concerns of the big countries - expanded now to the G-20, and the smaller countries will not see their concerns reflected in that architecture…this is why last year I called for a new Bretton Woods-type conference, where all the countries in this room helped to create that architecture…”

Jagdeo alluded to the inherent weaknesses of the IFIs when he asserted at the United Nations University in Japan in 2007 that “Although it may not be generally known, the IMF measures our countries along the same standards as Brazil and India. Special instruments are required to measure our performance so that development programmes could be suitably tailored. The Multilateral Financial Institutions should not look narrowly at the per capita income of countries and graduate them out of soft loans. Those countries which have been designated as Middle Income Countries still face problems which are magnified because of their small size.” This was one of President Jagdeo’s finest papers which merits official publication at another level.

In his Rio Summit’s opening remarks in 2007, President Jagdeo spoke about reforming the IMF and the World Bank to secure increased democracy in their decision making and that their policies should echo today’s issues.

And then at the Development Cooperation Forum at the Carter Center in 2002, Jagdeo spoke about the dichotomy between the IMF’s public statements and what actually happens at the ground level; and that the IFIs’ missions negotiating power is disproportionate to that of the locals. President Jagdeo noted at this Forum “Many of the policy positions being taken will increase poverty. We are not going to achieve [the Millennium Development Goals]. There is a big dichotomy between public declarations and what actually happens on the ground in countries like ours.” This President made other remarks on the need to reform the IFIs.

There are others. Dr Maurice Odle spoke about the lack of democracy in the IFIs; and at a Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Forum in 2008, he also talked about systemic weaknesses of the financial design of the IMF. Francis Gavin of the University of Texas noted that both the IMF and the World Bank are tools of U.S. economic foreign policy, as the U.S. is one of the largest funding sources to these organizations. The Bretton Woods Projects accused the World Bank of disregarding the poorest countries; for instance, the World Bank reduced cash disbursements to Sub-Saharan Africa by $500 million in the last fiscal year.

The University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development also indicated a series of criticisms: The World Bank has a top-heavy bureaucratic structure; the World Bank funded projects that destroyed weak eco-systems, resulting in the dislocation of many people; several human rights concerns bedeviled a number of World Bank projects; the World Bank has a counterproductive loan culture where the projects were unresponsive to community needs. And the criticisms go on and on.

For these reasons, it is a welcome signal from President Sarkozy to demand a new Bretton Woods agreement; but President Jagdeo and others were among the early challengers to the structural redesign of the IFIs.

AFC's thrust for 'vision' sees its recruitment of local Optometrist!

Dr. Johan Alistair Da Silva

Kaieteur News: Prominent optometrist, Dr. Johan Alistair Da Silva, of Modern Optical Service of Middle Street Georgetown, has officially joined the Alliance For Change.

AFC made a big announcement out of the fact that they successfully recruited Peter Ramsaroop, Tarron Khemraj and now Johan Alistair Da Silva. However, persons are asking: what specific political goodwill and support these individuals, individually, have with the Guyanese voters, orgnizations, societies, etc. that is enough to increase the AFC support from the 8% it received in 2006?

The AFC's bankruptcy of ideas on developmental programmes highlighted by its support for unregulated mining practises.

Stabroek News: AFC leader Raphael Trotman is urging the withdrawal of the proposal for a six-month notice before mining can commence, while saying he is concerned that the government is on a trajectory to stifle both the existing forestry and mining sectors, which could put over 50,000 out of work.

Raphael Trotman

According to Trotman, the government’s action seems to be driven by conditionalities likely imposed by governments in more developed and prosperous nations, who are more concerned about the global environment than about the survival and well-being of the Guyanese worker and his family. The six-month notice period and other recent measures are linked to the government’s pursuit of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and a recent forest protection agreement with Norway.

NOTE: Back in 2009 the AFC said it was all for the climate change remedial measures and subsequently threw its support behind Guyana's LCDS as a result, however, in typical prostitute fashion the AFC has now thrown its support behind unregulated mining practices which effectively undermines the thrust of the LCDS they earlier supported. Folks, there is one word in political lingo for this: OPPORTUNISM!!

The AFC continues to display a bankruptcy of ideas on developmental programmes and apparently seems more contented sitting back like anacondas waiting to make issues out of minority suggestions…