Thursday, September 30, 2010

Like Christopher Ram, Freddie Kissoon & G.H.K Lall, David Granger is just another political opportunist masquerading as a civil society advocate.

David Granger

Retired Brigadier David Granger's recent announcement only confirms views expressed here by us that self titled 'civil society advocates' like himself, Freddie Kissoon, Christopher Ram, Sasenarine Singh, G.H.K Lall are actually political opportunists masquerading under disguise.
This network through the use of space and coverage provided by Kaieteur News and Stabroek News pretend to be objective but only spew anti-government bile.

Granger, through the Guyana Review often passes partisan criticisms of the current Government, its policies and programmes as objective criticism while being very lenient on the destructive policies of the former PNC administration, of which he played an integral part. While we have no quarrel with his political choice, we do have one with the level of pretense employed by Granger and his anti-government cabal.

Now that we know he is a supporter of the PNCR and its politics one needs to closely examine the following:

1) Granger's role in the Army. Especially since we earlier learnt that hundreds of high powered weapons were transferred from the Army to the PNC under his watch.

2) His role in the Guyana Review

CXC repeaters to benefit from free Math & English classes to be provided by the Government

Government will be sponsoring free classes in Mathematics and English over the next year for students who would have failed to matriculate at this year’s CSEC examination, Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon announced yesterday.

Roger Luncheon

He said that this would offer “a second opportunity” to those who failed to matriculate the June 2010 CSEC examination as well as others who failed to matriculate specifically because of weaknesses in Mathematics and English. Luncheon explained that matriculation “as of today” would include a minimum of 5 subjects (Grades 1 to 3) including Mathematics and English at one sitting or six subjects (including Mathematics and English) at two sittings.

“Cabinet’s agreement was to provide a year long course of academic reinforcement in English and Mathematics free to students who are eligible countrywide,” Luncheon said. “The courses will be delivered on a weekly basis at centres manned by resource persons from the Adult Education and from the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE),” he added. Special attention will be paid to students in the hinterland, Luncheon said, adding that other persons would be “solicited” via advertisements. These persons, Luncheon said would rewrite English and/or Mathematics in June of next year.

Luncheon said that cabinet is estimating that approximately 1000 students may enroll in the classes but said that it is likely that more would participate.

Man paid $10,000 to place CLICO bomb scare call.

A bomb scare at Clico’s main office on Camp Street, yesterday forced the temporary suspension of services for about an hour.
Media reports indicate that the switchboard operator received a call shortly after noon, stating that there was a bomb in the building.
Staff members were alerted and they immediately rushed out into the streets. The police and fire service were called in.
Several checks inside the building by the police bomb experts failed to locate anything.
About 15 minutes later officers informed workers that it was safe to re-enter the building. Judicial Manager Tracy Gibson merely said she was not inside of the building when the incident occurred.
Gibson said she received a phone call from a staff member informing her about the “bomb scare” and she rushed over.
Officials from the insurance company refused to comment on the incident.
However, we have learnt through our usually reliable sources that a certain self proclaimed civil society advocate who tried his earnest best to disrupt the President's meeting with CLICO policy holders paid an individual $10,000 to make the prank call in an effort to disrupt the payment of CLICO policy holders.

C.N. Sharma at no point in time over the past week entered the Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI)-Dr Pratik Soni

-Sharma's wife sought Doctor's assistance to forge medical referral letter

“Mr Sharma at no point in time over the past week entered the Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI). How can I diagnose or even refer a patient if I have not seen the patient?” questioned an evidently concerned Dr Pratik Soni yesterday.
Dr Soni, an International Cardiologist attached to CHI, was commenting on reports that Chandra Narine Sharma, owner of CNS Channel Six was refused access to the institution.

Dr Pratik Soni

Dr Soni has been operating at CHI since last year on a fulltime basis. Yesterday, he said that even if he is away there are three other specialists – Dr Ghansham Singh, Haydoc Wilson, and Shaskil Kumar – that are also available.
A statement issued by CNS Channel Six yesterday said that there were three separate attempts to have Sharma admitted into the care of the cardiologists at the CHI located within the Georgetown Hospital Compound.
The statement revealed that the first attempt was made last week Tuesday. Then, one of Sharma’s employees was informed that his admission could not be facilitated at the time.
The second attempt, the statement read, was last Saturday evening following Sharma’s “cardiac arrest and resuscitation” and a referral from a private institution to CHI.
Another attempt, the statement added, was made last Sunday evening. “The last two attempts family members received the same response from the attending nurses at the CHI who stated that while they are willing to admit Mr Sharma they were unable to make contact with the doctors or specialists to look at him.”
But according to Dr Soni, yesterday, it is clear that “Mr Sharma did not want to be admitted to the institution.” Citing the CHI appointment diary, Dr Soni said that it was on September 15, last, that Sharma contacted CHI to inquire when he could visit the institution.
An appointment was made for the following day (September 16) which should have seen Sharma undergoing both Stress and Holter tests, Dr Soni said. “He did not turn up…There was never a reason given but he didn’t come.
“We gave him a priority date because when patients come here we would normally give them an appointment date for the next week or so but he got the next day and didn’t show up,” Dr Soni added.
He disclosed that it was not until last week Tuesday that Sharma, though not directly, contacted CHI again. “He came but he didn’t even come in the compound. He parked his vehicle and sent up his Secretary (name given) and she asked if he could be admitted and our secretary told her that he would have to come up but he never did come up.
He never entered CHI…again it shows he never wanted to come,” the doctor speculated.
Subsequent to this, Dr Soni said that Sharma’s wife, Savitree Singh, attempted to garner a letter from CHI to have Sharma referred for medical treatment overseas. But according to Dr Soni he was in no position to offer such assistance as he had not attended to the patient.
“We understand he wanted an overseas opinion but as a doctor there is no way that I could have signed a letter of referral for Mr Sharma. We are always willing to help but how can we help when he is not presenting himself to us?” queried Dr Soni.
According to the statement issued by CNS Channel Six, Sharma, who is also leader of the Justice For All Party, was flown out of Guyana by medi-vac for emergency medical treatment on Tuesday.
The statement did not disclose a destination.
According to the statement, Sharma suffered a cardiac arrest last Saturday afternoon after his admission to a private medical institution where he was resuscitated by medical personnel.
This latest incident, the statement said, was preceded by Sharma being hospitalised three times over the last fortnight.
It added that after being released last Thursday, Sharma was re-admitted on Saturday afternoon after complaining of chest pains.
The statement added that the Sharma family subsequently made the decision to medi-vac him overseas for treatment after receiving the relevant legal approvals.
Reports are that Sharma’s United States visa, which was revoked by the United States Embassy, was allowed to leave the jurisdiction after his lawyer Nigel Hughes made an application to the High Court for Sharma to leave the jurisdiction on the grounds that he required medical attention overseas.
Sharma is currently embroiled in a sexual offence court matter, which was scheduled to be heard on Monday. However the case was reportedly postponed to October 22 due to Sharma’s illness and due to the fact that Special prosecutor Sanjeev Datadin was out of the country.
With a reported intent to secure medical, Sharma left Guyana aboard an Aerojet International flight for Trinidad on Tuesday.
Reports are that Sharma, who was a patient at the Balwant Singh Hospital since Saturday was transported by ambulance to the airport but boarded the plane as a normal passenger.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trotman's call for an election boycott is a reflection of the AFC's unpreparedness.

-Ramjattan supporters see it as another sideline attempt

AFC leader Raphael Trotman's suggestion that opposition parties should refuse to participate in 2011 elections until an investigation into the operations of the "Phantom Squad" is done is a very poor attempt to deflect from his party's unpreparedness and own internal ramblings.

It is no secret that the AFC is in serious trouble with 2011 general elections just around the corner. This trouble is fueled by the seeming unwillingness by top people in the party to honour the principle of leadership rotation, clarity about the relationship between the party leader and its presidential candidate and division within the party regarding its relationship with the PNC and the defunct WPA.
Persons within the party have told us that Trotman's recent call is also being viewed with much skepticism by insiders aligned to Khemraj Ramjattan as it is seen as a further attempt to deny Ramjattan the 2011 Presidential candidacy.

Dismissed without explanation, workers allege dictatorial behaviour by Pegasus owner, Robert Badal.

Poor working conditions at the Pegasus

Three employees of the Pegasus Hotel who were told not to return to work more than a week ago without any formal communication from the hotel’s management have expressed concern about the termination of their services and benefits due to them.

Yesterday, Ceyon Boyce, Otis James and Whitfield Archer told media operatives that there was a lack of information from management and no one within the hotel seemed to know why they were told not to return to work. The men, who were poolside waiters, yesterday accused owner of the hotel Robert Badal of behaving in a dictatorial manner concerning their services. They also said that over the past three months several other workers have been dismissed without any explanation.

One local media house tried to make contact with Badal but was told that he was in a meeting. When contacted Andrea Persaud, Human Resources Officer at the hotel, said she was unaware of the full circumstances of the situation since she was just back from annual leave. However, she disclosed that the hotel was in talks with officials from the Ministry of Labour and was currently designing a severance package for the workers.
The workers were adamant that they had done nothing wrong and if the hotel wanted to terminate their services they should have been given formal notice and the benefits due to them.

Boyce, who has worked at the hotel for the past five years, said that he had no prior problems with the hotel’s management. However, on September 18, he said, he was told to go home by the poolside department manager Arvin Kalian. He claimed that he was escorted out by a security officer, who told him that he had to declare the amount of money he had on his person— the first time he was asked to do so. He said that when he enquired as why he had to leave, an internal security officer reportedly told him that Badal said he had to go home. He said he has not heard from management since then although he has made several attempts to determine his employment status. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he maintained.

Meanwhile, James, who has been with the hotel for the past year and Archer, who has been employed there for the past 17 years, said their problems began in the wee morning hours of September 18, as they were about to leave work. As they made their way through the security check-points where their bags and persons are subject to examination, James said that he noticed a man there whom he had never seen before. The man, who did not have a security badge, allegedly said, ‘Y’all must declare y’all money to me.’ James added that he asked why, since it was not customary for them to declare their personal money.

Further, he said that to verify whether this was new procedure, he telephoned Kalian and enquired whether there was anyone checking cash at the security booth. Kalian told him no and he made a further check with the duty manager who was in charge at the time, and he too said that no one had been given that authority. As such, he and Archer left without declaring their money. The next day, they reported for duty and Kalian subsequently informed them that they had to leave and come back another day to speak to Badal. When he asked why, he was told that it resulted from his refusal to allow the man to check his money.

While they did return to see Badal, they were unable to do so and were informed by Kalian that they needed to write and submit a statement of what happened. This was done and submitted but since then they have not heard anything from the company. James said that he has called repeatedly but is no closer to understanding what is going on.

They also claimed that Badal is trying to get rid of the union at the hotel and said that he has reportedly offered the staff association $1,000 for each staff member that signs out of the union agreement. James said that while some members have signed the forms, others have held out since they see the need for the union.

All roads lead to Guyana's biggest trade exhibition- GUYEXPO

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Maniram Prashad stands in front of his ministry’s GuyExpo booth which is under construction at the National Exhibition Site, Sophia. GuyExpo will be held from October 1-6.

Workers decorating a sign at the entrance to the Sophia Exhibition site.

CLICO policy holders start receiving payment

Policyholders of the Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana can now start breathing a sigh of relief as the liquidator has commenced payouts.
This was confirmed by Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobin Ganga, yesterday.
According to Dr Ganga, these payouts will be made to those that have policies under $30M.
As it relates to the submission of bids for the assets he said that the closing date for bids was only on Friday and as such he was not in a position to comment given that he did not have the requisite information at hand.
A total of 11,290 policyholders with deposits and policies in the failed insurance giant are to be paid.

Monday, September 27, 2010


C.N Sharma is scheduled to make another court appearance to answer to charges that stemmed from his sexual assault of several underage girls today and guess what: HE FAKES ANOTHER HEART ATTACK!

Friday, September 24, 2010

GT BLUETOOTH: Some people like a ‘probing’

De Bluetoother amazed how some people does “sell” out dem self in public. De other day Glenn “sell” out by sehing he is a pick-pocket, a gutter cleaner and a weed cutter. To mek it ain’t look too bad, he seh Adam and Gordon is de same thing since all o’ dem gat GINA pass. Some does be even bolder and admit to other things. Like some o’ dem Hollywood celebrities who does go pun certain shows fuh “come out” de closet.

What dem ain’t know is what dem was “keeping” inside de closet was already out. People does know things. Dem can read between the lines especially when dem read de Waterfalls paper and watch Gordon and Adam news. De same paper and de two news calling fuh a probing into a certain thing in which dem gat “special” interest. Dem asking de guvment fuh probe phantom killings. De guvment seh no probing. Bluetoothers agree since dem dark days that over.

One Bluetoother seh if that is probe, then other things must get probe too. De Globe Trust fiasco should be probe. De manager wife is a Coconut Tree party parliamentarian. Glenn, Adam and Gordon loyal to that party. De crime wave a few years back and de supposed involvement of some member of de same Coconut Tree party should also be probe. Like everything else, probe gat probe back.

De Bluetoother can’t believe three men advocating so much fuh a probing. Is like dem obsess. Since there is no way dem gon get a probing from de guvment, de Bluetoother would like to suggest a competent Proctologist. So if yuh see de three o’ dem smiling, know that dem satisfied with de doctor! Is dem sell dem self out! Hmmm!

IMF 2010 report paints Guyana in positive light.

THE just released IMF Country Report for Guyana (No. 10/293) paints a positive picture of economic development in the country.

The report specifically states that Guyana has done a very good job weathering the global financial/economic crisis.

According to the IMF, despite the pass-through-effects of the global financial crisis as evidenced in flows in FDI and remittances, “the financial sector appears to have been resilient to the direct impact of the global shock…”

The IMF also suggests that the strong macro-economic environment in the country is propitious to further economic growth.

The IMF notes that the most visible impact of the global financial contagion is the collapse of CL Financial in Trinidad and Tobago and the resultant impact on CLICO-Guyana. As the IMF anticipated, the Government of Guyana is now addressing the fallout. GoG has committed more than $3 billion for policyholders.

Regarding monetary policy, the IMF notes that the right balance was struck between “ensuring price and external stability while availing liquidity to stimulate credit growth.” International reserves and exchange rate pressures were effectively dealt with through various open market operations.

Inflation declined significantly in 2009. It moved from 6.4% in 2008 to 3.6% in 2009.
The external current account deficit narrowed and external financing increased. International reserves jumped by US$267 million in 2009. Although there was some externally induced deceleration, the business community did not downsize operations, nor did it resort to widespread layoffs.

Consumer Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) dropped by 35%, a very positive sign for a more structured credit market. The IMF report states that the debt-to GDP ratio is expected to continue on a downward path, a trend that would yield more resources for on the ground economic development.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More guns issued to criminals by PNC sympathizers in the Army recovered.

Police in Berbice recovered six unlicensed guns in one night in East Canje and at Number 58 Village on the Corentyne, putting a major dent into what has been described as a major criminal gang.
According to reports out of Division ‘B’ of the Guyana Police Force, about 22:20 hours on Tuesday, a patrol operating in the Adelphi area observed two men walking along the roadway in a suspicious manner.
The police had just completed initial investigations pertaining to a report of assault at Adelphi and were travelling in an unmarked vehicle when they observed two male suspects who are known to the police with a bulky bag.
One of the ranks recognized the suspects as former inmates of the New Amsterdam Prison and immediately tried to confront them.
But the men fled but a 25-year old of Adelphi New Scheme was moments later subdued and searched. Inside the black duffel bag, he was carrying, were two AK-47 assault rifles, a sub-machine gun (uzi) and a semi-automatic pistol along with a pump action shotgun with three matching rounds of ammunition. He was detained and is being interrogated.
During the process of his arrest he bit two of the ranks, one on his right hand and the other on his left hand.
His male companion escaped with another bag, which is suspected to have more ammunition. It is unclear what the men’s motive was, however, over the past three months; there were no reports of robbery in the East Canje area.
However, according to sources in Berbice, the men are part of a gang that was once led by notorious criminal David McPherson called colonel who was shot dead during a confrontation with the police earlier this year.
Police sources have confirmed that the recovered AK-47 rifles are part of the cache of weapons that was stolen from the Guyana Defence Force Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna in 2006.
Police also suspect that the semi automatic weapon (uzi) was used during a robbery on a gas station during which a security guard was shot dead.

Buxtonians ask what tangible contributions has David Hinds made to aid in their development.

Nigel Green: Buxton is a beautiful part of Guyana. All Buxtonians, whether they are current residents, or have left Buxton and are currently residing elsewhere, should, and are not prohibited, in any way, from contributing to their community.
Like any other village in Guyana, I am sure that Buxton would welcome any form of assistance which aids in the community’s development and economic prosperity.
The President’s recent engagement with Buxton however, was under great condemnation. A particular overseas-based Guyanese, who comes from the Buxton village, Dr David Hinds, could not come to terms with the fact that ties were being strengthened between the current administration and the Buxton community.
Like so many others, Hinds is a political opportunist. He realises that too much Jagdeo affiliations with Buxton will weaken any political influence that the opposition parties may have in that community.
This is a simple letter. I ask only one question. With his disgust and obvious disapproval of any PPP/C/ Buxton alliance, what tangible contribution has David Hinds made to the village of Buxton? There is no evidence to suggest that the people of Buxton could ever benefit from Hinds’ constant ‘washing his mount’ on them, and judging from his letters, that’s all he ever does. His constant berating of PPP/ Buxton relations is nowhere near being in the interests of Buxtonians.
Instead, it showcases unmistakably, his political ambition, in light of the upcoming elections.
Will David Hinds please stand up and tell the people of Buxton what tangible contributions he has made to their village, and how those contributions have aided development, in any way, in the lives of the people of Buxton, and for that matter, the people of Guyana?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Christopher Ram the compulsive wife beater.

Read what Ena Ram swore to in court documents

Just imagine Christopher Ram, a compulsive abuser who beat and kicked his wife Ena so badly in 1999 that she started bleeding is upset when verbally bused by the President. Ram's son Ravendra almost committed suicide in 1998 after he received a severe beating from his Father for intervening on his mother's behalf during one of their squabbles.

CANU burns US$650,000 worth of cocaine, marijuana

-AFC cocaine-in-pepper sauce included

CUSTOMS Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) yesterday destroyed US$500,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis sativa (marijuana) with a value of US$150,000 at the former Ministry of Housing site on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.
Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Clement Rohee, who witnessed the destruction, said that it is an ongoing exercise to destroy drugs seized by CANU in various circumstances

‘UP IN FLAMES’: Millions of dollars worth of cocaine and marijuana were burnt yesterday by CANU ranks

He said some of the related cases were dismissed in the Courts and a part of CANU’s mission is the eradication of drugs found in the country.
Rohee told reporters that, previously, the method of dumping was used but, this year, CANU decided to burn and assured that there is nothing sinister in that move as drugs are also burnt or dumped at sea by international enforcement agencies, too.

Trinidadians laud Jagdeo's CLICO response.

A former sales director for Clico in Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Harold Sookhan, has praised the Guyana Government’s move to help depositors of Clico Guyana get their money back after the company’s collapse.
The Trinidad Guardian newspaper said Sookhan commended President Bharrat Jagdeo’s rescue plan for Clico which he announced when he met policyholders at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown last Thursday.

“For a poor country like Guyana, they have taken the bull by its horns”, he told the Trinidad Guardian, noting that President Jagdeo was finding the money to pay policyholders first and “will then deal with those responsible after.”
Sookhan and others in Trinidad and Tobago claim the life savings of Clico policyholders and depositors there are at risk of being decimated by the government’s plan for the company.
They argue that the plan to pay them in annual tranches will result in more than TT$8 billion in losses for them.

Kaieteur News New Nation & Congress Place more concerned about Ram than CLICO policy holders.

The Government of Guyana has said in a statement that Kaieteur News’s Friday editorial and the PNCR’s press statement carried in Saturday’s edition of the Stabroek News voiced concerns about how one man was treated and ignores those of thousands of Clico policyholders who will be reimbursed through government’s plan.

The government said “… the striking consistency between these two political missives provides some amount of corroboration of the suggestion made previously that [Kaieteur News] has replaced the now defunct New Nation as the new newspaper of the PNCR.” It said both the editorial and the PNCR statement “reveal the priorities of that paper and its political sponsors” and they “treat as a passing irrelevance the relief that will be brought to the thousands of Clico policyholders who will recover the value of their policies as a result of [its] plan.”

Government said Chris-topher Ram is “an acknowledged opposition political activist, a self-confessed co-author of the last PNCR political manifesto, and a man who played an instrumental role in frustrating a previous application to liquidate a financial institution in distress” caused thousands of policyholders to lose their deposits.

Both entities speak of the standards expected of persons who wish to be perceived as objective political commentators but Ram has “routinely insulted persons in police office and persons perceived to [be] close to this administration,” the release said.

It also said more recently Ram in his letter carried in Thursday’s edition of this newspaper insinuated that there was political direction in determining who was also to surrender their policies before judicial management commenced at Clico.

The government said too that Ram is understood to have made “all manner of insulting statements to the media” about the President on his departure from the National Cultural Centre and it asked if he is exempt from the standards that govern public behaviour towards the head of state as the PNCR and Kaieteur News remain unembarrassed by their obvious double standards.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where did all the weapons the W.P.A & P.N.C were accumulating go?

Now that the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Co-leader Rupert Roopnaraine has finally admitted that the party was accumulating weapons long before the murder of Dr Walter Rodney the question must be asked; what did they do with these weapons? “We were accumulating weapons… we were accumulating equipment of various kinds. A certain amount of that was coming from the, from the military,” Roopnaraine said during an interview included in a recent documentary film, W.A.R Stories: Walter Anthony Rodney.

When contacted Roopnaraine, who is currently overseas, confirmed his remarks and said he was speaking about activities the party was engaged in well before June 13, 1980. He also said he would not retract anything he said in the film.

This latest revelation coupled with the fact that in January of 2008 it was also revealed that between 1976 and 1979 some 237 guns of various calibre were issued to the PNC, two of which were recovered by the police from bandits in the Zeskendren, Mahaicony area that same month, leaves many questions than answers. The GDF subsequently said that two of the weapons — an M-72 rifle and a 9 mm Beretta sub machine gun – belonged to the military and had been issued to the Ministry of Mobilisation and National Development between 1976-1979. Army sources also revealed that weapons were not only issued to the Ministry of Mobilisation and National Development, but several other such agencies. According to the sources, based on records more than 237 weapons might have been issued and their issuance continued way past 1979. The sources mentioned that guns were issued to the Guyana Police Force, Omai Gold Mines Ltd, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and other semi-autonomous bodies.

The army sources also disclosed that at one time some 50 Beretta sub machine guns were issued to the GYSM, youth arm of the PNC.

During the crime wave of 2002/2003 several high ranking PNC officials visited criminals holed up in the village of Buxton, it was said that some of these weapons were handed to these very criminals.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

PNC has no care what-so-ever for CLICO depositors.

It is obvious that the PNC is more preoccupied with Jagdeo and scoring cheap political points than having genuine concerns for those thousands of CLICO depositors who were affected by the company's collapse. Instead of demonstrating any such concern subsequent to the President's meeting with CLICO depositors the party via its most recent press statement was more focused with his behaviour.

Many good things came out from that meeting yet they chose to highlight the negatives.

The PNC degraded the President's Office long before Jagdeo stepped into it

The PNC degraded the President's Office long before Jagdeo stepped into it. It was degraded by three decades of fraudulently rigged elections, state sponsored murder of political opponents like Rodney, Darke, Teekah, chronic malnutrition plaguing a large section of the population, unemployment, state dependency by PNC supporters and the theft of in excess of $2B from the state's coffers. Jagdeo's cussing pales in comparison to the notoriety that previously infested the office when it was occupied by the PNC.

JOKE OF THE DAY: W.P.A preparing to assume office in 2011

Ricky Escalani: The WPA must take urgent action to get a grip of itself. More importantly, the WPA must seek some assistance in becoming grounded in Guyana. At the moment, the small group is weak, confused, disorganized.

Recent activities of some from the small group should be of concern to all. Let us take a quick look.

Firstly, some WPA people attended a meeting in New York. Get this. The meeting was in preparation for assuming office! The participants were treated to some lectures to get them ready for such matters as security and foreign policy.
Needless to say, the whole thing was a joke but, it appears that the WPA took it seriously.

Secondly, one big one from the WPA, David Hinds – (some say he is the only big one) is still complaining about President Jagdeo’s visit to Buxton. The complaints are full of contradictions. For example, the big one says that he is not against the president working with Buxtonians, but also implies that the president should not be so well received. The big one who visits Guyana whenever he hears of an upcoming protest has lost touch with reality in Guyana.

Thirdly, the WPA wants to make a mountain out of a nothing regarding Mr. Lall. They have been after him for a long time. They won’t succeed. The WPA has been reduced to a kind of Kaieteur News nuisance factor, that is, an entity that is guaranteed to bring in your daily dose of sensationalist tripe.

What then is the WPA? The answer is simple. The WPA is a small group of disgruntled academic types who are enjoying the good life, but who criticize Guyana for their own entertainment.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Arrest warrant issued for Benschop

-also fingered in Bartica robbery murder

A Georgetown magistrate on Friday issued an arrest warrant for social and political activist, Mark Benschop. The bench-warrant was issued after Benschop allegedly failed to turn up to court on several occasions for several pending matters.

Benschop's name also surfaced during investigations into the murder of gold dealers Jainarine Raghubar and Ramdeo Deonarine. A source close to the investigation told this blog that Benschop shared a very close relationship with the alleged mastermind who's in police custody. He reportedly told investigators during interrogation that Benschop collected a sum of money as payment for arranging a Durban street house in which the gang stayed subsequent to the robbery. Police have so far been unable to locate Benschop.

Thousands of Clico policyholders to be reimbursed

A total of 11,290 active policyholders of the distressed Clico Life and General Insurance (South America) will have their policies fully covered, President Bharrat Jagdeo announced yesterday.
Meeting policyholders at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, he announced that the government is injecting $3.6 billion to reimburse holders of policies other than long term insurance, including those with investment policies and pension funds, although some of these will be capped to a ceiling of $30 million per policyholder.
A week ago, acting Chief Justice Ian Chang ordered Clico wound up, declaring that the company was in no position to continue operations, not even under judicial management.
At yesterday’s meeting, President Jagdeo said Clico now has just over $600 million and $100 million was needed to proceed with the windup.
“From the actuarial review, 6,924 active policies are in the long term insurance portfolio, the liabilities under that will be just under $500 million. So we anticipate that we can safeguard 6,924 persons…they will be taken care of,” he assured.
According to the President, he met the policyholders because he felt that the government needed to work with the Central Bank since there is a human face to this issue.
“There are people whose lives had to be put on hold because they don’t have access to their money. [There are] people who can’t build their homes because they were saving up to [do this]…people who cannot buy basic necessities, furnish their house, take a trip, pay school fees. Some of these people who write in the papers they don’t see that. For them it is all about numbers and politics,” he said.
“I don’t have any apology to make to anyone in this country for meeting people…I think it is part of my job. And so, I promise you that I will continue to work with the Central Bank to ensure that these promises are kept,” President Jagdeo stated.
He said he is not prepared to let an investigation into any question of financial impropriety at the company delay the payment to the policyholders, since in many cases the investigations take years to be completed while people have to wait for their money.
The President said he is not averse to having an investigation into both Clico and Globe Trust and if people are found culpable actions will be taken against them.
Policyholders were told that in a matter of weeks they can report to the Clico head office on Camp Street to pick up their cheques.

What else can you expect from a newspaper that is owned by the brother of known smuggler Reaz Khan?

Khurshid Sattaur: I write in relation to the frequent baseless attacks on the Guyana Revenue Authority published by a particular section of the media. The most recent of these articles was published in the Kaieteur News (Sunday September 12, 2010) at page 23 under the Freddie Kissoon Column captioned ‘Fear, Suicide and Fascism: The Story of Godwin Maxwell’. In my view, when political commentators engage in these attacks, it can create tension in the society and the public at large. I therefore view this as a farcical attempt to score political points and/or for some sinister gratification.

As the head of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), I am more interested in correcting the gross travesty that is being perpetrated from the lack of knowledge displayed with regard to the operations of the VAT, which can incite tension between the public at large and the organization.

Without engaging in any mudslinging concerning the individual whose article on a daily basis would appear to have earned him the title of a journalist and self-proclaimed human rights activist, I wish to state that this columnist is extremely misinformed and his tragic tale of oppression that resulted in a deadly leap is egregious and would mislead gullible people.

Mr. Kissoon, in his article stated that the late Mr. Maxwell, in his suicide, spared his family from some ghostly harm. Editor, there is no factual or evidential proof of any existing threat against Mr. Maxwell’s family, particularly from the Guyana Revenue Authority.Read more.....

Cocaine Chris tried to disrupt President's meeting with CLICO depositors.

- chased out of Cultural Center by angry CLICO depositors

As was expected Cocaine Chris showed up at the President's meeting with CLICO depositors and tried his earnest best to disrupt an otherwise smooth proceeding. As soon as the President began taking questions from the floor, Ram who was seated in the back row, forced himself through persons who were attempting to raise legitimate concerns and sought to ask questions which were of very little concern to those in attendance. However, neither the audience nor the President would have none of it and Ram hastily retreated from the venue with Gordon Moseley and his other media colleagues in tow after sections of the audience began to vent their frustration with his actions.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The liquidators for Globe Trust and Investment Company Limited (GTICL) recently told us that the majority of Globe Trust debtors have ignored repeated calls to repay, and only a tiny fraction of the funds have been recovered. Liquidator Nizam Ali said that the funds collected so far are nowhere near what they should be, but he remains optimistic. The long-running appeal to debtors of the bankrupt company, which includes several directors, still stands according to Ali. Since taking over as liquidator, Ali has consistently appealed to those who owe Globe Trust to repay the organization.

He said the slow pace at which debtors are responding to the process has affected it, particularly as it relates to moving forward.

Well! Mr Ali could start here! He could start by taking actions to have PNC/R MP Deborah Backer's $44M Range Rover forfeited as according to our investigations, the money owed by Deborah and her husband, who was a director at Globe Trust, is enough to reimburse 2000 depositors.

Late last year Globe Trust depositor CS Vaughn Major (Rtd), who said he lost $4.5 million when the institution collapsed, picketed director and Senior Counsel, Peter Britton’s law firm at South Road. Britton owes Globe Trust $19.5M. Vaughn held a one man protest for 30 minutes outside the law firm and vowed to keep the pressure on until monies owed are paid back to the company. According to Vaughn, the money he lost in the debacle had been set aside to pay for his daughter’s education and his retirement.

Globe Trust depositor, CS Vaughn protesting
outside the law firm of Senior Counsel Peter Britton
at South Road.

According to our investigations a string of legal matters are currently in the High Court involving Globe Trust and several former directors. The company is claiming close to $20 million in monies to be recovered from each director, and in the case of the former chief executive officer of the company some $35 million. There is at least one other director who the company says owed in excess of $20 million. The public would be amazed to know that many of these directors are prominent members of the Opposition as well as so-called civil society advocates.

President to meet CLICO policy holders.

CLICO Camp Street office

President Bharrat Jagdeo will meet policyholders of the wound up Clico Life and General Insurance (South America) Limited on Thursday to discuss Government’s arrangements for their reimbursement now that the Chief Justice has ruled on the matter.
And he indicated that Government may consider taking possession of some of the buildings that belonged to Clico, including the monolithic structure on Camp Street which since being constructed has not been occupied.

Speaking to reporters at the Office of the President yesterday, President Jagdeo said, “We have over 10,000 policyholders, so we will be meeting with them on Thursday at the Cultural Centre, sometime in the afternoon, and at that time we will discuss how we will move forward. Clearly we have already, based on the decision of the Chief Justice, initiated the process of liquidation of this company.”
According to the President, the liquidator will have to re-advertise a lot of Clico’s assets already put out for sale since no bids came in.
“We are hoping that the bid prices would approximate the book value. We are not sure because that is up to the market to decide, but we are hoping if they approximate to the book value of these assets, then there would be more resources available so that we can see a faster reimbursement of the policyholders,” he said.
Asked whether Government may take possession of the Clico buildings should the sales not come in, the President said that those are decisions that are made after the bids have come in.
“If the bids are too low, then we will have to find alternative arrangements to occupy these buildings and maybe even the State…we do have to build some additional buildings because of the demand for public service. So if we find that the bids are too low, we may very well pay that money in, pay a higher price and acquire these buildings for governmental purposes and therefore there will be more money available to reimburse policyholders,” President Jagdeo said.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Hammie in he own boat at City Hall

On Sunday evening City Hall was plunged into darkness due to a fault in the municipality’s generating system. The City's redundant Mayor, Hamilton Green, before even seeking relevant answers from his staff went on about it being part of the pressures of central government.
Further Hammie was quoted by the Stabroek News as saying that GPL owes the City Council taxes. However, the power company in a statement yesterday said the following:

The Guyana Power and Light Inc. wishes to categorically state that it was not responsible for the disconnection of electricity supply to the Mayor and City Council’s buildings (City Engineer, Mayoral Secretariat and City Constabulary).
GPL is gravely disappointed in the unsubstantiated assertions of His Worship the Mayor as reported in the press that GPL disconnected City Hall and has refused to pay its predecessor GEC’s Rates and Taxes.
The Company’s investigation today (yesterday) discovered that the outage was as a result of a burnt change over switch installed by the Georgetown City Council, for which they are solely responsible.
For public information GPL’s policy is to disconnect consumer’s electricity in arrears on Monday through Friday only; we do not disconnect electricity supply on Saturdays, Sundays and on any public holiday. The Mayor’s allegation that GPL disconnected M&CC supply on Sunday is contrary to GPL’s policy and is blatantly incorrect.
In December of 2009, GPL, pursuant to an agreement made with the Council for an exchange of cheques, issued and paid a cheque in the sum of $179,496,876, which fully settled GPL’s and GEC’s Rates and Taxes at December 2009, as well as all outstanding GEC’s obligations to the M&CC.
The GPL finds the Mayor’s allegation disappointing, especially given the facts that both entities have been trying to resolve their issues amicably,” the GPL release concluded.

Yellow journalism by Kaieteur News & Stabroek News exposed AGAIN!

Kellawan Lall: Kaieteur News’ editorial of September 12 did not surprise me. I expected it. Also, the coverage of the accident by Kaieteur News was similar to that of SN in that it smacks of elements of disinformation, misinformation and yellow journalism.
Kaieteur News was the first to carry coverage of the accident. It was given prominence on the front page. Essentially it was based on the story by Mr. July, the pillion rider of the motorcycle who was hospitalised. The following day, through attorney-at-law, Anil Nandlall, I sent a letter to the Kaieteur News. The letter was accompanied by my written statement to the police. The letter was not carried in the next issue of the paper. The explanation given to Mr. Nandlall was that the story was mis-placed. The following day, Kaieteur News repeated its earlier story, barely mentioned my letter, and buried that story somewhere in the inside columns. That is the way a minister’s response to serious allegations is handled.
Kaieteur News then dropped the matter and as expected, SN continued and ended with an editorial basically saying the same thing.
On this matter I wish to make the following points:
1. Contrary to what the papers stated, I was not involved in an accident in neither Lusignan nor Annandale. The accident took place on the bridge at Liliendaal, which at the time was under repair and only the southern lane was opened. The northern side was cordoned off with large signs urging road users to be cautious. The street lights were on so visibility was excellent.
2. Contrary to reports and what Mr. July said, I did not drive away. After my vehicle was hit, I immediately stopped my vehicle, which, due to the state of the bridge, was moving at a snail’s pace. Almost immediately, persons who had gathered, assisted in placing the injured Mr. July onto the back seat of my vehicle after which he was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital. At about the same time, the driver of another car kindly rendered assistance to the driver of the motorcycle. Mr, July ought to be ashamed of himself for saying I had my lights off, hit the cycle in a dark spot and then drove away.
I have not seen the statement made by the driver of the motorcycle, but in my presence and that of the investigating officer at the Sparendaam Police Station, the driver stated that the brightness of the front lights of my vehicle contributed to the accident.
3. Mr. July sustained injuries to his leg not as a result of hitting my vehicle or my vehicle hitting him. He sustained injuries as a result of the motorcycle colliding with the metal rails of the bridge. The only time he came into contact with my vehicle was when he was placed in the back seat.
4. The Commissioner of Police made some comments on the matter to the media. SN’s headline stated that the COP was defending the Minister. The Commissioner was not defending me. That is a matter for me. The COP, quite rightly so, was defending the Police Force which was being accused of not doing its duty.
5. The driver of the motorcycle, three police ranks and myself, visited the scene of the accident. The driver and I agreed on the spot where the accident took place. At that same spot, pieces of the motorcycle were very visible on the bridge. The spot where the police made a mark was about eight feet from the eastern end of the bridge. I was travelling east and the motorcycle was heading west, towards the city. Given the length of the bridge, it was clear that I had practically cleared the bridge. And given the fact that only one lane was available to roads users, and given the fact that I was driving a fairly large vehicle, there was insufficient space (about two feet) left for the motorcycle to pass me going in the opposite direction.

At the end of the day, this is not about who is wrong and who is right. Accidents do happen and the police will have to do their work to establish the facts. And it is not about my side or Mr. July’s side. It’s about trying to get at the Minister, the Police Force and the Government. In yellow journalism, the first rule is not to allow the facts to get into your way. What is important is the agenda. Place a one-sided story in the media, give it prominence, allow a few letters, embellish the story every now and then with comments from fringe elements like the WPA, round it off with an editorial and presto, the one-sided story becomes the truth.
And whatever I say, or the police or any government official say, will never matter. The lie will be repeated over and over again as the truth. It happens all the time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gov’t intervenes to address overtopping

President Jagdeo along with two of his Cabinet Ministers – Mr. Robeson Benn and Mr. Irfaan Ali, during yesterday’s inspection visit to areas affected by unusually high spring tides.

EXCAVATORS have been deployed to Regions Three, Four, Five and Six, to bring relief to areas severely affected by the floods as a result of overtopping caused by high tides.

Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud disclosed this at a news briefing held yesterday at his Ministry to update the media on interventions to tackle La Nina and the unusual high level of spring tide.

Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud, Chief Executive Officer of NDIA Lionel Wordsworth and Senior Hydrologist Garvin Cummings at a press briefing held at the Agriculture Ministry yesterday

In addition, teams from the Agriculture Ministry have been mobilised to the affected communities to advise farmers.
Minister Persaud stated that through the Ministry’s ‘Grow More’ campaign, farming and planting materials will be provided to those affected, as well as some levels of crop replacement will be offered through the genetic improvement programme.
He highlighted that his Ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Public Works, which is responsible for river and sea defences and both have made interventions to mitigate the flooding.

“The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) was mobilised, as it had to divert from the traditional drainage work in the farming communities and move both human resources as well as excavators to support the Public Works Ministry’s sea defence unit,” Minister said.
“I do know that Minister Benn and his team are working assiduously, as well as the President, as he was out this morning to visit some of the affected areas, which is certainly signalling how serious the matter is,” Minister Persaud noted.
He highlighted that the primary concern was to restrict the salt water from intruding in farming areas to reduce the risk of loss or damage and urged persons to desist from removing the mangroves and dams as this leads to erosion.

Clogged drains are also preventing excess water from freely flowing.
Over 65 villages were affected, including Wakenaam, where close to 90% of the island was affected and in excess of 4000 individuals were inconvenienced.

Minister Persaud noted that the drainage system is being compromised by the presence of the squatters.
He urged local authorities to be more cautious and detect the situation from an early stage and to be more aggressive since alerts and advisories were sent to them prior to the flood situation.

Senior Hydrologist, Garvin Cummings noted that the spring tides are expected to continue until Sunday, the highest of which was experienced Thursday.

“It is expected that the low pressure system on the weather and tides will continue to deteriorate in the next 24-48 hrs.”

He said that over the next month or two it is expected that there will be above normal rainfall, as the strength of La Nina is still not determined, and as winter in the northern hemisphere approaches, it is expected that for the remainder of the year and early 2011 there will be above normal rainfall.

AFC loosing overseas support over Ramjattan/Trotman infighting.

Dr Randy Persaud: IN politics, you always want to win. If you don’t, then you might be in the wrong business. In this case it might be better just to pack up and go back to the law office. At the same time politics aren’t just about winning office. Most people get into politics because they want to provide service to the public. Most want to engage in nation building and to build a society where future generations can have a better shot at life. Power cannot and should not be the main motivation for getting into politics.
It is now urgent that someone Guyanese in good standing take some time and explain these basic principles to the AFC. The party is hurting itself badly. Blunders have become too frequent. Top people have left and many at the bottom are fed up with the various crises at the leadership level. One early supporter from New York who goes by the name of “Eggball” perhaps said it most poignantly when he observed that “the AFC leada dem a fight too much and dem nah ghee nobady else wan chance”. “Eggball’s” cousin, “Crapo-cack,” who was supporting the AFC up to two weeks ago said that Trotman and Ramjattan should go back to “dem party because dem nah ready yet.”
The AFC must stop shooting itself in the foot. What in the world does it mean when a major news source runs a story that Mr. Ramjattan feels assured of his candidacy for the next elections? What must the average man think when he sees Michael Carrington sparring for power and differing with Mr. Ramjattan? Why can’t Mr. Trotman and Mr. Ramjattan stop fighting over the partnership issue? When will Sheila Holder be given a fair chance in a party that boasts that it hopes to represent the interests of women in the future?
The average Mr. Eggball and Mr. Crapo-cack out there is getting tired of the infighting going on in the AFC.

Friday, September 10, 2010

High tides wreck havoc.

RESIDENTS in certain villages along Guyana’s coastland, as well as Georgetown commuters, were forced to brave floods yesterday, true to advisories issued by the Hydrolometeorological Service, which stated that the highest tide during the current spring tide period would climax around 16:46 hrs and affect residents of coastal, low-lying and riverine areas

In down-town Georgetown, traffic slowed to a crawl as the ‘over-topping’ situation caused by the spring tide weather conditions took a disturbing turn, creating a bottleneck situation for the many persons desperate to go home. Particularly affected were the persons living along East Bank, West Bank and West Coast of Demerara, as the bus parks in Georgetown accommodating Routes 42, 31 and 32 respectively were inundated. Those persons who opted to cross over by using the Georgetown to Vreed-en-Hoop ferry service were also affected, as a section of the wharf was under water.
The situation extended outside of this area as well, and a quick check revealed persons wading along Water Street, America Street and other parts of Georgetown commercial centres

The hydrometrological service said that occasional heavy showers in recent days over most of northern Guyana are expected to continue for a while and the situation is being monitored.
A weather update issued yesterday stated that the showers and thunderstorms associated with a weak area of low pressure near the Windward Islands, which extend to just north west outside of Guyana, changed little during yesterday.
“This system continues to show signs of organisation and environmental conditions appear favourable for some gradual development as the low moves slowly westward. There is a 40 per cent chance of this system becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours”, the department said.
It said that as a result of this instability nearby, occasional periods of heavy rains were expected over the northern half of Guyana

Ramjattan supporters issue warning!

Posters plastered around Georgetown(taken from Demerara Waves)

Several posters by persons claiming to be supporters of AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan appeared around the city recently. In these posters AFC members are being urged to be vigilant as "moves are afoot to deny Khemraj Ramjattan the party's Presidential candidacy".
Trotman and Ramjattan are in a leadership battle following the failure by the party’s top brass earlier several months ago to honour a rotation agreement that would have seen Ramjattan take over as AFC leader.
Party insiders had said back then that Trotman’s faction was insisting that Ramjattan is unsuitable to lead the AFC while the Ramjattan group accused the party’s prime movers of alienation tactics.
Businessman Mr. Peter Ramsaroop also resigned as AFC Chief Executive Officer and withdrew his membership of the party while publicly expressing his displeasure at Ramjattan’s leadership.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Joel Fraser's relatives want closure.

-fingers Mark Benschop in the actor's murder

Relatives popular local actor Joel Fraser who was found dead on November 25th last with his throat slit at the Liliendaal seawall are adamant that Mark Benschop had something to do with his death. Speaking to members of the media yesterday Fraser's aunt related that he had complained of receiving several threats on his life from Benschop. When asked if he had contacted law enforcement authorities she replied in the negative.

Joel Fraser

Joel Fraser

At the time he was found, Fraser, 39, of Lot 27 Laing Avenue, was wearing only his underpants and a t-shirt. Valuables, which he had had in his possession, including a laptop computer and production material for the premiere of the Mori J’von Comedy Jam, were missing.

The killing, sent shock waves through the theatrical community that Fraser had been a member of for many years and came hours before what would've been his last production was set to open at the National Cultural Centre. It was also reported then that Fraser was having a relationship with Benschop's ex-wife up until his death. Mrs. Benschop told reporters that Fraser was her Production Manager and they were in the height of preparing for a performance in Berbice some time in December of that year.

According to Benschop, Fraser left rehearsals for the ‘Nothing to laugh about’ show to attend rehearsals for another comedy show in which he was scheduled to perform at the National Cultural Centre. “He called me at about 12:15 (after midnight) and said that he was at the market, making arrangements to have the banner for the show taken up for display in Berbice. I called him back about an hour later but while talking to him my phone ran out of credit,” Benschop said.

However, Fraser's aunt said that Benschop fled to country immediately after Fraser's body was discovered and this along with the threats confirmed her suspicions. The police were also said to be looking for Benschop's handyman whose only known name was 'Buck'. She is calling on the police to bring closure to this matter by bringing the perpetrators to justice.