Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clarence Ellis stands in a long line of erudite, accomplished Guyanese who faithfully supported the regime of Forbes Burnham-Annan Boodram

Annan Boodram: Many have been the accolades heaped on the late Clarence Ellis. And indeed he’s probably worthy of the praise. But Ellis stands in a long line of erudite, accomplished Guyanese who faithfully supported the regime of Forbes Burnham and whose voice was singularly silent on the issue of rigged elections. Now, supporting a particular party is an acceptable personal choice, but supporting rigged elections is indefensible by any yardstick. However, it is not my intention to detail this component of Ellis’s reality but to simply point out that those who ignore or gloss over it are the same people who, because they disagree with President Jagdeo’s politics, fail to appreciate his singular achievement of winning the UN’s top environmental award. By no stretch of the imagination can the UN be accused of playing politics or of being biased and/or partisan in handing out this honour.

Be that as it may, Editor, please allow me to congratulate Guyana’s Head of State on a superb achievement. His recognition brings credit to Guyana and his selfless gesture in donating the money that comes with the award to the Amerindian community is indeed the icing on the cake.

Congrats to the President!

Electricity Cost to be Drastically Reduced

All electricity needs will come from renewable energy PDF Print E-mail
Written by
Thursday, 29 April 2010 03:38
Within three years…
- President Jagdeo
The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) is the next major development undertaking for Guyana that will revolutionise the electricity sector, making it more reliable and cheaper to the business community and domestic consumers.
Projected to be completed within the next three years, the project, located at Amaila Falls in the Kuribrong River, a tributary of the Potaro River, will have enough capacity to be the source of the country’s entire electricity needs.
With a height of approximately 200 feet, flowing down a series of rapids and falls for almost two miles before reaching placid water, the Amaila Falls Project holds the potential to produce some 140 megawatts of electricity which can produce 70 percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Ahead of the actual construction however, Government has begun facilitating arrangements for access to the site with a US$15M contract award for construction and upgrade of 110 km of new roads coupled with upgrades to 85 km of existing infrastructure.
Among the interventions is the construction of bridges across the Kuribrong River, a pontoon to cross the Essequibo River, and the cutting of some of the pathways for the transmission main.
Such an undertaking is likely to take eight to ten months, during which time financial closure with Sithe Global, the lead financing group for the Amaila Falls hydropower project, will be reached. With Government’s pre-financing of the road, it is expected that the interest cost would be reduced.
Government has engaged the Inter-American Development Bank, the China Development Bank and other investors in discussions on securing the financing so that the project could advance.
At an interview in 2009 with Kaieteur News journalist, Adam Harris, and Editor- in-Chief of the National Communications Network , Michael Gordon, President Jagdeo said, “It will cost us three times more to build the hydro and to transmit the electricity from the long distance than if we were to go to the fossil type of investment”.
“But in the long run, it will assist tremendously, because the cost of generation will come down. Secondly you don’t have to pay because it is a renewable resource.”
Speaking at Tuesday’s Champion of the Earth award welcome home ceremony at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, the Head of State said the commencement works on the project will begin by the end of this year.
Referring to the controversy which surfaced after the contract was awarded, the President said such a reaction has been evident in every big project undertaken by the Government.
Nevertheless, he said, “We went out to a public tender and we awarded the contract to the best bidder.”
The hydropower project is just one of many major investments which government will undertake with the financial flows coming from the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). Among these are Education and Health, Information Communication Technology (ICT) related services, and strengthening sea defences. (GINA)

The Unpatriotic New Opposition, Whatever Happened to Putting Guyana First?

Stabroek News and Kaieteur News reek with bias and disrespect PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. RANDY PERSAUD
Thursday, 29 April 2010 01:38
I don’t know what else has to be accomplished for Stabroek News and Kaieteur News to show the normal courtesies for the Office of the President and President Jagdeo in particular. Let us get straight to the matter. President Jagdeo was given the highest award by the United Nations Environmental Programme. By now you would know that the President received the Champions of the Earth Award from the UNEP for his outstanding contribution towards combating the cataclysmic effects of global climate change. The Award for the President came on the heels of other significant recognition of Guyana’s pioneering and aggressive policies on sustainable economic Green Growth through the LCDS.
The President has been recognized world-wide for the Guyana Model and for Guyana’s leadership.
On Tuesday, President Jagdeo returned to Guyana from Seoul (where he received the UNEP Award) via Brazil where he attended a Brazil/CARICOM meeting. All the media outlets were advised that there would be a reception at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. A few hundred people turned out and the President was warmly received.
Despite no advance warning about the reception upon his return to Guyana, the President delivered an informative and uplifting speech on this country’s role in the global drive towards Green Growth. The President was warmly received and he reciprocated by embracing a wide cross section of those in attendance.
Yet, two self-described independent dailies in Guyana – Stabroek News and Kaieteur News were not up to scratch. Let me deal with Stabroek News first, because that newspaper did not carry a single line on the event. I repeat; not a single line.
I am dumfounded by this. I combed through Stabroek News (Wednesday April 28) for its coverage and came up empty handed. Nothing. Zilch. Not a line.
I called the newspaper to get an explanation. The official line is that “we missed it”. How in the world could a major newspaper like Stabroek News miss a major event like that? I called around and was reliably informed that Stabroek News was indeed notified. In addition to the usual circular from GINA, phone calls were also made to the newspaper. But Stabroek News did not show up.
Kaieteur News did a much better job, but there was something quite unusual in its coverage. The page 13 story was carried under the title ‘2010 ‘Champion of the Earth’ awardee returns to grand reception’. Awardee – with a common ‘a’? Hello – that ‘awardee’ is the President of this country and he and his office should be treated with much greater respect. How about – ‘President Jagdeo returns to warm reception after UNEP Award’. It that really too much to ask of this independent paper?
Incidentally, the Kaieteur News story was juxtaposed to another story under the title ‘Plaisance man found dead in trench after beating’. Do you think that this juxtapositioning was an accident? Those of you who have read Philip Agee know different.
I will simply end by noting that while the President was receiving a prestigious international award, the independent dailies here, and KN especially, were carrying columns and letters calling for aggressive protests on the streets.
You the reader should exercise your own independent judgment and decide who is actually on the right side. You should decide if you want economic development or protest on Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

President returns to fanfare welcome at CJIA

- reaffirms that his achievement reflects long standing efforts of Guyanese

Arriving on an Air Force Brasilia flight from neighbouring Brazil today President Bharrat Jagdeo, recipient of the United Nations Environmental Programme Champion of the Earth award returned to a ‘red carpet,’ ceremonial welcome at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
Receiving the President with warm embraces and words of congratulations at the arrival lounge of the CJIA were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and other Cabinet colleagues.
The Guyana Police Force band serenaded the air with patriotic songs while the sound of tassa and African drums reverberated as the President and team proceeded into the VIP section of the arrival lounge.

President Bharrat Jagdeo arrives at the CJIA to the greeting of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and other cabinet Ministers

A large welcoming banner captioned ‘Champion of the Earth’ and an excerpt from his acceptance speech in Seoul, Korea which reads “I interpret it as an endorsement of the people of Guyana’s long-standing efforts to help change the way the world values sacred natural resources.”
As the President reached the parking lot, a much bigger crowd that was part of the surprise ceremonial welcome awaited with loud cheers waving the Guyana flag proudly.
The event climaxed at the end with a motorcade procession from the CJIA to Georgetown. Along the way children from various schools along the East Bank of Demerara came out waving in a show of gratitude.
During the ceremony an official welcome congratulations was mere by the Prime Minister who said that the award is an achievement which follows in the footsteps of former President Cheddi Jagan’s visionary New Human Global Order and the late President Desmond Hoyte who granted Iwokrama as a place for study of commonwealth forests.

President Bharrat Jagdeo speaking at a welcome home ceremony at the CJIA after achieving the Champion of the Earth award

The recognition which Times Magazine gave him as a ‘Hero of the Environment’ was also expressed by those who paid tribute.
The Head of State in his remarks however, reiterated the point which he made during his acceptance speech, that the award is not a personal achievement rather it is an award in recognition of the efforts of all Guyanese.
“This is an award in recognition of all of our people to be bold enough to lead the way in this very groundbreaking manner to a solution for a world that could be environmentally sound,” President Jagdeo said.

School children waving in show of appreciation as a motorcade for President Bharrat Jagdeo pass along the East Bank of Demerara

Guyana’s effort is compiled in a model called the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which the President said was built on several years of hard work, not by any single individual but by all Guyanese.
A significant degree of the President’s credit went to Guyana’s indigenous people who have been the gatekeepers of the country’s forests and have a special role to play in resource management.
“What we are talking about here is essentially how we manage natural resources and for centuries indigenous people have been the guardians of the forest and the tremendous biodiversity not just here in Guyana but right across Latin America and the Caribbean,” President Jagdeo said.
While in many other countries the role of the indigenous people as keepers of the forests has been taken away by those who uncaringly encroach on their lands, the President said that the Guyana Government since its ascension into Office in 1992 has resolved that Amerindians will have a special place in the nation, their rights will be protected and they will continue to be an integral part of policy formulation and leadership in nation-building.
Guyana’s LCDS has gained worldwide attention and has placed the country on a pedestal, rising far above some of the most developed countries which the President said is doing the least to alter climate change.

President Bharrat Jagdeo speaking to a section of the gathering during a welcome home ceremony at the CJIA

Natural resources that provide valuable services to the rest of the world and according to President Jagdeo, Government has been pursuing efforts to change the way the rest of the world views these resources, particularly the acceptance by the developed countries that financial credits must be awarded to countries with such resources.
Guyana made the dream a reality for developed and developing countries to work together to implement a national scale model of how forests can be deployed to address climate change and national development.
This reality came in November 2009 with the signing of the Guyana/Norway agreement which caters for up to US$250M by 2015 for avoided deforestation but the President said today that if Guyana’s advocacy is successful, the country could get as much as US$500M for the preservation of forests and its biodiversity.
“That’s more in a net sense than we earn in rice, sugar, bauxite, gold and forest exports,” President Jagdeo said.
Such financial resources, the President said, could be dedicated to investments in education, hydro-electricity and Information Communication Technology (ICT) related services that have the potential to generate about 25,000 jobs this year.

Kaieteur News Seeking Pity

Kaieteur News after doing all their dirty work, peddling half truth s and lies as part of its policy of slipshod journalism which has resulted in the decrease of its sales, is now trying to appeal to the public's sympathy by claiming that they are being discriminated against by the Government.( The truth is that they have continued to misinform the public and sensationalize issues in an effort to boast its sales. Unfortunately this has not materialized leading them to increase the price of its paper. However more than likely this will lead to a further decrease in sales then a a total collapse of this entity

Monday, April 26, 2010

President’s UNEP award raises Guyana’s international profile

Timothy Sears: President Jagdeo’s award, the prestigious United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Champions of the Earth Award is the highest environmental award given by the UN, to give recognition of persons who show vision and take up the torch of environmental leadership through their action and influence.
In receiving this award Jagdeo said that he will donate the US$40,000 prize money to Amerindian communities in Guyana.
Really now, this is where I make my point. While people questioned the President and the administration’s stern commitment to its environmental – economic policy, the LCDS, they can now see the positive returns of the vision presented, one that was criticized by so many who will now reap the rewards of the Memorandum of Understanding between Guyana and Norway.
The result will see Guyana benefiting from US$250M over a five year period. Let’s then couple that financial in-flow with the Amaila Falls project, also scheduled to be completed in five years.
Here we have a fusion of a strong national treasury, diversified economy and industries and a clean energy source to power development programs, activities and construction projects, across the country.
Contributors to the letter pages and social commentators rambled on at length about the President’s travelling schedule and questioned motives and spoke of hidden agendas and launched conspiracy theories. But what does the evidence available indicate?
In 2008, the President of Guyana was named by TIME Magazine as a Hero of the Environment. He is currently serving on a UN High Level Advisory Panel on Climate Change Financing, a position shared with the Prime Ministers of Britain, Ethiopia and Norway. Past winners of the Earth Award include Al Gore, Thabo Mbeki, Mikhail Gorbachev, Princes of Monaco and Jordan, and the King of Bhutan.
Having followed this national interest matter keenly, I know that Guyana’s move towards the LCDS was conceptualised two years ago when Guyana made a commitment to deploy its forests to a long-term protection plan provided that the right economic incentives were created and would be used to re-orient the economy into a low carbon environmentally sound direction.
So, potentially over the next five years, Guyana will remove virtually the entire energy sector from fossil fuel dependence, and provide for indigenous and other interior communities.
President Jagdeo’s achievement as a climate change advocate has enhanced Guyana’s image internationally as the country is now a member of the Forest Eleven group of countries.
Guyana’s environmental and humanitarian profile has been raised exponentially. And while we continue to populate and re-populate this country, consider the standard of living available to residents in a country that is loaded with mineral resources and now has the capacity to market and preserve its largest natural resource, the pristine forests, which, if left standing, is worth between US$500M and US$2B per year.

Sharma's U.S visa revoked-Canada & U.K to follow suit.

Kaieteur News: The woes of the now embattled businessman and political party leader, Chandra Narine Sharma, reached a new depth. His United States visa was revoked yesterday.
This newspaper understands that all airlines were notified of Sharma’s visa revocation shortly after 14:00hrs yesterday.
Reports are that the revocation of his visa is a direct result of the current carnal knowledge allegations leveled against him and for which he is also charged.
The charges stem from allegations by a 13-year-old female who has accused him of years of sexual abuse of not just her but also of some of her sisters.

Jagdeo one of the world’s foremost head of government for advocating for a low carbon future - Lord Nicholas Stern.

Lord Nicholas Stern

Lord Nicholas Stern of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment of the London School of Economics has congratulated President Bharrat Jagdeo for receiving the 2010 Earth Champion Award.
Lord Stern, who is widely credited with changing global understanding of the economic impact of climate change, described President Jagdeo as “one of the world’s foremost head of government for advocating for a low carbon future.”
“His tireless advocacy, particularly on the urgent need to protect the world’s forests, has made a tremendous contribution to the international climate change agenda,” Lord Stern said.
“I know that he shares my view that a future high carbon world is one of disaster, and we must redouble our international efforts to build a prosperous, low carbon future.”
And Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Wangari Maathai has also congratulated President Bharrat Jagdeo for achieving the 2010 Champion of the Earth Award.
Professor Maathai said, “I would like to congratulate President Jagdeo on becoming a ‘Champion of the Earth’. His tireless work to keep the world’s attention on the importance of saving our forests has been an inspiration to many across the world.
“His leadership continues to remind us that progress is possible and that we can save the world’s forests while at the same time fostering prosperity and improving the lives of our people”.
Professor Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. She was the first African woman to win the prize.

Government to revive Hope Estate as coconut plantation.

Government will be pouring approximately $25 million into the Hope Estate on the East Coast Demerara as it attempts to reconvert the area into the thriving coconut plantation that it once was, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud says.

As part of this revitalization plan, the government is moving to build a $9.5 million coconut water bottling plant in the area. While the government is funding the construction of this facility, the technical design for the plant is being produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Persaud told media operatives. Persaud said that once the technical design for the project has been completed work can begin on the facility which has an estimated construction time of six months. The government hopes to partner the private processers, including some which are overseas-based, to run this facility, Persaud explained. According to him, the government hopes that this will serve as a boost to the industry and that it will provide jobs. He said too that it was hoped this will serve as an impetus for starting up other such plants in the country, noting that at present there are about three private coconut bottling plants locally.

Some leading professionals are yet to comply with Income Tax Act stipulations.

The Official Gazette of Guyana, dated April 17, published the names of all of the professionals who were recipients of tax practice certificates between January 1 and March 19.

Guyana has a battery of lawyers who ply their trade on a daily basis but in Georgetown there were only 19 persons named.

Among the names on the list of Attorneys-at-Law with their certificates to practice were Members of Parliament Bibi Shadick and Moses Nagamotoo.

Some of the other names appearing on the list include Gregory Gaskin, Robin Stoby, Kashir Khan, Robin Hunte, Nicole Pierre, Jamela Ali and Rosemarie Choo among others.

Glaringly absent were the more high profile lawyers such as Bar Association President Teni Housty, Khemraj Ramjattan, Raphael Trotman, Nigel Hughes and Basil Williams among others.

In the field of Accountants/Tax Consultants, only eight were recipients of Tax Practice Certificates in Georgetown, while there was one other in Linden. Christopher Ram is amongst the list of persons that were not issued with a Tax Practice Certificate.

In February this year, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) had threatened to take legal action against professionals, including lawyers and doctors, who operate without their practice certificates.

A Tax Practice Certificate is valid for one calendar year and is renewable annually.

All applicants must uplift and complete an application form from the Compliance Section, Tax Operations and Services Department, G.P.O Building or any Regional Branch Office.

The First Schedule of the Tax Act Chapter 80: 01 categorises professional groupings and charge professional fees based on this.

Professionals are also required to have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and should submit all outstanding returns in accordance with Section 60 of the Income Tax Act, and pay taxes due including advance taxes and the requisite professional fee.

Category A of professionals include- Accountants, Auditors, Legal Practitioners, Medical Practitioners, Architects, Dentists and Optometrists who must pay $250,000 for the practice certificate; Category B- Engineers and Veterinary Surgeon - $150,000; Category C- Physiotherapists, Pharmacists and Surveyors – a sum of $75,000 is required.

“Professionals who qualified within three years preceding the date of the application for the practice certificate are permitted to pay $25,000 and shall thereafter be liable to pay the full prescribed fee.

The law of sexual offences now in a modern setting.

PEOPLE’S Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) and Attorney-at-law, Mr. Anil Nandlall, has described the Sexual Offences Bill 2009, as a landmark legislation which has reformed and revolutionalised the law of sexual offences in Guyana.
At the time, he was making his presentation and giving his support before the National Assembly, prior to the passing of the bill in parliament.

PPP/C MP and Attorney-at-law Anil Nandlall

He congratulated Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Ms. Priya Manickchand, for the tremendous amount of work she put into the bill “from the beginning of the consultation process till to the very end”.
He said, “This bill can be described as a landmark piece of legislation, because for the first time in the history of this country, we have a consolidation and an amalgamation of all the sexual offences under the laws of Guyana, in one singular piece of legislation.”
He noted that it creates a number of new offences, adding, whenever a legislation of this type and magnitude is being discussed, one needs to begin by examining the circumstances which may have inspired or precipitated the enactment of the legislation.
“Because this legislation has very deep and far-reaching social ramifications,” he insisted, dealing with a very important aspect of society.
“It is, I think, an accepted fact by now that we have in Guyana an unusually high rate of crime prevailing in our country; it is also accepted that we have an unusually high level of sexual offences being committed in this country,” he stated.

A weapon of exploitation
He observed that what is also peculiar is the victims invariably being children and women, adding, “…sex in our society is almost used as a weapon of exploitation by those who have economic power, largely against those who are less fortunate.”
“I feel compelled to refer to the last few days coverage of a particular incident in our newspapers, which captures, I think, which epitomizes a significant problem that we face in this country, and which this legislation seeks to address,” he insisted.
“Because here you have based on the newspaper report, and I am aware that there is a charge instituted and I will speak in a manner not to prejudice that charge, but it is an important social reflection of the type of situation that this bill seeks to address,” he said.

He said he thinks that it is important in a debate of this type that one confronts the social realities, and, “if we are serious about tackling the question of sexual crime in our country, we must face the reality of what is going on.”
He noted that in the newspapers, “you have these sad and very sadistic allegations being made against an individual of some prominence, and you read the number of allegations which are being made against this person by very young and underprivileged persons, and it really is a situation that cries out”.
He reiterated that he used that example to demonstrate the type of problems with which the country is faced, and highlighted the fact that in one of the newspapers, there was an article where a sum of about $10M was offered to the victims of the unfortunate and perverted act.
“Now that is exactly what I am speaking about - economic power, financial power being used to purchase themselves out of prosecution and out of charge, and that is what the reality is, and those are the types of situation and the type of circumstances which inspired and precipitated this type of legislation,” he reiterated.

Friday, April 23, 2010

C.N Sharma's son-in-law among persons charged after attempting to bribe rape victim.

Ravi Mangar, CN Sharma's son-in-law and owner of Gizmos & Gadgets in green top

CNS 6 employees Tyrone Ali and a driver along with an employee of Gizmos and Gadgets

In a shocking twist to the story surrounding rape allegations against CN Sharma his son-in-law along with several of his employees appeared in court today to answer to various changes stemming from their attempt to avert the course of justice. Three charges of obstructing the course of justice were read to Tyrone Ali, Mark Reid and Ravi Mangar and all were each granted $100000 bail.

Two attempt to obstruct the course of justice charges were levelled against two of Sharma's employees, namely, driver Doodnauth Sharma and Secretary, Raymattie Ramsaywack who were each granted bail at the sum of $100,000.
It was alleged that Ravi Mangar, owner of popular business Gizmos and Gadgets offered the victim $2M and a house to drop the case against his father-in-law, Sharma

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sexual Offences Bill tabled in parliament.

Mike Mc Cormack of the GHRA being questioned about his
organisation's silence on the allegations of rape leveled against
CN Sharma by Minister Manickchand in Parliament today.

The Sexual Offences Bill was tabled in parliament today. Minister of Human Services & Social Security, Priya Manickchand in presenting the bill said it was born from the "Stamp it Out" campaign and more than 5000 people contributed. She said it also extends the definition of rape and establishes a special court to deal with such matters.
PNC MP Basil Williams said that the provisions of the Bill needed to be balanced in the interest of justice and described it as being transformative in nature.

Rape in Marriages and common law relationships will be an illegal offence under the new law.
And sexual abuse victims will no longer be face-to-face with the accused as a new court will have special rooms for hearings.

Dr Bharrat Jagdeo receives prestigious UN Environment award.

Seoul ( Republic of Korea ), 22 April 2010 – The 2010 Champions of the Earth, the United Nations’ highest awards for environmental leadership, were announced today.

The six winners, drawn from the worlds of government, science, business and entertainment, each exemplify how action, inspiration, personal commitment and creativity can catalyze a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient 21st-century Green Economy.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, today announced the winners of this year’s UNEP Champions of the Earth awards as:

  • The President of Guyana and passionate forestry and ecosystem infrastructure proponent, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo

  • The President of the Maldives and international climate change campaigner, His Excellency Mohamed Nasheed

  • Afghanistan’s Director General of the National Environmental Protection Agency and avid sustainability advocate, Prince Mostapha Zaher

  • Japanese earth scientist and pioneer of research into how the oceans cycle carbon, Dr. Taro Takahashi

  • Chinese actress and popular green life-style guru, Ms. Zhou Xun

  • American venture capitalist, green energy entrepreneur and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla.

The trophies were presented at a gala event in Seoul , Republic of Korea during Earth Day and in conjunction with the Business for the Environment Global Summit (B4E), which is being attended by more than 1,000 representatives from business, government, and civil society.

Mr. Steiner said: “The six winners represent some of the key pillars upon which society can build Green Growth and a development path to unite rather than divide six billion people. Entrepreneur Vinod Khosla has made it a personal mission to realize a low-carbon path by establishing investments in clean and renewable energy start-ups.”

“President Nasheed is not only an articulate voice for the vulnerable and the poor facing the challenges of global warming, but a politician who is showcasing to the rest of the world how a transition to climate neutrality can be achieved and how all nations, no matter how big or how small, can contribute.”

“Dr Takahasi has pioneered the science of climate change as it relates to the seas and oceans. In doing so, his work not only underlines the threats but also the policy choices governments and investors must make to ensure the marine realm remains healthy, productive and an ally against climate change.”

“Prince Zaher has transformed environmental policy and laid the foundation for sustainability in one of the most challenging countries on the planet at this moment in history. He has balanced the day-to-day realities of Afghanistan with a determination that his country will have clean air and healthy water—backed by laws-- upon which a sustainable and peaceful society can be built.”

“Zhou Xun is an actress and one of, if not the, most popular and acclaimed celebrities in China . Her well publicized statements, advice and life-style choices are influencing millions of fans to become more environmentally-conscious citizens and consumers.”

“Last but not least, President Jagdeo is a powerful advocate of the need to conserve and more intelligently manage the planet’s natural and nature-based assets. He has recognized more than most the multiple Green Economy benefits of forests in terms of combating climate change, but also in terms of development; employment; improved water supplies and the conservation of biodiversity,” said Mr. Steiner.

The awards, first established in 2004, recognize achievements in areas of: Entrepreneurial Vision, Policy and Leadership, Science and Innovation, Inspiration and Action, and a special category for 2010, Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management.

The Champions of the Earth is an international environment award given out every year by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The award recognizes individuals who embody commitment and vision towards environmental leadership through their action and their influence. To date, the award has recognized 34 outstanding environmental leaders.

The people speak out abuse of women and young girls

Guyana Chronicle: In light of the recent reports over the numerous reported incidents of abuse perpetrated on women and children, especially the molestation of young girls, many Guyanese have expressed their profound concern, and Guyana Chronicle reporter Nathalene de Freitas sought to garner the views of some citizens on this issue. Here’s what they had to say:-

Monty Jariwala – Businessman

I believe that in today’s society the moral standards have broken down tremendously and something needs to be done in order to protect our women and children. We must encourage our women and children to speak out if they find themselves in such circumstances. They must not be afraid for ashamed to speak out. Officials should also involve themselves more by creating some kind of response team to address situations such as these. If children or women are being abused constantly and are afraid to visit the various organisations available to them, then officials should try setting up a hotline number to report any such abuse of women and children. Professionals in this field should be on hand to visit homes and make themselves aware of what is happening if someone calls in and reports an abuse. As it relates to the law for these offences, it should really be revised to give the victims total satisfaction.

Parents should become more involved in the well-being of their children and men should open their eyes and learn to respect women. The law should be more severe for perpetrators of these crimes so that they would not be able to repeat the offence. I believe this is the only way our children can be protected. It is time that officials see what is happening and do something that can save us, especially our children. Parents also need to be in control of their children and get involved more by communicating with them and paying attention to their behaviour.

Devika Dharilall – Sales Representative

The only thing that can curb this problem in our society today is if the law becomes more stern. Only this will prevent perpetrators from abusing our young children and women. It is now time that women speak up and protect themselves and their children against these heartless people who molest our children. I really do not know what is happening to our society today. I can recall these things never happening in my days; and now is every day you open the papers or turn on the television something always happening with our women and children.

Carol Persaud – Self Employed

People who commit such acts must not be allowed back into society, that’s what I believe. We must all see our children as children and little angels and our women as our mothers, because all of us have mothers. I have certainly seen an increase in this problem facing our society today, because is every day I’m hearing something disgusting. We need to stand up as men and start protecting our children and women and stop abusing them. We need to have more strict laws to put these perpetrators away for a long time.

Joseph Taylor – Regent Street Vendor

Trevor Persaud – Self Employed
Presently there are too many people getting away with these offences. We need a law to protect our women and children, more especially poor families. There should be a heavy penalty for such offences; and when an offender is committed to stand trial, the victim should not settle the matter by accepting money. The law should allow no settlement in cases such as these, because in many instances we find people being charged for molesting children and abusing women and they settle the matter by giving the family money. This should not be, we should educate our people more on the laws and their rights.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: CN Sharma granted bail!!!

CN Sharma was placed on $2 Million bail by acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson ogle.

Why is Red Thread et al silent on rape allegations against CN Sharma?

Observers are questioning the silence of organizations like Red Thread, etc, who advocate for the protection of our children and their rights in the midst of rape allegations leveled against Presidential hopeful, Businessman and leader of the Justice For All party, C.N Sharma.
Sharma was charged yesterday after the now 13-year-old complainant alleged that he sexually molesting her from the age of seven with the knowledge of her mother and siblings. The child’s older sisters have also alleged that they were also molested as children and that one of them had a child by Sharma.

BREAKING NEWS: PNCR throws their support behind CN Sharma

As Leader of the Justice For All Party Chandra Narine Sharma reappeared in the Georgetown Magistrate's Court today to answer to charges which stemmed from allegations by a 13 year old who alleged that she was raped by Sharma when she was 7 years old, the main Opposition PNCR has apparently thrown their support behind the accused despite the mountain of evidence which suggest that he did.
This was highlighted today when a group of demonstrators descended on the court in support of Sharma. The group of mostly PNCR activists was led by former PNCR Region 4 RDC Councillor, Yvonne Ferguson(in orange top sporting dreadlocks) and shouted various slogans which sought to proclaim Sharma's innocence. However, observers have pointed out that the group consisted of seasonal PNCR protesters and were possibly paid by Sharma.

Thief looking fa thief!

-Cop caught on camera stealing cash from station

The recently installed closed circuit cameras at police stations have certainly proven their worth but instead of capturing the activities of outside characters, it captured a policeman stealing cash from the Ruimveldt Station.
The rank who obviously forgot that the cameras were installed was captured on tape removing an undisclosed amount of cash, reportedly in the thousands, which was lodged at the station over the past weekend.
Police officials have not confirmed the incident but media reports indicate that the cash was discovered missing when senior officials turned up for work on Monday.
No one initially admitted to removing the cash but a review of the recorded camera images yesterday showed the cop removing the money.
He was taken into custody while he was on duty and is likely to appear in court soon.

C.N Sharma to play leading role in Bollywood film following yesterday's performance at Court.

We have been reliably informed that following his dramatic performance in and outside the Georgetown Magistrate's Court yesterday, Presidential hopeful and leader of the Justice For All Party, C.N Sharma was contacted by Bollywood producer Som Shekar and offered a leading role alongside actors, Gashmeer Mahajani, Twinkle Patel, Sunil Sabarwal and Simran Suri in his upcoming film titled "Muskurake Dekh Zara".

It is being said that the producer was impressed by Sharma's performance so-much-so that he is willing to pay Sharma quite a sizable sum, even more than the other high profile actors in the film.
We tried all afternoon yesterday to solicit a comment from CN Sharma but was told by his Publicist/Manager, Savitri, that he was busy rehearsing for today's performance.

C.N Sharma remanded to prison despite faking illness.

Kaieteur News: Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson yesterday refused to grant bail to carnal knowledge accused Chandra Narine Sharma, when he appeared before her yesterday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. Sharma after being denied bail collapsed in the prisoners’ chute and had to be rushed back to the Georgetown Public Hospital.

C.N. Sharma being escorted into court yesterday

C.N. Sharma being escorted into court yesterday

Late yesterday afternoon, an employee at CNS 6 said on condition of anonymity that Mr Sharma is faking it.
The staff member said that Mr Sharma has refused to take his medication, that he has been spitting it out in the bathroom thus preventing control of his blood pressure.
Reports are that he has a sick sinus syndrome described as a condition in which the heart speeds up and slows down on its own.
A doctor explained that the condition is not malignant and will not cause fainting.
Sharma was discharged from the hospital late yesterday afternoon, and was up to press time being detained at the Brickdam Police Station.
Kaieteur News understands that the remand warrant was not signed.
Yesterday the Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack, who is prosecuting for the state, made an application for the matter to be held in camera (in private). Appearing on Sharma’s behalf were attorneys at law Nigel Hughes, Tanya Warren, Mark Waldron and Vic Puran.
Handcuffed and shackled police officers brought a nervous looking Sharma to the court room.
As he sat in the prisoner’s dock, Sharma repeatedly shouted at the reporters telling them “he was not feeling well, and if he collapsed and died the government should be blamed”.
Sharma also had a portable blood pressure machine attached to his wrist and checked the device constantly while he sat in the dock.
The DPP in her brief address before the court room was emptied said that the victim’s identity must be protected.

 CN Sharma sitting in this police vehicle outside the Camp Street prison yesterday afternoon

CN Sharma sitting in this police vehicle outside the Camp Street prison yesterday afternoon

Attorney at law Nigel Hughes said that he had no objections for the matter to be held in camera, however he stressed the fact that the case was not a secret one.
Hughes also made the request for the relatives of the accused to be present in court. Almost half an hour later Sharma’s attorneys and the DPP emerged from the courtroom and told reporters that bail was refused, and Sharma was escorted to the prisoner’s chute.
As police officers opened the prisoner’s chute, they found Sharma lying on the floor.
The police officers quickly rushed to Sharma’s assistance and hurriedly rushed him to a waiting police car.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CN Sharma remanded to prison-collapses in court!

Sharma after he collapsed

Sharma's family members at the court to offer support

CN Sharma being taken away after collapsing in Court when he was remanded to prison today.

C.N Sharma attempts to bribe victim-$10M offer refused

… CN Sharma child molesting saga

In an interesting twist to the saga involving television station owner, Chandra Narine Sharma, relatives of the girls involved are reporting that they are being offered a whopping $10M to discontinue proceedings that could lead to charges.
Sharma is being accused of sexually molesting a 13-year-old girl and impregnating her older sister when she was 14 years old.

Chandra Narine Sharma

Chandra Narine Sharma

But according to the aunt of who brought the story to light, someone who she claims is a relative of Sharma, has been approaching her family with the huge cash offers.
The first offer was for five million dollars but this was doubled the following day.
The woman told media operatives in an interview that she was at work on Saturday when she received a telephone call from home, informing her that an offer of $5M was proposed.
“Yesterday (Sunday) it raise to $10M,” the woman said.
She said that she did not meet the person making the offer but from the description given, she is certain that the man is a relative of Chandra Narine Sharma.
“The person say that we could take the money and finish the story and we must take the girl to Berbice,” the woman added.
Sharma in an interview with Kaieteur News had claimed that the woman was no relative of the girl and that she was only out to extort money from him.
But the woman dismissed the claim pointing out that her father had introduced the teenager as his daughter, but because of the age difference, the girl usually refers to her as ‘Aunty’.
“I own this child as my sister,” the woman related. According to the woman, the teenager approached her on Easter Sunday and begged her to take her kite flying.
The woman said that she agreed and took the teenager kite flying on Easter Monday.
It was then that the child revealed the shocking details of her alleged abuse at the hands of Sharma.
The woman said that the child was reluctant to return home after the Easter outing.
Following the teenager’s revelations, the woman reported the matter to the Ministry of Human Services, and an immediate investigation was launched.
“I don’t need the money. The child is in the custody of the Ministry of Human Services. I don’t know who the person is offering the money because nobody came to me,” the woman stated.

Is City Hall's excuses for floods pre-recorded?

The rainy season is here again and coming out of City Hall, one can hear the very same excuses for why the capital is flooded so quickly. It seems almost as if there is a pre-recorded response, taped years ago, which is pulled out by the Council every year and played for the dubious benefit of the citizens of Georgetown.
While it may not constitute the whole of the problem, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is a direct nexus between improper refuse disposal and the drainage problems facing the City of Georgetown. There is the issue of individual responsibility either by both private and corporate citizens of this municipality.
During the last anti-litter campaign it would be recalled that it was widely publicised that persons caught littering would be fined $15,000. As laudable as the amendment governing the establishment of that figure is – the fact of poor enforcement aside – given the enormity and complexity of the problem, a more sophisticated system of sanctions should be developed.
There is no small degree of negative economic impact as a direct result of flooding, whether we’re talking about reduced sales at consumer goods stores, widespread absenteeism from work, additional healthcare cost due to flood-related illnesses, or direct damage to property.
It would make sense therefore to create a refuse disposal penalty regime that is both punitive as well as compensatory with regard to both the level of the fine and the alternative penalty. A formula could be worked out, for example, linking the volume and type of garbage to specific fines. Depending on the level and incidence of the offense, the alternative could either be drainage/refuse disposal-based community service or, in select cases, some amount of jail time.
While there is obviously no way to police every single offender all the time or corresponding facilities to house same, the application of stiff maximum penalties to those who continue to transgress the law would send a clear message to everyone.
One initiative that can work in conjunction with this is the engagement of local entities like the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association in holding their membership accountable for breaches in refuse disposal regulations and laws. With respect to holding the individual citizen accountable, an effective tool would be the establishment of a hotline where callers could leave anonymous tips with specific regard to refuse disposal issues.
Another dimension to the overall problem of refuse disposal and drainage is that of squatting. Whatever arguments you want to make for the right to have your habitation - something I’ll touch on briefly later in this article - the fact is that wherever there is squatting, there is poor infrastructure and no inclusion in the service delivery mandate of the municipality.
This means that squatters do not fall into the designated collection areas, although they may, in fact, physically exist within them, which means that they have to find other means of waste disposal. More often than not this means the city’s waterways. There has been some progress with managing squatting on the Lamaha railway embankment but in a city criss-crossed by drainage canals, this represents a mere fraction of the overall problem.
The key hurdle in all this of course is enforcement. Without adequate enforcement of existing and future laws and by-laws, it is inevitable that the recording is going to be pulled out again in upcoming years.
Staying silent, in retrospect, is arguably almost as bad as partisan criticism in that it forms part of the misinformation that is peddled with regard to developments simply by not countering it. Guyana’s brain drain continues largely in part because all stakeholders do too little – for whatever reason – in educating the young about the opportunities which exist in their own country. This is a phenomenon that has transcended administrations since Independence.

Friday, April 16, 2010

People ent got time to protest!

Peeping Tom: If the protests launched by the opposition parties following the 1997 general elections were infiltrated by the ruling party’s agent provocateurs as is being suggested by Freddie Kissoon and Sheila Holder of the AFC, then how does one explain that during the height of slow fyaah, mo fyaah, certain reporters were relieved of their equipment by thugs who disappeared into the crowd at Congress Place, the headquarters of the party that launched the campaign?
Was it a case of infiltration also that caused an individual to be kidnapped and taken to a certain location where he was interrogated? What about the fires that destroyed large sections of the business community, including the headquarters of GAWU and the properties belonging to the People’s Progressive Party? Were these also the work of infiltrators wishing to give the PNCR a bad name?
The logic of street protests by the PNC has historically been about making the PPP government look ridiculous. This is what was done in the sixties when the very class which joined the PNC in opposing the PPP suffered as a result of the PNC trying to make the supporters of the PPP look bad.
The street protestors in those days associated certain businesses with the PPP and therefore set out to make the government look ridiculous by setting upon this class and their properties. The goal was to make the government look ridiculous, never mind the destruction that was caused and the innocent victims involved.
Among the innocent victims whose properties were leveled were some of the very persons who were opposed to Cheddi. But that was not then deemed infiltration. It was deemed collateral damage. Martin Carter, a man whom is often referred to as Guyana’s national poet, referred to one day of infamy in Georgetown as the day when a city of clerks became a city of men. These were the words of a man who was bitter with Cheddi, and who sought to portray the cowardly actions in the streets as heroic.
There is nothing heroic or even redeeming about terror used to make people suffer simply because they are seen as being associated because of their physical characteristics with the government.
It was not infiltrators that led to the undressing of women in our streets, the smashing of windscreens at certain car parks and the robbing and molesting of citizens trying to get home to escape the infamy of the mo fyaah, slow fyaah campaign. It was not infiltration. The logic was to place pressure on the government to cause it to fall, and the means to bring about this was to make the government look ridiculous by assaulting innocent citizens and burning down businesses.
At one stage things got so out of hand that a leading executive of a major corporation was forced to come out and condemn what was taking place in the streets. On that very day, that executive was joined by the owner of a television station which was not at the time perceived to be sympathetic to the ruling party, in also condemning the lawlessness that was taking place. And those individuals knew to where they were directing their criticisms; they were not directing it to agent provocateurs of the ruling party.
The right to protest is a democratic right but this does not translate to the right to inflict collateral damage or for that matter any damage at all. Thousands of persons in the streets protesting peacefully send a stronger message than a few hundred who seek to make the authorities look ridiculous.

It rained yesterday! Our homes flooded! And we got the same tired excuses from City Hall!

Flooded out city residents yesterday condemned the authorities for failing to heed several calls made over the past seven months for drainage works to be carried out.

Repeated attempts to contact the Mayor and City Council yesterday proved futile.

In several areas around the city yesterday, residents could be seen bailing out bottom flats, shifting furniture and hanging out soggy carpets. Some four inches of rainfall were recorded in Georgetown yesterday. Reports from around the country indicate that similar amounts were dumped.

Residents called on the authorities to be more proactive in anticipation of heavy rainfall during the May/June rainy season. According to the Met Office, rainfall is expected to continue over the next few days.

In the Section K, Campbellville area, residents were bailing water which accumulated in their homes and according residents there, the drains and canals in the area should have been cleared prior to the rains.

According to residents in Enachu Street, a nearby trench had been filled with thick vegetation for the past several months and several complaints were filed with the M&CC. Other residents said the authorities even visited the area but no action was taken to remedy the situation.

They said most canals and drains in the area were cleaned soon after the 2005 floods but no work had been done since then.

13 year old recounts harrowing tale of repeated rape and sexual molestation by C.N. Sharma

…Sharma collapses, hospitalised after taken to Brickdam Lockups

C.N Sharma

Kaieteur News: Proprietor of the CNS TV Channel 6, Chandra Narine Sharma, was last evening questioned by Police ranks at Eve Leary after he was invited there following reports by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Child Care and Protection Department of multiple rapes committed on four underage sisters.
Following a bout of questioning he was taken to the Brickdam Lockups where he collapsed and was subsequently hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Earlier in the day formal reports were lodged against Sharma at the Brickdam Police Station and Eve Leary Headquarters after the reports had been made to the Child Protection Agency.
That arm of the Human Services and Social Security commenced investigations of its own and unsuccessfully sought to remove two young girls (ages five and nine) from their home facilitated by Sharma adjacent to his business place, located at Robb and Wellington Streets.
Sharma has since retained the services of Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes who escorted him to Eve Leary last evening.
The action comes in wake of revelations that a 13-year-old girl in a sworn affidavit signed by Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of Oaths to Affidavits Lachman Narine, dated April 12, 2010, recounted a most harrowing tale of repeated rape and sexual molestation of four sisters over several years.
The teen decided to make public her allegations against the offender whom she named as Chandra Narine Sharma, owner of CNS TV 6, given the fact that he is now, according to her preying on one of her younger sisters.
This newspaper visited Sharma’s Home/Business but was unable to make contact with him even after providing his Office Manager with a copy of the Affidavit and soliciting an interview.
This newspaper was told that he was busy in meetings and the interview would be facilitated later in the day but this was never to materialize.
The child in the document states “I am afraid of him because he raped me when I was seven years old and I still have to go with him up to now.”
This newspaper managed to secure a copy of the now teenager’s Birth Certificate which lists her Date of Birth as July 23,1996.
The girl stated that, “He raped me when I was living with my mother…He call me in my (then) house in Alexander Street said to come for this thing…He hold me down in the room and raped me…my sisters them come in and they see and they come out and waited outside until he finished.”
The girl is alleging that when Sharma “called me he just say come for this thing…He hold me down and take off all my clothes…He didn’t tell me anything after doing that…He raped me.”
According to the now 13-year-old girl, when she was approximately age 10, her mother told her to go upstairs with him, “and it won’t hurt and I went and it hurt and I came back downstairs and from since then I have to go with him to get money.”
The girl alleges that she would have to sleep with him and he would have sex with her. “He would give me the money…. $2,000 a week.”
The girl claims that Sharma, “would come to the house in North Road where he would carry girls…Now in North Road he has a house where he carries girls there…He put a girl to live there now downstairs.”
Asked if he had any special requests she answered in the negative adding that, “he would just put me on the bed and rape me.”
The girl insists her sisters were also raped and molested by Sharma, “My mommy used to send her and my other sister…My other sister told me some of what happened…She would collect money.
The girl states that her mother never told them why she did it to them.
“I am now afraid for my little sister because one time he pushed his finger into her and I am afraid that he will do her the same thing he did to me…I know about the incident when he pushed his finger in her …She said he called her, hold her, put her to lie down and pushed his finger up into her.”
She in her statement said that, “When I was raped I cried… I was attending school when this was happening to me.”
This newspaper has since learnt that Sharma along with his Attorney showed up to the Police Station last evening in the possession of two Affidavits countering the allegations of the girl and one of her sister.
The Affidavits that Sharma showed up with at the Station last evening were reportedly those of the girl’s mother, who has been an employee of Sharma for several years, as well as her eldest daughter.
The social workers who showed up at the home of the children for whom the 13 year-old fears (a nine year-old and five year-old) were unable to locate the two young girls.
Meanwhile the 13-year-old who has made the allegations against Sharma has since been taken into protective care.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A comprehensive rebuttal of the letter sent to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation by AFC front group APA.

Peter Persaud: THE Guyanese people, particularly the Amerindian community must know that the APA sent a letter to the Peace, Gender, and Democracy Department of the Norwegian Agency for Development cooperation calling for, inter alia: The amendment of the present Amerindian Act 2006 “as a prior condition to any financing of further LCDS/REDD + Activities”.

The letter was dated March 10, 2010 and signed by six Toshaos and 15 known APA activists. The letter stated the following:

(a) “The undersigned are writing to express a number of concerns that we have about the Guyana-Norway Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of November 9, 2009 and the larger low carbon development strategy/REDD + Plans (LCDS/REDD+) currently being elaborated by the government of Guyana. These concerns all relate to the rights of indigenous peoples and how these rights will be guaranteed and protected in the implementation of the MOU and the larger LCDS/REDD+ Plans. These concerns are crucially important to the sustainability of LCDS/REDD+, but have yet to be adequately addressed. While we fully support culturally appropriate sustainable development and reducing carbon emissions, we do not believe that the LCDS/REDD+ initiatives should be implemented (yet again) at the expense of the indigenous peoples rights”.

(b) Our concern can be divided into the following categories:

(1) the lack of an adequate legal framework that recognises, respects and protects the rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with Guyana’s International Human rights obligations and
(2) the absence of any meaningful participation by indigenous peoples in decision-making on the LCDS/REDD+ to date. “The APA recommended that in order to correct the fundamental problems described above, there is urgent need to amend the Amerindians Act and to carry out an independent and impartial review of all land titling decisions made to date.”

I wish to raise the following in relation to the APA’s letter to the Norwegian Agency for development and cooperation.

(1) The APA’s letter is political, wicked, mischievous, damaging, misleading and presumptuous designed to deliberately bring to a halt the LCDS/REDD+ process in Guyana. The time has come for the APA to be placed under the microscope by the people of Guyana and more particularly the Amerindian community to determine its patriotism and its seriousness in promoting the development of indigenous peoples communities in Guyana. The APA has quickly reached the stage where it has become a subversive organisation with foreign financial support, every time there is a national project earmarked for Guyana’s hinterland where indigenous peoples can benefit, the APA always moves against these projects citing “indigenous peoples concerns” even though the communities would endorse or support these projects. I am saying that is high time the APA be stopped for being counterproductive to the development of Guyana’s indigenous peoples.

(2) The Norwegian agency for development cooperation must recognise that the APA’s letter has no basis of authority or mandate. Can (6) Toshaos out of a total of 97 elected toshaos make a decision to stop Norway from funding the implementation of the LCDS/REDD+ process in Guyana? Can six Toshaos out of total of 97 elected Toshaos make a decision or speak out on behalf of 91 Toshaos without their prior knowledge and consent? Can six Toshaos speak out on behalf the National Toshao Council which is the umbrella body for the 97 Toshaos in Guyana? The Norwegian Agency for Development must know as well that the six Toshaos are APA activists working on a conflict of interest situation. The peace, gender and democracy development cooperation must therefore seriously examine the democratic principles applied by the APA in making its decision for Norway to withhold funding for the LCDS process in Guyana.

(3) The Amerindian Act 2006, the Legislation that governs the Amerindian villages and communities in Guyana does recognise and protect the rights of Guyana’s indigenous peoples. The Amerindian Act 2006 mentions that it is “an Act to provide for the recognition and protection of the collective rights of Amerindians villages and communities, the granting of land to Amerindian villages and communities and the promotion of good governance in Amerindians villages and communities.” The Amerindian Act 2006 became the end product of intensive hearings in 31 host communities covering 112 Amerindian villages. Recommendations were received by a technical team and an international consultant on indigenous peoples rights worked with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs to review the recommendations submitted and was mandated to produce a report detailing language for the new act and relevant international comparisons both legislation and policy. The revised act was drafted based on the recommendations received, The International consultants report and along with other relevant documentation. The APA is claiming that Guyana does not have a legal framework that adequately recognises, respects and protects the rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with Guyana’s Human obligations, this claim by the APA is no doubt designed to bamboozle and hood wink the Norwegian Agency for development cooperation. Can anyone in Guyana honestly say that there are widespread human rights violations in Guyana against its indigenous peoples? Can the 97 indigenous Toshaos of Guyana honestly say if there are victims of land displacement or dispossession? Prior to the intervention of the LCDS process in Guyana no indigenous community raised concerns over the Amerindian Act 2006 which is the legal framework governing Amerindian villages and communities.

(4) The claim made by the APA that there is an absence of meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in decision making on LCDS/REDD+ to date. This is a monumental lie. All five indigenous representatives serving on the LCDS/MSCC are required to make their decisions on all matters regarding the LCDS and REDD+ initiatives. The APA could have also played a meaningful and constructive role on the MSCC but they bluntly rejected President Jagdeo’s invitation and preferred to be destructive an mischievous to a model Guyana and Norway will be creating in the fight against Global climate change where Guyana will be receiving incentives to pursue a low carbon economy while combating climate change. Through REDD+ initiatives. The LCDS process has adopted the FPIC standard for Amerindian communities to ‘opt in’ the strategy. If the six Toshaos who are APA activists and who are signatories to the letter sent by the APA to the Norwegian Agency for development cooperation do not want their forests to be part of the strategy so be it. After all this is the beauty about the FPIC principle. The APA’s detractions and vendetta against Guyana’s LCDS therefore have become totally unnecessary and time wasting.

(5) Section 38 of the Amerindian Act 2006 establishes the National Toshao Council. The NTC is a body corporate comprising all Toshaos in the country of Guyana. Ms Yvonne Pearson, the Toshao of Mainstay/Wyaka village was duly elected the chairman of the NTC at the last Toshao conference. She therefore has the right to speak on behalf of all Toshaos in the country, not the APA. Ms Pearson was a former and key leader in the APA, but she has since delinked herself from that body and is presently playing a constructive role on the LCDS/MSCC. This is why also the APA is disgruntled and mischievous. Amerindian human rights lawyer Mr. David James is also serving on the MSCC. APA where are you?

President's Middle East trips pays off-Guyana & Kuwait establishes diplomatic relations.

Following the visit of President Bharrat Jagdeo to Kuwait early this year, the relationship between Guyana and Kuwait strengthened to the extent that there is now, for the first time, a Kuwaiti Ambassador to Guyana.
His Excellency Waleed Ahmad Al-Kandari presented his letters of Credence to President Bharrat Jagdeo today at the Office of the President. In their presence were Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Director-General in the Ministry Elisabeth Harper.
Speaking to the media after his engagement Ambassador Ahmed Al-Kandari said he will be working fervently to further strengthen the bilateral relations between Guyana and Kuwait.
“We have to work to find the ways and means of progressing the relations in different fields; political economic and commercial ties,” the new Ambassador said.

President Bharrat Jagdeo meeting the new Kuwaiti Ambassador His Excellency Waleed Ahmad Al-Kandari

Versed in Arabic, English and a little Portuguese and Spanish, Ambassador Al-Kandari participated in numerous international forums, conferences, seminars and diplomatic meetings in Kuwait and abroad.
He served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Kuwait to of Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
During President Jagdeo’s visit to Kuwait in early January he met several high-level dignitaries within the Kuwaiti Government including the ruler of the country, Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
A Memorandum of Understanding and two cooperation agreements were signed. Minister of Oil and Information Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah signed an agreement to bolster cultural ties between the two countries with Minister Rodrigues-Birkett who was part of the Guyana delegation.

Kuwait’s Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali and Minister Rodrigues- Birkett signed an agreement on encouraging bilateral investments.

Guyana has weathered the impact of the global crisis well-IMF

-Kaieteur News & Stabroek News chided for not carrying this story

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Guyana has weathered the impact of the global crisis well by regional and global standards and it has sustained a solid macroeconomic performance supported by prudent policies.
However, persons are asking why this particular report was not given any coverage in the local press by the Kaieteur and Stabroek News, who throughout their years of existance have never been shy in giving front page coverage to reports that paint a negative picture of Guyana. The fund’s Executive Directors, following the IMF’s latest assessment last month, commended the
commitment of local authorities to further entrench macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability, while promoting long-term growth and development to improve the country’s standard of living and reduce poverty.
In a press release, they observed that the strong fiscal consolidation in 2009 provides space for a more gradual tightening over the near term to support infrastructure investment and growth.
“A cautious fiscal stance remains nevertheless warranted given remaining vulnerabilities. Directors therefore supported the authorities’ commitment to maintain prudent expenditure policies and to continue implementing structural reforms aimed at safeguarding fiscal sustainability”, the fund said.
The IMF Executive Directors welcomed Guyana’s efforts to achieve sustainable long-term growth, including under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
They noted that continued modernization of the sugar sector and diversification of Guyana’s productive base are key to sustaining growth.Read more......

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Di AFC shared out some Kites and seh deh on di move!

Trotman's selfishness led to the break-up of coalition talks in 2006-Joey Jagan

-The AFC and Trotman will suffer tremendous embarrassment in 2011 when voters realize their true colours

Joey Jagan: The nonsense which Mr Trotman is peddling about them not being involved in nurturing and getting involved in the third force in 2005, is convenient now after five years have passed. He conveniently forgets the time he came to have discussions at my house when I had a massive injury to my leg and it wasn’t about my leg which we talked; he conveniently forgets to mention that he was at many meetings of the third force where he spoke quite a bit and empathically about the prospects of third force unity in the 2006 elections; he conveniently forgets that in December 2005 when the photo of third force leaders was published, the AFC had already scuttled from the rest of us in that picture and were hard at work ‘buttering their own bread’; he conveniently forgets that when he mentions the question of him and Ramjattan retaining their seats in Parliament which was discussed in a third force forum, everyone besides them was against that position because the seats really belonged to the PNC and PPP respectively, so how could the third force have sitting members of the PPP and PNC in it; they disagreed; he conveniently mentions that I was the declared presidential candidate for Unity Party and that the AFC’s declaration “aggrieved” me when he knows quite well that there was never any announcement to the public that I was running for president, because he knows that there was a seven-year residence requirement in the constitution in order to run for president and I thus was not eligible – he’s trying to pin ambition on me when ambition underlined everything he did as no one else in the third force had declared for president either except for him after they launched the AFC; he conveniently refers to the fact that the AFC was never a part of the third force but he never mentions the plans he himself put forward for third force advancement and the role everyone would play; he conveniently forgets the proposal he himself put forward, early in the game, before the AFC’s launch, to have Hardy as presidential candidate and he (Trotman) as prime ministerial candidate for the third force; it was turned down.

So, Editor , we now come to the last part of Mr Trotman’s letter where he asks me to comment on Keith Scott and his part in the PNCR-1G effort and the reason why only Scott ended up there. My answer is to ask Mr Trotman the same thing, because he should know after spending a number of years in the top leadership of the PNC and then walking out while holding onto their seat in Parliament. All I know is that when I left the PPP in 1998, I immediately gave up my seat in Parliament and all the benefits which came with that position; it was the honourable thing to do. Maybe Keith Scott has a greater commitment to coalition politics than Mr Trotman, and he put his money where his mouth is after the AFC initiated the break-up of the coalition process we were working on. Mr Trotman’s closing remarks in which he warns me to “train my guns elsewhere” or I would be caused “injury and embarrassment” is sheer nonsense, and I remind Mr Trotman that I am not training any guns anywhere because the truth is what matters and I can never suffer injury and embarrassment the way the AFC and Mr Trotman will come the next general elections when the citizens will realize that they are splitters, not uniters, as the experience of third force politics taught me.