Saturday, November 27, 2010

VAT in Barbados raised to 17.5%

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler on his way Monday
to give his first Budget speech.

Barbados Nation: Barbadians were last Monday administered one of the most bitter doses of economic medicine since the 1991 crisis by new Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.

Levying broad-based increases in taxes and user-fees, while at the same time offering significant support to several business sectors to help keep people employed and to pull the country from its economic hole, Sinckler said the aim was to reduce the fiscal deficit which balloned from $396.9 million in 2008/2009 to $712.9 million in 2009/2010.

The bitterest of the taxes was an 18-month increase in value added tax (VAT) from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent, with Government expecting to raise $124 million.

Bus fares, which for 19 years stood at $1.50, will go to $2 from January 1, 2011, adding $8.4 million to the state-owned Transport Board.


And as the Opposition members grumbled in the background during Sinckler’s first Budget speech in the House of Assembly, he announced too, that long-standing tax-free allowances for travel and entertainment that boosted the salaries of many in the middle-class would be eliminated.

Also impacting this group was the removal of tax allowances for credit union savings and mutual fund investments. Sinckler said these two measures would save Government $34 million.

Another painful measure was the 50 per cent jump in the excise tax on gasolene. This is to raise $22.7 million.

From April 1, Barbadians who want their prescriptions filled at private pharmacies will have to pay user-fees. These drugs are free under the national drugs programme administered by the Barbados Drug Service.

The fees range from $5 to $12 for medicine that cost up to $40. Above $40, the fee will be 30 per cent of the cost.

Increases were also levied on Immigration services.

But as harsh as the tax measures were to swallow, Sinckler insisted the alternatives would have been “ten times more painful”.

“Our mission and mandate . . . must be to protect the ship of state”, he said, noting that it was better to maintain jobs and pay increased taxes than to make drastic cuts that involved job losses.

Taking a jab at commentators who advised to cut subsidies and transfers to public institutions, he pointed out that 75 per cent of those funds paid salaries, pensions and debt.

“What these people are saying to this Government in coded language is that we should send home Barbadians. Cut jobs, retrench, lay off or otherwise sever hundreds, perhaps thousands, of public sector workers. . . . It is a policy prescription that this Government will not follow. We reject it the way in which it is being presented,” the St Michael North West MP said to loud applause from Government benches.

In 1991, public sector salaries were cut by eight per cent. Some 3 000 civil servants were sent home as the then Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government implemented an across-the-board two-year wages freeze.

But reaching out to the private sector, Sinckler abolished the environmental levy on imports, reduced fees paid by private transport operators (PSVs), reduced retail liquor licences from $1 000 to $500 with immediate effect and cut water rates for registered farmers.

Specifically, for small businesses, Government will guarantee a $50 million loan to the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and $1.5 million to Fund Access.

Sinckler said Government would offer tax credits to companies that grew profits and increased jobs over the next three years.


-claims Murray's support of his candidacy

Basil Williams

Isn't the P.N.C supposed to be mourning the loss of its former general secretary and shadow finance minister, Winston Murray? Well they aren't!
Current party vice-chairman and one Murray's fellow competitors for the party's 2011 presidential candidacy is currently meeting party groups across the country seeking their support. Williams has already visited groups in regions 3,5 and 6 and is expected to meet with some region four groups tomorrow.

At one of the earlier meetings Williams told his audience that Murray prior to his untimely death was preparing to about his presidential bid in favour of supporting his(Williams'). This was however, denied by members of Murray's camp.

Captured Ministry of Health arsonist leads police to shallow grave and ammunition cache.

Arms and ammunition found

Health Ministry arson suspect, Colin Jones, yesterday, led a team of policemen to two decomposed bodies buried in shallow graves several miles up the Kara Kara Creek.
He also identified the bodies as belonging to two accomplices that he had killed.
One of the victims is believed to be 32-year-old Kurt Thierens, called ‘Bage’ or ‘Glasses’, who was fingered in the July 2009 destruction of the historic Health Ministry buildings.
Thierens, along with Jones, escaped from the Providence Police Station shortly after their arrests.
Thierens’s addresses was given as 102 Middle Walk, Buxton, East Coast Demerara; Lot 7 National Avenue, Triumph, East Coast Demerara and 219 Residential Area, Yarrowkabra, Soesdyke/Linden Highway.One of the bodies was believed to be his. According to a police insider, Jones told them that he shot and killed Thierens on Wednesday (November 24, last).
Thierens taught at Presidents’ College.
The other victim, described as a man of mixed ancestry, is suspected to be Keith Ferrier, called ‘General’, who, along with Thierens and Jones, were wanted for the November 2009 arson attempts at the Georgetown High Court and the Richard Ishmael Secondary school.
They were also wanted for questioning about the murder of gold miner Wodette Roberts called ‘Buckman’, whose body was found on the Soesdyke/Linden highway some hours after he was abducted.
Ferrier was reportedly killed on November 12.
The police arrested Jones yesterday after the man lobbed a grenade at a two-man patrol, forcing them to call for back up. That grenade proved to be a dud.
Soon after, the police found a cache of arms that included several magazines and ammunition, military paraphernalia and an assault rifle.
Yesterday, Jones took detectives to the location where he said he buried the bodies of his accomplices. He also took them to a camp his gang occupied.
At the scene, police recovered two AK 47 assault rifles without magazines, a quantity of 7.62 x 39 rounds, a grenade, two bullet-proof vests, and a several flares from a tarpaulin-covered camp.
A ten-foot boat with a five horsepower Yamaha outboard motor engine was also found in a swampy area adjoining the creek.
In addition, the lawmen destroyed two marijuana fields with about 1,800 plants ranging between two and six feet in height.
According to sources close to the investigation, Jones alleged that he decided to turn himself in because he was “fed up with hiding” and that “they (his accomplices) want me to go on robbery and kill people.”
But reports out of Linden were that the group did not need to commit robberies. The members were making their money from a large poultry farm they set up, and from the large marijuana cultivation that they had.
Jones reportedly also told investigators that he had killed two of his accomplices because they had “snitched” on him.
Jones gave ranks the dates on which he reportedly killed Theirens and Ferreira. He himself also sustained a gunshot wound, believed to have been inflicted when he turned his gun on Thierens.
There are reports that police had started to close in on the wanted men several weeks ago when a woman connected to Theirens was caught with a quantity of marijuana.
The woman has since been charged and is currently in prison.
They were in a house when the police raided. The men escaped by jumping through windows, leaving the woman behind.
Jones reportedly claimed that one of the gang had snitched, causing the police to effect the raid.
According to the police, he suspected that Thierens was the snitch and this must have eventually led to the confrontation between the men that left Thierens dead.
Jones was captured early yesterday morning when police spotted the shirtless man walking in the Linden community, several hours after he had hurled a grenade at some ranks the day before.
The fugitive had a shotgun wound to the shoulder.
According to the police report, around 16:00 hours on Thursday, police responded to information that a man was seen in the Amelia’s Ward, Linden, area acting suspiciously.

Colin Jones being escorted by police

Police who responded to the report failed to locate the man but received further information which led to the discovery of an AK- 47 rifle, seven magazines, 198 rounds of 7.62 x 39 ammunition, two pairs of handcuff, one camouflage bullet-proof vest, a green long-sleeved overcoat, a green camouflage haversack and a bible.
The police subsequently spotted Jones, clad only in underwear, walking along the Amelia’s Ward Public Road with what appeared to be a grenade in his hand.
As the ranks approached the suspect he threw the grenade at the police. Fortunately, the grenade failed to explode, and the man ran into the nearby bushes while the ranks were taking evasive action.
The ranks pursued the suspect and there was an exchange of gunfire before the man again eluded the lawmen.
However early yesterday morning the police came upon the same man, who calmly surrendered.
Media reports indicate that police have also detained two women from Linden who are suspected of assisting the captured man and his gang.
Commander of ‘E’ and ‘F’ Division, Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine yesterday lauded the ranks that were involved in the operation.

IV UNASUR Summit close with historic ‘Georgetown Declaration’

President Bharrat Jagdeo, outgoing UNASUR Chairman Rafael Correa and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez giving the ‘thumbs up’ after a successful summit

Agreement on a 33 point, five-page communiqué testifying to the will and wishes of the Heads of State and Delegations of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, brought the curtains down on what is being declared a ‘successful’ fourth Regular Summit of the 12 member union, today at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal.

Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo who assumed the Chairmanship of UNASUR said that the resolutions inherent in the Declaration reflect the desire of the Heads to ‘carve a bigger space for South America in the world.’
To this end, Clause 25 of the Declaration speaks to the pledge by the member states to “participate actively in international and regional multilateral forums, in order to fortify UNASUR’s presence, seeking out solutions to global problems of common interest.”
The Georgetown Declaration started out with the Heads, in the first two clauses, paying tribute to the late the former Argentine President and Secretary-General of UNASUR Dr. Nestor Kirchner by acknowledging the scope of the work undertaken during his tenure at the helm of the group.
Clauses three and four recognise the achievements of the Ecuadorian President Raphael Correa Delgado in his tenure as Pro Tempore President of UNASUR and sought to welcome President Jagdeo as he assumes the position constitutionally Guyana’s for the next year.
The members of UNASUR thus declared their “willingness to continue working towards the consolidation of a common space for the political, economic, social, cultural, energy, environmental and infrastructural integration of the region, in order to achieve sustainable development. They also highlighted their “firm commitment to work together to promote social and human development with equity and inclusion, and in harmony with nature, in order to eradicate poverty, reduce asymmetries, and overcome inequalities, with a framework of unity, democracy, unwavering respect for human rights and cooperation, both regionally and internationally, in the context of strengthening the sovereignty and independence of states,” as is inherent in clauses five and six.
In order to concretise such strengthening, the members approved the “Additional Protocol to the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR on Commitment to Democracy” which seeks to fundamentally guarantee “that member states will not tolerate any challenge to the institutional authority or any attempted coup against the legitimately constituted civil and that they shall adopt concrete and immediate measures in event of violations against the constitutional order.”
They further sought to ratify the “Declaration of Buenos Aires” dated October 1, 2010 in which they affirmed “that in the event of such new challenges or violations, measures such as “border closure, suspension of trade, air traffic and the provision of energy, services and other supplies” will be adopted against the offending parties.
As part of their Communiqué too, the Heads expressed their approval on the setting up of the various Councils of UNASUR including the approval of the Statute of the Council of Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Innovation (COSECCTI), and its attendant Action Plan in Education and the Roadmaps in the fields of Science, Technology, Education and Culture; the work carried out by the South American Council on Health, underscoring the importance of the implementation of the UNASUR Health Scholarship Programme next year; the advancement made by the South American Council on the World Drug Problem, strongly urging the implementation of mechanisms that can allow for consultations among the police and military personnel of South America.
The Heads approved too, the Statutes and Regulations of the South American Council for Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN); pronounced on the advancements made by the South American Energy Council; applauded the approval of the Statute of the Centre for strategic Defense Studies of the South American Defence Council(CEED-CDS) and the creation of the Council on Economy and Finance.
Inherent in the document too is a provision for the Pro Tempore President to convene within the next 30 days the Working Group on Dispute Settlement which, according to the Declaration, “shall comprise high-level experts appointed by Heads of State and Government to consider the proposal put forward by the Republic of Ecuador”, regarding a myriad of issues relating to the settlements of disputes, a code of conduct for member states and issues related to investments. The group is expected to present their findings to the Council of Delegates, 90 days after it has been constituted.
The Declaration also made clear the Heads’ position on Haiti with a call to member states that have not yet done so to make their contributions to the pledges under the “Decision on UNASUR Solidarity with Haiti.” The “UNASUR Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti” was created in the amount of $100M and member states were urged to make viable a line of credit amounting to $200M, which would complement UNASUR’s contribution. Importantly, the Heads also called on the International Community “to concretise the aid” offered to the impoverished Island nation especially in light of recent events there.
Significant too was the position of the union on the issues of climate change and noteworthy was the call to the developed countries to use the upcoming Cancun Conference to make firm political commitments which would allow for actions and proposals to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gasses as commitments made under the Kyoto Protocol. UNSAUR heads also applauded internal initiatives aimed at promoting the sustainable development of natural resources including forests, through national and regional initiatives and instructed the Council of Delegates under the chairmanship of Guyana to invite a representative of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation to examine areas of cooperation between both organisations.
The Heads also called for consensus on the final draft of the Additional Protocol that will allow for the establishment of the South American Parliament.
Finally, the Communiqué sought to communicate the Heads’ support of the Bolivian people in the chewing of Cocoa leaves as an ancestral and cultural tradition that should be respected by the international community and their support for the United Nations to declare 2011 the International “Year of Quinoa” noting that the grain would make a significant nutritional contribution as the global grain of the future.

Friday, November 26, 2010

BREAKING NEWS!!! Benschop phone numbers found on captured Ministry of Health arsonist.

Colin Jones

The man, who allegedly lobbed a grenade and opened fire on police, was arrested and confirmed as one four persons who burnt down the Ministry of Health on Brickdam and also created a morning of mayhem on several government facilities during a failed bid by Juliet Holder Allen, Mark Benschop and several overseas based Guyanese to instill fear in PPP supporters.

Police said Colin Jones also known as ‘Bonny’ was arrested around 2:30 am Friday, after he emerged from the bushes. He was taken to hospital for treatment to a gunshot wound to his back that he sustained late Thursday in an exchange of gunfire with police. He had also lobbed a grenade at police.

Police also found an AK-47 assault rifle, several rounds of ammunition, one bullet-proof vest and a haversack with a pocket book containing several telephone numbers titled 'Mark Benschop' on a farm at the back of Amelia’s Ward where he and at least four other persons were hiding.

No firearm was found in Jones’ possession and police are searching for a hand-gun that they said he used on Thursday to fire several shots at them.

Police encountered Jones on Thursday after a man reported that he had seen the fugitive on the farm. Several raids had been conducted on the farm before but police had come up empty-handed.

Brazil keen on hydro, Lethem road.

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva speaking
at the National Cultural Centre during the conferral of the Order of Excellence

In a parting speech which signalled Brazil’s continued interest in bolstering relations with Guyana, outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said yesterday that his successor is ready to advance and expand the bilateral agenda with an immediate focus on Guyana’s hydro project and the paving of the Linden-Lethem road.
Brazilian funding is available to advance both projects, he said, noting that they are “ready to support the move to the next phase” as both governments work towards cleaner and cheaper energy. He identified movement in these areas as critical as Guyana and Brazil strengthen their close partnership.

The Brazil/Guyana bilateral agenda remains a priority according to Lula, who said his country is interested in “consolidating the continental destiny of Guyana”.
His comments came shortly after the Order of Excellence was conferred upon him at a special ceremony at the National Cultural Centre yesterday; the event was scheduled for the UNASUR summit which wraps up in Georgetown today.

Lula conferred with Guyana’s highest national award

President Bharrat Jagdeo bestowing the Order
of Excellence on Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva

President Bharrat Jagdeo expressed a number of sentiments in his description of Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, chief among which is his deep rooted leadership values.
The occasion was the conferral of Guyana’s highest national award, the Order of Excellence to President Lula this evening at the National Cultural Centre in the presence of a large gathering of officials and nationals from the Guyanese and Brazilian community.
The ceremony which preceded a well orchestrated cultural presentation came on the eve of the opening summit of the IV Regular Summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
President Jagdeo who performed the function of bestowing the award on President Lula described the Brazilian leader as a hero, global statesman, a champion of the developing world and a dear friend of Guyana.
“Above all he is a leader of deep values who is driven by a sincere conviction that the actions of each of us can create a better world,” President Jagdeo said before requesting a standing welcome for President Lula.
The Brazilian leader’s inspiring life story began at age 12 years when he was forced to leave school to work to assist his family to make ends meet and continued in 1969 when he joined in union activities.
In 1980 along with an eclectic group of social actors, he formed the Workers Party and was jailed for his role in several strikes in that same year. He began his first run for political office in Sao Paulo in 1982 and won a Congressional seat in 1986. His first bid for presidency took place in 1994.
In the year 2002 Lula won the Presidential election in a landslide vote and gained the same result in 2006.
Some of his well known contributions as leader include influencing the creation of UNASUR which enabled cooperation of the South American continent, reaching out to Africa and the Arab worlds building new bridges with regions and the establishment of the World Social Forum in 2003 to enable progressive global policies to be advanced.
Brazil is today the world’s eighth largest economy and President Jagdeo attributed the country’s achievement to President Lula’s conviction, leadership and compassion for others.
“A Brazil where more than 20 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty and a Brazil that is getting closer to meeting the goal of eradicating hunger,” President Jagdeo said.
Reference was made to “Fome Zero” and “Zero Hunger,” two of President Lula’s flagship programmes which President Jagdeo said are creating new life opportunities for tens of millions of Brazilian citizens.
“His leadership means that Brazil’s flair and vibrancy will enrich the world in the 2014 world cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” he said
In his words of gratitude, President Lula said he received the award with pride describing it as a symbol of the special friendship that ignites the peoples of Guyana and Brazil.
The Brazilian President’s visit to Guyana is the third such occasion and wished all success for Guyana in its chairmanship of the UNASUR.
“I’m sure that Guyana will perform its new role with great seriousness and competence. In this task it can rely and count on the support from Brazil,” President Lula assured.
Brazil’s leadership has also been an inspiration to Guyana on the common ground of forest preservation and the fight against climate change. President Jagdeo alluded to Brazil’s clean energy transportation system, its innovative approaches to agriculture and global leadership in the fight against deforestation.
“Its success in reversing historical deforestation trends in the amazon will benefit every citizen in this planet and stands as one of President Lula’s greatest legacies,” President Jagdeo said.
The partnership between Guyana and Brazil is stronger than ever according to President Jagdeo, pointing to the physical economic, social and personal links.
The Takutu Bridge was hailed as a potent symbol of the strengthening bonds between the two countries, particularly the realization of new economic opportunities.


Kaieteur News: Human Services Minister, Priya Manickchand, Chartered Account Christopher Ram and Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall were among the prominent members of society that were in attendance.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christopher's "Rammings" exposed!

Even in death Murray torments Corbin

-PNCR snubbed from funeral planning

The Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) is not centrally involved in major preparations for the funeral of its long-serving member, Winston Murray.

No date has been announced for his interment but Stabroek News reported that Murray would be buried on the Essequibo island of Leguan where he was born.

A statement issued by the Murray faction that had been pushing for his presidential candidacy said “the Murray family has mandated a Committee to oversee the preparations for the funeral.”

The grouping also told the media that “only this Committee is authorised to make pronouncements of the funeral arrangements for Mr. Winston Murray.”

When contacted; PNCR leader, Robert Corbin said he was interfacing with the head of that committee, Russell Lancaster. He skirted a question when asked whether the PNCR was being sidelined. However, persons very close to Murray have attributed his sudden death to unnatural acts and have laid the blame at the feet of Corbin who frequented a "Obeah house" recently.

The Protocol Committee said it has been meeting continuously for the past forty-eight hours and has been finalizing the details of the funeral programme. Details are to be provided shortly to the media, the committee added.

The members of the committee are Dr. Richard Van West Charles; Kads Khan, Malcom Parris, Ronald Austin, Aubrey Norton, Priest Mwanza, Gillian Burton and Eugene Gilbert.


-Blames the PPP Government

Kaieteur News columnist and fierce government critic, Freddie Kissoon was once again the recipient of a government orchestrated attack, this time his home was targeted via dangerous rain clouds and heavy rainfall.

Kissoon was furious when he spoke to media operatives and vowed to continue with his sensationalism, anti-government propaganda, misinformation and fabrications despite this latest attack.
According to Kissoon he awoke around 6 am this morning to find rain clouds converging over the entire roof of his home. To his fascination, none of the other houses in proximity to his suffered the same fate and his house received a severe battering from the rain fall which emanated. Kissoon attributed this latest attack to an article he wrote recently in which he called for the legalization of beastiality and was adamant that it was orchestrated by the government since the perpetrators confessed to himself, Kaieteur News owner Glen Lall and its Editor-in-chief Adam Harris .

More corruption at Hammie's Castle

-City Treasurer arrested for demanding bribe

Andrew Meredith, the City Treasurer of the Mayor and City Council, sought refuge at the Guyana Revenue Authority’s Licence and Revenue Office (LRO) in Georgetown yesterday after he was confronted by a man who is accusing him of accepting a bribe.
Leon Phillips, 24, of 169 D’Aguiar’s Park, East Bank Demerara, alleged that Meredith took $80,000 from him as an inducement to make a final payment on the purchase of a low bed and hauler. The police were summoned and they escorted Meredith out of the GRA premises. They had come from the Brickdam Station.
Phillips, who is a debt collector, told the media that RRT Enterprise had sold a hauler and low bed trailer to M&CC for $10M. He stated that the first payment of $6 M was made by the M&CC on March 16. Another payment of $2M was made on April 23. The remainder was outstanding.
Meredith said that there was a delay on paying the remainder because money was not available and because RRT did not provide City Hall with the documents to the hauler and low bed. He said that at the instigation of the City Engineer, he paid a further one million dollars on October 12, by declining to pay NIS contributions and PAYE.
After months went by Phillips contended that he told Meredith that he would lodge complaints to the Ministry of Local Government, because of the delay in receiving the remaining one million dollars.
Phillips contended that a “Mr. Patterson” from M&CC called him and stated that Meredith is requesting $100,000 before he can sign the cheque for the outstanding $1M.
He said that Meredith subsequently called him and asked him to meet with him in his office to collect the money. He said that he gave Meredith $80,000 and he (Meredith) wrote a cheque for the outstanding balance of $1M.
Phillips said that while he was in a meeting, with “Mr. Rooplall” at the Ministry of Local Government on October 28, last, Meredith contacted him via telephone, demanding another $30,000.
Phillips contended that the call was placed on loud speaker before “Mr. Rooplall”.
He said that Meredith told him that $80,000 was not enough, so he will have to pay him an additional $30,000 or the cheque will ‘rebound’ at the bank.
As it turned out the cheque that Phillips received from the city’s treasurer was a “bounced cheque.”

Phillips said that he contacted the office of the treasurer to make enquiries about the cheque, but was told that Meredith had gone on leave.
Phillips said that he was told by M&CC, that he will receive another cheque on November 10, 2010 for the outstanding balance of $1M, which he did not receive until Friday last.
According to Phillips, yesterday afternoon he saw Meredith in the vicinity of Eccles, East Bank Demerara and confronted him for a return of the $80,000 that he, Meredith, allegedly took as an inducement to pay.
Witnesses told media operatives that they did overhear Meredith telling Phillips to accompany him to the licence office in Georgetown where Meredith would have refunded Phillips.
Meredith denied making any such statement or promise.
But Phillips was in a confrontational mood and had to be restrained by ranks in the compound when he and Meredith met at the Licence and Revenue office.
The police were summoned by LRO officials, and they escorted Meredith to the Brickdam Police Station.
Andrew Meredith was eventually released on $25,000 bail and asked to return to the Brickdam Police Station today.
The police are investigating the allegation that Meredith demanded money with menace.

Guyana ready for historic hosting of IV Regular Summit of UNASUR

ALL preparatory and other arrangements are in place for Guyana’s historic hosting of the important IV Regular Summit of Heads of State and Government representing the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

Over the next three days, especially on Friday, the UNASUR Summit in Guyana will be history in the making, as Guyana, the only English-speaking country on the
South American continent, leads the way for consolidating a unified South America; that is, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

Members of the UNASUR planning committee and other officials met yesterday to finalise arrangements for the Summit, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of UNASUR countries to be held at the Guyana International Conference Centre at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

Advance delegations from several countries have already arrived in Guyana, and Heads of State and Government, along with their respective delegations, are expected to start arriving later today for the Summit.

The Foreign Ministers meeting is slated to commence at 9:00 hrs tomorrow, while at 18:30 hrs tomorrow afternoon will be a major highlight of the Summit – the conferring of Guyana’s Order of Excellence on His Excellency Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Later the same evening will be a cultural programme in honour of Lula – the outgoing and charismatic Brazilian President - entitled ‘Landscape and Festivals’. Immediately following this will be a reception at the National Cultural Centre for delegates and invitees attending the award and cultural programme.

The delegates and invitees will then proceed to State House for a State Dinner hosted by His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo in honour of the visiting Heads of State and Government of UNASUR.

On Friday, there will be the opening session of the IV Regular Summit of the UNASUR Heads of State and Government at 10:00 hrs at the Guyana International Conference Centre.

The historic transfer of the rotating presidency of UNASUR will also take place on Friday, when the chair will be transferred to Guyana, with His Excellency President Bharrat Jagdeo assuming the leadership position in the organization and where it will be his celebrated task to lead UNASUR on to the next milestone.
The fourth summit will be chaired by outgoing Chairman, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador.

UNASUR is an intergovernmental union integrating two South American trade blocs -- Mercosur (a regional trade agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Andean Community of Nations (a trade bloc comprising countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).

Monday, November 22, 2010


Mark BENSCHOP has replaced Peter Ramsaroop as the new Chief Executive Officer of the AFC.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


All over the streets it is being said that PNCR shadow finance minister, Winston Murray's current illness was caused by unnatural acts and we have done some investigations of our own which prove the same to be true.

Our investigation have revealed that for several weeks before a seemingly fit and well Murray collapsed, Robert Corbin had been frequenting a 'Obeah' house in Mocha. In one instance Corbin carried a live fowl cock and was seen in the wee hours of the morning one more than one occasions at the Kitty seawalls in the company of 'mother Patricia' from the same house in Mocha.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It is excellent that Christopher Ram is trying to highlight unlawful activities (whether accurate or inaccurate) however, he must equally highlight the unlawful abuses he instituted on his wife and children.

Only when this happens Ram will have our full respect.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Freddie Kissoon exposed!!

-just another disgruntled opportunist

Freddie Shit-soon

Lionel Peters: One day in 1994 you were coming up Robb Street and you met Rohan Singh and me in front of Michael Forde Bookshop. Rohan began to relate to you that I had, minutes before, finally gotten my fourth resignation as Party Organiser for GT accepted by Donald Ramotar. Your response was, “You guys take me for a fool? Who would resign now after all the hard work is done? Now is time for the rewards to come your way!”
Freddie you could not contemplate that there were people like Lionel, Rohan, Prakash, Anand, who were not prepared the accept the largesse of the PPP, because they were well grounded in the struggle of the Guyanese poor.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Squatting a legacy of decades of neglect by the PNC

MINISTER OF Housing and Water Mr. Irfaan Ali says decades of neglect in the area of housing under the previous People’s National Congress (PNC) administration has brought about the squatting scourge that the current People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration is trying to rectify.
His bold declaration came during another ‘One Stop Shop’ exercise yesterday at the Chateau Margot Primary School, where scores of residents of the Railway Embankment, East Coast of Demerara (ECD) squatter settlements - from Cummings Lodge to Chateau Margot, were awarded land titles.
In his address during the exercise, Minister Ali welcomed the multitude of residents to the historic event, and pointed out that prior to 1992, squatting was practically forced on citizens.
In this regard, he revealed that the present PPP/C Administration is adopting a different approach, aimed at regularization so as to afford citizens the opportunity of having legal claim to their property.
“Squatting has a history in this country that we are not proud of, as there was no structured housing programme, or no Ministry of Housing,” the minister said, adding: “So what else was left for persons who wanted to take care of their families [to do],” implying that they had no other alternative but to squat.
Continuing, the Minister urged residents to reflect on what the situation would have been like today had the PPP not embarked on issuing more than 90,000 house lots, a move that positively impacted the lives of thousands of Guyanese over the last 18 years.
He emphasized that the approach to resolving the issue must be a humane one, taking into account the historical trend and severe circumstances that persons endured prior to the establishment of the Housing Programme.
“Persons who only address all the shortcomings in the Housing Sector must also provide an answer for the years when nothing was done, as none of you would have been here if there was a legal way to acquire your land,” Minister Ali stressed.
In addition, he encouraged residents to try to understand the importance of the exercise, and to reflect on the impact it will have on their lives and that of their families.

Challenges of Development

Alluding to the increased development in the areas in question, these being Chateau Margot and contiguous neighbourhoods, Minister Ali pointed out that the road to improvement has not always been an easy one, as there have been numerous challenges and disputes that threatened continued progress.
Despite the challenges, however, he said that regularization has been completed in the 25 areas along the railway embankment, out of which 16 have been surveyed, while the Ministry is seeking to resolve the existing problems in others.
“We have spent in excess of $15M in surveying expenses,” he said, adding, “That is what we have invested on your behalf.”
He highlighted the fact that after a national survey was done, it was discovered that there were 218 squatter settlements in the country. Of that number, he said, almost 186 have been regularized to date.
Of the total amount, he said, 32 fall within the ‘zero tolerance zone’, meaning along main drainage reserves, public highways and along the sea defense areas, as a result of which they could not be regularized.
Said he: “There are certain areas we could not regularize. With those areas, we encouraged persons to apply for their house-lots as we work out a relocation plan.”
In light of this development, he emphasized that progress has been made in terms of transforming the landscape and ensuring that persons are equipped with titles and legal access to their lands.
The minister said his ministry has already spent $250M on roads and drainage equipment in squatter settlements so as to transform the lives of the residents there and to improve infrastructure.
In encouraging the beneficiaries of titles to focus on the positive outcomes of the exercise, Minister Ali said: “This is the result of working together, and with the PPP/C, you will always have a partner in development.”
“With a strong vision and a strong President who is unwavering,” he added, “we continue to ensure that all have equal access to the opportunities provided.”
Following the Minister’s remarks, the eager residents were given an overview of land-use and building permission process for construction, or, in most cases, for the extension of existing structures to facilitate businesses.
Director of Squatter Settlements and Regularization Department, Mr. Gladwin Charles referred to the event as an historic one which will afford residents an improved standard of living.
Said he: “I hope that we can work together to improve the areas, and to transform them from squatter settlements to regular schemes.”


One of the first recipients of titles yesterday, Mr. Mahadeo Rampadrat, who has been a resident of Plantation Ogle for the past 22 years, expressed gratitude to the minister for making the event possible.
Visibly shaken, Rampadrat said: “I am overwhelmed that I got this today. God bless the minister, and I want to thank him for what he is doing, not only for me, but many more people today.”
Suppressing tears, Rampadrat related that his entire family stands to benefit from the event, which will not only improve their lives but the lives of generations to come.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trotman positioning himself to be PNC 2011 consensus candidate.

Trotman during his PNC days

Sources have revealed to us that AFC leader Raphael Trotman is repositioning himself back in the PNC. We have learnt that Trotman declined the AFC Prime Ministerial candidate slot in order to avail himself as the PNC consensus candidate.

Trotman during conversations with close confidants related his unhappiness with being made to play second fiddle to Ramjattan especially since the latter was unable to woo significant Indo votes in 2006 and he (Trotman) was able to make significant inroads into the PNC support bases
single-handedly also in 2006.

I am satisfied that you came to our village and gave upliftment-Plaisance resident tells President

-Reserves near Plaisance market to be paved

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday assured residents of Plaisance on the East Coast of Demerara that the Government will be financing the paving of a section of the reserve on the sides of the Railway Embankment to enable them to sell.
The tender, he hopes, will be invited in a matter of weeks and the works will begin thereafter.He was speaking during a tour of the village during which he interacted with residents, mostly women, in his usual friendly manner, putting them at ease. The President has promised to return to the area in a matter of weeks when the works would have commenced.
“This started as a small project which came to Cabinet but I thought it was limited so I came out here this afternoon with the ministers to look at a more expansive project for the area. This is one of the older markets on the East Coast and it is very important. I am very happy with the accommodating attitude that everyone showed,” he said.

Plaisance residents were ‘very satisfied’ with President Jagdeo’s visit to their village yesterday

He noted that the people want to continue selling and he thought that in a society like Guyana’s “we have to allow people to make a living, even if they have to sell by the roadside.” But he said they have to do so in a tasteful way and an orderly way. “This is all that we ask,” the President said.
President Jagdeo also asked the residents to ensure that the structures that they build on the paved roadside are neat and tasteful.
During the tour, Mr. Jagdeo told residents that some of the main drainage canals will be cleaned to facilitate effective drainage when the sides of the road would have been paved to allow for vending. He also said that, at a later stage, the authorities will look at the inside of the market to see what rehabilitative works could be done.
One of the residents who escorted the President around the village, told Mr. Jagdeo she felt satisfied, “that you came to our village and gave upliftment.”

The President and Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Benn on the walkabout in Plaisance yesterday

“We had a very good meeting here and the people are very accommodating. As I said before, the works would be done and they would be allowed to sell. They have to recognise that the reserves are there for a purpose,” the President told reporters after the meeting.

Accompanying the President on the tour were Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Mr. Robeson Benn, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Mr. Kellawan Lall, Finance Secretary Mr. Neermal Rekha and staff of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Works.

A resident makes a point to President Jagdeo at the Plaisance Market yesterday


Prakash Persaud

The AFC is pushing hard for the government to enact freedom of information legislation and this is understandable.
What is not though is the refusal of the party's leader Raphael Trotman, to make available information on the subject in which Prakash Persaud has mentioned his name along with that of his mother and sister.

Friday, November 12, 2010

D&I workers say Freddie Kissoon and Kaieteur News are barefaced liars!

-vow not to purchase Kaieteur News again

‘FREDDY WICKED!’: Irate members of the team directly responsible for cleaning the section of canal in front Freddy Kissoon’s house yesterday

DRAINAGE and irrigation (D&I) workers yesterday said they were shocked and extremely disturbed over the accusation made against them, by newspaper columnist Freddie Kissoon, that they, deliberately, did not clean the section of the canal in front his Railway Embankment, East Coast Demerara house. One of them, Debbie Tappin told the media that various teams are assigned to clear the waterway, with each being responsible for two house lots at a time.
She, Michelle Fraser, Samantha David, Yonnette Todd, Royston Greaves and Ramesh Jaikaran were directly responsible for clearing the part outside Kissoon’s home.
All six of them, who spoke, emphatically denied that Kissoon talked to any one of them, contrary to his claim in the Kaieteur News yesterday.
Obviously riled while attempting to explain herself, Tappin said they would, usually, cease work at 14:00 h daily and did so on Wednesday, leaving the section complained about for yesterday.
“I don’t even know his name,” she said of Kissoon, pointing to a small, flat, blue and white house opposite Kissoon’s, where they left their tools Wednesday, intending to complete their part of the job yesterday.
“We didn’t even know this man lives here,” David confessed.
She said, if they knew it was Kissoon, they would have done the work in front of his residence first, to avoid his allegation.
David concurred that they stop working as soon as eight hours expire, as they all have families to care for and cannot afford to work extra hours.
“We have to work with a time span,” she said, adding it is for that reason they left the clearing in front of Kissoon for yesterday.
Tappin rejoined that they felt very embarrassed at seeing the report in the Kaieteur News, knowing that it was not as Kissoon claimed. “It was a coincidence,” she offered.
When the members of the media went to the location just after 10:00 h yesterday, the job was almost done and other teams were working a short distance away from where Kissoon lives.


Kaieteur News published a map in support of Kissoon’s accusation but Tappin criticised what she called Kissoon’s impulsive attitude, noting that he did not afford the team “breathing space” to determine if they would return to clear the area.
Her group said if the columnist had waited at least until yesterday, he would have been in a better position to determine whether or not there was a deliberate decision by them not to clean in front of his house.
They concluded that Kissoon was “very disrespectful” to involve President Bharrat Jagdeo and the Government, as well, in his tirade.
Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) Coordinator Tullaram Jairam expressed the view that no sensible person would clean the canal and leave a single spot undone.
He said Kissoon cast a bad name on the workers and wants to create political mischief.
“The workers are not happy about this. They are earning an honest living. But this deters them from working,” Jairam informed.
Team foreman Charles Fortune called on Kissoon, whom he described as “wicked, mischievous and dangerous,” to apologise to the workers.
He said they could have lost their jobs because Kaieteur News reported them as saying they were ordered not to clear the vegetation.
Fortune said the workers were astonished after reading the report, as none of them knew where Kissoon lived prior to the publication.
“This made me feel like never reading the Kaieteur News again. I’ve already advised my workers not to buy that paper anymore. At least, he should have found out from us first,” Fortune said, referring to Kissoon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Basil Williams accused of harassing young woman!

An investigation has been launched after allegations of harassment by a young woman who was part of Guyana's delegation to the recently concluded commonwealth parliamentary training programme against PNC/R M.P Basil Williams. In one instance Williams, who was also part of the delegation representing Guyana, allegedly knocked on the young woman's hotel room door making sexual advances in the wee hours of the morning.

On several occasions he reportedly held on to her hands and only let go after she started raising her voice. Persons inside the PNC/R have told us that this is not the first time such allegations were made against Williams.


Aspiring PNC/R presidential candidate and former General Secretary, Winston Murray was rushed to a city hospital in a unconscious state this evening. His condition is listed as critical. Murray reportedly collapsed at his home and was rushed to the hospital by close relatives.

Murray's health has been steadily deteriorating of recent and as a result was forced to step down as the party's general secretary. Questions were asked about the state of his health as well as if he's fit to lead the PNC or even be its presidential nominee.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


STABROEK NEWS: Justice For All Party leader and broadcaster Rapist CN Sharma has filed a constitutional suit against Attorney General Charles Ramson for statements purportedly made by President Bharrat Jagdeo at a recent news conference in relation to the ongoing carnal knowledge trial against him.

According to the writ filed by Sharma’s attorney Nigel Hughes, his client’s right to a fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution has been violated “by the making and publication of statements by His Excellency the President on the 22nd day of October, 2010 to the effect that the Prose-cution’s case against the Plaintiff was ‘foolproof’.”
Sharma’s team is seeking the discontinuation of the carnal knowledge trial against Sharma until the lawsuit has been determined.

In a functioning democracy such as ours this Lawsuit should be considered frivolous and laughable given that the ARRAIGNMENT process is designed to move the accused (in this case Sharma) from the clutches of the Executive branch(the Policing authorities) into the Judicial branch(court system).
Therefore, in general any crazy utterance about existing court cases, official or unofficial, by the President or any of his Ministers ought to be deemed non prejudicial and irrelevant. This case is currently under the jurisdiction of the judicial branch (courts).

On the other hand, if the Chief Justice or the Chancellor of the Judiciary made similar utterances about an existing court case, then that would in fact be prejudicial to Sharma's court case.

Diwali scenes

The Better Hope Mandir’s float

These young ladies represented various Hindu goddesses as part of the Success Mandir’s float

If this is not sensationalism, misrepresentation of the facts and malicious reporting by Kaieteur News, then what is?

Brain Azore: THE Encarta online dictionary defines a tabloid as, ‘A small-format newspaper with a simple style, many photographs, and sometimes an emphasis on sensational stories’. A perusal of our daily newspapers, particularly the Kaieteur News, seems to suggest that this newspaper is fast attaining ‘tabloid’ status.

Reporting based on fact, delivered in a balanced and fair manner seem to be a thing of the past. Journalists and Editors alike seem to have abandoned this ethic, opting for the ‘fast and nasty’ style of reporting.

One example is the recent spate of news articles relating to the Ministry of Human Services internal investigation into the handling of the Neesa Gopaul case.

The human services Minister had said at a press conference on October 7, as reported by the four dailies, that an investigation was underway and the results would be made known by November 5.

PNCR activists, as again reported by the four dailies, held several protests outside the Ministry subsequent to the press conference, and days before the October 7 deadline.
Among the grievances expressed by these protestors was that no information was being made public on the investigation.

The Kaieteur News carried this angle of the report, and not once did the reporter mentioned that it was not yet November 5, the date which the Minister gave as the deadline for the release of the findings. And it gets worse.

The minister held another press conference on October 28 at which time the result of the investigation was made known, three weeks after it began, and one week ahead of the original schedule.

To my utter dismay, the Kaieteur News report of this event carried on October 29, captioned ‘Two Child Care officials sacked’ started off with the following line - ‘The long awaited report that was commissioned by the Minister of Human Services….’

Long awaited report seriously?

If this is not sensationalism, misrepresentation of the facts and malicious reporting, then what is?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

AFC – a legacy of dashed hopes and broken dreams

Dr Randy Persaud: WHEN the Alliance For Change (AFC) came on the scene back in 2006, the people who supported it had hopes and nurtured dreams that in addition to the PPP and PNC, there would be a credible third party. Although the party did not do nearly as well in the last election, it at least managed to get into parliament.
Today, the AFC is breaking up and breaking up fast. In its wake it will leave a field of broken dreams. The party has gone downhill for a number of reasons, the most important of which are noted below.
Firstly, the AFC has never made good use of its presence in parliament. Everyone knows that the party did not go to parliament fully prepared, at least on a regular basis. On many occasions the AFC had absolutely nothing to say in legislative body. This situation should have been corrected a long time ago. Instead, senior members of the AFC made huge blunders in parliament and had to apologise.
Secondly, despite five years in business, the AFC failed to broaden out its appeal. Two things can account for this. Firstly, the AFC relied too much on press statements instead of spending the time to build a wider network on the ground. Incidentally, the PPP is brilliantly organized on the ground. Press statements can be useful, but they will not mobilize new party recruits. The other problem is that the AFC has relied way too much on the diaspora for both sustenance of spirit and material support. Moreover, there has been too much reliance on friends and relatives.
Thirdly, the AFC has flipped-flopped several times regarding its relationship with the PNC. This is a big mistake because the PNCR is a credible force in the country. Flip-flopping with the WPA has no consequence because that party cannot get more than half of one percent of the votes, and this is an optimistic estimate.
Fourthly, the AFC demonstrated unfathomable naïveté by adopting the romantic notion of a rotating leadership. This principle was the darling of the WPA, a party that squandered all the good work done under the leadership of Walter Rodney. Despite every attempt to pretend that all the ducks were in a row on this subject, time and again, the top leaders showed their hands. It was never good. They all wanted to be the top dog.
Fifth and finally, it should come as no surprise that Mr. Trotman has effectively resigned from the AFC. He was truly in a Catch 22. If he were to be faithful to his party he should have become the prime ministerial candidate, i.e., Ramjattan’s running mate. But if he were to fulfill his own political ambition, then he would have to sacrifice his party. He took the second option and by so doing may have ‘given back’ his constituency to the PNC. Is this part of the Hartley Plan?

Academics like Jeffrey created the 1980 constitution he now rails about

Phillip Bynoe: HENRY Jeffery can be assured that my understanding of Guyana, its history, politics and political economy is delicate enough to allow me to examine and interpret the impact that people like him and his “sub-class” have had on our nation’s development and its peoples. He is also fortunate that I am not a student of his at the institution to which he fled to seek refuge and live out what is left of his academic and political careers or I would have led a successful revolt against him at the University of Guyana both as a lecturer and as a defunct politician who should not be allowed to use our premier academic institution to bamboozle and distort the young minds of our nation – you have done enough Henry!
Jeffery’s pronouncement that I “lack a sufficiently nuanced understanding of the subject on which I seek to comment” and his school teacher like correction of my use of “West Minister” as against “Westminster” are atypical of his sub-class – they always thumb their noses at and demonstrate a deep disrespect for people who they consider not to be of their “academic standing” - (whatever that means). One can discern their barely disguised contempt in much of what they write and how they speak. They fail to accept that even the language which we use to communicate is changing. Our youngsters today are changing even the way we spell. I say this not to explain away my own mistake (which indeed it was) but to make the point that it was academics like Jeffery and others who not only created the 1980 constitution which entrenched the “West Minister” style government and controls our elections, but they also revised it and voted for this revision in parliament (do you remember Henry?) in the mid 1990s. So Henry you were involved in the making of our current constitution and the changing of it, both times on the side of the government of the day, PNC and PPP, so clearly it has to be ideal for you. You are hypocritical and politically dishonest in taking the stand that you are taking now against the efficacy of the current constitution.
Today all of our government institutions, all of our political organisations and actions, the way state controlled resources are managed and distributed and by whom flow from this constitution. I am in a better position to regale against it, to want to change it, to mobilise and organise against it. I never supported it, I never voted for it in parliament nor in a referendum, never sang its praises – I just simply accepted it like so many other Guyanese. So how am I to judge you when you now tell me and the country that this same constitution is the cause of all our problems in Guyana; that the opposition in Guyana and others are against it? How can you now regale me about its structural and other imperfections? When you, personally, along with the people who now make up the current opposition, in fact conceived it, wrote it, advocated it, voted for it and promulgated it? Is it any wonder Henry, that ordinary people like me are of the view that it is the academics and intellectuals, people with letters in front of and behind their names like you who screwed Guyana up?
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