The Youth Coalition for Transformation (YCT), often touted as the youth arm of the APNU also recently sought to distance itself from that PNC dominated grouping. Many are of the belief that this decision to split had its genesis in the dispute between the two factions.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Youth Coalition for Transformation (YCT), often touted as the youth arm of the APNU also recently sought to distance itself from that PNC dominated grouping. Many are of the belief that this decision to split had its genesis in the dispute between the two factions.
David Granger's mouth-piece, Mark Archer would like to have us believe that the PPP’s refusal to privatise sugar is all about race. And in his recent Kaieteur News letter captioned "GuySuCo is a reflection of Guyana; obsessed with race, stubbornly clinging to old methods” he hypocritically refused to point out that privatisation of sugar was an IMF demand from 1989. The IMF also demanded the massive downsizing of the Public Service at the time. Hoyte had already laid off thousands of Public Servants. The PPP government, declaring their concerns for the social impact of those layoffs, flatly refused. The IMF’s criticism of the PPP’s government for their stance is on the record that can be checked at any time.
On sugar, the PPP persuaded the IMF to reverse their demands. But it is in compliance with some of the demands of the IMF that sugar is in the straits it is in today. For insistence the IMF forbade investment in the Demerara factories and a cutback in field employment. Production in Demerara was always going to be a no-win situation.
Ali, who headed the sales team promoting Bank’s products, was held ultimately accountable for the transgressions in his department by the company.
Banks DIH products which were intended for promotional events at reduced prices did not reach the intended beneficiaries and employees of the company profited off the goods. Five of these employees’ services were terminated as a result.
Allegations of financial impropriety and visa racketeering were leveled against various members of the Guyana Cricket Board of which Ali recently announced his resignation as president.
The search warrants were obtained, among several orders that were filed on February 16, by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, last Friday from Chief Justice Ian Chang.
Warrants were issued to search the properties of former GCB President Chetram Singh, current President Ramsey Ali, Terrence Holder, Anand Sanasie, Lionel Jaikaran, Fizul Bacchus, Alfred Mentore, Dru Bahadur, Anand Kalludeen, Colin Europe, Troy Mendonca, Rayon Griffith, and Nazimul Drepaul.
However, president of the embattled cricket board Ramsey Ali told the media, that police invaded his home and office, along with three other board officials on Monday. Ali said the homes of board secretary Anand Senasee, past President Chetram Singh, and another trustee, Lionel Jaikarran were among the officials’ homes searched.
While Ali was reluctant to disclose what was found during the search, we understand that financial documents and other papers were taken away by the police.
Searches were expected to be conducted on the premises of, Dru Bahadur, Anand Kalludeen, Colin Europe, Troy Mendonca, Terrence Holder, Rayon Griffith, Nazimul Drepaul, Fizul Bacchus and Alfred Mentore.
The High Court granted an ‘Anton Piller Orders’ against the thirteen officials from the Guyana Cricket Board. An Anton Piller order is a court order that provides the right to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning.
This prevents destruction of relevant evidence, particularly in cases of alleged trademark, copyright or patent infringements.
The orders were filed by the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Alfred King on behalf of the Plaintiff, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, against the Respondents/Defendants Ramsey Ali, in his capacity as the purported president of the Guyana Cricket Board, Fizul Bacchus, Alfred Mentore, Anand Sanasie, Dru Bahadur, Anand Kalludeen, Colin Europe, Troy Mendonca, Terrence Holder, Rayon Griffith, Nazimul Drepaul and Chetram Singh, in his capacity as a purported Trustee of the Guyana Cricket Board and Lionel Jaikaran.
In court documents it was ordered that the defendants be restrained “from holding themselves or himself out in Guyana as members of the executive committee of the Guyana Cricket Board, save in respect of the conduct of court cases, whether extant or contemplated until the hearing and determination of a summons returnable in this cause.”
The order also prohibits the Respondents/Defendants from “holding themselves out to being representatives of the GCB and administrators of cricket in Guyana, preventing the GCB as a body from being the administrator of local cricket and restraining it from disposing of, dealing with, and/or transferring any assets (books records, cheques, microfilms, computer disks) which concern the affairs of the Board.”
Further, the officials are also restrained from accessing bank accounts related to the GCB, which may contain funds belonging to the Board since those bank accounts have essentially been frozen.
In additionally, the order allows for premises owned, occupied, leased or possessed by these persons, to be searched for the purpose of retrieving any documents or records, books, accounts, disks or micro-chip which may contain any information or relate to the affairs of the GCB.
These orders fall under the purview of the Anton Piller Orders but entail mechanisms to ensure that people’s rights are not abused or eroded. To this end, an Attorney-at-Law and the Marshal of the High Court are present during the search.
Moreover, the person who is affected by the order is entitled to have his/her Attorney-at-Law present as well, so as to ensure that the orders are executed in a fair and dispassionate way.
Meanwhile, several allegations of administrative malpractices have been leveled against the GCB, which resulted in the Chief Justice’s ruling that recommended the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to intervene in order to bring some sort of temporary solution until a permanent one was reached.
As a result, an Interim Management Committee (IMC) was established by the Guyana government on December 23 to regularise the administration of the game.
On the other hand, a police investigation was launched to examine the allegations of financial irregularities and other issues with regard to the conduct of those who were in charge of cricket to determine whether or not they had violated any aspect of the law.
Despite these happening on the locally, the West Indies Cricket Board continues to recognize only the GCB, and last month the International Cricket Council condemned the government’s interference in the functioning of cricket in Guyana.
The WICB has already cancelled plans for Australia to play a test against West Indies in Guyana in April, and has moved the Guyanese team to new bases for the ongoing Regional Four-Day Championship.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
He had been given at least two reprieves by the UG Council after being pulled up for academic non-production. But when finally terminated, he resorted to his usual modus operandi of dragging in red herrings and slandering everyone in sight that refused to pander to his solipsism. His poison pen has now turned on two very respectable members of the establishment – Professor Compton Bourne and Professor David Dabydeen.
So what’s Kissoon’s gripe with Professor Bourne, who, among other accomplishments, headed the Caribbean Development Bank? Well, seems like the goodly professor didn’t agree that individuals belonging to the same political party can be impartial when evaluating other members on non-party business. Obviously extrapolating from his own implacable bias and partisanship, this bitter old soul cannot conceive of others being objective. He nastily implied that Dr Bourne sold his soul for a houselot!
Dabydeen’s offence was to suggest that notwithstanding UG’s problems, Kissoon could have still produced academically. For a man claiming to idealise Dr Walter Rodney, Kissoon forgot that this real academic produced “A History of the Guyanese Working People” in worse conditions. Anyhow, according to Kissoon, Dabydeen sold his soul for an ambassadorship. He(Kissoon), of course, remains spotless.
We wonder if GPSU’s Patrick Yarde’s name is like his nature? Here is a fellow who no one can remember when he actually worked in the public service – but he seems to be ‘president for life’ of the union. He’s at least a decade past the retirement age for public servants, but he’s not about to let go of his public service scraps. They are very rich pickings, since they are deducted from the public servants’ salaries even before they touch them.
Anyhow, every now and then Yarde remembers to make some squawks just to show he’s earning his keep. For the past few years, the government’s been unilaterally granting public servants greater-than-expected raises so Yarde is hard put to justify his takings. He just makes some noises about conditions at the Nursing School – something that the administration had already been addressing!
Only last year $345 million was injected into the nursing training programme. Yarde, seemingly in the middle of an identity crisis, jumped up and down like a “fowl cock”. He served a one-month ultimatum on the Ministry of Health. Minister Bheri Ramsarran had to remind the nursing tutors: “Don’t let that old politician masquerading as a trade unionist fool you.” Bheri was being “ministerial”: was he really thinking of “that old yard fowl…”?
Baksh recalls the weeks of gutter journalism by the Kaieteur News in the case of the supply of computers to the Education Ministry. “As I have done in the computers for schools project, I am consulting my Attorney with a view to suing the Kaieteur tabloid for libel,” he said.
He added that freedom of the press carries with it a corresponding responsibility for accurate, balanced and fair reporting.
Baksh reiterated that the terms and conditions of the contract were fulfilled by the supplier in the supply of the computers with the defined specifications, and a statement to that effect was issued by the Ministry but the Kaieteur News has shown no remorse for its publications on the matter.
He stated that the headline carried in the Kaieteur News on Sunday, February 26 “Billions spent on outdated text books” is a total fabrication and wicked in its intent since there is a well defined text book policy and guidelines for the selection of text books. Further, there is also a text book selection committee which comprises senior professional officers of the Ministry and is supported by specialists and educators in the selection of text books.
All the textbooks procured for the 31 subjects taken by students at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate with some exceptions, are based on the published recommended texts by the Caribbean Examination Council.
Baksh emphasises that the results at the CSEC are clear evidence of the prudent policy in the selection of text books, as well as programmes and interventions undertaken by the Ministry. This is evident in the overall pass rate which has improved from 55.8% in 2006 to 64.4% in 2011 and notably English A pass rate moved from 39.5% in 2006 to 60.8% in 2011.
With regards to the article which appeared in the Kaieteur News of February 19, Baksh outlined that all matters pertaining to the Auditor General’s reports including observations, queries and recommendations are dealt with by the Head of the Budget Agency which in the case of the Ministry of Education is the Permanent Secretary.
At no time during the entire conduct of the audit by the Auditor General was the Minister in any way involved, interviewed or asked for comments and observations. He added that all matters pertaining to finance and accounting functions, including the implementation of tender processes, contract administration and contract payments are the responsibility of the Head of the Budget Agency and other senior officials of the Ministry.
Importantly, the Auditor General’s Report has not revealed that a fraud or misappropriation of funds had taken place in this contract. Baksh explained that the 2010 Auditor General’s report states “the Ministry sought and obtained approval from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) to procure the text books from a local Supplier at a cost of $110.291 million”. Hence there was no breach of the tender and award process.
“It cannot be denied that the PPP/C Government has placed much importance in strengthening the Auditor General’s Office and ensuring yearly reports are submitted to Parliament this has contributed to identification of systems weaknesses, breaches of procedures, legislation and irregularities; and can result in greater transparency and accountability in the operations of Government Ministries/Agencies, Baksh said.
In due course, the Auditor General’s Report 2010 will be subject to scrutiny by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament with the Head of the Budget Agency and senior officials being called upon to explain and account for any breaches of procedures, regulations and laws.
Monday, February 27, 2012
This is precisely the sort of nonsense you'd expect to hear from a man who spent most of his years in a political organization which feels it has a monopoly on one section of the population in Guyana. It is this very party which proudly declared that it represents only the interest of this section.
This was point was fully exemplified when Finance Minister in the PNC led government and APNU member of parliament, Carl Greenidge during his most recent foray into the press sought to educate Robert Persaud on his new ministerial remit.
Greenidge, who broke every rule in the book when the PNC under Burnham and then Hoyte destroyed our economy, certainly studied the rules he traduced!
CARICOM's refusal to ‘manners’ the WICB demonstrates its failure to serve the interest of West Indian people
Most recently, the newly-elected PM of Jamaica, “Sister” Portia Miller raised the issue of the WICB’s exclusion of Chris Gayle from the regional teams. The WICB, in the manner that has now become customary, suggested that the Honourable PM was ignorant about the issue. That’s right: a PM whose trade mark is her grounding with the ordinary folk and is a huge cricket fan, is ‘uninformed’ of the Chris Gayle issue!
So now the Jamaican Cricket Board and the Jamaican political establishment are up in arms – agreeing that the board is “rude and crude”. Threats of ‘secession’ were heard. But this latest episode demonstrates the disjointed pattern of CARICOM decision-making. When President Jagdeo, and most directly Minister Frank Anthony, complained about the exclusion of Sarwan and Chandrapaul from the WI team last year, WICB’s Hilaire arrogantly accused the latter of engaging in the ‘luxury of parochialism’ and not having a “reasoned approach”!.
CARICOM as a body must act now to save our cricket from the WICB. Maybe the recommendations of our IMC might be combined with those of the Patterson Committee and used as the basis of the reorganisation.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Irredeemably psychologically damaged Freddie Kissoon in his Friday 24th article claimed that the PPP/C rigged the last elections. They were assisted in this illegality, according to Kissoon, by the absence of the AFC and the APNU election agents on Election Day at the polling stations in PPP/C dominated areas.
“I know that for sure in Cane Grove where some mischief took place.” Well up comes one Earle Lambert, who declared that “Since 1997 I have been the point person for the PNCR for the Mahaica-Cane Grove Area… I don’t know where Mr Kissoon got this false and fictitious story from, but I can tell you that all nine polling stations in Cane Grove were manned by the APNU polling agents.”
And this is the man that the lecturers of UG are going to the mat for?
Haslim had a short stint with the OCC team in the Canada Cricket League in 2011 while Munroe traveled between the two countries during the same period. None of the two were ever considered for selection to the national cricket team though successful visa applications where made on their behalf by GCB officials claiming that they were.
Where is the talk about it being 'an attack on press freedom'?
Where are the calls for action?
Where are the protests?
This is the position of the government of Guyana as it had cause again to lambaste the Kaieteur News for its sensational reports on the signing of the deal.
In a one page statement to the media on Saturday, the Office of the President called on any publication including the Kaietuer News or political group to show where the project was done in secret and not consistent with the country’s various laws and regulations.
“To suggest this was a secret deal is not only misleading but a gross misrepresentation of the reality and part of the continued campaign to cast aspersions on the PPP/C government,” the statement explained.
The government of Guyana said that it has recognised the importance of energy security and took the initiative of hosting the Caribbean’s first forum on expanding bio energy opportunities in the Caribbean in August 2007. This forum resulted in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) partnering with the government through a technical cooperation to expand bio energy opportunities in Guyana.
The statement noted that in July 2010, the government through public tendering awarded a contract to NUMARK Associates Inc of the United States for the service consultancy to expand bio energy opportunities in Guyana. As part of the terms of reference, NUMARK was tasked with compiling a list of potential bio energy investors who may be interested in investing in Guyana.
“Based on the NUMARK’s report and the proposals received from investors, ANSA McAl was selected after their proposal was scrutinised by technical experts in the field of bio energy, which was subsequently approved and signed on September 30, 2011 and witnessed by representatives of the government and ANSA McAL,” the Office of the President stated.
In conjunction with the government of Guyana, ANSA McAL is currently conducting an in-depth feasibility study which includes infrastructure and development works; plant and equipment and rolling stock.
The ethanol plant is projected to have a capacity to process up to 2,000,000 tons of sugarcane per year and produce up to 40 million gallons (nameplate capacity) of ethanol per year. This agro-energy industrial project will be built on 110,000 hectares of virgin land.
As a strategy for economic development, the government has adopted a policy to foster the development of economic activities in Guyana in an efficient, environmentally safe and sustainable manner.
As a result, the government of Guyana and a subsidiary of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, a regional conglomerate, has agreed to partner to establish a world scale biofuel project.
In a statement as well to the media, the Trinidad-based Ansa McAl Group of Companies explained that it is expected that through the synergy between the government of Guyana and the ANSA McAL Group, the people of Guyana will benefit through: generation of entrepreneurial service industries, resultant employment and wealth creation for nationals of Guyana, opportunity for Guyana to become the regional leader in the development of regional policies, standards and frameworks for utilisation of alternative fuels, with the potential of reducing the region’s dependence on fossil fuels. The proposed ethanol project will be well positioned to successfully become a low-cost, globally competitive provider of ethanol to international and regional markets.
Meanwhile, the administration has also expressed general concern over the quality of journalism which is being displayed by the now tabloid-like Kaietuer News which it believes is aimed at tarnishing the track record of government, while at the same time creating a false impression that there is a lack of accountability and transparency in various government projects and deals.
“It must be recalled that similar accusations were made in relation to the impending project to modernise and expand the airport, the plan to construct the Marriot Hotel and the ongoing One Laptop per Family project. In all of these cases, the accusation of lack of transparency was refuted. All of these projects were developed through a public procurement process,” the release noted.
The Office of the President has also rejected the Glenn Lall owned newspaper’s general rhetoric about “Jagdeo’s secret deals”, noting that all of these projects that were negotiated seek to fast track the country’s development and will benefit thousands of Guyanese in both tangible and intangible ways.
Lall, who was described as someone with a sketchy past by a U.S. wikileaks cable, had announced publicly that he would be making starling announcements and disclosures about several alleged secret deals that were signed by former President Bharrat Jagdeo but has so far failed miserably to bring any of these secret deals to the public limelight or present any iota of evidence to suggest the same.
One of the high ranking government officials who requested anonymity said that it would interesting to see what evidence the Kaietuer News would mount to convince people that it has some sort of creditability to prove that the recent Ansa McAl deal was secretly negotiated by government, were it to accept the administration’s challenge.
Friday, February 24, 2012
We were fortunate to be enlightened on another facet of the training recently. It seems that after another stint at their solar ritual (marching around in the sun) the lecturers, including the indomitable Dr Patsy Francis, president of UG’s Senior Staff Association (UGSSA), engaged in some negotiations with a UG delegation of administrators.
After talks broke down the good doctor-unionist-lecturer explained, “…we had to storm out of the meeting.” They couldn’t ‘flounce’ out – we understand that. That would be kind of sexist. But couldn’t they “walk” out? Or couldn’t they ‘choose” to storm out? Ah! Then it dawned on us: the training by Lincoln the Loud. They had to storm out. We hope they were able to hold on to their hats as they performed this ‘storming’ manoeuvre.
Simpson Miller, who earlier this week was openly criticised by the WICB for comments made on the ongoing dispute between the board and West Indies player Chris Gayle, made the announcement yesterday during a press conference at Jamaica House in St Andrew.
“I don’t know if in any other country they could respond to a prime minister the way they have responded to me. I think they are very rude, and if anything they owe me, and Jamaica, an apology,” said Simpson Miller.
“Everything I said, I stand by it. Sabina Park, Chris Gayle, I stand by it. Justice delayed is justice denied.”
She added: “Gayle is a Jamaican, and if they can treat Chris, a former captain, the way they are treating him, and believe that Jamaica should not feel a way about it, then something is wrong with them, and not us in Jamaica, nor the prime minister of Jamaica.”
The WICB had said it did not believe Simpson Miller had the benefit of the full information “pertaining to the matters on which she spoke”.
In its statement, the WICB also implored Simpson Miller “to use her good office to urge Mr Gayle to respond favourably in an effort to put this issue in the past”. The board argued that reinstating Gayle would be tantamount to a Jamaican prime minister returning an individual to the Cabinet with no accountability after that individual had lambasted the head of government.
The Jamaica Cricket Association had also taken offence to the WICB’s statement, arguing that the regional body was “disrespectful” and “out of order”.
Carl Greenidge, whose mis-management of the economy they once criticized now speaks on Ramjattan & Nagamootoo's behalf in Parliament
Two decades ago no one would've thought that Carl Greenidge, whose handling of the economy during the rule of the PNC was derided, loathed and severely criticized by Khemraj Ramjattan and Moses Nagamootoo, would now be speaking on matters pertaining to the management of the economy on their behalf.
Well this is the reality! This is the sort of betrayal perpetrated on the 8000 Berbicians who voted for the AFC. It was Berbicians who suffered heavily when wheat flour was restricted. It was also they who suffered the most when the Sugar industry was deliberately downsized during Greenidge's tenure as Minister of Finance.
Greenidge's incompetence demanded that the last 19 years be spent fixing the PNC(now APNU) mess.
So what now qualifies him to speak on anyone's behalf, muchless Berbicians?
They are seeking the intervention of the authorities as they claim that these events ruin the peace and tranquility of the neighbourhood and often result in many sleepless nights owing to the noise which emanates from the loud boom boxes used.
There had been a lull in such activities at the headquarters of the main opposition party but the 2011 elections and the need to raise funds saw a return of parties, fetes and other frolic events. With it came the blocking of entrances to the homes of residents, verbal abuse, the use of expletives and the smoking of marijuana by patrons.
The residents have on various occasions sought assurances from APNU officials that such acts would not be condoned but claim that the promises all amounted to nothing as the behaviour continued.
Yesterday the APNU's youth arm held its 'Greenival' Mash celebrations which went into the wee hours of Friday morning.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Ramjattan is whingeing and moaning that he was snubbed by the president of the IDB who recently visited Guyana. Poor deluded nonentity! The IDB is the largest single funder of Guyana’s developmental thrust: right now it has some $250 billion invested in our country. It is about to make the decision that will make or break the Amaila Falls Hydro-Electric Project – the largest project ever contemplated for Guyana. So, you would think the president of the IDB would have a chat with those that it deems to be the “players” here, right?
You bet your bottom dollar! This tells you that the international players have concluded that Ramjattan is yesterday’s news – stale. Trotman has manoeuvred himself to be in the running for the leadership of PNC/APNU where his support has remigrated; Nagamootoo, who brought in the Berbice votes, has been snubbed and derided by Granger and APNU: the AFC is done with and done for!
Speculating aloud why the IDB chief didn’t acknowledge his existence, Ramjattan threatened to ask our foreign minister why he was not “allowed” to meet the man! Listen, little man, don’t descend into paranoia: you just don’t matter. Ramjattan may try to impress sugar workers by showing up in “shirt and tie” on the order line, but just as they are turned off by his bitterness against the PPP, the international financial institutions (IFIs) have signalled he is already off the radar. To be successful in politics, you must stand for something, not just be against something. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
The WICB, in a tersely worded media release, said it was surprised to hear the comments from Simpson Miller, who as guest speaker at last Saturday’s JCA annual awards dinner, questioned the reasons for Gayle’s continued exclusion from the West Indies team and called for a speedy resolution to the impasse.
“The WICB regrets the comments made by Prime Minister of Jamaica the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller … ,” said the WICB.
“The WICB is further disappointed that the relevant officials in Jamaica did not, or did not properly, brief the newly elected prime minister.
“Had the Honourable Prime Minister been briefed she would have been informed that Mr Chris Gayle has been written to by the WICB, clearly outlining the full details of what is required of him. The WICB is awaiting a response from Mr Gayle.”
The release went on to add: “The WICB implores the prime minister to use her good office to urge Mr Gayle to respond favourably in an effort to put this issue in the past.
“The WICB does not believe that the prime minister is suggesting that Mr Gayle be returned to the West Indies team without withdrawing his comments.
“This would be tantamount to a member of the Jamaican Cabinet lambasting and deriding the leader of the Cabinet and fellow Cabinet colleagues, and being returned to that august body without any accountability for his or her actions.”
However, in an equally forthright response, the JCA, headed by Lyndel ‘Muddy’ Wright, said it was appalled by the statements of the WICB, describing them as “out of order” and “disrespectful”.
“The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) wishes to state its complete rejection and condemnation of the unjustified and disrespectful criticisms levelled by the WICB against Prime Minister the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller,” the JCA said.
“As a shareholder, the JCA finds it inexcusable that the WICB … could have made such a statement without consulting any of the board members in Jamaica, including the WICB vice-president, Mr Dave Cameron, and Mr Lyndel Wright, and Mr Milton Henry, who are Jamaica’s two representatives on the WICB.
“The JCA calls upon the president of the WICB, Dr Julian Hunte, to state whether or not he sanctioned or sanctions the statement.”
Added the JCA: “For the WICB to engage in the diatribe about how the prime minister should deal with her Cabinet colleagues is out of order and disrespectful.
“The JCA is calling upon the president of the WICB to retract the unfounded and unwarranted attack against the Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica, and to move immediately to resolve the Chris Gayle impasse, as we believe he has been more than reasonably punished.”
Gayle has been at loggerheads with the WICB ever since making controversial statements against the board during a radio interview last May.
The WICB has since declared that for Gayle to make a return to the team he needs to first apologise or make a retraction of his statements.
Gayle has since refused to do so on the grounds that he was speaking the truth.