Monday, May 21, 2012

AFC/APNU New York protest attracts handful

The AFC, APNU alliance staged a protest in New York outside the venue where President Ramotar met with Guyanese on Saturday which attracted a handful of persons.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


A letter written by current AFC Region 6 Councillor Haseef Yusuf appeared in one of the local daily newspapers in which he highlights corruption and cronyism being practiced within the AFC and encouraged by the 'holier than thou' Khemraj Ramjattan. Yusuf fingered AFC Parliamentarian and Berbice 'Bush Doctor' Verasammy Ramaya as a con man who's raping the party's coffers for his personal benefit. He also claimed that none other than the party's General Secretary, Sixtus Edwards took part in a fraudulent process which resulted in his removal as Chairman of the Regional Management Committee and his repeated requests for intervention by Khemraj Ramjattan were unsuccessful.
Click on this link to view the letter: 

Funds held by NICIL not required to be placed into Consolidated Fund. This is the AFC’s ploy to deflect from its Budget cuts.

PEEPING TOM: The Alliance for Change (AFC) is attempting to shift the blame for its anti-development agenda towards the government.
Having been the architects of the $21B Budget cuts, it is now accusing the government of cutting fifty billion dollars from the Budget by not incorporating the funds held by the National Industrial and Commercial Inc. Limited (NICIL). This is the AFC’s latest ploy to deflect attention from its incomprehensible actions. 

Given the AFC's recent record, it is advisable that caution be exercised before accepting the numbers that party throws out for public consumption. However, even if it can be established that NICIL did over time  receive in excess of fifty billion dollars, it does mean that this sum is available for use in the Budget or that it is being hidden or is part of a slush fund. NICIL is a body corporate. It was formed as a holding company for the shares which government has or had in a number of entities. It is also a parent company for a number of entities in which the government has a stake. It is also vested with the buying and selling of government properties and it is empowered to make investments. NICIL is 100% owned by the government of Guyana and was formed not by the PPPC administration. It was incorporated under the Corporations Act, an Act of Parliament, in July 1990 during the PNC regime. 
Article 216 of the Constitution of Guyana provides that all funds received by Guyana should be paid into the Consolidated Fund, except for revenues or other monies that are payable or held, by or under an Act of parliament, into some other fund established for that specific purpose.
NICIL was formed under the Corporation Act which is an act of parliament and it has an account which is held for the specific purpose of holding the proceeds of government interests as well as for the proceeds of divestment. This account is therefore not in contravention of the Constitution of Guyana.

Impending Ramjattan, Granger tussle over opposition nominees to state boards

A cat fight is going to break out between the wankers in APNU and AFC over the more than in 50 boards and commissions for which they are allowed to nominate members. This is gravy time to reward loyal supporters and others they want to court. You can forget all this high-falutin talk about ‘service to the nation’ and all that. 
Granger’s appointment of his nominee as the replacement GECOM Commissioner – was the opening salvo in the upcoming tussle. The appointees to these boards invariably draw a fat salary and other perks. We are yet to hear of a single opposition nominated board member in all the years since the PPP introduced the practice making a notable contribution.
On the boards, they just had to show up and eat a good lunch: the paypackets were sent directly to their bank accounts. And the AFC is just salivating to join this gravy train.
But if the GECOM appointment is any guide, the AFC is going to be left out in the sun to sweat. After weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth that the president had not ‘consulted’ them over the budget, Ramjattan had to complain that he was not consulted on GECOM. Imagine what is going to happen over the boards!

AFC was opposed to the LCDS from day one

The AFC is trying desperately to dispel public opinion that its move, along with the APNU, to reduce sums budgeted for several programmes under the LCDS to $1 will not adversely affect it. This futile attempt to regain lost political ground flies in the face of all the evidence that is in the public domain. This party has always been opposed to the LCDS and demonstrated this in Parliament when the strategy was tabled by the then Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud and it was further highlighted in a letter in March of 2011, signed by Khemraj Ramjattan, Tarron Khemraj and others(see attached) which urged the Norwegian Environment and International Development Minister to withhold funds from the GRIF

Friday, May 4, 2012

NCN, GINA bemoan press association body silence following AFC/APNU attacks in Press Freedom Day messages

Both the National Communication Network(NCN) and Government Information Agency(GINA) issued  World Press Freedom Day messages in which they noted the silence of the GPA and GHRA following what opposition attacks on state media employees after they voted to withhold government subventions for both state media entities putting over 50 of their employees out of jobs.

NCN World Press Freedom Day message:

The Management and staff of the National Communications Networks Inc join the world in observing World Press Freedom on May 3, 2012. We note the sentiments of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Ms Irina Bokova and join them in condemning the killing of 62 journalists who died as a result of their work and echo their call to remember these journalists and these crimes which should not remain unpunished.

We note that this year’s World Press Freedom Day is centered on the theme of "New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies." We also feel strongly that media workers need the protection of Governments and Civic society as the new media, facilitated by greater access to the worldwide web, moves online thus producing more online journalists, including bloggers, who are being harassed, attacked, and killed for their work Globally.

In Guyana we have worked hard over the years to emerge from the dark days of dictatorship andrestrictions on the freedom of information (and an almost total lack of press freedom). We live in a society that receives a wide variety of views from four daily newspapers, nineteen television stations, Satellite and cable television services and unrestricted access to the internet. We are fortunate to have a Government which is planning to make over 70% of our population computer literate by the provision of laptops and internet access through the OLPF and E-Governance programs. We would like to lend our voices to those who are calling for reconsideration of over 20 billion dollars worth of budget cuts the majority of which will delay or cancel the cluster of Government programmes aimed at increasing broadband internet access across our country thus working against the very spirit of this year’s world Press Freedom Day theme.

Another globally acknowledged fact is that it is important to facilitate the building of capacity in any developing democracy. The Freedom House Report highlights this fact as follows: “In nearly all countries that have undergone a democratic transition since the 1980s, it is widely acknowledged that a major factor that hobbles media development is the lack of skills. Newspapers and broadcast stations liberated from the constraints imposed by dictatorship find that reporting on a democracy requires new skills and fresh talent. Freedom alone does not suffice.”

The 2012 World Press Freedom Day takes place at an historic juncture in the history of Guyana. For the first time in our history, the combined opposition has cut the subvention to the National Communications Networks and Government Information Agency thus reducing the opportunities for the development of media in Guyana and restricting the number of jobs available to young media workers in Guyana. No one can dispute that most of the professional journalists and media workers in Guyana were able to hone their skills and develop as professionals through their early employment in the Government owned media operations. Regrettably a large proportion of these jobs will be lost to future generations of journalists simply because media workers in Guyana are being used as bargaining chips by an insensitive opposition who make no apology for what they term as collateral damage.

More importantly we do not believe that the Parliamentary opposition analysed and examined the impact of their actions as there is a real possibility that Guyanese would be denied services and broadcast of popular programmes, international sporting events such as cricket, football and Olympics and opportunities lost for the showcasing of our culture, talent and entrepreneurial enterprises.

What is even more regrettable is that the lives and jobs of journalists and media workers on World Press Freedom day 2012 are being curtailed while the private media, the Guyana Human Rights Association, and the Guyana Press Association refuse to speak out in support of these professionals. Their silence can only be regarded as support for a dastardly act as the opposition moves to muzzle the voice of the Government through withholding the subventions of GINA and NCN.

The elimination of media jobs is also a concern for the Labor movement and we commend the unions of FITUG for their condemnation of the loss of jobs in their Labor day messages. At the same time note the actions of the GPSU president Mr. Patrick Yards and his defense of the budget cuts which will result in a reduction of job opportunities for the youths of Guyana. The stand taken by the GPSU is reminiscent of the role of that trade union during our days of dictatorship which illustrated their tendency to hypocritically support their true masters. How sad it is that a Trade Union in Guyana can find the wherewithal to justify and support the loss of Jobs and the reduction of our national workforce.

We the workers of NCN call on all responsible members of this noble profession and civic society to condemn this move to muzzle the press and take us back to the days when freedom of the press in Guyana was nonexistent.

GINA World Press Freedom Day message: 

The observance of World Press Freedom Day 2012 here in Guyana would surely be shrouded in gloom following the actions of the combined Opposition to reduce the budget of the Government Information Agency (GINA) to one dollar. Their intent to close the Agency is clear given its effectiveness in executing its mandate. The reality is that all the staff stand to lose their jobs thereby jeopardising their ability to meet financial and family commitments. To force such an imposition on hard-working media professionals, can only be seen as a wanton attack on press freedom.

On this day, almost exclusively, the suppression of freedom of expression through authoritative means by some governments, is brought into focus. There is a plethora of examples in some countries of media entities being threatened or closed, media operatives being incarcerated with some, unfortunately, losing their lives in the cause. In the past, some private media workers here felt the brunt of such oppression with one principal operative being killed under questionable circumstances. Also during that time, one entity was repeatedly deprived of its right to import related printing materials in an effort to silence it.

Since 1992, freedom of expression has been restored, catalysing the rapid and continuous expansion of the private media. The free and openly extreme, critical analyses of the government, I dare say, rabid and seditious at times, are indicative of the freedoms the press now enjoy. Over the last two decades no media house was closed in exercising its right to such freedom and no media operative incarcerated in executing his/her constitutional right to freedom of expression. This clearly has to be an envious position by media operatives who are deprived of such rights and freedoms in some countries where those governments are guilty of media oppression.

The cut of GINA’s budgetary allocation in Parliament has placed Guyana in a unique position where it is the Opposition that has engineered action to deprive the professional media staff of their jobs and not the government. One can only hope that better sense will prevail and whatever leverage the Opposition has in the National Assembly would be used meaningfully and not to cause hardships. What is even more alarming is that the Guyana Press Association (GPA) has been noticeably silent on this issue.

It is unfortunate that the GPA, which is never hesitant to make its voice heard on other related issues, has not seen the possible disbandment of GINA and the displacement of its staff as an attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Given this year’s theme of, “Media Freedom helping to transform societies” to mark this day, it is unfortunate that the information that GINA disseminates which does exactly that, is now under threat from reaching those who have a right to be informed.

Best wishes to all media workers across Guyana!

Carl Greenidge's 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo posing many serious questions

Ever since we posted this picture of  former Finance Minister in the PNC government, Carl Greenidge's 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo persons have been questioning how he could've come by the funds to pay for such a high end vehicle, the cost of which is estimated at some $28M including taxes.

Before his short stint with an international lending agency Greenidge served as Finance Minister from 1985 to 1992 in the then PNC government. During his tenure Guyana was plagued by widespread corruption in all levels of government and it was also during this time the country's economy feared its worst. Some commentors stated quite clearly that they believed Greenidge, like other PNC officials, helped himself to large sums of money while in control of the country's finances and is currently using those sums to fund their current lavish lifestyle.


Here AFC MP Cathy Hughes is pictured alongside the Brother and front-man of drug lord Bramanand 'Bramma' Nandalall. Cathy's husband Nigel is a close friend and Lawyer of Bramma. Was the AFC's attack against CANU in response to that agency's efforts against Bramma and other drug dealers? You make your guess. Bramma is currently in financial lingo. Several of his businesses were recently closed and Kei-Shars switched to a smaller location, the previous one on Regent Street is now up for sale. Just when CANU's efforts against Bramma and other drug lords were starting to bear fruit the AFC/APNU alliance pulled the plug on CANU's finances. Ask yourself why? Does their explanation make sense?


The leader of the opposition's statement aired on the anti-government TV stations is filled with distortions and outright fabrications. Here are some of the facts from the discussions held between the Government and the opposition leader:

1. Reduction in VAT: GOG did not refuse to reduce VAT. But requested that it should be based on analysis to be done by Tax Review Committee. GOG also proposed to extend the list of 0 rated items and to use 1% of VAT revenue to fund projects for depressed communities. APNU and AFC wouldn’t go out and say this. Instead they say the Government dismissed their concern.

2. Reduction in Berbice Bridge Toll: The Government pointed out that this is a Private Investment and it is one of the investments where the NIS and NBS are getting the highest rate of returns and that the Government cannot simply asked these companies to cut their rate of returns. The GOG and NOT the Opposition initiated the re-introduction of the Ferry for the benefit of workers and school children. They then asked that the GOG buy over the Bridge and operate it (nationalization). The President pointed out that that would not be the most feasible thing to do since the project is a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) project where the provate sector invested with the expectation of a return that simply shouldn’t be taken away now and that after 20 years the Government would OWN the bridge. From an economic and developmental perspective, the GOG’s approach is the most sensible thing to do

3. Increased Subvention for UG: Without fully understanding the amounts being allocated to UG the opposition requested an increase in subvention. Can someone please inform Mr. Granger and company that in addition to the subvention, the UG gets $450 million for student loan and there is a $US10 million project for the improvement in Science and Technology that is commencing in 2012.

4. Linden Electricity: Granger skillfully did not mention this in his statement. But here it is: at the discussion it was Granger who proposed a 50% of what customers in other parts of the country are paying. Not sure that she heard him correctly, Presidential Advisor Ms. Tiexeira asked him if he was sure about the 50% and not 25% or 30%. Yet when the APNU supporters pressured them, Mr. Granger reneged completely and claimed he did not agree to an increase. It was the GOG that proposed to put more funding into the LEN programme and to have a programme similar to WOW in Linden.


We are very thankful that Lincoln Lewis decided to drop his hypocritical, smarmy unctuousness when he delivered his harangue to his faction of the May Day rally. There’s only so much a person can vomit. There was no high falutin’ talk about ‘harmony’  etc. Lincoln the Loud reverted to his usual staple of brute force and ignorance. The latter was very much in evidence.
Here is a man heading a trade union umbrella body, and purporting to carry the mantle of Critchlow and listen to the ignorance he spouts: “According to our Constitution, while (the president)  is the head of the executive and head of State, he is not, let me repeat, he is not head of Parliament.” Read this very S-L-O-W-L-Y  Lewis (you can move your lips; we know reading doesn’t come easily to you): THE PRESIDENT AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TOGETHER CONSTITUTE THE PARLIAMENT OF GUYANA.
It was for this reason that when President Ramotar addressed the National Assembly, David Granger asserted: “this Parliament cannot exist without the president”. Speaking directly to President Ramotar, he said “Without you, we are just a National Assembly.”
Granger was sitting right at the head table when Lewis made his ignorant claim. You could see the palpable effort Granger took not to shake his head and roll his eyes! Army discipline took over, we guess. Lewis’ ignorance of what any grade six student learns in social studies is not merely appalling; it is dangerous because of the power he has as head of the TUC. But the ignorance also explains why the labour movement has been steadily dwindling in vibrancy during his incumbency.
The wanker compounded his faux pas when he shouted about the president: (he always shouts: he obviously believes logic is improved with volume!) “His is the responsibility to execute the mandate of Parliament.” What a dope! The executive (at least he knows the president heads that branch of government!) is the one that formulates policies – such as the spending encapsulated by the budget). The legislature merely can modify the amounts sought to be spent – as it just did.
The bottom line, Lewis, is only the executive can lay motions that make a claim on the Consolidated Fund!  That’s the mandate. The opposition can merely harass – as they just proved. Now go have someone pen another letter for you. Wanker!


Corbin's $40M acquisition!!

The APNU/AFC scissors apparently missed the 'fat cats' among their lot. The house in the picture is a recent acquisition of PNC leader and Granger puppeteer, Robert Corbin. Located in John Street, Werk-en-rust, the property was recently purchased by Corbin for some $25M and is currently undergoing repairs to the tune of $15M

'Wotless' AFC joins APNU as they 'Bruck it down'

In anticipation of President Donald Ramotar calling snap elections the APNU and the AFC have gone ahead and announced their respective campaign songs.

APNU – Vegas - Bruk It Down (As in Guyana)

AFC – Kes - Wotless (As in Collateral Damage)

Granger rewards Sandra V Jones with GECOM seat

Liveinguyana was reliably informed that the APNU is expected to name Sandra V Jones to fill the seat on the Guyana Election Commission(GECOM) vacated following the death of Robert Williams. This move has not found favour with certain sections of the PNC's APNU as well as the AFC whose nominee was rejected. Persons are of the view that Jones is being rewarded for the role her company played in electing David Granger as the PNC's presidential candidate during the controversial internal party elections. According to PNC insiders Jones' company was retained to help ensure 'transparency of the process', and it was an employee of hers, the Returning Officer. Mr. Earl John who declared the contested results.

Others have said that her appointment to the commission will create a conflict of interest given that in March 2003, GECOM, reported that her company, S.V. Jones Associates, was recruited to conduct a job evaluation and description exercise.

Amerindians talk about how APNU/AFC Budget cuts will affect their livelihood

Workers, Labour Unions condemn APNU/AFC attacks on working class at May Day rally

In his address to hundreds of workers who converged at the National Park for the annual May day observances yesterday, Carvil Duncan, President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), expressed disgust, frustration and despair with the combined opposition parties' action in the National Assembly to put hundreds of workers on the breadline. The FITUG boss said he was convinced Guyana was traversing a path of development and prosperity of the working class people of the country, as, over the last twenty years, Guyana has seen the light of the tunnel.


Kenneth Chance a.k.a. Six Head from Albouystown

Kenneth Chance a.k.a. Six Head from Albouystown and Market vendor Desiree

Avis Kingston a.k.a Buckie from North Ruimveldt,  former pump attendant at James Texaco
service station on Mandela Avenue dismissed for stealing 

Kingston, Desiree and Margo from West Ruimveldt

Chief Justice rules against Sharma in licence suspension case

The High Court Wensday ruled that the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (ACB) was not obligated to explain its decision to advise then President Bharrat Jagdeo that the station license be suspended and further that it could rule on the decision of the President to so do. Chang ruled that since the applicants were not denying but rather admitting the infringements and were claiming that the broadcast was made through human error and was not intentional, the failure of the ACB to give reasons for its findings was not unfair or required by the demands of natural justice – the principles of which are not inflexible or engraved in tablets of stone.


The government has moved to implement a new minimum wage for certain categories of low income earners with the new measure to take effect from June 1. This was disclosed by Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon at his post-Cabinet news briefing today.

The categories to benefit include gas station employees; security guards; hotel, restaurant and bar workers; transportation workers; grocery, hardware, dry goods and drug store workers; printery and trading workers, aerated and water factory workers; sawmill, and timber grant workers and contract workers. 

Dr. Luncheon noted that an increase has not been done since 2008 and added that the decision on the adjustments was made after consultations between the labour ministry, the private sector and organised labour.
As an example, sales clerks and cashiers grocery, dry goods, hardware and drug stores who earned GUY$4,500 and GUY$5,000 respectively in 2008 will now earn GUY$7,000 and GUY$6,500, according to the labour ministry.

Cinema operators will get GUY$11,400 per week; cashiers and ticket collectors GUY$8,900; sweep cleaners GUY$6,900 and general staff GUY$10,900. Security guards will now be entitled to a minimum of GUY$140 per hour compared to GUY$100 per hour four years ago.
Labour minister Dr. Nanda Gopaul is expected to sign the order to bring the new structure into effect on Friday.