April 20, 2014

GVL’s familiarisation and sensitisation outreach programme

Dear Editor,

On April 13, the Guyana Veterans Legion (GVL) Executives visited the New Amsterdam Headquarters of the Guyana Legion, in addition to the Ex-GDF Association’s Berbice Branches, as part of their Familiarisation and Sensitisation Outreach Programme for the year 2014.

The visit coincided with the Election of Office Bearers, chosen from members of the respective Branches amalgamating to form one Guyana Veterans Legion, Berbice Branch. The Guyana Veterans Legion delegation included its President, George Gomes (Lieutenant-Colonel retired), Vice-President Frank Bishpam (Colonel retired) and two World War 2 Veterans, among other Executives.

There were more than seventy-five members present at the meeting; and from those eligible to vote, the following persons were elected to serve for the period 2014-2016.

Chairman – Carrol Haynes

Vice-Chairman – Anthony Crandon

Secretary – Gerald Young

Treasurer – Thomas Lovell

Secretary/Treasurer – Lydia Simon

The General Secretary of the Guyana Veterans Legion, Mr Kingsley Nelson performed the duties of Returning Officer.

One of the many plans for the branch is to build their own Headquarters and a home for indigent members.

Donations were immediately made towards the Branch Building Fund by some members of the Guyana Veterans Legion Executive and members of the Branch.

It is the intention of the Members of the Guyana Veteran’s League to schedule their next visit to the town of Linden.

Yours Sincerely,

Eon Andrews

Public Relations

Officer

Guyana Veterans

Legion  

Researching Abraham Lincoln’s influence in South America

Dear Editor,

My name is Stacy Boggs and I am a member of Association of Third World Studies, Inc and the Department Assistant of History and Social Sciences Department at LSU-Shreveport.

I am currently researching Abraham Lincoln’s influence in South America and specifically Guyana. I have already found a Lincoln Street in Demerara-Mahaica as well as postage stamps that were released in 2010 with Lincoln’s portrait on them.

I was hoping you could lead me in the right direction to find more information about Abraham Lincoln’s legacy in Guyana.

It was mentioned by a professor at my university that there may be painted taxi-cabs in your country and possibly one might depict Lincoln.

Do you have any information on this subject or know of a person who would? I would appreciate if you or your readers could give any information on this topic. Any information, especially photographs, would be appreciated. I can be reached by e-mail, BoggsS@LSUS.edu.

Thank you,

Stacy Boggs

BoggsS@LSUS.edu

TAAMOG condemns 2014 budgetary disapprovals

Dear Editor,

The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) vigorously condemns the cutting of the 2014 $220 billion national budget by the parliamentary Opposition as absolutely irresponsible, anti-national, anti-developmental and lawless with the deliberate misuse of their one-seat majority in Parliament.

It is once again a blatant display of unlawful and unconstitutional behaviour by the parliamentary Opposition in relation to budgets cuts.

The 2014 budget disapprovals by the parliamentary Opposition in the committee of supply had nothing at all to do with sound reasoning despite all the explanations given to them by the Ministers of Government, but a politically partisan stance to deliberately frustrate and hinder Guyana’s continued development process.

Guyana’s indigenous peoples stand to terribly suffer in their communities with the slashing of the Amerindian Development Fund, compounded by the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) initiatives, which would have provided for their continued community development projects and the commencement of their land-titling projects.

This clearly shows that the Parliamentary Opposition does not care about Guyana’s hinterland Amerindian communities and their talk about their “love” for Amerindians and their communities is simply bogus and hypocrisy.

TAAMOG will soon be visiting the Amerindian communities for further engagements on the 2014 budget where the parliamentary Opposition has voted against the development of the Amerindian peoples of Guyana.

 

Respectfully submitted,

TAAMOG

The conundrum of contextual vs capricious management

Dear Editor,

While being inspired and thankful for the many positive reactions that I got, regarding the letter I wrote last week on the need for effective management, I thought I should also caution about the need for management to be contextual without being whimsical or unduly unpredictable.

Undoubtedly, management processes and systems must be adaptive to changing circumstances, must be flexible like the bamboo in windstorms lest damage occurs as typically happens with other stiff, unyielding trees.

Admittedly, these thoughts might appear confusing if not contradictory, but unfortunately, such is the true nature of effective change management, which is essentially what organisations like GuySuCo cannot escape.

The dynamics of the business world, in which organisations like GuySuCo operate, require wisdom and fortitude to deal with apparent unpredictability and challenging inconsistencies without sacrificing basic principles of honesty, integrity, transparency and objective defensibility.

Anyone can deal with the automaticity and predictability of machines which operate on certain basic, pre-determined rules from which any variation can result in predictable consequences.

However, in the context of human behaviour, human systems and the management of human beings, any belief or attempt at the “one-size-fits-all” syndrome can be counter-productive, if not outright dangerous.

In this context, I think it would be useful also to refer to the excellent article in the Deloite University Press publication of November 11, 2013 titled, “Burdens of the Past”, in which the following points are succinctly made:

• Organisational structures that were built on the premise of control, hierarchy and tightly defined roles and processes promote status quo and discourage experimentation and change.

• As we move from the relative stability of the 20th century to the fluid 21st century, learning and adaptation are keys to success. Organisations must learn and evolve rapidly as changing paradigms and pragmatism dictate and resilience overtakes stability as key ingredients of progress.

• Resilient organisations learn to convert challenges into opportunities, but for this to happen they must access new knowledge and passionate individuals to connect with resources and capabilities in order to turn threats into opportunities, even in the old-fashioned SWOT analysis mode!

Sincerely,

Nowrang Persaud

Easter affords Guyanese the opportunity of togetherness

Dear Editor,

The celebration of this greatest Christian holiday of Easter usually affords us Guyanese the opportunity of making merry together, as we indulge in the customary picnicking, kite-flying and other activities in which we forget our differences in a spirit of unity and harmony.

We should be truly grateful that our history has gifted us with a culture that embodies the three greatest religions of the world, and use this circumstance to enrich our national ethos so that we truly fulfil the motto of our country.

But, while I would encourage all my fellow Guyanese to practise their preferred religion, as this has the enormous potential of bringing us together as a community, I posit that the Almighty Creator that we worship at our separate services resides in each of us, and we can do nothing more effective towards our salvation here and in the hereafter than to connect inwardly with Him each day of our lives, as we also need to do in the physical, mental and social spheres, and use His infinite power to enhance and maintain our well-being in all aspects of our living.

This would ensure that, no matter what the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we are always in a position to help ourselves and our fellowmen towards this salvation which we all seek as the true purpose of our lives.

I wish all Guyanese a happy holiday!

Yours sincerely,

Roy Paul

Ruling party heading for routing in India polls

Dear Editor,

An opinion poll being conducted into the ongoing general elections in India that began on April 7 and that will conclude on May 12 shows the ruling Congress party heading for a routing in the worst showing in its political history.

Five phases have been completed in voting with four phases to go. Although exit polls are not permitted until the completion of all nine phases of voting, all indications are that the Opposition BJP will form the Government. There is an anti-incumbency vote everywhere. Counting of votes will be held on May 16.

The famed Gandhi family associated with the Congress, led by its scion Rahul, is not having the pull it had in previous elections. There is a wave for the Opposition BJP whose Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi attracts hundreds of thousands at every stop.

Neither the beautiful Priyanka Gandhi Vadra nor her mother, the Italian born Sonia, is able to charm voters to stop a Modi wave. People are fed up of broken Congress promises. Everywhere people were polled, there is an anti-Congress mood. People want change after what they describe as 10 years of failed policies and massive corruption.

Even Muslim voters, who have had serious issues with Modi and the BJP, have joined the bandwagon. The father of Bollywood icon, Salman Khan, urged Muslims to give Modi a chance and not allow other parties to continue to fool them.

Other prominent Muslim clerics have also come out in support of Modi saying they are tired of being electoral slaves for one party. Prominent Muslims, who in the past supported Congress and other parties, have turned their backs on Congress in spite of appeals to Bollywood Muslims stars to give Congress a lift.

Prominent cricketer Mohamed Kaif is contesting for the BJP as is former captain Mohammed Azharudeen and other prominent Muslims in Muslim strongholds. All four Gandhis who are contesting seats – two for BJP and two for Congress – all in the huge state of Uttar Pradesh where most Indo-Trinis and Indo-Guyanese trace their roots, will win.

Opinion polls in UP show BJP winning half the 80 seats – and this will make it the strongest contender to form a Government if it fails to get a majority of 272 (out of 545) seats. Modi, though he is from Gujarat, is also contesting in UP in the holy city of Varanasi and will prevail based on a small sample of people I interacted with.

He is going up against two very popular candidates, including the leader (Arvind Kejriwal) of the anti-corruption party, AAP, but people want to give Modi a chance.

Modi’s opponents are campaigning on religious appeal urging Muslims not to vote for Modi. But it is not working. Everywhere and among all religious groups, there is strong confidence that Modi will reduce corruption and enhance development bettering the lives of all as opposed to only a small group heretofore under the Congress.

In Delhi, polls had BJP ahead in three seats but everywhere I travelled almost everyone said they will vote Modi. Similarly, in Mumbai, polls showed Congress retaining most of the seats.

But everywhere I went, people say they are voting Modi though his BJP is not even in the race in Mumbai proper. Modi’s alliance partner Shiva Sena is contesting against Congress and although he had not planned to campaign in Mumbai, Modi has now decided to make a visit to the huge city to help his partner.

People are voting Modi (his alliance). In other mega cities (Chennai, Kolkota, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, among others), it is also an anti-Congress feeling as a Modi-magic is expanding countrywide reducing the chances of a surprise Congress victory.

Respectfully

submitted,

Vishnu Bisram

Inept politicians (Part two)

Dear Editor,

I use the term “memory loss” specifically because in earlier struggles for Amerindian development, I emphatically recall the many requests we made for administrative and financial training for the villagers, so that they could manage their own affairs responsibly.

Fortunately, these requests fell on fertile ground so that the Government and their donor agencies were able to fulfil these needs. Arising out of this, we saw the establishment of village offices, training for toshaos and councillors, and eventually the establishment of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), along with the Youth Programme Initiative.

And in Sydney’s own words, we had training up to the throat, and what was needed now was the financial assistance so that the real development can be realised.

This financial assistance, channelled through and using the NTC to prioritise these financial investments, as so eloquently enunciated by the Minister, saw the villages acquiring tractors, trucks, boats and engines, and ventures into sheep farming, cattle farming, fish ponds and the list goes on.

These investments as we are all aware, has made a tremendous improvement to the way of life in the Amerindian communities, as Sydney should be well aware of, since the Annai village of which he was once Toshao, benefited from these programmes.

As I stated previously, I can forgive the joint Opposition, for “they know not what they do”, but for my friend Sydney Allicock to deny the Amerindian communities access to this Amerindian Development Fund is tantamount to betrayal of the people who bestowed upon him the high esteem of a leader.

Or, is it like some other communities have begun to voice, that he is no longer his brothers’ keeper, but is only interested in his own community’s development, and is no longer keen to be an esteemed Leader.

This logic, I make bold to pronounce on, may be the reason Sydney, in his utterances in the budget debate, questioned the NTC’s ability or voluntary involvement in the prioritising of the Amerindian funds by the NTC, which has its democratic grounding, in sub-district council elections, then unto district level, before we even arrive at the NTC.

Finally, I would like to advise the Amerindian people that we must try to never get the condition of “memory loss” like Sydney, for as the saying goes “lest we forget, events are likely to repeat themselves”.

The repetition I allude to here involves the joint Opposition whether they come as the PNCR or with the APNU, or with the AFC, that they lifted not one finger or put one penny towards a development fund for the Amerindian people, or the demarcation of our lands, which this Government has embraced wholeheartedly since winning the General Elections and now deals with the extension of same.

Instead, they call our investments in development “trinkets” and question our consultation process, utilising the NTC, to prioritise the fund.

Yet, we remember their type of consultation, which saw the near destruction of Linden, and the holding to ransom and starvation of the communities of Regions Seven, Eight and Nine for what the rest of the nation dubs free electricity, as billions of dollars are now budgeted for and passed without a murmur for this expenditure.

Lest we forget, I now remind the Amerindian peoples of Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine that we should never again place the combined Opposition in a position to deny the people our right to the Amerindian Development Fund.

So come next elections, we must remember the fertile ground this Government has been to our requests and needs, lest our pleas fall on the arid soil of the Opposition and our development reverts back to a “hand to mouth” existence.

No more “memory loss”.

 

With thanks and best regards,

John A Fredericks

Region Nine

 

 

Guyana needs a rice standards body

Dear Editor,

Harvesting of the present rice crop is coming to an end where farmers are making full use of the sunny weather. While harvesting is now apace in the northern parts of the Essequibo Coast, millers have upped their prices from $3100 to $3500 for a bag of paddy.

It was a relatively small crop considering farmers harvesting an average of 25 to 30 bags per acre, while in the northern area the yield is an average of 20 bags per acre.

Signs are pointing now in the direction of increased competition for farmers’ paddy and a resultant increase in the new prices of $3500, though this is still small, compared to the $4000 being offered for last crop paddy.

This is a significant disparity in the prices paid for farmers’ paddy early in the crop. However, the difference has greatly increased. It is not clear what is responsible for this sudden jump in the paddy prices.

With the current trend, it is expected that at some point these prices will level off. Rice farmers who sold their paddy early in the crop are worried as millers began offering more competitive prices for poor quality paddy. This is undoubtedly a bold move to capture a greater share of the export market for rice and paddy.

If poor quality rice and paddy enter the markets, the implications for rice farmers can be quite serious indeed and they will have grave difficulties in selling their paddy to millers.

The consequences of substandard paddy and poor quality of rice entering some of our markets are already being felt. However, the high stocks of this crop and last crop paddy and rice in the country would add further pressure on the low prices being offered.

A transparent and efficient regulatory system is essential to ensure that farmers who sold their paddy before the increase must receive the difference in their payments.

Guyana needs a rice marketing consortium standard for standards and quality relating to paddy and rice. This body will monitor standards for trade so millers cannot contaminate the international markets with poor quality rice and paddy.

This body will be responsible for consistent WTO-TBT regulations.

Yours faithfully,

Mohamed Khan

The spread of secondary performance across Guyana is the mark of “greater” parity in the system

Dear Editor,

Clearly, the writer of your editorial on April 17 intentionally or accidentally missed the point of my letter on April 16.

I am sure that I pointed out that the spread of secondary performance across Guyana was the mark of “greater” parity in the system – the example cited regarding CSEC performance in two schools in Essequibo being just one aspect of the overarching point.

In addition, I was at pains to point out that this happened as a result of a well thought out plan on the part of the Ministry and that all is not perfect yet, but there are “encouraging signs”(the evidence to support this is readily available).

I would have thought that your editorial team would have seen the value in echoing the Ministry’s interest in supporting schools across the country rather than the myopic viewpoint expressed in the editorial.

As it relates to the primary grades assessments, I will make a thorough submission at a later date.

Olato Sam,

Chief Education Officer

Ministry of Education

Editor’s note:

It does seem that the Chief Education Officer is a bit tetchy. All we said was: “What the Essequibo experience does teach is that parity is possible, but the Ministry must have a programme in place and more importantly, must ensure that the programme is executed so that the goal of parity becomes a reality.”

 Does he disagree? And is he suggesting that the purpose of the press is to “echo” officialdom?

Thieves being caught, thanks to media

Dear Editor,

We live in a society where every day we hear, see or even witness heinous crime being committed, and because we feel that we would endanger our lives, we leave it as it is, without reporting it to the police, and the culprits continue to do what they do to others!

However, a few months ago, the media reported a story about a notorious gang of thieves, known as the “Salt Fish Gang”, in Annandale, East Coast Demerara.

The gang members have conducted many robberies in Annandale, as well as surrounding communities, but were up to that time not apprehended because the victims were scared of them.

But when the gang’s robbery spree became too much for them to bear, they decided to alert others about them through the means of the media.

The news has inspired others to assist the relevant authorities to catch these members who are a nuisance to society and, to date, the police have arrested several of the gang members, who in the past thought they were above the law.

Thanks to the media, the victims have spoken out and the dedicated officers out there who serve and protect us have done a wonderful job.

A proud citizen from

Annandale

(Name withheld by request)