May 21, 2013 By
May 21, 2013 By
Presidential Adviser on Governance Gail Teixeira Tuesday during an interview with the National Communications Network (NCN) said that President Donald Ramotar has issued an apology to Opposition Leader David Granger.
This followed the decision by members of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to walk out of a meeting convened to discuss the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill.
The opposition left the meeting after they were instructed not to take part in any further discussions by the APNU leader. This was as a result of a slight perceived by the opposition over a letter not being shared with them by the president.
Teixeira, in reading part of the president’s correspondence to Granger, stated that, “I received that correspondence on April 12, 2013, at which time, the Office of the President was pressing for the resumption of budget talks with the parliamentary opposition and preparing for same.
“Importantly, I was made aware of the situation surrounding Guyana’s compliance to the CFATF obligations derived from the outcome of the CFATF/ICRG assessments. I was equally aware of the planned intervention in collaboration with local, regional, and international stakeholders in organising a workshop on the same matter on Wednesday, April 17.”
The letter further stated that, “It is in that context that the omission took place during which I may have committed the imagined slight as your May 20, 2013 correspondence intimates.
“I can assure you that no such slight was ever intended as your participation was expected at the workshop where the status of Guyana’s situation was the key agenda item.”
Teixeira said that while she appreciates that, “Mr Granger may have felt some type of slight, it must be recognised that the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) encouraged the head of state, and it was the president’s discretion, to invite who he wanted to, to a workshop where the issues surrounding the critical piece of legislation and recommendations by the oversight group of the CFATF, would be discussed.
She noted, “The president, in a generous way, quickly responded to a letter that he received the same day and tried to reach Mr Granger, and also submitted a copy of this letter, both electronically and hard copy. We have received no response and further attempts to reach Mr Granger have been unsuccessful”.
Chances of passing anti-money laundering bill “very slim”
Ultimately, Teixeira, said, the possibility of meeting the internationally stipulated deadline for passing the critical piece of legislation is “very slim”.
The bill was initially tabled on April 22; however, the parliamentary opposition voted to defer the bill after its reading in the National Assembly on May 7 to the special select committee for consideration. That committee was expected to conclude its work by May 22.
The special select committee comprises the government representatives Gail Teixeira, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and Attorney General Anil Nandlall. On the opposition side, representing the Alliance For Change is Khemraj Ramjattan, while A Partnership for National Unity is represented by Deborah Backer, Joseph Harmon, Basil Williams and Carl Greenidge.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog against financial crimes, will meet in Nicaragua from May 27 to 30 and will examine how Guyana and other countries in the Caribbean are meeting international obligations.
If Guyana does not pass the amendments within the given timeframe (by May 27), then it shall be placed on a list with other delinquent countries, and would be visited with a regime of sanctions which will include restrictions in the manner that Guyana does business internationally, especially involving wire transfers of funds. Once placed on that list, countries take an average of approximately seven years to come off.
May 21, 2013 By
The Dunn, Pierre Barnett and Associates Limited, a Jamaican human resource development and financial management consultancy and training company, through Chief Principal Technical Director Clover Barnett and Executive Director Paulette Dunn-Pierre, is facilitating training for staff of the Government Technical Institute (GTI) in competency-based education.
The five-day exercise is aimed specifically at gearing the educators with the capacity to deliver competency-based education to the students of the institution said the Government Information Agency (GINA).
GTI Chairman, Major General (Retired) Norman McLean; the institution’s principal, Carl Benn; Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) Director Sidney Walters, and the two officials from Dunn, Pierre Barnett and Associates Limited formally opened the exercise Monday’s morning at the institution at Woolford Avenue.
Barnett explained that the session was focused on looking at the foundation and the historical development of CBE and trends in TVET and how the latter impacts on nation building and economic development will follow.
Over the next four days, the facilitators will look at assessing and evaluating competency-based education delivery. Barnett said that by today, she and Dunn-Pierre will be spending time with the teachers looking at what preparations they need as instructors to be able to deliver competency-based education.
The two will focus also on the environment that the teachers should create to ensure the students’ competence.
As technology also drives education today, some time will be spent on Wednesday and on Thursday on Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), focusing on the latest trends, the use of cellphones, the use of virtual reality, and other technologies to deliver competency-based education, Barnett said. The workshop will wrap up on Friday, with the participants looking at evaluation.
Particular approach is useful for education
“It is a very exciting workshop, and we believe that this particular approach is useful for education and training, not just for GTI, but as an approach that is being encouraged across the region,” Barnett said.
McLean said that the training complements the capacity-building sessions of the teachers that are critical and that will be addressed as the GTI board moves to change the institution from a technical to a polytech one. According to McLean, even before the institution moved to introduce competency-based education, it was moving in this regard. He said that a committee was established with this aim which was chaired by the late Dr Dale Bisnauth.
The committee created a roadmap for the transition to a polytech institute and established an acronym ‘SAFETY’ to focus attention on the critical issues which must be addressed, McLean said. SAFETY stands for S-Syllabus; A-Appropriate Training; F-Facility; E-Education Material; T-Training of Staff and Y-You.
Meanwhile, Walters told the teachers that the council would be with them not just in thought, but also in spirit as it looks forward to the outcome of the training. He urged application of the training.
May 21, 2013 By
A man who was prepared to do the time went ahead and committed the crime. Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo sentenced William Shawn Lee of 167 Charlotte Street, Georgetown, to three years imprisonment when he appeared before her in the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court on a charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.
On Sunday last, Lee was spotted by a party of police officers at Strand New Amsterdam on mobile patrol acting in a suspicious manner. He was approached and a search was carried out on him where 150 grams of cannabis was found wrapped in a black plastic bag. Lee pleaded guilty to the charge. Asked if he had anything to say before sentenced was passed, Lee said he did not have much to say. “I know that the offence carries a jail term,” he told the magistrate.
In addition to the three-year sentence, Lee was also fined $135,000, an amount three times the street value of the illegal drug.
May 21, 2013 By
By Sabatini Daniels
Traffic Chief Hugh Dehnert believes the introduction of electronic drivers’ licence will aid significantly to curb traffic accidents since this will ensure legitimate licensed drivers are on the roadways.
Over the years, a number of persons have resorted to purchasing their licences through various links instead of gaining it through the correct means; forgery included. In an exclusive interview with Guyana Times at his Eve Leary Georgetown Office, the traffic chief highlighted that this will be difficult to do once the new system is in place.
The new system, he said will force persons to go through the right procedure which in turn will help the traffic department considerably in reducing accidents.
Thus far for the year, there has been an increase of accidents from 2012 compared to 2013; to date, 41 accidents have occurred resulting in 44 deaths as compared to 31 accidents resulting in 33 deaths for last year. While Dehnert was cognisant of the fact that there is much more to be done on the part of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) in limiting road accidents in the country, he underscored that people also have a vital part to play to decrease mishaps. “All road users have a duty to be in conformity of the law, it’s not only up to the police,” he stressed.
Value for lives
He emphasised that road users must have greater value for their lives since many times when they know the police are at a certain location on the road; they would comply with the laws but the minute they pass the police, they would break the traffic regulations. Dehnert said the GPF has found in many cases occupants of vehicles do not voice their concerns when drivers are being reckless and many times it is too late.
“They sit there and the drivers are doing a whole host of things on the road and only when there is an accident, you would hear ‘oh he was speeding’, ‘he was drinking’, but before that accident, no one would speak to the driver about what he was doing.”
The traffic chief stated that the private sector must play a greater role to partner with the traffic department to tackle this issue since reducing accidents should be a priority for the country, all in an effort to protect the country’s people. “If these organisations come onboard, they themselves would be able to educate their employees by putting up simple road safety pamphlets in their offices… by doing this; I think it help to assist.”
Safety for children
Dehnert disclosed that the traffic department is currently looking to ensure greater safety for children, and this is part of several initiatives to improve its work.
However when asked to go into detail, he remained tightlipped, stating that he does not want to divulge too much information until the announcements are made.
Traffic ranks have been known for collecting bribes from persons who misuse the roadways and for often harassing persons into paying bribes. In light of this, Dehnert said the “ipaidabribe” website was introduced at an opportune time as efforts are being made to root out corrupt elements in the Traffic Department.
“It will help to curb the allegation of police demanding or accepting bribes as inducement for any offences committed or any other services.”
The traffic chief also believes that the initiative will have a meaningful impact on persons who may be thinking of joining the force with the motive of getting wealthy through the collection of bribes.
“I think it will also be the deterrent for them, being a police is a professional job, when you come in, you are here to serve the members of the public… if you intend to come here and you are not prepared to serve for the salary that is offered… I think you should not endeavour to join the force.”
The Home Affairs Ministry on Friday launched the ipaidabribe.gy website, which will give citizens a chance to document cases of them being required to bribe public officials. The website will encourage the accountability of government officials, political leaders and every Guyanese citizen serving in private or public organisations.
May 21, 2013 By
The government of Guyana through the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) programme handed over 1577 laptops to persons who applied for the instruments throughout Region Four.
Beneficiaries hail from communities such as Lancaster to Helena, Enmore to Bachelor’s Adventure, Buxton, Sophia, Albouystown, Lane Avenue, Festival City, Soesdyke, Kuru Kuru, among others.
This publication visited the Sophia Exhibition Centre where 280 laptops were distributed. OLPF Information Technology Administrator Azarial Asim said the distribution of the laptops in Sophia will positively impact the community.
“In the Sophia area, persons are excited they have a device they can go on the Internet with their children and do research, they reconnect with various social media and learn many new things.”
He posited that the distributions of laptops are likely to create more job opportunities throughout the country since persons are always eager to earn money. Asim said persons have even approached employees and told them what they expect to do with their laptops.
Meanwhile, recipients also expressed pleasure upon receiving their laptops. Yolander Allen said the donation is timely since she recently signed up for a programme at the Guyana Technical Institute (GTI).
Shelian Clarke said, “I appreciate it since I can’t afford to buy one and I will now be able to edify myself with it.”
Another recipient thanked the government for the OLPF initiative, noting that she will use her laptop to learn more about her religion and correspond with her family overseas. After receiving their computers, persons were given a basic introduction on how to power on and power off it. Training is expected to follow soon. Additionally, hubs have been set up in areas so that persons with OLPF computers can have access to the Internet.
May 21, 2013 By
Local air carrier, Roraima Airways last week honoured former pilot Miles Williams, who also served in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) at a special ceremony held at Duke Lodge, Kingston.
In brief remarks at the ceremony which coincided with William’s birthday, Roraima Airways Managing Director Gerry Gouveia said many times people live their lives, and do extraordinary things and then they fade away. He said life challenges and family obligations consume and direct what “we do and where we go”.
He described Williams, a former Special Forces officer, who was also a military pilot, as a Guyanese hero. Williams is the son of Toni and Dennis Williams, the famous anthropologist, artist and historian. Williams, Gouveia said joined the GDF as a second lieutenant and served as a paratrooper and Special Forces officer before being transferred to the Air Corps where he was trained as a pilot.
“He served under me in the Air Corps and flew with me as my co-pilot on many missions to save lives, rescue people and resupply our forces in the far flung reaches of our hinterland.”
Gouveia said in the early years when they flew together, there were no navigational aids to guide the airmen. “We used pilot age and dead reckoning and the good old skills of recognising and remembering the shapes of the mountains and the rivers as well as the colour of particular leaves on trees as we descend low to find the destinations we were looking for.”
According to Gouveia, what always struck him about Williams was his willingness to learn, but more particularly, he was always willing to volunteer “to accompany me on dangerous missions as we ventured out into the jungle at night to save people’s lives. Miles is a patriot and a dedicated humanitarian. He is a lover of nature and is always at home in the jungle”.
Gouveia spoke of Williams’ bravery and skills as a navigator in the jungle. “He is a leader of men. During his years of service with Roraima, he served as our chief pilot and did many night medivacs, saving many lives. He is a first class and skilful pilot whose involvement in search and rescue operations is well known among his peers.”
“The day that Derek Leyoung crashed into the jungle in the OMAI area, Miles was there, he immediately lead a team of OMAI security personnel on an overland search and rescue mission. Unfortunately, by the time he reached the crash site, all he found were the dead bodies. I remember meeting him at that crash site shortly afterwards and he and I loaded the body of the pilot in a body bag and carried the body of Derek up and down the jungle slopes and rough terrain for hours as we made our way back to the runway.”
Gouveia added: “He was always ready, always willing, always brave, he is a natural pilot who used his skill to fly his planes into some of the most challenging and dangerous areas, landing on some of the shortest runways to bring food to the hungry, medical drugs to the needy, and medical evacuation to the critically injured.”
“Today on his birthday, I applaud him, I would like to say thank you Miles for your unselfish service to Guyana, to service beyond the call of duty… tonight, I would like to offer you a small token of our appreciation, I offer you this Roraima Airways award which I am honoured to present to you tonight as a token of our appreciation for your service.” Williams is married to Pat and has an18-year-old son.
May 21, 2013 By
As Lindeners continue to fume over constant electrical power outages in the town which commenced on Thursday evening – Bosai Minerals Group Guyana Incorporated (BMGGI), the town’s main supplier – has now indicated that it has made a decision to rent three generator sets, with the intention of minimising the effects of the blackouts.
BMGGI Community Relations Officer Vanessa Davis on Monday stated that a full report on the situation which was expected to be made on Monday would have been made available on Tuesday.
On Thursday, at approximately 19:00h, the entire community was plunged into blackout after the company began experiencing technical problems with two of its generating engines, which sustained damage to their crank shaft and bearings. On Monday, BMGGI issued a release to residents that shows the specified periods that each area will be receiving electricity.
According to a release, disruption of electricity supply from 14:00h to 22:00h was expected on Monday at Amelia’s Ward, Amelia’s Ward Water Treatment Plant, Mines, One Mile, Half Mile, Wismar Housing Scheme, Block 22 and Canvas City.
Meanwhile, Richmond Hill, Watooka, Noitgedacht, Fair’s Rust, Mackenzie Hospital, Number One Water Treatment Plant, Amelia’s Ward, Amelia’s Ward Water Treatment Plant, Mines, Wismar Water Treatment Plant, Victory Valley, Christianburg, Blueberry Hill, Wisroc Water Treatment Plant, West Watooka Water Treatment Plant, Upper Demerara Hospital, One Mile, Half Mile, Block 22 Front and Canvas City were expected to receive electrical power from 22:00h on Monday to 6:00h on Tuesday.
These was a residential power outage at 22:00h on Monday to 6:00h on Tuesday at Cockatara, Constabulary Compound, Kara Kara, Retrieve, Block 22, Rainbow City, Industrial Area, Speightland, Retrieve, Retrieve Water Treatment Plant, back of Block 22, Wisroc and Wisroc Water Treatment Plant.
BMGGI sells electricity to the Linden Electricity Company Incorporated (LECI), which supplies electricity to the Mackenzie shore of Linden, which in turn sells power to the Linden Utility Services Co-op Society Limited (LUSCSL), which supplies the Wismar shore. Both the Wismar and Mackenzie shores have been receiving electricity at varying intervals since the shutdown.
This is the second time in months that the company has developed such issues, causing power outages in the community. On Friday, the company made a decision to shut down the two kilns operating within the bauxite plant so that the community could receive scheduled electricity supply.
May 21, 2013 By
As Guyana continues to face challenges in addressing many social issues, a new guidance and counselling services group dubbed Social Life Issues was launched on Tuesday.
The organisation is the brainchild of its coordinator and well-known counsellor, John Greaves, who worked for several years with the Salvation Army’s Drug Rehabilitation Programme. Greaves told media operatives on Tuesday that the organisation hopes to address a range of issues that plagues society to bring about changes in family life and to create a better society for all.
“We intend to move into various social ills as an organisation. In fact, our objectives states that we would like to bring assistance to those in need of such a service, as it relates to the many social ills that can result in dilemma or disaster for the family and the individual and, by extension, society, Greaves explained. He also disclosed that the organisation has introduced its Drug Prevention Education Programme in two private schools – Josel Educational Institute and Mercy Wings Vocational School – and plans to have 12 more schools on board by September.
The coordinator added that while there are several other organisations that provide similar services, Social Life Issues is more practical-based group and has what it takes to bring meaningful changes to families and individuals. Greaves said he is confident about this, given that a competent team has been put together to oversee the affairs of the organisation. These persons include: experienced counsellors and psychologists such as Fay Greaves, Will Campbell, Joan Alleyne, and Beverly Rogers.
The coordinator said, “We have a vision which is founded in the fact that given my own experience where I served as a senior counsellor for many years and the others in the team and the amount of clientele which I have come into contact with, brought about that vision to create an organisation to help address social ills.”
Greaves noted that financial support is necessary if they are to achieve the objectives of bringing needed change to the Guyanese society.
So far, the organisation has received some support from Digicel, DaSilva House of Optics and Lucky Dollar Food Shop among others. Digicel is currently sponsoring the two schools.
In addition, the group is looking forward to hosting annual workshops for businesses and other interested groups and organisations that are willing to participate. Focus will also be placed on helping young single parents to focus on family planning and family development among other critical issues to help in social development.
Social Life Issues has a week of activities planned to introduce the services it offers. The group will open its office at 193 Charlotte and Wellington streets, Georgetown, while a special cocktail ceremony will be held at Water Chris Hotel on Saturday. A roundtable discussion is also planned for later this week.
May 21, 2013 By