March 8, 2014 By
March 8, 2014 By
A man was on Thursday evening shot in his legs by police ranks who claimed that he resisted arrest after a firearm was found in his possession.
Police spokesman Ivelaw Whittaker in a release stated that about 23:15h, on the night in question, ranks of a police mobile patrol stopped and searched two men on a motor cycle at Plum Park, Sophia.
During their search on the two men, the police alleged that an unlicensed 9mm. pistol with one round and a .38 revolver with six rounds were found on their person.
The release added that during efforts to arrest one of the men, he was shot to his legs by the ranks. He was then taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was admitted under guard. The other is in police custody. The police are continuing their investigations.
March 8, 2014 By
Former Trinidad and Tobago (TT) Prime Minister Basdeo Panday on Thursday said the failure in leadership among member states will be the downfall of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
Panday was at the time delivering the feature address at the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) annual award presentation at the Savannah Suite, Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Geogetown.
The former TT Prime Minister also pointed out that there are several problems hindering the survival of Caricom; however, he pointed out that to say the integration movement has been a total failure is unfair.
Panday highlighted the imports and export figures of the region, which he said reveals that the benefits of integration have been one-sided. He noted that this uneven development has been one of the constraints to the deeper integration process. Other factors that militates deeper integrations include the fact that the area is not contiguous.
“It is only united by what divides it – the Caribbean Sea, therefore, transport is a major problem,” he said, pointing out that though several attempts have been made to address this issue, there has been no progress.
Panday also said that the absence of contiguity and the issue of transport contribute to the problem of decision-making.
“Decision-making has been made difficult not merely because of the absence of contiguity but because of the structure of Caricom and the lack of harmonisation statistics,” he stated
According to the former TT Prime Minister, the harmonisation of statistics necessitates that there is common data which can be compared among the member states. He pointed out that this is a crucial concern at the regional level, especially with the implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Panday noted that the monitoring of the CSME’s performance, (which he is lacking), can only be possible if there is a core set of statistics that are accurate, comparable and reliable.
He pointed out that another constraint to the development of Caricom is the failure to implement decisions; hence, there is dire need for serious mechanisms to be in place for the enforcement of decisions.
“The view has been expressed that the misunderstood concept of sovereignty and the ambition of some leaders contribute to the problem of implementation,” he contended. Panday noted that Caricom has failed to address the issue of unequal development in the region, saying: “There has been almost a total failure to help one another develop their economies.”
There have also been questions of Caricom’s survival in the global economy. On this note, Panday highlighted that the entity faces two difficulties in its fight to survive, namely, completion of the interregional integration scheme and the interregional trade policy.
“There is need for systems to deepen functional co-operation and to improve efficiency in the delivery of public services,” he explained.
Panday further stated that with the expiration of trade arrangements with perhaps its two largest partners, the U.S. and the Europe Union (EU), Caricom leaders have failed to implement strategies to embed Caricom economies into a dynamic and competitive global economy.
He quoted several regional leaders who spoke about Caricom’s downfall in the near future, ending his impactful speech with the advice that key Caricom member states should advance independently.
The former TT Prime Minister advised that TT, Guyana and Suriname may find it beneficial to further integrate their economies and to jointly pursue trade arrangements with Brazil, Venezuela and other Latin American countries.
“I have always maintained that the destiny of Trinidad and Tobago is continental not Caribbean,” he contended.
March 8, 2014 By
Several companies were honoured when the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) held its Annual Awards Presentation and Dinner at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Geogetown on Thursday.
The event was attended by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and addressed by former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Basdeo Panday. Also in attendance were representatives of the country’s top manufacturing companies, other senior government officials and diplomats.
Presenting the year-in-review report, GMSA President Clinton Williams said that while Guyana’s economy is constantly growing, there are a lot of problems hindering the smooth flow of development in Guyana.
He noted that the GSMA have nevertheless played a major role in the development of the private sector.
The GMSA President also made several recommendations, which he said if implemented, will pave the way for the manufacturing and marketing of high quality, value added products and services; substantial enhancement of productivity and production capabilities; introduction of new markets and the expansion of current market share; and the transformation of the manufacturing sector would raise its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product to a level even greater than the 16 per cent as was recorded over the years.
Meanwhile, the presentation ceremony saw nine entities being honoured by the GMSA with plaques for their contributions to the private sector.
The companies honoured are the NEW GPC INC in “recognition of unprecedented investment in sports and culture at the regional and international levels”; Gafsons Industries Limited for “continuous investments in extending the range of building materials and maintaining high standards in manufacturing for more than 60 years”; and TCL Guyana Inc in recognition of its contribution to infrastructural development in Guyana.
Positive impact on tourism
While Air Services Limited was recognised for its “drive to develop the aviation sector which has impacted positively on tourism, forestry and mining”; Brass Aluminum and Cast Iron Foundry for its “innovativeness with production of metallic products, and sustaining markets within the ambit of the CSME”; Caribbean Containers Inc for the company’s “contributions to sustained waste recycling for a greener environment”; and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph for its relentless pursuit of improved technologies that positively influence the conduct of business.
The Dutch Bottle Café was given the Empretec Award for “exemplifying the spirit of entrepreneurship through persistence and commitment, resulting in continued business balance” while the Tourism, Industry and Commerce Ministry was recognised for facilitating partnerships with the business sector to spur growth in manufacturing, services, engineering and construction.
In addition, Gafsons Industries Limited, John Fernandes Limited, Toolsie Persaud Limited, Brass Aluminum and Cast Iron Foundry, Banks DIH Limited, Edward B Beharry Group of Companies and the Demerara Oxygen Company, all received special longevity awards for their stability and growth over the past decades.
This year’s Executive President’s Award was given to Pritipaul Singh Investments Incorporated for penetrating the international market with its sea foods products.
Local business icon Doreen De Caires was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her long and dedicated service, and for promoting the development of the private sector.
March 7, 2014 By
A first-year theology student attached to the Hararuni Full Gospel Church met his demise early Thursday afternoon while three others were injured after the steering end of the vehicle they were in malfunctioned, resulting in a head-on collision with a truck that was proceeding in the opposite direction.
The dead man was later identified as Clifton Aaron Parks of Mahdia, Region Eight and those injured are Fabian William of Wakapao, Pomeroon River; Akelema (only name given) of Corentyne, Berbice and Seechand Singh of Mahdia, Region Eight.
The injured young people are all said to be in their mid-20s and were all admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital. Williams, according to hospital sources, was unresponsive to treatment.
According to information received, at least seven students from the Full Gospel Church on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway were on their way to Sisters Village to attend a crusade when the accident occurred.
Guyana Times understands that while descending the first hill/Hill Foot of the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, the steering end of the Tapir reportedly gave out, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which almost immediately veered into the path of a Bounty Farm Limited truck.
As a result of the impact, most of the students received injuries and were quickly transported to the East Bank Regional Hospital (Diamond Diagnostic Centre) where Parks, the driver, was pronounced dead on arrival at the medical facility. The three others were treated and transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital for further medical attention.
An eyewitness told the Guyana Times that the truck laden with baby chicks was on its way to Yarrowkabra to offload the poultry, when in the vicinity of Hill Foot, Soesdyke/Linden Highway, he saw the Tapir, which was swaying on the road as it came down the hill.
The truck driver, who is being questioned by the police, said he could not have done anything to avert the collision, since it happened within a “flash”.
He said after the collision, Parks, who appeared to have sustained the most injuries, had to be pulled from the wreckage. The other occupants of the vehicle, he added, were bleeding but, from all indications, were conscious. At least three of them escaped with minor scratches and bruises.
It was chaos at the East Bank Regional Hospital when this newspaper visited the facility. The nurses were scampering for documents and medical supplies as the injured were being placed in ambulances to be transferred to Georgetown. The medical facility was assisted by the Guyana Defence Force in the form of an ambulance to transport the injured.
Relatives and church members rushed to the medial facility where they comforted each other. One person told media operatives that he was passing on the highway when he saw the wreckage about 14:00h. He and other persons assisted the injured out of the vehicle and took them to the East Bank Regional Hospital.
Guyana Times understands that the students have been living in the Hararuni Dormitory for more than a year and would normally attend various church functions. Parks, who was said to be the son of a pastor, was reportedly involved in an accident some time back resulting in several persons being hospitalised.
March 7, 2014 By
– claims ToRs aimed at reviving racial strife
A key human rights group here has turned down an invitation to testify at the inquiry into the assassination of Dr Walter Rodney, claiming that at a time of much speculation over general and regional elections, the proposed Commission of Inquiry (CoI) could be read as the worst form of electioneering.
President Donald Ramotar recently swore in the three-member Commission headed by Barbadian Queen’s Counsel Richard Cheltenham.
He will serve alongside Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, and Guyanese-Trinidadian Senior Counsel Seenauth Jairam.
In a statement to the media on Thursday, the GHRA said in response to the invitation to contribute to the inquiry into the death of Dr Rodney, and after studying the Terms of Reference (ToRs), it wrote the Administrator of the CoI indicating its unwillingness to associate itself with the work of the Commission.
“The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) is of the view that the proposed Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the death of Dr Walter Rodney has greater potential for reviving rather than healing ethnic division in Guyana.
Should this indeed be the outcome, it would be a travesty of Dr Rodney’s major contribution to Guyana,” the rights body said.
Moreover, the GHRA said the failure to consult the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr Rodney’s party, on what may be perceived as opportunistic ToRs, rob the initiative of credibility.
Numerous calls have been made over the past three decades for a CoI into the death of Dr Rodney.
The closest this long-demanded Commission came to realisation previously was in 1995 when the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government invited a team appointed by the International Commission of Jurists to assess the evidence available for holding such an inquiry.
The idea of the Commission floundered on the inability to go forward with extradition proceedings of the main suspect Gregory Smith (now deceased) from Cayenne, French Guyana, because Guyana could not assure France that the death penalty would not be invoked against him.
Further, efforts to mount an inquiry generated much acrimony and were resisted by the government, the most persistent being in 2008 following a much-publicised picket of the government by Dr Rodney’s son, Shaka Rodney.
The GHRA said the rationale for the proposed Commission is puzzling. “While its ToRs numbers (i) to (iii) suggest it is a criminal investigation, the last paragraph specifically rules out any criminal charges resulting from it. The CoI states that all persons who may be found guilty of any kind of act related to Dr Rodney’s death are to be granted an “absolute pardon,” the statement said.
The rights body said the alternative rationale is that the CoI is intended to strengthen a process of ethnic healing between the major races in Guyana.
However, “this possibility is ruled out by number (iv) of the ToRs, which is provocative. That clause requires the CoI to investigate the extent to which the many quasi-political military organisations existing in Guyana at the time of Rodney’s death, were tasked with surveillance against the ‘political opposition’, rather than against the WPA”.
In this respect, the GHRA charged the clause provides an opportunity for inserting the ruling PPP/C into events in which it was marginal at the time and for generating a stream of horror stories from that era into the work of the Commission, with rich potential for stirring up Indo-Guyanese resentment against the People’s National Congress (PNC).
Earlier this week, WPA leader, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said although the Alliance was never informed or invited to the appointment of the commissioners, its members still found it necessary to review the ToRs.
“I believe most of the people around the table were seeing the terms of reference for the first time. The terms of reference were published in the Official Gazette, but not made widely public,” Dr Roopnaraine told Guyana Times.
While he declined to disclose what exactly was discussed at a Monday meeting of the WPA executives, he noted that all concerns raised will be communicated to President Ramotar.
Among the issues reviewed was that of persons being granted absolute pardons in respect of, or incidental to all acts or things done, including offences committed in connection to the death of Dr Rodney.
Dr Roopnaraine said the current procedures planned for the inquiry are far from what the WPA had in mind when the motion was passed in the National Assembly in 2005.
In that motion, he said, the WPA was able to craft compromises and amendments to ensure it received the unanimous support of the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has questioned the appointment of Trinidadian Senior Counsel Seenauth Jairam as a commissioner.
The party said that in 2012, after the parliamentary majority in the National Assembly reduced the Budget, Jairam was retained by the PPP/C Administration to represent the government in the case that was brought against the Leader of the Opposition, retired Brigadier David Granger and Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman.
“Given the very sensitive political nature of this Commission, the Partnership would have hoped that the PPP/C Administration would have selected commissioners that are politically neutral, and individuals with no links to the PPP/C Government so as to at least give the perception of impartiality.”
Dr Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980 while sitting in his car on John Street outside the Georgetown Prison.
His brother and other WPA activists at the time had accused Smith of giving Rodney a walkie-talkie to test against the metal fence of the jail. A bomb had been planted in the communications device.
March 7, 2014 By
The science and technology faculties at the University of Guyana (UG) will be further strengthened, as Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Thursday handed over two signed contracts to Vice Chancellor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi for the execution of plans under the University of Guyana Science and Technology Support Project (UGSTSP).
The contracts handed over at UG’s Education Lecture Theatre are for the coordination and supervision of curriculum reform and the design and supervision of civil works.
The University of the West Indies Consulting Inc was awarded the contract in excess of US$499,000 to coordinate and supervise the reform of 15 Bachelor’s Degree programmes in the science and technology faculty.
Hydea, in association with RPA Rossiprodi and Sub-consultant CEMCO, was awarded the civil works component at a cost of US$368,014 for the design and supervision of the rehabilitation of 14 laboratories.
Minister Manickchand highlighted the importance of development, while noting that the improvement of a country’s human resources promotes equality and allows countries generally to improve.
Manickchand stated that tertiary and higher education institutions play a large role in the lives of nations. She added that for Guyana to develop rapidly and to improve the human condition, government must ensure that the University is ready and prepared, in order to produce graduates who can contribute to that development the country so desperately seeks.
“These projects will accelerate the pace at which we develop and prepare our students and enhance that preparation process… we in the government are sure that the University is well poised to play its role in national, human and social development, and we are sure too that every partner must play its part,” Minister Manickchand said.
Manickchand noted that it was important to construct buildings, but it was also essential that the lecturers perform at maximum capacity, and students avail themselves of the various opportunities provided.
This project is a manifestation of government’s commitment to ensure that the University produces graduates that will be competitive in Guyana and across the world. “It’s one thing to tell you that we commit and we would like to see and not match that commitment with the financial commitment needed… here is a manifestation of the government’s tangible commitment to the University and Guyana as a whole,” she further stressed.
Vice Chancellor Opadeyi said he was delighted to witness the transformation of the University into a leading campus, not only in the region, but across the world. The UGSTSP is based on a US$10 million credit from the World Bank to the Government of Guyana, and is being executed by the Ministry, in collaboration with UG. Some work commenced earlier in the year.
Professor Opadeyi explained that implementation of the project is moving apace, and soon contracts will be awarded to persons who are conducting research, and based on the quantity of the research, the University will be ready from the future.
The project is aimed at strengthening the four science and technology faculties: Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Sciences, Technology, and the School of Earth and Environmental Science to better prepare graduates for jobs in low-carbon industries and build sustainable capacity to operate the University and plan for its future growth.
Other areas to be focused on are improving the quality of science education through curriculum reform, support for research in low-carbon development areas, improved physical infrastructure, and capacity building, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said.
March 7, 2014 By
The driver of the truck who allegedly on Wednesday drove over the head of runaway teenager Andre (only name given) in 20th Street, Foulis, East Coast Demerara turned himself in to police on Thursday.
The man was accompanied by his lawyer. He is presently in police custody assisting with the investigation. Charges are expected to be laid as soon as today, immediately after a post-mortem examination is performed on the teen’s body.
The 14-year-old lad, commonly called Andy, was found on Wednesday morning in a pool of blood along 20th Street, suspected to have been run over by a vehicle. The teenager, formerly of 726 Foulis, had been living on the streets since earlier in the year.
The teenager, who lost his mother when he was just two years old, lived with an aunt in 19th Street Foulis, but left after he was scolded about his behaviour. The lad was found in front of a house where a Bobcat was parked overnight.
It is suspected that the teenager might have been sleeping under the vehicle when it drove off, crushing his head in the process. One woman was taken into police custody, but was subsequently released. Police are continuing their investigation.
March 6, 2014 By
– Chief Parliamentary Council says amendments conflict with Principal Act
The impasse on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) (AML/CFT) Bill continued on Wednesday as parliamentarians yet again fail to reach a consensus on the vital legislation which would avoid the blackening of the country’s image internationally.
According to Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) Cecil Dhurjon has failed to complete the draft for the proposed amendments from the opposition parties.
Dhurjon told the members that he was having some difficulty drafting the amendments for the bill because the amendments proposed are conflicting with the Principal Act of 2009.
According to Nandlall, the meeting on Wednesday came to an abrupt end after members of the AML/CFT Special Select Committee failed to reach consensus regarding the meeting’s agenda.
He said too that the committee was unable to consider seven sets of minutes from previous meetings, and pointed out that the amendment to increase the seizure of cash and jewellery in excess of $10 million suspected to be proceeds of money laundering may have to be revised to be compliant with the law and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) guidelines.
In an earlier statement, the Legal Affairs Minister related that Dhurjon would have studied the recommendations and guidelines of the CFATF.
He added that Dhurjon is having difficulties with the proposed amendments because of the many contradictions.
“You have the APNU’s proposals are to delete certain parts of the Principal Act and simply insert the proposed amendments. You will have to look at the insertions to see the rippling effects it will have within the four concerns of the legislation.”
On Tuesday, the government said its offer with relation to the fight against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism is the most suitable possibility to avoid further sanctions being imposed on Guyana by CFATF or the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
According to the government, the A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) proposed amendments to the AML/CFT Act of 2009 can be subsequently tabled in the National Assembly, passed and assented to by President Donald Ramotar once the green light is given by CFATF.
Teixeira, the chairperson of the select committee said the opposition is holding the bill “hostage.”
She related that APNU on February 26 presented to President Ramotar a maximum situation, affirming clearly that the AML/CFT (Amendment) Bill will not revisit the House if its proposed amendments are not included in the bill. She added that albeit the amendments are collectively presented in the National Assembly, the coalition said the President must assent to the non-assented bill that was passed in Parliament and currently awaits his signature
On February 10, President Ramotar had recommended to APNU that the AML/CFT (Amendment) Bill 2013 which was agreed on by all parties sitting on the Special Select Committee be sent to the House. He had further proposed that a joint bi-partisan committee be set up to examine the Fiscal Transfers Bill that lays unasserted before him. This proposal was, however, flat out refused by the APNU.
The coalition’s amendments are opting to eliminate the powers of the Finance Minister to assign the director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and give it to a committee of the National Assembly. Initially, APNU has also proposed the seizure of cash over $2 million, as well as jewellery by the police or customs once there is reasonable suspicion of money laundering. But has since increased this amount to $10 million.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) led by Khemraj Ramjattan from the inception of the committee in 2013 made it clear that it will not support the AML Bill until the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) was established, operationalised and budgetary provision made available, but during the February 26th meeting, it backed the coalition saying the amendments to the Principal Act must also be included in the bills.
Meanwhile, Minister Singh reiterated, the AML/CFT Amendment Bill which was agreed upon on February 9 is in compliance with CFATF’s recommendations. “The substance of clauses of this amendment bill can go back to the National Assembly and be passed because they were not the subject to any disagreement and will immediately upon passage and assent, bring Guyana in compliance.” He said there is no good reason why the National Assembly should not proceed with the bill.
His comments were based on sentiments expressed by CFATF Financial Advisor Roger Hernandez who had said on his visit to Guyana that the proposed amendments to the principal act can put Guyana at risk of being non-compliant.
March 6, 2014 By