April 24, 2014 By
April 24, 2014 By
This letter is a heart-rending appeal to residents and businesses located in Durey Lane and Sheriff Street, Georgetown and surrounding areas, to desist from dumping garbage in Durey Lane where it meets Sheriff Street.
Over a period of time, this dumping of garbage developed into a dumpsite covering that entire section of Durey Lane, totally blocking any entrance or exit from the lane.
Children attending New Campbellville School which stands at the corner of Sheriff Street and Durey Lane must endure this unhealthy environment and very importantly, those children who live in areas west of the school cannot use this lane and are forced to use the very busy Sheriff Street.
Persons attending St Teresa’s Church – the young and the old – cannot use this lane to enter or leave the church. The church has used various strategies to assist in controlling this dumpsite.
The church’s gardener, who gives great assistance in our efforts at reducing this dumpsite, has even had to dispose of dead dogs thrown in the garbage.
Just over two weeks ago a team, led by a member of St Teresa’s Parish and coordinated by a priest and with the assistance of some residents and the support of several corporate agencies, made a tremendous clearing of this dumpsite with the hope of restoring the lane to its original state. Considerable effort was put into this exercise and we were very grateful to all who participated in this exercise.
Lo and behold, a few days ago, I actually encountered a man dumping his garbage on the newly cleared area. I stopped and asked him to desist from emptying his garbage there. He responded with a gesture that made me drive away as quickly as I could.
I am sure that I speak for many persons by pleading with persons to desist from rebuilding this dumpsite. Use your garbage containers. Show some concern for the schoolchildren and the presence of the church.
April 24, 2014 By
…by AFC’s Ramjattan
While old Sigmund Freud might be out of vogue at the moment, the eponymously named “Freudian slip” – when you blurt out something similar to what you really didn’t want to reveal – survives as one of the best indicators as to what’s on a person’s mind. Take Khemraj Ramjattan, who’s still leader of what’s left of the AFC.
As the “go to” guy for the MuckrakerKN to get a quote on anyone who they’re “vex with” (Adam Harris’ word; he admitted Mohan Lall’s always vex with Jagdeo and his friends), Ramjattan took a swing at NEW GPC.
He accused the Government of using “sole sourcing” to favour NEW GPC in the procurement of drugs. Not the type of “white powdered” drugs that the AFC financier was caught smuggling in achar with – he meant “pharmaceuticals”, this time.
But surely, Ramjattan as a leader of a party that receives so much of its funding from his friend’s “cake-shop”-like pharmaceutical outfit that’s trying to compete with NEW GPC, he would know that NEW GPC is just one of seven international companies that are bidding to supply Guyana’s pharmaceuticals.
Trinidadian giant ANSA McAL entered the fray this year as well as his buddy’s fly-by-night outfit. So he couldn’t very well mean “sole sourcing”. Unless, of course, he’s conceding the obvious that NEW GPC is so many light years ahead of his friend’s huckstering outfit that the bidding will be “no competition”.
But what we think Ramjattan meant to say was he’s engaged in some serious “soul searching”, and not imagining any “sole sourcing” of pharmaceuticals. And damned time he did! Your Eyewitness is moved to ask you, Dear Reader, “How long shall be the cry?”
As Rodney said of Burnham, everything the fella touches turns to sh*t. It ain’t pretty. A fella got to wonder when and where it’ll all end, no?
Take the case of funding of his party, and not so incidentally of himself. Apart from the aforementioned drugs-in-achar smuggler who’s in the clinker, there was the wholesale walkout of his New York support group.
Ramjattan didn’t mind the departure of the Donkey Cart economist and the Thunderbolt Thief, but what hurt him to the quick (and more to the point, his pocket) was the NY financiers flying the coop. The loss of those greenbacks wasn’t easy.
Then there was the implosion of the AFC in Guyana. There’s the steady outward procession of Trotman and Hughes and so many fellas, he just can’t bring himself to say their names out loud.
All he has left are those wankers from Whim: the Bush Doctor and the Bush Rum drinker. And the Bush Tea Pharma owner.
Seems the Government and GT&T aren’t seeing eye to eye on the 911 issue. Which should’ve never been an issue. From its protestations, even GT&T accepts we need a functioning 911 system in Guyana.
Minister Rohee says that his consultant gave him a rather technical evaluation of the system presently in place and that the non-response by police to cries for help is the fault of GT&T.
GT&T on the other hand stoutly maintains what most people in the country believes – that the police just sit there, twiddling their thumbs, when the 911 number rings. But we have a simple solution that doesn’t need any cryptographer to break the foreign consultant’s code. Just have a few fellas sit next to the 911 operators, have some hired help dial 911. And observe what happens.
But on a not-entirely-unrelated matter, some advice for GT&T. Hey…give up on the monopoly. March with the rest of the world.
…and PNC on Rodney CoI
C’mon PNC…do some soul searching as to whether you want to have the Rodney assassination hanging over your party’s head ad infinitum. Just confess. It’s also good for the soul.
April 24, 2014 By
The brave new world of GM foods or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is about to reach Guyana.
And in preparation for this eventuality, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is in the process of drafting bio-safety/bio-technology legislation, which is expected to be concluded by June month-end after which it will be sent for approval by Cabinet and then to Parliament.
We agree with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud who stated that for many people bio-safety and bio-technology are very complex issues and because of the lack of familiarity in various areas, additional work has to be done to lift awareness and understanding of the threats and opportunities.
He emphasised that there are opportunities in biodiversity, but those cannot be explored if there is not the necessary framework to guard against the potential problems that can come about. Towards this end, we believe that we can benefit from the debate on GMOs in other countries.
GM foods made a big splash in the news as long as a decade ago in Europe and the US, but the issue is still up in the air. India, for instance, banned a Monsanto GM ‘bigan’ (eggplant) over health concerns a year ago. European environmental organisations and public interest groups have been actively protesting against GM foods and controversial studies about the effects of genetically-modified corn pollen on monarch butterfly caterpillars have brought the issue of genetic engineering to the forefront of the public consciousness in the US.
Some of the benefits of GMOs include increased pest resistance. Crop losses from insect pests can be staggering, resulting in devastating financial losses for farmers. Farmers typically use many tonnes of chemical pesticides annually. Consumers do not wish to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because of potential health hazards, and run-off of agricultural wastes, from excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers, can poison the water supply and cause harm to the environment.
Another touted benefit is herbicide tolerance. For some crops, it is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means such as tilling, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides (weed-killer) to destroy weeds, a time-consuming and expensive process, that requires care so that the herbicide does not harm the crop plant or the environment. Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. Drought tolerance/salinity tolerance is yet another benefit that might transform, for instance, our savannahs.
But there are also the downside risks of which “allergenicity” looms large. Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods. There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. In addition, there are unknown effects on human health. There is a growing concern that introducing foreign genes into food plants may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health. A decade-old article published in Lancet examined the effects of GM potatoes on the digestive tract in rats. This study claimed that there were appreciable differences in the intestines of rats fed GM potatoes and rats fed unmodified potatoes.
There can also be unintended harm to other organisms such as when pollen from a GM species blows into neighbouring fields of “normal” plants. The aforementioned monarch butterflies were affected in this manner.
Finally, even though GMOs are supposed to reduce the use of pesticides, they can also result in the reduced effectiveness of pesticides. Just as some populations of mosquitoes developed resistance to the now-banned pesticide DDT, many people are concerned that insects will become resistant to crops that have been genetically-modified to produce their own pesticides.
Let the debate proceed in Guyana.
April 24, 2014 By
In life, it got nuff people who like to aspire and achieve, and that is a very good ting. But while some wanna achieve by good means, some does choose to do all kinda scampish tings. In Guyana, yuh don’t have to go too far to see somma dem who involve in some kinda skulduggery. Dem all round de place walkin bout like normal people.
Some does tek bribe like dem pullice, some does put cocaine in mail bag like de one at Gee-R-A, and some don’t pay taxes like de one pun Waterloo and de other one by a market on de road. Some does snitch pun dem friends and some does cut up and fix back pumpkins night time, especially in moonlight. Some doin backtrack and some in duty-free scam.
Well, once yuh tink bout backtrack and duty free, de same names whah come to yuh mind is de same names whah de Bell Crier know. And when some people guilty of some ting, dem does be de fuss fuh talk bout that ting in de hope of mekkin people tink that dem would never get involve in de ting whah dem talkin bout.
It got one who got a mud paper. But is really de man who is de owner who is de one that got de mud in he head. From de way he does behave, it look like de mud mix wid som a that ting whah does end up in dem Gee-W-High big pipes whah dem runnin right now in GT that causin all de traffic jams. And these ain’t water pipes!
He is a man who vex like how woman does get vex because he ain’t get whah he want from de guvament when a certain Prezzi was in office. Now he can’t get that Prezzi name outta he mind. Just ask de house slave.
Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! And fuh sure, when he done read this, he gon call de house slave to write some ting fuh tomorrow. So look out fuh de name again
April 24, 2014 By
It is 12:30h on Monday, April 21, 2014 (Easter Monday night). I cannot rest. A gargantuan music set has been blaring at deafening (and vibrating) decibels since 14:00h. I am normally up at 05:00h. I have a meeting at 08:00h. I am affected by an event sponsor who is a businessman trying to make money at my (and others’) inconvenience. He has no care for others; his pocket is primary.
At 20:00h I contacted the police at Cove and John seeking their intervention to have the noise turned down; not off – down. I was promised that intervention. I called again at 21:00h. Again, another promise. I texted a number seeking help. I am at my computer at this hour typing this email to you for very obvious reasons: The music is still intolerable; I cannot rest although I have downed a 10mg Valium.
Mr Editor, this letter in your letter columns simultaneously appeals to magistrates to order in their approval that music must stop at 22:00h. I am also asking the police to be responsible when just requests are made for their intervention, notwithstanding the 12 midnight cut-off time.
When the police fail to address a matter as related above, and someone is affected to the point that it is unbearable and damages the offending instrument(s), the very police, who indirectly contributed to one’s mental state, would readily institute charges for damage to property, etc.
It is a medical conclusion that persistent noise can drive people berserk. God knows I was tempted after seven hours of constant pounding. But I allowed better sense to prevail. I called the police instead. Nothing!
Do people have to endure this punishment so very often and from a myriad of sources? The noise polluters, particularly if they are rich and connected, seem to have ALL the rights; the peace-loving persons none.
April 23, 2014 By
Over the Easter holidays, there was a high influx of power outages on the Essequibo Coast, due to kites falling on the power lines, mostly in the township of Anna Regina.
Finding answers to power outages and load shedding is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century for Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc. And energy efficiency plays a key role in our development as a country.
GPL’s efficiency to generate, transmit and distribute the power we need must improve, while drastically reducing blackout. GPL has to improve and maintain levels of production to satisfy our local needs.
How can GPL power a country hungry for electricity without damaging our good for the country and good for the people who depend on it to power their lives and business?
It’s important to know if GPL can handle the challenge with bold thinking of engineering solutions tailored to our regions and country. As a service provider to the people of the Essequibo region, we have lost confidence in GPL, whatever the challenge.
Boldness changes everything. We the people of this region believe in boldness that inspires each and every one of us to transform tomorrow. That’s why GPL must provide us with affordable and sustainable energy.
Today, GPL is not generating enough electricity to meet the needs of our businesses and households. The Wartsila generating plants that Dr Cheddi Jagan brought into this region are either not being used at all or producing below capacity.
Both Wartsila engines have for the past years been producing well below capacity. The plants malfunction at times and operate inefficiently because of inadequate maintenance or they are too old and need replacement with new ones.
Much of the developing world depends on energy and is in a tumult of growth. Maybe the end of the Guyana economy is upon us, as some have warned for decades.
The President can use the immense power of his Cabinet to restore stable power for our dollar’s value, economically, politically and geographically – as a significant driver for Guyana’s economy. With continued increases in generating capacity, the result will be a win-win situation all around.
April 23, 2014 By
The PNC would by now have taken us back to the pre-historic days. Many teachers ran away. While many went to other countries in search of a livelihood, some teachers were cutting canes, catching ‘tilapia’ and planting vegetable gardens and doing whatever it takes to make ends meet! Now every year hundreds of teachers are being trained.
Many children went bare-footed to school and uniforms were worn until their backs were exposed! Children now have grants for uniforms.
Many poor parents could not afford to send their children to school. They now have $10,000 to assist them.
The Amerindian children in the hinterland were treated as aliens. Now they have well equipped schools and labs, trained teachers and there are dormitories which are fully financed by the PPP/C Government!
MP Ally, please check out the schools and dormitories at Paramatakoi and Waramadong – the beneficiaries are over 1400 children! (But maybe the toilets are giving problems! Let us know!)Many young people from the hinterland are now qualifying as doctors as well.
The children had to line the road side in the scorching sun and wave like robots to Burnham and his foreign guests. Those days are gone. Children are now treated as dignitaries in this country! They don’t have to line up in the hot sun to salute Kabaka Burnham friends!
The pass rates in English and maths were in the single digits during the PNC days. Our rate of failure at CSEC was among the highest! Today we have won five out of eight CSEC awards! Our English and maths pass rates are hundreds of per cent higher – English is nearly 60 per cent and maths is nearly 40 per cent and will improve. The 2014 Budget has many strategies to drastically improve these!
University students, including myself, had to face the indignity of National Service where they were starved and literally trampled upon by their illiterate masters. Many lost their self-respect and dignity there!
Now billions of dollars are pumped into both campuses and National Service/slavery is no more. MP Amna has a problem with the online application process and the toilet. Why do you think the UG has an administrative body?
Only five per cent of the budget went to education under the PNC. The PPP/C has allocated 15.9 per cent of the 2014 budget to education and MP Amna has a problem with that.
I call upon the PNC to make that comparison and provide evidence that your Government was doing a ‘fantastic’ job in developing Guyana socially and economically! We can only condemn someone if we are better!
Our Minister of Education is a courageous and highly intelligent woman and she made a flawless presentation based on fact and figures and any CSEC student will know that you cannot write a good persuasive essay unless you use evidence backed by statistics.
MP Ally’s emotional appeal to houses of defecation should be thrown right there! Minister Manickchand has done an excellent job and her refusal to apologise to Jaipaul Sharma spoke volumes of her courage to stand up for what she believed in.
But alas! The AFC must empathise with MP Sharma. I do fully understand why Khemraj Ramjattan led his band of ‘bloodthirsty scissors’ wielders marching through the exits of Parliament!
I want MP Amna Ally to reflect on the words of Martin Carter written in the WPA paper ‘Dayclean’ in 1979. He said that ‘the PNC’s method of ensuring self-perpetuation consists of indulging in a deliberate policy of degrading people’.
He further noted that ‘under the PNC corruption had become a way of life, in which people were made to accept that stealing, cheating, lying, bearing false witness…was a positive sign of loyalty to the regime….’ APNU’s MP Ally is still displaying that ‘positive sign of loyalty’!
April 21, 2014 By
The education, health, welfare, and respect for our Amerindians have always been a key factor in the PPP/C’s strategic thrust for a better Guyana. Indeed, to this day, the party remains the country’s oldest, best-loved, and most cohesive political institution. Considered the dominant and most progressive force, it is the pace-setter for all political aspirants.
The genesis for caring for Amerindians was based on Dr Cheddi Jagan’s own commitment to uniting all Guyanese, with aims transcending racial group interest and his admiration of Philip Storer Peberdy, a Briton and curator of the British Guiana Museum and Welfare Officer for the Amerindians in the 1940s under the Colonial Government.
Mr Peberdy (who died in London in 1990), cared deeply about the Amerindians and strongly advocated improving their economic conditions. In his 1948 “Report of a Survey of Amerindian Affairs in the Remote Interior of British Guiana”, he recommended some revolutionary proposals to improve the way of life of the Amerindians, including a programme to have them integrated into mainstream Guyanese society.
He even suggested that the then Barama Mouth Sawmill in the North West and the Rupununi Development Company that operated the Dadanawa Ranch in the South Rupununi be bought by the Government and run on a cooperative basis for the benefit of Amerindians.
Ever since Dr Jagan entered politics in 1943, he and Mrs Jagan visited the majority of Amerindian villages over the years, listened to their problems, identified with their plight, and acted where they could to alleviate the sufferings of our first people. Early PPP stalwarts like Eugene Stoby, Ignatius Charlie, Eustace Rodrigues, and Basil Williams helped in paving the way and are names well worth remembering.
There are currently nine Amerindian tribes living in Guyana – Akawaois, Arawaks, Arekunas, Caribs, Makushis, Patamonas, Wai Wais, Wapishanas, and Warraus. Comprising over 10 per cent of Guyana’s population and occupying almost 90 per cent of the landmass, Guyanese Amerindians live in over 130 villages throughout the country.
Many of the technological contributions of Amerindian societies have already been recognised by the native terminology. Quite a number of native products became current only after the Europeans and other immigrants settled on the coast – pepperpot, hammocks, balata, medicinal herbs, íte palms and troolie leaves (for thatching roofs).
In their widely differing environments, Amerindians adapted and poured forth a stream of unique inventions, each one a distinct response to a local necessity: asphyxiating fish by the ground leaves and roots of specific plants in the absence of hooks and nets; bending twigs to mark a trail or preventing one from getting lost in the forest and to mark their route.
It was through these bent twigs in Guyana and an Amerindian line as a guide, that the cattle trail was cut (1916-1920) from Surama in the Rupununi to Takama in Berbice. The trail brought beef to the tables of citizens in Georgetown.
Amerindians are superb mimics of the sounds of animals and birds. They can mislead even the jaguar. For instance, they bring the yarrow fish to the surface through a slow seducing whistle and can even reproduce the mating call for the tapir.
They bring other fish to the surface by splashing the water in such a way to mimic the falling of ripened seeds.
The Amerindians showed settlers a range of dishes based from the forest plants and animals, for example, food from root crops like cassava and yams, and oil from turtle eggs.
They can recognise medicinal properties in hundreds of plants – knowledge that is a priceless resource of the rainforest. Armed with the knowledge of thousands of medicinal plants – peaiamen fought goitre, headaches, malaria, constipation and other illnesses are treated. Ipecac from Amazonian roots cured amoebic dysentry. Quinine from the cinchona bark cured malaria. Curare killed without affecting the heart.
These medicinal plants were eagerly sought by the early colonists to supplement the old world’s pharmacies.
Author of Encyclopaedia of the Guyanese Amerindians and Other South American Native Terms, Issues, and Events
April 21, 2014 By