February 6, 2016

Miss Global Guyana to be unveiled on February 20

Alicia BessAs plans move apace for the hosting of the Miss Global International 2016 in Mauritius, Guyana will be unveiling its representative to the pageant on February 20 at the Guyana Marriott, Kingston. The delegate was selected by the Miss Global Guyana Committee during a screening process.

The delegate selected is no stranger to Guyanese and is known for her melodious vocals. This is the first international pageant in which she will take part and from all indications, she will be creating some buzz on the international scene.

She will be taking over from reigning Miss Global Guyana, Alicia Bess who represented Guyana at the international stage of the pageant in Trinidad and Tobago and would have secured a second runner-up spot, with Miss Australia as the crowned queen and Miss Jamaica as the first runner-up.

Bess will he handing over her crown to the selected one and without a doubt would offer her advice as the newly crowned local queen embarks on a journey with the hope of winning the title. The coronation will see several performances as well as fashion displays by several well known designers in the fashion industry.

After the crowning, the queen will meet and greet guests at an elegant cocktail ceremony. Tickets for the event will be released shortly.

Share Button

Workers unite in countrywide strike

Christopher Ram engaging workers on Thursday

Christopher Ram engaging workers on Thursday

Wales Factory, Estate closure

BY SHEMUEL FANFAIR

Workers employed at the Wales Sugar Estate on Thursday stood unified as they took strike action against the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and Government’s decision to close the factory which will affect hundreds of poor and ordinary Guyanese families.

Around 07:00h, hundreds of workers were seen gathered around the estate opting not to perform the day’s duties. Many cane cutters said that GuySuCo has given little explanation on severance pay packages.

Workers outside the Wales Sugar Estate

Workers outside the Wales Sugar Estate

Some workers said they were told that employees with longer service will most likely be transferred to Utivlugt.

Others said they were made aware that older workers would receive severance packages after termination of their services. Some decried the service pay measure, positing that they were unsure how they will provide for their families after that money ran out.

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) President Komal Chand said these measures, including strikes, will continue as the Union is firmly against the move of closure. He however did not specify the length of this latest action.

Cane Cutter Anthony Thomas who described himself as a ‘family man’ blamed the closure on bad management and thieving. Thomas stated that if the estate indeed closes, he must be allocated his severance pay.

On the other hand, Vishnu Mohan said that he is mostly worried for his children and is against receiving severance pay. He and a group of gentlemen standing at the estate’s second entrance all demanded that operations at the estate continue.

“When you a tek severance and yo money done wah you ah do? Wah yo pickeney dem ah do? He stated that this closure means that he would have great difficulty in sending his children to school.

Mohamed Klaim Khan, a 49-year-old father of three, said that he agrees that the estate should not be closed as his entire family depends upon him.

“This a de only means of meh sustenance so far,” the cane cutter related. He also said that one of his children attends West Demerara Secondary and he does not know how he will be able to pay for lessons and transportation costs. Khan further posited that GuySuCo officials are yet to discuss a possible move to Utivlugt.

Joanna Bailey, a seller and mother of four from Patentia, also has a daughter attending the West Demerara Secondary and she is calling on the Government to look into her plight and that of the younger generation.

“I work two bucket for many years at the GuySuCo [Wales] Estate… I have a child who is in secondary school [who has] to write the CXC, SBA, assignment, lesson… and I would like the Government to look down on single parents – concern of the cry and the heart for the tomorrow young people [who] have no hope,” Bailey expressed.

Esau Hussein, 52, said he has been working with GuySuCo as a cane cutter since 1979 and has witnessed the hardships workers have faced in the past from closures in La Bonne Intention and Diamond.

“Me nah glad fo know wah gonna happen – it rough,” stated Hussein in a somber tone. He is calling on GuySuCo and the Government to “give Wales a second chance.”

Floyd King of Belle West, a father of two, stated that some discussion was held regarding a preference to transfer to Uitvlugt or receive severance pay.

“Me an know yet wah I decide cause yo gah fo discuss it with yo family before you could mek de decision,” King related.

Two young men in the machinery section related to this publication that they were unsure whether they would be transferred to Uitvlugt.

Chartered Accountant and Transparency International Guyana Vice President, Christopher Ram, was on site engaging with the estate workers.

It was also reported that Claudis Charles of the Free and Easy Cane Farmer Society laid out a plan which stated that the farmers can manage the estate with “initial assistance” from the Government.

At the strike on Thursday, workers welcomed this proposal; with many noting that anything is better than the estate being closed which would hamper their livelihoods and the community.

Workers will march this evening from Patentia to the estate; while GAWU Branch Committee is planning other solidarity marches in Canals Number One and Two.

Government announced the move to close the estate as a cost measure, saying that Wales will this year account for $1.9 billion in losses.

Share Button

59-year-old charged with assault

A 59-year-old man was refused bail on Thursday when he appeared before Magistrate Faith McGusty at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.

Orin October of Lot 55 Robb Street, Georgetown, pleaded guilty with explanation to the charge which stated that on November 15, 2015, he unlawfully and maliciously assaulted Troy Gibe.

The defendant stated that on the day in question, Gibe was in his car and threw something at his children.

He explained that he confronted Gibe about the incident and Gibe pushed him to the ground in front of his family. He added that Gibe also directed racial remarks at him, and as such, he picked up a weapon and dealt Gibe several blows about his body.

Based on the defendant’s explanation, Magistrate McGusty changed his guilty plea to not guilty.

Police Prosecutor Seon Blackman objected to bail on the grounds that the defendant was initially summoned to court on November 17, 2015 but failed to show up.

He added that an arrest warrant had to be issued for the defendant’s arrest which forced him to show up to court.

Bail was refused and the matter will continue on February 17.

Share Button

Guyana Times Daily – February 5, 2016

frontpage

Share Button

Man shot during attempted Rose Hall robbery

Police in Berbice are investigating the shooting of a Rose Hall Town man in what is believed to be a failed robbery.

The incident occurs on Wednesday night at 21:58h; about 100 meters from the Rose Hall Police Outpost, in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).

Police in a release said on Wednesday night, Saitanya Kishundyal, 21, of Rose Hall, Corentyne, was closing the gate to his residence when he was confronted by a man armed with a firearm. A scuffle ensued between Kishundyal and the bandit and he was shot to his abdomen. The assailant then escaped. Kishundyal has been admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital as investigations continue.

Information reaching Guyana Times indicates that Kishundyal was returning to his Outpost and Third Street home after attending a religious function at Corriverton, some 30 miles away. Surveillance footage – which was seen by this publication – shows four persons entered Kishundyal’s yard and waited on him to arrive. At 21:57h, his car was seen pulling into the driveway and he exited the vehicle before opening the gate to the yard.

In the footage, Kishundyal was seen driving under his house and as he opened the door to exit, a lone gunman approached him from behind and during a three-seconds scuffle, a shot was fired. Three other men were immediately seen running out of the yard along with the gunman.

Kishundyal was shot in the abdomen and attempted to pursue the fleeing men but did not venture pass the opened gate. He later returned holding his abdomen and threw himself onto a bench.

It is believed that Kishundyal was being targeted by bandits to be used as a pawn to get his parents to open the door to the house.

 Meanwhile, neighbours say the Police responded within minutes of the shooting. They say the officers were not called but responded after hearing the gunshot. The matter is being investigated. Up to press time, Kishundyal’s condition was given as serious.

Share Button

Chutney Bacchanal Part 2 for Bell West on February 13

All roads will lead to the Belle West ground, West Bank Demerara (WBD), on February 13 for the second edition of Chutney Bacchanal.

The first edition was off the hook, and this year is expected to be bigger and better. For the first time since his return to local shores, Prince JP will be performing live, along with the “Fowl Cock Man” Omardath Maharaj, out of Trinidad and Tobago.

Also making an appearance at the show will be Princess Halima and Granny Ivelaw, along with the Dax New Generation Band, featuring Sexy Vanie, Queen B, Mighty Perai and Rajesh Dubraj. There will also be several dancers to add some excitement on the night of the show.

Tickets for the event cost $800 in advance and $1500 at the gate. VIP tickets will be available at a cost of $2000. Tickets will be available at Saffo Bar, Belle West, WBD. Music will be provided by Power Sonic and 71 Sound.

Showtime is 20:00h. The event is promoted by Raju in collaboration with Epic Entertainment and is sponsored by Banks Beer.

Share Button

Coldingen man stabbed to death by relative

Dead: Ramkarran Mohanlall

Dead: Ramkarran Mohanlall

Police in C Division (East Coast Demerara) are on the hunt for an East Coast Demerara man, who fatally stabbed his brother-in-law Wednesday night at Annandale during a confrontation.

Dead is Ramkarran Mohanlall, 33, of Lot 218 Track A, Coldingen, ECD.

According to police reports, Mohanlall was involved in an argument with another man, during which he was stabbed about his body at about 22:45h.

Guyana Times understands that the injured father of five was rushed by relatives to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He reportedly sustained four stabs to his stomach, groin, arm and nose.

Speaking with Guyana Times Mohanlall’s wife Latchmie Singh, said her husband and her sister’s husband, the suspect Shafeek Mohamed, had an argument which stemmed from an old grievance.

She explained that she is staying at her mother’s house at Lot 116 Annandale since December last. The woman noted that her husband visits daily to take their children to school.

Singh recalled that on the night of the incident when her husband arrived, Mohamed, who resides in the bottom flat of the two-storey Annandale house, was outside of the gate. The two men then had a confrontation.

“They argued first and then they had two scuffles and on the last occasion, he (Mohamed) dealt him four stab wounds,” the woman stated. She noted that after seeing what transpired she rushed to her husband who had collapsed while her brother-in-law escaped.

Asked about the issue between the two men, Singh disclosed that about three years ago, Mohamed went to their Coldingen house and verbally abused her husband, prompting him to lodge a police report.

“My husband took the police to get him (Mohamed) and when the police arrived at the house, Shafeek was returning home. When the police told him to walk with his hands up and come forward, he walked towards the police with a knife as if he was going to attack the policeman. The policeman fired a shot at him, hitting his car so from that it led to this,” the grieving widow stated.

Singh added that since that incident, the two men were not on speaking terms and that Wednesday’s was the second time the two men had such a violent confrontation. She related to this newspaper that just before Christmas last year, Shafeek attacked her husband with a hockey club.

The woman recalled that her husband’s hands were wounded after he used them to bar the lashes. She noted that Mohanlall did not bother to file another police compliant because he did not want to prolong the dispute.

“But it didn’t seem like Shafeek wanted to stop, he just wanted to prove himself,” Singh said of Mohamed, whom she added is very violent and abusive.

After committing the act, Mohamed jumped into his car, taking the knife with him and sped off. He has not been seen nor heard from since.

Mohanlall leaves to mourn his wife and five children, ages ranging from nine to one-year-old.

Share Button

Honouring Chanderpaul

Dear Editor,

We learned that despite being ‘forced’ to retire by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the Government of Guyana says it is exploring ways to honour a great son of the soil – Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

My suggestion is that his photograph should be on one of our country paper currency ie  the five thousand dollar or another denomination showing him stroking the ball graceful in his inimitable style to the boundary.

Yours faithfully,

Rooplall Dudhnath

Share Button

CCJ speaks out against delay in the justice system

Dear Editor,

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has again spoken out against the delay by the Barbados judicial system in delivering decisions in a timely manner. But it is not only the Barbados courts are guilty about delays. The judges should remember that justice delayed is justice denied.

The CCJ used strong language on Wednesday in granting leave to appeal to four persons to quash their conviction for drug related offences and sentenced to lengthy prison term. The CCJ said there is a serious disappointment with the delay of the justice system and urged that steps be taken to remedy the situation.

The highest Court of the land also clarified the interpretation of a crucial statutory provision which had prior to the ruling never had been judicially ventilated. The CCJ ruled that “21 days after conviction” should be interpreted as “21 days after sentence” as the sentence ultimately entails a judicial determination of guilt.

The Guyana Courts are also being criticised for inordinate delay although there is a Time Limit Act requiring judgment to be delivered within thirty days.

In the Darnley v Reid matter decision was not delivered until 17 months after hearing was completed. There are several decisions yet to be given by the Guyana Court of Appeal including the libel action brought by Bharat Jagdeo against columnist Freddie Kissoon and the 2011 Budget Decision where CJ Chang ruled that the then opposition cannot reduce the Budget, but can vote against the entire Budget.

The situation is not different in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC). Dominica is the only OECS state which has abolished appeals to the Privy Council and accepted the CCJ as the final court. Antigua and Barbuda will soon make a decision since a referendum is being put in place to pave the way for the regional court.

Decisions from the CCJ are binding in Guyana, Barbados, Belize and Dominica, the four countries which so far accepted the regional court as final. In the other jurisdictions, ruling from the CCJ will be persuasive.

It is surprising that in the Eastern Caribbean justice is not dispensed with expeditiously although there are 17 High Court judges in the nine circuits as well as four Appellate judges. Incidentally 80 per cent of them are females including the Chief Justice.

Twelve years ago the number of judges was far less than the present composition, but  the Court docket was not as heavy.

Sincerely,

Oscar Ramjeet

Share Button

Students still waiting on UG online programs to start

Dear Editor,                                                                                            

I am pending you this letter with great concern over the starting of the online programmes offer at the University of Guyana. The University is offering online programmes in different programme areas. Some of these programmes have not started since last year. Many students paid their monies since the first semester of last year; also, many online students have not received their grades for the first year.

The University of Guyana needs to communicate with students as to why the online programmes have not started as yet. Many students are frustrated and depressed over the issue.

Many calls were made to the student body also, which seems to be relaxed on the matter.

Concerned student

Share Button