May 27, 2015

Pres Granger inaugurated amid pomp, ceremony

A section of the mammoth crowd at the Guyana National Stadium on Tuesday evening

A section of the mammoth crowd at the Guyana National Stadium on Tuesday evening

By Bhisham Mohamed

Thousands from near and far flocked the Guyana National Stadium for the inauguration of Guyana’s Eighth Executive President, His Excellency David Arthur Granger which was held to coincide with Guyana’s 49th Independence Anniversary.

It was a magnificent showcase of colours, creativity and talent, but, most of all, the outpouring of emotions, a spectacle that will last for a lifetime especially for the young children seen taking shelter under umbrellas during the intermittent downpours. The Guyana National Stadium was bursting its seams as Guyanese assembled for an event that will be marked down as history. The stands of the stadium were packed to capacity hours before the actual commencement of the rich cultural extravaganza. Just about 15:05h, Emcee of the proceedings, Basil Bradshaw announced the first performer who is no stranger to Guyana after winning the GT&T Jingle and Song Competition in 2013, Ryan Hoppie. He took to the stage performing “Love and Unity”, a fitting rendition to get things rolling.

His performance certainly set the tone for the evening’s proceedings which saw the jubilant spectators waving the national colours with pride and joy on their faces. His performance was followed by that of Gavin Blackman who sang a remix of Eddie Grant’s “Johanna”. Reigning Calypso Monarch King Perai also did his part as he performed his winning song “Perai” dressed in his native garb including the Amerindian Headdress. As the cultural programme continued, the crowd erupted as Guyana’s own, Charmaine Blackman took to the stage singing her version of “Stand Up”.

President  David Granger and PM Moses Nagamootoo with family members watching the fireworks display

President David Granger and PM Moses Nagamootoo with family members watching the fireworks display

She made way for Reigning Chutney King Roger Hinds with his tune “Searching for a Larkhi” which even had the Heads of State and members of the diplomatic corps tapping their feet. Then the title song from the hit movie “Titanic” was sung by Jennifer Pereira, a Lindener who did justice to the lyrics and notes. As it came down to the formal proceedings, GMoney and Jovinchy out of Kross Kolors also performed their pieces. At this time, the emcee handed over to Michella Abraham Ali for the formal aspect of the Inauguration ceremony. The formal session began with the guard of honour making its way into the Guyana National Stadium to loud applause from the crowd.

As they came to a halt after their parade, it was time for the arrival of the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo. As his conveyance drove onto the grass lawns of the National Stadium, there were roars from the crowd. As he exited the white car with his wife, Sita Nagamootoo, who looked stunning in a cream skirt suit, the Stadium went into an uproar. Both of them waved to the crowd who shouted “Moses! Moses! Moses!”. Sita Nagamootoo was then escorted to her seat in the presidential box as her husband waited on the arrival of the President.

Granger’s entrance

In similar fashion, Granger arrived to a thunderous roar from the crowd. He was greeted by the Prime Minister, and the top brass of the security services. As he exited, he waved to the crowd and made his way to greet his Ministers of Government who lined the field. Soon after, the President inspected the Guard of Honour and took his seat where he was entertained by approximately 530 children decked in colourful attire. As the shadows lengthened, a prayer was done by Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hastings in Akawaio language followed by a welcome dance by members of the Amerindian Community, after which Hasting handed over a golden key to the Head of State which meant that he was inaugurated as the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. Finally, as the curtains were pulled on the Inauguration Day celebrations, the skies were lit up by an excellent display of fireworks by the Guyana Defence Force. His Excellency joined by members of his Cabinet, visiting Heads of State, members of the diplomatic community and family all stood in awe as they witnessed the display.

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Granger salutes workers as true pioneers of struggle

Independence celebrations

By Bhisham Mohamed and Devina Samaroo

“Independence brings change, change from colony to nation; change from subject to citizen; change from segregation to

President Granger on the podium taking the military salute

President Granger on the podium taking the military salute

liberations; change from discrimination to the lives of dignity and equality.” These were the words of President David Granger as he addressed thousands at a flag-raising ceremony held at the rehabilitated Independence Arch on Brickdam.
Granger reflected on the struggles of Guyanese citizens in their fight for freedom as he paid homage to them for their devoted services in making Guyana what it is today – an Independent nation. “Guyana today celebrates the independence it gained on the 26th May 1966, after 350 years of Dutch and British colonisation … We’re assembled at this national monument in solemn remembrance of the lives of our heroes …. We’re assembled here to pay homage to those who agitate for decades to achieve national independence.”
President Granger recognised the ordinary workers, the legislators, and the politicians for their contribution to the struggle of freeing this nation from foreign rule. Though this struggle occurred years ago, the President reminded Guyanese that as citizens of this beloved land, it is their duty to continue the work of these brave souls in order to transform Guyana into a united nation.
He reminded too that change is a process driven by the industrious efforts of dedicated individuals as he urged Guyanese to pour all their efforts into ensuring “we live together in peace, love and harmony”. He urged Guyanese to not dwell on the pains of the past, but look forward to the future with faith.

The President lays one of the wreaths in honour of the fallen heroes

The President lays one of the wreaths in honour of the fallen heroes

In quoting the words of Guyana’s first Prime Minister Forbes Burnham in his closing remarks, Granger said: “Independence is a means to an end. The end must be the changing of our society and the revolutionising of the economy. Change indeed is never-ending. Let us resolve, therefore, to work together to change our society into one great economy. Let us try to change our economy into a great prosperity; let us change our country into a nation of love, a nation of unity. Happy Independence Day. May God bless you.  May God bless our country.”

Parade and salute
The ceremony was also spiced with military pomp and splendour  that included a 21-gun salute. Besides, thousands braved the rain to be part of history since it was the first time after Guyana gained Independence in 1966 that the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead was done at the Independence Arch on the eastern end of Brickdam, Georgetown. The national colours – red, white, black, green and yellow –were on display in abundance not only for spectators present at the momentous ceremony but to the world at large.
The ceremony was slated to commence at 08:00h by which time all the diplomats, Heads of Government, Ministers of Government and other invitees trickled in under the white tent and anxiously awaited the arrival of His Excellency, David Arthur Granger and First Lady Sandra Granger.
Minutes before his arrival, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife, Sita Nagamootoo, arrived at which point the Prime Minister was escorted to the podium for a military salute. Then, the sound of sirens from afar was the signal to indicate the arrival of His Excellency. Three outriders were spotted from a distance followed by a police vehicle and the presidential entourage

The Golden Arrowhead being hoisted by two members of the Guyana Defence Force as President Granger and Prime Minister Nagamootoo look on

The Golden Arrowhead being hoisted by two members of the Guyana Defence Force as President Granger and Prime Minister Nagamootoo look on

comprising three well-polished black cars. The President’s vehicle bearing the emblem of the Cacique Crown was in the middle.
President Granger stepped out of the vehicle to thunderous applause from the thousands who had assembled to get a glimpse of the man who has promised to unite the nation.  He was welcomed by Prime Minister Nagamootoo along with top military men including Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Mark Phillips; Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud; Fire Chief Marlon Gentle; and several other high-ranking officials.
Without any hesitation, the programme went into full steam with the sounding of the trumpets as the Last Past was observed in honour of Guyana’s fallen heroes. As customary, a two-minute silence was also observed. Then it was time for one of the most anticipated parts of the programme – the wreath laying led by President Granger followed by the Army Chief-of-Staff, Police Commissioner, Georgetown Mayor  Hamilton Green and other representatives. The eight wreaths were neatly placed on the base of the Independence Arch, made of quartz stone from the Mazaruni River.  After that important aspect, there was a brief address by the Eighth Executive President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, who urged Guyanese to evolve as one and dedicate their energies towards building Guyana as a nation.
The second most important part of the programme was the hoisting of the National Flag then there was a prayer done by Ashiana Narine, a student of the Bishop’s High School and the National Pledge recited by Anjanie Mohabir, a student of Queen’s College. The Guyana Police Force band took over as they played “Guyana the Free” followed by the singing of the National Anthem after which, the President took the final presidential salute and made his way to his presidential entourage to depart. As he left, he waved to those who came out to be part of the festivities to mark Guyana’s Independence Anniversary.

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Mayor Green, Bryn Pollard, Mary Menezes head list of national awardees

Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green, Senior Counsel Brynmor Pollard and Sister Mary Noel Menezes have been accorded with

Mayor Hamilton Green

Mayor Hamilton Green

the Order of Roraima- Guyana’s second highest National Award-when the list of awardees was announced at the Independence Day celebrations at the Guyana National Stadium Tuesday evening.
Green’s honour was a surprise to many, given his disastrous management of the capital city, but according to Eshwar Vevakanand Persaud, Protocol Advisor in the Ministry of the Presidency, Green was honoured for his long and outstanding involvement in the struggle for independence and his role in providing public service for three generations.

CCH honours
Meanwhile, Cacique Crown of Honour awards were also announced to several persons for their long, outstanding and dedicated service in the fields of politics, public service and community work. Among them are: Edith Bynoe, former Minister of Government; Oscar Clarke, General Secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform; Yvonne Harewood–Benn, former teacher and Minister of Government; LLewelyn John, former Minister of Agriculture, Home Affairs and Local Government; Professor Winston McGowan; Eshwar Vevakanand Persaud, Protocol Advisor in the Ministry of the Presidency; Supriya Singh-Bodden, Founder of Guyana Foundation; Justice Donald Trotman; and Elsworth Williams, Apostle Full Gospel Fellowship.

Golden Arrow of Achievement
The Golden Arrow of Achievement was awarded to the following:

Sister Mary Noel Menezes

Sister Mary Noel Menezes

Edgar Wrensford Adams, former Ministry of Works and Guyana Defence Force Officer (for long and dedicated service as Captain, Pilot Coast Guard Commander and Marine Surveyor)
Ivor Allen, Businessman and Contractor (for long and outstanding service in the public sector, in the field of politics and in business)
Jeanne Atkinson, President of the Amerindian People’s Association (for long and dedicated service to the indigenous peoples of Guyana)
Basil Brentnol Blackman, former Coast Guard and Guyana Defence Force Officer (for long and dedicated service in the Maritime Sector)
Paulette Euranie Bynoe, Director of the Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Guyana(UG) (for her outstanding contribution to environmental education, training, research and the development of national policies on natural resource management issues)
Mitzy Gaynor Campbell of the Kidney Foundation of Guyana (for long service with exceptional dedication in the public and private sectors and in social work)
Malcolm Chan-A-Sue, Executive Director of Aircraft Owners’ Association (for long, dedicated service and outstanding service in the field of aviation)
Ivor Winston Crandon, Professor of Neurosurgery at the UWI (for his outstanding service in the field of medicine, for surgery in general and neuro-surgery in particular)
Doreen Patricia Duncan, retired Head Mistress (for long and dedicated service as a teacher and as a community worker in Region Two)
Fazil Shahibbdeen Ibrahim Hakh, Proprietor of F& H Printing Establishment (for outstanding service in the printing industry for over thirty-five years)
Maruice Bertwinsdel Henry, Ministry of Regional Development and Ministry of Legal Affairs (for long, dedicated and outstanding service as a Public Servant)
Sherlock Ewart Isaacs, Clerk of the National Assembly (for long and dedicated service in regional administration, in the Cabinet Secretariat and in the National Assembly of the Parliament of Guyana)

Senior Counsel Brynmor Pollard

Senior Counsel Brynmor Pollard

Leila Jagdeo, former General Manager of Guyana Book Foundation (for long and outstanding service in the Guyana Book Foundation)
Jean Benedicta Imelda La Rose, Programme Administrator of the Amerindian People’s Association (for long and dedicated service in indigenous rights activism)
Dr Paloma Ramona Francis Mohamed, Senior Lecturer of Faculties of Social Sciences and Medical Sciences (for her extensive and exceptional contributions in education and culture at the national and international levels)
Prince Albert Pompey, Councillor of Woodlands/Farm Neighbourhood Council (for long, dedicated and outstanding service in the field of local government and in politics)
Evan Brewster Bridgewater Semple (for long and meritorious service to the People of Guyana and as a Minister of the Anglican Diocese)
Gwendolin Agatha Tross, retired Lecturer (for long and dedicated service as an educator in nursing and for her pioneer role in the establishment of the degree nursing programme at the University of Guyana)
Maurice Wilfred Veecock, Senior Lecturer at UG (for service of an exceptionally high quality as a water resources and hydropower engineer in the Ministries of Works and Energy and Mines)
Anna Catherina Islamic Complex (for its outstanding service to the community in the West Demerara area)
Olga Bone Ministry of Education and University of Guyana (for long and dedicated service in the field of education)
Wordsworth Mcandrew, Broadcaster/Folk Researcher (for long, dedicated and outstanding service to Guyana, especially for his research and celebration of Guyana’s cultural heritage and as a broadcaster)

Medal of Service
The Medal of Service was awarded to the following:
Mabel Baveghems, former Member of Parliament (for long and dedicated service in the field of politics)
Gordon Chase, Ministry of the Presidency (for long service, with exceptional dedication, in the Guyana Public Service)
Roylance Patricia David, Executive Director of the Adult Education Association (for long and dedicated service in the field of education)
Jaitun Haniff-Persaud, Confidential Secretary to the Speaker (for long and dedicated service in the Public Service and more recently in the Parliament Office)
Noshella Lalckecharan, Assistant Director of Nursing Services at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (for long and dedicated service in the field of nursing)
Godfrey Emerson Marshall Advisor on Forestry for the Guyana Forestry Commission (for long and dedicated service as a Forest Officer)
Sheik Shakur Niamatali, Managing Director of Variety Woods and Green Heart Ltd (for long and outstanding service in sustainable tropical forest management, wood utilization and marketing of forest products in the development of Guyana’s Forestry Sector)
Dionysia Niewenkerk, Chairperson of Women’s Group, Lethem (for long service in the field of women’s affairs and in politics)
Amrita Thomas, Vice-Chairman of Region 7 (For service of a consistently high quality to the residents of Region 7)
Burnell Lancelot Thomas, former Vice-Chairman of Region 10 (for his long and outstanding involvement in the field of culture and in politics)

Military Service Star
The Military Service Star was awarded to Brigadier Mark Anthony Phillips, Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, for service of an exceptionally high quality and beyond the normal call of duty in the Guyana Defence Force.

Military Service Medal
Wilbert Arlington Lee, retired Colonel of the Guyana Defence Force (for distinguished service beyond the normal call of duty as an officer in the Guyana Defence Force)
Walter Leyland Francis Morris, retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Guyana Defence Force (for distinguished service beyond the normal call of duty as an officer in the Guyana Defence Force)
Carol Audrey Lewis-Primo, former Assistant Commissioner of Police (for sustained and dedicated service of a high order in the Guyana Police Force)
David Kenneth Ramnarine, Assistant Commissioner of Police (for sustained and dedicated service of a high order in the Guyana Police Force)
Carl Vonludwig Grahame, Deputy Director of Prison (for sustained and dedicated service of a high order in the Guyana Prison Service)
Welton Cuthbert Trotz, Director of Prison of the Guyana Prison Service (for sustained and dedicated service of a high order in the Guyana Prison Service)
Desiree D’Santos-Moore, retired Station Officer of the Guyana Fire Service (for sustained and dedicated service of a high order in the Guyana Fire Service)
Peter Wilson, retired Station Officer (for sustained and dedicated service of a high order in the Guyana Fire Service)

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6 TV stations cited for breach of media code

MMU reports…

 

…Channel 9 seen as most culpable

In the Media Monitoring Unit’s (MMU) fourth and penultimate report for Guyana’s 2015 election period, five television stations are found in breach of the media code concerning the broadcasting of activities by political parties. The code prohibits television stations in Guyana from broadcasting footage of rallies or produced talk shows or interviews of political material after 06:00h on Sunday May 10.

The channels guilty of breaching these codes are SAFE Channel 2, CNS Channel 6, NCN Channel 11, HGPTV Channel 67, NTN Channel 69 and HBTV Channel 9. The MMU particularly slammed HBTV Channel 9 for accumulating a significant number of breaches in relation to the content of the program “Wake Up Guyana”, which was hosted by Basil Bradshaw and aired on May 11 at 09:00h (Election Day).

Expressing great dismay and disquiet at the situation, the MMU highlighted that the programme contravened many aspects of the 2015 Media Code of Conduct (MCC), but most glaringly, it broke the rule circumscribing the media’s coverage of political parties’ activities prior to and on Election Day.

In the programme, the footage of the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) final rally, which was held at the Square of the Revolution on Saturday May 9, was aired on Election Day, a blatant breach of the code.

“The airing of the footage was a contravention of Section N of the MCC, which pellucidly states that, ‘…no coverage of any activity by the political parties shall take place for a period to begin 24 hours prior to the opening of Polling Stations on the day of polling. This ban will continue to the close of Polling Stations.’,” a statement from the MMU read.

According to the MMU, the host also made uninformed comments about rumoured incidences he never sought to verify before going public, which is also a violation of the code.

“For example, he said that he heard that at Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara, ‘…somebody is distributing ID cards’ and ‘…there is a problem on the East Coast of Demerara…some ballots are not being stamped… some ballots have six digits at the top and five at the bottom…’,” the statement continued.

The MMU maintains that the public announcement of unverified information, especially sensitive information of that sort, was tantamount to deliberately trying to ignite raw emotions in a way that could have led to the derailment of the General and Regional Elections through the eruption of public disorder.

In addition to the breaches, the unit found that the host’s selection and play of two jingles with political content which was highly critical of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was distasteful and a subtle form of electioneering. “It was, without doubt, the type of behaviour that confounds the universally hallowed rules governing media conduct on an election day,” the MMU contended.

The MCC of 2015 was signed by 23 media organisations in Guyana. The MMU was responsible for monitoring those media entities throughout the political campaign season and highlight the incidences where the MCC was violated by the media organisations that signed on.

Generally, for television broadcast, SAFE TV was titled to the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU/AFC) the opposition; Capital News on WRHM was also pro APNU/AFC; HBTV broadcasted support for APNU/AFC; Prime News on HBTV did the same; NCN broadcasted more positive coverage for the PPP/C when compared to APNU/AFC; TVG Channel 28/ Evening News also broadcasted more positive support for the PPP/C; MTV News broadcasted in excess of double positive coverage for the APNU/AFC when compared to that of the PPP/C; HGPTV’s Nightly News also favoured the coalition; and NTN with Frontline News showed both APNU/AFC an PPP/C in a slight negative coverage.

For newspapers publications, the Guyana Times and the Guyana Chronicles saw more contents in favour of the PPP/C while the Kaieteur News and the Stabroek News supported the APNU+AFC coalition.

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Guyana Times Daily – May 27, 2015

frontpage

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Man stabbed to death at rum shop during row

The Police are investigating the murder of Lionel Williams, 25, of Tin Cup Backdam, North West District, which occurred about 20:00h on Monday, May 25, at Tin Cup Backdam.

In a release, Police disclosed that the miner had been killed during a drunken argument.

They said investigations have revealed that Williams and two other men were imbibing at a shop, when an argument ensued among them during which he was fatally stabbed by the two men.

No arrest has been made as yet.

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1 dead after boat crashes into tree at Akawini

One person is dead and another has narrowly escaped death after the boat they were travelling in crashed into a tree at Akawini, Lower Pomeroon River, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). Dead is Trevon Benn, 18, of Grant Burn Bush, Lower Pomeroon.

According to information reaching the Guyana Times, Benn, along with another boy, had gone for a joyride up the river when the incident occurred around 22:00h Monday night. Information revealed that Benn, who was the captain of the 40 horsepower boat, lost control and crashed into a tree.

The survivor, of Lower Pomeroon River, was said to be thrown out of the boat. Benn was, however, pinned by the upturned boat.

The accident was noticed by passersby who rendered assistance, but rescuers had a difficult time locating Benn.

The body was retrieved by ranks from the Anna Regina Police Station and later taken to the Suddie Funeral Home to await an autopsy. Police have launched an investigation into the matter.

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Reality kicks in…

…in sugar

During the campaign there were all kinds of declarations on the sugar industry by the coalition – now the government and owners of GuySuCo.

They were going to shut it down. No! They were NOT going to shut it down. There were going to privatise it. They were going to share out the land to cane cutters. They were going to diversify into bio fuels and such like. What they weren’t going to do was maintain the status quo.

Well, the time for “talk” is over and the time for “walk” has arrived. The new Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder, must be scratching his head and wondering how come his Ministry deals with the largest number of Guyanese – 80,000 in sugar, another 100,000 in rice and probably 50,000 in other agricultural pursuits – and yet he wasn’t given a “Junior Minister”!!

Patterson gets TWO junior Ministers to assist him in Public Works (now “Public Infrastructure”) and Holder has to wing it alone?

So Holder’s greeted with the news from the sugar unions that they, the representatives of the workers, were told by management the GuySuCo cupboard is bare! No money to pay workers. And he’s surprised?

If he’s such an agriculture maven, wasn’t he following the news? Every Guyanese not consumed with the news of super athlete Bruce Jenner transforming himself into a woman knew that GuySuCo was on the ropes.

Wasn’t it reported that the Co-Gen plant was sold to Wartsila to keep the factories grinding? Up to the point of Ministers being announced by the President, it’d been expected that Prime Minister and First Vice-President Nagamootoo would’ve also been given the substantive position of Minister of Agriculture.

After all he’s been pontificating rather expansively on not only sugar, but on rice and coconuts and everything that sprouts from the ground. Agriculture, no? So is he going to hold Holder’s hand for a while?

Now that those sugar workers aren’t going to get their wages – even as they hear that Public Servants and Teachers and Nurses and Soldiers and Police are getting an across-the-board 10 per cent increase in salaries – the government in general and Nagamootoo in particular can expect some strained relations. To say the least.

Those cane cutters can be an ornery lot – as the PPP/C found out! This Eyewitness would sure like to know what the coalition’s plan for sugar looks like.

And sugar’s only the beginning. Didn’t they agree with their rice farmer support group in Essequibo that prices for paddy was too low?

Mr Holder shouldn’t be surprised in three months when the stiff hits the fan in that crop!

…on City Hall’s lawlessness

There were also a lot of rhetoric during the campaign about the “rule of law”. It seems what they were talking about – at least at City Hall – was the “ruin of law”.

The “rule of law” simply means that the law in a particular area must be followed and must be applied fairly to all that falls within its ambit. Even to persons whom we may not like

Now what happened at City Hall to Town Clerk Sooba at the hands of Hamilton Greene was a traducing of the rule of law and a slap in the face of all law abiding citizens. The Town Clerk is not a creature of City Hall and the City Council – she is part of the Local Government Ministry as defined by the Municipal laws of Guyana. She is also in charge of the City Constabulary.

The City Council has absolutely no authority to apply any sanction on the Town Clerk. Sadly, the City Constabulary went along with the illegality even though warned by the official.

And to invite the city rabble to jeer the official when she was hounded out? Even Hoyte never did this to Greene.

And HE had very good reason. Oh judgement!! Thou art fled….

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Guyana Times photographer attacked and robbed in Diamond

Guyana Times photographer Marceano Narine was attacked and robbed on Monday night as he was making his way home through 8th Avenue, Diamond New Scheme, East Bank Demerara.

Narine said he was just a mere five houses away from home when he was approached by a lone man on a bicycle who demanded he handed over his valuables. The incident occurred around 21:00h.

Narine explained that he put up a fight with his attacker, who eventually overpowered him and escaped with his cellular phone and some $10,000 in cash. However, in his haste to get away, the robber left his bicycle behind.

Narine said he immediately took the bicycle to the Grove/Diamond Police Station where he subsequently made a report of the incident.

For some time now, residents residing in the Diamond/ Grove Housing Scheme have expressed grave concern about the many robberies occurring in the community at nights. In a previous report, several residents who spoke with this newspaper noted their disgust over the situation, pointing out that their complaints to Police in the community seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Residents have been calling for the establishment of street lights, noting that the community is too dark at night and is an ideal environment for criminals to prowl.

They are also calling on the Police to check persons idling at bridges and street corners in the community, since they believe that some of those individuals are up to mischief. These simple measures, they believe, will help to reduce the robberies in their community, if not stop them completely

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2 men on bail for unlawful wounding charge

Two men were placed on bail on a charge of unlawful wounding by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.

Mahase Bisnauth and Michael Bisnauth of Middle Road, La Penitence, Georgetown, pleaded guilty with an explanation and not guilty, respectively, to the charge which read that on December 21, 2014 at La Penitence, they maliciously and unlawfully wounded the Virtual Complainant (VC), Jamal Joe.

According to Police Prosecutor Bharat Mangru, on the day in question at approximately 19:30h, the VC was walking along Middle Road, La Penitence, when the defendants approached him and an argument ensued over a female friend of the VC. Both of the accused subsequently started lashing and stabbing the VC about his body.

Joe was then taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was admitted. A report was made to the Police, an investigation carried out, and the two accused were arrested. The VC is known to both of the defendants.

Addressing the court, Mahase Bisnauth told the Magistrate that the VC was in the habit of ‘interfering’ with him and threatened to shoot him on several occasions.

Subsequent to the reports being made, the defendant told the court that the VC confronted him at his home, shouting lewd profanities and calling him an “informer” because he reported him to the Police.

The defendant further alleged that a few nights later, he was heading to a nearby shop when the VC and two other men attacked him and took away his belongings, including $15,000 and his bicycle.

He managed to escape, but the men followed him to his home and began throwing stones at his house, terrifying his relatives. The man further related that he had retrieved his bicycle from Chilly’s Bar, where his assailants had left it.

Sometime after, he was doing some gardening while his niece and nephew were riding his bicycle when one of the assailants passed by and terrified them. He said he then left to go to the shop where he met the VC who began to spew several profanities at him and threatened to kill him.

He claimed that the VC then attacked him with a piece of wood and he defended himself with the garden knife that he had in his possession; however, he denied ever touching the VC with the knife itself.

He stated that he has no knowledge of how the VC sustained the wounds. He said some time during the scuffle the number two defendant, Michael Bisnauth, tried to part the fight, and thus got involved in the altercation. After listening to his account, the Magistrate recorded a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Defence Attorney Charles Ramson Junior told the court that the number one accused was simply acting in self-defence, while the number two accused was just being a Good Samaritan in attempting to break up the altercation.

An application for reasonable bail was made on this ground which was granted in the sum of $100,000 and $50,000, respectively for the defendants respectively.

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