August 29, 2014

Corbin could be summoned by Rodney Commission

Sydney James

Sydney James

By Alexis Rodney

Chairman of the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry, Sir Richard Cheltenham said there is a likelihood that the former Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Robert Corbin, could be subpoenaed to appear before the Tribunal at the appropriate time.

According to the head of the three-member Commission probing the circumstances surrounding the death of the late Working People’s Alliance (WPA) leader, Dr Walter Rodney, that time has not yet come as the Commission still has to hear from more witnesses.

Robert Corbin became a subject of interest during the early stages of the investigation, when it was revealed by former member of the House of Israel, Joseph Hamilton, that Corbin had allegedly handed out guns to the organisation, which was allegedly used by the then PNC Government to suppress members of the WPA.

While Corbin has not yet responded to that allegation, documents coming out of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) revealed that an “R” Corbin, along with a W Skeete, was on several occasions the consignee of some arms and ammunition issued on loan by the military. The vouchers show too that some of those weapons issued to the R Corbin, Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, have not yet been returned to the GDF.

Head of the G2 Branch (Intelligence Unit) of the GDF, Lieutenant Colonel Sydney James, who was tasked with investigating weapons issued to external organisations had told the Commission on Tuesday that of the 237 weapons issued by the GDF to various individuals and organisations during the 1970s, 155 are still outstanding.

Robert Corbin

Robert Corbin

Among those receiving weapons were a Comrade R Corbin who was loaned some 16 weapons, while Comrade Skeete received over 100 pieces. Among the mentioned weapons were: seven Smith and Wesson guns issued to and signed for by a Comrade Corbin, PS, Office of the Prime Minister.

Three of those weapons were returned while four remained outstanding. Under the same name, R Corbin, nine more Smith and Wesson weapons were issued, but these were signed for by Corbin as an employee of the National Development Ministry. Eight of those weapons were returned while one remained outstanding.

The contention at the Inquiry, however, is that no one can say for sure who the R Corbin is, although there have been suggestions that it may have been the former PNCR leader.

Attorney for the PNCR, Basil Williams had objected to this inference, noting that no one knows who the “R Corbin” is. Williams had also openly criticised all efforts to tie the R Corbin of the Ministry of National Development and the R Corbin of the Office of the Prime Minister as the same individual.

The lawyer representing the WPA, Christopher Ram, on Wednesday called for the subpoenaing of Corbin, whose evidence should be able to assist the Commission in its investigation. He had also requested that Dr Roger Luncheon, Secretary to the Defence Board participate in the Inquiry, since there are a number of reported shortcomings by the board.

During his cross-examination, Barbadian Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, who represents the interest of Walter Rodney’s widow and children, on Wednesday questioned James if during his investigation, he was able to determine the identities of Comrade R Corbin and W Skeete.

James said that while his investigation has suggested that the R Corbin may be Robert Corbin, he pointed out that there could not be a “definitive conclusion” since Robert Corbin was never interviewed.

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Female ruggers in training ahead of NACRA Sevens

The players take a break during training earlier this week

The players take a break during training earlier this week

− funding could once again prove a bugbear

Although funding will be the ultimate factor in ensuring their participation at the North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens Championship in Mexico in early December, the national female rugby squad has begun training with the hope that the trip would be a reality.

The ability of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) to solicit the necessary funding would determine whether the female ruggers will attend the championship or not.

Funding has been a chronic bugbear for not just the sport of rugby, but other disciplines and the Union is hoping that corporate Guyana and the Government will throw their support behind the national team.

Flashback! The Guyanese after claiming their third consecutive NACRA Sevens title at the National Stadium in 2009

Flashback! The Guyanese after claiming their third consecutive NACRA Sevens title at the National Stadium in 2009

Despite this challenge, the females have started preparations with the hope of travelling to Mexico, and have been putting in the hours at the National Park rugby field under the guidance and supervision of Coach Elwin Chase.

Apart from the financial situation, which Chase and the players would look to put aside as they focus on getting in peak condition, there is need for more female players to join the sport and make the selection process for the national team a more competitive one.

This is according to Chase, who was observed leading players throughout their training earlier this week. Chase, who has played for the Guyana Men’s senior team, pointed out that a wider pool of players to choose from will increase the chances of selecting a stronger team and he is encouraging more females to start playing the game.

Chase said as the weeks progress, the training will become more intense as the ultimate aim is to get the players in top condition to reclaim the title they won three years in succession from 2008.

Elwin Chase

Elwin Chase

The national men’s rugby squad is also currently in training under Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Barrington Browne at the National Park rugby field. The males are also looking to recapture the title after winning it for a record six consecutive years.

The NACRA Sevens Championship is billed for December 3-4.

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Albion outplay Police by 85 runs to lift title

Members of the successful Albion team proudly display their trophies

Members of the successful Albion team proudly display their trophies

Ramcharitar Construction 50-Over First Division final

Albion Community Centre have became the 2013 Ramcharitar Construction Services First Division 50-Over Knockout Cricket champions in Berbice after defeating Police by 85 runs in the final last Sunday, despite off-spinner Andel Doris’ five-wicket haul for Police.

 In the match, which was reduced to 45 overs per innings because of a late start, Albion were sent in to take first strike.

They lost their opening batsman, Kandasammy Surujnarine, in the third over to pacer Michael Newland for two with only three runs on the board. West Indies batsmen Sewnarine Chattergoon and Narsingh Deonarine then put on 27 before off-spinner Rocky Hutson had the former caught for 16 at 30-2.

Deonarine found a good partner in former Guyana T20 batting star Jonathan Foo, putting on 64 in 8.5 overs before Foo fell leg before to Doris for 40 (4x4s, 1×6).

Twenty runs later, Doris bowled Deonarine for 41 (2x4s). National wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble and Verapen Permaul put on another 37 in the next six overs, but after that, Doris had three quick wickets – Bramble for 40 (2x4s, 2x6s); Permaul for eight; and West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo for eight to reduce Albion to 168-7.

They did not get much further and were bowled out for 179 in 39.2 overs with Doris ending with 5-51 from nine overs.

Needing to score at about four runs per over, Police was given a sedate start by their openers Brentnol Woolford and Leon Andrews in the face of an all-spin attack.

They did well enough to put on 28 in the first 10 overs. However, the introduction of leg-spinner Bishoo proved fatal, removing Woolford for 18, Andrews for 11, and Philbert Willburg without scoring in his first three overs, reducing Police to 37-3.

Off-spinner Deonarine picked up a wicket in his second over to make it 42-4 in the 17th before Albert Sinclair and Rocky Hutson gave Police a glimmer of hope. But after adding 21 for the fifth wicket, Sinclair fell leg before, cross batting to Deonarine for 15.

Hutson continued with Kwesi Mickle and they looked threatening, putting on 20 for the sixth wicket until the former tried a reverse sweep off West Indies Under-19 left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie and was trapped leg before for 16 at 84-6.

The resistance ended there as West Indies left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul picked up two quick wickets together with two run-outs, leaving Police 94 all out in 31.2 overs. Bowling for Albion, Bishoo took 3-11 from five overs, Permaul 2-12 from six, and Deonarine 2-30 from seven.

 Deonarine was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his match-winning all-round performance. Cash incentives and trophies valued over $80,000 were presented to the teams.

In a new initiative by the Berbice Cricket Board, all winners of the Board’s First Division competitions will clash with the Rest of Berbice in a specially arranged match.

This match will be used to raise funds for the Board for trials and practice. Albion will tackle the Rest of Berbice on Saturday at Albion from 09:00h.

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Sonics close basketball camp

Merle Casey (extreme left) and the young players pose for the cameras

Merle Casey (extreme left) and the young players pose for the cameras

The Pepsi Sonics basketball club closed off their annual youth basketball camp on Thursday at the National Gymnasium.

The camp was held for children between the ages of 6 and 18 who were willing to learn the game of basketball or further develop their skill in the game.

The camp attracted up to 43 players before fizzling out with the school term approaching. Speaking with President of the club, Merle Casey, Guyana Times Sport understands that the camp has proven to be successful.

“It went very well, the kids were very receptive and enthusiastic… some of them were even multitalented, but this is basically Pepsi Sonics’ way of giving to the community and helping these kids to be involved in good activities during the vacation period,” Casey told this publication.

Further, Casey identified one of the major constraints in trying to develop young talent, “Businesses are reluctant to invest in these programmes for whatever reason, but we must thank Bacchus Drugs Store and Automotive Essentials,” Casey stated.

The programme has been running since 2006 and continues to be a part of the Pepsi Sonics’ schedule in the near future.

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Hemraj aiming to build career

Chandrapaul Hemraj

Chandrapaul Hemraj

− looking to extend current form

By Avenash Ramzan

Former West Indies Under-19 batsman Chandrapaul Hemraj is aiming to build a solid senior career, as he embarks on a crucial phase of his life as one of the promising cricketers of the Region.

The 20-year-old left-handed middle-order batsman, who has ambitions of representing the West Indies in all formats at the senior level, has already appeared in five First-Class matches, but with little success.

Four of those matches have been played on foreign soil, and Hemraj, who turns 21 next Wednesday, has managed 131 runs at an average of 13.10 with a highest score of 34 against the Leeward Islands earlier this year.

However, the talented batsman is looking to build on those numbers once he gains the attention of the Demerara selectors for the upcoming Inter-county competition, which is primarily used to select the best players to represent Guyana at the regional level.

Chandrapaul Hemraj is looking to break into the Guyana First-Class team this year

Chandrapaul Hemraj is looking to break into the Guyana First-Class team this year

Hemraj has shown great form of recent, hitting a fluent 55 in the first Demerara Cricket Board trial match earlier this week, and should be among the 21-man training squad that will be announced today for encampment this weekend from which the final Demerara squad will be selected.

“Yes, I certainly want to improve on my record at the First-Class level, because that’s the only way I can catch the attention of the West Indies selectors, but I’m also aware that I will have to make runs at all levels and that is something I’m working on,” Hemraj, who had a stint with the Sagicor High Performance Centre, said.

Elegant batsman

Prior to the Demerara trials, the elegant batsman, who made his First-Class debut for Guyana against Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain in March 2012, was in sublime form, hitting two centuries as a guest player for the visiting New York Blasters.

Hemraj slammed an unbeaten 105 against hosts Bush Lot in a 35-over contest, and followed up with 102 not out in a 20/20 game against his local club side Everest. In both games, New York Blasters came out on top.

His aim now is to continue that form for the remainder of the year and into 2015, as he seeks to become a permanent fixture for Guyana at the senior level in the coming years.

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Front page August 29, 2014

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Naya Zamana 19 – A Royal Twist – all set for Saturday at NCC

Zahrah alli and Noman Ahmad during rehearsals

Zahrah alli and Noman Ahmad during rehearsals

The National Cultural Centre (NCC) is a hive of activity as preparations are underway for Saturday night’s production of Naya Zamana 19 – A Royal Twist.

The elements which will ensure the spectacular staging of this production have all been put in place; breathtaking and elaborate sets, special lighting effects and glamorous and dazzling costumes.

Meticulous attention has been paid to detail; the props and additional live music and singing in a seamless flow makes it a “you should not miss it” type of production.

The cast of singers, dancers and actors is super excited to present the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s nineteenth installment of Naya Zamana, one of Guyana’s most awaited dance and theatrical productions, which will be staged at the National Cultural Centre tomorrow at 20:00h.

This year’s production, described as a theatrical extravaganza, is called “A Royal Twist”. The story covers two eras and, as the name suggests, will be replete with cutting edge choreography, resplendent costumes, magnificent sets and intense drama.

Director and Choreographer of the production, Dr Vindhya Persaud, has been working long hours with the 70-member cast to achieve the perfect visuals for her story, an original one which she has penned.

Indhira Harry who plays the lead role

Indhira Harry who plays the lead role

According to Dr Persaud, this year’s production has allowed her to let her imagination run riot in crafting a script which conjures up the splendor and romance of a bygone era as well as the drama of present day.

With numerous dance styles being featured, a talented cast, majestic sets and costumes and the inclusion of the E-Networks band, which features musicians from India and Guyana, the production is bound to sparkle in every way. Costumes and sets are designed by Trishala Persaud.

Playing the lead roles are Indhira Harry as actress turned director Riya Patel, US-based choreographer and dancer Noman Ahmad as the debonair Sid Sharma, Zahrah Alli as the famous Mughal dancer Anarkali, Ravi as Prince Saleem and Nazim Hussain as Emperor Akbar.

Recent winner of the E-Networks Emerging Voices Competition, Vishale Sukram makes her debut at the National Cultural Centre in this production. The show is one you definitely would not want to miss.

Tickets for the show cost $3500, $3000 and $2000 and are on sale at the Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud Dharmic Kendra, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown; Red Mango, Robb Street; E-Networks, Camp Street; Bhagwans, Water Street; the Murti Shop, West Coast Demerara and the NCC or patrons can call 227-6181 or 219-1900. The Sabha wishes to thank Digicel, E-Networks and NTN for their support of the production which showcases Guyanese talent.

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Onesha Hutson’s journey to Miss Global International

Hutson 2The birth of Guyana’s first ever Miss Global International Guyana franchise is taking shape as the Queen Onesha Hutson commences training and charity work for the international pageant scheduled for December 2-6 in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Miss Global International Guyana Onesha Hutson was treated to various media interviews and also was a special invitee to the just concluded Guyana Festival after her crowning.

Working closely with her designers Jason Shurland, Sonia Noel, Mwanza Glen and others with talented photographers Ronald Nanlall, Saajid Hasani and Rupesh Singh, she managed to successfully produce two stunning photo shoots with two more in the making.

Commencing her charity contributions Hutson, along with her team, will be visiting the Saheed Girls Orphanage this Sunday spending the day, having lunch, discussing concerns and also pampering the girls with back to school goodies before the new school year commences.

She has adopted the home as her charity to work with and more so, to be a role model for the girls, counselling them on everyday issues and lending that helping hand as their big sister.

She will also be working closely with homeless persons on the streets, giving them a voice and also supplying them with a meal, given that they are often forgotten by society. Hutson plans to lend her voice to build awareness and also convince others to help in the fight and to support those that are less fortunate since they are human beings too.

HutsonHutson has commenced training for all four segments of the pageant – talent, swimsuit, national costume and evening gown.

Presently the beauty has already started to work with her personal gym trainer.

The crowned queen was graciously invited as a special guest at the Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week event called “Making Styles” which is scheduled for October.

She will be a guest of honour and the first Guyanese to be invited to this prestigious event. Whose design she will wear? That’s a must see, so keep up to date and check her Facebook fan page or the Miss Global International Guyana page for more details.

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Visit www.hotspotgy.com for the latest in photos and articles

Www.hotspotgy.com has been capturing all those perfect moments of you and your loved ones at various outdoor activities over the past years.

These photos of very high quality are placed on the Internet for lasting memories. The photos are captured by well trained photographers including the owner of the website, Travis Montooth.

Other members of his team include, Shelly Sattaur in the marketing department, Dornell Sufferin and Akeem Montooth, both photographers. For those events in the United States of America (USA), they are well covered by Andrew Ross, a capable young man.

The site was officially launched in March 2012 during which time hundreds of photos were uploaded for the public to view. It is the only website which features 100 per cent Guyanese content. Every article and event entails something Guyanese, from parties to news, in London and or the USA.

The website has gathered a huge following over the past years, with Guyanese from London and the USA making contact with the site to cover events of interest.

Of recent, fans from the East Coast of Demerera, East Bank of Demerara and the West Coast of Demerara have been requesting that the company cover events.

In addition, private businesses and individuals from time to time would request coverage of private events such as weddings, birthdays, prize giving ceremonies, product launches, etc.

However, the vision for www.hotspotgy.com is slowly becoming a reality. They are only 30 per cent of where they need to be. The site will soon be launching its clothing line which will feature the Hotspot logo. Interested person can also have their jerseys personalised.

Its objective is to expand its viewership by posting the right content but this will only be achieved with the support of sponsors. Apart from uploading photos and articles, the site is a great way to advertise businesses and the products they offer.

Sponsorship has been a problem for the site from the inception but it is grateful to those companies and individuals that have been on board from the beginning. These include Monaco Night Club, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Datt’s Pharmacy, Pink Memo Boutique and our most recent sponsor Golden Boy entertainment.

To advertise with www.hotspotgy.com, persons are asked to contact Shelly on telephone numbers 615-1007, 223-1362 or Travis on telephone number 641-4109.

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Guyanese plays lead role in “Don Killa”

Don KillaCurrently in production, “Don Killa” is a crime drama which takes views back to the 1970s in Guyana. It tells the story of Ram, a hardworking young man, who turned to crime when his savings was stolen by the very people he trusted.

The idea for the film comes from a series of flashbacks detailed from another feature film, “Shady Business” which was never recorded due to scheduling issues.

This time around, the writer/director and the producer decided to go into production with this film as the precursor of “Shady Business”.

Starring Javid Udai and Roy Hernando, the majority of the cast is predominantly of Guyanese descent. The cast was found by using referrals, while others were selected from the Richmond Hill/South Ozone Park neighbourhoods.

There was also an advertisement in mainstream online publications, like Backstage and nycastings.com, where mostly East Indian actors responded.

As difficult as it was, the producers wanted to keep the film with a West Indian cast.

They were hopeful that with this film and knowledge gained of the industry, it would open doors and create a network for many other aspiring West Indian actors and filmmakers.

The film is currently in production, with shooting through the month of September. For updates and news on the production, please follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/donkillathemovie.com and visit their website www.donkillathemovie.com.

This is the first full-length feature film by writer, director and photographer, Teri G, in collaboration with Producer Mustafa Ali.

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