July 26, 2014

Fat talk…

…from Dagger

In Guyana, everyone has a “false name”. Granger’s is “Dagger”. You know?… the thing you stab others in the back with. People know why they give folks “false names”. Overseas, people tend to be ironic, like calling the hefty fella, “Slim” …but in Guyana, we’re very literal. Without fail, the hefty fella becomes known as “Fat Boy” …No subtlety here!! And we come to “Dagger” in name and “Dagger” in deeds.

After Corbin’s reign over the PNC, even Corbin knew the party didn’t need another Corbin. The fellas figured the PNC needed a makeover – without having to say “sorry”. So they picked Dagger, with his hangdog look and “butter-can’t-melt-in-his-mouth” speech, figuring he’d be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Why, even the racist Indian wanker from Queens blurted out, “Dagger’s like one of us!!!”

Trouble was, Granger turned out to be more fox than wolf. He slyly manoeuvred to seize control of the PNC to buttress his own flaccid ego. Dagger began to do what comes naturally to daggers: backstabbing! Right off the bat, he bypassed the PNC party workers and embedded his old Army protégés to organise the last elections. Ex-Lieutenant Harmon and Captain Mark Archer are his aide-de-camp more than anything else.

How many years the late Debra Backer hadn’t held the PNC’s Security portfolio?? Why was she summarily shoved aside for Felix – apart from the fact he was a member of the Disciplined Forces and had done several courses under Dagger?? He boasts the PNC’s showing improved because of his Army squaddies. But when you look closer, the most significant change was in Linden where it was all due to old time PNCite – Aubrey Norton.

Norton is the quintessential “PNC man”: willing to mix it up on the streets – but taking time to take his “education” so that he could hold his own verbally. His expertise was in the foreign service. But did Dagger give Norton the foreign service “shadow” portfolios to reward him for services “above and beyond”?? That’s a silly question about a man dubbed “Dagger”.

NORTON WASN’T EVEN MADE AN MP!!! And some wet-behind-the-ears neophyte – whose name no one can recollect (quick…, can you?) was given the post. People like Granger, who’s always been appointed and can’t stand people who stand up to them – will always stifle talent – especially when their competitors have a base.

And that’s the surest way to kill any organisation.

…on PNC’s glory

In what could be his “famous last words”, Granger promised to “restore PNC’s former glory”. You heard right!! This from a man who promised to broaden the PNC’s “traditional base”. After all, what was the “PNC’s glory”?? Couldn’t be the bauxite industry…or the sugar industry…or the rice industry. These were all in ruins by the time the PNC got through with them.

Couldn’t be that new industries were created. Where’s the bicycle, glass, fabric, ceramic or leather factories?? And forget about the “Irish potatoes” that were banned. Couldn’t be the Mazaruni Hydro that never materialised, but into which Burnham pumped $400 million of money squeezed from the sugar industry?? But they say, “man doesn’t live by bread alone”, no? So let’s not talk anymore about the economy…but to the brave new world the PNC brought with “Cooperative Socialism”.

We guess the “glory” was that the “small man” was going to become “the real man”. Yep, he became real all right! Real ingenious to survive in the PNC Police State being described in the Rodney CoI’s hearings.

It’s obvious Granger has a different idea of what’s “glory”.

…on Minister of Finance

The AFC wants to haul Ashni before the Police. The PNC wants to haul him before the parliamentary Privileges Committee. Why?? Because the man is doing his constitutional job. We think Ramjattan and Greenidge should “haul deh ass”!

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Copyright

The issue of copyright has been an ongoing subject of debate and will remain so as long as members of the creative industry believe that more needs to be done to protect their work. And why not? For some, it is their main source of income and their labour and hard work must not be the bounty of the opportunists operating in the lucrative piracy of creative works industry.

This travesty has been stifling the growth and development of the local industry, as it is difficult for professionals to market their work and make a living, much less enjoy a comfortable life. Perhaps, this is the primary reason some of the better-known names in the local performing industry are choosing Guyana mainly for the big concerts, rather than marketing and developing their trade in their homeland.

There has been the argument that modernising the extant 1956 Copyright Act must be a careful exercise, taking into consideration the current situation that obtains in Guyana. Attorney General Anil Nandlall, at a recent forum on Intellectual Property, said thus:

“Speaking for the Government of Guyana, it is not that sufficient attention has not, and will not, be placed in this direction… when one is in the position of Government in a developing country, there are certain considerations to which one cannot turn a blind eye, and one has to be careful that one does not design, implement and execute a system of laws and policies that are inconsistent with the realities of the society in which those rules and regulations are expected to operate.”

Indeed and quite evidently from this pronouncement, the Government recognises the need for copyright reform, but is placed between a rock and a hard place on the matter, more so given its performance at the last General and Regional Elections.

With the prevailing tense political atmosphere, copyright legislation reform, most certainly, now is an item on the bottom of the agenda, both of the Government and Opposition political parties. Interestingly too, the Opposition has never been vocal on the need to modernise the limited 1956 Copyright Act, which does provide protection of literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works.

Guyana inherited the legislation from Great Britain following its Independence in 1966 and has never revised it since, even though its former colonial master had long repealed the legislation that deemed copyright infringement a civil wrong.

From then to now, there have been significant changes, with some experts expressing the need for the Act to be revised to purge it of obsolete clauses, and for it to be broadened to include modern patents, Internet laws, private international law, consumer laws and international business law, among others.

They cannot be more spot-on, as notwithstanding the political climate of Guyana and the current economic realities, the situation ahead is unlikely to change much to create a favourable environment for Government to revise and implement a modern Copyright Act.

What can be done, in keeping with the AG’s suggestion for a careful revision of the Act, is to modernise the old legislation in a gradual manner, with the aim of discouraging acts of intellectual piracy. Guyana can do so by implementing heavy fines and making provisions for out-of-court settlements.

A time must come, regardless of the political atmosphere, that Guyana must move to fully protect its knowledge-based economy by enacting and enforcing legislation that covers the gamut of issues in the area of copyright. It was the lack thereof that contributed to the death of the local cinema industry.

The environment must be created for small and medium-sized enterprises spring forth from the creative industry to develop and flourish, providing a platform for artistic men and women to be nurtured locally, and to become international stars. Jamaica and Trinidad are two sister Caricom nations that provide this enabling environment.

The professionals produced by Guyana can become some of the foremost ambassadors in promoting the country as a tourism destination.

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Cavorting…

…with criminals from the beginning

Minister Rohee accused the PNC of “cavorting with criminals”. We’ve heard of “dancing with the wolves” – but the image invoked by Rohee’s phrase is more suggesting of “dancing with hyenas”. He dared PNC Leader (for now) David Granger to answer his charge. Not surprisingly, Granger did what’s standard in these matters – deny everything and hurl some counter charges.

But for a man who was supposedly only recently “not part of politics” he offered up some pretty categorical denials. But there’s the observation that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”, no?? For a man who was sent to UG on taxpayers money to get several degrees in history, Granger could only be playing the fool. The PNC was midwifed by criminals and criminality and has never shown any inclination to cut those links.

In fact, following their founder-leader Burnham’s lead, the PNC has always flaunted and cultivated its “hooligan” capabilities. The PNC got into power because it was able to come with horrors like its X-13 Plan, found at Congress Place. It was executed by street elements like Emmanuel Fairbairn. The plan was explicit:

“These are rules governing X13”: The Committee should comprise of men governing different sections or a particular type of work. The Chairman could be a person employed by the party and a very high character, subject to the approval of the council. It therefore recommended Comrade Van Gendrine. He would be known or referred to as the ‘Old Man’. He would be responsible directly to the leader Comrade LFS Burnham, for projects, plans, etc., of this organisation. He would be advisor, organiser and coordinator.

“Comrade I Thomas would be responsible for all military training and military advice, posting of men for different duties and all orders should come through him from the Committee, to the men.”

Fairbairn made the following statement to the Police: “I does watchman at Clarke & Martin (Burnham’s Law firm, where Desmond Hoyte also worked) by night and I does get a small piece. During the day I does go to Congress Place…and there I got to know Chippie Graham, because he does detail the watchman duties. On Friday, 17th July, 1964, about 8:00 a.m, Chippie Graham gave me a small square box, he said it was a bomb for Gimpex and I must give it to Godfrey Edgerton and he going to carry it.

“Edgerton was at Congress Place and I give him the box with the bomb and he ride away on his cycle. About 11 o’clock time I was still at Congress Place when I hear the explosion.”

…with criminals during slow fyaah; mo fyaah

How different are those “operations” from the “Freedom Fighters” holed up in Buxton after their prison escape of 2000?? Desmond Hoyte, who is suddenly a “saint”, went into Buxton and denied there were criminals in the village. Very few people know that during the 1964 riots, it was the newly minted lawyer Desmond Hoyte who defended the criminals like Fairbairn in the employ of the PNC.

While Hamilton Green revelled in his role as an “enforcer” and strongman with links to the criminal underworld for the PNC, Desmond Hoyte was just as connected. Granger fools no one when he asserts Hoyte went to arch-criminal Blackie London’s funeral because of “human rights” concerns. Hoyte didn’t have to drape London’s coffin with the flag of Guyana. He was simply signalling to Blackie’s survivors, “The PNC is with you!” Andrew Douglas, the leader of the Buxton Freedom Fighters was a Lieutenant of Blackie London.

Those who have ears, let them hear!!!

…for comedy

Your Eyewitness was very saddened to hear of the passing of Guyana’s first and most famous stand-up comic, Habeeb Khan. The man entertained generations of Guyanese for over 50 years. We hope he’s honoured finally. Albeit posthumously.

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If the Dunce CAPS fit…

…you’re a damned dunce!

If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, you’d think it’s safe to say, “Its a duck”, no?? Well, evidently not when the duck wears a CAP. A Blue CAP, more specifically. The founder-leader of BLUE CAPS Clinton Urling yelps that the GTimes is “paranoid” to say he’s “pro-LEAD” and has political ambitions.

Well, let’s look at what’s been going down. The US Embassy launched their LEAD (Leadership and Democracy) programme to be coordinated by the Republican Leadership Institute (IRI). These are the same folks out of the right wing Republican Party that worked with youths and other assorted Opposition figures to bring about the “colour” revolutions in Eastern Europe, then in North Africa and the Middle East, Honduras, etc, etc. (Our revolution’s to be blue??)

They’re presently doing their thing in Venezuela. Youths are IRI’s mainstays and technology their watchword. Remember the fake Twitter lookalike in Cuba?? The IRI’s funded by USAID, which is funded by the US Government. It’s more than a stretch to call them an NGO! The PPP/C Government wised up to the implications of LEAD a bit late and finally put a stop to it in May when they threatened to deport the head of the programme.

Then lo and behold (as they used to announce miracles from on high!) the very next week, Blue CAPS was launched!! CAPS was the acronym for “Change, Advocacy, Policy, Service” – almost as cute as LEAD, no?? Then with another lo and behold – CAPS promptly launched its first of FOUR weekly workshops. How many soups would that’ve cost?? The workshops were on a “Youth Leaders’ Leadership Development Programme”. Yep!! That’s right. YOUTHS!!

But not ALL youths. To the IRI, it’s obvious that all youths are not worthy of being trained in the mysteries of “Youth Leadership”. They were thrown out of Egypt because all the chosen youths were from the Opposition!! So what do you know?? Coincidentally (?) these were exactly who were at the “workshops” – Youth Action Network (YAN), Cuffy 250 Committee, UNFPA Youth Advisory Group, Come Alive Network Inc (CANI), Youth Ambassador’s Programme, Global Shapers Community – Georgetown Hub, Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), and Global Youth Movement.

And in a final lo and behold, the main speaker was Guyana born Lloyd Haynes, with a financial advisory company in Washington, DC. Its main clients?? A dozen departments of the US Government – including USAID!!

If the soup maker from Tiger Bay thinks Guyanese will fall for this patent nonsense, then he must be wearing not a Blue CAP – but one big DUNCE CAP!!

…then you might be a donkey-cart economist

Another politician who’s thrown his hat into the ring is the “Donkey Cart” economist, Tarron Khemraj. Well, actually it’s the fourth time your Eywitness understands he’s thrown his hat into the ring – PPP/C, ROAR, AFC and now PNC. His hat must be getting quite tattered by now…because as you can see from his resume, it’s been downhill ever since the PPP/C!!

Not for the first time, he’s sucking up to David Granger. This time, he has a full page letter (a thesis??) in the Muckraker and the Stabber News. Maybe with Rupert getting on in years, he figures it’s time for another token Indian-Guyanese at Granger’s side. But he should go easy with buttering up “the leadah!”

He claims Granger believes “populism” isn’t the way to go – with his actions at Linden. Really?? After agreeing that a graduated electricity increase is necessary, he supports riots and arson and mayhem for free electricity. And this is not the very definition of “populism”??

Puleeeeeese!!!

…or a brown noser

The Donkey Cart economist also confesses he supports Granger because the PNC leader’s a “modest” fella. Well, Granger certainly has a lot to be modest about!!!

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Playing dead…

…to see who’ll be at AFC funeral

You know the kind of fellas who want to be seen as “big and bad” – but all they have are big mouths and bad breath, don’t you, Dear Readers?? So they flail away from the target of their rage – from a three feet away, at least! – while yelling to their friends, “Hold me back, before Ah kill ‘e!!! Hold me back!!” The friends, meanwhile, having been through this rigmarole many times before, know they don’t even have to touch him. But they go through the motions!!

So here we have the AFC and its leaders Ramjattan and Nagamootoo trying to be “big and bad” against the PPP/C Government by threatening a “no-confidence” motion. (Not so incidentally, what does this do to the AFC’s claim to fame that they’re “multiracial” – when the two leaders are both Indians – and ex-PPP Indians to boot??! Where have you gone Nigel Hughes??)

Now a “no-confidence” motion is very simple. All you do is wait for the Government to introduce ANY Bill. Say, the Supplementary Spending Bill. When it’s time to vote on the Bill, you announce a “no-confidence” motion – and if you have the majority to carry the vote – the Government falls!!! By our Constitution, the President has to prorogue Parliament and call elections in three months. Can’t get more simple than that, can it??

This, Dear Readers, is the source of the “power” the Opposition boast they have, after they won a majority of seats to the National Assembly. The power to bring down the Government. The thing is, however, the Opposition – especially the AFC – don’t have the testicular fortitude to make this move. They are scared sh*tless that if they go to the polls, they’d be wiped out. Annihilated. Skinned alive.

So this is why we’re having all this “hold me back!” manoeuvres like making up charges against the Finance Minister to the Police. But what takes the cake is writing to the President threatening to “do it”!! Who the hell ever heard of a politician, asking permission from their opponent to use his supposed “biggest weapon”?? Especially when weeks before, the said President had already said, rather nonchalantly, “Go right ahead!! Make my day!!”

Truth of the matter is that by calling their bluff, Prezzie has effectively emasculated Ramjattan and Nagamootoo.

They can’t even hold Larwah…since that’s been cut off!!!

…on being gay

The tragedy that’s befallen the gay sex-worker community – with two of their members murdered over the weekend – brings to the fore some issues that are routinely swept into the closet and under the rug. Take the case of the sex workers themselves. Why are there so many of them doing what they’re doing so openly?

From what we’ve been told, they have a vibrant “fraternity” – so sex among themselves is not the issue. Most of their clients are so-called “straight” men who live lives of quiet desperation, trying to bury their desires. Take the fella who confessed to committing the murders. From what his mother says, he was a “God fearing” individual who never revealed his preferences – so we can assume he was “passing”.

The question Guyana’s refusing to face is why should so many persons hide what is revealed eventually even though they desperately try to suppress their nature?? If they’re not harming anyone, shouldn’t they be allowed to express their desires in the privacy of their homes. And not be condemned by their communities so that they have to scout prospects – for pay – by the Cathedral??

…on sugar

Sugar is coming down to crunch time. Decisions will have to be made. We hear that the Board is thinking of moving GuySuCo’s headquarters from Ogle. But why to Enmore?? If the present problem – and the future salvation of sugar-is in Berbice, shouldn’t top management be there???

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By any means necessary…

…get Jagdeo!

Led by the MuckrakerKN and its owner Mohan “Mook” Lall, the rest of his Opposition cronies are having a feeding frenzy, once again, on the “pension” of former President Jagdeo. As we’ve said before, hell hath no fury like a venal publisher scorned. “Why, oh why, couldn’t Jagdeo have helped him with his sweetie factory,” some of you dear readers might be sighing. But hey!!! As President Ramotar’s finding out, you don’t negotiate with blackmailers.

Remember how the “Mook” had threatened his main hatchetman with dismissal (or worse. You don’t mess around with people who the US Embassy says have links with the underworld!) when Ramotar emerged as the PPP’s candidate for the presidency?? Ramotar was the Mook’s “friend”. Now Prezzie’s routinely called an “idiot” not just by the hatchetman, but by the Mook himself in his “Dem boys Seh” penned by his house slave editor. (The Mook only went up to Lil ABC.)

The reason?? Just that Ramotar has the good sense not to fix something if it ain’t broken. Meaning he’s not messing with the successful economic programme bequeathed by Jagdeo. The Opposition’s strategy is simple – just pelt whatever mud is handy at Jagdeo, hoping it’ll stick with the ordinary folks. So for a while, they carried on at a rate as to how the Government paid for flying Jagdeo to Florida in a “Lear Jet” when he was ill.

Now that’s been revealed to be a blatant and despicable lie, they haven’t even apologised, but they’ve blithely gone on to regurgitate all the other lies about the quantum of the Presidential pension and benefits. They compare the pension with all sorts of people from across the globe – but studiously avoid mentioning those of other state pensioners right here in Guyana!! The President of Guyana receives a pension that is IDENTICAL to that of the Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Attorney General. That’s OK…but not for Jagdeo!!

They don’t mention this because the fella who established the salary was their GOD Burnham. So what else is new? But you’d think they’d stop with the blatant lies that can be checked with a click of the mouse on Google. Take the Muckraker yesterday blaring Ms Maxwell’s charge, “Jagdeo’s pension is US$180,000 per year; Obama’s is US$127,109”. Firstly, the US President’s pension is US$201,000 (Bill Clinton’s). Secondly, Maxwell combined Jagdeo’s presidential “pension” with all his stipulated “benefits”. If we do this for the US President, using Clinton’s figures, we get US $1.1 million!!!

But then you can sell anything to a fella from Lil ABC!!

…attract better public servants

But the whole concocted brouhaha over Jagdeo’s pension brings up the larger question of salaries in general that might be necessary to attract our best minds into politics. Like a Jagdeo. In business, the principle of executive compensation related to job description and job performance is totally accepted. Why not the same to attract high performers to run the country – who’ll determine the success of the said country??

Some idiots brought up the incredible income gap Singapore created between us after independence. Well, one of the first things Singaporean leader Lee Kwan Yu did was to ensure that the salaries of his Ministers and top Public Servants were comparable to top business executives. When they sit across a table, the Minister or PM must be “equal” to the business – so he won’t be swayed (or bribed) by the latter.

This policy is one of the primary reasons for Singapore’s success. Today, their PM gets over four times the salary of the US President – and pension. Remember, “You get what you pay for.”

…let’s keep winning!!

Looks like in every game, our Warriors come up with new ways to win. This is the way it should be!! Once again, your Eyewitness is going out on a limb: we’ll trounce those Tallawahs!!

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Tail wagging dog..

…with AFC and APNU

Poor APNU…or maybe its “poor David Granger”. Looks like the pattern that began right after the elections has only intensified – with the teeny-weenie AFC having PNC/APNU dancing to its tune. And the tune is certainly no lullaby – what with all the military -sounding clash of cymbals and the call to arms of trumpets. Now you’d think, with the PNC/APNU having five times more seats in parliament than the AFC they’d be calling the shots, won’t you?

But you’d be dead wrong, since it’s been the AFC tail wagging the APNU dog all the way. What gives? Well, you see, APNU – or more specifically, David Granger – is in a bind. Inheriting a party founded on brute force and violence – we don’t have to rehearse the CIA backed shenanigans of the PNC (1960s) after the British midwifed the birth of that party (1950s), do we??

Especially with the tradition of dealing “condignly” with the Opposition in the 70s being regurgitated in the Rodney CoI, as we speak, no?? And of course, most readers would’ve experienced firsthand, the excitement of “slow fyaah; mo fyaah”. So onwards we plough.

Granger wants to convince the Guyanese who haven’t voted for the PNC up to now that they’ve turned over a new leaf. That the stripes of the hyena have disappeared. He thinks he can lead the PNC back into power if he plays his cards right – no rough stuff. But this was exactly the stuff that’d gotten Corbin in trouble with the party’s base. You don’t convince your people their party’s motto is “wrong and strong” – and suddenly tell them the lion and the lamb will lie down together.

Corbin was accused of betrayal!. And as a matter of fact, the AFC in their first outing under Raphael Trotman in 2006 reaped a harvest from the PNC’s field. Granger brought them back because they thought with his “army” background he was going to be “bigger and badder”. The AFC called him out in Linden after he’d agreed to the tariff increase. He had to respond or lose his reputation. He backed down. They called him out in Agricola. They called him out on AML/CFT. And now the AFC’s calling him out on Ashni Singh and the No-Confidence motion.

Granger has gone along with Ashni Singh, because like with Rohee, that’s going nowhere. But with the no-confidence, that’s a horse of another colour, isn’t it?? Granger could lose corn and husk.

Let’s see if he has the cojones to tell Ramjattan where he could stick his “no-confidence” motion!!

…on race baiting

The Bar Association’s called out the President – as Information Minister – to denounce a letter and an editorial they claim constitute “hate speech”. Now we’ll leave it to the constitutional scholars to parse the cited comments to determine whether in fact they meet the definition of that term of art. Problem is we can’t even reproduce the comments – because the Bar Association took pains to point out, if the said comment were re-published by any other publisher, they’d be just as guilty of promoting “hate speech”!

Puts us in a bind, doesn’t it. How the heck do we discuss something if we can’t spell it out? So we’re stuck with the Bar Association’s asseveration. The problem with this, however, is all the signatory members of the Bar Association that we recognise, are members of the Opposition.

So are we back to the usual politicking?? With the usual suspects?? What’s the Bar Association record in calling out “hate speech” from the Opposition? This will give us some confidence is judging the claimed “unmentionable”.

…in cricket

Well your Eyewitness is off to the ball game again. But he’s been told that Kevin Pietersen, promised as the “Franchise Player” of the Zouks, won’t be there. So we guess this tail won’t be wagging the St Lucia dog.

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Trying a “thing”…

…against Minister Singh

Looks like Khemraj Ramjattan and his AFC outfit have a “thing” against Ashni Singh. We can’t find out if the man ever did anything against them…but what they’re doing is more than a witch hunt: it’s a downright vendetta. With such small-minded people, but venally ambitious politicians, it’s got to do with seeing Singh as a “block” to getting their hands on the Consolidated Funds.

The AFC and their bookkeeper publicity hounds were the main architects of the hue and cry against the wife of the Finance Minister being an auditor in the Auditor General’s Office. Remember? The woman was there long before the Minister was appointed. (In fact, the fella probably met his wife there, when he too was a member of that watchdog outfit: love among the numbers!) The AFC insisted one of the couple had to resign – preferably, the Minister, of course.

Most of the executives in the AFC, being ambulance-chasing lawyers, couldn’t conceive of professionals actually being PROFESSIONALS!! How could they?? The Chairman of the AFC was locked in a blatant conflict of interest as Company Secretary to the same company he swore was raping Guyana’s hydro. And the leader of the party, the selfsame HONOURABLE Ramjattan (aren’t they ALL “honourable” men??) himself was fighting valiantly in Parliament for projects benefiting only clients who’d lined his pockets with money.

We’ll move past the nasty innuendos by the AFC on an accident in which the Minister was involved – even though one of the same leaders of the fledgling party was involved in a far more egregious incident. We’ll focus on this ridiculous “criminal action” the AFC says they’re taking to the Police against Minister Singh. We’ve always wondered if these fellas bought their law degrees from some fly-by-night mail-order school.

How the hell do you bring a “criminal action” against someone unless you can first have the action defined as a crime??? And that law must be defined very specifically and plainly? So what are the elements of the law that Minister Singh violated? That’s what the Police have demanded and which the AFC wankers will never be able to produce.

Now we’ll offer Ramjattan some free advice before he’s slapped with a malicious prosecution charge – which is quite clearly and specifically defined, thank you. If he thinks Minister Singh acted outside his remit – then this is a case for the courts.

They’ll first decide through “judicial review” whether a conferred power has been exceeded. Until then, Ramjattan’s just pi55ing in the wind. And with that, there’s always the certainty of “blowback”. And that can be nasty!

…against the President

Ramjattan and the AFC also tried a “thing” against the President: they threatened to gang up with their PNC coalition partner and call a “no-confidence” motion against the Government. This would bring down the Government and new elections would have to be called. They were going to be the big-bad wolf who’d “huffed and puffed” to “blow the house down”. While they may have Big Bad’s big, yellow teeth and all, they forgot the ending to the story.

Pressie had already shown this country what a bunch of charlatans the AFC are. They’d promised to work with either the PPP/C or the PNC after the elections, but after they jumped into bed with the PNC on the Speaker’s Chair, no one’s been able to pry them apart. One shudders to think what might be holding them together! If it’s anything this country doesn’t want it’s another taste of the PNC wolf who’s trying to get into some sheep’s clothing.

Pressie called their bluff and drawled, “Make my day!!!”

…in cricket

Looks like Trinidad’s attempt to motivate their Red Steel by “disowning” them, backfired: the poor “stateless” fellas just fell apart.

The Warriors will now make the Zouks look like Mooks!!

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It’s war!!!

…”all cricket skin teeth na laugh”

Well, Dear Readers, your Eyewitness is off to the ball game. (You had to’ve been in another galaxy if you dared ask, “Which ball game??” It’s the grudge match between the Trinidad Red Steel and our very own Guyana Amazon Warriors, dear visitor from another galaxy!) And don’t be fooled by all that hugging and “skin teeth” – this is a grudge match barring none.

Right in their own pride-and-joy “Port of Spain Oval”, the Warriors stormed into Trinidad and whupped those Red Steel so bad, they were dubbed by their own media as “Rusty Steel”. The Warriors had restricted the Rusty Steel to a miserly 103 runs, which they whipped off in 16 overs with seven wickets in hand. Such a drubbing leaves deep scars.

The scar on the Trini nation must’ve been deep like a canyon because the Government decided that the Red Steel can’t call themselves “Trinidad Red Steel” no mo’! They have to drop the “Trinidad”. Now while we understand what the people of Calypso land went through last year, we gotta say, “That’s cooooold, man!!” So are the Red Steel stateless now?? Are they to wander like gypsies from country to country seeking refuge??

Whatever the angst of the Trinidadian Government, this Eyewitness knows that the Red Steel will try to return some pride back into their camp – and maybe weasel their way back into being accepted as “Trinis” once again. But we say this to the Amazon Warriors: while off the field you may skin your teeth, once you enter that field at Providence, IT IS WAR!! And war means TAKE NO PRISONERS.

You’ll have 20,000 cricket-starved Guyanese fans who’ve trekked from Point Playa to Crabwood Creek and Georgetown to Lethem to see you WIN. We know we’re putting a teeny weeny bit of pressure on you fellas – BUT YOU G*DDAMN WELL BETTER WIN! This Eyewitness is not a betting man – so he doesn’t know about “odds” and such things.

But suffice it to say if the Warriors don’t win tonight… Mrs Eyewitness and the four little Eyewitness tykes won’t be eating for the next month!

…even when called “diplomacy”

Looks like some people’ll never get it. When it comes to states dealing with other states, there’s only one rule: there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies – only permanent interests!!” And those “interests”, Dear Readers, are the interests of YOUR country and YOUR country alone. But don’t tell that to some people – and not all are quislings INSIDE this country.

So we look at a letter from one Claudius Prince, from the southern state of Georgia in the USA – one of the redoubts of racism and backwardness if there was ever one. Prince has been solving Guyana’s problems for years in the letters’ pages. This time he takes on Manickchand’s defence of our country against the meddling by the US. And remember this is against a background of states being destabilised from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe in the name of “democracy” US style.

To make his point that Manickchand was speaking “out of time and place” to US Ambassador Hardt, Prince offers a homily of an African slave sweeper, bowing to a US President, who’s late for his train. The President pauses, bows even lower, and explains to his aide, he wouldn’t be outdone in manners by a slave. Living in Georgia and accepting his PLACE, Prince misses the irony of his parable.

The President’s not to be outdone by a MERE slave… who remains a slave…to sweep to the end of his days. He was, after all, only three-quarters of a human being!!!

…if slavery is being reimposed

Colonialism created slavery. And in whatever forms it raises its head, neo-colonialism must be fought. By any means necessary. We have to stop being bowing and scraping Uncle Toms.

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Different beat…

…in Linden

The site of resistance to David Granger continuing as leader of the PNC is Linden. It was named after Burnham – LINDEN Forbes Sampson Burnham, remember? – But that’s never stopped the community from marching to its own beat.

Before it became “Linden”, it was actually three separate communities – Wismar, Mackenzie and Williamsburg. But even after they accepted the name, they rose up in open rebellion against Burnham when he tried to hustle them during his “nationalisation” of the Bauxite Industry. That nationalisation, of course, was all a sham. Burnham backed down when his US paymasters cracked their whip. Guyana had to cough up whatever they demanded – and still retain the South African firm Philips as our marketing agent.

Then Burnham tried to play around with the bauxite workers’ pension plan – RILA. This riled them up so much, they not only went on a strike against the PNC’s nationalised company – but came out in violent protest!! Burnham couldn’t believe his eyes. He was so embarrassed, he unleashed the Police and tear gas on what up to then were his staunchest supporters! And threw the leaders in jail. But he had to back down.

Burnham arrogantly put a mathematician named Haslyn Parris to head the company. To show his nationalisation was a “success”, Burnham had Parris spend nothing on maintenance so as to boost production and “profits”. When the physical plant literally and inevitably fell apart, Burnham blamed the sullen workers for being “lazy”.

Kwayana’s ASCRIA had a big influence on the community, which had driven out all 3000 Indian residents in 1964. So when Rodney entered the scene a decade later in 1974, he and the WPA found fertile ground. If the Founder Leader faced quite a rebellion in that community — Granger shouldn’t feel picked upon. But that’s the whole point, isn’t it??

Granger just doesn’t know the PNC from the ground up. While he was (and is) a faithful follower of the Kabaka, his role was to keep the Army from being further infiltrated from 1979 when Burnham made him the head honcho. As a general, he expects PNCites to jump to attention when he passes by. You have to understand his rage when a mere slip of a “girl” like Kissoon doesn’t salute.

Norton, on the other hand, doesn’t just KNOW Linden – he IS from Linden. It’s said that “all politics is local politics”. During the last elections, Norton showed Granger he understood that lesson. Granger has been pissed since. Maybe Norton will teach him another lesson at the upcoming PNC election.

…for some youths

It’s also been said that “it takes a village to raise a child”. Now we know the times are changing, and “this time nalang time”. But still, what do you say when a “youth man” is draped with so much bling, he’s developed a stoop – yet nobody asked where he got all that loot. We’re talking about the youth from Agricola who was shot dead after he tried to rob a businessman as the fella exited a store.

A couple of months ago there was the identical robbery attempt, followed by the identical killing of an identical youth – in Agricola’s doppelgänger community of Tiger Bay. What’s going on here??? Making it even worse is that the Agricola kid strutted his stuff and paraphernalia openly on Facebook without any of his “friends” making untoward comments.

So what’s the motto?? Live fast and die young?? If that were all, no one would care but the tragedy is that they take so many of the innocent with them.

…for some political leaders

Now that even Marxist politicians like Ramkarran swear all voting in Guyana is “race”, what do you say to politicians who’re “leaders” of the communities from which these young men originated, who refuse to tell their constituents some home truths?

Isn’t it time for some “tough love”??

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