September 1, 2014 By
August 31, 2014 By
You would be surprised at the number of backward societies there are in the world even in the 21st Century.
In these societies, females are almost invariably the greatest victims of oppression. Girls and women can be bought or sold, raped and pillaged, married off and raped within the marriage. They may be used and abused and loaned out or rented. All too often, the rapists use religion to justify their brutal actions.
The recent kidnapping of some 300 girls from schools and homes in Nigeria by an Islamic Group called Boko Haram (Arabic for Western education is evil) is just one example. Much to their discredit, the world media has largely forgotten these children.
These children are meant to serve as sexual slaves for Boko Haram soldiers. They are meant to be married to these “soldiers” and then raped within the context of “marriage”. For these backward people, the rape is now legitimate.
As time elapses, these victimised girls will learn to blind themselves to the evil that has been done to them. They will begin to think as their rapists think: that it is their duty to submit to rape whenever it pleases their rapists.
This is perhaps the greatest evil, when the victims begin to see their sexual slavery as their duty to their “husbands”. In time, they will give birth to daughters who will suffer the same fate of being bought, sold, married off, and raped over and over.
The evil will seem like normal life. The cycle of evil is endless, and it takes a tremendously strong woman to stand firm in the face of this horror. To defend her girl child, she will have to stand firm. If she simply accepts her rapist, she and her children are doomed. Standing firm takes courage.
But all civilised and thinking people know that there is no such thing as “legitimate rape”. Rape is rape. Simple. In Morocco, it is illegal to force a girl into marriage. Civilised. The same standards are applied in other civilised societies.
In Canada, some months ago, a man was found guilty of raping his wife. She did not want to be touched. He forced himself on her. He was jailed for 15 years! Real men do not force themselves on women in or out of marriage (since the marriage may have been a forced thing in the first place).
As Guyanese, we need to ask ourselves this: which side of the divide do we fall? Are we a civilised society or a barbaric society? The measure is how we treat our women and children. We can appeal to women not to make further victims of themselves. And we can beg them to join with us in the fight to prevent this abuse from happening to others.
We can appeal to husbands to understand that no means no and that to force your wife for sex is an act of brutal rape. They are subject to the law. Or they should run to their places of worship and beg God’s forgiveness and never do it again. He must also beg forgiveness from the abused woman.
The first right of a woman is the right to her own body. The first right!
The greatest American President said: “It is the right of every human being to be free!” Free from what? I was asked. I say free from being owned, from being treated like an animal. Free to say no! Or free to say yes. The choice is hers. The choice is ours.
August 31, 2014 By
A prophet is some body who know de future and de Bell Crier suddenly realise he can mek some money by bein a prophet. He can tell de future based on whah happen in de past and based on whah happenin right now.
It ain’t got to do wid readin de good book or readin any body hand. Is just from readin de papers every day. Only de other day he tell de whole of Guyana bout a paper man who does be a friend indeed only when he in need. And to look out fuh more favours and more cussin when de favours don’t keep comin.
That paper man had want a favour. And if yuh know that man, he don’t ask fuh small favours. Every ting he want does got to be big or plenty. Like big vehicle or plenty duty free, and so on. Plus, he had want some big wood from Bai.
But when he ain’t get de wood, he start to cuss out. In de morning, yuh wake up was cuss. Next morning was more cuss. Then some body mouth open some where and a story jump out. And that story mek de paper man jump… so high that yuh woulda tink he was high jumper. When he reach back down, he pick up de phone.
Is de same paper man who tell a reporter de other day that he couldn’t talk pun de phone because he was overseas and he ain’t wanna pay all that roamin. But he pick up de phone because he want a favour.
De favour was fuh de tax man not to tek back some ting, or not to seize some ting. And to fuhget bout some ting. De tax man get vex and seh no and hang up de phone. That was when paper man call back and start to cuss out.
Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Now that de whole story buss out, de paper man lookin fuh excuses. So look out now fuh more excuses.
August 31, 2014 By
Naya Zamana 19 “A Royal Twist” delivered all that it promised and much more when the production was held at the National Cultural Centre on Saturday evening before a packed audience.
The production, which was directed, choreographed and written by Dr Vindhya Persaud, took the packed National Cultural Centre on a memorable journey that will remain with them for a long time.
The show told the story of young Director Riya Patel’s debut attempt at the historical love story of “Saleem Anarkali”, straddling the present and past seamlessly.
The Dharmic Nritya Sangh’s, Dr Indhira Harry excelled in her role as Riya Patel, an actress who was retiring to take on the role of film Director. From sizzling dance numbers to high drama scenes, she captivated the audience with her sheer energy and liveliness.
US-based choreographer Noman Ahmad earned himself many Guyanese fans as he transitioned effortlessly between the modern day Sid Sharma, whose main aim was to tease and annoy Director Riya Patel, and the romantic Prince Saleem of the past. His acting and dance were simply excellent.
Zahrah Alli was ethereal in the role of the famous Mughal court dancer Anarkali. Exuding natural grace and beauty, she not only captivated Prince Saleem but the audience as well.
The role of the ghostly Prince Saleem was played by newcomer Ravi, who displayed old world charm and romantic spirit. Veteran Actor Nazim Hussain was also outstanding as Emperor Akbar, who disapproved of the love between Saleem and Anarkali and plotted to remove Anarkali from his son’s life.
E-Networks Emerging Voices winner Vishalie Sukram received thunderous applause as she made her debut at the National Cultural Centre. Top five contestants, Aamir Khan, played the role of narrator and his presentations were interspersed with appropriate songs. Music was provided by the talented E-Networks Orchestra.
The music for the show was both fabulous appropriate and included current day hits like “Tum Hi Ho”, “Har Kisi Ko”, “Nagada”, “Lungi Dance” and “Dilliwali Girlfriend” as well as historical gems “Suhani Raat”, “Chaudvin Ka Chand” and “Piya Tose Naina Lage Re”.
The show was made that much more spectacular by magnificent costumes and sets which were simply amazing. The audience expressed delight as each fabulous set was revealed.
There were palaces, temples, abstract designs, abandoned theatres and perhaps the most spectacular, a beautiful garden. It was like magic as group after group of dancers emerged on stage, seemingly just after they had left, in colourful and glittering costumes. The costumes and sets for the show, which were designed by Trishala Simantini Persaud, captured the grand Mughal era of Saleem Anakali as well as present day.
The producers used additional lighting from Cloud Nine on account of those at the National Cultural Centre not being sufficient, and this further enhanced the production.
Dr Persaud, in her opening remarks, expressed hope that the facilities at the National Cultural Centre would be improved in the near future so that producers would have easier time staging their production.
In the audience were President Donald Ramotar; Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Mrs Hinds; Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh; and other dignitaries. Both the President and Prime Minister praised the show. For those who have missed the thrilling and colourful production, keep your fingers crossed since there might be a hold over.
August 31, 2014 By
If what the Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Khurshid Sattaur is saying is true, and I have no reason to doubt that a respectable man like himself would lie about something so serious, then I am aghast at the revelations that Owner and Publisher of Kaieteur News Glenn Lall, a self-proclaimed fighter of criminality and corruption, would stoop to such a low level to excuse himself from his deceitful transgressions.
I speak of the duty-free scam that he and his relatives are currently embroiled in. It was headlined in the newspapers recently how he defrauded the Government of such sums of money by having his re-migrant family, with their duty free status, import two brand new 2013 Lexus Luxury SUVs which were then handed to Mr Lall and his wife in breach of the duty-free concessions conditionality/law.
The vehicles are, in essence, really owned by Lall and his wife, but were imported by his re-migrant relatives for him to benefit from their duty-free status. I say this because the vehicles used to be prominently parked in front of Lall’s and his wife’s (Bhena Lall, owner of Bhena’s Footwear) place of work daily, even though they were registered to his relatives and should be in their possession.
What is now even more shocking is that Lall who preaches about corruption, equity and fairness has reportedly levied threats to Mr Sattaur that if he proceeds along the just line of accountability and investigates the matter under his remit as the Commissioner General of the GRA, he will persecuted by Kaieteur News.
In this article, Mr Sattaur has said among other things that Glenn Lall called him from an overseas number and “threatened to use his newspaper [Kaieteur News] to expose me; I don’t know what wrong I am doing. If I am trying to do the Government’s work….I don’t know why people should be upset, if they are doing wrong things, they should be subject to the laws as well,”
What kind of double standards is Mr Lall perpetuating? On one hand, he uses his paper to malign and speak against all forms of corruption, unfairness, and unaccountability, yet he himself operates as if he is above and beyond reproach when he is asked to be accountable.
I think Guyanese are getting a clearer and clearer picture as to the type of person Mr Glenn Lall really is.
His character is clearly exemplified in an informal, haphazard attempt to justify his actions in his (Kaieteur News) satirical medium “Dem Boys Seh” dated August 27 under the heading “Thief man don’t like see he mattie wid bag”.
The caption alone speaks volumes but the content is more damning. Among other things “Dem Boys” –who everybody knows is Glenn Lall – said: “Dem boys [he] know that a man can bring in a vehicle and get duty free. De only thing he can’t do is sell de vehicle before three years. If he do that, he got to pay taxes. He can lend out de vehicle, he can park it and that ain’t no crime.”
Well, in that case, it might not be a crime, but it certainly is an unscrupulous act clearly aimed at depriving the Government of the necessary taxes needed to develop the country.
So, for the so-called “champion of corruption” to make such statements justifies that he is a hypocrite and even suggests further that the work that he and his acolytes are doing with the Kaieteur News was never about truth and accountability but about serving his interests.
We clearly see this with his attempt to use his newspaper to influence and dissuade the Commissioner General from conducting his investigations into this scam, which was apparently facilitated by one of GRA’s employees who shares a close relationship with Mr Lall.
I hope that all the parties involved will face the full force of the law and the two vehicles in question be impounded until such time that it is determined that no crime was committed or that the taxes would have to be paid.
Additionally, we as Guyanese should start boycotting the Kaieteur News, which claims that it is representing the interests of the people, but is clearly representing, sensationally, the interest of one man who evidently feels he is above the law.
August 31, 2014 By
Initially inaugurated in 1995 by Dr Cheddi Jagan, Guyana will once again observe September as Amerindian Heritage Month. This year, the theme is “Traditional Embodiment for Amerindian Development”, and it should be interesting what will emerge when the issue of “Amerindian development” is placed under the microscope.
As good a place to start as any can be is the “First Amerindian Conference on Amerindians” that was convened by the then PNC Government of Forbes Burnham in 1969. While the Amerindian Toshaos tabled a raft of proposals that addressed their developmental needs, including the need for demarcation and titling of Amerindian lands, the intent of the PNC Government was clear from their official report on the Conference.
It boasted: “One of the significant achievements of the Conference was a Resolution of Loyalty by the Amerindians to the Honourable Prime Minister and Government of Guyana.” This insistence on loyalty to the Government, and not Amerindian development as a significant achievement”, had to have played a role in the decision of Amerindians in the Rupununi later that year to launch an abortive rebellion against the PNC Government.
While we do not believe that secession of any area of Guyana can be permitted, especially in collusion with an external state, Governments must be responsive to the needs of these “first peoples” of Guyana.
It should be noted that it was not until 2006, under the PPP/C Government, which had succeeded the PNC after “free and fair elections”, that an Amerindian Act was passed that addressed all the proposals placed on the table 37 years earlier. In summary, the Act provides “for recognition and protection of the collective rights of Amerindian Villages and Communities, the granting of land to Amerindian Villages and Communities and the promotion of good governance within Amerindian Villages and Communities”.
The PPP/C Government immediately embarked on the demarcation and titling of Amerindian lands, which total almost 14 per cent of the total land area of Guyana. As of the end of last year, 97 villages had been titled, while 77 others have had their lands demarcated.
Under a new agreement signed by the Government with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, this year, another 13 communities are to be issued with titles, while 33 others are expected to be demarcated. Even though the Opposition had excised that portion of the Budget designated for “Amerindian development”, the Government went ahead with its commitment to the Amerindian peoples.
We believe that it will indeed be a hollow celebration of “Amerindian heritage” if “Amerindian development” is ignored. One’s “heritage” is not only a nostalgic backward look, but must incorporate those aspects of the heritage that will empower its practitioners to be equal to all others in fulfilling their potential under present-day circumstances.
With this in mind, the PPP/C Government gave explicit recognition of the underdeveloped state of the educational delivery system in the hinterland where Amerindians reside. Notwithstanding the challenges, the Government refused to accept any lesser standards for Amerindian education than those on the coast.
Because universal nursery and primary education had been achieved, the just completed 2008-2013 education plan promised to work towards the same goal in secondary education in the hinterland. The plan promised to “focus on the following areas of Universal Secondary Education that pertain to Amerindian communities: Greater emphasis will be placed on Mathematics, Science and technology with the purpose of providing the young graduates with sufficient tools to be productively incorporated in the economy and to make Guyana a more competitive society.
“The scope of the curriculum will be broadened to include areas such as the arts, sports and physical education and culture-specific skills (eg weaving, basketry) in Amerindian communities. These inclusions would make attendance to schools more attractive to young persons and as such, contribute to lowering the drop-out rate and increasing attendance.”
This is real development. During this month, this newspaper will elaborate on other aspects of the Amerindian peoples’ development.
August 31, 2014 By
From the findings of an ongoing NACTA poll in Trinidad, there is favourable opinion, from all segments of the population, towards a constitutional amendment pertaining to term limits for a prime minister and recalling Members of Parliament who have not adequately serviced their constituents.
But there is deep political division on the run-off aspect (winning a seat by over 50 per cent of the votes cast) of the bill with most Government supporters backing it, while Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) and Independent Liberal Party (ILP) supporters opposing it. The Congress of the People (COP) supporters, almost non-existent among the population, are divided between supporting and opposing the runoff amendment of the bill.
Overall, supporters of all the parties feel Proportional Representation (PR), like what we have in Guyana, is a better option in electing MPs than the greater than 50 per cent rule and the proposed runoff where no candidate gets a majority of the votes cast. Virtually everyone prefers PR over the 50 per cent rule.
The United National Congress (UNC); COP; and ILP have indicated at varied times support for PR. The PNM has consistently opposed PR. The UNC founder, Basdeo Panday, had consistently argued for PR when in Opposition.
But when he became PM (1995 through 2001), he abandoned the idea because of lack of support from the PNM to enact it.
In 2007, COP founder Winston Dookeran was against PR because party-commissioned polls showed it winning the election with a plurality of votes; the party ended up with 20 per cent of the votes and no seats.
After the election, both Dookeran and Panday called for PR. The PNM, under Patrick Manning, ignored them both, saying PR will balkanise TT. No country (all over Europe, New Zealand, Australia, etc) that utilises PR has been balkanised.
During the debate on the constitutional amendment bill, Dookeran again said he would prefer PR over the majority rule. Jack Warner, ILP founder, also backs PR. Though opposed to PR prior to the amendment debate, the PNM leader, Dr Keith Rowley, has not indicated whether he would re-examine PR as an alternative to the run-off rule being advocated by UNC Leader and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Dr Rowley should re-engage his party’s supporters to get their views on PR; he would be surprised to find how supportive they are of this electoral system over the first-past-the-post system and how much more they, as well as supporters of other parties, prefer it over the 50-per-cent-plus-one rule that is now becoming law.
Also, with the new electoral rule being put into play for the 2015 election, the PNM’s strategy of winning or losing alone has to be re-thought. The world has moved away from one-party governance and towards coalition. Even where a party wins a majority, it seeks allies to govern in order to maximise support for policymaking. The UNC (PP) may not have won in 2010 without a coalition, so that party sees the value in coalition politicking.
The new electoral bill makes it all the more necessary for the major parties in TT to build alliances in order to win a majority of seats. As it is right now, NACTA polls are showing no party can win a majority of seats with a majority of votes, making run-off necessary in several of them. Pre-election coalition arrangements could lead to an alliance winning a majority of seats.
On the right to recall terrible MPs, constituents are praiseworthy that they can rid themselves of poor representatives. But they are concerned whether MPs will be given adequate resources to properly service their constituents.
In the past, if an MP is not a member of the governing party or even a Cabinet member, he or she had to literally suck salt to get work done in a district – virtually no resources were committed to the constituency. Constituents feel some kind of equitable funding should be made available to MPs to properly service their constituents.
August 31, 2014 By
The Rodney CoI continues to reveal scandals that were inherent and pervasive in the 1970s and 1980s as the PNC-Government consolidated a dictatorship through use of rigged elections and military might, misconduct and abuse.
That period was contaminated by centrally directed murders and violence intended to keep a Government in power and to intimidate the citizenry into passive acceptance. The Rodney COI is adding new information on the tragedy that brought shame to Guyana. No one has ever apologised and the PNC has steadfastly refused to acknowledge that it was the steward of a rotten Government.
Many of the leaders of the PNC then are still active in politics and still harbour aspirations to be in power again. They behave today like rigged elections, economic shambles, social morass and the destruction of our financial and physical infrastructure never happened.
But the inconvenient truths emanating from the Rodney CoI are mighty nightmares in APNU’s efforts to blur the vision of our people and make them forget our past. While Guyana has recovered from the economic and social decline of the 1970s and 1980s, we have yet to fully heal from the deep wounds inflicted on us by the PNC dictatorship.
PNC leaders wish these nasty truths in the form of cold hard court facts would go away because they are embarrassing to APNU and represent daunting barriers as the PNC-led APNU seeks to reinvent themselves.
But in their efforts to re-engineer the image of the PNC, they must confront inconvenient truths such as the massive distribution of high-powered weapons to PNC-linked agencies and civilian groups.
Why would a Government and an army make available military weapons to Government officials and civilians? How were these weapons used? Who used these weapons? Against whom were these weapons used? Why the weapons never returned? Where are these weapons today?
Who authorised the GDF to issue weapons to civilian organisations? Why were the GDF made an appendage of the PNC? Was this a manifestation of party paramountcy?
Why would the GDF hand over rocket launchers to an “R Corbin” from the Government of Guyana? What were these civilians planning to do with rocket launchers in the 1970s? What was the reason why the GDF would want to put rocket launchers in the hands of Government civilians? Someone needs to come forward and give an explanation to the people of Guyana.
The PNC still aspires to lead a Government in our country and we do have a democracy. In a democracy, any political party could become the Government of the day. Many citizens would be fearful to trust a political party that distributed high-caliber weapons to people.
While we are not able to document where each of the large cache of weapons might be today, we know that some of the weapons are in the hands of criminals.
There are instances where centrally directed groups of criminals have in our country have been found with weapons that the GDF admits today were given to PNC Government officials and other PNC-affiliated groups such as the House of Israel during the PNC dictatorship.
Criminals were captured in the Mahaicony River in 2009 with weapons that the GDF distributed to PNC Government officials and to the House of Israel members. There are several such instances where Police have captured criminals with weapons that were found to have been previously distributed by the GDF to the PNC.
For a party that seriously harbours hopes of leading the Government again, they need to step forward with explanations of what motivated them at the time to distribute high-caliber weapons to their supporters.
The CoI’s inconvenient truths must be troubling to Dr Rupert Roopnarine because he sits with the leaders of the PNC as comrades in arms today. It is apparent that Dr Roopnarine has forgiven those who harmed his comrades of the 1970s and 1980s and who wanted him dead also.
We admire his forgiving nature. But when we forgive knowing that the stripes of dictators still show citizens are troubled to a degree of frustration and fear.
The Guyanese people must wonder why the AFC stands in such sordid company and on such blood-stained ground. Why are Moses Nagamoottoo, Khemraj Ramjattan and the AFC silent?
The answer is that the temptation for power has destroyed their sense of decency and right. They have succumbed to the hunger for power and have lost their sense of right and what is good for Guyana. They have betrayed their Guyanese brothers and sisters in their hunger for power.
Readers are invited to send their comments by email or Facebook to firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 31, 2014 By
In politics, you expect opponents to grab at every opportunity to embarrass “the other side”. Especially in Guyana, where politics is dominated by a “scorched
earth” policy: take no prisoners – winning is everything, and politics is war by
“other means”. So when the Government announced the composition of the new GuySuCo Board, we rather suspected flowers weren’t exactly going to be strewn in their paths.
As usual, Greenidge weighed in as he tried (once again) to revive his moribund political career. Ever since Granger rigged him out of the PNC election sweepstakes (with the help of R Corbin), he’s been trying to keep a stiff upper lip. But you can’t help but notice his tremulous lips when he speaks. And don’t mention Granger’s name in his presence, please. “Volcanic eruption” isn’t the word!
But after Greenidge cussed out the Board till “water na deh fuh wash am” (as the
GuySuCo cane cutters would say) who else but Tony Vieira decided to add his “one cent”. After all, he’s decided he’s the PNC “sugar guy” – since his father had given him a job in the Vieira cane fields at Versailles. All the Vieiras of Tony’s generation had done quite well at school, thank you. And moved on to bigger and better things.
And this was Tony’s take on the new Board: “It is the ultimate stupidity …recycling persons whose claim to fame is failure and poor performance”. Now if Tony wasn’t “throwing talk” at Greenidge, then this has to be the Freudian slip of the century!!
Greenidge, of course, had been at the helm of the Ministry of Finance when the PNC crashed and burnt the economy with their “cooperative socialism” airy-fairy cockamamie ideas. He’d been forced to admit Guyana was “bankrupt” under his watch.
And now he wants to be recycled as “PNC’s leader” – to run the entire country?!!!
Was Vieira rubbing Greenidge’s nose in the doo-doo because Granger “sic’d” him on??
But there was the Freudian slip possibility. Vieira was one of the most astounding failures in the history of Guyana – and here he was hoping to be recycled in the PNC. He’s done such a pathetic job at his father’s Versailles estate that it was the first one to be closed down.
Then he couldn’t compete with CN Sharma who he’d laughed at for his “death announcements”. He had to sell his TV station, then blew all the money in Miami on hare-brained schemes and is back, hoping for a squeeze!!
And he dared to criticise “failures”?!!!
…of Lalloo Ram
Lalloo “Suspenders” Ram continues his quest for recognition. Won’t somebody give this wanker a plaque or something so that we don’t have to be inundated by his “interventions”. A GDF report from 2008 surfaced during the Rodney hearing that detailed 155 guns – long, short, automatic, semi-automatic – were handed over to a list of PNCites headed by one R Corbin back in the 70s.
Some of these weapons were conclusively proven to’ve been used by criminals in their criminal depredations in the aftermath of the 2002 jail break. It’s quite possible that the kick-down-the-door-bandits that wrecked havoc in rural Guyana in the 70s and 80s could’ve used those same weapons. It was widely thought that some of those weapons came from “law enforcement” officials.
Now just because President Ramotar asked the present PNC leader Granger to return those guns, Lalloo Ram claims he’s jumping the gun! He should wait till the COI is finished.
Right!! And miss the chance to save some lives! Hustler!
…of the AFC Founder-Leader
Now Speaker of the House Trotman recently confessed, “When I dreamed up the AFC, I did so primarily to address this ethnic problem.” And here it is Ramjattan’s been boasting that he and Trotman both came up with the idea.
Mediocre minds don’t think alike??
August 30, 2014 By