August 30, 2014

De coverage and de cover-up

Some people does sweet talk other people when dem need a favour. Then cuss dem down when dem don’t get that favour. Or even cuss dem down after dem get the favour. That is why old people does remind young people that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

Now, it gotta newspaper man who stay just like that. He love to suck up when he want a favour. Even to foreign embassies and tings like that. He get thru wid that favour so he stay quiet. But de other day de paper man try a ting with a big company and a big man.

Since then to up to now is sheer cussin. So no body ain’t gotta ask now whah happen when he ask de big man de favour. Just remember whah does happen when a friend, who does only be a friend when he in need, ain’t get whah he want.

Old people gotta special word dem does call people like that which de Bell Crier can’t use in this newspaper. It begin with ‘N’ and end with ‘M’. And in this case when yuh consider who de name describe, it musbe all caps and bold.

Well, up until now de headlines can’t done. He even stand up pun de big man wood and tek out photo, then put that in he paper. It ain’t got plenty people in life who like to pose wid next man wood like that. But this is a paper man who like put he self in he own paper.

De only change to that was de other day when he get ketch wid he pants down. And that ain’t a pretty site no matter whah is de viewer personal orientation. But that was when he own crime mek he hide from he own paper. Yet, this paper seh dem givin coverage to any crime under de sun.

Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! And de other paper in crime know good how to cover (up?) crime too. So dem ain’t call he yet!

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Elections drums of race…

…from AFC’s Hughes

If the race talk has gotten all hot and fiery – then elections must be in the air. And if elections are in the air – it’s not surprising the AFC’s leading the racial incitement. After all, it’s the one that’s dragging its APNU bedmate screaming and kicking down the road of the “no-confidence” vote!

And so we had Nigel Hughes, the once and future (secret) Company Secretary of the Amaila Falls Hydro – and not coincidentally, still the Chairman of the AFC – riling up the folks in Buxton-Friendship.

You heard that right…Buxton-Friendship, where the audience was chock-full of the now grown-up “child-soldiers” from the days of the Douglas-Fineman gang. He finally explained the AFC’s understanding of “power sharing”. The criminal lawyer confessed: “(Keeping all power constitutionally) may be in our interest if we are in power, but it’s certainly against our interest if we are out of power.”

Talk about Machiavellian expediency!!! “Power Sharing” is only convenient when “we” are out of power – otherwise, keep the dictatorship rolling, baby!! The million-dollar question, which should be of interest to other AFC supporters – and other Guyanese – is, who’s the “we” Hughes was talking about?? Well, he was in front of a “Black Consciousness Forum”, explicitly declaring he was speaking about African Guyanese.

So this shameless wanker’s saying to this multiethnic nation it would’ve been OK if African Guyanese had held on to power after Burnham’s 28 years of rigging!! Like Hamilton Green at the time, he even criticised his Godfather Desmond Hoyte for accepting the 1992 elections results. “Before WE gave up power… WE should have changed the Constitution.”

But we hope that African Guyanese will not fall for this demagogic rhetoric that has come their way ever since they were given the vote. Ambitious politicians from their community have showed no compunction in talking about “WE”, when all they’re concerned about is to get the “I” into power. And look what that Pied Piper named Forbes Burnham did to them!

Let’s look at one contradiction from Hughes’ forked tongue. Back when he was defending Freddie Kissoon’s libellous statements against Bharrat Jagdeo, he complained that the latter’s administration was throwing out African Guyanese from their home in the Public Service. But at Buxton-Friendship, he criticised those same African Guyanese Public Servants for fostering the now supposedly pernicious notion: “the State will always provide for us”!!!

Anything to play the race card, no?? Look for Ramjattan and Nagamootoo to play the other face of the card in Berbice!

…against East Indians

One of the sickest features of the politicians that’ve climbed the backs of ordinary African Guyanese for their own ambitions is to “sic” them on other Guyanese. Especially from other communities. In the 19th Century, it was the Portuguese – with the Angel Gabriel Riots and all. Then in the 20th Century, it was against the East Indians. Think Wismar.

Politicians like Hughes are full of “diagnosis” and “analysis” – but completely unwilling to stick to the course to implement their fancily-worded ideas. Hughes glibly talks about “teaching entrepreneurship”. He’s made enough money to last 10 lifetimes – and we’re not even including his father’s fortune which he inherited.

So how come he doesn’t open up an institute to teach Entrepreneurship? And then use all the connections he has to get the graduates jobs and start-ups?? But no. All he can say is “East Indian Guyanese have so entrenched themselves economically since the PPP/C took office in 1992 that it would be difficult for blacks to compete EVEN IF THEY REGAINED POLITICAL POWER.”

So what’s he telling those youths of Buxton-Friendship?? Forget politics?? Seize wealth by whatever means necessary??

…but self-exculpation

Hughes complained: “The situation in African villages was worsened by the inward migration of political thinkers and leaders from villages to cities.” So he’s selling Sidewalk Cafe and the mansion at New Providence and returning to Berbice??

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Guyanese New Yorkers and India’s Independence

Participants march on Madison Avenue during the annual India Day Parade on Sunday, August 17, 2014. The parade celebrates India’s independence from the British Empire in 1947 (Newsday)

Participants march on Madison Avenue during the annual India Day Parade on Sunday, August 17, 2014. The parade celebrates India’s independence from the British Empire in 1947 (Newsday)

Dear Editor,

India’s independence (August 15, 1947) has had a historical significance for Guyanese and people of all Caribbean nations, as it paved the way for the Region’s political independence. And in fact, Indo-Guyanese and other Indo-Caribbean people supported India’s independence struggle from their home soil, the Region where they were domiciled in plantation life.

In New York, Indo-Guyanese, Jamaicans, Trinis and Surinamese partook in celebrations marking India’s independence from Great Britain.

India’s freedom struggle and its model for home rule served as a model for Caribbean people to fight for their own self-rule and independence from colonialism in the 1940s through the 1960s. The freedom of India in 1947 set the stage for the independence of colonies around the globe.

Not surprisingly, many Guyanese and Trinis turned up at India’s Independence Day celebration in New York last Sunday to mark the country’s 68th Independence Day. That was the 35th annual parade.

I was here at the inception with Arjune Karshan, Vassan Ramracha, Baytoram Ramharack, and other freedom warriors fighting for Guyana’s liberation from PNC misrule, and Trinis turned out in significant numbers to catch a glimpse of their favourite Bollywood stars.

Bollywood personality Sunny Deol, son of popular actor Dharmendra, was the star attraction this year among a few others at the parade which drew tens of thousands of people on Madison Avenue. Previous parades had bigger draws like Hema Malini, Amitabh, Jeetendra, Madhuri, Preity Zinta, etc.

India’s Independence was also marked at several temples (being on a Sunday) where there were patriotic bhajans and songs as well as the singing of the Indian national anthem.

The desire for India to become a free nation propelled many Indo-Caribbean peoples since the late 1900s to identify with the “Quit India” movement and the struggle to free India of British rule.

And later, the freedom of India would pave the way for the freedom of the Caribbean colonies. For example, Dr Cheddi Jagan modelled his style of political struggle for Guyana’s liberation on that of Jawaharlall Nehru.

Today, many New York-based Guyanese and Trinis take pride in participating in India’s Independence celebrations as they also do in their own countries’ independence ceremonies in NY.

The Consulate General (CG) of Trinidad held a reception last Thursday evening to mark her country’s Independence at which prominent personalities were invited, including this writer. The CG of Guyana also normally attends celebrations of Guyana’s Independence though the Government never really hosts the kind of reception held by the CG of Trinidad and Tobago or Jamaica.

Because of their gratitude for what has been done for them, Indo-Caribbean people fervently participate in the India Day parade and attend or organise other festivities celebrating that country’s achievement.

They also attended flag-hoisting ceremonies organised by the various community organisations and several usually attend a reception hosted by the India Consulate. Guyanese and Trinis have been participating in the annual India Day parade over the years. There is no similar parade for any Caribbean nation except the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Almost every major country has an Independence Day parade in New York. Trinis mark their country’s Independence with a banquet dinner and/or a cultural variety show. The CG of Trinidad also hosts celebrations for community leaders and the media. There is no similar event for Guyanese community leaders.

The India Day parade started out small and grew in size and stature over the years attracting American politicians including Mayors, Senators, Governors and Members of Congress. Indo-Caribbean people feel at home participating in the parade.

Today, there is very active involvement of Guyanese and Trinis (Kali, Prita Singh, etc) in the parade, joining floats and sporting banners and putting in dance performances. Vishnu Bandhu, Pandit Ramlall, Ramesh Kalicharran and I, among others, sponsored floats relating to the struggle for free and fair elections in Guyana during the 1980s.

The parade has become a major attraction in the city, drawing tens of thousands of spectators and is among the major cultural events in the city’s calendar of events. The celebration this year kicked off with the traditional singing of both the American and Indian national anthems.

Speeches and salutations from politicians and star personalities stressed the importance of Indian freedom from British colonialism as people were reminded of the sacrifices made for independence.

Speakers also commended India’s newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he will lead India to a great future. Indo-Caribbeans expressed tremendous hopes and expectations in Modi to transform India in to a great nation.

Yours truly,

Vishnu Bisram

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Ram should familiarise himself with the GFC Act

Dear Editor,

It seems as though the Kaieteur News in its misleading campaign against Bai Shan Lin Logging and the forestry sector had run out of misinformation when they republished Christopher Ram’s comments on Janette Bulkan and John Palmer’s criticisms of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) Annual Reports for the years 2005-2012.

Ram said that the GFC illegally paid over to NICIL $600 million. Let me again advise Ram that he should familiarise himself with the GFC Act that allows the Commission to manage its own resources and to make payments being a statutorily incorporated entity.

I have noted as well that APNU’s Carl Greenidge is concerned about the Commissioner of Forests’ handling of foreign companies.

Greenidge was the Finance Minister in the PNC Government when it was voted out of office in 1992, leaving Guyana in social and economic ruin and misery. He should have been the last to speak on the forestry sector’s management or the management of any productive sector in Guyana.

Further, can Greenidge say if the PNC Government ever provided annual reports for the forestry sector? And did the PNC Government ever consult with the Guyanese people when it issued the Barama Company 1.1 million hectares of forest lands?

Ram asks “in whose interest are GFC and Government acting… Bai Shan Lin or Guyana”? The problem with Ram is that he is part of the misinformation campaign against the GFC and Bai Shan Lin. But can Ram say if he was a consultant to one of the joint venture arrangements that had connections to the Bulkans some years back?

Guyana’s so called “new political dispensation” has caused some to become apostles of transparency and anti-corruption. In this regard, they will have to be prepared for the boomerang effect which will only expose the hypocrisy of the political Opposition in their mischievous power-hungry campaign.

A few days ago, it was alleged that a publisher of one of the newspapers in Guyana, an advocate of anti-corruption is at the centre of a duty-free concession scam. On this matter, where are the other advocates of anti-corruption in the political Opposition?

It seems that on this alleged scam they are in total silence, but not silent to provide gross misinformation in the Opposition sections of the media about the forestry sector. The recent Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) column is an example.

Did the TIGI seek clarification from the GFC before writing its columns about the forestry sector before arriving at its absolutely unqualified assumptions and conclusions? By the way, who is telling TIGI what to write in its columns on forest matters? The inaccurate information presented is simply being recycled to the political opposition and its lackeys.

Yours respectfully,

Peter Persaud

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Hinterland education

Education Month has dawned upon us again, providing an opportunity to reflect and strategise to overcome the challenges in the sector, and to celebrate the achievements made. This year, the occasion is being observed against the backdrop of improvements at both the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, even though the results indicate that much is still to be done.

From the programme planned, it appears that the Education Ministry is moving away from the concentration of activities in Central Georgetown, to the far-flung regions, notably Regions One and Seven. The month will open with an interfaith service in Region Seven on August 31, followed by a grand launching in Region One.

The launching in Region One is a commendable move as there are a large number of people, including public event planners, who even in this digital age, still appear to see Georgetown as Guyana. But more importantly, it is an indication that the Ministry is placing attention on two regions, which have the highest failure rates at the NGSA and the CSEC examinations.

Though access to education in these regions in recent years has improved significantly, students’ results have been a sordid saga. However, there have been some encouraging signs that much better can be achieved, if much attention and resources are allocated to schools there. A case in point is the performance of Khary Boyer of North West Secondary, Region One, who scored 11 Grade Ones and a Grade Two at the recent CSEC examinations.

In fact, the aspiring Geologist was also quick to point out that too often many believe that only students from City schools do well, noting that he studied diligently, and with the help of extra lessons, he was able to prove them wrong. Boyer is probably one of many hinterland students who have the drive and enthusiasm to excel, and it is important that the Education Ministry work aggressively to provide the enabling environment for these students to realise their full potential.

And to its credit, the Ministry has recently rolled out a Hinterland Education Enhancement Programme, with the aim of improving students there. It is also commendable that the Ministry, a few years ago, made a decision that all teachers from the hinterland who completed studies at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) must return and serve their respective regions. The objective is to springboard learners’ outcomes.

What is important now is for the Ministry to stick to its game plan, matching its rhetoric with meaningful action. For far too long, the top achievers in the country have been mainly from Georgetown. The time is now for greater attention be paid to hinterland schools so that students there can be among the national cream of the crop. Similar attention needs to be placed on Region Eight, which is also noted for churning out poor results at the NGSA and CSEC examinations.

Given the high dropout rates, one gets the impression that education in these regions is being treated more like a pastime than a priority, as the majority of youths there are seeing a better life in earning big cash working in the mines, than being in school.

The problem with this sort of lifestyle is that with the youths earning huge sums of money and without any proper guidance from adults, they quickly become exposed to the various ills of society such as drugs, sex and alcohol, ruining their lives in the process.

Some of the dropouts, who do not go to the mines, turn to crime. These are some of the issues the Education Ministry, with the help of parents and community leaders, need to address, or they will be failing the youths in these communities. And with strong support, the vision of the theme of Education Month 2014 “Literacy by Grade Four through consistent home, school and community involvement” would not be a distant reality.

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Use of photos without permission

We refer to a letter by Mr Trevor Pemberton in relation to the use of his photos by Guyana Times. We thank him for expressing his concern about the unauthorised use of these photos and for his time on a phone call made to him.

The individual who made the decision to print the photos is no longer part of Guyana Times.

We again sincerely apologise to Mr Pemberton.

Daniel Singh,

General Manager

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We should share our views about the current situation

Dear Editor,

Looking at the mind-set of the Opposition, as any other country, Guyana has its own share of issues. But as a citizen of this country I definitely must convey what our country is facing due to the lack of expression from fellow citizens who feel they don’t have the importance to speak out, or in this case speak up.

As citizens and taxpayers, we should share our views about the current situation of our country. We are not being treated fairly. The Opposition instigates the “race” card.

Instead of inculcate excellent strategies to empower our young and old people, so that good sense will prevail and a proper and brighter generation will befit our homeland, they themselves are ruining every standard that is being met to help Guyana move forward.

They don’t have the ability to rule our country, they behave as wild animals. I personally don’t think the Opposition can govern this country, take a look at all the projects they have destroyed, jobs, families, etc. Is this what we want everyday?

Also, amid the escalating war of words, there is need for the formulation of a system for APNU and AFC to curb political violence, which could even be obligatory by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

The PPP/C has come out strongly against political violence. Parliament should pass a resolution on abandoning the cult of violence by everyone, as it destroys the fabric of secularism and parliamentary democracy.

The PPP/C and most citizens of Guyana, especially the ones affected, condemned the culture of political violence of all brands. Such violence has destroyed the basic foundation of democracy in this country.

We must stand in solidarity for a violent free environment.

R Persaud

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Waiting to see what position Goolsarran, Ram will take

Dear Editor,

I applaud the recent exposé about the local publisher at the centre of duty-free concession scam, which uncovered the alleged corrupt practices of the pseudo whistleblower. The report clearly showed how one family reportedly defrauded the Government and people of Guyana millions of dollars in taxes.

The local proverb of “if you live in a glass house, you shouldn’t throw stones at others” comes to mind with Glenn Lall and the scandalous tabloid he runs. Lall, I am sure, will not comment on the issue of a corrupt practice uncovered which involves himself. But this comes as no surprise to those of us who recall the US Government labelling him in the WikiLeaks Cables as having a firm hand on criminality.

One can only hope that the advocates of transparency and anti-corruption, including the ever watchful Annand Goolsarran and his organisation Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI), will condemn this shameful display of disrespect to both the people and Government of Guyana.

I am waiting to see what public position Goolsarran and Christopher Ram are going to take on this issue. Will they condemn Glenn Lall for the blatant public fraud they have committed against the people of Guyana? Will Goolsarran be fair and balanced, or will he continue to profess that he is a crusader for transparency?

This band of friends is known for piously promoting their collective political ambitions.

Let’s see what Goolsarran and Ram will say now that there is reportedly clear proof that the public and the Government have been blatantly robbed of tax dollars, allegedly by their friend.

Sincerely,

Andrea Singh

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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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