May 24, 2015

President Arthur Chung and renaming of Convention Centre

Dear Editor

Having read of President Granger’s seemingly sudden decision to rename the Convention Centre, my personal analysis leads me to believe that his decision is not well thought out.

While I have no serious objection to Mr Chung being remembered for his contributions, one should note that he had already been given the highest national award if my memory is correct.

Secondly, Mr Arthur Chung was a non Executive President with largely ceremonial responsibilities, unlike the subsequent Presidents, and hence carried much less responsibilities in actuality.

But even more important he held that office during the massive rigging of elections and while the infamous 1978 referendum was held .

Therefore, once could say that he turned a blind eye to these events and could possibly be deemed to have colluded with the PNC administration.

I look forward to hearing the views of your readers


Chris Persaud

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Chanderpaul’s future

If one is to take the words of the President of the WICB Dave Cameron at face value it seems like West Indies Champion batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul may have played his last test innings during the just concluded tour of England here.

No doubt, Chanderpaul would have reached the end of his career – a reality he must be finding hard to come to grips with, given that he has played cricket for all of his life. It is the only occupation he knows.

However, what is interesting is what Mr Cameron said in relation to Chanderpaul’s future. He said according to a Caribbean Media Corporation story that Chanderpaul met recently with the WICB hierarchy to discuss his future and more would be revealed in the coming days.

“Unfortunately, I am not privy to the discussions, but obviously it is where he is at and what are the next steps,” Cameron is quoted as saying. He added: “In another couple of days it will be made a lot clearer as to the end result of those discussions or how we go forward.”

Firstly, why would the WICB hold discussions with Chanderpaul about his future? Isn’t this an indication that they have concluded that it is about time he leaves the cricket scene?

From all the reports this newspaper have received the WICB is ready to part ways with Chanderpaul and the meeting was to indicate this to him. Cameron’s acknowledgement that in the coming days this would be made clearer also fits perfectly into our surmise, as the WICB would name its squad shortly to compete against Australia in a two test series in the Caribbean.

Surely if Chanderpaul does not feature in the squad this would give a much clear picture as to the future of the Guyanese player.

However, amid this scenario, we are concerned why Chanderpaul would be forced into retirement before overhauling Brian Lara’s record of 11, 953 runs as the leading run scorer for the West Indies.

With just 86 runs shy of achieving that feat, there could be no fitter send off for Chanderpaul who has given yeoman service to a team that he has had to carry on his back for years as one of the most reliable and consistent batsmen.

If Mr Cameron is indeed concerned about the way our cricketers are treated when they leave the scene, it would be incumbent on him to ensure that Chanderpaul does not retire without eclipsing the record.

For all the loss of form, Chanderpaul remains fit and agile in the field. In his last six Tests, Chanderpaul managed 91 runs in five innings in South Africa last December and January and 92 in six against England over the past month.

After 164 Tests (more than any of the 302 players who have worn West Indies colours in their 87 years of Test cricket), he tallies 11,867 runs, averages 51.37 and has 30 hundreds to his name, all carefully achieved with neat deflections and gap-seeking strokes from a ungainly, exaggerated open stance that defies reason and instantly identifies him.

Cricket commentator and writer, Tony Cozier in a recent article asked: “It isn’t worth contemplating how much worse West Indies’ downfall would have been without him; now the reality is that, whether selected against Australia or not, a career in its 22nd year is winding down.

“He will eventually return to his home in Miami, carrying with him his memories and an ambition to introduce the game to schools in Florida, a scheme that is already up and running.”

While we would not argue for Chanderpaul to continue playing until he decides to call it a day, we believe that given the nearness of him achieving a very important record and the fact that he is undeniably the last batsman standing in the modern era of West Indies cricket it is perhaps fitting to bestow him the honour of carrying on for one last series to achieve his goal.

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Race-based voting in Guyana? I must be imagining things

Dear Editor,

My sincere congratulations to the black voters and Mr Granger according to Mr Hinds you voted race, you should be proud. Things really worked out.

May I also congratulate the ‘C’ 11 per cent Indians who voted for this black-based party and managed to topple the Indian-based government, hats off! You’ve done it, in the name of national unity, honesty, transparency and integrity.

I hope the incoming Prime Minister can live up to 11 per cent worth of Indian expectations. APNU is not a multi-ethnic party as is obvious by the claim made by Hinds that he congratulates his brethren.

As opposed to who? The majority whom voted for the opposition? And what are they? Not his brethren? So it’s the same game, different day, you know how that phrase goes. Everyone waving the flag of unity for votes and off course all the political parties are race-based.

I am not going to be a hypocrite, voting in the Caribbean is race-based and will continue to be so, the question is who gets beaten and who gets a good beating?

Does the losing party and its voters have a history of violence against the others? Who has more to lose in the long run?

Politics is changing all over the world, let’s hope Mr Granger is up to keeping his promises, there are emerging power-houses everywhere. Let’s see what he means by shared government.

Hinds’ zeal at an African-based party winning the elections could not be contained even by mere words in a letter to the editor.

It was practically jumping off the page by the second paragraph if it wasn’t already obvious by the headline but, off course he threw in the occasional “a win for all Guyanese” and the blindfolds come on for everybody. Did the dream party win?

Especially when we were hearing cries that if this black-based party didn’t win that there would be mass eruptions onto the streets? Who is willing to ask why? That is not race-motivated too?

And off course I don’t believe the PNC rigged this election, why would they need to? When Indians stayed indoors for fear from threats of being victimized and having their houses and businesses ruined?

To the losing party, you didn’t lose only because of the above reasons but, you failed your own with no ethnic security and completely ignoring the needs of Indians as well. You have paid the price even though theirs will now be greater.

If you want to win, here’s a hint – drop socialism and pay attention to black nationalism because bold face will get you where you are going. There can be unity only when there is unity and right now the unity we speak of is feathery words with no true cement in its claim.

The PPP/C has to change the way how their leaders are elected by executive appointments. PPP/C leaders must let the rank and file membership elect their leaders.

Let me also remind the ‘C’ 11 per cent Indians this time it is not the UF Portuguese people that toppled the PPP/C party. It is the AFC Indians. Indians must hold AFC Indians accountable for Indians victimizations.

I hope that these 11 per cent Indians can sleep well when Indians are robbed as in the case of the Khublall family and the Annandale home invasion – that the AFC Indians will stand against the PNC government with the same enthusiasm and bring the PNC/Granger government down.

The PPP/C government will rise again only when their political socialist philosophy changes to challenge the rise of black nationalism. ‘Ideals’ was the cause of their demise in this 2015 elections.

The PPP/C leaders will learn and witness how fast the PNC leaders will institute change regardless of law and who gets upset to ensure black rule permanent.

Get ready for it, some people already waving flags for their brethren.


Vassan Ramracha

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Donating blood qualifies as highest kind of giving

Dear Editor,

Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN), in collaboration with SEWA-GUYANA and the Cornelia Ida Mandir, quietly conducted its 9th annual blood donation drive on May 2 and 3 last.

It was yet another record-breaking voluntary venture yielding 570 units of blood, though we fell short of our target of 600 units. Our previous high was 551 units. It is regrettable that year after year such a feat goes virtually unnoticed in Guyana.

Our project started in May 2007 with a modest contribution of 76 units which we were told was a record for Guyana. In 2008 when we set a target of 170 to mark the 170th anniversary of Indian Immigration, we raised 176 units.

Since then the contribution has risen almost exponentially, and the response was so overwhelming that starting in 2013 we decided to have the drive twice a year, the second time to coincide with Divali, as a result of which the combined total for the year was 1,059 units.

This, we were told, was about 10 per cent of all voluntary blood donations in Guyana. From 2007 to our most recent blood drive, we have contributed a staggering 4,091 units of blood to the National Blood Bank.

We want to take this opportunity to thank the staff at the Blood Bank for their diligent work that lasted without break for about 12 hours each day. We are also grateful for the massive support we have received from donors.

People came from as far as Wales and Canals I and II on the West Bank to Parika Backdam, Leguan and Wakenaam. They came without any material incentive and on their own expense.

We are also happy to report that along with members of the Cummings Lodge Mandir, the entire Dhanaciar Singh family of the same community supported the drive.

But the most important support came from the students and teachers of SVN. Most of the teaching staff showed on both days to help with a variety of chores, and in the days coming up to the drive they spent several hours each night calling up persons on our data base to remind them of the event.

In all of this, the contribution of SVN students was critical. Each student was requested to find two donors from their respective villages. Once the names were submitted the office verified the information which was then entered into our data base. The students themselves were asked to remind the donors that they had recruited.

Because the drive required the constant supply of electricity, the school’s generator was used for more than 12 hours each day, and this added to the expense that SVN and SEWA incurred.

In addition meals were prepared for donors and volunteers. The Blood Bank supplied 20 cases of Vita Malt, with compliments of Banks, that was meant for the donors. But since this was grossly insufficient we had to procure an additional ten cases.

Though publicity and support from the business community are important to ensure greater success, our effort is inspired by the spirit of daana, a Sanskrit word that means giving, generousity, charity etc.

The Bhagavad Gita (17.20) speaks about three types of giving. Accordingly, that charity which is given to one from whom there is no expectation of a return, which takes into consideration the proper time and place and which is given to a worthy recipient with the notion that “it should be done” is the purest and ideal giving.

According to this teaching giving blood qualifies as the highest kind of giving. Those who give it do not expect gratitude from any specific individual because they do not know who the recipient is.

Those who receive it have no specific person to thank because they do not know the donor. It is this anonymity that makes blood donation the most ideal form of giving.


Swami Aksharananda

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Mexico keen to continue friendship, cooperation

Dear Editor,

The Government of Mexico congratulates Brigadier (Retired) David Granger, new President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, on his success in the general elections celebrated on May 11.

Mexico reassures its firm intention to continue with the strengthening of the traditional friendship and cooperation ties which exist between the two countries.

Guyana is an important partner for Mexico in the Caribbean region. Today, the Guyana-Mexico relationship is based on mutual friendship and the increasing convergence of interest in bilateral, regional and multilateral issues.

Bilateral cooperation is broad and multi-sectorial, covering health, education, agriculture and several other fields.

Recently, the Mexican Government through the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation is inviting graduate students and professionals in arts, media and academic fields, to apply for the 2016 Scholarships Programme for International Students and the 2015 edition of the Special Programmes of Scholarships.


Mexican Embassy

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When you mess with the bull you get the horn

Dear Editor,

The May 11 Regional and National elections have come and gone leaving the PPP/C and its over 200,000 supporters licking their wounds, wondering how this could have happened.

The million dollar question everyone is asking is why an election that has clearly been rigged has solicited not a single criticism from any of the observer teams, not local, nor international.

On the contrary, all the teams of international observers commended the conduct of the elections, a clear insult to the intelligence of Guyanese.

My answer to this seemingly difficult question is a very simple one, it is all about geopolitics.

From a geopolitical point of view, the PPP/C Government has paid the ultimate price.

Here we are with history repeating itself and paying the ultimate price once again. How sad. The PPP/C has messed with the bull and has got the horn, and so has every Guyanese.


Name withheld

Editor’s note:

This letter has been edited for libel.

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Rastafari community ready to contribute to national unity

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Rastafari Council, on behalf of the Rastafari Community of Guyana, takes this opportunity to extend congratulations to His Excellency President David A Granger and the Honourable Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

This victory would not have been possible without both leaders subsuming their individual interests and egos in support of the higher ideal and aspiration of national unity.

It serves as a testimony to the kind and quality of leadership that they bring to the service of the nation. As such, we feel that we speak for all Guyanese in saying that Guyana looks to the future with much confidence in the hope that has been cherished by generations that our full human and natural potential would one day be realized.

So, as we commence this new chapter in our nation’s history, the Rastafari council as a representative of a faith based movement sees it fitting at this point to impart to our new leaders some advice imparted to us by our father Kedamawi Haile Selassie that “the true leader is one who realizes by faith that he is an instrument in the hands of God, and dedicates himself to be a guide and inspirer of the nobler sentiments and aspirations of the people”.

The Rastafari Council and Rastafari community of Guyana stand ready and willing to make our contribution to the process of achieving national unity, progress and development.

Congratulations once again!

May Kedamawi Haile Selassie bless you and keep you; and make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.


Ras Simeon


Guyana Rastafari Council

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Proud to share in this moment

Dear Editor,

The Permanent Secretary, Directors and Staff of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport extends warm congratulations to Guyana’s new President, His Excellency, Brigadier David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and the recently appointed Cabinet members.

We are proud to share in this moment that will no doubt go down in Guyana’s history books.

Your message of hope, freedom and opportunity resonates with our staff, as it does with people across Guyana.

In this regard, we are confident that under your leadership, Guyana will return to being a great force for good and prosperity in the Caribbean and the world.

We are enthused and motivated by the steps taken thus far to transform the City to its former glory – the Garden City.

We are even more pleased with President Granger’s commitment to revive our national monuments. These edifies play a pivotal role in our country’s history as such we are dedicated to partnering in this process.

It is hoped that with these steps, Guyanese will be more patriotic and appreciate the symbolism of our monument.

We wish you and your Cabinet all the best in your future endeavours as we endeavor to provide excellent public service to all Guyanese.


Ministry of Culture,

Youth and Sport

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Best wishes to the new Government

Dear Editor,

First, we the members of the Shiv Ganesh Durga Mandir in New York wish to congratulate President David Granger on his election as President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and to wish him every success on his new journey.

Also, to all of his elected members especially Prime Minister Moses Nagamotoo.


Bibi Naz

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Russian-Guyanese relations are friendly

Honourable Mr Granger,

Please accept sincere congratulations on the occasion of your inauguration as the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

I note with satisfaction that the nature of Russian-Guyanese relations are friendly and constructive. I am confident that their further development in different spheres is in accord with fundamental interests of our peoples.

I wish you good health and every success in fulfilling your highly responsible duties as the head of state.


V Putin

Russian President

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