July 29, 2014 By
July 29, 2014 By
The UGSS President acted ultra vires (beyond [the scope of his] power) in representing the students on the fee increase issue. The impending tuition fees increase is arguably the biggest issue any UGSS President has ever encountered in the past 20 years.
As President of the UGSS, Richard Rambarran was the point man for the UG Administration in the consultations with the student body prior to June 24. In this regard, the UG Administration represented by Vice Chancellor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi was quite in order. After all, Rambarran was a representative of the opinions and interests of the student body, right? Wrong!
On the matter of implementing the increase, Rambarran stood in full support and after all he is the students’ representative. One would be inclined to believe that Rambarran adopted this position after consultations with the entire student body or at the very least the elected members of the UGSS executive council.
After much probing, this student advocate has learned that Rambarran did not put the issue of the increase to a vote in any meeting of the UGSS Executive prior to the date above. How can a student leader let his personal views speak for over 6000 students without the nod of approval from the UGSS Executive? This is beyond my comprehension!
A quick look at the UGSS Constitution, Section 20 (1): will show that the Executive Council (EC) of the Society is vested with the power to conduct the business of the society. It further states that the EC shall be the recognised means of communication between students and the university authorities. The emphasis throughout the constitution on the powers of the Executive Council, outlined at Section 22, should not be taken lightly.
It is notable that every power listed is vested in the Council, not in the President. This means that the UGSS President should not purport to represent the students unless he has the support of the Council.
It is submitted that on the issue of tuition fees increases, having acted without the approval of the Council, the President acted ultra vires in representing the interest of the Students Society. Therefore, any consultation and/or opinion expressed by Rambarran should be deemed unconstitutional, thus null and void.
I make specific reference to Rambarran’s interactions with the Vice Chancellor, comments to the media in May, and presentations to the students at the ‘consultations’ held on June 24. In these three instances, Rambarran was acting irresponsibly because of his failure to consult with students prior to this session, and as a consequence, students will now face a fee increase for which they had no real representation.
Let us take a moment to liken this to something the general populace can relate to – the then acting Foreign Affairs Minister Priya Manickchand’s speech on the occasion of the observance of America’s 238th anniversary.
My first comment to a colleague was that the speech had to have the support of Cabinet. Whatever your thoughts about the timeliness of the speech or diplomatic protocols the fact remains, the Minister spoke for, and on behalf of, the Executive of this country and by extension the people of Guyana.
Her words were authorised by the people of Guyana through the Cabinet, even if they are unpopular in the eyes of people. Therefore, the people of Guyana have to bear the consequences of those words.
Rambarran, on the other hand, had not sought the approval or guidance of the Executive of the Student Society before making representations on its behalf.
The attention of the Administration of the university and by extension the University of Guyana Council Members is called to this matter. I implore the council members to reconsider the recent decision to raise tuition and non-tuition fees and have meaningful student consultation in light of this new revelation.
Glenfield G Dennison
University of Guyana
July 29, 2014 By
The whole sordid affair that took place over the weekend at the PNCR Congress serves as a reminder that our political leaders are failing the people and are afraid to embrace the tenets of what true democracy is all about.
How else could one describe the internal jiggery-pokery and shenanigans to subvert a democratic process that took place at Congress Place or the ruling Government’s brazen unwillingness to call a date for crucial democratic local government elections?
Now we are being bamboozled and distracted by a “No-Confidence” motion. This is supposed to be the panacea for all our troubles; go to general elections and elect from the same crop of politicians.
Well, I personally want to see local government elections conducted before any talk of general elections. I want to see the same vigor that our Opposition is leading the charge for a no-confidence motion applied to the call for local government elections.
Local government elections give the people of Guyana the best chance to start taking ownership of their communities and what matters most to them. The local level is closer to home for citizens and the consequence of effective local governance has a sharper impact on their survival and prosperity.
Call local government elections now!
July 29, 2014 By
I was so disappointed to read a headline in another section of the press: “Despite eight years of consecutive growth… Guyana lags behind LatAm, Caribbean in human development”. The headline was disappointing primarily because it made clear its unpatriotic and biased disdain for anything that shows progress in Guyana.
I looked at several newscasts which showed clips of the Minister making the point that Guyana is not exactly where it should be in comparison to the Region, but the Human Development Index (HDI) needs to be looked at within the context of Guyana’s history.
The numbers indicate that in 1980, Guyana’s HDI was relative to its regional counterparts at 0.516 but by 1990, that number fell to .505. Guyana’s HDI was among the lowest in the Region while our counterparts were continuing their upward climb!
When the current administration took office, it inherited the lowest levels of life expectancy, education, gender equality, access to health care, etc. By 1992, the PPP Government had to essentially put Guyana on a road that was long and successfully travelled by its regional countries. When we were now starting the race to a high HDI, countries like Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica were years ahead of us.
So when one section of the press is going to run the headline it did, it begs the question, why do their reporters not understand how to interpret and analyse data? Or is it just that the editors are malicious and unpatriotic, who want to project Guyana as such a poor, non-progressive country?
How can a newspaper in good conscience write about the lack of investor confidence, when it is damaging the image of Guyana!
One newspaper has a clear trend of promoting everything that is unhealthy for Guyana. Not only does it attack large-scale projects that are intended to benefit the country such as the Marriott Hotel, Specialty Hospital, CJIA expansion and Amaila Falls Hydro Projects, but it also serves as the vehicle to attack our professional workforce that is essential to the development of Guyana.
This newspaper needs to act responsibly and recognise that it shares the moral and ethical responsibility to the people of Guyana, like all patriotic Guyanese, to contribute to our nation’s development. It is not just the responsibility of Government to promote and develop Guyana, it is every citizen’s responsibility.
I am not suggesting that they pretend that everything is fine and dandy with Government or Guyana and to err in their duty to report on the news. But when there is good news, when there is positive news, let’s put aside our political differences and biases and celebrate our victories as a united Guyana.
Guyana did well in the Human Development Report. Our growth, for the year when compared to other regional countries was actually higher than most. We have more gender equality, more educated citizens, a higher life expectancy and a booming economy compared to previous years.
There is still work to be done, but there is much to celebrate and to be proud of given our damaged history.
July 28, 2014 By
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has noted the ruling of the Speaker, Raphael Trotman, dated July 24, to send the Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh to the Committee of Privileges for the second time for this year.
Ruling No 2 of 2014 issued to the National Assembly on February 14 by the Speaker was in response to Mr Greenidge’s motion of December 13, 2013, seconded by Mr Ramjattan, to send the Minister to the Privileges Committee on two matters.
The Speaker ruled that a prime facie case had been made by Mr Greenidge to send the Minister to the Committee of Privileges with regard to one of the two issues, that is in regard to Resolution No 15 on Extra-budgetary Agencies but not on the second issue with regard to releases of monies to GINA and the NCN.
The second motion of Mr Greenidge, seconded again by Mr Ramjattan, was submitted on July 4, calling on the Speaker to send the said Minister to the Committee of Privileges for releases of monies to the GINA and the NCN after the budgetary cuts. The Speaker publicly advised the National Assembly on July 10 that he had received the submission by the members and would need time to consider same.
The Speaker’s Ruling, No 4 of 2014, concluded that a prima facie case had been made and referred the matter to the Committee of Privileges. The Speaker is the Chair and the Opposition members are in majority in this Committee, as in all Committees.
When one examines the contents of these rulings, the PPP/C is confident that the arguments made by the Speaker to justify his ruling and decision to send the Minister once again to the Committee of Privileges raise major challenges to the Constitution, Standing Orders and parliamentary norms and practices.
Most notably absent in the Speaker’s arguments leading to his Ruling is any reference to the Chief Justice’s decision regarding Article 218 (3) (b) except the inclusion of the words that “the National Assembly though aggrieved by the Chief Justice’s decision of January 29, 2014, sought to comply”. Thus the Speaker once again has thrown the Legislature on a collision course with the Judiciary, the body mandated by the Constitution as the sole authority to interpret any constitutional provision.
The PPP/C has paid special attention to this development and will be prepared to challenge this matter at the appropriate times and occasions. However, the PPP/C has found it of passing interest the difference in the treatment of the APNU-AFC submissions to send the Minister to the Committee of Privileges with the treatment of the Government’s request to send two Opposition Members of Parliament to the Committee of Privileges.
The PPP/C, through its Chief Whip, has indicated by way of letter to the Speaker on July 15, 2014 of its intention to call for Mr Ramjattan and Mrs Cathy Hughes to be referred to the Privilege Committee for violations of privilege, namely conflict of interest and pecuniary interest in matters before the House which they did not declare, with regard to the Specialty Hospital and the Marriott Hotel, and the Amaila Falls Hydro-Project Falls Inc, respectively.
The PPP/C, through its Chief Whip, has not been contacted by the Parliament Office nor received any communication from the Speaker on the serious charges made against these Members of Parliament who are from his political party, the AFC.
July 28, 2014 By
On behalf of Stephen Kerrigan of London, I am seeking any information about Cecil Sagar, born c1945 in Guyana. He studied Electrical Engineering in the 1960s at the South East London College in Lewisham, London SE4 from approximately 1963 to 1966.
Unfortunately, after leaving college, post 1966, contact with Cecil was lost and despite various efforts, including perusing the college alumni records and contact with past students, searching various directories and civil records, he has not been located.
It is likely, then, that Cecil returned to his home country; also, it may be that the name ‘Cecil’ was a nickname or another version of his given name.
Should any reader know or have any information at all concerning Cecil, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With many thanks,
July 28, 2014 By
Please permit me to thank the writer for a letter published on July 26.
I wish to assure the public that the Flight Information Display System (FIDS) and the Public Address (PA) systems are functional at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). The information displayed on the FIDS is supplied by the airlines and inputted by the airport staff.
Quite often when there is a delay or flight cancellation, the airport corporation finds it very difficult to get accurate and timely information from the airlines to update these FIDS.
Unfortunately, despite several meetings and correspondence – the problem still persists.
CJIA notes the concerns expressed by the writer and is grateful for the feedback. The corporation apologises to the travelling public and will strive even harder to work with the airlines to improve the timeliness and quality of information supplied to passengers.
Public Relations Officer
July 28, 2014 By
While Georgetown gets worse, our better educated do no favours by adding to the street pileup. But freedom of the press still allows M Maxwell as if in contempt, to easily toss federalism over his shoulder. “This is nonsense,” he said in his letter.
Mr Maxwell travelled an entire circular route to arrive exactly where he started, ie the status quo is perfectly acceptable, as is, for him. He prefers to ignore the Ethnic Security Dilemma (ESD), which birthed partition and power sharing with all its repetitious violence targeting Indians.
Instead, Local Government Elections have now become the mismatched solution, for now, and there is much relief derived to give it support. Supposedly by local elections, the urgency to initiate the rapid racial balancing of Guyana’s armed forces and civil service will commence. Could it be the AFC’s bold intervention comeback in fulfillment of Guyanese high hopes and their endeavour to make a difference? Why is it kept a secret?
Whether Mr Maxwell’s letter is an endorsement or admonishment when he wrote that an “Afro-dominated Government in Demerara could spur their breakaway from the rest of Guyana” is unclear. In other words, Mr Maxwell may be most concerned that even when all Guyanese graduate into peaceful coexistence within federalism’s tranquility, Afro-Guyanese will inevitably opt to destroy Guyana by breaking away.
It is of critical importance to spell out what lies beneath such a premise that (a) black people would not want to empower themselves by their own multitalented magnificence, by remaining within symbiotic federalism in spite of demanding power by race and entitlement; and (b) the option of eventual full breakaway independence a la Mr Eusi Kwayana’s prophetic preference of partition is rather black people’s predominant priority with billions of dollars soon due from reparations.
Will that money be shared with all Guyanese by any “nationwide equality” similar to the PNC Government’s seizure of the Indian Immigration Fund to build the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown? Even as one analyses Mr Maxwell’s whisper, something is definitely afoot for him to so quickly deploy the race card.
Isn’t this the precise objective of partition and shared governance? Why is either choice better than federalism? Partition makes us permanent enemies. In shared governance or whatever, the current gridlock in Parliament would shift to the executive Cabinet beyond public scrutiny.
It will result in merging the Executive and Legislature with the Judiciary outside but in greater gridlock …right now our leaders cannot even agree to confirm the Chief Justice and Chancellor because of ongoing gridlock.
If Mr Maxwell has inadvertently attempted to magnify any fears which he negatively links to the Federalist, proposal there should not be alarm. Federalism does not deny differences, which inclusive governance cannot even acknowledge as legitimate.
Rather, Federalism embraces pacification, harmonises accommodation and guarantees diversity to all races and cultures. It permits all groups to maximise their potential without veto hindrance or perpetual dependency on the “other”.
Inclusive executive governance would not permit progress until all sides are in agreement to signal the other can proceed with their development. One side can hold the others hostage in perpetuity.
Federalism accepts those fears, defuses them and allows each to maximise their true worth unhindered by the other. Any reassurance which can address Mr Maxwell’s genuine concerns to prevent a breakaway rebel provinces would much depend on how he himself actually perceives black activists’ genuine commitment to establish black self-reliance by their own talent in harmony with others or not.
Whereas executive governance is premised on automatic entitlement to collect Guyana’s bounty after it is produced it can only result in contentious gridlock. Moreover it is not also clear if Mr Maxwell either (a) believes Indians are attempting to escape any dubious debts owed to Africans or (b) the Federalist proposal is nothing but unjustified Indian payback – maybe pacifist reverse racism, originating from constant victimhood imposed by black violence and calumny.
President Jimmy Carter was able to get the Palestinians to agree to Israel’s right to exist by abandoning their commitment to eviscerate Jewish territorial existence. Federalism would guarantee the right to exist and survival of its citizen’s diverse cultures. It can even begin tomorrow if there is joint agreement to publicly renounce racial violence, rapes and arson etc.
No minority group in Caricom can be expected to acquiesce in their complete extinction under any circumstances whatsoever. The right to self defence is natural as it is legal worldwide with the GHRA indifferent about anything Indian.
Noticeable is black militancy’s relaxing refuge under silence’s canopy of quarantine by how Mr Maxwell quoted me. What governs the militant notable silence coming from their unusual shyness to not let their little light shine around – not even the fleeting gun flash of any loose cannon on deck?
Mr Maxwell certainly cannot be assumed to be speaking on behalf of everyone; yours sincerely absolutely does not. Whether black magnificence is possible or not, save by dependency on “others” in temporary “executive power sharing” has now apparently become an orphan in the morgue awaiting post mortem.
What now, that it has been rejected? Any percolating unease existing within entitlement may be sourced, and is to be solved, from the subliminal truth which lies beneath what Mr Maxwell has highlighted. He directs that “Those who can only see their own ethnic utopias through misguided lenses must learn to look around. Guyana is not ready for federalism”. Is he correct?
What insensitivity governs Mr Maxwell’s existence that he is completely oblivious to the plight of half his countrymen by such callous indifference that nothing they say or complain about has any meaning or significance? Power sharing or whatever, imposes perpetual racial dependency; federalism enables freedom to be all you can be within our common Guyana.
Would black people face greatest misery within their own Federated province unless their leaders who constantly demand paramountcy for greater black empowerment are not fully equipped except by dependency on others for black economic success?
Such entitlement to racial dependency would require all black people as per Mr Maxwell’s thesis to automatically stop supporting both APNU and the AFC! Mr Maxwell can – kindly pardon me for writing it, – either cease or continue to unjustifiably target Indians by the usual slow fire with more fire certainly on standby to bear full responsibility for the fallout.
There certainly appears to be possession of ready licence to condemn his Indo Guyanese countrymen who are simply fighting for survival in a black sea to prevent their eventual ethnic cleansing and cultural miscegenation.
Mr Maxwell can hopefully also become an honest good friend of all who does not pretend to ignore, but will openly acknowledge incurable but understandable historical black rage. But this constant substitute violence on Indians for the white man’s burden has no validity because Indians did not enslave black people.
Violence many visitations on half his other countrymen cannot be justified or acceptable requiring a genuine commitment to its permanent termination sooner or later. Indo Guyanese and other indentured descendants are not automatically at fault, or most guilty just because of their numbers, religions, thriftiness and economic success in a democracy.
Expecting Mr Maxwell’s ambivalences already at play to be further exacerbated with additional twisting and twirling is by no means humane nor should more and better be expected from him until he has recuperated. All the best to him.
In the meantime, Federalism remains the inevitably wisest preferable compromise for a unifying Guyanese future. But as now, only for now mind you, “Guyana is not ready for federalism” until Guyanese are fully and most ready for federalism. That future is today and counting.
July 28, 2014 By
It often amazes me what passes for news in Guyana. The Stabroek News somehow saw it fit to highlight the Trinidad and Tobago company ANSA McAL’s unsuccessful bid to become pre-qualified to supply medical drugs to the Government’s health sector.
Not surprisingly, immediately following that, the Kaieteur News picked up on that and ran their own story about ANSA McAL being peeved. But at least KN had the shame to publish a letter questioning the bona fides of ANSA McAL.
It is a known fact that every government in every country in the world seeks to protect its own local business community. It will, therefore, even pass laws to protect local investment as a whole. Further, every government will first look for local contractors or suppliers, whether they are for products or services, to award contracts.
Indeed, Guyana and any country should welcome overseas investment, but such companies will have to at least make the necessary investments within Guyana and employ Guyanese nationals.
So why would a Trinidadian company even want to bid to supply drugs in Guyana and supply them from Trinidad? Can a Guyanese company do likewise in Trinidad? I think not. In fact, for a Guyanese company to supply pharmaceuticals in Trinidad is impossible!! Same in Barbados and every other Caricom nation.
I recall not too long ago the Trinidadian Prime Minister insisting, when her country was about to give funds for hurricane relief to two countries, that the contractors should be Trinis. She maintained her stance even when challenged, and that was a time of disaster for the two countries. Did the American Government hire contractors from anywhere else but the US when they were ‘rebuilding’ Iraq after the war? And this, like the Trinidad case, involved work being done in the country which was benefiting from the assistance.
So, at one time, certain media houses are opposed to Chinese workers in Guyana, claiming that every effort should be made to employ a local workforce. Now the Government identified a local company which actually meets the stated criteria for a pre-qualification process, and there’s still a problem, at least with some media houses.
The Guyana Government should reconsider this opening up the spending of taxpayers’ money to foreign companies. And as a Guyanese, I see no reason why a Trinidad company should be peeved at not having won a local bidding pre-qualification process. Especially when they did not meet the requirements in the first place.
July 27, 2014 By