October 13, 2015

Jagdeo spoke of Opposition support for Government on border issue in New York

Dear Editor,
I refer to comments made by Frederick Kissoon about Bharrat Jagdeo, in a column titled, “Jagdeo in New York: His Venezuelan Remark” (KN 10/07). He wrote: “Finally, Jagdeo is treading dangerously with his rhetoric on Venezuela… Jagdeo told his audience that APNU+AFC Government jeopardized the rice deal with Venezuela because of the government’s hostility to Venezuela….”
As he noted, Kissoon was not there. I was. The event was recorded. As such a tape exists to refute much of what Kissoon wrote, which is significantly incorrect and arrogant.
Regarding Venezuela, the former President said the Opposition will support the Government on all border issues. He reiterated what has already been stated in the press, as well as what was conveyed during his meeting with President David Granger.
Further, Jagdeo argued that while Guyana works to resolve any border issues, it should do so while maintaining good economic relations with its neighbours.
Accordingly, he noted that the regime’s decision to refuse a Venezuelan plane to land in Guyana because of an alleged outstanding bond of US$250,000 was unwarranted as it compromised a lucrative rice contract between the neighbours, which favoured Guyana tremendously.
He stated a figure, which I do not recall. But reporters in Guyana can get that from him, as some are bound to argue about profit and loss regarding Venezuela. After all, Guyana is now a loser, as the Venezuelans will buy rice from others, maybe the Surinamese.
Also, it is unnecessary for the supporters of any political party from Guyana, here primarily from the PPP, to be demonised as “flawed human beings” because they exercised a right to associate by attending a political event at which Jagdeo was guest speaker.
New York law was not violated. Yet, someone in Guyana is trying hard to say East Indians, by virtue of choosing the PPP, are automatic enemies of the state of Guyana. In all this talk of Venezuela and the enemy without, the first foe may very well be the PPP and its supporters, namely the enemy within.
If Kissoon or his New York source believes that a cause of action can be satisfied from statements made by Jagdeo in New York about Venezuela, then let them file a petition with the court. It is what nationalists would do.
If not, I point them to rhetoric made on or about March 17, 2015 by the leader of the coalition, now President Granger, when he said Guyana was a nation of jaguars led by jackasses.
His statement may have been clever for the coalition’s campaign, but it was not a remark a potential commander in chief would say publicly, as a jaguar is not a foremost symbol of strength, unlike a lion. Nor is a jackass a symbol of intelligence.
Said another way, this APNU/AFC coalition’s statement must have encouraged both Venezuela and Suriname regarding their recent land claims, because it openly portrayed Guyanese as weak and stupid.  It further disrespected the Rastafarian community, as surely there must be at least one lion of Judah in Guyana, ready to do battle for love of country.

Rakesh Rampertab

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GuySuCo – an emerging debacle

Dear Editor,
In media letters on October 4, Oditt Narine, a former Chairman of GuySuCo opined that recent letters and statements in the press had inferred a doomed fate for the Corporation and therefore he felt obliged to participate in a Moray House Trust Seminar on the Sugar Industry to present participants with several of his viewpoints which if implemented could enable it to return to profitability.
In 1993 Narine a little known businessman but politically well connected was appointed Chairman of GuySuCo by the then newly elected PPP/C Government. A supportive Board and senior management staff politically loyal were appointed to his team. Ten years later he was relieved of his duties as his poor performance and lack of management capability to manage Guyana’s largest Corporation caused GuySuCo to incur large annual losses during his tenure thus failing the mandate of his appointment which was to return the corporation to profitability.
In his missive Narine concluded that GuySuCo must be run as a business and free from political interference if it is to return to viability through increased production and productivity. He however seemed oblivious to the old adage,” he who pays the Piper calls the tunes” and therefore the Government as owner had the obligation of oversight of the industry. Whether it had the right people and adequately devised strategic plans in place to make GuySuCo viable is another matter as ultimately it was responsible to its constituents for the performance of the Corporation. Privately owned businesses run into trouble too if they are not managed well.
Some of Narine’s proposals such as co-generation of power from bagasse for the national grid and the development of value added products to increase GuySuCo’s revenue stream and hence its profitability should have been considered and implemented during his tenure. GuySuCo missed the opportunity for its economic growth and profitability years ago when investments should have been made to increase production and productivity, mechanize field operations, improve worker skills and provide adequate support for research and development to increase yields.
Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer manufactured 38.4 million tonnes of sugar last year and is expected to produce 36 million tonnes this year while it has the largest stockpile in 35 years which is depressing sugar price. This will be so until existing stocks are drawn down and production decreases further and/or demand increases. 90 out of 300 of its sugar mills have closed since 2005 and one-fifth of those functioning have sought relief for unpaid bills and debt payment. 10% of Brazil’s sugar workers have lost their jobs in the past two years and there are more in line waiting to let go.
Given this scenario it is no small wonder that the English-speaking Caribbean countries as well as Mauritius, formerly a large sugar producer in the Indian Ocean, have given up on sugar cultivation.
The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report on the viability of GuySuCo is expected on October 17. It is hoped that the stark realities facing the industry will be honestly conveyed to its workers therein. After all, Yesu Persaud, former Chairman of DDL is reported to have said, “Sugar is what brought us all here”. Will its subsidies continue to flow to keep us here? I hope so.

Yours faithfully,
Charles Sohan

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Freddie ill-informed on Jagdeo’s NY visit

Dear Editor,
Reference is made to Freddie’s remarks on Bharrat Jagdeo’s public meeting in Richmond Hill (Oct 7). Freddie is a manufacturer of news; he is a specialist in writing fake news. His report and description of the Jagedo meet are replete with inaccuracies and fake news.  He has a history of reporting inaccurately on events. Freddie is not a journalist or reporter and as such it is not surprising that he makes basic writing errors. Also, given his dislike for Jagdeo, he exaggerates anti-Jagdeo acts. Freddie’s commentary on the meeting is an example of gutter journalism. My response penning the facts of the meet were not published — so much for free press.
I was at the meet on October 2 evening in my role as a reporter but left early to attend the wake for Prof Jainarine (Paul) Erriah. It is not correct, as reported by Freddie, that “Asquith Rose was the sole African” at the meet. The African lawyer, Collymore, who endorsed APNU in last May’s election, along with his “Mixed race” wife were there. Collymore asked a couple of questions and got up to leave. But Jagdeo asked him if he was not going to stay for the answers, at which point he and his wife sat back down. There were also other non-Indians at the meet including supporters of APNU and AFC. It is not correct that there were only 60 people at the meet; it was a lot more. People braved the heavy storm that evening to attend the meeting; lives were lost during the storm and many homes lost electricity due to downed wires.                                                                  Freddie practically called Jagde o  “unpatriotic and a liar” for utterings at the meeting. None of that was not in evidence as Jagdeo defended Guyana’s sovereignty against Venezuela’s claim. Jagdeo was factual in his briefings.
Jagdeo gave illustrations of how the election was rigged. He mentioned different ink (used to stain fingers before voting at the polling stations) were used in PPP and PNC strongholds. He said the ink in African strongholds on the East Coast and Georgetown were easily washed off with bleach or soap whereas in Indian strongholds the ink permanently stained fingers. He also claimed some APNU-AFC supporters were recycled from polling station (PS) to PS; recycled voters were brought to the attention of the Presiding Officers and the Police but no action was taken as the recycled voters were allowed to leave the stations, suggesting a conspiracy to rig through this and other method.
Jagdeo noted that some 41 polling stations were not manned by PPP agents or observers (out of fear for their lives) in Georgetown and the East Coast. They did not show up after they were threatened by thugs. Also, Hundreds of PPP agents left their posts before the close of poll because of intimidation and threats to their safety. At several of the PS, after the count, the number of votes exceeded the actual number of voters on the list and/or the turnout was above normal or the general voting trend elsewhere. He noted that many Returning Officers are activists of APNU and that Gecom refused to provide a list of names of ROs despite repeated requests and as such the PPP could not object to have them removed. He also said several polling stations were located at homes of PNC activists.
Jagdeo made reference to fake statements of polls claiming that the Chief Election Officer said there were about 400 such fake statements of poll when asked by reporters. Jagdeo said Dr Surujbally is not interested in finding out how the fake statements made their way into Gecom although it was a criminal act. He said Surujbally reiterated his opposition to a recount of ballots. Jagdeo felt a recount may have shown a PPP victory. Jagdeo also stated that without the skulduggery that occurred on election day and the days preceding the election, in the selection of ROs, the PPP would have won the election. He blamed much of it on Surujbally. Jagdeo also mentioned briefly the Venezuela-Guyana border conflict expressing support for Guyana’s position.
I left the meet during the question period. I was told by other attendees that Asquith Rose spoke for more than five minutes rather than ask a question as others implored him. He accused Jagdeo of being a racist among other things without supporting evidence – a typical Kissoonian tactic.
Rose was given ample time to ask his multiple questions. Jagdeo actually encouraged him to continue to make his points and ask questions rather than cut him off. But he rambled on and people were getting impatient with his “carrying on”.
Jagdeo, to his credit, actually spent more time encouraging Rose to continue with his questions. It is not Jagdeo’s style to cut off questioners – not at meetings I attended. Jagdeo spent more time answering Rose’s questions than all the other questions combined. So Freddie is not correct when he penned that, “Ten Indians tried to wrest the microphone from Rose, and sought to assault and evict him”. None of that was in evidence; that is gutter journalism.
Also, Rose stayed to the end of the meeting and even socialised with Jagdeo and the rest of the people afterwards with smiles and encouragement for his questions. A female supporter of the AFC asked a ton of questions and Jagdeo encouraged her to finish even when people were grumbling.
I was told there were also reporters from INews and Kaieteur News at the meet with questions written on pieces of paper. I was informed that Jagdeo allowed everyone to ask their questions, and he answered all appropriately in a civil and courteous manner till the end. So Freddie got it all wrong (what is new) on what occurred at the meeting.
Rose has an ethical responsibility to convey the truth and not have Freddie spreading lies and misinformation.  That is irresponsible behaviour.
In contrast to how Rose was treated with patience and respect by PPP supporters last Friday, political activist Vishnu Mahadeo reported that last April at the same venue at an APNU/AFC meeting, an elderly gentleman was “collared” and “chucked out” of the hall for heckling the speakers Moses Nagamootoo and David Granger. Heckling is part of our culture and should have been tolerated. Asquith Rose and Freddie did not protest how that Indian senior citizen was ill-treated by his coalition friends — for merely uttering remarks.

Yours truly,
Vishnu Bisram

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Risk factors on renting lands

Dear Editor,
Rice harvesting for the 2015 Spring Crop has been completed in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam). It is reported that while the average yield is 50 bags per acre, the average grade for paddy produced has improved but the prices has declined. Extra A $2200. A $2100. B$2000.C $1900, Sample Grade $1800, and 7%  paddy with damaged grains $1650.Lets’ take a brief look at the costs of production in Region Two to cultivate one acre and the farmer’s profit: Two cuts ploughing $8000, one backblade or levelling $4000, shying or broadcasting $2000, seed paddy $9000 per bag, (140 lbs clean and dry), 3 bags fertilizers 6-25-25 $21,300 per (3 split ), urea $15,600 (3 split), spraying 2500 5 walk, with mist blower, shying 9 bags  of fertilizer $1500.
These factors of input have shown that rice cultivation has implied risks, especially to farmers who are renting rice lands at $35,000 per acre with low yield below 40 bags per acre. It discusses the costs and financing of rice cultivation and the distribution is also a  risk, noting that the institutional arrangements favour the miller and place the burden of financing on small farmers, exposing them to a disproportionate share of the various risks they the farmers must face. The institutional arrangements fundamentally limit the capabilities and freedoms of small farmers, depriving them of the agency and entitlements required for development.
The average costs of rice cultivation on a crop to crop basis, and the source of farmers’ financing of these costs  are classified as pre-harvesting, operating, harvesting and overhead costs.  There are two crops in any one year and the costs per crop, if the farmer does not have working capital, will need requiring external finances, he sometimes does not borrow from the commercial banks, but rather from the miller. This may occur in the purchase of fertilizer, seed paddy and in harvesting, where combines are needed, with tractor and trailer for   transportation needed to take the paddy to the mill.
Millers provide all of these services in the harvesting stage; sometimes the farmer   does not necessarily have to rely on the millers for land preparation because he will pay another farmer who owns a tractor to prepare his land and harvesting, and after receiving his payment from the miller, he will then pay the farmer from whom he rented the machine without any interests.
The prices at which the millers will buy the paddy will reflect repayment for all his supplied inputs and importantly, he tends to downgrade the paddy to make the farmer indebted to him crop after crop.  Grading of paddy is done by the miller’s licensed or unlicensed graders, without Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) grading and quality control officers being present at time, and the farmer usually has no influence on the grade the grader pronounces — whether he appeals it, the results will be the same. The point is, most farmers cannot work out their grading factors so as to determine their correct grade.
GRDB needs to hold grading courses for farmers so they can know how to calculate their factors along with moisture and dockage. While graders are licensed by the GRBD, they can still be expected to act in the millers’ interests even though they are being overlooked by GRDB officers’ quality control; because they are employed by the millers and take orders as to either add more moistures, dockage, undergrade the paddy, and short weighting. The miller will offer sufficiently attractive incentives for his graders to act in his interests. These are all parts of their game I have seen while working at quality control department at the rice millduring my tenure.
Some rice millers do not pay farmers until after they have actually sold the rice and paddy and received payments, though the 2009 Amendments to the Rice Factories Act 1998 require payment of 50 per cent of the total amount within two weeks from the date of receipt of the paddy and the remaining amount within 42 days. Very  often, famers find themselves having to sell their paddy to a miller who hasn’t paid them for paddy supplied from the previous crop or even longer.
Farmers earn no interest on delayed payments, but must instead bear the full costs  of lost opportunities and purchasing power, foregone time preference, lower living standards of this institutional arrangement, which itself is facilitated by the contractual lock-in of farmers to particular millers.
These days millers are purchasing and paying farmers using by the metric measurement; and they are at a disadvantage because they don’t know that 1000kg of paddy dried to 14% moisture and cleaned is = 1 tonne of paddy and gross weight 13,015kg, tare weight 5,5705kg, net weight 7,310 kg, less 1.2 dockage (1.2/x 7310-8772kg, weight of clean paddy (7310- 8772kg – 7222.28kg moisture 20.4% = 1074kg = 1074kg paddy delivered in tons (722.28 kg/1074kg) = 6725mt or 6725kg.
For farmers to find bags: 1 bag = 143 lbs = 65kg, amount of bags delivered = 67,225/65 = 103 bags, 1kg = 2.2 lbs.

Yours faithfully,
Mohamed Khan
Former Rice
Extension Officer

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Open Letter to GTT

Dear Editor,
Please allow me space in your newspaper to voice my views to the CEO of GTT on the recent move by his company to change the Internet service offered from prepaid to postpaid users as of July 18, 2015.
I was taken by surprise when upon paying the monthly charges for internet usage (like I usually do) I still could not connect to the internet; so I called customer service and after a lengthy wait on the phone line I was finally connected to an agent who after checking my account told me I still have an outstanding amount which I must pay before my internet service could be restored. She divulged that notices were sent out to subscribers informing about the change to postpaid instead of prepaid. I would like to reiterate that I never got the memo and I am quite disappointed with GTT.
Some burning questions I would like answered: How can this company hold its subscribers at ransom and decide for them that the post-paid service would be preferable?
Why weren’t subscribers consulted in a survey on which of these two was preferred; and given a choice as to individual subscriber (as it is offered with prepaid or postpaid cellular service) before any decision was made for the customer?
Why should a customer be charged a reconnection fee each time the self-imposed deadline for internet payment is not met?
I find this move by GTT dictatorial and most unfair to all of their customers.
Another point I would like to make is that with the prepaid service, one could use the internet when he/she was present instead of paying for a service and not making use; for there are times a subscriber may be out of the country or out of their residential area for a few weeks or months.
From my personal experience I found prepaid DSL suitable to my lifestyle and I echo this opinion of numerous subscribers because believe me, before writing this letter I carried out a survey (n initiative which should have been taken by GTT!)
I believe GTT is getting away with this incongruous behaviour because the Internet Service is an unregulated service by the PUC; and had prepaid cellular service not come under the PUC, I suspect customers would be charged a reconnection fee when credit runs out.
Therefore, I urge GTT to please reconsider and rethink the internet services offered and give customers the option to choose either prepaid or postpaid as per individual need.
Before I close, let me take this opportunity to address the issue of landline customers being charged a reconnection fee each time there is a late payment of their bills; which is most unfair as more often than not these bills are received past the due date.
I suggest GTT setup commercial offices in every region that they have their services and in doing so they will alleviate the unemployment issue for those who have the necessary qualifications but are yet unemployed.
I strongly believe IT IS TIME for GTT to end the Monopoly!

Yours truly,
Juliet Dukhi
Social Activist

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Government ‘disses’ public servants by increasing its own pay

Dear Editor,
The recent move by the Government to increase its salaries by exorbitant amounts (50 per cent) has sparked much debate and disheartenment among the populace. It is imperative that we remember they promised ‘significant’ salary increases for Government workers. This turned out to be a meager increase (fice per cent plus $5000). Maybe they meant significant salary increases for themselves.
In an attempt to justify the salary increase, Minister of State Joseph Harmon uttered “That is money I paid to one of my Attorneys who worked with me when I was in private practice. Why should I be working for that?” This was an extremely arrogant response and is tantamount to total disregard for the people of Guyana. Mr Harmon should be asked if he was receiving the benefits and allowances (exceeding $500,000) he does now while he was in the Private Sector.
Mr Harmon should keep in mind that he’s no longer in private practice. He should also be reminded that he made a conscious decision to leave private practice and to serve the Guyanese people. If Mr Harmon wishes to receive a salary equal to the amount he claims he worked for, he should willingly return to private practice and not depend on the public purse for it.
We should reflect on previous comments made by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, then Alliance For Change (AFC) Vice Chairman, when advocating for higher public servant wages. He was quoted by Kaieteur News (December 4, 2013) as saying “Minister Jennifer Westford should try living on a Nurse’s salary for one month and then she would be able to accurately report on whether the five per cent increase in salary is enough.” He added “public servants don’t get lump sum allowances for travel, nor are they provided with maids, chauffeurs and gardeners all paid for by the State.”
Mr Nagamootoo seemed aware of the nature on the man of the ground. He seemed concerned that public servants were struggling while the Public Sector elitist enjoy ‘life in London’. He wasn’t aggrieved by the salaries received by the then Government but rather the salaries received by Nurses and Police Officers. Mr Nagamootoo should remind his fellow Ministers not only of these words but the reality that our public servants face. He should come forward and rebuke Mr Harmon for his illogical justification of the salary increase.
It is also important for the APNU/AFC Government to note the likely effects of Mr Harmon’s utterances. The self inflicting wounds would only worsen if Mr Harmon is left unharnessed. The Government should keep in mind that we, the people, are more vigilant than ever before. In fact, we are less tolerant than ever where Government mismanagement and misappropriation is concerned. Just as the previous Administration was removed, so can they. The same way we became frustrated by the 23-year-old Government, the same way we can become frustrated by this infant Government – should it continue along this self pleasing trajectory.
The Government should be reminded that their duty is to serve the people and not serve self. If any group deserves a 50 per cent salary increase at this time in Guyana’s history, it should be the Nurses, Teachers and security personnel (joint services). Our nation’s development rest primarily with their contributions and efforts.

Yours faithfully,
Elton Bollers

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There should be fairness in seeking repossession of property

Dear Editor,
I read Vishnu Bisram’s letter in the Stabroek News (Oct 7, 2015) captioned “There should be fairness in seeking repossession of property” and let me say I am in agreement with its content.
But while Bisram did not mention the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) in his letter, I guess he was referring to SARU to demonstrate fairness and equity in the repossession of property. Bisram is correct and in order.
In my opinion, SARU has no legal basis and is politically partisan in nature since it is headed by Dr Clive Thomas of the Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) and the WPA is part of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government which is still in its election campaign mode and is currently waging a political vendetta against the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) which is now the Opposition.
The APNU/AFC Government now wants to stop the operations of the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre, popularly known as “Red House” by taking back the building through legal action. But Bisram in his letter said that “since the State, under the APNU/AFC Government, is seeking repossession of property, there should be fairness and equity in acts in the direction”. Bisram is not wrong, because if SARU is acting with directives from the APNU/AFC Government, then the coalition Government should also seek the repossession of 5.5 acres of prime land ((state property), a grant given to the Forbes Burnham family by the then PPP/C Government under the Presidency of Bharrat Jagdeo. This prime land is located at back of the Botanic Gardens. The APNU/AFC Government indeed needs to be fair and equitable. And this must be noted by the SARU.
The Cheddi Jagan Research Centre is certainly a national treasure dedicated to the life, work and memory of Dr Cheddi Jagan, an incorruptible freedom fighter and revolutionary who dedicated his life to the poor and powerless in our Guyanese society.
I am therefore appealing to the APNU/AFC Government for the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre to remain peacefully where it is so that all Guyanese can continue to be edified about Dr Jagan, this simple and great Guyanese revolutionary who rose to Statesmanship.
In quite a similar way and as a patriotic Guyanese I would have loved to visit a Forbes Burnham Research Centre, since both Forbes Burnham and Cheddi Jagan played crucial and significant roles in Guyana’s political development. Let us all preserve the work and contributions of these two great Guyanese sons.

Yours faithfully
Romel Simmons

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Re: Unemployment and Economic Disequilibrium?

Dear Editor,
First of all, let me commend this media house for being professional in the execution of its mandate. I must professionally bestow the merits of this media in not only balancing its newscast but on reporting the veracity of the impending issues that affects our daily lives.
I rarely enunciate on issues that bear so much political mileage, even though economical literature would have taught us that such should not pronounce on the well-being of citizens in terms of putting bread on their tables. However, unavoidably observations have imposed a stupendous degree that this has placed political mandates and mileage bringing a subterfuge of the launched manifesto.
Guyanese politicians have failed miserably to comprehend and have from time to time eschewed the fact that it is not the political buddies or political party members that granted them the mandate to ascend to Governance but the simple persons who casted their votes favourably for them, even though these buddies might have impacted the campaign trajectory, the factual matter is that the vote is what is and should be counted.
However, at the spank of ascending to office, these very politicians suddenly becomes oblivious of this reality and resort to making selective appointments through political mandates, hence depriving the electorates of their will and necessities and which now gives clear indication to the many unemployed individuals a perception as to who really matters, the people or the political cronies? Something the politicians so need to think about.
This issue has captured a great magnitude of our diverse concepts of how the appointments in terms of employments are leisured at the whims and fancies of these politicians. Sometimes I would often see persons responding to others saying the previous Government did so hence there should be no issue of such being launched, I find this overwhelmingly humorous, if one is to accept change, then it must have an integral perspective and anyone who compares themselves or their political idols to failure is a bigger failure themself. Politicians have failed also to realise that the custom of providing employment for their political buddies not only deprives a qualified and competent individual of a job  but two major occurrences can be emulated; the qualified individual emigrates hence giving their new place of abode, an opportunity to acquire a skill personnel thus an opportunity to further enhance development in that country (knowing the fundamental element of development is human capital), a loss for Guyana, secondly the appointments are a reflection of the Government of the day, if these appointments are not competent and can’t deliver it leads to a bewildered society and the delivery to the people can be impeded. This aspect is particularised on the recent appointments of Regional Executive Officers and is acumen as to how the near future can bring this disequilibrium and economic turmoil where the impact is already being felt and observed.
The economic advisors seem to have disintegrated from the international reports that stimulates and provides factual evidence of the socioeconomic reality of the day in Guyana, hence resorting to as I would say becoming artistic by painting pictures, this is not a healthy synopsis for the man on the street or the typical Guyanese, they can be misled into the firm belief that all is well and there is nothing to worry about. These advisors should examine the coefficient of GINI – an indicator that provides the reality and links the veracity of the economic disparities and trials so that we can know the truth since we so much deserve it.
Consider the scenarios as they are conceptualise through these sources measured through the utilisation of variables and indicators, reports from the websites such as the UNDP, WHO, PAHO, World Bank, etc provide the reality of the situation:
A fall in the rice and sugar industry, two major income earners for this small economy leads to several socio-economic depressions including unemployment
A global drop in gold prices making natural resources even a shortfall in economic long- and short-term income hence unemployment (there is tangible evidence that local miners has commenced downscaling their staff capacities)
An increment in unemployment rate may be seen as a major indicator in the impulsion of the crime wave since many of these persons are young and some with forth wittingly high expenditures, the rate of emigration being further pushed by lack of opportunities, the human nature is seeking self-amelioration and possibility of ascending to higher standard of living.
Due to frustration of being unemployed sometimes people resort to accept whatever job offers comes their way, I know of an individual with a University degree working as a Sales Clerk (I can provide name, address and contact details of this person) the pellucid evidence of exploitation, shouldn’t these be the  most vital and pivotal issues to be tabled? One member of the state recently address the issue of the Loan Agency that loans are not being repaid at the University, could it be that many of the persons or former students are unemployed right now? Or why wasn’t the question asked why some of our university students/graduates are or were involved in perilous criminal activities like the recent robbery involving some University of Guyana students. One can see that the high repercussions of unemployment are not being examined comprehensively, Did it not occurred why the young lady who recently committed suicide with a Master’s Degree was seeking employment with a popular appliance store? Was this the maximum or was it the only opportunity she had? Or why many of our young people have resorted to prostitution and human trafficking? Are these facts not being examined? The fact of the matters portrays evidence with these tangible impasses that brings the conclusion are evidence of a national recession since all encompasses the theory of the circulation of money and economic elasticity,  this can be rectified by enforcement of removing “the square pegs in round hole” theory. To confront such situations you need the pertinent personnel with the required academic background and experience, how can someone be the pilot of plane when they can’t even know what a plane is? Our beloved country with less than a million persons can attain sustainable development and become a global model of a socioeconomic fountain of sustainable development, a politician will always be a politician but literature in the book, Under-development and Development authored by some great economists/political analysts stated that the Administration of any state must be de-politicised to maximise output since political objectives does not always coincide with developmental goals. Something the relevant authority should consider.

George Phillips
Retired Public

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Open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron

Dear Prime Minister Cameron,
We  who   belong   to  the  Commonwealth   Parliamentary    Association    and cherish  the  value  of the  Westminster  tradition  should  seek  continually   to foster rather than  diminish it.
Given  the honour  which  you were  afforded  to address  the  Joint  Sitting  of Jamaica’s Parliament  on  Tuesday,   September   30,  2015,   the  traditional Parliamentary  right of debate and reply could not be exercised  by any of our Members who were in  attendance.  As  I watched  your  presentation, knowing  them on both sides of the aisle as I do, their good behaviour  which you commended  ought not to be interpreted  as acquiescence   in everything you said.
The gifts you presented  in Gordon  House  were both  welcome  and  timely. Only the shrewdest  observers  of parliamentary  custom  would  have  noticed that  the  package  you  offered  there  discreetly  omitted  any  mention of  a £25 million   contribution for the building of a prison.
That  was  understandable, as what  exists  constitutes  no more  than  a non- binding Memorandum  of Understanding.  You rightfully appreciated that its inclusion would have been premature as the framework Agreement  has to be followed by further intensive negotiations and then the requisite legislation.
You wisely chose instead to add there the announcement of £30 million to make our  hospitals   more  resilient   to  natura disasters.  Given  our vulnerability and the danger  of climate  change,  this donation  was  highly appreciated.
Despite your recognition  of not being “the only show in town”, the words of strengthening  the bonds  of friendship  and the  down-payment   you  brought would have been well received throughout the entire Caribbean.
Prime Minister, he  most  noble  intentions  were jarred  by  those  portions  of your  address which asserted that slavery was a long time ago, in the historical  past and “as friends  we  can move  on together  to build  for the future.”
Your host,  the most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller,  in her gracious  welcome referred  to the difficult  issue of reparation  which  should  be discussed  in “a spirit of mutual  respect,  openness  and understanding  as we seek to actively engage the UK on the matter.”
You chose instead to throw down the gauntlet.
Mere acknowledgment  of its horror will not suffice.  It was  and still   is a most  heinous  crime  against  humanity – a  stain which  cannot  be  removed merely by the passage of time.
Those who perished in the Middle Passage and the fatal victims on the sugar plantations  were the victims of genocide. This is a crime in accordance with International Law.
The  attempt  to  trivialise and  diminish  the  significance   of  300  years  of British  enslavement   of  Africans  and  the  trade  in  their  bodies  reflect  the continued    ethnic   targeting    of   our   ancestors    and   their    progeny    for discriminatory   treatment   in both the  annals of history and in the present.
The 180 years of slavery in Jamaica remain fresh in living memory. There are people  alive in Jamaica  today whose  great grandparents  were  a part  of the   slavery   system   and  the   memory   of   slavery   still   lingers   in  these households  and communities.
Those   180  years  were  followed  by  another   100  years  of  imposed  racial apartheid  in which these  families were racially  oppressed  by British  Armies and colonial  machinery.  The scars of this oppression  are still alive  in the minds and hearts of  million Jamaicans.
To speak of slavery as something from the Middle Ages is insufficient.  For our communities,  its legacies are still present in their  memory  and emotions. To  reject  this  living  experience   is  to  repudiate   the  very   meaning   and existence of these people’s  lives.
How can we   simply forget it and move on to the future?  If there  is no explicit admission of guilt now, when will be the proper time?
You argue that Britain abolished the slave system and the  credit  for this resonates  in the British Parliament today and shows British compassion  and diplomacy.
Where is the prior confession that Britain fashioned, legalised,  perpetuated and  prospered from the slave trade?
Indeed, the facts speak to a different explanation.    In Jamaica  the enslaved led by  Sam  Sharpe  tried  to  abolish  slavery  themselves  three  years  before your Parliament  acted.    The British Army destroyed  these  freedom  fighters and executed  their  leaders.
This attempt to destroy the seed of freedom and justice in Jamaica  continued for another hundred  years.  In 1865, the peasants  sought to occupy  Crown lands in order to survive widespread  hunger.  The British  Government  sent in  the  Army  and  massacred  those  people,  executing  Paul  Bogle,  Zeorge William Gordon  and  other leaders.
Furthermore, the  British  Act  of Emancipation  reflected  that  the  enslaved people  of Jamaica  were not human but property. The 800,000  Africans  in the Caribbean  and elsewhere  were valued at £47 million.  The Government agreed  to   compensate   the   slave   owners   £20 million,    and   passed  an Emancipation  Act in which the enslaved had to work free for another  four to six years in order to work off the £27 million promised slave owners.  It was they who paid for their eventual freedom.
The enslaved paid more than 50 per cent of the cost of their market value  in compensation  to slave owners.  This is what your Emancipation  Act did. The enslaved   got   nothing   by   way   of   compensation.  The Act of Emancipation  was self serving and was designed to support British  national commercial  interests alone.
You have  refused  to apologise. Yet your Government  has  apologised  to everyone  else for horrid crimes.  Are we not worthy  of an apology  or less deserving?
Mere acknowledgment   of  the  crime   is  insufficient.  The  international community    and  international  law  call  for  formal  apologies  when  crimes against  humanity  are committed.  The UN has deemed  slave  trading  and slavery as crimes against humanity.   The refusal to apologise  is a refusal to take  responsibility   for  the  crime. In  a  law  abiding  world  this  is  not acceptable.
Recently  you  urged  your  own  nation  to keep  the  memory  of  the  Jewish experience  alive in memorials  and education  curricula.   We urge you to do the same for the black experience which remains before us all.  It is precisely because we all want to move on that the reparatory justice  movement  is alive and growing.   We all want to move on, but with justice and equality.
Contrary  to your view, the Caribbean  people will never  emerge  completely from the “long,  dark shadow”  of slavery  until there is a full confession  of guilt by those  who committed  this evil atrocity.
“The  resilience  and spirit  of its people”  is no ground  to impair the  solemnity of  a  privileged   Parliamentary   occasion  and  allow  the  memory  of  our ancestors  to be offended once again.
The Caribbean  people  have long been looking  to the future.   This  is what we  do in  our  development  visions,  but  these  legacies  are  like  millstones around  our necks.   We look to reparatory justice  as the beginning  of shaping a new future.   We invite Britain to engage in removing  this blot on human civilisation  so that together  we can create a new  and  secure future.

Yours sincerely,
PJ Patterson
Former Prime Minister,
Jamaica (1992-2006)

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Freddie the fake pollster

Dear Editor,

Freddie Kissoon made reference to a “fake pollster” (Oct 7) in a column that had no relevance to polling thereby exposing his obsession with the pollster. Freddie does not use logic in his writing to form conclusions. Freddie attacks the pollster because he says the pollster “criticises him five times last week”. That is not justifiable reason to attack an opinion writer. All that the pollster did was correct errors and misinformation in Freddie’s writings and exposing his phantasmagoria. But Freddie goes berserk when corrected.

The record would show Freddie is the fake pollster and how he loves a fake poll even when driven into him.

In 1991, TRPI and NACTA conducted separate polls showing the PPP winning the election, PNC second, WPA 3%, UF 1% and others less than 1%. Freddie attacked the polls. Freddie asserted his own poll showed the PNC had 10%, PPP 25% and WPA winning the election. The actual outcome showed PPP 53%, PNC 43%, WPA 2%, UF 1%, and others 1%. Freddie’s poll was a “fake”, but he has the audacity to call others fake pollsters.

In 2006, Freddie’s male companion, Dick Morris, conducted a series of polls showing AFC winning the election with PPP second and PNC third. Freddie praised the Dick poll that was condemned by Moses Nagamootoo as a fraud. NACTA projected a majority for PPP and PNC second with AFC well behind. That was the actual outcome. Instead of praising the work of the pollster who did scientific polling and got it right, Freddie attacked the poll (and Nagamootoo as well for campaigning for PPP) as “fake”. In the Kissoonian logic, the pollster who got it right is a fake pollster and the pollster who got it wrong is not a fake pollster.

In 2011, Freddie’s pollster predicted the PPP would get 34% of the votes and the AFC was on course to winning the election with the PNC running behind. NACTA forecasted a PPP victory with PNC second and AFC trailing behind. Freddie praised Nagamootoo for leaving the PPP. The actual outcome: PPP 49%, PNC 40% and AFC 11%. The Kissoonian logic concluded that Freddie’s pollster who got it wrong is right and the NACTA pollster who got it right is wrong because he engaged in “fake polling”.

In last May 11 elections, Freddie’s pollster (the real faker) hired by Freddie’s coalition predicted that the APNU/AFC would garner between 58 and 62% of the votes. Freddie praised the poll’s findings projecting the PPP defeat. NACTA projected a 50-50 percent tie that could go either way. The GECOM declared outcome saw less than 1% margin between the APNU/AFC and PPP. Freddie feels his pollster got it right (although off by 12%) and called the other pollster a “fake”. So the pollster who got it right was “fake” and the “real fake” pollster, Freddie’s man who got it wrong is right according to the Kissoonian logic.

This is the same Freddie who claimed someone from the CIA and a journalist from the New York Times (who Freddie said he contracted to do research) told him that “Vishnu Bisram” does not teach “anywhere in the world” despite the fact the man has been teaching (tutoring) for over 35 years in New York and was so advised by countless number of people. Is that not a fake claim?

Kissoon is reluctant to admit his flaws. Freddie is the “fake” for spreading misinformation and for “mis-diagnosis”, manufacturing data to support a contention, and misleading people with incorrect analysis and misapplications.

Yours truly,

Vishnu Bisram

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