July 29, 2014

PPP extends Eid-ul-Fitr greetings

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) extends greetings to all Guyanese, especially our Muslim brothers and sisters on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Eid-ul-Fitr brings to an end a month of fasting and worship in which Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk which serves to reinforce the universal values of discipline, care, and compassion embodied in the teachings of Islam.

The PPP commends our Muslim brothers and sisters for reminding us, and the entire world, of the lessons of Ramadan – sacrifice, selflessness, reaching out to others, and the abandonment of greed.

The Party calls on all Guyanese to reflect on these values especially at this time when there are dark forces, which seek to divide us and disrupt the peace, progress and prosperity, which have now characterised our economic, social, and cultural life.

The PPP takes this opportunity to call for an end to the conflict and tension in the Middle East, more particularly an immediate and unconditional end to the killings of innocent men, women and children by the Israeli military in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. So far, over 1000 Palestinian lives have been lost since the bombings started a few weeks ago.

The PPP has taken note of the fact that the killings took place during the holy month of Ramadan which speaks to the total lack of concern for the feelings and sensitivities of Muslims and for that matter, the global community as a whole.

Let us use this most important occasion to reflect on the deep meaning of sacrifice, love of mankind and working together for a better life for ourselves and our country.

Once again, a happy and joyous Eid-ul-Fitr to all Muslims.


Eid Mubarak to all.

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Reflect on noble lessons learnt during Ramadan – IAC

The Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) is pleased to join with all Guyanese in extending Eid Mubarak to the Muslim Community.

As our brothers and sisters celebrate this great festival, which climaxes the end of the holy month of Ramadan, it is an appropriate time for us to reflect on the noble lessons learnt in Ramadan.

The IAC congratulates all Muslims who gathered to pray and break fast at their mosques over the past month thus, strengthening their commitment to their faith and their covenant with their creator.

The IAC calls upon all Guyanese to remember those adherents of Islam, who are being oppressed, brutalised and killed in various parts of the world at this time.

The IAC stands ready to work with our Muslims brother and sisters to eradicate poverty by reaching out to the less fortunate in supporting all forms of charity. May the teachings of Ramadan encourage all Guyanese to build greater family values, promote peace, brotherhood and unity among our people.

Eid Mubarak

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NOC receives $1M for re-tooling of catering class

Entrance to the New Opportunity Corps

Entrance to the New Opportunity Corps

The catering class at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) has received a considerable boost in the form of equipment that will enhance the delivery of the course at the institution.

The funding for the re-tooling of the catering class was donated by Eerepami, a German organisation.

Some of the items include a percolator, ice maker, kitchen scales, mixing and oven bowls, tawa, meat mincer, tea pots, pastry decorating set, cookie press and icing set, knife set, measuring spoons, stove, freezer, fridge, microwave, pressure cooker, juicer and other cook ware items.

This is not the first time the organisation has assisted the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry; a few years ago they helped with the water sanitisation system at the Kuru Kuru Training Centre (KKTC), and with the development of the joinery, masonry and the establishment of the catering class at the NOC.

Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony noted that he is very pleased to partner with Eerepami and the other German donor agencies. He noted that the organisation has always been willing to step forth in challenging times.

Further, the students who benefited from the support have graduated from their respective programmes and have moved on to be very productive individuals.

The Minister recalled that several years ago, the organisation gave assistance in a water supply system at KKTC, which had a positive impact on the lives of the students there. Another area of support resulted in the recreation of the Giant Slot at the National Museum.

The retooling of the catering class adds to the curriculum at the NOC, which was revised last year. This is also important because of the fact that most of the programmes offered at the institution are male oriented.

Eerepami representative Robert Spitzer recalled his days at high school where taking a home economics class was compulsory. He indicated that being able to cook is an important life skill.

He noted that while the NOC has a central kitchen, it is also important for the students to have a separate classroom with the necessary tools to advance the catering class. Spritzer also commended the caterers at the institution.

The partnership between Eerepami and the NOC through the MCYS has been extended by another year, and it is hoped that it can extend further.

Acting Assistant Director of Youth Brian King explained that the items donated are just the start of more to come. He added that Eerepami will be helping with the establishment of two remedial classrooms and one dormitory.

Further, the Food for the Poor is also contributing one container of beds, furniture and other items.

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Police outreaches yielding success – Commander Hicken

The Commander of A Division (Georgetown), Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken

The Commander of A Division (Georgetown), Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken

The Commander of A Division (Georgetown), Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken, said the community outreach programmes conducted by the Guyana Police Force are yielding much success, as the Force is striving to regain the confidence of the public.

Speaking to Guyana Times, Hicken explained that the Force is focusing more on intelligence-driven policing rather than proactive strategies such as roadblocks and patrols. As such, it has to work on rebuilding its relationship with the public and win back their confidence in order to keep intel coming in.

The Commander explained that through these initiatives, the Police are able to better interact with the Public and at the same time, determine what needs to be done to curb crime-related activities in communities.

Commander Hicken has been conducting a series of community outreaches with the most recent held in Diamond on Saturday. He disclosed that an analysis was recently conducted in Albouystown and it shows that there was a “drastic decline” in crime immediately after the Impact Albouystown Project was launched in the community.

Additionally, he noted that the Police have also introduced the project in Agricola, but in the form of a patrol, and have seen a reduction in crime there also.

Hicken emphasised that he was focused on building and empowering youths because they are vulnerable and can be easily coerced into criminal activities without proper guidance.

According to the A Division Commander, outreach exercises help him to identify the weakness within the Police Force and develop strength from those weaknesses. “We recognised that more people are coming onboard as against having a barrier between members of the public and Police. These outreach programmes also help us to understand what people are facing going into the stations,” HIcken said.

He noted that several hotline numbers were established for the public to make contact with the Divisional Commanders and senior officers when junior ranks behave unprofessionally and undisciplined. Hicken explained that by raising such issues with senior officers such as the Sub-Division Officer, the imperative will be on the Force to address those problems and improve its service towards the people.

The Commander stated that Police are supposed to work within a framework of professionalism and display a professional code of conduct at all times.

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Rohee dismisses PNCR sabotage claims

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has dismissed outright claims by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) that it tried to sabotage that party’s 18th Biennial Congress held over the weekend.

At the party’s weekly press conference on Monday, General Secretary Clement Rohee said there were more pertinent things to be dealt with than seeking to interfere in the politics of the main Opposition party. “We have other interest to pursue, our party’s interest, so why would the PPP want to… We must be a very influential and powerful party to sabotage a PNC Congress. I think that is just politics.”

Re-elected PNCR leader David Granger had told reporters minutes after the Congress on Sunday evening, that the ruling PPP/Civic had made failed attempts to ruin the Congress. Despite a walkout by Lindeners who attended the Congress, Granger insisted that the event was successful.

The Party Leader had hinted too that the PPP had its ways and means of influencing PNC supporters. In response, Rohee exclaimed: “That is good news; that is wonderful news.” Rohee said he had also heard Granger saying that the PPP would have provocateurs infiltrate the party to create difficulty for the PNC. According to him, that is a “ruse”, as the PNC continued to claim that the PPP would use persons to engage in riots and looting. “That is nothing new,” Rohee said.


Questioned on why the PPP has also demonstrated such innate interest in the PNC’s Congress, Rohee said that that party has been, for years, the major rival of his party, so it is obvious that an interest in what they are doing would be apparent. “The same way they would have an interest in what we are doing, the same way we would have an interest in them”.

Questions were also about the paid ads in the print media regarding the PNC Congress. However, Rohee denied that the PPP or the Government had anything to do with those.

The advertisement placed in newspapers in the run-up to the Congress on July 25 urged PNC party members attending the event to question their leaders on their reasons for voting down many transformational projects in the National Assembly, wanting to close down the sugar industry and cutting budget allocations for the Amerindian Development Fund and the University of Guyana Students Loan Programme among other initiatives.

The 18th Biennial Congress of the PNCR came to an end Sunday evening amid claims that it was tainted by extensive deception, threats, and coercion. Granger returned to his post as leader after the two contenders Aubrey Norton and Sharma Solomon bowed out of the race. Basil Williams also reclaimed his position as Chairman.

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GCAA warns airline operators on safety practices

Public Works Minister Robeson Benn

Public Works Minister Robeson Benn

Amid a series of aircraft accidents in the hinterland, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the country’s aviation watchdog has re-issued a notice to aircraft operators in accordance with the standards and recommended practices of the Convention on International Civil Aviation when landing on hinterland airstrips.

This notice was re-circulated as a precautionary measure, the GCCA said. “It was something that had to be done because we are very concerned. Recently, several aircraft have encountered gusty winds and wind shear conditions that have resulted in damage to these aircraft,” disclosed Public Works Minister Robeson Benn said.

As per standard operation practice, pilots were reminded of the need to follow the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) procedurally when operating. “Each aircraft has its own peculiar reaction in response to crosswinds, but generally a good crosswind landing begins with a good approach. This is taught to pilots and every opportunity must be taken to re-enforce this,” GCAA Director General Zulficar Mohamed emphasised in the bulletin.

Pointing to the fact that the landing phase is very demanding, operators are advised to have their pilots follow the approved procedures in order to maintain proper approach and landing. If these parameters are not achieved, a go-around or diversion is necessary.

The option of the go-around manoeuvre, an aborted landing of an aircraft that is on final approach, was highlighted in the bulletin.

“This procedure should be a habit in everyday Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flying, so that a predetermined go-around plan is always fresh in the mind during the approach and can be executed at any time the approach is in doubt. Most importantly, in situations where meteorological conditions or terrain features would permit an approach but preclude a safe go-around, then that approach requires extra consideration and perhaps should not be attempted.

“Every pilot already knows that proper planning, making wise decisions, situational awareness, adherence to SOPs and having an alternate plan of action are all characteristics of good airmanship, which are essential for a safe flight.

“It is important that pilots know not only the aircraft crosswind limits, but also their own personal limit and to recognise when these limits will be exceeded. The best option is to divert to another airstrip. Very often the limiting factor is related more to the pilot than the aircraft. It is therefore important to reiterate that the pilot must know his/her limits and operate within them,” Mohamed said.

Operators are also cautioned to ensure that young pilots be taught the necessary skills to operate safely into the hinterland airstrips. Pilots must be given the opportunity to practise and develop these skills, and must be comfortable operating into borderline aerodromes before they are required to operate into the aerodromes as pilot-in-command by their respective companies.

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ECD man charged with unlawful, malicious wounding

An East Coast Demerara (ECD) resident on Monday appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry charged for unlawful and malicious wounding.

Karamchand Seetall, of Lot 263 Company Road, Buxton, ECD, on July, 22 at Kereru Landing, Cuyuni River, allegedly unlawfully and maliciously wounded Donald Jackson, also known as Rasta Man, causing actual bodily harm.

Seetall was unrepresented and told the court that he had never been in trouble with the law before. He then pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted $40,000 bail and was placed on a bond to keep the peace.

The next court hearing for this matter will be on September 22 at the Kamarang Magistrate’s Court.

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Security guard, 67, on bail for unlawful wounding

A 67-year-old security guard was placed on self-bail and a bond to keep the peace on Monday when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with unlawful and malicious wounding.

Cecil Anderson, of Lot 56 La Penitence, Georgetown, is accused of unlawfully and maliciously wounding Chandra Sukhram on July 21, on Croal Street, Georgetown.

Anderson was not represented by an attorney and pleaded guilty to the charge.

Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry asked the defendant if he has ever come into conflict with the law previously and he replied in the negative. He was then granted bail. Anderson is expected to return to court on September 22.

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Catholic teachers open regional conference

CACT President Joan Walker giving her remarks

CACT President Joan Walker giving her remarks

The Caribbean Association of Catholic Teachers (CACT) opened their 23rd Biennial Conference for regional Catholic teachers, under the theme “Catholic Educators as Agents of Change in the Caribbean”, on Monday at Marian Academy, the only Catholic school in Guyana.

The conference which will conclude on August 3, features teachers from several Caribbean regions, including Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and Guyana.

It will be held at the St Paul’s Pastoral Centre in Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara and will focus on the educational environment in general and the evolving role of Catholic educators.

Although the emphasis is on Catholic teachers and Catholic education, the sessions and workshops will be opened to interested non-Catholic educators, whether they work in public or private institutions of learning.

Caribbean Association of Catholic Teachers President Joan Walker stated that she was very grateful that despite the challenges the group faced, they were able to meet to plan and perfect the future of their organisation.

Bishop Gabriel Roseau speaking to participants of the conference

Bishop Gabriel Roseau speaking to participants of the conference

She told the conference’s participants that this occasion provided them with the opportunity, as Catholic teachers, to work in collaboration with the church in bringing about the change that they have been envisioning for years, and to revive proper morals and values in society.

Walker encouraged teachers to remain determined in their efforts for betterment and to not be afraid to step out of their comfort zones to accomplish a task, as they are to serve as role models to young people, and to educate the students about the Gospel.

Walker told the CACT members that she is committed to moving forward with them to bring about “the change that is desperately needed in today’s society, especially in his day and age”.

Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, Bishop of Roseau, mentioned that the churches of the Caribbean have made great efforts to educate their regions. He stated that this year’s theme was particularly apt to promote examination of the challenges faced by Catholic teachers.

The Bishop mentioned that it was most urgent for CACT’s discussions to assist the teachers on how they reflect on their own lives and to always view themselves in positive light as Catholic teachers. He also encouraged them to always be aware of the ones that may look up to them. Bishop Malzaire urged the teachers to continuously question what they are bringing to the table as it relates to the education of young minds.

He believes the time has come for Catholic teachers to be the strongholds of the teaching systems in their countries. He said Catholic teachers cannot be a bystander, concerned only with the intellectual information that is required, but that they must also see themselves as a religious entity.

He expressed the hope that this year’s conference will provide them all with the opportunity to learn the means of what it takes to truly be considered a Catholic teacher.

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Granger supporters claim they’re satisfied with elections result

While some members of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) have openly expressed utter disgust at the party’ elections at the 18th Biennial Congress, some have said that they are satisfied with the process.

Party leader David Granger’s challenger Aubrey Norton had pulled out of the leadership race moments before the polling began on Sunday.

He had cited wrong doings as his reason for pulling out of the race. But Granger is challenging anyone with evidence of this to come forward.

Dissatisfied Lindeners, who contended that they have had enough with the alleged shenanigans of the PNCR to ensure that Granger was re-elected, were the highlight of Sunday’s Congress after they stormed through the gates, contending that they have had enough with the party.

They were supporters of Norton and were reportedly registered to vote but were not allowed to do so.

Former Speaker and long-serving PNCR Member Clarissa Riehl has since resigned from the party while Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSAM) National Secretary Adel Lilly promised to follow suit.

Guyana Times approached a few delegates as they were leaving Congress Place for a comment, but they refused. The delegates were mainly Granger supporters. Some did speak with Guyana Times but on condition of anonymity.

One woman pointed out that she understands that the Lindeners have some issues with the process, but their storming out of Congress Place was not the way to solve a problem. But the Lindeners stormed out due to their dissatisfaction with the Voter’s List and the opening of firing after they became vociferous on the matter.

The others voiced satisfaction with the process.

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