February 12, 2016

Teenager dies in Corentyne accident

A 16-year-old boy is now dead after the minibus in which he was travelling crashed into a moving motorcar, before toppling four times along the public road in the vicinity of Bengal, East Berbice Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
The accident occurred around 21:15h on Thursday evening.
Dead is Marvin Baithoo of Crabwood Creek, Berbice. Baithoo was a student of the Skeldon Line Path Secondary School.
Guyana Times understands that the minibus was at the time transporting students from a Mashramani event.
According to information received, there were nine students ranging from ages 14 to 17 in the minibus.
Eight of the students were from the Skeldon Line Path Secondary School while the other was from Tagore Memorial School.
Reports indicate that the minibus attempted to overtake the motorcar travelling ahead when it collided with the vehicle’s rear. The driver then lost control of the car and slammed into a parked truck.
Injured passengers were rushed to the Port Mourant Hospital for medical treatment and were subsequently transferred to the New Amsterdam Hospital.

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Police ranks dump millions of dollars in cocaine

Police on Thursday dumped more than 517 kilograms of cocaine, worth millions of dollars, 16 miles offshore into the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Guyana.

Intercepted cocaine being prepared to be destroyed

Intercepted cocaine being prepared to be destroyed35

The cocaine dumped was seized in cases already concluded in the Magistrate’s Courts and it is understood that the remainder of the cocaine seized by the Police over the years will be disposed of when those cases are completed.
The cocaine destroyed was found by members of the Force over a two-year period. It was found at various ports and transit points across Guyana, especially at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, East Bank Demerara; at the Ogle International Airport, East Coast Demerara, and at city wharves.
The cocaine was skillfully hidden in a variety of ways, including in rum, letters, footwear, false-bottoms in luggage, sealed envelopes, packages, straws and pellets swallowed by drug mules.
Fifteen bottles of 15-Year-Old rum contained liquid cocaine and these were also destroyed.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum explained to Guyana Times that most of the illegal drugs that were destroyed were from cases that were being appealed over the years in the court, while the remaining quantity was from persons who pleaded guilty to their cases over a two-year period.
Blanhum remained resolute that he and other officers from the Police Anti-Narcotics Branch of the Force will continue to work even harder to stretch the long arm of the law in the fight against nacro-trafficking in Guyana.
Several boxes, bags, suitcases and drums containing cocaine were then transferred from the Police Anti-Narcotics Branch office at Eve Leary, Georgetown to the Coast Guard Marine Headquarters, stationed behind the Ruimveldt Police Station.
The arduous exercise lasted for four and a half hours.

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Pregnant woman critical after speeding minibus slams into pole

A pregnant woman is now in a critical condition after the minibus in which she was travelling slammed into a pole along the East Bank Demerara roadway on Thursday evening.IMG-20160211-WA0013 IMG-20160211-WA0012
According to reports,  the minibus was speeding along the roadway when the driver lost control of the vehicle and pitched head on onto a streetlight pole in the vicinity of Providence.
Other eyewitnesses recalled that two motorcars were racing along the road when one of the vehicles jammed into the minibus, resulting in the crash.
The other passengers, who were all family members of the patient, in the minibus were also seriously injured and were rushed to GPHC for medical treatment.

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Miner charged for fraud

A miner on Thursday appeared before Magistrate Ann McLennan facing fraud charges.
Hilton Charles, 43, of Mahaicony, pleaded not guilty to the charge which read that on January 10, 2015 at Georgetown he was solely entrusted by Yervis Harvacorn with $70,000 cash in order that he may deliver same to Yervis Harvacorn but which he fraudulently converted for his own use and benefit.

Hilton Charles

Hilton Charles

Attorney Keisha Chase represented the defendant and made an application for reasonable bail on the grounds that he has no prior conviction and is not a flight risk.
She further told the court the defendant did pay some of the money for a Labrador dog for Harvacorn which he has a receipt for.
She added that he became ill on Christmas Day and a blood test done showed that a blood vessel in his head burst; as such he was unable to work.
After he recovered, he subsequently went into the interior and upon his return he was arrested by police.
The prosecutor had no objections to bail and it was granted at the sum of $75,000.
The matter will return to court on March 7 for statements.

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Jubilee Children’s Mash Competition continues

East Street Nursery during their performance

East Street Nursery during their performance

The fourth part of the Jubilee Children’s Mash Competition kicked off on Thursday with the costume segment which featured nursery and primary schools across Georgetown.

The event staged at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall saw a large turnout of parents, teachers and students who came in support of their favourite participants or schools.

The hall was filled with screams and cheers as each student came in the spotlight to deliver their performances to the jubilant crowd.

Waving flags and decked out in their vibrant costumes portraying Guyana’s cultural heritage, the children danced enthusiastically, moving across the stage in comfort.

Organiser of the event Sharon King-Harris told Guyana Times that so far the competition had been running ‘smoothly’. She said even though there had been minor inconveniences due to rain and transportation, the turnout had been great, but noted the costume competition usually attracts the largest crowd.

One of guest performers at the event, local artiste Calvin Burnett told this publication the experience is usually incredible since the children are the best audience. “As soon as you start singing a song, they just chime in with the music, so this is very exciting.” he told. The competition will continue today with the physical display segment.

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GPSU, GRA negotiating Collective Labour Agreement

Junior Social Protection  Minister Keith Scott

Junior Social Protection
Minister Keith Scott

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) are negotiating a Collective Labour Agreement for the trade union to bargain for and on behalf of the employees of tax body.

According to press release from the Social Protection Ministry, it has welcomed this development since it is through bargaining processes that the interests and rights of employees/employers alike are expanded and protected.

The release recalled that Junior Social Protection Minister Keith Scott advised the National Assembly that he would be pursuing the restoration of Collective Bargaining particularly in the Public Sector and on the same day, the GRA revealed that it had recognised the GPSU to act on behalf of its workers.

The Ministry noted that the absence or dilution of the bargaining process and its attendant procedures over the years has not helped the development of industrial relations therefore the restoration of collective bargaining across the national landscape should exhibit a return to some of the main and critical values inclusive of vetting and counter-signing of the Collective Labour Agreement by the Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence within the framework of Contract Administration.

In the lead up to the elections, the issue of “collective bargaining” by the recognised trade union with the employer had been raised.

The now Government, but then opposition, had clearly indicated they were willing to go the collective bargaining route.

Collective bargaining in Guyana has had a chequered history in Guyana, unfortunately not necessarily because of substantive objections to the process but rather of successive governments’ evaluating it as another form of politics.

Politics in Guyana grew out of trade unionism, and it appears that trade unionists have never been able to completely wean themselves away from the pill of politics.

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Venezuela disrupting resolution process – Greenidge

Foreign Affairs Minister  Carl Greenidge

Foreign Affairs Minister
Carl Greenidge

Guyana/Venezuela controversy

It would appear that neighbouring Venezuela would never allow due process to take its course through the assistance of the United Nation (UN). The country has been accused of seeking to disrupt the process that could lead to a possible resolution and put the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy to rest once and for all.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said on Thursday that the most recent declaration made by the Spanish-speaking country through its Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez will cause him to make a formal complaint to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Minister was addressing the National Assembly moments before he made his actual contribution to the ongoing budget debate.

According to Greenidge, Rodriguez in a statement to the United Nations on February 4, 2015 titled ‘Guyana ratifies its rights over the Essequibo’ said “We affirm the legitimate rights of Venezuela on the Essequibo, is a historic place and we are ready under the Geneva Agreement to prosecute this territorial dispute through diplomacy, international law,” Rodriguez reportedly stated.

According to Greenidge, the statement made by Rodriguez at the United Nations headquarters was filled with “innuendos.” He said the statement misrepresents the facts.

“Guyana repudiates in its entirety the statement issued by the Venezuelan Foreign Minister,” Greenidge said. He said that “Guyana rejects the backhanded attempts to despoil her rights.”

“Venezuela’s behaviour towards Guyana is a festering wound to peace and to the stability of the Region… it is an affront to the rule of law …Venezuela seems prepared to derail the process, Guyana will not allow the deceptions being peddled by Venezuela to persist,” the Minister told the National Assembly.

Venezuela, up until now, has not accepted the 1899 Award as a final settlement of the border dispute, although it only made its contention international in 1945. In 1949, the US jurist Otto Schoenrich gave the Venezuelan Government a memorandum, written by Severo Mallet-Prevost, the Official Secretary of the US-Venezuela delegation in the Tribunal of Arbitration, which was written in 1944 to be published only after his death.

Mallet-Prevost, one of the four lawyers who had appeared for Venezuela before the Arbitral Tribunal, surmised from the private behaviour of the judges that there had been a political deal between Great Britain and Russia and for the first time, attacked the Award. This memorandum led to Venezuela’s revival of its claim to Guyana’s territory.

In 1966 in Geneva, Switzerland, the Governments of British Guiana, the United Kingdom and Venezuela signed an agreement to resolve its contentions, since the issue has sporadically flared up and has not been resolved.

The issue reignited in early March when the Government of Guyana granted access to the US-based oil exploration company ExxonMobil, allowing it to drill for oil in the Stabroek block offshore Essequibo.

The Venezuelan Government was peeved at this move and made direct contact with the oil company, urging it to discontinue its attempt to carry out drilling activities in the area. Saying it had no part in the territorial issue, the oil company went ahead with its drilling activity.

President Maduro later issued a decree on May 26, 2015, which purports to ratify maritime sovereignty over waters within 200 miles including the entire Atlantic Ocean off the Essequibo Coast as well as part of Suriname’s maritime territory and an area which is under dispute with Colombia.

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PaperCraft Creations for Valentine’s Day

Wow was the word that came to mind upon viewing some of the paper-craft created by Lachmin Persaud commonly known as Lisa – a treat for the senses with sumptuous colours, shapes and textures. And the reviews on Facebook likewise laud her work.
Given that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, her PaperCraft Creations may be the perfect place to get a special card or gift basket for your loved ones.VDay 1a
The 22-year-old, who has a fulltime job in addition to her business PaperCraft Creations, got her start after wowing family and friends at her sister’s baby shower for which she had hand made the decorations, invitations, gift baskets and other paraphernalia.  As word spread of her talent, she soon received orders for personalised, one-of-a-kind cards and other creations, with several persons hiring her to do the décor for their events, including a wedding.
Contact: 610-9515 or www.facebook/PaperCraft-Creations.

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Possible extension for “Operation Dragnet”

With the recent revelation by Guyana Police Force that Operation Dragnet was one of the contributing factors of the reduction of serious crimes in January, when compared to the same period last year, the possibility of an extension of the operation will be considered.

Operation Dragnet was implemented following the upsurge in crime on December 1, 2015 with the aim of enhancing the country’s national security buy it will come to an end on June 1, 2016.

The operation saw the Joint Services coordinating with other Government agencies to intensify security operations by increasing border patrols, having a more robust Police presence within communities, and having strengthened immigration scrutiny at the ports of entries.

While there have been scepticism about the manner in which the programme was carried out, the police have claimed it a success.

Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine on Thursday lauded the programme, noting that it has yield success since its implementation: A number of illegal firearms were seized, a number of drug seizures made and a number of wanted men arrested, are some of the high points of Operation Dragnet.

He noted that the programme has lived up to the expectation of the joint services and while it may come to an end on June 1, it will be reviewed and a possible recommendation of an extension might be forthcoming by the higher authorities.

Although there has been a decrease in serious crimes, murders have increased by eight per cent; and a whopping 50 per cent increase in the number of armed robberies where instruments other than firearms were used by perpetrators.

However, the police also stated that there were other factors that have contributed to the reduction of serious crime such as the implementation of a five-point strategy to deal with crime which was outlined by President David Granger and more importantly, the increased deployment of ranks in F Division; intelligence-led policing and improved cooperation with the public.

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PPP’s Dr Clive Jagan resigns from Parliament

People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) parliamentarian, Dr Clive Jagan has resigned from his seat. The House was informed of his resignation on Thursday following his absence from the National Assembly since the beginning of the year.

Dr Clive Jagan

Dr Clive Jagan

The announcement was made by Speaker of the House, Dr Barton Scotland, at the beginning of Thursday’s session.
According to Dr Scotland, he received a letter from the Opposition parliamentarian on February 4 in which the first-time Member of Parliament indicated that he was giving up his seat in the National Assembly.
While Dr Jagan did not state, in the letter to the Speaker, the reason behind his decision, it has been known that the parliamentarian has been ill for some time now.
Earlier this month, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had disclosed that Dr Jagan was ill and was overseas receiving medical treatment.
Dr Jagan is the nephew of the late President and co-founder of PPP, Dr Cheddi Jagan. The renowned dental surgeon made his entry into politics just before the May 2015 General and Regional Elections by endorsing the Party.
He was placed on the Party’s List of Candidates and subsequently selected as a second-bencher in Parliament.
The Speaker has called on the PPP/C to select an appropriate replacement for Dr Jagan from its List of Candidates.

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