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17 Jan
2020

Let freedom reign in our hearts and minds

first_imgDear Editor,Today, August 1, we celebrate 180 years of the abolition of slavery in Guyana. This significant event is better known as the Emancipation, and is widely acknowledged for the celebrations and festivities that surround it. The abolition of slavery came centuries after our ancestors were ripped from their homeland in Africa, brought all those miles across the Atlantic Ocean to this part of the world, sold into a system called slavery, and thereafter worked and lived in the most inhumane conditions there ever were.The achievement of emancipation came after decades of struggle, enduring hardships, privation, demoralisation, torture, and death at the hands of the slave masters. All of their freedoms were taken away. Stripped of their identity, they were removed from the status of a human being to that of an animal. Hence it was with great jubilation that they welcomed the dawn of August 1, 1834.It could be said that it was this sad and dark era of history that influenced the conceptualisation of the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948, 114 years after Emancipation.Enshrined in this declaration are 30 articles, five (5) of which speak to the right to various forms of freedom. Article 1 – Innate freedom and equality; Article 13 – Right of freedom of movement; Article 18 – Right of freedom of thought and religion; Article 19 – Right of freedom of opinion and expression; and Article 20 – Right of freedom of assembly and association. Of these five rights, Article 19 in particular states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.No one can dispute the fact that these rights were withheld from our ancestors, and it was for these very rights that they fought for on many occasions via uprisings and rebellions against the slave masters. In the early 1920s, it was one of their offsprings, Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, who continued the struggle for these rights, which led in later years to the attaining of another right, as is enshrined in Article 20, which states: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.It is this particular right that helped to advance the work of the trade union movement. The attainment of Independence and Republican status over the decades were all achieved by way of struggles in various forms. However, 184 years later, we, the descendants of those noble men and women, are seemingly engaged in another form of struggle. This time around, we are fighting to maintain our democratic freedom at various levels of work and representation.During this period of emancipation, there are many songs that are reflected upon as they point to the many injustices experienced by our ancestors. The most popular is “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, only we can free our minds”. At this point in time in our history, these words hold fast to present day experiences and outcomes. At times it would seem that we are still to remove from our minds the shackles which keep us in a subdued position. Time and again, we are psychologically whipped by present day massas, whose whips are their token positions and authority which are used to “keep us in our place”.It is these present day plantocracy cabal that is guilty of violating our fundamental rights to freedom of expression and opinion by seeking to muzzle us by driving fear using various tactics that do not augur well for our and the nation’s wellbeing.Therefore, it is with much hope and expectation that, as the descendants of our distinguished fore-parents, we strive to emulate their values, hard work, sacrifices and togetherness, which paved the way for their removal from the harsh and inhumane conditions of slavery and into a world where freedom was opportune.As we celebrate Emancipation 2018 with songs, dances and all the festivities relating to this auspicious occasion, let freedom reign in our hearts and minds. Let it become the mantra of nation building, a process that began 184 years ago. Happy Emancipation.Sincerely,Gillian Burton-PersaudMember of Parliamentlast_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

Naked political opportunist

first_imgDear Editor,I refer to a letter by one Gerhard Ramsaroop, published in a section of the media under the caption, “AFC has squandered its opportunity”, it should not have the PM position. While I can agree with him that the AFC has squandered its chance, I want to remind Mr Ramsaroop to take off his blinkers and also recognise that the PNC, all by itself, has squandered the opportunity given to it by the citizens to rule Guyana after the last elections.Mr Ramsaroop also has the audacity to state “The PNC retains goodwill, thanks largely to the Grangers”. What has this man been smoking lately? Is he so desperate to be the PM Candidate of the PNC that he spews such rubbish?If one were to look at the credentials of the PNC over the last 4 years, it is one populated with prejudice against another group outside of Mr Granger’s group. This PNC-led administration is one buried in corruption, so much so that the Auditor-General, in his latest report, implored this Granger administration to produce the evidence on the $600 million missing from the Durban Park Project?BOYO must be turning in his grave to be watching down on the nonsense his son has emitted here, and Gerhard must not be given a free pass, since he has now entered the political arena with this toxic piece.So the question to ask is: What do we do with someone who rolls from the PPP to the AFC to the PNC? We should treat him exactly like how we treat his arch-nemesis, Mr Khemraj Ramjattan and Mr Moses Nagamootoo — with scorn.After Mr Granger offered him a big job, Mr Ramsaroop picked up his “paridhan” (belongings) and ran away from Mr Granger, and now he wants to walk into the PNC camp, and they must all clear the way for him to be Mr Granger’s PM Candidate?What happened to people like Mr Khemraj Ramjattan, who has stood side-by-side with Mr. Granger, covering up his incompetence and deflecting all the allegations of corruption against the regime?What I see from Mr Gerhard Ramsaroop is the embodiment of one who is a naked political opportunist, equal in calibre to Mr Derek Basdeo or Mr Sherod Duncan from the AFC. What I see is someone seeking a job from his old friend, Mr Granger. Well, it is too late now, since under a caretaker/interim government, even Mr Granger cannot hire him, and soon Mr Granger will become an illegitimate head of a JUNTA, and then after than a private citizen on a pension if the voters are allowed to vote in free and fair elections.Sincerely,Lisa Allylast_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

AFC’s chairmanship had become difficult – Nigel Hughes speaks out

first_imgOutgoing Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Nigel Hughes on Tuesday said he chose to give up his position in the party because it had become “difficult and untenable” for him.Former AFC Chairman Nigel HughesHours after announcing that he had resigned from the chairmanship of the smaller party in the coalition Government, Hughes took to social media, explaining that the post which he has held for close to four years now, had become difficult.His Facebook post read “My continuing to act as Chairman of the party became difficult and untenable. It has been a privilege and honour to have served in the capacity as Chairman of the party. Better Must Come.”That Facebook post was the only explanation given by the Attorney for his move.Hughes made the decision to resign his post during a Statutory Committee meeting on Monday. While the statement published by the party immediately after did not give any specifics, it did indicate that the party’s leader and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan was expected to meet with Hughes, in the hopes that he (Hughes) would reconsider his decision.AFC insiders say the Attorney-at-Law quitted over a strongly-worded statement issued following an executive council meeting on Sunday, which called for a trimming of the powers of Minister of State Joseph Harmon.That meeting was attended by neither Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman nor Ramjattan. Another statement by the AFC followed, distancing both Ministers from the call by Hughes.Hughes has been with the AFC since July 2011 and was elected Chairman on August 4, 2012.Hughes’ wife, Cathy Hughes, currently serves as Minister of Public Telecommunications with responsibility for tourism within the A Partnership for National Unity/AFC coalition Government.last_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

Unemployment linked to domestic violence

first_imgThe increase in unemployment is a creating a higher risk for incidents of domestic violence, says United States (US) psychologist and author Dr Steven Stosny.He was speaking with Sunday Newsday during a break at a domestic violence conference held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Mucurapo.Stosny reported he has been informed that the domestic violence rate in Trinidad is high and observed that all over the world it gets higher as unemployment goes up.He pointed out that in the US when there is a quarter point tick up in the unemployment rate, there is a quarter point tick up in domestic violence and it is almost directly correlated.“It is mostly because males when they can’t protect their families start feeling bad about themselves and that’s when they are more likely to be abusive. So unemployment and underemployment in the males when they get jobs below their skill level or where they don’t make very much money there’s a higher risk of domestic violence,” he explained.In the past few months hundreds of workers have been sent home from companies such as steel companies ArcelorMittal, and Centrin, construction company OAS Construtora and oil company Respol and Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus has described the trend as a period of “mass retrenchment”.Stosny said because of the oil collapse this country’s economy is worse and in Canada there is a similar problem because of the oil sands.He added that while that culture is very different from Trinidad and Tobago they are experiencing the same up tick in domestic violence because of the economic crisis.In his presentation, he spoke of the need to focus on the abuser as well as the victim.“Victims do need support but you are not going to change the problem of domestic violence unless you change the abuser because they are the ones doing it. So you’ve got to do both,” he said.He said a lot of the bravado that is seen in the Trinidad and Tobago population is people defending themselves “from thinking their life sucks”.He explained that one reason why the literature on domestic violence had not progressed was because the crime is defined by the victim and not the abuser.He said that in any case of abuse, whether between heterosexuals, between homosexuals, child abuse or elder abuse, the motivation is the same — power and control. He stressed that this was the symptom and abusers believe they are unlovable and inadequate and have to be manipulative, deceitful and possessive to earn affection.He pointed out that if someone tells an abuser that they love them they would not believe it but believe they want their money or something else.He explained that these “attachment abusers” try to change the reflection of themselves as powerless, inadequate and unlovable by manipulating the mirror of the attachment and their partners.“To devalue something you have to be in a devalued state yourself,” he said.He explained abusers lack skills and pro-social empowerment and use the fragile substitution of values for power.He said the anger makes them feel powerful but when this wears off they crash and become depressed and end up on a roller coaster of anger and depression.“A lot of abusive people are anger junkies,” he added.Stosny advised that abusers be taught pro-social empowerment to make them feel valued, instil in them the conviction that they can make their lives better and to get them in touch with their deeper values.He said they need to change their brains through focus and repetition of healthy behaviours.During his presentation, he spoke of the abuse he suffered from his father including a hole in his head he received when his father hit him with a shingle at age three.He noted, however, that the most vivid memories were when his parents would spend days without speaking each other. His mother eventually left his father and remarried. (Trinidad Newsday)last_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

Independence float parade to move off from Stabroek Square

first_imgThe Jubilee Float Parade set for Independence Day has seen a modification to its route as the National Commemoration Commission has announced that floats taking part in the event will now assemble at the Stabroek Market Square as opposed to Church Street.The Commission had sent out the advisory notifying those who are set to have their costume bands feature at the float parade that they will now be required to gather at the Stabroek Market Square after which the floats will move off East along Brickdam into the D’Urban Park.This is opposed to the recently adjusted route where costumes bands were assembling at the usual junction of Church and Camp Streets, after which they would’ve proceeded west along Church Street to Avenue of the Republic, south into Brickdam and then east along Brickdam, into D’Urban Park.Nonetheless, the provisions remain the same as it relates to students from schools along the route being relocated to other centres to sit their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) on Independence Day.This float parade is anticipated to be the largest ever as it marks Guyana’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation.As a result of placing emphasis on this celebration, the usual Republic Day Float Parade had been postponed.Thus far, it has been reported that a number of ministries and private and public organisations, have gotten on board in having their floats be part of the grand celebration. With just two days to go, final touches are being made to the floats to have them ready for the road.Overseas support has been flowing as a number of persons from the Diaspora as well as tourists are flying into Guyana to be part of the monumental event. A number of activities to observe the celebration have occurred, but most persons are anticipating the Jubilee Float Parade set for Thursday.last_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

PPP/C awaits State-broadcaster’s invoices for ‘political advertisements’ – Rohee

first_imgNCN forensic auditSubsequent to the report of the forensic audit conducted on the state broadcaster, National Communications Network (NCN) which revealed that the company failed to bill the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) for advertisements it aired, totalling some $18,204,750, the party’s General Secretary Clemet Rohee has alleged that the PPP never received the invoices for these advertisements from the company.The summary of PPP/C’s advertisements aired by NCN includes $4,704,000 for 100.1 Fresh FM; $5,667,500 for 98.1 Hot FM; 3,878,250 for Channel 11 and $3,955,000 for the Voice of Guyana 102.5.Also included in the PPP/C’s debt is $12,988,500, which was recorded as Public Service Announcements (PSA). The auditor pointed out that NCN could not have presented a documented policy on PSAs, but noted that political advertisements are not approved as PSAs.Meanwhile as it relates to 2015, PPP/C was not invoiced for advertisements aired by NCN to the tune of $3,708,200.In relation to the PPP/C advertisements during the 2015 Elections Campaign, $39,200 was for 100.1 Fresh FM; $1,453,750 for 98.1 Hot FM; $492,000 for Channel 11 and $1,723,250 for Voice of Guyana 102.5.The General Secretary stated that the Party had requested the relevant invoices and documents from the NCN some time ago, but they are yet to receive such.“We have asked for the data, we have asked for the invoices… we have also asked for the materials to be attached as proof and evidence of these debts and we haven’t received anything as yet,” he stated.When asked whether the Party would pay the outstanding monies, Rohee responded in the affirmative, saying “the Party pays for whatever services it purchases or solicits or procures or it outsources”.However, he added that they will not be issuing any new calls for this document as “they [NCN] have correspondence from us that remains unanswered”.In relation to the audit reports that were submitted, the General Secretary related that he is yet to analyse them, however; he is of the opinion that the past chairpersons of the companies being audited should have played a part in reviewing the reports.“We have not seen those audit reports, I understand that they are on the Ministry of Finance’s website but I haven’t accessed them as yet. And we have always maintained that the Audit reports should be shared with the former chairmen of these boards and with those members of the boards who served so that they could give their assessments of what is in these audit reports. I don’t think those who are serving now can do that as it’s early,” Rohee stated.last_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

Contractor charged for making false declaration

first_img… allegedly had more than US,000 at CJIAA contractor was on Tuesday charged for knowingly making a declaration on an immigration form to be untrue when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Clairmont Reid of Lot 197 South Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara, pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.It was alleged that on June 6, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Reid made an untrue declaration on an immigration form which stated that he was not carrying more than US$10,000, when in fact he had TT$139,135 in his possession – the equivalent of US$20782.22.The defence Attorney Paul Fung-A-Fat made a successful bail application, despite objections by the Prosecutor Deniro Jones. Reid was granted bail in the sum of $100, 000. The case will continue on September 8.last_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

Brazilian national wanted for Konawaruk murder

first_imgThe Guyana Police Force on Wednesday issued a wanted bulletin for Antonio Do Nascimento Da Silva, also called “Matogrose”, for questioning in connection to the murder of Ana Maria Souza Da Silva.The woman was allegedly stabbed to death on February 21, 2016, at Muruwa Backdam, Konawaruk, Potaro River. The last known address of the wanted Brazilian was given as Muruwa Backdam, Konawaruk, Potaro River, and Boa Vista, Brazil.Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Antonio Do Nascimento Da Silva is asked to contact the Police on telephone numbers 455-2238, 227-1149, 225-2227, 225-0575, 911, or the nearest Police Station.Wanted: Antonio Do Nascimento Da Silvalast_img

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17 Jan
2020

Port Mourant Market Committee formed

first_imgFollowing problems at the Port Mourant Market which began three weeks ago with vendors protesting the non-action of the Johns/Port Mourant Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Overseer, several of those affected have now formed a Market Committee.The committee includes three vendors: one from the fish and meat section, one from vegetable and the other representing clothes and food vendors and is headed by former Mayor of New Amsterdam Claude Henry; the committee also includes the market clerk and councillors from the Johns/Port Mourant NDC.Vendors who operate seven days a week, had picketed in protest of the emergence of a Friday-night market. The protest followed several complaints to the Johns/Port Mourant NDC over the unfairness of having some persons vend outside of the market while only some are required to pay market fees.Those vending on Friday-nights have been retailing vegetables to customers at wholesale prices and within a few weeks, hundreds began supporting the Friday-night market, forcing the others to protest.Those ‘legitimate’ vendors later refused to pay market fees, subsequently the NDC market revenue dropped from $150,000 to $20,000 weekly.Following the establishment of the market committee on Tuesday, the Saturday evening vendors were prevented from selling at the market.Police were called in and prevented persons who went to the area to vend from doing so. They were only allowed to display their merchandise after midnight. And those who remained until daylight were made to pay market dues.The regular vendors explained that they were happy with the action taken. Meanwhile, at the first meeting, it was suggested that Market Police be employed and present on Friday-nights and Saturdays.The committee is expected to meet again on Wednesday.last_img read more

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17 Jan
2020

Linden Deputy Mayor wants security beefed up at LM&TC

first_imgLinden’s Deputy Mayor, Waneka Arindell, is calling for beefed-up security at the office of the Linden MayorDeputy Mayor Waneka Arindelland Town Council (LM&TC) in wake of a third break-in at that office. This is the third time the Mayor’s office has been broken into for the year.During an interview earlier this week, the Deputy Mayor said there is also need for the security to be beefed-up at the Council. Speaking about the break-in, Arindell said that the incident occurred sometime during Tuesday night.She noted that the Mayor was on vacation at the time. The Deputy Mayor referred to the act as an attack on the Council. While she indicated that nothing inside the office appeared to be missing, the entire office was ransacked, while the Mayor’s photograph was stuck to the office door with a thumb tack to the middle of his forehead.She explained that items in Mayor Holland’s office were also broken, while others were scattered.“Our security needs to be more vigilant in their work so that this Council can be secured…The security needs to be questioned and we really need to get to the bottom of how this could have occurred…So far, nothing that we had in front of us were missing but we’re still going through the other stuff,” she said.Arindell pointed out that Police had visited the scene and lifted fingerprints. Statements were also collected from the Deputy Mayor, the secretary and security personnel.Meanwhile, Mayor Holland said it appeared as though the perpetuator(s) were looking for files inside of his office.Arindell stated that Police investigations are ongoing.Arindell stated that Police investigations are ongoing. (Utamu Belle)last_img read more

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