Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jagdeo goes Green

Under normal circumstances we would think twice of attacking the President on his garbs since Stabroek News has done a good job at that in the past. However, we could not let this one slip. Oh no. This one was too green. Before the President set out for Enmore and Hope on old year's day, he knew he had to appoint Henry Greene as Commissioner so what does he pick to wear? A green shirt jack. Wonder if Henry was titled Browne what would have been the President's attire.

Shortly after 10 am on December 31, he starts out by attending a party for kids in Enmore

Then at 11 am he attends another party with kids of Hope.

At about 1:30 p.m he proudly swears in Henry Greene as Commissioner with his green and by now sweaty shirt. All in a day's work. Wonder what he plans on wearing this evening.

The Face of Jagdeo on Facebook

Click here to see how President Bharrat Jagdeo may have spent his time in the last few months since his divorce. He has denied that he created the Facebook profile, but we understand how lonely State House could get at times, so Mr. President social networking is fine. Maybe you can use your profile to promote Guyana as a prime tourist destination. After all it was your advice. Or maybe, you can hook up with a sweet, sweet gal to call your own and get married the real way this time around

If the profile is not the work of Jagdeo then we have a pretty good feeling that it was the working of that lil cock bamsee boi McSkunt. It's not the first time he has tried to promote the President and in the process causing great shame. He did put up several ugly billboards with the President's photo after Guyana won the tribunal hearing. All hail MacSkunt. Thanks to him, the Head-of-State had to issue a very public press release.

Very, very hilarious stunt on the this the last day of the year. Guyana needed this kind of crap to stir international belly loads of laughs.

Innocent young women are being duped into thinking about connecting with the lonely President. Endless supporters are unaware.

Below is what one Ann Marie-Ragubeer Dobbelsteen posted at at 2:32pm on December 21st, 2008. She fondly recalled her encounters with the Head of State.

"Jag, you have grown so much into maturity, love, popularity, business,etc, since i last sit in Tower cafe in 1998 when you were just getting married to Varshini, while i was sitting there with GTV staff for morning coffee, you were sitting facing me on the left and i admire you then, like i always did, while you were still working as Finance Minister. Now you are single again, you have lots to choose from, my best advice is, choose from your heart with clarity and this time make sure you choose someone one who pushes you to succeed. Put me as last on the list, i am waiting know where to find me.You have done well in eight years, keep up the good work. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009.

Love from AMROMEO"

Snakes fuh de new year?

The Nation writes: Back hey, Guyana in a turrible state. Duh get flood out, an' I even got a frien' dat went dey fuh Chris'mas an' cyahn get back out because o' all de water. In fack, I en even know wuh happen to she 'cause I cyahn hear a word an' I real worried. But de Lord will work dat out, I hope.

Breaking News: Greene to be confirmed Commissioner

The old addage says its better late than never and for Henry Greene this could not be more true.

Information reaching Guyana 360 suggests that Greene, who has been acting Commissioner since 2006, is to be confirmed as the substantive Commissioner of Police at 1 pm today by Bharrat Jagdeo at the Office of the President.

Funny thing is, Greene will reach retirement age next year and although there is a cloud of uncertainty about his links to the lucrative drug trade, he has risen from the ashes in 2008 as a champion, responsible for leading an emotionally weary police force against the worst group of killers to emerge in the last 50 years.

It is belived that the Jagdeo administration had delayed his appointment fearing a backlash from the US Government, who had revoked Greene's visas shortly after he was elevated to the acting position, alleging that he had benefited materially from the drugs trade.

Greene denied the allegations, but the US has been reluctant to buy into his plea.

Long before 'Fineman' and his gang members were killed and way before the hired guns that carried out the payroll heist were captured, this blog proclaimed Greene as the most suitable candidate for the post.

It would be interesting to see the US response to his appointment.

Marriott, Mar- riot, no need to learn the pronunciation

Something is very fishy about that Marriott Hotel deal. Indeed from the inception, we had our doubts. Now that the project is good as dead, the Government would never disclose the investors who we bent over to please by moving the Food and Drug administration, allowing them to tamper with our delicate sewerage system, relocating the Kingston water pump and demolishing historic sites in the process. What happens to the land? Was it leased?

Who were the investors that we really wanted to please that we pushed for the sale of a popular hotel a few yards from where the proposed site had been for the Marriott.

We refuse to accept the lame excuse put forward by the investors for the project falling through. Could it be they have awoken and smelt the swerage that Guyana was not an option for tourists and hotel business in Guyana is risky business. Maybe the investors may opt to buy Le Merridien. Who knows? With the government keeping the information close to chest, anyone can assume what they feel like about this situation.

KN Reports: Even as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the required permit for the construction of the Marriott Hotel is being assessed, the deal has fallen through.

This is according to Head of State, Bharrat Jagdeo, who during a recent press briefing, told media operatives that the investors have signaled their intention to pull out because of the global financial crisis.The study of the report was a mandatory requirement before Adam’s Development Urbahn Associates (ADUA) could have received its construction permit.

The board has been reviewing the data since November 19, last.

More lows than highs in 2k8

Test of faith in 2K8
By Sharief Khan

THIS was a roller coaster year -- a leap year of highs and lows that tested the faith of Guyanese who again proved that they can overcome differences and rally to the national cause.

The senseless massacre of civilians, including sleeping women and children, at Lusignan on the East Coast Demerara and in the mining town of Bartica at the mouth of the Essequibo River, and then the slaughter and cremation of eight miners in an isolated camp were undeniably the low points that stunned the nation into numbness.

But there was a collective huge sigh of relief when the leaders of the killer gang met their demise in a shootout with security forces.

Among the other high points were the successful hosting of CARIFESTA X which saw massive public turnouts and participation, and the formal commissioning of the long-awaited bridge across the Berbice River.

The expected opening of the crucial bridge across the border Takutu River with Brazil did not materialize and the coming into full operation of the ultra-modern sugar complex at Skeldon in Berbice has been put back.

And as the year closed, floods from record high rains that evoked memories of the disastrous inundation of late 2005-early 2006, threatened to put a damper on the Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Warning !!! Government prepares to snatch the City

Intention to manipulate the covenant (IMC)
(Freddie Kissoon writes)

In Guyana, quite unlike our sister Caribbean countries, the government of the day plays constituency politics.

In Jamaica, if they have to architecture a botanic garden in honour of Usain Bolt, the location is going to be based on aesthetic determinants, not demographic politics. They are going to do something that will enhance Jamaica. The same principle applies to Barbados.

In Guyana, any and every policy has a political derivative. If we are going to design a monument to civilisation, it will be placed where political supporters are. My firm belief is that the location of the Berbice Bridge was done with political points in mind. Why assign New Amsterdam the facility? After all that is not where our people are found.

The world is not leaving us behind - the world has left us behind. We will continue to journey towards nihilism and dissolution because the exercise of power contemptuously dismisses the integrity of administrative science, technology and science in general. The sarcoma that has devoured the fabric of this society is the automatic choice of party person over a great scientist for a job that the country depends on.

The most poisonous substance that has asphyxiated this nation is the insane rush to put politics before common sense. This is a country where commonsense in the process of governance does not obtain. I see this everywhere.

Take the migration of skilled people. Twice President Jagdeo admitted that this is a huge problem. The day before Carifesta at a press conference, he spoke of the difficulty of the Ministry of Works to secure engineers. Last week, at another press meeting, he announced that the new Skeldon sugar factor is hit by shortage of relevant skills.

All categories of workers are leaving. Barbados wants joiners and carpenters. Basic elementary human thinking would force any sane government to invent a blueprint for retention of the educated class.

How this government cannot see the wisdom of such thinking makes them ineligible to run a fish stand in the market. We retire teachers at 55. Guyana is one of the least occupied countries in the world in terms of population density.

Yet there isn’t a beautiful teachers’ housing scheme. Indeed, the world has turned its back on this Faustian hell called Guyana run by Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange misfits.
Honest, decent businessmen who have made this country their home and have their children growing up here had to face tremendous losses in the Great Flood of 2005. They endured hardship again in 2006. They were inundated in December 2008 because of the sarcoma referred to above.

The city was flooded not because of the non-existent unusual rainfall. The deluge occurred because the water had no exit. The gutters, drains, alleyways and canals were turned into mountains of mud because they were not cleaned.

The Office of the President chose not to finance that project before the rainy season because the PPP is not in charge of the City Council.

Good news has arrived! There will soon be an Interim Management Committee (IMC). Whether we like it or not, City Council has to go because there is no money to run the show. However, there will be another IMC – intention to manipulate the covenant.

The chairman will not be an independent person. His team will not be drawn from the independent sectors of civil society.

A non-PPP businessman will be chosen to head the IMC. But the subtleties of politics will play out on a Bismarckian chess board.

He will not come from the Office of the President, but he knows that he will have to respond to the telephone calls from New Garden Street. He is no fool. He knows he is an importer and his goods have to be cleared on the wharves. He knows it would be foolish to appear to be independent of the powers that be.

While he keeps an eye on the people that can ruin his business if he doesn’t listen to them, his team will be doing everything to make sure they grab the limelight because the election countdown will begin in 2009.

As the IMC is paraded on NCN, in the Chronicle and in the Guyana Times, the sarcoma will be at work, feasting on the flesh of a tragic nation.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Touching the right nerve

Guyanese fire seemed to have touched the right nerve with this post that suggest that Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy is responsible for the first lepto related death of this flood season. No sooner had the post been approved, an influx of comments came in praising the Minister. After so many years in office, the PPP/C still has to sing their own praises. A very unpopular government they are.

Guyanese Journalists are dumb

According to Adam Harris, Guyanaese journalists are dumb.

Adam Harris says... It was not so bad though because I got a chance to catch up on some reading, something that I am beseeching young people to do.

Failure to read leads to failure to comprehend and this is why at press conferences, they sit around so dumb, not even able to affix background to the information they receive.The other day, President Bharrat Jagdeo talked about the Skeldon Modernisation plant.

None of them knew the cost although this plant has been three years in the making. None sought to find out the reason for the continued delay because they simply failed to grasp the importance of background information. There was no effort to do research because that calls for reading.

Minister Ramsammy you are wrong

Up until now, I personally have refused to take shots at the Agri Ministry and OP for its handling of the flood crisis and I will continue to do so until it has passed. However, learning that the first person to die from suspected leptospirosis is an elderly woman has ticked me off. No one should be allowed to die from such a preventable and treatable disease and if it happens again, blame should land squarely at the feet of the health ministry.

The death of the woman is stirring, but the health minister seeking to cast blame elsewhere is totally amazing. Hellbent on not owning up to a late response by his ministry to flood affected zones, he swiftly and recklessly suggested that the woman was in a bad state when she was transferred from a private hospital into the public system.

Two things are happening here. Firstly, the woman's death only confirms that when one needs to die, they check in at the GPHC. Secondly, Minister Ramsammy is crude and heartless for taking a cheap shot at the private hospital by suggesting without stating that the woman might have been alive had she been brought firstly to the GPHC.

This is totally amazing. However, I would like to remind the minister that it was his ministry that neglected scores of people in the flood hit communities. Since the flooding commenced, teams should have been sent to the communities with health kits and antibiotics. Your Ministry should have made it mandatory for the citizenry to take treatment. Minister Ramsammy, you have failed to act with the vision of a leader that this crisis demands. Sir, you can blame the private hospital all you want, but had you moved sooner to educate and protect, the woman would have been alive today and would not have even been admitted to any hospital in the first place.

SN Reports: One of the two persons suspected to have the bacterial disease leptospirosis has since passed away at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) but according to Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy the person was not from one of the flood-affected areas.

Dr Ramsammy said the 65-year-old woman was from the East Bank Demerara and she died on Saturday afternoon. It is yet to be confirmed if she was indeed stricken with the disease.

Meanwhile, the health minister said that his medical team on the flood-hit East Coast yesterday sent one person to be monitored at the hospital even though he said the person “is not very sick and only has some fever.” He said they are continuing to monitor the flood-affected areas and are cautioning persons to be careful and to take all the necessary precautions.

Dr Ramsammy said that the other person hospitalised at the GPHC is in a stable condition and out of danger. He said that the woman who died was first admitted to a private hospital and it was only after her condition deteriorated and the hospital could do nothing for her that she was transferred to the GPHC in a very “low condition.”

If its not nature, its the Government

Guyana just can't seem to escape flood. Not at all and to make matters worst, my boi Monty has not been entirely crisp in handling this flood, clearly his slip is showing.

High levels of water in the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) has forced its management to release water through the Maduni Sluice into the Mahaica Creek “as a last resort to avoid a major catastrophe”, the EDWC Commission said yesterday.

In a press release, the Commission said that on Saturday evening, at low tide, the discharge of water through the sluice commenced as the conservancy was nearing its full capacity and there was a threat to the integrity of the dam.

It said that the discharge through the Maduni will last for a 24-hour period and will only take place during the low tide so as to have minimum impact on the residents who live in the upper reaches of the Mahaica River. The release into the Maduni is likely to aggravate flooding in both the Mahaica and Mahaicony creeks. [_]

Bad man bruk outta a jail

Read full embarassing report: Six prisoners held for serious crimes yesterday morning attempted to escape from the Georgetown Prison but only one managed to scale the fence and he was eventually recaptured in Rasville as a result of quick action by members of the Joint Services.

The police last night said that the incident occurred at 3.45 am yesterday when the six - comprising murder and narcotics accused - managed to cut through a metal grill in the supposedly secure capital section and got into the compound.

Police identified the six as Paul Bagot, Dennis Williams called `Anaconda’, Royden Williams known as Royden Durant, Jermaine Savory, Wayne Archibald and Sherwin Moses also known as Sherwin Nero.

The police said that an alert prison officer observed them making efforts to scale the outer wall of the prison and sounded an alarm. Five of the escapees were recaptured in the compound while Moses successfully got over the wall and was recaptured in Rasville around two hours later. Sources say it appeared that he caught transportation to the area.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A possible benefit of the US economic decline

Peter Ramsaroop preaches: As I reflect on 2008 and previous years and look towards 2009 and the next decade, I realize even more Guyanese everywhere cannot any longer take the economic stagnation of our dear land. I will present a case study here for our Government and Diaspora to consider.

INTRODUCTION:Development of Guyana will not come primarily from U.N aid programs, foreign loans and other foreign aid. These programs by their natures only induce the recipient to follow a welfare mentality of perpetual begging.

For proof, survey all the countries that have been recipients of U.N aid programs, IMF Loans and World Bank loans and you will see that an overwhelming majority of them are still in a state of mediocrity and mendicancy (with the economic meltdown, these funds will automatically dwindle).

Why? Nature has ordained that development does not come about through charity but through industry and self determination.The Bible recognizes this, that’s why the only charity that was allowed was individual to individual charity via the gleaning of fields.

US$180M Skeldon Plant incurs GY$1.2B in losses

Kaieteur News: All is not well with the Guyana Sugar Corporation, and particularly with the new Skeldon Modernisation Plant being constructed at a cost of US$180 million. In fact, the new factory has cost the country more in terms of lost revenue earnings, most of it after a mere three weeks of operation.

During the past year, the contractors ran numerous tests, and the results were less than heartening.The new factory is designed to not only boost production at a time when the price cuts introduced by the European Community are beginning to be felt, but also to help reduce the cost of production. The results are far from the intended goal.

The authorities passed some 50,000 tonnes of cane through the new mill, but the amount of sugar produced was a mere 400 tonnes. A state-of-the-art factory is expected to convert cane to sugar at a ratio of ten tonnes of cane to a tonne of sugar.

The 50,000 tonnes of cane should have produced 5,000 tonnes of sugar. The 4,600- tonne loss cost the industry some US$3 million.

A source said that the loss comes at a time when the industry is cash strapped and when it was recently ordered to pay a six per cent increase across-the-board to sugar workers.

Blogger: All of this money wasted could have gone into paying those public servants their lil back pay and additional increase for 2008. By not paying the customary increases in 2008, the Government has lost any real chance of stimulating the local economy. The funny thing is that the Government had promised to keep the sugar estates open, but more and more that promise appears to be comforting only fools.

Reactive Government

AP reports: Health workers on Sunday distributed antibiotics to contain an outbreak of a waterborne bacterial disease in swaths of coastal Guyana, where December rains have flooded low-lying villages and cultivated fields.

Blogger: Come on Mr. Government, this is so sickeing to learn that health officials are now running like a bunch of headless chickens to distribute antibiotics. You were excused in 2005, but three years later, you should have learnt from that great flood. First of all this entire flood situation is mismanaged and undermined by the lack of leadership. No way we should have people dying from lepto. NO WAY!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Is this who Mr. Singh is?

An anonymous person left the following comment in response to a post on this blog about James G. Singh's appointment at CANU. If the information is even close by a wisker, then we are in for a torrid time as drug barons would seek to further flex their power.

Comment: James g singh is the cousin of deceased drug trafficker vibart ravi boodhoo. they were very close. he is a close associate of paul daby and his son peter, bramanand nandlall aka bramma, clayton hutson aka clay, juman azeez of no.2 canal, gerald pereira, paul rodrigues, ricardo rodrigues, the last three were roger khan's lieutenants, roger khan, singh did payouts for khan,s cocaine deals.

he installed sophisticated equipment on kaow island for roger khan. he is also associate of trinidadian drug dealer, abode, who was arrested a few weeks ago in guyana. his close associate and uncle in law is david coates aka lammy, his two sons dwight and nicholas, one of whom was arrested in november after police in holland made a drug bust of more than 200 kilos in a container of scrap iron, mike singh of roraima security, gerry gouviea. one could go on and on.

singh is presently in association with corrupt canu officers rajcumar and mannieram, both benefitted from money for airfare from one premnauth persaud currently wanted by canu on drug trafficking. rajcumar admitted being involved in backtracking. in just named a few of james g singh associates and persons he is obviously giving protecrion could the government appoint a person in the like of james g singh to head a drug unit. he is also said to be a member of the phanrom and were involved in serious activities.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Freddie is ungrateful even at Christmas

Freddie sinks into the Berbice Bridge:

How many times I am wrong about the incredible, unbelievable inability of the PPP Government to move Guyana forward? Let us see how many months will pass before this cheap, ugly bridge will begin to lay itself down on the water of Berbice River. When it happens, I will recall this article.
After 42 years of Independence, we bridged the Berbice River with a low cost structure that has no aesthetic appearance. It is the kind of make-shift facility that great armies erect in small poor, countries. Now the laugh begins.

Here is what the government’s own newspaper did. Instead of hiding the cheapness and ugliness of the bridge, the Guyana Times printed a supplement and showed two large photographs of similar spans being constructed? Guess by whom? American soldiers! Look at page five of the supplement and you will see the identical erection being set up by American soldiers in maybe Iraq or in some poor country.

They had to use those photographs. The Government couldn’t publish other images because countries in the 21st century do not construct such war-time edifices as what we just put across the Berbice River. They put up lovely aesthetic bridges as what our small neighbour, Suriname has done.

The President and the PPP cannot see the historic irony that the bridge will become. When we look at it, today, tomorrow or ten years from now, it is testimony to Guyana’s permanent poverty.

Blogger: Freddie has not once recognise the effort of the Government to bridge the Berbice river instead choosing to be overly critical. The least I can say is thanks and Freddie should have hailed the bride as a revolutionary step. i am not saying that all is well with teh bridge, but teh very least thanks is deserving.

As a social commentator myself, I meet the bridge with mixed reactions because I clearly can recall the "floating" wharf built by the PPP in Pomeroon. The PPP is noted for constructing ugly-looking buildings that later become white elephants. One only needed to ask Odinga about those.

And on another point, why is everyone blasting the Government for the seemingly high toll to use the bridge. May I remind that the bridge is owned by a group of private-sector companies under the Berbice Bridge Company Inc, which will be operated under a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement for 21 years, after which it will be transferred to government.

I know this means that the Government didn't actually build the bride as they claim, but who the heck cares. They facilitated the bride and in the next 21 years, taxpayers would be left to saddle the high cost of maintaining a bridge which would have begun to show signs of deterioration. By that time the private sector companies involved would have already made a windfall.

Come on folks, be grateful. We have a bridge so lets make good use of it before it floats away.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where are the monies????????????

Alliance For Change Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan says that, for the President to name a bank account he contends contains monies purportedly from the Wildlife Fund, when the Finance Minister tabled a Treasury Memorandum indicating that the records could not be located or reconstructed, is a “quite interesting development”. Ramjattan expressed this opinion in an invited comment yesterday following the adjournment of the National Assembly.

On Saturday last, President Bharrat Jagdeo, during a press briefing at State House, had stated that he was unaware of any financial records being missing, but noted that the money was placed into a non-interest bank account and he had a problem with that.

He also noted that there was some level of corruption at the Office of the President (OP), and several persons had to be fired as a result.

Commenting on the missing financial records for the Wildlife bank account for the period 1998 to 2002, which was at the time operated under the auspices of OP, President Jagdeo said that he was not au fait with all of the details of the issue, but he noted that, in one instance, people were caught taking money and giving permits for the export of animals, “way beyond what our quota allowed.” He added that the money was then placed in a non-interest account at the Bank of Baroda.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blogging thoughts

It's 3:30 in the freaking morning. Facebook and blogspot are the only true companions.

Simply put, we are bored as hell, recovering from the reflections on the intricate esplanade of life. In fact, it’s tiring, probably horrifying just slumped back on this hard cold wooden floor staring up at the ceiling wondering what lies ahead. Thinking back, the sensation gives a sudden rush of emphysema. No need to beckon for help, a sudden flashback from the hilarious segment of the cranium is enough to stop a relapse.

IPod, blackberry, laptop, West Indies hanging in – none of the mundane pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of life seems to make sense and probably it is the new environment with the arrival of family from the cold or probably the dejection and frustration was born out of false hope of having pocket change this time of year.

Whatever caused these disastrous emotions must be contagious and contemptuous to rob mankind of the respite he deservingly entreats without hesitation. The frustration and penned-up anger is a bitter-sweet feeling, but the sweetness is monosaccharide, misunderstood.

Thoughts though scrambled at time, remain monolithic as though the sky will pop from above and a sign would be revealed. In life, there are so many signs, buss stops, cross roads and vehicles to take you along the journey that stopping and think sometimes may cost the best ride to success. Whoever said to stop and reflect on life really was misguided. Go head allow the ghosts of your past to haunt at a time and place of your choosing, but never shadow-box with your thoughts alone in the dark.

Be warned!

Barely fumbling for the power button, the laptop bleeps, a flash of light is momentarily blinding, but welcoming nonetheless. A well deserving vacation had been planned months in advance prior to learning that family members feared dead were travelling during the craziest time of the year.

This is by no means farewell from the blogging arena so the disgraced public officials could put away the party hats and dump the cake, Guyana360 will be back in a week. In Guyana360’s absence, Guyana Fire and probably, a few other new contributors will keep the pace. Keep sending those comments.

Guyanese blogs have popped up across the spectrum which runs our lives. With quick scouting a few were added to our Blogger’s World section.

Raptus8 is still confused and actually got a promotion in time for the holidays. Ruel Johnson hints at marriage maybe not in time for the holidays, but soon. And Maria Benschop has gone back to the drawing board after her husband’s release.

All three have been added to the section, in addition to fixing the link to Guyana Providence Stadium, who we hope would use the season of goodwill to forgive us for having the unlinked URL for months, probably years. There are many more Guyanese blogs, hoping to have all linked by the start of the New Year. Send your blog URL to Guyana360.

It was a blogistic year as expected since the predictions were made since January to the folks over at livinguyana.

Minister Persaud is not napping

Robert Persaud is one of the more likable ministers sitting in Government, but we refuse to let puppy love blind us when incompetence and lies are blinking at us from across the room. The guy is a brilliant manipulator of the facts. He is the kind of guy that would make you believe you are in the middle of La Nina when you standing in knee deep water.

According to GINA: Minister Persaud said approximately 350 persons were deployed around-the-clock to monitor the drainage and irrigation systems and other senior officials including the CEO of the NDIA are assessing and monitoring the situation.

“We are not going to be napping. We are going to try as much as possible to move the water off,” he said.

Brilliant Monty. Fabulous piece of gibber. It would be hilarious to hear you explain to all the waterlogged villages how you intend to keep awake after guzzling free liquor while having a fabulous time when flood waters were rising.

Go ahead tickle us mercilessly until we piss up.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cobin spots himself

The beaten PNCR Leader, Robert Corbin went joyriding along the East Coast to see flood affected areas and stumbled upon his likeness. Part of the press release is below and please pay attention to the highlighted text.

"At 6:00pm, the water was still rising and residents began to express fears that they were about to endure another 2005 experience. Many residents who rely on their farms, kitchen gardens and livestock for survival were in grief as they recounted to Mr. Corbin the losses they have already had over the last week. Many have lost poultry, ducks, pigs, sheep and goats and in one case, a young donkey was lying paralyzed because of the persistent water that it had to dwell in."

Corbin you are just as paralyzed as that donkey because of the persistent beating you have endured at the hands of the PPP/C and forced a section of the Guyanese population to live in.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

KN's Drop dead

Kaieteur News: ...And a few hours later, another senior army officer, Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Lalta Narine, collapsed and died.
He had been an active participant at Soldiers’ Day yesterday.

The army said that Lt C’dr Narine left the event at Camp Ayanganna, which was presided over by President Bharrat Jagdeo, went home, then collapsed and died.

Guyana360: Narine prob overdid himself with the free rum and free wine thanks to our tax payers dollars.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Almost doesn't count

GINA says Water almost gone from this Beehive, East Coast Demerara home

Guyana 360 and Brandy says almost doesn't count

Simple Semple now playing for BVI national team

Platinum News:
However, Jackson pointed out that debutants Kevin Bennett and Keith Semple showed signs they will be worthy additions to the squad. Bennett was selected as a last minute replacement for Austin McDowall, who was forced to pull out for personal reasons.

PNCR backball crtics

The People’s National Congress Reform has taken careful note of the increase in activity to attack the PNCR and its leadership, including the call for the resignation of its Leader. The Stabroek News Editorial of Sunday, December 14, 2008 and a letter from Rickford Burke are very much in this vein.

They contain nothing new except that the language of the latter represents an ad hominem attack on Mr. Robert Corbin. The Party has grown accustomed to the rantings of Mr. Burke and is well aware of the political Agenda of Stabroek news. We leave the nation and PNCR supporters, in particular, to judge. What is new is the attack on the PNCR and Mr. Robert Corbin in a letter by Mr. Christopher Ram, which coincidentally appeared in the same issue as the Stabroek News Editorial in question. The PNCR leaves it to the Guyanese people to draw the necessary conclusion.

Mr. Ram is a member of the so-called intellectual elite which has reserved the right to pronounce on the internal matters of the PNCR. There is nothing necessarily wrong with such an attitude but one would have expected that Mr. Ram and the class he represents would be more responsible in carrying out its self assigned duty.

The PNCR is not fooled by such arguments that it should hold the Government more “accountable.” Translated in political terms it means that Mr. Ram and his fellow ideologues would like to see the PNCR take to the streets again where its supporters and members could become the battering ram for him and the less than courageous class that he represents. When the PNCR was in a more militant phase, it was people like Christopher Ram and the Editors of the Stabroek News who accused the Party of being violent and denounced its supporters “thugs” and “hooligans.” Indeed, one can go on to say that the Stabroek News took advantage of those occasions to seriously undermine the efforts of the PNCR to force the PPP/C to respect the laws of Guyana and the rights of the Guyanese people.

It must not be forgotten that it was this very class which urged Mr. Corbin at the inception of his tenure as Leader of the PNCR, to take a different route to effect change in Guyana . Mr. Corbin did not need such advice, but, having regard to the fragile political and economic conditions of the country, he decided along with his Party to exhaust all democratic procedures to persuade the Jagdeo Administration to respond to important issues affecting the Guyanese people. Mr. Ram cannot say that there has been no success.

The PNCR’s campaign against the death/phantom squads and the rule of law marches organised by the PNCR and others, led directly to the resignation of Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj. The establishment of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, while clearly intended to exonerate Ronald Gajraj from any responsibility for activities in relation to the death squads, painted a damning picture of the PPP’s handling of important areas of the security sector and their active collaboration in extra judicial killings and murder. The Roger Khan expose in the USA has confirmed that the PNCR was correct in its approach at that time.

Mr. Ram has also conveniently forgotten that it is the PNCR that led the charge to expose the extra judicial killings by the Target Special squad led by Supt. Fraser and Merai and forced the Jagdeo Administration to establish the Disicplined Forces Commission. For the first time, the Leader of the Opposition was able to appoint members to a Presidential Commission and Ms. Maggie Berne’s report still remains instructive. That Disciplined Forces Commission made significant recommendations for the improvement of the Guyana Police Force and the security sector.

Is the PNCR or the Leader of the Opposition to blame for the Jagdeo Regime’s failure to implement the one hundred and fifty plus recommendations? Where was Mr. Ram’s pen and voice when the PNCR repeated called on the Government to implement those recommendations? The Nation awoke, however, after the Lusignan and Bartica massacres. The same question may be asked of Stabroek News.

Where was Mr. Ram and Stabroek News when the PNCR and its Leader led the way in the disastrous floods of 2005 and 2006? Who was it that exposed the gross mismanagement, discrimination and corruption within the Government Flood Relief program? The PNCR did not only criticize and expose, but vigorously organized its own National Relief efforts and provided support to all communities regardless of race or politics.

The PNCR’s continued Human Services programme of bringing relief to the needy and elderly could not be unknown. So too have been its initiatives at empowering its supporters and its promotion of a vigorous Literacy programme, long before the Government was bold enough to acknowledge that there was a national Literacy crisis. Perhaps, Stabroek News had good reason not to publicise many of these activities. Surely, it would have conflicted with their agenda of promoting a new political party. The facts are however there and cannot be disputed. More particularly, however, the ordinary people, the beneficiaries, and the members of the PNCR are fully aware of these activities. Consequently, the vile propaganda by Mr. Ram and Stabroek news and the rantings of a few disgruntled people will not succeed.

It was also the PNCR’s relentless pressure on the PPP/C to open up the information sector that set the conditions for the historic judgement of Justice Ian Chang. The Party will not waste any further time in reiterating its successes, but merely wishes to remind those who conveniently forget that its firm opposition to torture compelled the Jagdeo Administration and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to hold an investigation into allegations made in this regard by many Guyanese citizens, even though the final report produced by the investigation, in the Party’s judgement, was far from satisfactory.

The question of the Value Added Tax (VAT) needs separate treatment. It is only the most purblind of its critics who would deny that it was the PNCR and its Leader, Mr. Robert Corbin, who have pushed this issue to the top of the national agenda. The Party had warned before the 2006 elections of the negative effects of the tax rate set and the dangers if it was poorly implemented. The results are with us today as the cost of living has spiraled.

Despite the warning of the Party, many people voted for the PPP/C in 2006 and it is quite clear that many have regretted that decision. The Jagdeo Administration continues to reap a windfall from this tax while the Guyanese people continue to suffer. Now that many have ignored the advice and leadership of the PNCR and are experiencing the adverse effects of that tax, they expect that the PNCR’s “thugs” and “hooligans” would rescue them from this dilemma. The moral of what has transpired is that a nation gets the Government it deserves. The PNCR would therefore not be persuaded to call on its grassroot supporters to aid those who blatantly ignored and insulted them when they placed their “bellies on the line” for those very classes to benefit. Perhaps the Staborek News and Christopher Ram should take their own advice published in the Editorial of Stabroek News of April 22, 2004 entitled, “Civil society must get involved”:

“ ……. The breakdown of the constructive engagement process is a call to arms that we ignore at our peril. For if we continue to be apathetic about becoming involved in the affairs of our nation we will continue to be prisoners in our homes, waiting for the knock in the night that takes one of our loved ones away to be seen again dead and abandoned in some desolate area of the town or countryside.

If we heed the call we can address Corbin's caution about individuals or organisations pursuing the interest of one or the other political party; we can be assured that in any discussions the interest of the nation would be uppermost in the priorities of the participants. Most of all we will ensure that we could yet bequeath to our heirs a Guyana worthy of their loyalty and dedication and to which their minds can remigrate as they see the prospects for a better life at home than in some far off land.

There are too many people today who have little understanding of Guyana ’s political history and they therefore tend to rush to shallow judgement without analysis. It is not unknown that parties in opposition tend to encounter difficulties which could lead to the exit of important members. The PNCR is mature enough to accept this fact. Even the newly formed AFC experienced this phenomena when one of its leading founding members, Ms. Gomattie Singh made her exit. Any serious researcher can find evidence of the hemorrhaging of the PPP in the 70’s and beyond when it was in opposition. The PPP lost many important members such as Rahaman Gajraj, Ranji Chandisingh, Halim Majeed, Vincent Teekah and Harry Lall. Are these not people of talent? Were these not representatives of important political capital of that party? Did they not take with them important institutional memory? Indeed, looking at the hemorrhaging of the PPP at that time, one would have also concluded that the Party was weakened beyond repair. The reality is that parties do recover as internal and external circumstances provide the space for them to do so, as the PPP did, and the PNCR will. Perhaps Mr. Christopher Ram a former active member of the WPA is allowing his judgement to be clouded by those experiences and is trying to judge the PNCR in the same light.

It is unproductive to allocate blame for the performance of the PNCR at the last elections. The PNCR’s strategy was carefully outlined at its 2004 Congress when it called for a united opposition and advocated shared governance. The party actively pursued those objectives and those who ignored that initiative did so at their peril. Those who now seek to find excuses for the miserable performance of the Jagdeo Administration and find someone to blame, must therefore engage in serious self evaluation. The PNCR, like any responsible political party, conducted its own evaluation that would guide its future action.

The PNCR is not afraid of criticism. Indeed, the Party welcomes it when it is constructive and intended to help defend the interest of the Guyanese people. Moreover, the PNCR has never claimed that it is a perfect political institution without any weaknesses. The Party expects, however, that those who have elected to become its critics should be careful in assembling their facts. If their assertions do not square with the concrete reality in which the Party finds itself, it will naturally reserve the right to reject those criticisms as ill-informed and tendentious. It is rather ironic that the Stabroek News, which waged a continuous campaign to undermine the PNCR and promote the Alliance for Change (AFC), should now attempt to shed crocodile tears for the PNCR’s perceived demise. It is also laughable that Christopher Ram, who for several years waged a private campaign of vilification of the Leader of the PNCR, should now express concern for an “effective opposition”. All he has done is to seize the opportunity to boldly express what he has been spewing in cocktail circles since 2003. The party will not be deceived by such antics. In such circumstances his motivations are highly suspect.

The PNCR urges its members and supporters to, “be steadfast: In season and out of season”. Many predicted the demise of the PNCR after the death of Forbes Burnham in 1985. Other such predictions were also made after the sudden death of Desmond Hoyte in 2002. It has not happened and by now those prophets of doom should realise that the PNCR is resilient. It will survive the storm and like the phoenix, will rise from the ashes to lead Guyana to sound development.

It is the membership of the PNCR that elected Mr. Corbin to that Office. They re-elected him as Leader at the last Congress and at the Party’s General Council meeting on November 6, last, reaffirmed their confidence in him and the actions taken by the party. Those who claim to embrace the culture of democracy and feel that they have the authority to call for his resignation should understand the contradiction. It is time that they have respect for the views of the membership of the PNCR and not insult their intelligence. Or perhaps those misguided persons exhibit such intellectual arrogance to believe, like some, that, “the masses are asses”.

Finally, it must be understood that there are myriad problems facing this country and it would be fool hardy to expect the PNCR solely to carry the struggle in trying to resolve them. The PNCR has said before and repeats, that the people of Guyana must take ownership of these problems and join it and other responsible elements of the opposition in trying not only to resolve them but in bringing the Jagdeo Administration to sanity. The Party is confident that once the people of Guyana have seized ownership of these problems, the Jagdeo Administration will be more respectful of the laws of Guyana and the interests of the people. WE urge the Stabroek News to take their own advice and perhaps, as a service to all Guyanese re-publish their entire Editorial of April 22, 2004.

People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia

Georgetown, Guyana

Wednesday, 17 December, 2008

Green mango is succulent

KN Reports: A survey conducted by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Bureau of Statistics in 2006 has found that one in every 20 women between the ages of 15 – 49 were married or in union before the age of 15.

According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), the tendency towards early marriage is highest among women from the poorest of the households, and among those with only primary education.

MICS found that one fifth of the women between the ages of 20 – 49 were married or in union before age 18 and the more educated the woman the less likely would she be married before the age of 18.As it relates to ethnicity, Amerindian and East Indian women are more likely than their African counterparts to be married before age 18.

Fire don't go there


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Still partially drunk

My humble apologies to to readers of this blog and to you 360. I know I should have been here to blog yesterday, but I failed because I was drunk. How could I have escaped all that blasted free rum, food and so much political garbage being thrown around.

For the record, Robert Montgomery Persaud was partying and so what 360. Big deal!!! With so much stress about the flooding what better way to unwind than at a party thrown by a bigwig.

Clearly everyone had fun although I went home cussing after arriving home to find my yard flooded. Yes, in the heat of the moment I cuss some bad word at the Minister of Agriculture but he can't be blamed for everything.

Oh and by the way, we were told that Jagdeo deliberately pushed back his flight plans so he would have arrived a day after the party and not have to table an excuse for missing his "best friend's" finest moment.

RHO was also there and 360 I told you so but you refused to mention that he too was there. Not casting any aspersions about your political loyalty, but the entire Guyana knows that the PNCR is three feet under already and its just a matter of time before they are completely buried. I asked you why would RHO be there partying when his party is dying. Slow fire or slow death, which one is more painful?

Also spoke with Ramotar - a fairly good guy, but it was Ramsaroop and Corbin's sucking up to him that was surprising. There were like all hail "KING RAMOTAR". There is a perfectly good reason why Corbin would lick ass. He has lost his stripes and is now seeking to stay on by any means necessary, but bloody heavens why would Pete head down that road? Why?

Good party boi Glenn

Dr. Suresh Ammo

KN Reports: Head of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Dr. Suresh Narine, was detained in Trinidad with 12 rounds of 9mm ammunition after departing Guyana on a Caribbean Airlines flight via the VIP lounge at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

Kaieteur News was told yesterday that Dr. Narine, who is an associate professor at the University of Alberta, was on his way to Miami for a meeting after departing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

According to reports, Dr. Narine was busted in Trinidad on Sunday with the ammunition in the magazine in his hand luggage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Agri. Minister partying while Guyana sinks?

We are just learning from Guyana Fire that the Kaieteur News party last night was popping (whatever that means). Fire had too much of de lil rum and was knocked out cold. He claim how Robert Montgomery Persaud was there, but we believe it was drunk fire was drunk and mistook someone else for the goodly Minister of Agriculture.

We know the lovely Minister and aspiring President would not be parting at some rich self-centered businessman's party while the entire Guyana is on edge, fearing a major flood disaster. Oh no gone loose yuh senses to that cheap rum. Yuh rass so drunk you cant even catch yuh self to blog and now is already midday. No wonder yuh still shooting blanks and can't put one in dat girl.

Oh, and we hear that Bharrat Jagdeo was MIA from the party. With all the swirling allegations of a fallout with Uncle Glenn it would be interesting to hear why. We want to hear those details Fire!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Glenn Lall's denial

Ramlall himself did not speak at the opening ceremony, as he is never one to want to hug the limelight, his longtime friend, Glenn Lall, told the audience.

Lall, publisher of Kaieteur News, said that speculation was rife that he was the developer behind the imposing three-storey structure which is located at Regent and Wellington Streets.
However, he denied this was so, and said the building solely belongs to the Ramall family.

Lall acknowledged that the close involvement of his wife, Bhena, who owns the popular shoe store bearing her name at the eastern end of the same block with Regent Multiplex, might have fuelled that speculation.

Bhena, he said, was responsible for the architectural design of the building and the way it was decorated.
However, while he described the building as a work of art, with ornamental properties, he said it was, nevertheless, functional.

Lall said Ramall has always been willing to come forward to contribute to various funds he has set up to help victims of disaster and man-made terror, and wasn’t one who had to be asked.

Guyana360: Lall is no fool for a man who started life selling in Bourda Market. He so correct that he is not behind the new venture, but not once has he denied that is voluptuous wife is really behind the new store and not West Demerara businessman, Ganesh Ramlall.

Ramlall is just a sham. What is there to hide Mr. Lall. Is your wife trying to join you and escape the tax man too?

No Vision as a leader

Big, big session with world leaders to discuss climate change. Our two boys, Bharrat Jagdeo and Robert Persaud are there too batting for money to swing Guyana's way for up keeping our standing forests. Lo and behold, Jagdeo get up and talk how he had no vision while he sat as Minister of Finance. He even blamed himself for not having the vision. No us say so, it was reported here in BBC. Scrool down to about the final two items and hear for yourself folks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Freddie's Gone crazy

When I was growing up, I always heard my aged next neighbour fretting. Often times when I peered through the rusty mesh we had for fencing, I was totally shock to learn that she spoke to no one. My dad is a smart fella and he often told me not to laugh because the woman had not lost her senses as I had thought. In fact, he said her rantings were directly linked to the pressures of life. He then said the only way to know if someone has lost their bearings is is they begin to answer themselves. Pay attention to the highlighted words in Freddie's piece today.

Here is Freddie's ramblings in the KN: If only people would get inside the soul and mind of an aggrieved person they would understand what hurt is. It doesn’t seem like the average person throughout the centuries has done that and wants to do that. Had that been so, there would have been no human rights violations. And Nietzsche would never have proclaimed that God and Marx are dead. Maybe we would have had Marx’s classless society.

Donald Ramotar’s daughter once said to me that her father fought for Guyana’s right to have democracy. I didn’t disagree with her but I made the point that I know of so many others who did and what has become of them? What do you tell the children of a man who has worked for thirty-five years cleaning the city’s faeces and was dismissed on the accusation of one person? What played out there?

Are we back to the Burnham days when ethnicity and party card determine whether you survive in the land of your birth? Let me answer my own question. Yes we are back to those days. The cultural and religious derivatives of the names and texture of hair of our new rulers have changed. But the discrimination, party domination and abuse of power remain identical.

Peter Ramsaroop's Problem

Peter Ramsaroop writes: This week, I am visiting many cities in the United States, speaking to overseas-based Guyanese on the status of our nation. The number one question I am asked is what is going on with the crime situation. Our front pages are riddled with the many murders and crime that happen in our country, and that is then multiplied numerous times over when one reads it on the Internet.

This self-centered political waste time continues to shoot himself in the foot mercilessly. We, and I mean all of us suffering Guyanese don't give a rat's ass where you travelling. We have real God dam problems and if you want to be Guyana's chosen one, you had better strip your 'Roop' suits and throw on a trunks and vest from Avinash and start walking the muddy back lands.

Come see where my aunt lives on the East Bank. Come see where my family lives on the West Coast. Go listen to the sugar workers. Go help the poor on the West Bank find hope. Travel on the minibuses and see the danger ordinary citizens face at the hands of ruthless drivers. Travel on the speed boats and see the daily risk of commuting in this day and age.

You disgust me and so many others , who thought you were really serious about changing Guyana's political landscape. You want to adopt Obama's appeal to the masses? When you return to Guyana , board a Timerhi bus, skip across the garbage littered Stabroek Market square. Hopefully you make it to the route 40 park without getting robbed. Oops! No bodyguards please. Then try not to get mugged by the touts as you board a route 40 bus that would take you closest to your posh office in Queenstown.

These are just baby steps before you can earn Guyanese respect. You are just like the PPP/C Ministers, except you are not in office. We have grown accustom to our lil corruption here and there, a few army guns going missing, people disappearing, bodies scattered, drug dealers flourishing and blood shed throughout Guyana.

You see my point eh Roop?

We know what the PNCR can do. We have seen them run the economy to ruins, set up a socialist state, practice racism, and silence those who dare oppose. We have seen it all from the two parties that have led this country with iron fists. We need a change and the AFC is a mixture of both parties. After all they might be worst since two of their leaders are offspring of the dominant political fractions. You know what thesy say about double trouble.

There is a reason why Dr. Walter Rodney and the Working People's Alliance (WPA) was so successful during the PNCR rule. Peter we beg that you take our advice, climb down off your pedestal and reach out to ordinary citizens.

Money and bank accounts will win us over, but only temporarily. You are too intelligent to be failing this badly politically.

School sanctioned abuse

Not us but a Red Cross worker in Guyana observed that a United Nations study on violence in 2006 shows that violence against children happens in every country, and that in a 12-month period, 223 million children are sexually abused -- that's 150 million girls and 73 million boys, said Evanoff.

In Guyana, about 10 per cent of girls and five per cent of boys have been sexually abused, while 87 per cent of children experience physical abuse in their homes, schools or communities.

There you have the glaring evidence that children are being abused in schools and the Ministry of Education can draft laws to keep corporal punishment on the books. Only a heartless and uncaring Government would seek to subject future leaders to blows as cover for disciplinary action. Not us, we sending our pickeny to private school where dem have toilet with draw string and flush handle. Sorry for dem lil poor pickney who parents cannot do like so many Ministers and send dem children to private school.

Discord Flares at Climate Talks

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged rich and poor nations to agree on new steps to fight global warming, telling a 189-nation conference that Europe and the US must take the lead in avoiding a climate "catastrophe."

Ban warned against "backsliding" on clean-air targets just as EU leaders in Brussels considered a watered-down plan for making industry buy permits to emit carbon dioxide, the gas most blamed for global warming.

Europe's apparent wavering stoked discord at the UN climate conference, part of efforts to reach a global deal next December to reduce emissions of gases emitted when fossil fuels are burned.

Guyana's president, Bharrat Jagdeo, said he feared the world's economic downturn would divert money and attention from fighting climate change as countries seek to protect jobs and industries.

"If Europe sends a signal that it can make deep commitments only in prosperous times, what are the developing countries going to say, including China?" Jagdeo told delegates gathered in Poznan, Poland, for the last two days of this year's main UN climate meeting.

Emissions have been rising most rapidly in emerging economies such as China and India. In bargaining for a global deal, developing nations are under pressure to curb emissions in return for pledges of new cuts by industrialized countries.

Ban urged governments to treat the global financial crisis as an opportunity to speed investment in clean technology. He evoked the New Deal, a massive public works programme launched by US president Franklin D Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

"We need a Green New Deal," he told government leaders as they began two days of high-level talks. "This is a deal that works for all nations, rich as well as poor." [_]

Closer to black Gold

CGX Energy has completed the shooting of a 536-sq km (207-sq mi) 3D seismic survey on the Corentyne Petroleum Prospecting License (PPL) offshore Guyana.

In the Georgetown PPL, also offshore Guyana, the survey was expanded by 200-sq km (77-sq mi) to 1,850-sq km (714-sq mi). The Georgetown survey has been shot in parallel with the Corentyne and is expected to be completed after the New Year, the company says.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Kaieteur News: President Bharrat Jagdeo was aboard the Delta flight inbound to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on October 7 when action by the pilot of the outgoing Caribbean Airlines flight averted a midair collision.A report issued by Captain Gregory Fox, who conducted the investigation after the near miss, stated that there was a dangerous loss of separation, the second at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport since May. The report also noted that these are not the only such incidents that have occurred over the years.

Here is the question to Minister Robeson Benn. How could you refute the report published in Kaieteur News when infact the head of state of this country could have been killed mid-air due to the poor state of the CJIA equipment. Its time to admit, move along and get it fix and stop worrying about the publication of the report.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Freddie under attack

Freddie is under attack by someone over at the waterfall paper. Clearly so judging from the fact that the KN website replaced his column with a Click here for the website's front page and here for Freddie's column and see wht we are talking about.

Burke whipping again

After we first broke this story, thevery next day it was plastered all over the media. Howevere, Rickford Burke, a former Presidential advisor to Hoyte, has lashed out at Corbin and the party leadership (see below). Burke has sepped on Corbin toes after grinding Adam Harris' Sophia toes into the sand.

New York Institute says removal of Guyana MP undermines democracy

NEW YORK: The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has condemned the removal of James McAllister from the Parliament of Guyana by Opposition and People's National Congress (PNC) Leader, Robert Corbin. McAllister was a PNC Member of Parliament (MP).
He and a group of senior members, led by then Vice Chairman Vincent Alexander unsuccessfully challenged Corbin for the leadership at the party's 2007 internal elections. They were subsequently placed before a disciplinary committee engineered by Corbin.
The Institute blasted his removal as "dictatorial and vindictive." It added that "The arbitrary removal of a Member of Parliament who was elected by the people, at the whims of one man - the Opposition Leader, overturns the will of the electorate and is an assault on democracy."
In a CGID statement issued Friday by Director of Communications, Jevon Suralie, the Institute's President, Rickford Burke, is quoted as saying "I am shocked that Mr. Corbin's leadership is characterized by arrogance and dictatorship; tendencies which jeopardize our tenuous democratic dispensation."
Burke, a former Chairman of the PNC youth arm – GYSM who was also an aide to late PNC Leader and former President of Guyana, Hugh Desmond Hoyte, added that "The recall of James McAllister provides a keen insight into the PNC leader's domineering approach to governing and antipathy for democratic values."
He said no one with such mentality must ever again be entrusted with the Presidency of Guyana." Corbin ran against President Bharrat Jagdeo for President in 2006 but lost. Burke however said that they both have "dictatorial tendencies."
At the sitting of the Parliament on December 3, Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran, announced that he had received official notification from Corbin, the Representative of the List of candidates for the PNC, on December 2, that McAllister had been recalled. Consequently, Ramkarran declared McAllister's seat vacant, in accordance with "Article 156(3) (c) of the Constitution, the Constitutional Amendment Act of 2007."
Known as the "The Recall Legislation," the amendment was enacted by the PPP government with support from Corbin a majority of his PNC MPs. The legislation enables the representatives of parliamentary parties to direct the Speaker of the National Assembly to declare a seat vacant once a party has lost confidence in a member.
Suralie noted that during its passage in 2007, CGID expressed serious reservations about its undemocratic provisions. He said the Institute had recommended that the Bill be amended to require that, upon a declaration of no confidence in a MP by a Representative of a party's list, the Speaker should cause a special election to be held in the constituency of the MP. This, he said, would allow the people to be the final arbiters of in the recall of their elected representative. The recall legislation is the product of a negotiated deal by President Jagdeo and Mr. Corbin to excise independent-minded MPs who do not tow their party's line. It was enacted after Corbin was challenged for the leadership in 2007.
Burke accused Corbin of being characteristically petty, visionless and uninspiring. "His leadership has been catastrophic for the PNC. With him at the helm, its prospects for electoral viability will remain elusive," he noted.
Corbin assumed the leadership in 2002 after Hoyte died of a heart attack. Since then, the Party underwent a serious split in 2005, leading to the departure of scores of young leaders, including Raphael Trotman, a formidable young leader who was being groomed by Hoyte to assume the reins of leadership. Trotman then co-founded the Alliance for Change (AFC). In the 2006 general elections, the PNC lost five seats in Parliament to the AFC. It also lost several local government seats to both the AFC and Jagdeo's ruling PPP.
Burke added that although allegations of a "compromised" 2007 party election damaged Mr. Corbin's credibility and legitimacy, as well as undermined the PNC's image, since then a leadership culture of malice and undemocratic practices became more entrenched.
He charged that Corbin has pursued a vendetta against the members that supported Alexander in 2007, and that his undemocratic propensities have led to "a brain drain of the majority of the PNC's intelligentsia."
Burke also noted that Corbin has not conceptualized or articulated a new vision as an alternative to the incumbent PPP government and, thus, has lost the confidence of a majority of his constituents and members. "He is an incompetent and irrelevant and does not deserve the vote of the people at any other elections," Burke observed.

"If the PNC hopes to remain a relevant force in Guyanese politics, it must remove Mr. Corbin from its leadership, broaden its political base into a genuine, formidable, multiethnic party, recruit a new generation of bright, young leaders and articulate a new vision for modernity and development," Burke said.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Otisha gone large on BBC

By Emma Joseph
BBC World Service

I first met Otisha, a tall Afro-Guyanese transvestite prostitute in 2003 when I reported on HIV and Aids in Guyana and Barbados.Back then, the Caribbean had the second highest rate of infection in the world.

The prevalence among female sex workers in Guyana was 27% and 21% for men who have sex with men.
Five years later, Otisha is still a commercial sex worker and business is booming for him.
"I go with lots of clients," said Otisha, who has himself managed to avoid contracting HIV.

When I last visited, men were paying extra money to have unprotected sex.

"You do have some men who pay that type of money to have sex but I'm not going to have unprotected sex," said Otisha.
Raising awareness
Government support for HIV and Aids sufferers has improved dramatically in Guyana in the past five years.
"They are promoting more Aids programmes on national television and promoting the use of condoms," said Otisha.

Since the World Bank came on board in 2004 and after President George W Bush's Aids initiative, more money has been made available to promote awareness and education.
Dr Shanti Singh, who heads the country's national Aids programme, feels that this has had an impact on the number of cases.

"In 2003/2004 our prevalence was approximately 2.4%. At the end of 2006 we conducted another survey, so we estimate in Guyana, right now our prevalence is about 1.55%," said Dr Singh.
The infection rate among female sex workers has also dropped significantly in recent years.
"There has been a lot of work going on to educate the general public - mass media campaigns, a lot of print media and education material," added Dr Singh
Getting support
According to the National Aids Programme, about 5,000 people are now in a free treatment and care programme.
I visited a clinic where I met a young policewoman who had contracted HIV from her husband.
"I thought I was going to die, I shut down my bank account and I made wills concerning my children," she said.
When she first came to the clinic, she had lost all hope but the support she received changed her mind.

"I want to live, so that's why I dress and look fancy and you can't even tell that I have HIV," she said.
However, one of the biggest obstacles for the Guyanese government is how to stop further infections.
HIV is still the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 20 and 49, and the infection rate among commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men remains extremely high.
Isabella, an 18-year-old orphan, had to prostitute herself to put a roof over her head.
She has been having regular unprotected sex since started working a year ago.
"I don't know how to use a condom," said Isabella.
She has never been tested and estimates that she has had unprotected sex with around 50 men.
Multiple partners
Barbados is renowned for being socially conservative and religious but when it comes to sex, it is a different matter.
"In the Caribbean the infection rate is 1.2% and here in Barbados it's around 1.8%," said Dr Carol Jacobs, who is the head of the National Aids Commission.
"We are relatively high but unless we can cut the number of new cases, we still have a big challenge on our hands," she said.
Woman between the ages of 15 and 29 have the highest infection rates, as a result of having multiple partners as well as anal sex.
"We are just embarking on our five-year strategic plan, paying a lot of emphasis to treatment and prevention, with behaviour change and communication in particular," said Dr Jacobs.
"It is about men in particular having multiple partners and I think the young women think if you can do it, so can we," said Dr Jacobs.
The National Aids Commission has just launched what it calls a "Champions Programme," where they are getting artists and musicians to promote the safe sex message to young people.

However, many of the people engaging in risky sexual behaviour are the parents themselves.
Corey Lane, from the Aids commission, feels that adults think young people do not have sex.
"A lot of teachers don't feel comfortable talking to these children about sex, they feel that they are too young to know about it," said Mr Lane.
"We have proven in surveys that primary school children are engaging in sex as early as nine. However, the good news is that we have been able to reduce HIV/Aids mortality by over 70%."
According to Mr Lane, Barbados has also been able to reduce the incidence of new cases as every major public place now offers testing.

Five years ago, when I reported on HIV and Aids in the Caribbean, the big issue was stigma and discrimination

Now, I've seen how the quality of life for people living with the disease in Guyana and Barbados has improved dramatically.
People are living longer and huge strides have been made in terms of treatment and care in less than a decade.
Sadly one thing that hasn't changed is the infection rate, which is only surpassed by the far higher figures in sub-Saharan Africa.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Breaking News: James McAllister recalled as MP

It had to happen sooner or later. People's National Congress Reform Member of Parliament, James Mc Allister has been recalled from the House.

Speaker of the national Assembly, Ralph ramkarran made the announcement shortly after the sitting convened at 2:00 pm today. Ramkarran also informed teh House that no replacement has been named as yet.

Mc Allister had been under the firing squad for sometime now after he along with other senior party members mounted a leadership challenge at the party's congress. The challenge resulted in a war of words that nearly split the party in two. Mc Allister and coherts were dragged infront the party's disciplinary committee where disciplinary actions were urged.

The veteran campaigner subsequently left Guyana for the US and has since told several persons that he doesn't care if he is recalled. We could not have agreed better. No need to go down with the Titanic.

Conflagration of guilt: Adam methinks doth protest too much!

A doctrine of ancient Latin, Greek and Hebrew theologies is that Sampson used the jawbone of an ass to slay his enemies - 1000 Philistine men at Ramath Lehi. The dogma of this doctrine is not alien to modern-day Philistines. The People's Progressive Party (PPP) government engages it to attack critics.

Editor of Guyana's Kaieteur Newspapers, Adam Harris, is being used as an instrument akin to this dogma. The mission of Kaieteur News, through its columns, has been to attempt to disparage me for criticizing President Jagdeo and his government for their non-payment of former President Desmond Hoyte's pension to his 76 year-old wife, Mrs. Joyce Hoyte. These articles not only attacked me, they attacked Mrs. Hoyte as well.

Moreover, Kaieteur News has refused to publish my original letter on this matter as well as my responses to their vicious attacks. The editor implicitly claimed that the State's failure to provide adequate security for a former First Lady as well as its non-payment of her husband's presidential pension of $800,000.00 per month, have no merit. This notwithstanding, he subsequently decided that it is in the best interest of the nation to publish three columns attacking me for raising the issue. Two of such are the "Blame the Government" and "Peeping Tom" columns, both anonymously written. The third was written under Harris' pen.

Confirmation of their pathetic lack of journalistic and professional integrity came with Kaieteur's refusal to publish any of my responses. At its core, the conduct of the newspaper on this issue; particularly its attacks on Joyce Hoyte, has been disgraceful. It is a manifestation of a shocking absence of editorial decency. What has Joyce Hoyte done to Adam Harris and Kaieteur News that could have motivated their implacable, wrongheaded and ignorant advocacy against her interest? For this they must be besieged with public scorn.

The "Blame the Government" column titled "When people confuse favors with rights," which, attacked me and Mrs. Hoyte for claiming a favor as a right, was published on November 22. Its entire premise was indistinguishable from the views Harris exchanged with me privately. Some expressions were even verbatim. After careful inquiry, I ascertained that Harris wrote the article, and thus, responded by exposing this fact. However, Kaieteur refused to publish my response.

But the cutthroat politics did not end there. On November 25, the newspaper published another vile article under the "Pepping Tom" column titled "In defense of a good man," which sought to pillory me for petitioning for Mrs. Hoyte to be paid her husband's pension and for allegedly accusing Adam of writing "Blame the Government." The author of this column was also anonymous. What was more reprehensible, is that Harris again refused to publish my response.

It then became apparent that the newspaper had, by editorial judgment, declared war on me. Having refused to publish all of my prior three responses, Harris wrote another article on November 30, titled "Eye-pass I will not tolerate, Rickford," further attacking me. He even invoked my dead parents' name to underscore his familiarity with my family.

What he failed to say is that my parents were tough disciplinarians who inculcated in me a compass of integrity, truth and honor, and that they would never tolerate "cutthroat" politics and nasty, yellow journalism. But even the "conjuring up" of my dead parents' name would not save Adam from the wrath of my determination to expose cowards who would attack Mrs. Hoyte and me, under the cover of pseudonyms, over my advocacy for her husband's benefits.

For the record, I am not afraid of any politician in Guyana. Neither, am I intimidated by their henchmen; be those henchmen Phantom killers, newspaper editors or enablers of Phantom killers. I am also not afraid of nasty attacks in newspapers. This is the preferred choice of the Philistines but it would not faze me. I am ready to do combat at anytime, anyplace, and in my own name.

Unlike the dastards at Kaieteur News, who use entire columns to attack me under nome de plumes, like "Peeping Tom," I am no one's house-slave and do not have to assume different personalities to carry out my commission. Does Adam and his Kaieteur colleagues do? And if he is not a contributor to these columns, as he incredulously claims, then he must tell us who these contributors are. Transparency is a prerequisite to integrity.

My assertion that Adam is a contributor to the "Blame the Government" column was not "willy nilly." I am in receipt of credible information and evidence from his colleagues at Kaieteur news. I am also convinced that the Office of the President (OP) has an inside track to individuals at this newspaper, whom they use to publish attacks on individuals.

I am also aware that Harris is in regular contact with both President Bharrat Jagdeo and Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS) Dr. Roger Luncheon, and that there is an "information" continuum that facilitates a smooth exchange of information and "intelligence."

I am also well aware, and have electronic documentation to corroborate, that the aforementioned individuals in the Office of the President communicate with their source and convey "editorial instructions" from email accounts "QCskelly" and "Smokey." This is what motivated my desire to strongly expose this cutthroat politics.

Nothing is wrong with anyone writing in support of the government, as Adam himself questioned in his last article. What is egregious is the publication of venomous attacks on individuals, on behalf of corrupt politicians, through editorially sanctioned columns by anonymous writers and the entity's refusal to publish dissenting views and responses.

Worst, the continuum of information between OP and Kaieteur News, engenders the frightening possibility of "snitching" on the newspaper's sources. This compromises lives; as Guyana is a dangerous place where Phantom killers allegedly act as enforcers for known individuals in the government. They have killed over 400 persons with impunity. In 2005 Minister of National Security, Ronald Gajraj, was forced to resign over such allegations. This is why this type of cutthroat politics is so dangerous. Individuals must therefore be distrustful about leaking confidential information to this newspaper.

Harris' private and public denials lack credibility with me. In his column on November 30, he claimed that "Rickford Burke has promised me a public apology and I am waiting. He owes me that." This is not exactly the truth. I advised him privately that if he provides me "credible evidence" to support his denial, I will withdraw my accusation. I stand by this statement. However, he has not done so to date and given the facts, I doubt whether he will ever be able to do so. So I am waiting. No proof, no apology. In fact Kaieteur owes me and Mrs. Hoyte an apology for their malicious attacks and its refusal to publish my responses.

Rather than meet this simple request, Adam instead informed me that Robert Corbin has been provided with the names of the authors of the "Blame the Government" column; as if Corbin was attacked by that column on this issue. Kaieteur News and Adam have been exposed as apparent threads in a dangerous web of "cutthroat" politics. I will not relent or give in on this issue. I will continue to expose those who are commissioned to attack and mislead.

After all, Adam remains impenitent for his attacks on me and his proposition of the deluded opinion of some individuals in the government that this issue is about a "favor" to Mrs. Hoyte rather than her right to her husband's benefits. I rejected completely.

As of today, more information has come to light. President Hoyte has never received any aspect of his two pensions to which he is entitled. Furthermore, Mrs. Hoyte has only been receiving a Presidential Widow's pension since his death, contrary to what Kaieteur news has been reporting. She is therefore now entitled to her husband's presidential pension; payable from 1992 onward, and to his parliamentary pension payable from 1985 to 1992 and from 2002 onward.

I am familiar with pensions and how they are computed. I have worked in both the Office of the President and the Public Service Ministry in Guyana. As Technical Assistant to the Minister for the Public Service, I have had to review many complicated pension matters. Although Presidential and Parliamentary pensions are not regulated by public service regulations, per se, and there are different formulae for computation, there are common guiding principles.

This experience, as well as my knowledge and involvement in Mr. Hoyte's pension issue in 1992 and after, I possess a unique understanding of this issue. I therefore need no misguided lecture from anyone; be it in the form of a newspaper editor or cowards who mask themselves as anonymous columnists.

Adam has also advanced the PPP's foolish argument that the enactment of a 2006 law, which authorized an increase in the presidential pension to 7/8 of the current President's salary, prevents the government from making provisions to pay Mrs. Hoyte her husband's pension as a law could not be enacted retroactively. This is the most nonsensical argument I have ever heard.

This matter is simple. The government must pay the woman her husband's pension as the formula allows up until 2006 and then apply the 2006 provisions from the point of its enforcement. But as an aside, let me also dispel the ignorant argument that laws are not enforced retroactively. This is false.

No doctrine or case law of any jurisprudence in the world prohibits retroactive law making. Laws which emanate from the bench are retroactive laws. Legislatures all over the world engage in retroactive law making everyday. In criminal law, many jurisprudence enact laws leading to the abolition of the death penalty and enact retroactive commutation of death sentences to life sentences. Additionally, civil and public laws are also enacted retroactively to modernize or correct statues, or to codify standards for social order. Guyana recently did just this. So Adam, quit the misinformation.

As I have said before, Adam is the editor of the Kaieteur Newspaper. By virtue of this responsibility he will always be assessed to have vicarious liability for injurious publications by his entity. Further, the offending article's striking similarity with his private expressions also establishes constructive authorship to him. His protestations sounds like a fraud. They drip with guilt.

Irish playwright and author Oscar Wilde once said "It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution." Adam, your vehement denials cannot absolve you from the wrath of guilt. It is evidence that you didn't which will. You should be counseled by the Shakespearean quote; "Doth protest too much, methinks." If I am wrong you need to prove it.

We know that Kaieteur News will not publish this letter, so I ask my fellow countrymen to, through their individual sense of community, organizations and churches, disseminate this letter widely.

Rickford Burke
Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)