Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stinging criticism of Stabroek News

Dear Editor:

There is a prevailing consensus among certain Guyanese that the Editor-in-Chief of the Stabroek newspaper, Guyana's independent daily, has sold his soul to the devil to regain PPP government advertising in his newspaper. The behavior of the Stabroek News ever since the Government of Guyana restored government ads to it is disgracefully anti-black and patently pretentious. The government had ceased doing business with the paper for alleged biased reporting two years ago but restored ads last month. Now there seems to have been a nefarious deal, as the paper has emerged as a rancid sourpuss against black interests, and marching to the tune to the Guyanese etchnocracy.

During the period of the suspension of the ads, its owner, Mr. David DeCaires, a Portuguese-Guyanese, led an international campaign claiming that press freedom was under siege in Guyana, which was selfish, haughty and grossly insular at best. He disregarded attacks on African-Guyanese members of the journalistic fraternity, the many attacks on the Guyana Press Association, the murder of journalist Ronald Waddell who once worked for him but whose sin is being black, and the criminal arrest and imprisonment of journalist Mark Benschop. Not once did he mention these other journalistic interests in his egocentric endeavors. How stink?

Now that he is back in bed with the racist PPP etchnocracy, he promotes their interest and ignores the oppression of the Afro-Guyanese population. There is no question in my mind that the Stabroek news pursues an anti-black agenda. It refused to cover the remarks of the Chief Magistrate of Guyana, Ms. Juliet Holder-Allen, when she held a press conference last week to highlight the government's discriminatory actions against her. It subsequently downplayed this rather important development by reporting it days later.

It also refused to cover the very large opposition demonstration last week and then editorialized against it - an epistle reminiscent of how Jim Crow "red-necks" of the segregation era in America, attempted to lecture African-Americans on what their rights were. The Stabroek news also diluted the significance of President Bharrat Jagdeo's suspension of the license of Sharma TV Channel 6, because the station champions the interests of blacks, the working class and the poor in Guyana. Its mission is not in keeping with the agenda of the elitists at Stabroek News.

In the ideal world we should not divide ourselves by ethnicity, as we strive for a truly harmonious, multicultural society. However, the PPP etchnocracy, the Stabroek news and others, enforce these ethnic divisions daily in Guyana.

Hence, as the grandson of another Portuguese-Guyanese, I feel constrained to say that it's time that we get real with these self-appointed elitists and narcissistic charlatans. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, pontificates like a duck and behaves like a duck, then it is what it is - a duck! Many racist agendas are being played out in Guyana today and we must reject them.

My advice to Mr. DeCaires is to putdown his bag of "gulf clubs" and blinders, and pick up equality, fairness and journalistic professionalism and integrity.

'Indiana Jones' stands up Guyana's president

NEW YORK, USA (Reuters): Indiana Jones races to rescue rare treasures in his big screen adventures, but the Hollywood demands of actor Harrison Ford stopped him from helping to launch a bid to save the world's tropical forests on Tuesday. Ford had been due to appear at a news conference in New York with Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo to launch "Lost There, Felt Here," a Conservation International campaign. [See previous post]

Ford was busy doing promotional work before a red carpet screening of the new film "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" in New York on Tuesday, said Peter Seligmann, Conservation International's chief executive officer.

"He's not going to be here because he's released a film in Cannes and Paramount which controls that has him out racing around right now doing some more work," Seligmann said. "That's his business and that's his lifeblood and that's the moment we're in."

Ford has made an advertisement for the Conservation International campaign in which the Oscar-nominated actor gets his chest waxed to show that clearing tropical forests hurts people all over the world. "When rainforests get slashed and burned it releases tonnes of carbon into the air we breathe, it changes our climate, it hurts," he says in the ad.

"Every bit of rainforest that gets ripped out over there really hurts us over here." Conservation International says the burning and clearing of tropical forests emits at least 20 percent of global greenhouse gases, more than all of the world's cars, trucks and airplanes combined. The small South American nation of Guyana has retained up to 80 percent of its original Amazon rainforest cover. On Tuesday, Jagdeo offered to put that forest under international supervision in return for his country being paid for the carbon dioxide being stored in the trees and biomass.

"I am sorry Harrison Ford is not here but I plan to take full advantage of your presence," he joked. "While climate change policies may result in Europeans and North Americans having to pay more for an SUV, in poor countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America climate change is literally a matter of life and death," Jagdeo said. "We must make it more valuable to leave our trees standing than to cut them down."

Radio not on airwaves; maybe super high-waves

http://www.demerarawaves.com

Breaking News: Parliamentary Opposition in "Joint Petition" to CARICOM

The Leaders of each of the Joint Parliamentary Opposition Parties – Mr. Robert H. O. Corbin, MP, (the People’s National Congress Reform - One Guyana) Mr. Raphael G. Trotman, MP, (the Alliance for Change) and Mr. Paul Hardy (Guyana Action Party/Rise Organise and Rebuild) signed a joint Petition, on Wednesday 21 May 2008, to the CARICOM Heads Of Government

“….inviting CARICOM to make recommendations to the President and Government of Guyana to meaningfully address issues affecting the well-being of the citizens of Guyana ….”. The Petition calls on “…the leaders of our sister Caribbean countries to uphold our shared ideals of freedom, peace and justice by furthering the legitimate aspirations of our people for a society free from debilitating conflict, violence and fear of the future.”

The Petition would be circulated, in all of the Regions of Guyana, inviting citizens to sign indicating their agreement with the thrust of the Petition.

The Petition brings, “to the attention of CARICOM Heads of Government, for their consideration, the following matters of concern to citizens of Guyana :

a. The unilateral and arbitrary decision by the President of Guyana, in his capacity as Minister responsible for administering the Wireless and Telegraphy Act, inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the law, to suspend, by a procedure that was manifestly unfair and contrary to natural justice, the licence of CNS TV Channel 6, a private local television station, for four months.
This action by the Government is but one example of its continual contumelious and contumacious behaviour, since 2001. There have been:
- threats to, and closure of, HBTV Channel 9;
- threats to, and the undermining of, the economic interests of VCT Channel 28, by forcing the removal of a Lottery Broadcast contract from that station to the state-owned Channel 11 and, later, the cancellation of the TBN religious broadcasts in Guyana which were managed by VCT Channel 28;
- vilification and physical abuse of C.N. Sharma, the owner of CNS TV Channel 6, by the Governing Party’s activists with no redress in the courts; and
- removal of advertisements, by Government, from the privately owned Stabroek News, for more than seventeen (17) months.

The action of the President, in the above-mentioned capacity, is made more objectionable by his total disregard for the Memorandum of Understanding that he had signed, as President, with the late Leader of the Opposition, Mr. H D Hoyte, that established an Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (ACB), the main purpose of which was to ensure that the Minister responsible would act only in accordance with its advice and that that body would be independent and autonomous. There has been no advice, tendered by the ACB, recommending the suspension of CNS TV Channel 6.

b. Prolonged inaction or outright refusal to enact Broadcast Legislation and establish an Independent National Broadcasting Authority, based on the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Radio Monopoly, Non-Partisan Boards and Broadcasting Legislation. The Report and recommendations of the Committee were adopted by the President and the late Leader of the Opposition, Mr. H. D. Hoyte, in December 2001. The objective was to ensure that political control over media in Guyana was completely removed.

The effect of the inaction, described above, was compounded further by the breach of a renewed commitment, in the Communiqué of 6 May 2003, signed by President Bharrat Jagdeo and Mr. Robert Corbin, Leader of the Opposition, committing the Government to introduce Broadcasting legislation within four months of that date. Regrettably, approximately five years later, this remains yet another unfulfilled commitment by President Jagdeo.

c. The unlawful appointment of the Integrity Commission by the President, in breach of Section 3 of the Integrity Commission Act No. 20 of 1997. All attempts to have this matter determined by the Courts, over the last four years, have proved futile. The Integrity Commission was established to promote probity in public life.

d. The extension of the life of an improperly constituted Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), in 2006, by the President, in violation of Article 212 B of the Guyana Constitution. The ERC has its origins in the St Lucia Statement and is one of the mechanisms designed to promote better relations among the various ethnic groups in Guyana .

e. The contempt displayed by the Administration for the fundamental rights of citizens, as illustrated by:

· The arrest and detention of, and the subsequent laying of unsustainable charges of sedition against, Oliver Hinckson, retired Lieutenant of the Guyana Defence Force, (GDF).who has been refused bail while his case has been repeatedly adjourned at the behest of lawyers for the prosecution.
· The arbitrary arrest and detention of citizens on various pretexts – the common practice being to detain persons late on Friday so that they remain in custody for the weekend and are then released on Monday without any charge being brought.
· The use of brutal torture, by the Security Forces, against citizens, including Victor Jones, Patrick Sumner and David Zammett, in contravention of the International Convention Against Torture ratified by the Government.
· The unlawful destruction of property by the security forces, particularly at Buxton where the sanctity of homes has been violated with impunity, personal property wantonly destroyed and farms irreparably damaged.
· The unlawful killings of citizens by the security forces and the disappearance of others without a trace. The most recent examples of unlawful killing are those of Tyrone Pollard of Lot 81 Buxton Sideline Dam and Donna Herod.

f. The reluctance of the Government to commit to the enactment of Freedom of Information Legislation.

g. The domination of the state-owned television and of the monopoly radio station by the ruling Party, excluding all others, and the refusal of the Government to issue licenses for the establishment of private radio stations.

h. The failure of the Administration to provide any concrete measures for
genuine relief to Guyanese workers who are experiencing severe hardship, caused by the spiralling cost of living, with an inflation rate of 34% in 2007 and the increase in wages of only 9%, while the Administration expends limited financial resources for social extravaganza of lesser import. We believe that the VAT could be significantly reduced as a short term relief measure.

i. The refusal of the Government to proceed with consultations on Inclusive Governance, notwithstanding their commitment to do so, as expressed in the Communiqué, signed on 6 May 2003, and their acceptance of the National Development Strategy (NDS) of 2000 which emphasized good governance as a prerequisite for national development.

j. The apparent reluctance by the Government to pursue the implementation of the Guyana Security Reform Plan in a holistic manner which includes, inter alia:
i. “Linking Police Reform with actions in other areas of the security sector;
ii. “Strong linkages in particular with the ongoing programmes in Justice Reform and Citizen Security;
iii. “A need to address the root causes of criminal and political violence: poverty and unemployment..”

The Petition, therefore, is calling on the Heads of Government of CARICOM “…. to consider the matters therein carefully in the light of the stated CARICOM objectives for the Region and for Member States, and, in accordance with those considerations, to:

A. MAKE recommendations to the President and Government of Guyana to address meaningfully the issues, including:

i. the removal of the suspension of the license of CNS TV Channel 6, owned by C N Sharma ;

ii. the withdrawal of sedition charges against Oliver Hinckson and his immediate release from custody;

iii. the urgent enactment of Broadcast Legislation, based on the recommendations, contained in the Final Report of the Joint Committee on Radio Monopoly, Non-Partisan Boards and Broadcasting Legislation, submitted, on 7 December 2001, and adopted by President Jagdeo the late Leader of the Opposition, Mr H.D. Hoyte;

iv. the licensing of private radio stations;

v. equitable access, by Parliamentary Parties, to the state-owned media;

vi. the re-constitution of the Integrity Commission in accordance with the Integrity Commission Act No. 20 of 1997;

vii. an immediate end to the denial of the fundamental rights of the citizens of Guyana as illustrated herein; and

v. the immediate enactment of the Freedom of Information Legislation.

B. Generally, use CARICOM’s collective influence in relation to Guyana’s affairs to facilitate the creation of an environment of peace and social stability, particularly as it relates to the advancement of the issue of Inclusive Governance/Shared Governance in Guyana, as a necessary prerequisite for progress, development and the security of Guyana and its citizens.”

The Joint Parliamentary Opposition Parties urges all Guyanese to support this Petition which represents, yet another opportunity for the Government of Guyana to respond positively to the legitimate demands of the People of Guyana for a peaceful resolution of the problems which, unless resolved, represent barriers to the achievement of peace, justice, security, progress and development.

Joint Parliamentary Opposition Parties
Georgetown.
Thursday 21 May 2008

Double standards on CET waiver

Speaking briefly on the Common External Tariff (CET), the Minister said that this is also a means through which competitive industries can be developed in ensuring regional food security.He stressed that that there is need to guard against reducing tariffs to the point where its effectiveness may eroded.“We must bear in the mind the legitimate reasons for these tariffs. We should also see the CET as a means of boosting trade between our Member States. Waivers of the CET should only be granted in extreme cases,” Persaud said.

Guyana360: We certainly agree with the Minister here, but why is Guyana allowing cement from extra-regional sources? Guyana continues to garnt waivers to local cement importers, including Fidility Iinvestments, which has two past PPP/C Government ministers sitting on its board. Despite all the shady business practices embraced by Fidility, including smuggling, this Government continues to facilitate the company's growth. Talk about double standards!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Breaking News: Police ask US for Khan's murderous connection

The Guyana Police Force has announced its awakening from slumber and has moved to request evidence presented by the United States Government against Shaheed 'Roger' Khan, who is a close friend of the current PPP/C Government [read slow to act]. The US has contended that Khan had ordered and may have carried out murders of businessmen in Guyana to protect his cocaine empire. [read evidence]
"Consequent upon media reports about murders committed by Shaheed Roger Khan in Guyana prior to his incarceration in the United States , the Guyana Police Force has requested of the US Embassy in Guyana any information in the possession of the US Authorities in relation to the murders," a statement from the police noted.

Visitor signs for CARIFESTA #1






My Buddy's Laundromat


My Buddy once owned a Laundromat on the East Bank of Demerara which was visible across the Demerara River. My Buddy built his establishment with hard earned, cold cash and when it was completed, the building stood tall. It was visible for miles. After all it rose from dust of cane fields and competed with a nearby structure for attention.


The Laundromat represented hope and vision for a nation that was on the verge of hosting World Cup Cricket for the first time. The nation and it’s rulers differed on the purpose of the Laundromat, but the rulers knew that millions of dollars were in play.

The multi-million dollar illuminated the nigh sky and painted a picturesque environment of a poor nation on a move. My Buddy was not ashamed to borrow money from others to complete his dream and had devised a unique way to payback his debts.

I was not sure that my Buddy was smart to enter such a venture, but he defied all the doomsayers and survived the sharp criticisms that pounded even those that were lending my Buddy money to build his dream.


Under pressure from outside sources and the scrutiny of one media house, my Buddy has completed his task. He built at great cost, but now it’s time to sell. He is selling and making a huge windfall. But, who cares? It was all business while it lasted. It’s time to shut down the Laundromat and push on.


It’s time to move on to a next venture and for my Buddy to use his profits to repay those he owed many years ago.

Grow more brains!!!


Shadow dressing...

Now we know how the President would look if he hadn't worn a tie and had not gone through another cycle of hair loss.

The proof of the paper is in it's printing

Peeping Tom on new pro-government paper

SO IT IS WRITTEN; SO SHALL IT BE

Kaieteur News has nothing to fear from the new newspaper that is due to come on stream soon. Kaieteur News is not worried at all about another newspaper being published in Guyana.

Those who in their haughtiness may be deluding themselves that we are insecure because of the proposed new investment in a newspaper printery should disabuse themselves of this notion before they choke on their own hubris.We are a known quantity.

We are a household name in Guyana. We are the people’s paper.Kaieteur News has nothing to fear. Kaieteur News has proven itself. We are not a fly-by-night publication. We are not an overnight newspaper. We are not trying to establish ourselves. We have been around for quite some time; in fact soon it will be fifteen years since our establishment.

In that time we have become firmly entrenched in this country. We have an unselfish commitment to our readers. The public knows about Kaieteur News; the Caribbean knows about Kaieteur News; the world knows about Kaieteur News. We have established ourselves as the leading newspaper in Guyana and we did that without any favours from anyone.

For the first ten years of our existence, we did not receive a single advertisement from the government. We survived the longest drought ever. Any other newspaper would have folded up in such circumstances. At the start of our newspaper, the private sector was not as advertising conscious as it is today, and therefore there were not many ads to go after.

Most of the other newspapers looked towards government ads to bolster their revenues to keep them afloat.Kaieteur News has been through rough times. Our printery was torched during the crime wave of 2001- 2004. No one offered us any duty free concessions at the time to get ourselves back on our feet. Another major tragedy was to follow.

In 2006, we had a most shocking incident at our printery when our workers were placed to lie face down on the ground and cold-bloodedly executed. This incident sent shockwaves throughout the world. Nothing before of this nature had ever happened to the media before.Imagine how traumatized it left our staff. Most other newspapers would have closed shop.

But we have a publisher who is deeply concerned - has always been and will always be - about the well-being of his staff - and decided even while reeling from that blow that he would have to find a way to keep going. He was not going to put his faithful staff on the breadline.

A decision was taken that the printery had to be removed because the remaining staff were fearful of working in that area. We had to construct an entire new building next to our offices and in the process we were forced to secure a new press just so to keep up with the competition.

This cost us a great deal of money and we were not granted any favours by anyone. We paid our duties and taxes on the press that we imported.We have been around the block. We have taken our knocks and we are still here. We shall still be here long after the new kids who have arrived would have left. We are not worried about competition; we thrive on that. We believe in competition. We believe it brings out the best in all of us and helps us to improve.

We have a publisher who has made a name for himself. He has proven himself. Without any background in the newspaper business and without any expert help he has turned the Kaieteur News into the country’s top daily. He understands this business better than some of those who feel that they were born to be in the newspaper industry.

He is a maverick.Glenn Lall is not interested in making money. He is interested in making a difference. He loves his country. He wants to see progress and development. He has principles; he has character; he has fortitude.He tells you things as he sees it.

He is not ever going to be diplomatic or evasive. When he sees wrong he will call it by its name; when he sees good he will do the same. This is the kind of person that Guyana needs. The President of Guyana himself had to once admit that Guyana needs more Glenn Lalls.

With someone like this at the helm, the Kaieteur News is not going to be worried about any new newspaper coming on stream. We are not going to lose sleep over it.Let the new newspaper come on stream. We welcome it. So it is said; so shall be done. Amen.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bombs Released And Bullets Fired One Night In Georgetown

An attempt has been made to burn the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport Head Office in Georgetown. This comes in the wake of public statements by one political party saying it will not support CARIFESTA X. The Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport is organizing the event in August. Two channa bombs which were thrown at the Ministry’s head office Friday night failed to ignite. Reports are the bombs were thrown from a car which drove away. [Read full article from Guyana News Today]

The Minister of Culture, Frank Anthony has fired back.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, is calling on law enforcement officials to speedily apprehend the perpetrators of Friday night’s channa bomb and shooting attack on his Ministry.

He was adamant that the Ministry’s work, which includes, among other things, spearheading preparations to host the Caribbean Festival of Arts, (CARIFESTA) X, will continue.

The Ministry came under attack at around 21:30 h after a channa bomb was hurled into its compound on Main Street, scorching one of the window curtains.

Two men armed with firearms also exited the vehicle and discharged a number of rounds at the northern side of the Ministry, shattering windows and damaging the walls, a police release said.
The attack, if intended to discourage Guyana from hosting CARIFESTA X, has failed, Minister Anthony said.

He recently expressed confidence that, despite the prevailing circumstances in Guyana, the festival will go on, and a large number of visitors are expected.

“If we are going to just shut down everything we do and say, we are not going to have anything because of crime…that will be the wrong approach… We have to use these stumbling blocks as stepping stones,” Minister Anthony said.

Only recently Minister Anthony condemned the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader Robert Corbin’s unwillingness to cooperate so that Guyana will successfully host CARIFESTA X.

He noted that it is disrupting to public life, and is an attempt to sabotage an international event in Guyana.

“To threaten an international event full of socio-economic and cultural benefits for the nation is a virtual abuse of the freedoms guaranteed by this government,” Minister Anthony had said.

On April 18, Corbin vowed that if the suspension of the Channel Six licence was not lifted, there would be serious protests to make CARIFESTA “unmanageable.” During a protest that same day, protestors chanted ‘No Sharma, No CARIFESTA’.

Corbin said, too, that the party would have a ‘difficulty cooperating’ with CARIFESTA. (GINA)

To Ms. Chaka Chaka: The role of the Media

We consider the press a vital part of our success and actually welcome the scrutiny it provides, FBI Director Robert Mueller said during a speech on Friday at the National Press Club in the nation's capital. [see video]

Recognizing the "inherent tension between the government and the media," the Director called that tension "one of the positive aspects of an open and free society."
"We [in the FBI] recognize that if we are to be successful as a global intelligence and law enforcement agency, we must be as transparent as possible," Mueller said. "We welcome scrutiny from Congress, the American public, and the press. Yes, this scrutiny is sometimes painful. But in the long run it does make us better…"

One recent example: Last year's identification by the Justice Department Inspector General of deficiencies in our use of National Security Letters. While noting the importance of these investigative tools as "building blocks in our ability to prevent terrorism attacks," Mueller said the Bureau has taken a series of corrective actions in response, including creating a new office to ensure compliance not only in national security activities but in all FBI activities.

Mueller also mentioned several ways that the press and media have helped the FBI catch crooks since the Bureau was created a century ago:

In 1937, the "famed gossip columnist Walter Winchell brokered the surrender of notorious gangster Louis Lepke," who Director J. Edgar Hoover arrested himself.

The FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list evolved from the request of a newspaper reporter named James Donovan in 1949. Donovan asked the Bureau to identify the "toughest guys" it was investigating. We provided pictures of 10 fugitives, which he then published on the front page of The Washington Daily News.

Several fugitives were caught as a result of the publicity, and the following March the Bureau formally inaugurated its now hugely successful "Top Ten" program.

The elusive "Unabomber" was captured after the FBI asked The Washington Post and The New York Times to publish his rambling manifesto in the hopes that it might turn up clues. It did—leading directly to the identification and arrest of Ted Kaczynski in April 1996.

Since 1988, working with the FBI and law enforcement John Walsh and the America's Most Wanted television show have captured 1,000 fugitives, including 16 who were on our Top Ten list.

Three years ago, Oprah Winfrey "approached us for information on the most dangerous child predators." Six of the 14 predators that she featured on the show have since been captured with the public's help, and Ms. Winfrey paid substantial rewards out of her own pocket to the citizens who provided the tips.

Mueller also talked about the FBI's constant work to ensure the security of the nation even as it protects the civil liberties of every man, woman, and child in the country.

"In the end," he said, "if we in the FBI safeguard our civil liberties but leave our country vulnerable to terrorist attack, we have lost. If we protect America from terrorism but sacrifice our civil liberties, we have also lost. Every day, the men and women of the Bureau must strike this balance

Friday, May 16, 2008

Corbin's security aide freed

BREAKING NEWS:

After a few hours behind bars, police finally realeased Cyrus Boyce on $15,000 station bail. Police had indicated that Boyce, who is a personal secuity aide to Opposition Leader, Robert Corbin, was wanted in connection with robbery and murder. It turned out that police questionned Boyce in relation to the Lusignan and Bartica killings, and about guns, before setting him free.

New paper launches June 2

As we first blogged. The new full colour national newspaper will be launched on June 2...more on that in a subsequent post. KN and SN must be shivering by now.

The Voice of Reason

Press Statement:

The Alliance For Change is calling on the PPP/C and the PNCR to tone down the rhetoric and actions which seem to be taking the country, and their respective supporters, down a path of dangerous confrontation.

Commencing with the incidents of overrunning of police barricades and the burning of an effigy purporting to be that of the President at the Cost of Living March on Thursday, May 8, 2008, and culminating with the recent arrest of the driver of the Leader of the Opposition’s vehicle and now the arrest of a member of his personal security detail, these incidents can most certainly spiral out of control if not checked immediately.

These events indicate the growing disrespect and disdain and that these parties are exhibiting for each other and we believe that in the circumstances, the religious community and other members of civil society are best poised to broker the peace at this time. No one will benefit from a state of heightened tension.

The AFC believes that the Leaders of the government, opposition, and political parties must be accorded a right of respect that is befitting of a civilized society. In this context therefore the actions taken against the staff of the Leader of the Opposition have to be interpreted as harassment which can have dangerous outcomes. In similar vein unless the government is prepared to bring to light the most recent accusations of criminal conduct and involvement by members of the PNCR, it should cease uttering these statements immediately.

We ask others to join the call for a cooling off on both sides and a restoration of dialogue and discussion on the many problems besetting the nation.

We are firmly of the opinion that there is greater duty to act responsibly on the part of the Government and we call on it to do so now as a sign of good faith.

Christopher Ram moves to buy TV Station.

Tracking news at 1:00 p.m.:

If you are one of the few recieving the GWTV Ch 2 signal, then this might impact you. Reports indicate that the television station operating out of Caneview Avenue in South Ruimveldt Gardens is about to be placed under a new management team that includes economist and talk show host, Christopher Ram.

The percentage of ownership by Ram and team is unclear, eventhough word reaching this blog suggests that they may have bought majority shares from the owner, Godfrey Washington.
Ram has denied involvement in any ownership deal, but indiacted that he was merely an advisor. But, of course, we vividly recall Ram being an advisor in the sale of Hotel Tower of which he now owns shares.


We have confirmed that the staff were sent dismissal letters and were told that the station would be under new management in a few weeks. The new move could mean good news for the station, which has existed in isolation for many years.

The station is being negatively affected by poor programming, poor news content (they do have a newscast) and a poor transmitting signal.

More soon...

Which will impact your life? 1970s or 2008

PPP/C govt. response to global price rise effective, less draconian than PNC’s when oil price hit in 1970s – Min. PersaudGeorgetown, GINA, May 15, 2008

The PPP/C Government’s response to the soaring fuel price, which has increased by about 400% over the past three years and is driving up food prices in Guyana and across the globe, has been described as “more comprehensive, effective, sustainable and not punitive” when compared to the steps taken by the then PNC Government when the world and Guyana experienced a similar situation in 1974-75 period.

Speaking to Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) field and factory representatives last evening at the La Bone Intention (LBI) Community Centre, Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Robert Persaud compared the steps taken by the PNC government of that day when fuel reached an all time high then and sent food and cost of living `sky high.’

The Minister referred to the 1975 Budget Speech of the then PNC Finance Minister, Frank Hope which stated: “By the end of January, 1974, the situation as it could be foreseen for the rest of this year revealed that our external reserves were certain to come under devastating pressures as the prices of imports – fuel, fertilizers, machinery - soared to unprecedented levels.

It was also clear that the rate of internal inflation would have been far beyond anything in this country has experienced before, and that the government’s budget itself would have inevitably required substantial modifications. In short, the Guyana economy – like those of the rest of the developing world with the exception of the oil exporting countries – was in a crisis.”

Minister Persaud recalled that the PNC government then started to institute “punitive and draconian measures which eventually led to a deterioration of people’s living conditions and the collapse of the Guyanese economy.” He substantiated this assertion of the PNC’s poor action by quoting again from the PNC Budget speech of 1975:

“Steps were taken to conserve foreign exchange, restrain consumption of non-essentials, and to tighten expenditure controls in the public service…Imports of non-essentials were restricted; practically all imports were put under a system of licensing; the availability of foreign exchange for vacation travel overseas and migrants’ transfer was temporarily suspended, and foreign companies operating in Guyana were requested to secure their working capital from external sources...”

Minister Persaud, who also chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Food Prices, noted that President Bharrat Jagdeo and the Cabinet have done the opposite and adopted “a comprehensive, sensible, sustainable and non-harsh framework to address a similar situation confronting Guyana and the world, today.”

He said no controls or bans of imports of food, machinery and other necessary supplies were introduced. Instead of shrinking public sector spending, the Government has moved to increase the purchasing power of the ordinary Guyanese; especially those who work in the public sector through wages increase and a temporary cost of living adjustment payment.

Then the PNC Government had imposed a wage freeze. To cushion the fuel and food price rise, the Minister reminded that the Government has not increased fuel and water rates while the fuel and other bills of these companies have gone up by about 100% during the past year alone. Government had to inject billions of dollars into these companies to avoid them passing on the increased charges to consumers.The Minister referred to the wheat price which has gone up by 130% on the international market during the past year.

He said that when wheat prices went up under the PNC government the response then was to ban the importation and consumption of wheat and flour-based products in Guyana. But under the PPP/C government, Minister Persaud said that the President has instead provided $200M to minimize the rising cost of flour and stabilize the price of bread so that it is available and affordable to all Guyanese.

The Agriculture Minister said that it is not the intention of the PPP/C government to impose import bans and controls and anti-workers conditions, which can eventually lead to shortages, black-marketing, sufferings for the ordinary Guyanese and economic decline.

He noted that the Government has been alert and monitoring the situation closely and started interventions to cushion the global price rise since early 2007.

The Minister cautioned that remedies proposed must not lead to further hardships and there should not be any panic reaction to the situation which can lead to more sufferings in the long-run. Minister Persaud also called on sugar workers to join the Ministry of Agriculture’s “Grow More Food” campaign and made available to the GAWU Field Secretaries present a quantity of vegetable seeds for distribution to the workers.

Minister Persaud said that the Government is engaging all groups and sector of society to mobilise national support and collective response to his global phenomenon. He rebuked those who were trying to convert a global crisis into a partisan, political issue restricted to Guyana.

Workers at the meeting welcomed government’s intervention but urged that these be sustained and the situation managed, closely.

The meeting is part of an on-going engagement with field and factory representatives across the sugar industry to give workers a voice in improving the management of the industry and reduce the issues which lead to industrial relations conflicts.
Do not pay increased bus fare – Minister Prashad again urges

Georgetown, GINA, May 15, 2008

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manniram Prashad has indicated that his ministry has been monitoring the ‘bus fare’ issue closely and has observed that some bus operators have increased the fares despite the agreement that they would not increase unless the price for gasoline reached $1,000 per gallon. A few unscrupulous bus operators have been demanding increases, but the Minister said that he is urging consumers against paying because of the agreements that the various public transport associations made with President Bharrat Jagdeo and Minister Prashad at a meeting a week ago.

Guyana360: Good avice Minister Prashad! We almost forgot that Guyana has a Ministry of Tourism (not judging from tourists parading downtown). You are telling commuters one thing, but where is the alternative? You numbskull, get off that comfy office chair and visit the bus parks at nights, especially the East Coast and East Bank parks. Hundreds of workers are trying to get home by any means necessary, the least they want to do is to resist paying an increased fare.

Minister, you go home to your wife (we would hope) plumped in the back seat of your Prado, while you want the Guyanese people to stay at the bus parks all night trying to prove a point.

Your Government has failed to implement a transportation policy and the mess at the bus parks and fare hikes are infants of a failed Government that lacks vision. Short-term to mid-range strategies have amounted to confusion. Don’t take our word, ask the commuters. You are telling commuters

Corbin dares police in cat and mouse game #1

Hundreds assembled at Mandela Avenue and Joseph Pollydore Street for a protest march and rally but when leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, Robert Corbin arrived, he told the gathering that approval for the activity had not been granted.

Corbin said that the reason cited by the police for the non-approval was the raucous behaviour that featured during the previous march when the marchers and demonstrators breached barricades.He instructed his supporters to head home and since he had already sent away his vehicle, he would have to walk to his chambers on Croal Street.

Corbin then informed police ranks on the scene that since the approval for his procession was not granted and his vehicle was not there he would have to walk to his chambers.

Corbin started to walk along Joseph Pollydore Street accompanied by his supporters initially in a single file.The crowd quickly clogged the roadway and immediately the police began to announce via a loud hailer that what was transpiring was an illegal procession and that the crowd should disperse.

Corbin quickly informed police that he was not leading any procession but that he was just walking peacefully to his chambers. The people in the crowd said that they were heading to the bus park to take buses home.

At one point during what can only be described as a march to the city a police rank attempted to reach close to Corbin but he was immediately hampered by the throng of supporters who insisted that Corbin cannot be arrested.

After snaking its way onto Croal Street, police ranks attached to the Quick Reaction Group attempted on several occasions, but to no avail, to stop the procession but each time Corbin insisted that he was merely walking to his chambers.

On several occasions the police using the load hailer announced that the action was an illegal procession. No one listened.When the crowd reached Corbin’s Croal Street office, it then secured a number of placards and proceeded to picket outside of the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

This move by the crowd prompted the police to cordon off Avenue of the Republic at the entrance of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.This activity lasted for some time before the crowd dispersed with the promise of returning to the streets today.

Corbin dares Police in cat and mouse game # 2

Corbin’s bodyguard arrested for murder, robbery under arms

“If there is evidence that I am in bed with criminals then they (police) should come and arrest me” - Corbin.

Some time around 2:00hrs yesterday Cyrus Boyce, personal security detail (bodyguard) for the leader of the main opposition, Robert Corbin, was arrested for murder and robbery under arms.Boyce was arrested at his Better Hope residence after some 30 heavily armed members of the Joint Services swooped down on the home, cordoned it off and ostensibly searched for arms and ammunition.

He was then taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters where he is assisting with investigations.No one in the police force could say for which murder or for which robbery Boyce was being held. Earlier in the day, a senior rank had said that after the arrest the rank should have told Boyce for which incidents he was being held.

Recently, the police were detaining people and photographing them with tags that either suggested murder or robbery under arms. None has even been charged but they were all held for at least 36 hours. The most recent were some farm hands working on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway. They were photographed as people being held for murder.

They have since been released.Boyce’s arrest occurred one day after Corbin’s driver, Mark McKenzie, was arrested while driving a vehicle belonging to Corbin.He was arrested for using a loud hailer to announce the Cost-of-Living march that was scheduled for yesterday.

In a release to the media yesterday, Corbin noted that neither he nor his party viewed the two arrests as unrelated but rather it was a “clear indication of a campaign of harassment by the repressive PPP/C administration, designed to instill fear, and terrorise supporters of the PNCR and prevent the citizens of Guyana from exercising their constitutional right to protest.”

“Rather they are a clear indication of a campaign of harassment by the repressive PPP/C Administration, designed to instill fear, and terrorize supporters of the People’s National Congress Reform and prevent the citizens of Guyana from exercising their constitutional right to protest the crippling economic situation, brought on primarily by the mismanagement of the Jagdeo regime.”

The release also alluded to the reports of a second wave of arrests of scores of young men in the West Ruimveldt, East La Penitence and Albouystown areas. They were allegedly placed in a truck and taken to an unknown destination without any explanation given by the police for their arrests.

“The arrest of these young men is similar to the exercise conducted last week Wednesday prior to the Cost-of-Living march on May 8, when dozens of young men were also arrested and later released on Friday, May 9 without any charges being laid.”

The party stated that the developments would only further undermine confidence in the Guyana Police Force, deepen the instability in the society, and poison the future political development of the country.Speaking with media operatives yesterday, Corbin said that the acts were deliberate parts of the plot to intimidate the leadership of the PNCR.

“It is clear that these two incidents represent a deliberate plot to either provoke or harass the PNCR…the PNCR could never be intimidated.The PNCR and its supporters will not be terrorized by the Jagdeo dictatorship.”

According to the statement, instead of implementing repressive measures and trampling on the rights of the citizens, the Jagdeo regime would be better advised to introduce a comprehensive menu of measure, which could bring a measure of relief to the hard pressed citizens of Guyana, reeling from the consequences of the escalating cost of living induced by the 16% VAT and stagnant wages and salaries.

“Until then the PNCR will not be deterred from utilizing all available steps, under the laws and constitution, to bring to the attention of the Jagdeo Administration the serious plight of the Guyanese working class at this time.”

Regarding statements earlier in the day (yesterday) by Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, wherein he had evidence to prove that Corbin was “in bed” with criminal elements, Corbin said that he (Luncheon) had no moral authority to speak on such matters.

He based his assertion on the fact that Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan who is currently engaged in a court battle in the United States had made public announcements that he was in collaboration with the Jagdeo Government in terms of killing criminals.

“They have no moral authority to talk about being in bed with criminals when they are in bed with the drug lords of the country, giving them the carte blanche (clean slate) to parade and kill people at will and this is not a secret…The court of New York has to have a jury in secret because of the fear of what this man (Khan) has been doing.”Corbin continued to say that if there was evidence that he was in bed with criminals then the police should arrest him.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Breaking News: Corbin's secuity detail arrested after city shooting

At 2 am today, Thursday May 15th, Mr. Cyrus Boyce, personal security detail attached to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert Corbin was arrested by ranks of the Joint Services at his home at Better Hope, East Coast Demerara and locked up at the Alberttown Police Station. His arrest followed the cordoning off of the house he lives in at Better Hope by some thirty (30) fully armed ranks of the Joint Services and a search of the building by eight of the (8) ranks. After the search, allegedly for arms and ammunition, nothing was found. He was then invited to CID headquarters to aid the Police in an investigation.

Boyce queried the reason for the invitation and indicated that if he was being invited to CID Headquarters he would willingly report there at 8 am today. He was, however, informed that he was being arrested and the officer carrying out the arrest, a Superintendent Alves, indicated that it was for robbery under arms. The Police also searched another building nearby, but it was unclear whether anyone was arrested at that location. Upon enquiry today, May 15, by legal counsel, an officer at CID Headquarters indicated that Boyce was arrested for murder and robbery under arms.

This latest incident follows the arrest and detention of the personal chauffeur of the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Mc Kenzie, yesterday in Georgetown . He was arrested while driving a vehicle belonging to the Leader of the Opposition that was engaged in announcing the Cost-of-Living March scheduled for Thursday May 15 at 1 pm. Mc Kenzie was informed at the Brickdam Police Station that his arrest was for using a noisy instrument without permission. It is significant, however, that while he was about to be released on his own recognizance, instructions were issued from higher up that the Opposition Leader’s vehicle was to be detained and Mc Kenzie was to be locked up in a cell. He was then stripped of his belongings and locked up at Brickdam. It was only after the intervention of legal counsel that Mc Kenzie was released on $5,000 bail and told to report to the Brickdam Police Station at 9 am today.

The Leader of the Opposition and the PNCR do not regard these two developments as unrelated. Rather they are a clear indication of a campaign of harassment by the repressive PPP/C Administration, designed to instill fear, and terrorize supporters of the People’s National Congress Reform and prevent the citizens of Guyana from exercising their constitutional right to protest the crippling economic situation, brought on primarily by the mis- management of the Jagdeo regime.

Reports have also been received by the PNCR that last evening scores of young men were arrested indiscriminately in the West Ruimveldt , East La Penitence and Albouystown areas and placed in a truck and taken to an unknown destination without any explanation given by the Police for their arrests. The arrest of these of young men is similar to the exercise conducted last week Wednesday, May 7th, prior to the Cost-of-Living march on May 8th, when dozens of young men were also arrested and later released on Friday, May 9th without any charges being laid.

The PNCR draws public attention to these provocative developments which can only further undermine confidence in the Guyana Police Force, deepen the instability in the society, and poison the future political development of the country.

The PNCR and its supporters will not be terrorized by the Jagdeo dictatorship. Instead of implementing repressive measures and trampling on the rights of the citizens, the Jagdeo regime would be better advised to introduce a comprehensive menu of measure, which could bring a measure of relief to the hard pressed citizens of Guyana, reeling from the consequences of the escalating cost of living induced by the 16% VAT and stagnant wages and salaries. Until then the PNCR will not be deterred from utilizing all available steps, under the laws and constitution, to bring to the attention of the Jagdeo Administration the serious plight of the Guyanese working class at this time.

Where was the AFC in push for change

Guyana360: Subsequent to this post, we were able to dig up evidence of history dating back to September 9, 2000 where the First third Force Summit did not include current AFC players.

Strong Movement towards a Solid Third Force Likely in Guyana -
Elections should be based on Facts and Issues. PUP Calls for Renewing Guyana's
Purpose.

The People's Unity Party (PUP) made a public call today for a summit of the Guyana 3rd parties. There are currently over 20 parties registered with the Elections Commission in addition to the 2 leading parties, the PPP/Civic and the PNC/Reform. The PUP believes that a few 3rd parties joining together will provide a unified front to be able to compete against the PPP/Civic and the PNC/Reform in the upcoming elections. In the past year, the PUP has initiated several meetings with other parties and has been laying the groundwork for such a force.

Peter Ramsaroop, leader of the PUP, stressed, "It is important for us to put our egos aside and do what is best for Guyana. We will decide together who is the best Presidential candidate and which is the best party name and symbol to adapt." The joining together of this unified front has been scheduled for October 2000. Mr. Ramsaroop also stressed that there are certain foundational principles that this unified front will adapt including “a no tolerance stand against corruption, high ethics, integrity, and morals.

He continued by saying "we cannot play the race card in this election and we cannot unite with other parties that are involved in such activities. It is time for a true change in Guyana politics where issues are the focus, not race."

Mr. Ramsaroop also welcomed the comments by Mr. Patrick Yarde, President of the Guyana Public Service Union (Stabroek News 08/09/00) who called for its members to be guided by facts and issues in this upcoming election.

Mr. Ramsaroop added that according to the same article in the Stabroek News "The
General Elections 2001 offer an opportunity to exert influence on the course the society will follow, Yarde noted."

Renewing Guyana's Purpose will be a key topic among the third parties during this summit. Key issues on Educating Every Child, Creating a culture of Achievement in Education, Promoting strong families, Improving Health Care, the Economy, Environment and Entrepreneurship and Tax cuts with a purpose and overall Government Reform will be discussed.

CARIFESTA being held here?

Shortly after 22:00 hours last night gunshots rang out at the junction of Drury Lane and Millington Street, sending people scurrying for cover. When it was over less than a minute later, Arjune Narine, 21, of Campbellville lay dead in his car, PGG 8089, and three people in another car sustained gunshot wounds.

The injured were identified as Jean Singh, the librarian attached to the state-owned NCN radio; her son, Mark Semple, and an individual identified as Larry.

Singh was shot in her back, Semple in his hand, and Larry in his foot and back.They were all taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital.According to an eyewitness, he and his brother-in-law, who was identified as Larry, one of three injured in the shooting, were heading home in a motorcar and were in the vicinity of Lamaha and Station Streets when they observed a set of cars, including a police car, in the roadway.

Unaware that anything was amiss, the man said that they attempted to pass the cars but were blocked by a taxi which was in their path.The man said that the taxi driver responded to their attempts to pass by asking them, “What wrong with y’all? Y’all want I loose meh dog on you?”The eyewitness added that he and his relative laughed at the comment by the taxi driver and responded that their dog was at home.

It was soon after navigating past the taxi and the police vehicle, the man said, that they were startled by sounds they recognised as gunshots. “We ain’t see where it come from or how it coming; all we know is that it came from the back of us.”

The man added that he and his brother-in-law tried to conceal themselves in their car but apparently a bullet hit the brother-in-law on one of his feet.

“Me brother-in-law shout out he get hit in his foot and I say hold on, don’t get up, because we could feel bullets flying all over we head. I seh to myself that I gon get hit too and so I say stay down Larry, and he shout out again that he get hit in he back. I say man stay down still and he tried to lie down…”

A short while after this the man said that the rain of bullets ceased at which point a policeman approached their vehicle and urged them to open their vehicle; then he cautioned them to drive as soon as he told them to.“The policeman say hold on driver open yuh back door…He jump in we car and we drive down Garnett Street where the disco deh and the police tell we to stop.”

The man said that the policeman then requested to drive the car, a call which Larry rejected.

"I am not going with you nowhere; I going to the hospital’…and the policeman say ‘alright’ and drove away with our car and went to the Kitty Police Station.” The policeman had already taken over the wheel.

The man recounted that the windows and the windscreen of the car were shattered.According to him, he has no idea what prompted the whole situation but heard that it all started when police officers pulled over a vehicle for some incident.

He said that as far as he knows the police had no idea who was the perpetrator of the shooting.According to another eyewitness, the gunmen’s car appeared to be following Narine’s vehicle along Drury Lane when they first opened fire.

The eyewitness said that apparently, Narine upon seeing the flashing lights of the police on Middleton Street decided to turn towards the cops for help.However, the eyewitness said that the gunmen did not back off.

Instead, one of the gunmen got out of their car and opened fire with what appeared to be a machine gun.“The police had to take evasive action and de man (gunman) just jump back in he car and drive away,” he said.Police recovered several spent shells near the centre of the scene while more were found along Drury Lane.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chief Magistrate talks about Racism in Judicary

Statement by Ms. Juliet Holder-Allen
Chief Magistrate of Guyana


ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON I WAS WATCING ONE OF THE NCN PRESS CONFERENCES WHEN I ONSERVED ONE OF THE REPORTER ASK MR JAGDEO A QUESTION ABOUT MY BEING OFF THE BENCH FOR SUCH A LONG TIME, MANY YEARS IN FACT.

HIS RESPONSE WAS VERY DISMISSIVE AND VERY DISTURBING. HE SAID SOMETHING TO THE EFFECT THAT IF I HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG THEN I SHOULD BE DISMISSED.

THEN HE SAID THAT HE DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION. NOW I FEEL THAT IF I BELIEVE THAT THEN I WOULD ALSO BELIEVE THAT PIGS CAN FLY. THE ANSWER WAS VERY DISAPPOINTING.

IT IS DISAPPOINTING BECAUSE I WAS MADE TO BELIEVE THAT WE WERE GETTING SOMEWHERE IN THE RESOLUTION OF THIS MATTER BUT NOW IT SEEMS THAT WE ARE RIGHT BACK WHERE WE HAD STARTED.

IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT I FEEL THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR ME TO TELL THE GUYANESE PEOPLE THE REAL REASON WHY I AM OFF THE BENCH. THE REAL REASON I AM OFF THE BENCH IS BECAUSE OF HAUGHTY RACISM. HAUGHTY AND DANGEROUS RACISM THAT IS BEING PRACTICED AGAINST ME.

THE PERSONS THAT CAUSED ME TO BE OFF THE BENCH IS CARL SINGH, PREM PERSAUD ,CHANDRA JAGNANDAN AND A FEW STOOGES. THIS MATTER CAN NEVER BE RESOLVED UNTIL MS DESIREE BERNARD IS MADE TO RETURN TO THIS COUNTRY AND TO EXPLAIN HER ROLE IN THIS MESS SINCE SHE IS THE ONE WHO KNOWS EVERYTHIING ABOUT THE BAD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED TO MY CAREER.

OUT OF THE BLUES THIS WOMAN CALLED IN A REPORTER FROM KAIETEUR NEWS AND MADE A SET OF DAMAGING STATEMENTS ABOUT ME THAT WAS DESIGNED TO DISCREDIT ME FROM ADVANCING IN THE PRACTICE OF MY PROFESSION. IT HAD TO BE THAT SHE WAS ACTING ON INSTRUCTIONS TO DO SO.

THIS WAS A MOST UNUSUAL COURSE OF CONDUCT FOR ANY CHANCELLOR TO DISCUSS THE PERSONEL MATTERS AS THEY RELATE TO ANY LEGAL OFFICER, WITH A NEWSPAPER REPORTER. THERE IS A COPY OF THE REPORT.THE NEWS REPORTER OUT OF A SENSE OF JUSTICE FELT THAT THE REPORT WAS TOO ONE-SIDED AND CALLED ME FOR A COMMENT.

INFACT, THE REPORTER SPECIFICALLY ASKED WHY I THINK THAT MS BERNARD AND MYSELF 'COULD NOT SEE EYE TO EYE' MY ANSWER WAS THAT IT COULD BE BECAUSE WE HAD DIFFERENT TRAINING. MINE WAS AS A LAWYER AND HERS WAS AS A SOLICITOR.

THAT STATEMENT IS TRUE AS IT STANDS. IT IS A FACT. THE NEXT THING I KNEW IS SOME INFORMATION REACHING ME TO THE EFFECT THAT MS BERNARD HAD MADE SOME KIND OF COMPLAINT TO THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION STATING THAT I HAD INSULTED HER BY CALLING HER A SOLICITOR. THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS THAT MS BERNARD FAILED TO REALISE THAT UNDER THE LAW SHE WAS THE CONSTITUTIONAL HEAD OF THE COMMISSION.

THE PROBLEM I HAD WAS FINDING OUT WHO SHE WAS REALLY COMPLAINING TO SINCE SHE COULD NOT LEGALLY COMPLAIN TO HERSELF. I SOON FOUND OUT WHO SHE HAD COMPLAINED TO BECAUSE OF TWO THINGS.

THE FIRST WAS A LETTER WHICH CAME TO ME UNDER THE SIGNATURE OF CHANDRA JAGNANDAN DIRECTING THAT I MUST PROCEED ON INDEFINITE LEAVE. THE SECOND WAS A MINUTES OF A MEETING IN WHICH I OBSERVED THAT CARL SINGH HAD APPOINTED HIMSELF AS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION AND WAS INSTITUTING CHARGES AGAINST ME TO BE HEARD BY HIMSELF, UNDER THE CONSTITUTION THE CHANCELLOR ALONE IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION. DURING THAT TIME I OBSERVED A NUMBER OF THINGS.

I ALSO KNOW THAT TWO LAWYERS TRIED TO OFFER ME POISON TO EAT, IN PASTRIES AND IN SAPODILLAS. I HAD THE ITEMS TESTED. I WOULD NOT STATE THE NATIONALITY. I ALSO OBSERVED CERTAIN HATEFILLED PERSONS WRITING ALL KINDS OF POISON ABOUT ME IN MY PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY WITH ONE OBJECTIVE IN MIND, THAT I SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE BENCH.

DURING THAT TIME I HAD RECEIVED NUMEROUS DEATH THREATS AND THE LATE GEORGE BACCHUS ON THE VERY DAY OF HIS DEATH HAD SAID IN OPEN COURT THAT MY NAME WAS ON A LIST OF PERSONS TO BE KILLED. I HAVE A COPY OF A NEWS REPORT.

I AM SAYING THAT I AM NOT GUILTY OF ANY KIND OF PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT. THE PERSONS WHO MADE THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE ALL LIARS. THEY CANNOT COME FORWARD TO PROVE ANY OF THESE THINGS THAT THEY HAD ALLEGED.

IN THE CASE OF THE THEN MINISTER OF THE GOVERNMENT MS BIBI SHADEEK, SHE HAD SAID THAT SHE HAD WITHDRAWN HER COMPLAINT. SO I HAD BEEN TOLD. BUT LO AND BEHOLD AT THE TRAIL MR DOODNAUTH SINGH CROSSED EXAMINED ME AT LENGTH ON BIBI SHADEEK'S STATEMENT AND THE JUDGE MADE COPIOUS NOTES OF EVERYTHING AND RULED IN HIS FAVOUR.

DISHONESTY WAS SOMEWHERE. WHAT IS SCAREY ABOUT ALL OF THIS IS THAT MS BERNARD SEEM TO HAVE BEEN IN THE KNOW ABOUT WHAT WAS BEING PLANNED FOR ME.I SAY THIS BECAUSE ONE FRIDAY AFTER A FULL COURT SITTING SHE SAID THAT SHE WANTED TO SPEAK TO ME BUT WHEN I TURNED UP SHE SAID THAT SHE HAD NOTHING TO SAY BUT THAT IT WAS THE LAST TIME THAT SHE WAS SPEAKING TO ME. I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A VERY STRANGE STATEMENT AND ITOLD MY FRIEND AGNES ABOUT IT.

TWO WEEKS LATER I WENT ON LEAVE AND ONE DAY DURING THAT TIME A GROUP OF MEN, FIVE I WAS TOLD, CAME IN A WHITE CAR WITH GUNS LOOKING FOR ME, BUT THEY WERE DIRECTED TO ANOTHER PLACE. I AM SAYING THAT MR JAGDEO WAS SPEAKING ABOUT MY MATTER AS IF HE WAS SPEAKING ABOUT AN UN-UNIONIZED SWEAT SHOP WORKER.IT WAS AS IF IT WAS AN INSIGNIFICANT MATTER. I HEARD SOMETHING ABOUT A DISMISSAL, I CANNOT BE SURE.

I HOPE THAT NO ONE WOULD PUT THE SPIRIT OF THE ALMIGHT GOD OUT OF THEIR CHEST ABOUT THAT THOUGHT. I HAVE ONE THING TO SAYAND I AM SURE THAT ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF LINDEN WILL SUPPORT ME ON THIS ONE. I AM SAYING NOW THAT I AM A FIRST CLASS CITIZEN OF THIS LAND AND I AM DEMANDING TO BE TREATED IN THAT WAY.

THE PREVAILING FEELING IN THIS COUNTRY IS THAT BAD THINGS COULD HAPPEN IF THERE IS NO MANIFESTATION OF EVEN-HANDEDNESS AND EQUITY IN DEALING WITH CITIZENS.NOW I HAVE BEEN MAKING SOME COMMENTS ABOUT THE LACK OF EXPERIENCE OF SOME OF THE PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN APPOINTED AS JUDGES AND PERM PERSAUD HAD TAKEN ISSUE WITH THIS SINCE HIS SON WAS ALSO APPOINTED WITH VERY LITTLE EXPERIENCE THE WAY I SEE IT.

I STILL BELIEVE THAT SOME OF THE PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN APPOINTED TO THE HIGHER BENCH SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR A JUDICIAL SYSTEM BECAUSE THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT A HIGH COURT APPOINTMENT IS USUALLY A LATE IN LIFE ON AFTER YOU HAVE GATHERED A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE.

PROPER SERVICE TO THE NATION IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT , NOT JUST TO PUT MONEY IN SOMEONE'S POCKET. SOME OF THE LAWYERS HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING WITH ME THE CONCEPT THAT THE HIGH COURT SEEM TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN A CASH COW TO THE JUDGES WHO ARE MAKING OBSENE AMOUNTS OF MONEY, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FACT IN ADDITION TO THEIR SALARY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF A FOREIGN ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT THEN THE JUDGES COULD BE DISBARRED FOR WHAT IS KNOWN AS CHAMPERTY. THAT IS HAVING A MONETARY OR FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE OUTCOME OF MATTERS THAT ARE BEFORE A JUDICIAL OFFICIAL FOR DISPOSAL.

THAT IS THE PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT. THE LIES OF A FEW STOOGES AGAINST ME CAN NEVER BE PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT ON MY PART. I WANT EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM ME INCLUDING MY PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES RETURNED TO ME IMMEDIATELY. THAT IS ALL THAT I AM DEMANDING. I WANT NO MORE IDLE TALK.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New paper in planning stages

Breaking news:

There is much buzz in the business community of another national newspaper backed by Dr. Ranjisinghi Ramroop under a proposed publishing name of Guyana Times.

Sources have already flinched at the plan since Dr. Ramroop has over the years been a strong supporter of the PPP administration and has been seen repeatedly in the comfort of the President at various public places.

Several power players in the PPP have voiced disapproval with the once favoured Kaieteur News, evident from the reversal of a Government position to pull state advertising from Stabroek News.

It is believed that Ramroop’s venture could challenge the status quo and talks are already ongoing with several journalists in the print media. Information suggest that the plans while in its embryonic stages is so concrete that one journalist has walked away from a Caribbean job and has returned here to be part of the editorial team.

Finances is not an immediate concern as the goodly doctor is setting up a multi-million dollar complex at the former Sanata Textile location on Mandela Ave. (Back Road).

More details forthcoming.

Guyana360: We prefer to await the publication before passing judgement.

Breaking news: PPP wants to Control Police under dictatorship

The People’s National Congress Reform condemns the unprecedented and unilateral transfer of two (2) senior Police Officers to the interior by the Jagdeo Administration, allegedly, because they refused to shoot PNCR demonstrators last Thursday (May 8, 2008) as ordered by the political Administration.

The PNCR has received reliable information that the two (2) senior Police Officers – one an Assistant Superintendent and the other an Inspector - were suddenly transferred to the hinterland areas of Port Kaituma and Kamarang, respectively, as disciplinary action for failing to carry out a political directive. This is a grave development which could have serious repercussions for the morale and discipline in the Guyana Police Force (GPF), as well as peace, order and good governance of Guyana .

The Cost of Living demonstration, last Thursday, was peaceful and without incident and there has not been a single complaint, from citizens or businessmen, about any threat to their safety and/or security, as a consequence of the behaviour of any participant in the demonstration.

It would appear, however, that the PPP Directorate wanted chaos and confusion, in order to discredit the PNCR. They, therefore, ordered the Police Officers to fire tear gas and bullets into the crowd. It is understood that the Police Officers, using their on-the-spot assessment of the situation, recognized that there was no necessity for any such action. In the circumstances, they acted as professional Officers observing the law and Constitution. The PPP plot back fired.

Instead of issuing such dangerous directives to the GPF the President should spend his time implementing a comprehensive menu of measures to give immediate relief to suffering Guyanese. It is time that the Jagdeo Administration understands that the Cost-of-Living crisis in Guyana is not a politically partisan matter, but affects every Guyanese, irrespective of race, colour, creed or occupation.

The PNCR calls on the Commissioner (ag) to publicly explain for this serious development in the GPF and to give assurance that he has not breached his Oath of Office to observe the law and Constitution. He should assure the nation that he has not become a pawn of the PPP political Directorate.

History will not judge him kindly!

It is significant that President Jagdeo has deliberately stymied the functioning of the Police Service Commission (PSC) in order to facilitate political control of the GPF. Consultations for the Chairman of the PSC, as required by Article 210 (1) (a) of the Constitution, was concluded between the President and the Leader of the Opposition since Wednesday August 22, 2007. It was agreed that Mr. Ivan Crandon, DSM should be appointed Chairman of the PSC. Regrettably, Mr. Crandon died on September 27, 2007, without assuming that post.

Consultations were again held on Friday November 30, 2007, for a Chairman to replace Mr Crandon. At those consultations, the President and Leader of the Opposition agreed that a Chairman would be appointed, while the vacancy on the Commission to fill Mr Crandon's place would be addressed. There was serious disagreement on the nominee of the President for the post of Chairman. The President identified a member whose appointment to the Commission was already being questioned as having been in breach of Article 210 (1) (c ) of the constitution. This provision states,
“four members appointed by the President upon nomination by the National Assembly after it has consulted such bodies as appear to it to represent the majority of the members of the Police Force and any other such body it deems fit;”

The PPP is determined to have political control of the Police Force and used their majority on the Appointive Committee in Parliament to identify the National Commission on Law and Order as a Body to name a representative for the PSC. The National Commission on Law and Order is a Body appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs to make recommendations on security matters and could, under no stretch of imagination be a Body that represents members of the GPF. The PPP, however, used its majority to have Mr. Dennis Morgan nomination to the PSC.

Clearly this appointment is in breach of the Constitution, yet the President, in consultations with the Leader of the Opposition on November 30, 2007, identified this representative to be appointed Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

The Leader of the Opposition, after expressing strong objections, nominated Mr. Duncan-Clarke, an experienced and respected member of the Commission, to be the Chairman. However, under the Constitution the President is only required to meaningfully consult and, unlike the appointment of Chancellor of the Judiciary, does not have to obtain the agreement of the Leader of Opposition. It is evident, that the failure of the President to appoint a Chairman of the PSC has resulted in the Commission not meeting. This obviously suits the purpose of the PPP and President Jagdeo as they are now able to manipulate, terrorize and threaten Police Officers, as was done with the recent high-handed and arbitrary transfer of the two Officers to interior locations.

The PNCR warns that this dangerous development could only have grave consequences for peace and stability of this nation.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Breaking News: Major protest outside OP

Following a successful march in the city against the rising cost of living and the lack of vision by the Government to curb concerns, another protest was waged today outside the Office of the President.

More information forthcoming.

RIP Neville James Bissember

The People’s National Congress Reform wishes to express its sorrow at the passing of one of its founding members and Minister, in the then PNC led Government, Mr. Neville James Bissember, CCH, at the age of 80. Accordingly, the Party tenders its condolences to his wife, Mary, and the immediate Bissember family.

Mr. Neville Bissember, who was born on the Corentyne, attended Berbice High School after which he proceeded to England for legal studies. After his return to Guyana , and having established himself as an Attorney-at-Law, he joined the People’s National Congress at the time when the then British Guiana was going through political and economic turmoil. At this time in the history of the PNCR, Neville Bissember won the admiration of a significant cross section of the society for his political ground work in the Campbellville area and his ability to articulate the policies and programmes of the Party in public speeches across the country. Indeed, it would be true to say that Bissember was one of the more attractive speakers at this period who could season his orations with both humour and solid facts.

It was therefore no surprise that after the PNC had successfully opposed the then PPP Government between 1961 and 1964, he was selected to be a member of the PNC delegation to the several independent conferences which heralded in the formal accession to Independence in 1966. The Party wishes to note in particular that Neville Bissember was the PNC representative on the Legal Committee of the last Independence Conference, which drafted the Constitution for an Independent Guyana.

Mr Neville Bissember became a senior Minister of the first post independence Cabinet of Guyana and in addition served as Leader of the House of Assembly. He was Deputy Prime Minister and held the important Ministries of Housing and Reconstruction, Information and Trade. However, by 1970 Neville Bissember elected to resign from the Government and took up the position of Chairman of The Guyana Telecommunications Corporation. He subsequently resumed his law practice and retired from that area of endeavour in 2004.

It is therefore fitting that the PNCR should place on record its appreciation and gratitude for the services rendered by Mr. Neville Bissember to both the Party and the Government of the day. The Party also wishes to record its appreciation for the sound advice and wise counsel he gave at critical moments in the history of this country, especially during the decade of the 60’s.

This obituary will not be complete without an acknowledgement of the sacrifices which Mr. Neville Bissember and his family made during his period of active service to the Party and country which we remember at this time with gratitude.

May His Soul Rest in Peace!

Will MFK pay the GRA the millions he owe?

MFK says getting threats (So he says)

May 8, 2008

Businessman Mohamed F. Khan, known as MFK, said yesterday that he has been receiving threatening calls from unknown persons since Sunday and dispelled reports that he had been kidnapped.

Rumours had been flying wildly last evening that the proprietor of MFK Trading on Hadfield Street had been kidnapped but when contacted; he dispelled the rumours and told Stabroek News that he had received a lot of calls from concerned persons about this and expressed surprise about how such news had spread so quickly.

He however said that since Sunday he had been receiving threatening phone calls from unknown persons who stated that “we coming foh you”. He said that in all he received three calls, including two yesterday.
The businessman said that the caller told him that he (Khan) was a friend of Oliver Hinckson and has connections with the killers at Lusignan and Bartica and had threatened that “we coming for you”. He stated that the caller had also said that he had “hooligans”, working at MFK Trading and he “had no problem in going into Congress Place and being protected by Congress Place”.

Khan said that the calls were a recurrence of similar calls that he had received during the crime wave. The businessman stated that yesterday he received a number of calls from persons including police officials, politicians and relatives inquiring about the “kidnapping” and whether he was safe.
“I don’t have those connections”, he asserted stating that he would not like what happened to Farouk Kalamadeen to happen to him. He expressed concern that the callers had stated that “we coming for you” stating that the mere fact that they made that threat was something that should not be taken lightly.

He said that since he had spoken to only a few persons about the calls, he was surprised at how the rumours spread.

Political coalition by 2011 mulled


The idea of a political coalition is being pitched between political parties in Guyana especially the Opposition. Currently the major actors, including Vision Guyana led by Peter Ramsaroop, are brain storming a plan. Ramsaroop and his group crafted the plan, which is based on some of the following points.

1. We strongly believe that the only approach that will work for 2011 will be a Coalition. Without it, many have said they will not get involve in helping. We agree. We cannot wait like we have done in the past a few months prior to elections and try .

2. Coalition definition is not putting political parties together, but a coming together of like minded groups, individuals, political parties that believe it is time that we the people take back control of our Nation.

3. If we strike Oil under the current government – suddenly they will own both political and economic power. We proposed that Oil Royalties go to the citizens of Guyana and manage like we do a 401K in the US.

4. Prior to a 2011 election, we proposed to develop a Coalition Assembly that will function like a parliament, (will help eliminate our Ego problem) This body will formed to help develop legislation from now in a consensus way and with full transparency in order for the people of Guyana to know that we all can work together.

5. We are trying to get a poll commissioned that will get to the top 5 issues the people want solve and what we can do about all of this.


Without all of us focusing on Guyana collectively and working on putting a Government in place that is for all the people, where we can build a free market economic platform with a social conscience and where people can progress in life financially versus 60% of our GDP being from Remittances and a large chunk from the Underground economy should give us motivation to fight for the last Alamo. Our people are suffering and we must work now, not just for a electoral change but for economic changes today in order for our families to get out of poverty.

Yesterday's protest pics from SN


The President of Guyana

Everybody thiefing...

The Government of Guyana has expressed concern about the purported misuse of public funds by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R).

In a statement by Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon at the Office of the President, it was noted that information has been provided that the main Opposition Party received $100M from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to pay Opposition party scrutineers and has not accounted for the money over the past four months.

“Information is also available that the Opposition scrutineers are being used to agitate against the Government to protest,” the statement further said.

On this note, Government stated its intention to inform its international and cooperation partners of this misuse of public funds by the party.

“The Administration intends to ensure that the PNC/R accounts properly for its receipt and use of public funds,” it added.

Over the past month, during his weekly press briefing, the HPS has been registering Government’s concerns about the slow pace of the National Registration exercise and the various problems being encountered by citizens when they attempt to get registered. Registration has been ongoing in preparation for the country’s Local Government Elections.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Guyanese appointed Deputy Mayor in London


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today announced the appointment of Ray Lewis as Deputy Mayor for Young People. Ray has considerable experience working with young men in particular as Director of EastSide Young Leaders Academy. A former prison Governor, Ray Lewis and his team take boys with potential who are nevertheless heading down the wrong path and literally help turn their lives around.
During his campaign to become Mayor of London, Boris Johnson found the work of Ray Lewis and his team inspirational. Now as Mayor of London, Boris is delighted that Ray will join him in his new administration. Commenting on the appointment, Boris Johnson said:
'I have a huge amount of respect for Ray Lewis and what he has achieved. I want to build on his success to deliver real change for young people in London both now and in the future. Ray's dynamic but strict approach has given countless opportunities to hundreds of young men in London and helped raise their aspirations as a result. He has helped them achieve more than they ever hoped possible and now I want to spread that magic across London.
'We face a wave of violent crime amongst young people in the Capital. Kids are killing other kids. Ray will be part of my team who will work night and day until we put an end to this tragic trend.
'Working with voluntary groups across the Capital, we will make a real difference to the lives of young people and their families. Londoners need action on this issue, and I won't rest until we deliver it'.

Flawed Govt. policies towards suffering Guyanese

On Thursday May 8, 2008, the PPP Administration has summoned the National Assembly to pass a Motion for the Parliament to, “take(s) note of the impact of Global rising food prices on the cost of living in Guyana and supports the interventions taken by the Government to cushion the impact of these global price increases on our population, especially for the vulnerable groups….”

The Government is obviously under the illusion that Guyanese are happy with the present state of affairs. We believe that unless the people of Guyana make their voices heard, the Government will continue to do nothing significant to ease their plight.

All Guyanese are experiencing the harsh affects of the spiraling cost of living. The prices of rice, flour, cooking oil, bread, split peas, cassava, plantain and other ground provisions are so high that workers can barely feed themselves and their families. Parents find it difficult to prepare the lunch kits for their children, much more purchasing other necessities.

Last year, inflation was 32%, while increase in wages was only 9%. The 2008 National Budget has offered no relief to the suffering workers, yet the government plans to spend billions of dollars of Guyanese taxpayers money on entertainment for Carifesta X.

The Government wants Guyanese to accept our sad state of affairs with a smile because food prices are rising worldwide. It is, however, the government’s responsibility to implement programmes to ease workers of their miserable plight. The zero rating of basic food items still forces us to pay 16% VAT on manufactured food items. For example, flour prices have increased by more than 75% and will be further increased. Government will therefore continue to rake in millions more in taxes while reeking havoc on our daily lives.

It is therefore time for all Guyanese to let the Government know that we are dissatisfied with the rising cost of living and demand that they do something substantial to relieve us from our pain. We need to demand immediate measures such as:


· the payment of a cost of living allowance for all workers;
· raising the income tax threshold to $75,000;
· the reduction of VAT to 8%;
· the removal of VAT from all manufactured food items;
· rationalization of electricity and water rates;
· an increase in the minimum wages by at least 50%

These are only some of the measures needed immediately. Unless we tell the Government what we want they will do nothing and tell the world that Guyanese are happy. You can play a very important role in helping the government understand your plight by joining the peaceful Cost of Living Demonstration on Thursday May 8.

Your organization is therefore invited to join the Cost of Living March which starts at 1:00 pm at the junction of Mandela Avenue and Durban Street. You are free to bring along your own banners and placards. Walk with your empty pots, spoons and pans and let your voices be heard. Your members’ voices are important or we will have no one else to blame when the Government continues to do nothing to relieve our suffering.

Encourage your members to join the march and let your voices be heard.

Parliament showdown, protests today

The People’s National Congress Reform today (May 7) dispatched a letter to the Prime Minister rejecting the Motion on the rising cost of living which the Government proposes to present to the National Assembly tomorrow, Thursday May 8. The PNCR rejects both its content and the procedures being adopted for its tabling and debate.

This belated Motion before the National Assembly was only circulated to Parliamentarians last Friday after a march against the rising cost of living was announced. It is significant that, Parliament was fixed for the same day of the march and no effort was made by the Government to discuss what proposals (if any) were being made by the Government to ease Guyanese from the stress of the rising cost of living.

The Motion is being presented to the Parliament in the absence of any comprehensive plan by the Government and clearly as a propaganda exercise to deceive the people of Guyana that the Government is concerned about their plight.

Ironically, the Motion is intended to congratulate the Government on its measures, although these measures are not known and to ‘note’ the Government programme which has not yet been presented to the people of Guyana.

The PNCR made it clear in its letter that we “will not be part of any deception of the Guyanese public into believing that the Government would take seriously, on board, any constructive suggestions that would be made by the Parliamentary Opposition Parties during the Debate, since, our experience has been that our suggestions have been consistently dismissed with contempt by the Government.”.

The most recent example was the total rejection of ideas by the Opposition Parties for the support of the Stakeholders Motion. The PNCR Members of Parliament will, therefore, not be diverted from its pre-planned programme and will be participating in a march tomorrow on the rising cost of living. We urge all Guyanese to join do likewise.

O' Lall RIP after raising hell against President Jagdeo

He was fired by the Preseident, took it and then died mysteriously. Former Head of the Guyana Energy Agency, Joseph O’Lall is to be cremated tomorrow at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara at 1 pm.

His body will be at his Duncan Street home from 10 am to midday.
O’Lall passed away at the Georgetown Hospital on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mafia behind Kingston Hotel

Adam Development Enterprises aka Adam Developer's Enterprises wants to build a US$50 million hotel and casino in Georgetown. According to its website, Adam Development is "... is a full-service construction company with experience in new private and institutional buildings, historic restorations, masonry and concrete work and demolitions. Our personnel provide developers, private and public sector clients with exceptional service."

So how many building permits has it ever received? Only three!

And one of them was revoked.

But that is not what this is really about.

The website for Adam Developers Enterprises aka Adam Development Enterprises (http://www.adamdevelopment.com/contact.html) helpfully lists its address, phone number, and e-mail:
249-02 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205
Floral Park, NY 11001
TEL: 516.616.7442
FAX: 516.616.7558
EMAIL: mikeahmad@adamdevelopment.com

A reverse telephone number search (http://www.411.com/search/ReversePhone?full_phone=516-616-7442)
shows that Adam Development shares its office and phone number with "Fast Contracting, Inc." The two companies also share principal officers. Patricia Ahmad is Vice President of Fast Contractors, Inc and President of Adam Development. Dariusz Tyminski is listed as President of Fast Contracting.

A search (www.networksolutions.com/whois/results.jsp?domain=adamdevelopment.com) on the adamdevelopment.com domain name registration shows that a Derek Tyminski is listed as administrative contact for adamdevelopment.com.

So its pretty clear that "Adam Development" and "Fast Contracting" are two names for one organization.

A search of New York City records (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ContractorsQueryByBizZipServlet?bizname=fast+contracting) shows that Fast Contracting's general contractor license expired in 2003. More interesting, its business address was listed as 195 Benedict Road Staten Island, NY 10304.

We can use Microsoft's Visual Earth to get a view of 195 Benedict Rd. Nice place, but looks more like a very nice private home than a contractor's office: http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=qrz44j8tr0cs&style=o&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=2120991&encType=1

NYC building permit files from January 2004 (www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/download/foil/per010204.xls, see cells AF969-AN974) reveal that 195 Benedict Rd was also the business address of Richmond Plumbing & Heating, the owner of which is Joseph Francolino. Richmond P&H's phone number was listed as (718) 668-0883 A second file from October 2003 (www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/download/foil/per103103.xls, see cells V136-AN136, V450-AN454, V1605-AN1605, and V2210-AN2210) shows Joseph Francolino also used 195 Benedict Rd and (718) 668-0883 as the business address and phone number for another general contracting company, "Prime Estates, Inc."

Still more internet checks

(http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/J.D.F.Transfer.718-668-0883) show another company, J D F Transfer (in the refuse hauling business), with the address and phone number 195 Benedict Rd, Staten Island, NY 10304 and 718-668-0883. ("J D F" = Joseph D Francolino)

So Joseph Francolino ran a few businesses out of his home. Fast Contracting, Inc also used his home as a business address. The President and Vice President of Fast Contracting, Inc are principals of Adam Developer's Enterprises which is building the Kingston hotel and casino.

So who is Joseph Francolino, Jr? He's the son of Joseph Francolino, Sr. a senior figure in the Gambino mafia family until he was sent to prison in 1997 on New York State racketeering charges and 34 separate counts of restraint of trade, grand larceny and coercion.

(http://query.nytimes.com/beta/search/query?query=JOSEPH+FRANCOLINO).

After dad went to prison, Joseph Francolino, Jr took over his business. See this press release from former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau a couple years ago (http://manhattanda.org/whatsnew/press/2000-12-11.shtml).

You thought crime was bad in Guyana? Just wait and see what happens now that you've invited the real mafia into the country.

Breaking News: CANU officers to take lie-detector tests

4:50 P.M updated

Coming on to the end of the President's press conference he announced that members of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit are to undergo Polygraph tests. Those who fail will be booted. There was no indication as to when this will happen.

Breaking News...President Jagdeo announce interventions to tackle price increases

It's 4: 45 and President Jagdeo is about to wrap up a press conference, but we have this report filed by our correspondent at OP.


President Bharrat Jagdeo and not the Minister of Finance announced several wide-ranging temporary initiatives to help Guyanese hurdle the rising food prices and the soaring cost of fuel at the pumps.

Some of the plans run contrary to earlier utterances by Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, who contended that more increases for workers would mean more disposable income and more wastage of money.

Addressing the media at the Office of the President, President Jagdeo noted that they plan to cushion the price of wheat by providing financial support to 22 bakeries (or 95 percent of the market), who would be directly affected by the recently announced increased of flour by NAMILCO.

“The Government will absorb the increase between the old price and the new price,” the Head-of-State noted.

He said that this should keep the increase price of flour out of biscuits, bread and pastries.

“ We hope that we will not see any price increase,” President Jagdeo stated.
Additionally, the Government will purchase 200, 000 1 kg packets of flour and resell it to vulnerable groups at current market prices. The packets will be distributed by the Guyana Marketing Corporation.

He expressed that the increased price of flour will be temporary, since the price of wheat on the world market is expected to decrease.

In relation to price increase, the President said that there will be 5 percent increase of wages for Public Service employees retroactive from January 1, 2008 and follows similar wage increases for teachers and discipline forces.

Further, the Government is to provide a temporary cost of living adjustment of $4000 per month for government employees who fall below the basic monthly salary of 50, 000 taking into account the 5 percent announced increases. The monies are non-taxable and will be paid during the months of January and December.

“We plan to review this at the end of 2008,” President Jagdeo said.

Some 20 million will be spent on distributing packets of seeds, pesticides and fertilizer hopefully in a drive to increase food production, not only on the larger scale, but could push kitchen gardens.

The head of state committed his self to meeting with stakeholders and Parliamentary parties to hammer out further interventions where necessary.