Sunday, August 31, 2008

Digging deeper...What happen to Jagdeo's promised son/daughter?

The following post was first published on Sunday, April 9, 2006. Bharrat Jagdeo for the first time in office had mentioned the fact that he was going to sow his royal oats. Lo and behold, within months of that public statement, he divorced his pretty wife Varshnie. Like every political promise, this one seems to be quickly slipping away. Not faster than his hairline. Actually its a close race, his hairline is a couple of strands ahead, maybe a "forrid" in front.

However, a few of our rum buddies feel we should not be too concerned about the time factor for the fruit of his loins to blossom and we cautiously agree. He did say sometime after the 2006 elections, and that could be in 2009, 2010, 2020, 2040 or even, 2050. Any bets...Will he leave office a proud father?

Blast from the Past:

President Bharrat Jagdeo seems to be in his prime. He walks like a man filled with confidence. He was very confident and cocky when he delivered on his promise to the residents of Dem Anstel by renovating the community center ground and delivering several other nick knacks.

From what we heard it was not until the end of the President’s address that he revealed something big, something huge and something bigger than the Gajraj fiasco.

From what we were told by a reliable source, the President has indicated that he wants to have children but he was waiting until the end of election to do so.

“Never mind what you hear, I want my children to live here.”

At this time the president realizes he has no children.

“I don’t have any children as yet, I am thinking about sometime after elections, maybe that’s an indication, sometime after elections.”

Guyana 360: we are asking probing questions of the President’s latest statements. Who will get to carry the first son or daughter? Let us register our heart felt congratulations to the two, let’s see what develops. We don’t see Presi with Varshnie. We have to find out, so look out for that. Will he walk the talk?

Guyana's most versatile musician

Adam Harris may have lost a friend

Adam Harris Column:

There is a saying that the longest rope has an end. In Guyana old people say “Moon does run till day ketch am” and so it was with Rondell Rawlins, the country’s most wanted man for almost a decade.
There is also a saying that he who liveth by the sword shall die by the sword.

Rawlins came to notice in the wake of the infamous prison break of Mash Day 2002 when five men escaped by killing one prison officer and leaving another to be a vegetable.

With these men on the loose they added a new dimension to crime. Instead of handguns, assault rifles came into use—deadly use. The assault rifle of choice was the deadly AK-47.

The so-called Phantom Squad also came into being and bodies dropped like flies, only to be picked up in some unlikely places—the back of the Botanical Gardens, on stretches of roadway close to the University of Guyana, and close to the home of the United States Ambassador and on the seawalls.

By August 2002 one of the escapes, Andrew Douglas, had died and his body was found in a car on the East Bank Demerara Public Road.

Rawlins was not too famous then. Others, Shawn Gittens, Shawn Brown, Romel Reman, Mark Fraser, Mark Phillips (Big Batty), Dale Moore, Troy Dick, and others surfaced. These all died violently, particularly after they had kidnapped a city businessman who managed to escape.

However, this is about Rawlins, a very good-looking young man who it is said became a criminal when the police killed one of his friends who had been suspected of committing a murder, in his bed in Agricola.

I met Rawlins in 2005 on the Railway Embankment in Buxton after he had angrily stated that Kaieteur News was reporting that he had done a lot of things when he had done nothing of the sort.

I still hear the words, “Is a long time I ain’t do nutten.” I somehow managed to convince him that there was no need for him to lash out.

He fell from my radar for a long time but there were reports that he was responsible for some brutal killings. He was fingered in the beheading of an Agricola resident named David Barrow called ‘Gurple’ and the killing of a young woman, Shamika Boyce, and a deportee.

Then he was fingered in the Agricola slaughter in which some guards attached to the Mazda Mining Company perished as well as two old folks and some others in Agricola. One of the victims of that slaughter was found by a fence across the road.

I remember being at work and getting a call that ‘Fine Man’ had just shot up the police headquarters one night in January.

I wanted to know how people identified him and to this day I still can’t but hours later there was the slaughter at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara. Eleven men, women and children died on January 26, 2008.

In the days after that incident a man purporting to be Rawlins called Kaieteur News. I asked him about the Lusignan slaughter and he admitted to committing that act, as he said, in retaliation for his missing woman, Teneisha Morgan. He said that he wanted people to know what it felt like to lose a child and Teneisha Morgan was carrying his child.

One day he called me to tell me that his girl was walking along some river. I called the police and to their credit they put up an aircraft but came up blank.

He maintained telephone contact with me explaining that he had tracked his woman to Nickerie, that she had called him to inform him that he had a daughter named Jada.

During one of the telephone conversations he told me that he had just called on the police to inform him of the whereabouts of his woman and the policeman who answered the phone told him to F*** off”. He was livid.

The Bartica massacre followed not long after but by then Rawlins had stopped calling me. I knew that his days were fast drawing to a close when the police raided his camp at Christmas Falls after they had flushed him out of Buxton; then they raided his camp at the back of Beterverwagting and chased him from a location along the trail leading to Kwakwani when they killed Cecil Simeon Ramcharran (Uncle Willie) and a teenaged killer named Robin Chung aka Chung Boy.

Just a few days ago I told one of my colleagues that the police would get him before the end of the year. His hideouts were being raided in quick succession and many people were not keen to harbour him.

I came to that conclusion when I learnt that people were reporting on every sighting and that the police were responding.

Police Commissioner Henry Greene further reinforced my view when he said that ‘Fine Man’ and his gang run at the first sight of the police, that they do not stand and fight. This bit of news certainly emboldened the police.

This time around I heard that he was protected by Sean Grant, whom he killed a few scant hours before he met his comeuppance. He believed that Grant was the last person to ‘rat’ on him. He was known to deal violently with people who betrayed him.

But there is another side to all this. The gunmen were superstitious. They went to Suriname and got what they called ‘booy’ that protected them from bullets.

There was one man in 2003 who really thought that he had protection and actually tried to spring as a prisoner from the Magistrates’ Court in Charlotte Street. A policeman dropped him easily.

At one stage, there were ranks who actually believed that ‘Fine Man’ had magical protection because they said that they shot at Rawlins repeatedly and missed while they killed others. The charm certainly did not work on Thursday.

And to crown it all, Rawlins had malaria at the time he died. Without treatment he would have died anyway.

For now, though, the nation must be breathing a long sigh of relief because the man whom they feared the most is now dead. And full credit must go to the police who quietly went about their business. They too must be happy.

‘Fine Man’s’ eight years on the run has ended and to the best of my knowledge, I can think of no other gunman who managed to survive for so long while going about his business of dealing death.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bald head Jagdeo tek a wine

Fineman's death has sparked all sorts of reactions - mothers crying, relatives rejoicing, and Bharrat Jagdeo? That's another story. He did tek a victory wine last night with some girls at a Carifesta event. Too bad he give up Varshnie because she would have give he the wickedest victory slam.

Isn't Rogain suppose to regrow. Not in Jagdeo's case.Talk about rapid hair loss

Jagdeo about to attempt an Akon's smack that. Hope this girl is not underage. She hold on tight like if de ride rough. Tek that Varshnie in yuh craw.
Notice the guy in the shirt jack peeping at the man tekking a wine.

(Photos ripppppped without permission from propaganda press)

PNCR better late than never...note how they still cussing


The People's National Congress Reform acknowledges the success of the Joint Services in the killing of wanted men Rondell "Fineman" Rawlins and Jermaine "Skinny" Charles who have been identified as the perpetrators of a number of heinous crimes. The death of these two wanted men is hailed as a significant blow to the criminal gangs. The PNCR is convinced that their death should contribute to the attenuation of the tensions within the society and should open new opportunities to address the crime situation in Guyana . Without necessarily defining these particular killings as such, the Party remains resolutely opposed to the practice of extra-judicial killings.

The PNCR sees this as creating the necessary space for the Government to develop and aggressively pursue an all embracing, comprehensive national security plan to eradicate the root causes of crime. We believe that in the medium to long term only the successful implementation of such a plan will provide Guyana with a security environment conducive to peace, stability and development.

Important as well, is the need to change the perception that the Jagdeo PPP/C Government seems to lack the will to root out all crimes and is selective in the criminals they seek to bring to justice. The PNCR, therefore, calls upon the Jagdeo PPP/C Government to take the required actions to bring to justice, inter alia, the killers of Ronald Waddell, Donna Herod and Marcia King, and to work assiduously to ascertain the whereabouts of the many persons who have mysteriously disappeared.

The PNCR wishes to reaffirm its unequivocal support for the fight against crime in all its forms and in all quarters of the society.

People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia

Georgetown, Guyana.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Freddie's classics

Some say Freddie is a lunatic, others say he just plain foolish. Freddie is just a simple amusing parasitic character feeding off the ills of this nation presided over by the Bharrat Jagdeo regime. However, his daughter is often used in his articles as a scapegoat to solidify a point. Below are some snippets.

Freddie on near accident after traffic lights failed (common thing in Guyana):

"I never saw such fear in my daughter’s face before and she lived through the post-election violence of 1997 and 2001 when we were caught in the vortex in down town Georgetown."

Freddie on the PPP/C-led Government:

I know, however, politics is a serpentine game marked by eerie manoeuvres of deadly betrayal.

Robert Mugabe received all our love and generosity when he was a freedom fighter. Today Mugabe is a nasty dictator. Benazir Bhutto turned out to be a horribly corrupt leader who truly deserved to have been given a life sentence in jail for plundering the resources of her poor country. One of the most tragic descents into nasty, autocratic, destructive politics anywhere in the world is our own PPP in Guyana.

Freddie on slothful development:

In this country, we have not taken off as yet because we bask in mediocrity. But there is a more dangerous side to the growth of a second-class mentality here. It is the denial of reality. When you write or speak about the primitive social and physical infrastructure of Guyana, you are labeled a perennial critic by the Government, its lackeys and the employees of the state that the Government coerces to reply to its critics. Let us leave out the last category; those people will be dismissed if they do not do as they are told, as with Neil Marks and perhaps Avery Gomes at the Guyana Times. What the Government and its sycophants refuse to see is that ignoring reality is scientifically impossible, because at some stage your kingdom will come crashing down if you do not want to accept it is made of sand.

Freddie on Journalism:

For any journalist to say that she/she (convenient mistake> he was talking about Neil Marks) was surprised because they didn’t know the little Third World dictators would have knocked them down for the most harmless of mistakes, then they know absolutely nothing about Guyana, the role of the PPP in the destruction of this country and the nasty role the PPP has played in the exercise of power since 1957. Is it that they didn’t know or they are just plain stupid?

Freddie on the state of city roads:

A driver traveling north on Lombard Street who turns east into Hadfield Street has to manoeuvre away from a huge crater on the Hadfield Street as it meets Lombard. This hole has been there for eight years. When I was teaching my daughter to drive, she was literally scared of that sight. All drivers making that turn should be. (Freddie's daughter must be scared of even living with him. The girl always scared).

Freddie on Guyanese in the Caribbean:

Burnhamite Guyana made Caribbean people scornful of Guyanese. When Burnham died, the problem persisted because, under Mr. Burnham’s successor, Desmond Hoyte, the 1985 general elections were terribly contorted. Caricom felt that it was time to do something about its pariah member. A group of Caricom states summoned President Hoyte to St. Vincent. According to the autobiography of the former St. Vincent Prime Minister, Sir James Mitchell, Hoyte agreed to internationally supervised elections. The rest is now history.

Freddie on saying "sorry":

I did a column comparing the French President, Sarkozy, and our Head of State when they both made major addresses to their individual countries at the same time.The first word that came out of the mouth of Mr. Sarkozy was an apology for mistakes he made during his first year in office.Here in Guyana, our leaders find it an act of self-immolation to say sorry. The word “sorry” is a terrifying print for our rulers.What our ruling politicians do not understand is that respect will be awarded by the nation when these leaders act as democrats and show respect for their subjects.

Stay tuned for more Freddie Classics

Guyana trickle back to normalcy

Nearly 24 hrs after the death of two of the most sought after criminals, things in the land of milk and honey began to show signs of normal life. Indeed, the success of the joint services receded from the cover pages in the media. Everyday shootings, murder, robberies, airline passengers left stranded and the daily political cuss outs have returned. Welcome back Guyana!

Friday, August 29, 2008

KN's AT Last!

No regrets!!! We here at Guyana 360 has no regrets in publishing the photos of the above men. Several persons have criticised us in the comment section. But, spare a thought for those who allegedly suffered at the hands of these beasts. Let the world see them, we have no regrets. let our children see them, we have no regrets. This is reality. Deal with it.

Are these your relatives?

Since October last year the security forces have been able to kill gang members Malcolm Alleyne, called ‘Coolie Boy’, Aubrey Glasgow called ‘Dread’, Noel James called ‘Baby’, Orlando Andrews called ‘Bullet’, Troy St. John called ‘John I’, Vivian Harris called ‘Bolo’, Otis Fifee called ‘Mud Up’, Cecil Simeon Ramcharran’ called ‘Uncle Willie’ and Robin Chung called ‘Chung Boy’.

According to the Acting Police Commissioner, there are about 25 persons who were either a part of the gang and who were in some way assisting them, currently in custody.

He listed the remaining gang members as Deon Cort, called ‘Capone’, ‘Sonny’; Richard Daniels, called ‘Chucky’, ‘Not Nice’, White Boy called ‘Whitey’, ‘Ratty’, Aubrey, Cliff Chichester and James Gibson among others. (Are any of these your relatives...turn them in).

KN's Controversy

There is some controversy surrounding the start of the confrontation with residents claiming that Grant, who was living in the area for several months, had been attacked before the Joint Services arrived.
They believe that whoever shot Grant fled the area, leaving him mortally wounded when the Joint Services arrived.
Richard Jupiter, who is the caretaker of a nearby club, told this newspaper that he was awakened by a burst of gunfire and upon peering out, he saw soldiers ‘swarming the place’.
“Dey tell me go inside and stay low. A li’l while after, I hear hollering and then one more shot,” Jupiter told this newspaper.
He believes that that was when Grant was killed.
Another resident, who lives a short distance from the hideout, said that he too was awakened by the sound of gunshots.
However, he was not alarmed, since army ranks from the nearby base often hunt for wild game in the area.
But when the gunfire intensified, the resident said that he realized that something was amiss.
The man said that he immediately ordered his wife and children to lie on the floor.
Some residents who live near the hideout also claimed that at around that time, they heard voices raised in anger in the vicinity of the shack in which the fugitives had sought refuge.
They also said that after that came more heavy gunfire, followed by a single gunshot.
Kaieteur News was told that shortly after, a group of army ranks went into the house and brought out Grant’s body on a zinc sheet.
According to reports, the shack belonged to Grant’s reputed wife. Some residents said that the woman was present when Grant was shot but fled the scene.
During the operation, the ranks searched several homes and reportedly took two male residents into custody.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene said that some time around 05:45 hours yesterday, two teams of ranks from the Joint Special Operations Group-JSOG and members of the GDF special forces, acting on information proceeded to an area called the prison area, Timehri North, about 500 metres east of the Army’s ammo dump.

Guyana’s ‘most wanted’ takes secrets to grave

Who assisted Rondell Rawlins and his gang to steal 33 high-powered weapons from the Guyana Defence Force?
Where are the millions in cash and gold that the gang amassed during its three-year reign of terror?
And who really carried out the Lindo Creek killings?
These are some of the questions that have been left unanswered following the death of Rawlins and his cohorts Jermaine ‘Skinny’ Charles and Sean Grant.
Rawlins came to notoriety after the jailbreak escapees and several other gunmen operating out of Buxton were killed.
According to intelligence reports, ‘Fine Man’, as he was called, soon developed a reputation for ruthlessness.
It is said that he chopped off the head of an Agricola man who had caused the police to intercept a cache of arms belonging to his gang.
Informants were reportedly shot and set alight.
In 2007, 33 AK-47 assault rifles disappeared from the Guyana Defence Force’s Camp Ayanganna base.
At least half of the weapons were recovered from slain gang members. But the Joint Services have failed to arrest the persons who actually moved the weapons, or to explain how exactly they left the army base undetected.
The Rawlins gang is also believed to have carried out the daring bank robberies in New Amsterdam, Berbice.
Some of the bank robbers were killed and some of the loot was recovered.
However, the elusive Rawlins and others escaped. The gang is said to have carted off a huge cache of gold from Bartica after killing 12 people in the community.
The safes—minus the loot—were recently recovered at Makouria.
The Joint Services found no large arms cache or money when they killed Rawlins yesterday.
During yesterday’s press conference, Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene revealed that the Joint Services gleaned crucial information from Rawlins’ diary, which was found at the gang’s Christmas Falls hideout.
According to Greene, this information assisted the Joint Services to identify and arrest several people who assisted the gang, including persons who harboured and fed the gunmen.
A few months ago, President Bharrat Jagdeo had stated that he had viewed a tape which showed some prominent people meeting with some of the Buxton gunmen.
He had indicated that many persons would be embarrassed if the tape was released, and had even hinted that the culprits would be prosecuted.
And the debate is likely to continue over the gang’s alleged involvement in the murders of the eight miners whose burnt remains were found at Lindo Creek.
Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene had stated that an eyewitness had implicated Rawlins in the murders. There are also reports that Rawlins had boasted that he had killed the miners.
According to the police, ballistics tests on two spent shells at the scene also linked the gunmen to that crime.
But George Arokium, who managed the camp, is adamant that persons other then Rawlins killed his crew.
This led to speculation that some rogue Joint Services members slaughtered the miners and made off with gold from the camp.
The truth about the fate of the unfortunate miners, and other questions about Guyana’s most notorious criminal may now never be known.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

WARNING!!! Meet the last of "Fineman" and his padnas

The photos below obtained exclusively by Guyana360 from military sources are very graphic but its the gruesome reality...We have been blogging since the incident happened. Read what happened and what followed.

Rondel 'Fineman' Rawlins (right) and Jermaine 'Skinny' Charles

Rondel 'Fineman' Rawlins -his locks grew that's all.

Jermaine 'Skinny' Charles

Break out the bar..>Fineman, Skinny confirmed dead

Police are confirming that Guyana's number one wanted criminal, Rondell 'Fineman' Rawlins and Lieutenant Jermaine 'Skinny' Charles have been killed in a shootout with police at Kuru Kururu sometime about 5:30 a.m.

A third man who was also killed by the security forces has been confirmed as Shawn Grant.

A throng of security officials have swooped on the area, and from what our sources are saying...Several reporters have converged too.

After the balderdash start to Carifesta, this bit of news will give Guyanese something to smile about and celebrate at the closing of Carifesta.

Bharrat must be bouncing around State House with he Buckta.

2:30 p.m update: More information on the ground suggests that the men were about to launch an attack on nearby Camp Groomes and that a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldier was attempting to help with the plan. The soldier was shot in the arm during the trade off with servicemen and is in custody assisting with investigations.

3:00 p.m update: Joint Service sources now say that they were "Right on the ball when they issued the first photo of Fineman"Since he looked identical this morning when he was shot. Same deadlocked hair and facial features. The only difference is that when we jump he, he had no answer. Even his face got hit. Now he can't see because he eye got blown out." the Joint services source also confirmed that they recieved a tip from a very close person to the gang. (Photo of Fineman before shooting below).

4:00 p.m. update: Joint Services sources are saying that that "Fineman" and "Skinny" were confronted by a special squad formed with the consent of Bharrat Jagdeo and named after a poisonous serpent. However, another source said that it was not the Jagdeo formed gang, but the army who was responsible for the killing of the men.

4:30 p.m. update: Report from Dorian from around Georgetown.

Speculations are rife in the absence of an official police report about the shooting and as such media houses have scrambled together pieces of information for breaking news purposes. However, news have begun to spread to the masses and the shooting is hot topic around the South bus park. At the Linden bus park, drivers and conductors are rehashing the heavy presence of police and soldiers on the highway. More speculation as one bus driver said he understood the security forces had gone to Linden. A few people upon arriving on the Linden park said they were seeking alternative accommodations in the city until things have returned to normalcy.

5:00 p.m. Finally! The Joint services officials are planning to host a press conference at 5:30 p.m. (12 hours after the incident) to inform and apprise the nation of their operations earlier today. The press briefing will take place at the Commissioner's Office, Police Headquarters. NCN is making plans to carry a live feed on VOG.

5:30 p.m. The online media sparks Stabroek News

6:00 p.m. Skinny's arm was dismembered...According to join services officials, the men were pumped with bullets. N.B Police presser was off to a late start.

6:30 p.m. Recovering from the gruesome photos of the two men blasted across the airwaves by NCN.

8:30 p.m. Official police report on the shooting incident:

Acting upon information received about 05:45 h. today Thursday August 28, 2008 two teams of J.S.C.C ranks along with members of the Special Forces proceeded to an area in Timehri about 500m east of the Ammo Dump, when they came under fire from an identifiable house. Corporal Cush of the GDF was shot in his right hand. The ranks returned fire having seen three (3) men running from the house. The men ran into some nearby bushes. On descending upon the scene they found the body of a male African lying on the ground. He was picked up and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Corporal Cush was taken to the Medical Centre at Camp Stephenson and subsequently transferred to Camp Ayanganna . In the interim the ranks continued to search for the other men.

Consequently about 12:45 h. the J.S.O.G team while pursuing these men came under fire from a small unfinished concrete structure which appeared to be an old shop in the Kuru Kururu area. There was an exchange of gunfire and two (2) male Africans were shot in the exchange. They were taken to the Mortuary where they were pronounced dead on arrival. A search of the structure revealed two (2) AK 47 rifles and two hundred and fifteen (215) 7.62x39 rounds contained in seven (7) magazines. The scene was visited by Crime Scene ranks of CID Headquarters, Eve Leary. The two (2) male Africans were identified by two (2) Prison Officers as wanted men Rondel Rawlins c/d “Fineman” and Jermaine Charles c/d “Skinny”.

9:00 p.m. Police are reporting that the fingerprints of both Jermaine Charles ‘Skinny’ and Rondel Rawlins ‘Fineman’ were taken and checked against existing records at the Criminal Investigations Department and they matched.

(This should help ease some of the public speculations that lingers).

9:20 p.m. Reports suggest that a pale looking (maybe sick) Bharrat Jagdeo made his first public appearance following today's shooting of two of the nation's notorious criminals- 'Fineman' and 'Skinny'. The President arrived extremely late for a CARIFESTA event at the National Park this evening. He briefly commented on the shooting by saying that Guyana had won. Some other utterances were made, but we cannot confirm at this time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Jamaica has Usain Bolt....Guyana has a bolt too...

Dave Martins' "Haul yuh ass"

Was Dave Martins out of place at the Super Concert when he sang the ever famous..."Not a blade of grass, not one carass" especially with a batch of Venezuelans who had travelled to Guyana for Carifesta? And why tell them to "Haul them ass". The Government might be thinking apology here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Carifesta born here and will die here

The Kaieteur News reporter, Tusika Martin, was very merciful in her article about Carifesta opening. Read article

Iana Seales of Stabroek News on the other hand attempted to give us both sides of the coin. Read article

Mr. Khan writing under the Guyana Media Critic alias addressed all possible angles of the opening leaving no stone unturned. Read Article

Barbados based Nation News seemed anxious to bash the performances at the opening ceremony, but Michelle Springer cannot be blamed. She wrote what she saw. Read Article

GRA - a tentacle of the Jagdeo dictatorship

We did indicate here that the GRA is a tentacle of the Jagdeo dictatorship. Glenn Lall has been under tremendous presser from the administration for his outspoken approach on the illegal QAII deal. In fact, inside sources tell this blog that Guyana Times is Jagdeo's way of showing Lall that his publication is no longer needed, since Lall refused to be an ass licker. Not too many businessmen can beat their chest about it.

Adam Harris writes:

Glenn Lall made money supplying these things and left me wondering why I could not have thought of these things and made money.

But it was the newspaper that caught fire. I had been out of a job, having resigned from the Chronicle when the PPP Government came into office. Of course the resignation was instigated; I was seen as the monster who dared to write in support of the PNC Government and was therefore not fit to be employed by anyone else. I left because as I said then, once I have breath in my body and two hands I could not suffer in Guyana.

I have not because I happened to meet Lall as he was trying to put his newspaper together. Whatever I have done to make the paper successful has not gone unnoticed and it is this that has caused me to cast an eye in Glenn Lall’s direction.

Recently I saw him agitated because in his book a lot of things had gone wrong both at the societal level and at the level of business.

Another competitor emerged; the advent of that competitor was no big deal because the Kaieteur News has reached levels that no other paper in this era would reach; it is unchallenged.

But I learnt that the source of his annoyance was the privileged conditions that the authorities granted this competitor. He opened his mouth and attracted the ire of many.

Recently he found that the Guyana Revenue Authority began to demonstrate an interest in him and I was surprised. I concluded that Glenn was too critical for his own good but again, there is a saying “Do nothing; Fear nothing”.

But it is this threat of the use of state power that has left me somewhat bemused. Talk too much and feel the weight of the state, seems to be the message.

This could chase people away from Guyana and I am telling Glenn that he has nowhere to go—well not that he has nowhere to go, but that he should not even contemplate a disappearance from the land of his birth.

I have heard of similar cases and I have seen people buckle. Dr Yesu Persaud was one of them and he persevered.

But I am surprised that the GRA would actually get involved in what could only be seen as persecution. Who knows, after the publication of this article I might find myself being a target.

PNCR returns Carifesta compliment

Without Freddie, history would be lost...

Freddie Kissoon column: The PNC has officially adopted a policy of boycott of Carifesta. It reminds us of the 1980 Olympics. The Americans stayed away because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The next Olympics ended up in Los Angeles and the Soviets returned the compliment. Mr. Corbin, the current leader of the PNC was a major player in the youth arm of the PNC in 1972 when Carifesta was invented by the PNC Government.

No doubt when he heard that the PPP Government was putting on the show in the country where it first started, a cynical smile enveloped his visage. He knew his time for revenge had come.

The PPP boycotted Carifesta 1972 over an issue that even if it wasn’t there, would not have made a difference. President Burnham, in his announcement of Carifesta, stated that he would build a National Cultural Centre to coincide with Carifesta. The finance would come from the Indian Immigration Fund.

Cogent criticisms working

With effect from today Sunday 24 August, entry to all CARIFESTA performance venues expect for the National Stadium will not require a ticket. Persons are however advised that entry to events will be on a first come, first served basis.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Thursday at OP...

Stunning developments were uncovered during our visit to Office of the President today. We managed to gain entrance through the so called back gate. That's the western gate on Vlissingen Road. The same gate that Bharrat Jagdeo uses and ironically, that is the same gate that is usually left open. Just ask Mark Benschop and Phillip Bynoe.

Walking through the gate it became more pronounced that Gordon Moesely was never banned from the compound, but in fact both Jagdeo and Kwami Mackoy wanted him to know that the back gate was always open to him. Subtle invitation extended to enter Mr. Moesely.

We used the same back gate, but for good reason. Take your minds out of the pong canal running along Avenue of the Republic. The reason we plumped ourselves at the Office of the President was for us to gather first hand information about Carifesta. After all we were away for a few days in Antigua where travel agents were advising passengers to travel in the day if they were planning to visit Guyana.

Unlike certain Guyanese blogs, we knew that no matter what occurred, the masses i.e the poor black people, would have found money to attend the poorly planned regional event. We never anticipated that they would have braved the elements for "FREE" tickets. Then again Guyanese like freeness. Minister Killaman Lall and Neil Kumar (the only dunce in Parliament) always along the East Coast sipping free rum. That is another story for another time.

The Party Needs Corbin to Reform (PNCR) quickly (read back the start carefully) realised that the party had no sway and therefore, any boycott of the event would not have worked. The PNCR would have been embarrased in the eyes of the region had they hold fast to picketing with a few really poor black people while thousands of other black people were attending the spectacle.

Back to the Office of the President visit. We learn that Bharrat Jagdeo, and future President, Frank Anthony along with Roger Luncheon (in his final term), have plotted a PR campaign should things get ugly.

The blanket excuse will be that Guyana was proud to bail out the region after Bahamas refused to host the mega cultural activity. However, a hardened-face bodyguard we recognised from dancing next to Bharrat Jagdeo while he was at Buddy's grinning with a 16-year-old big breed dougla girl, peeked around a wall just outside the Credentials Room. He wore the same bilge shirt jack with embroidery to the front and two pockets just above the waist. We hurried away, pulled a door leading into an office and tried to maintain our composure.

As we entered the room, we immediately felt our lungs grip, eyes became watery and noses began to twitch. Suddenly it was pitch dark. Must have been a GPL outage we thought. But we were at the Office of the President. How could this be? We fiddled for the door and as it squeaked open, things became clear again. It was not GPL. It was Gail Teixiera sitting in a grayish chair that must have been green when it was bought, blowing whiffs of smoke into the air. This was no longer a chimney, but the exhaust of a Morris Oxford.

She was arguing with Sam Hinds, whose beard looked as if it had trapped most of the smoke in the office. Siting behind a desk was a woman, who we later found out was Nancy, Bharrat Jagdeo's personal secretary. Sam was dragging his words, but between the ahhhhs, we realised that he was boasting of lying to Bharrat by telling him he could not make to Cabinet meeting, but he was actually a few meters away.

Neil Kumar stumbled through the door, cuss everyone in sight and ask if we wanted to join him in a few shots since he was going to declare some domino competition open in Enmore. Must have been mistaken as one of the PYO members. He then questioned why was Bharrat holding Cabinet meeting when things nice....He burped. Yuk...he vomited...Nancy pelt the PPP Manifesto at he. Talk about putting a good document to good use.

Rohee stormed into the room and asked if they don't stop the fiasco, he will have to pick up a stool (one had a flower pot on it in the corner by the door) and pelt them, the same way he pelt Bharrat when he wanted him gone from his ministerial posting. It worked. The confusion stopped and Sam walked out. Gail dropped her Bristol and rubbed it between the wooden floor and the tip of her shoe, lifted her head, leaving behind the memory etched by the swagger of her backside.

Nancy stayed put and appeared to be dialing a number. It looked like 624-7622 or something like that. It sounded like Bharrat. She slammed down the phone clearly disappointed. As she stepped away from the desk, she finally noticed that we were in the office. We told her we were there to see Bharrat. Oh! you mean the President, she said.

She continued packing her desk before stepping out. This was amazing. The entire office to us. What the heck, lets dive through a few of the papers scattered on the desk.

At the top was a resume from someone name Davita Chatteran. Lying just a few centimeters away was a paper with a draft speech. At the top clrearly stated 'By Cabinet Secretary post Carifesta"

Here is what it least the first page...we had to divert since Nancy returned.

"G-u-y-a-n-a as an I-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t nation sitting on the c-o-n-t-i-n-e-n-t-a-l shelf of South America and its people was caught up in the rapture of having responded in a very appropriate manner to host Carifesta, an event that has its inauguration on these very shores.

Further, as a Government, we are pleased with the turnout. The Government recognises the great importance that the people of Guyana showed to the artistic celebrations by dismissing elements within our society who were gleeful enough to promote partisan agendas at the sacrifice of the good of the country. It must be noted that the turnout showed an automatic willingness by the majority of Guyanese to support this Government in its efforts to promote Guyana and sends an unambiguous message to those opposed to such a prosperous move.

Notwithstanding the foolhardy doomsayers amongst us, Guyana can hold its head above the atmospheric elements and be proud to host the biggest cultural event in the region on such a short notice. Cabinet recognises the effort of President Bharrat Jagdeo to fulfill the mandate of his Government and call on Guyanese to hearten your leaders to support a constitutional amendment that will see the continuation of Government’s agenda beyond 2011. Government Guyana has scored a convincing victory that will go down in the annals of history."

We understand that the President was planning a presser later in the day and he was mad...we had to skittle out the compound. Good thing we did, because McSkunt released one of those dirty bombs.

No Greene light in sight

Appointment of police commissioner

No follow-up consultations between president, opposition leader

Leader of the Opposition Robert Corbin is still awaiting meaningful consultations with President Bharrat Jagdeo about confirming Acting Commissioner of Police Henry Greene to the top position of the Guyana Police Force two months after they met to first discuss the subject.
Greene has been acting as police commissioner for just over two years. Read more...

Gays support Jagdeo's showpiece

CARIFESTA X celebrates the richness, the resilience, the diversity and the skillfulness of Caribbean imagination and SASOD has organised a fringe of events called "SASOD @ CARIFESTA X" to contribute to the imagination of a Caribbean which recognises that its Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) citzens are part of the rainbow of peoples.

On Saturday, August 23, from 10am at Oasis Too in South Road, two important books will have a CARIFESTA launch. One, "Homosexuality in the Caribbean: Crawling out of the Closet" by Grenadian sociologist Claude Douglas is a balanced view at the way in which the Caribbean approaches a future in which people who are not heterosexual are accepted. This book is a result of interviews with religious leaders, gay and lesbian people, social workes and academics. The second book "Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles" edited by Thomas Glave is a collection of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and poetry by little-known writers along with selections by internationally-celebrated figures such as Reinaldo Arenas, Audre Lorde, Achy Obejas, Assotto Saint, José Alcántara Almánzar, Michelle Cliff, and Dionne Brand. The thirty-seven authors hail from the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti,
Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Suriname, and Trinidad. Many have lived outside the Caribbean, and their writing depicts histories of voluntary migration as well as exile from repressive governments, communities, and families. This launch will be by Helen Klonaris from the Bahamas who is a contributing author to the anthology.

SASOD continues with a mini-festival of films, all to be screened at Polo's Sports Bar and Lounge in the Majestics Building at 288 Middle Street. The festival starts on Monday, August 25, at 7pm with "Dos Patrias y la Noche" from Cuba and follows on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with other films from Belize, Guyana, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago. The film "Coolie Gyal" is directed/produced by Renata Mohammed and is in the form of a letter read to her parents from Guyana.

On Wednesday, August 27, at Sidewalk Cafe, there will be a programme of poetry, prose, song and dance. Trinidadian writer Colin Robinson writes that "SASOD @ CARIFESTA X highlights some distinctly GLBT-identified voices and visions, their talents and products, and their relationships to the process and conditions of Caribbean cultural production. It promotes the best tradition of dialogue – about transformation, and the role of culture in it. It documents how power shapes culture. And, finally it demonstrates the agency of Caribbean communities to create cultural expression for our liberation."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How to bolt down your opponents

Usain Bolt high-stepped to the finish of the 100-meter race and started his celebration early, throwing out his arms and thumping his chest. As Guyanese would say, the rest of the field needed whips because they were certainly giving chase.

The world has been struck by a 'thunder bolt'

Please note that our very own, Adam Harris will be among the class seeking to stop Bolt's attempt at the 100 and 200 sprint double. Can Harris spoil Bolt's dream? send us your comments.

Massive Welcome Home For Bolt And Olympic Team

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has promised a massive welcome home celebration for Jamaica's first gold medalist in the Beijing Olympics, Usain Bolt, and the rest of the Olympic Team.

Mr. Golding was bursting with pride and joy following this morning's (Aug 16) victory by Usain Bolt in the men's 100m finals in the world record time of 9.69, in the Beijing Olympics in China.

'It's a wonderful day for Jamaica and you have done us proud. It was a stunning performance and we are so proud of you', Mr. Golding told Usain Bolt in a telephone conversation just minutes after his victory in the 100m race. ' The games are not yet over and we expect a lot more from the team in the days ahead but I can assure you that we are planning a massive welcome home party for all of you', Mr. Golding assured...Read more

PM Describes Bolt's Performance

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has described the gold winning performance of Usain Bolt, today (August 16), as absolutely phenomenal. Competing in the 100-metre finals in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Mr. Bolt won the race in a world record time of 9.69 seconds. Jamaica's other two finalists, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater, finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

"Usain Bolt was absolutely phenomenal. This is a man who was absolutely confident in himself. He was at peace with himself. He knew what he wanted to do, he knew what he was going to do, and if you look at how he ran the race, he was picture perfect right through," the Prime Minister told JIS News in an interview, after watching the race at Jamaica House...Read More

Golden Bolt

BEIJING, China (AFP): Usain Bolt of Jamaica won the men's 100 metres Olympic title here on Saturday in a new world record time of 9.69 seconds.

The 21-year-old - who becomes the first Jamaican to win the Olympic 100m crown - beat home Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago (9.89secs) while Walter Dix of the United States was third in a time of 9.91 secs.

Bolt's compatriot and former world record holder Asafa Powell came fifth as six of the eight finalists finished under 10 seconds, a record for the Olympic final, which also equalled the 1991 world final in Tokyo when six men also finished under the 10 second barrier. Read More

Jamaican 'Sprint Secret' and Movado

Jamaica Information Service: The most popular artiste among Jamaican athletes competing at the 29th Olympic Games is Movado.

He is one of the artistes on Asafa's playlist. The sprinter also enjoys listening to Idonia, Vybz Kartel and Bounty Killer.

While Movado appears to be the hands down winner in a poll of the I-Pods among Jamaican athletes, Vybz Kartel runs a close second. Bob Marley, Luciano, Jah Cure, Queen Ifrika and Etana are also popular.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Support Adam Harris quest at the Olympics

Send shout outs and support Adam Harris (not the wolf at KN) at the 2008 Olympics.

Link to his page on Yahoo Sports website

Jagdeo head-hunts Yesu Persaud

Remember that clash between DDL's Yesu Persaud and Bharrat Jagdeo at the launch of the new newspaper, the Guyana Times where the President waded into Yesu Persaud's knowledge of the tax laws, even calling the seasoned businessman ignorant of the tax regime. It later turned out that Jagdeo was really the ignorant one, and although he never apologise, he seems to be using any means necessary to get even with Persaud. Yes, we have the balls to so it.

Bharrat Jagdeo is continuing his radical dictatorship policy by forcing state agencies and the judicial system on opponents. It therefore comes as no surpise that the revenue authority is inspecting DDL’s 2006 c-tax records. Of course Jagdeo was mad when Persaud publicly reveleaed that the tax breaks offered to QAII were illigal and improper. The GRA is one sure means of getting even. Like a pitbull cut loose, the GRA was also inspecting records for a local media house, which has been pounding and revealing the corrupt practices by Government as contained in the AG 2006 report of the public accounts.

Word to the wise, who wish to challenge any aspect of the Jagdeo regime, ensure your tax record is soild. Even if you have no political ambition and is anxious to see Guyana move forward, like us here in the blogging world, this Jagdeo Government that breathes corruption at every level, will hunt you down. Isn't that what the late President, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham did during the PNC era?

Fighting a dictatorship not easy

Editor-In-Chief of Stabroek News, Mr David De Caires, has been admitted at a city hospital after he collapsed yesterday morning at his 239 Quamina Street, South Cummingsburg home.

David De CairesAccording to reports reaching this newspaper, Mr De Caires was rushed to the hospital, with a suspected heart attack, and remained a patient up to late yesterday afternoon. Reports are that efforts were being made by his relatives to have him secure overseas treatment.Daily Editor of the newspaper, Mr Anand Persaud, confirmed that Mr De Caires has been hospitalised but declined to elaborate further.De Caires, who is in his 70s, had undergone a triple bypass surgery some years ago.

Guyana360: Our hearts go out to Mr. De Caries, his family and the Stabroek News circle. It's never easy fighting a dictator in Bharrat Jagdeo. Maybe this might seem an inhumane example at this point in time. But, Joseph O'Lall attempted to fight corruption in the fuel industry and ended up getting sacked by Bharrat Jagdeo. O'Lall attempted the unbeliveable by speaking out against the regime and instances when Bhatrrat Jagdeo as President fiddled with corrupt decisions. As the story goes, he mysteriously fell ill and later died in hospital.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good Job guys...

A changing of the guard probably as Minister Frank Anthony poses next to Bharrat Jagdeo (oh he must earn the "President" title from us at Guyana360 and we have no apologies for it because unlike Gay Gordon Moesely, we cannot be banned.)

Providence, Guyana was the setting for the Guyana Golden Jaguars' divine turn around in their first two matches of the Digicel Caribbean Championships (DCC). With 4 points, the
Golden Jaguars victoriously go through to the second round of the Digicel
Caribbean Championships (DCC) despite political and organizational problems
facing Guyana football this year.

Since founding their football association in 1920 Guyana's Golden Jaguars
never made much of an impression on Caribbean football. However, the former
British and Dutch colony of 700,000, tucked away in the tangled jungles of
South America's North-East corner, found their way in the last 3 years. Since
2005, Guyana has made much progress in football, climbing an astonishing 95
places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and advancing to the finals of
the Digicel Caribbean Cup in 2006. But when Suriname ended Guyana's campaign
for the South Africa 2010 World Cup qualifiers in June of this year, Guyana
saw a decline in support among football fans and an increase in negative
publicity surrounding the football governing body the GFF

The negative publicity received from the Suriname match in June contributed
to a call for the president of the GFF to resign and prompted older players
*Charles Pollard, Collie Hercules, Shawn Bishop and Richard Reynolds to hand
in their resignations effective after the Digicel Caribbean Championships.*
The Golden Jaguars also faced other problems going into the DCC Group B
matches: the national team had not been able to have any turf practice due
to inclement weather and the lack of a football training facility. Though
the DCC matches were played at the National Stadium, the Guyanese government
was reluctant to lend football the grounds originally built for World Cup
Cricket 2007.

However, despite all these challenges, the Guyana Golden Jaguars proved
their worth to their fans and the Caribbean beating Dominica in a solid 3-1
win in their first DCC match (August 8) and drawing with neighbouring
football rivals Suriname in the final match of group B (August 10), giving
them the lead to make it through to the second round of the Digicel
Caribbean Championships. The Guyana Golden Jaguars will play the Trinidad
Soca Warriors in Trinidad in November and, if their revived luck continues,
play in the DCC finals to be held in Jamaica in December.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is any of this or this, or maybe this is linked to what happened here? Certainly begs the question.

Fire video, courtesy of SN

Is Kn at war with the Govt?

Health Minister adds insult to injury

“Kaieteur News is waging a war against the Government,” was the observation of Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy when he hosted a press conference yesterday to refute the claims contained in the headline in the most recent Kaieteur News Sunday Special.
According to the minister, it is his opinion that the headline ‘Health Minister admits to buying drugs illegally’ was in fact not a mistake, but, rather, a deliberate misrepresentation of the truth.
He added that the headline came as part of a wicked vendetta the newspaper has against the Government of Guyana for some unknown reason.
“In a bold front page headline, Kaieteur News announced that the Minister of Health admitted that the Ministry of Health procured goods illegally…It is a blatant lie, and questions the motives of the Kaieteur News.”
According to the minister, the supporting article did not even mirror the headline, since it failed to show that the Minister of Health made such an admission.
The article stated that the minister admitted that his ministry made a mistake as it relates to the procurement process in purchasing drugs and medical supplies.
The recent Auditor-General’s Report, which was laid in Parliament recently, stated that the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), which is now a separate entity from the Ministry of Health, continued to use the ministry’s Cabinet approval to purchase drugs and medical supplies from specialised agencies both locally and overseas.
It was explained that, before the Procurement Bill was passed in Parliament in 2004, the Health Ministry would seek Cabinet’s approval for the purchase of the drugs and medical supplies, which, according to Dr Ramsammy, was legal.
However, when the Procurement Bill was enacted into law in 2004, the ministry had to receive the approval from the Tender Board.
This was not done, as the ministry continued to seek Cabinet’s consent. In essence, the Health Ministry kept breaking the law when it did not seek the Tender Board’s approval for the purchase of drugs and medical supplies totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.
But, according to the minister yesterday, the 1997 and 2003 Cabinet approvals were legally appropriate documents, and the Auditor-General never questioned that process.
It was in accordance with those approvals that the Ministry of Health procured its medicines and goods, the minister asserted.
However, he added that the Auditor-General had made recommendations in the 2005 and 2006 reports that the letter of approval from Cabinet ought to be renewed through the Tender Board.
As such, he noted, the ministry has since accepted the recommendations of the Auditor-General, a fact the minister said he clearly explained to staffers of the Kaieteur News.
“Anyone reading the story would be utterly disappointed with the headline, because the story itself is inconsistent with the headline…The problem is the highly provocative and mischievous headline.
I would not question media practitioners’ right to produce headlines to attract more readers and greater interest in their newspapers, but this right should not permit them to be slanderous and allow them to ever misrepresent the truth…The headline was reckless and irresponsible,” the minister chided.
He said that he has always treated media personnel with integrity and absolute dignity, noting that he has never advised media practitioners on which story to carry and how to carry it, even as he noted that no reporter who carried a negative story has had to endure ‘cold’ treatment from him.
But even as he admitted that he is a strong advocate for media freedom, the minister said that media personnel are swift to talk about media freedom when Government comes down on media practitioners for unfair behaviour.
“Various groups in and out of Guyana jump on a bandwagon defending the media’s rights. But no one ever seems to worry about the deliberate attempts by media houses to distort stories, misrepresenting the truth.”
Dr Ramsammy noted that, as Minister of Health, he is not resistant to any media house carrying negative stories about him, the ministry nor the Government, adding that this is a daily occurrence, without the Government responding.
“As a Minister of the Government, should I simply allow the media to distort as they please in order to demonstrate tolerance and underline how free the press is? Should I now ban all news reporters from Kaieteur News from calling me, and only allow them access to my open press briefing? If I do so, would this be protecting the ministry’s interest, or would it be an attack on press freedom?”
According to the minister, he is of the belief that the media has a responsibility, and Kaieteur News has abdicated its responsibility and has acted with absolute malice, irresponsibility and recklessness.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Govt. covers up corruption

Knews article: Auditor General report …
Finance Ministry seeks to defend irregularity

The Finance Ministry last evening issued a statement seeking to discredit an article published in yesterday’s issue of Kaieteur News titled ‘Govt. abuses Public funds… billions unaccounted for —Auditor General’The Ministry described the article as misleading.
It added that the conclusion reached in the story can only be based on a complete lack of understanding of the issues raised by the AG’s report, or a deliberate distortion of these issues.
Regarding the statements in the article citing Government abuse, the Auditor General report states, under the heading Contingencies Fund: “The Contingencies Fund continued to be abused, with amounts drawn from the Fund being utilised to meet expenditure which did not meet the eligibility criteria as defined in the Act.
According to the statement, amounts totalling $3.945 billion were drawn from the Fund by way of 138 advances. As at 31 December 2006, forty-nine of these advances, totalling $1.721 billion, remained outstanding.”
As it relates to the outstanding $1.721B cited, the Finance Ministry said that: “In fact, there is absolutely nothing irregular about contingency fund advances that remain outstanding at the end of the year.”
It added that, at any one point in time during the fiscal year, there may be Contingency Fund advances outstanding, and where Contingency Fund advances are approved close to the end of the year, such advances may remain outstanding at the end of the year until they are cleared by a supplementary appropriation act.
“This, indeed, was the case with the advances outstanding at the end of 2006, which were cleared by a supplementary appropriation act approved shortly thereafter…The Auditor General’s statement on the amounts outstanding at the end of the year can, by no stretch of the imagination, be extended to be interpreted as an irregularity in relation to these amounts.”
The ministry’s statement added that the same is the case with a number of other issues that were reported on by the Auditor General and which were distorted by the Kaieteur News story in a sensational manner.
There was, however, no specific mention of the so-called other statements that were distorted.
The statement did not comment on the other discrepancies and findings by the Auditor General. It did not comment on the monies paid for the purchase of arms and ammunition in 2003 that continue to be missing, or the monies spent by the Health Ministry.

New avenues to bribe the police

The Associated Press (AP) is respected worldwide however, it reports that the blare of reggae and calypso music may soon disappear from the buses and taxis of Guyana.

After reading the article, we questioned some of our friends and even family as to the sweet sounds of calypso being played on public transportation.

The answer was a resounding NO!

We may be close to the Caribbean Sea which touches so many small islands where calypso and soca is dominant, but the moral fabric in Guyana is being washed away daily and as such we cling to the lewd dancehall genre popping straight out of Jamaica.

Vybz Kartel and Movado are dominating public transportation sound systems, but those are mixed with a tinge of conscious reggae that epitomizes the day-to-day economic and social struggles of numerous Guyanese.

The new bill which is yet to be enacted is worthless and meaningless in the Guyana context - a country plauged by corruption. This is a difficult and thorny problem that is unfortunately an omnipresent reality in many developing countries.

Corruption does not have a fixed character – it can change over time. Corrupt countries can show improvement, ‘clean’ countries can spiral downwards. This is the conclusion of Harry Seldadyo Gunardi, whose PhD research investigated worldwide corruption and administration. Gunardi who studied Economics of Development at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, also states that good or bad administration is generally regionally determined – the quality of the administration in neighbouring countries influences that in the country at issue.

Apart from sharing borders with Venezuela and Suriname, Guyana has not shifted its standing when it comes to corruption. How does this all fit in with the passage of new laws to govern music in public transportation? The fact remains that wanton corruption continues within the police force. Traffic cops continue to accept bribes and the drivers who continue to feed the cops between $1000 and $5000 (depending on the offence) are also guilty of the malpractice.

Because the Government has failed to at least look uncorruptable, servants of the state have adopted the general belief that corruption is acceptable. Hence, increasing fines for traffic offences, will likely create more avenues for corrpution. This means that a driver would prefer pay a bribe than risk being hauled infront a magistrate and being forced to pay a hefty $15,000 fine.

We have no doubt that the members of the august House of Assembly had good intentions when they emabrked on passing legislation to tackle loud music. A closer look of the problem is warranted.

Essentials when visiting Guyana

With Carifesta buzz hyping up and the dissapearance of any opposition protest of the event, we are encouraging Guyanese abroad, tourists and even our Caribbean brothers and sisters to come to Guyana.

Carifesta will be a smash, literally. Come for the fun, but before you travel consider this important fact (link) and secure yourself by shopping for one of these (Link)

Friday, August 08, 2008

take a bow Jagdeo...your economic legacy will be told

KNEWS Article:
2006 Auditor General’s report states Govt. abuses public funds…
Billions unaccounted for

Despite the fact that the Auditor General Report for Guyana came in one year late, it has proved to be very revealing.
The report on the audited public accounts of Guyana and on the accounts of ministries, departments and regions for the year ending December 31, 2006 has verified a complaint by the Parliamentary Opposition parties regarding the Contingencies Fund.
According to the report presented to the National Assembly by the Auditor General, the Contingencies Fund continued to be abused, with amounts drawn from the Fund being utilised to satisfy expenditure that did not meet the eligibility criteria as defined in the Act.
“According to the statement, amounts totalling $3.945 billion were drawn from the Fund by way of 138 advances….As at 31 December 2006, forty-nine of these advances, totalling $1.721 billion, remained outstanding.”
The report, which was made public yesterday, after it was presented to the Speaker the previous week, also noted that amounts totalling $579.438M were shown as contingent liabilities for entities that were no longer in existence, yet the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General’s Department have still not taken steps to have these liabilities transferred to the public debt.
As regards the affairs at Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD), the Department continued to request, and was granted, blanket waivers to award contract selectively. This selective tendering was done without the requisite pre-qualification of contactors and the invitation of at least three contractors to bid for these contracts.
The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation was also cited on the executive summary, and caused raised eyebrows.
According to the Auditor General, GPHC, which is now a separate entity from the Ministry of Health, continued to use the Ministry’s Cabinet approval (funds) to purchase drugs and medical supplies from specialised agencies both local and overseas.
$608.4 M SPENT ON MEDICAL SUPPLIES. HOSPITAL CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR PURCHASES“It did not re-tender or obtain a new no-objection from Cabinet for the purchases of drugs and medical supplies…Further, during 2006, amounts totalling $608.406M were expended on drugs and medical supplies…However, the corporation could not totally account for drugs and medical supplies purchased, since there was no central point of accountability.”
In relation to Customs and Trade Administration, the Auditor General noted 17 Permits for Immediate Delivery (PID), with a total value of $2.832 billion, had not yet been perfected at the time of the audit in January 2007.
Incoming vessels at ports in Guyana totalled 1,089. However, completed ship’s files in respect of 243 ships were not submitted to the Quality Review Section, and as such, were not made available for audit examination.
$11M PAID FOR ARMS, AMMO IN 2003, YET TO BE DELIVEREDIn relation to the Ministry of Home Affairs, it was noted that a quantity of arms and ammunition, to the value of $11.160M, which were paid for in 2003, had not yet been delivered, nor has the Ministry been able to recover the amount paid.
It was also noted in the report that several ministries and departments also recorded overstatements on their appropriation accounts, and the unspent amounts have not been refunded, “…Subvention agencies not returning the unspent portions of amounts paid over to them for specific expenditure.”The Auditor General also cited in his report what he called the overpayment of contracts.
“Several Ministries and Regions have not recovered amounts overpaid on various contracts in prior periods….In addition, some of these Ministries and Regions, such as, Education, Amerindian Affairs, Regions Two, Three, Six, Seven and Ten continued to have overpayments on various contracts during 2006…One such example was recorded under the Ministry of Education, where $10.982M was overpaid on eleven projects which were mainly for the rehabilitation and extension to schools.”
$13.6M SPENT ON HIRING VEHICLES FROM A PERSON HIRED AS A MAIDIn relation to the Guyana Defence Force, it was noted that the Force continued to hire vehicles from a civilian and members of the Force. During 2006, one hundred and one payments, totalling $13.697M, were expended on hiring of vehicles owned by one civilian, who is employed as a maid, and nine members of the Guyana Defence Force.
This was a serious breach of the regulations, which strictly prohibit sponsoring of tenders for Government contracts by Government Officers.
Gifts also raised eyebrows, with the Auditor General noting that the continued lack of reporting and accounting for all gifts to Ministries, Departments and Regions resulted in the miscellaneous receipts of $2.053B at December 31, 2006 being understated by an undetermined amount.
As it relates to bank accounts, several transfers from other accounts to the Consolidated Fund were not effected, and several accounts had overdrafts.
This was documented as follows:Transfers not effected(i) The amount of approximately $7.190 billion, representing balances held in 13 special accounts;(ii) The balance of $34.336M held in the General Account(iii) The balance of $527.139M held in Non-Sub Accounting Ministries and Departments’ Bank Account(iv) The balances of 66 inactive bank accounts, of which eight had balances in excess of $100M.
(b)Accounts with overdrafts were identified in two categories: the old Consolidated Fund bank account was overdrawn by $46.906 billion at 31 December 2006; and Forty-two inactive accounts had overdrafts totalling $685.991M. Of these accounts, 24 were overdrawn by amounts in excess of $1M.
The Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003 (FMA Act) provides for the regulation of the preparation and execution of the annual budget, the receipt, control and disbursement of public monies, and the accounting for public monies, and is the most vital legislation governing the transparent and efficient management of the finances of Guyana.
According to this Act, a number of Public Accounts Statements are required to be prepared and submitted.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sound Check!

is it us or is that BBC sound guy listening closely for signs of life at the President's crotch?

Rupunzel or Goldie Locks?

Computer training 101

Here, we have the goodly Minister of Home Affairs, Cement Rotie taking part in a computer training class for beginners...You are never too late to learn something new.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mc Skunt stink up de place

GC Article:
Noxious smell sickens persons in Camp Street area-
Some vomit, others pass out

By Clifford Stanley
Fire Service officials were last night investigating the possible source of a strong noxious smell which caused passers-by and business people in the vicinity of Camp and Charlotte Streets to become sick just around 16.00 hrs yesterday. Sources disclosed that the smell, which they described as “almost like cooking gas” lasted for about forty five minutes...(the rest is history).

Guyana 360: Come on Mr. Stanley. Any good journalist could have sniffed out the story behind this noxious smell. Actually, the smell emanated at the Office of the President and rumbled through the entire Robb Street before taking effect at Camp Street. Sources are telling us that McSkunt was testing one of his creations, dubbed the "Opposition poopsie" designed to knock out the enemy. Talk about a dirty bomb! Mc Skunt has been tasked with preventing another riot similiar to the one carried out by Mark Benschop (who might soon open a church) a few years ago when protestors stormed the Presidential Complex.

Growth for what?

Guyana's Idiotic News Agency (GINA) blasted the following headline on its website. Ever since the Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh signed those illigal concessions for QAII he has been on a rampage. Selected to head the finance ministry, Dr. Singh is a technocrat that is quickly becoming consumed by PPP/C corrupt practices.

GINA headline: Berbice expected to be a major growth centre for drugs-
Finance Minister-opens Corriverton branch of Narcotics Bank

Corbin should not be trusted

KN article:

Jagdeo Third Term… Out of the question-Corbin

A suggestion by the People’s Progressive Party’s member, Reepu Daman Persaud to seek to have the Constitution of Guyana amended to have President Bharrat Jagdeo serve a third term in office has been denounced by both of the main opposition parties.Regarding the votes that would be required from the PNCR to give the move a two-thirds majority at the National Assembly, Leader of the Party says, “Out of the Question.”The constitution was amended in the run up to the 2006 general elections to limit an individual to two terms in Office as President.Kaieteur News was told that the suggestion did garner much support from delegates at the congress during the plenary session, but was not moved as a motion or discussed in any great detail.General Secretary of the PPP, Donald Ramotar noted that the issue of a third term was not a matter of much concern to the party.Ramotar was speaking at a post-congress press briefing yesterday at Freedom House on Robb Street.Regarding the issue of Presidential Candidate for 2011, Ramotar insisted that the topic was not ventilated at the just-concluded congress, noting that there is enough time before the next General Elections.To date at least three Central Committee members have signaled their intentions to contest the presidential slot.The three are Ralph Ramkarran, Moses Nagamootoo and Donald Ramotar.

Govt. abusing newly acquired choppers, army sources

Remember those Bell choppers that were bought with our tax payers money to hunt down crimminals? Sources within the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) are saying that the army top brass is beginning to worry that the crafts are being used mostly for work connected with the PPP/C. One source referred to transporting party officials to interior locations at a time when fuel has skyrocketed. Hence it came as no surprise that one of the choppers was spotted over the PPP/C Congress. Tax payers money. According to another source, the plot follows a similiar line where a Minister requests the use of the chopper, but would be accomapnied by other party officials. Once on the ground, the army source said that the party officials would fan out and beging sprewing the party's message. The opposition has not said a word about this malpractice, but we have no connections whatsoever with the Government and we call it as we see it.

SN article: The Guyana Defence Force helicopter was also very noticeable in the vicinity during the day flying periodically over the venue and its environs.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Living the Jagdeo dream

Coming to Guyana

Citizens of Canada, the UK or the USA who plan to pay a visit to Guyana soon can do themselves a favour by reading the travel advisories posted by the Georgetown diplomatic missions of their countries of origin.
They can find a lot of helpful advice about their destination.
Public safety, of course, is the biggest concern. All three missions start from the premise that “crime levels in Guyana are high,” citing the January and February massacres at Lusignan and Bartica as defining events. Admitting, though, that most visits are trouble-free, the UK advises its citizens that “further attacks could take place anywhere in the country.”
The USA claims that the murder rate in Guyana is “three times higher” than the murder rate in the United States. Still, the incidence of armed robberies continues to rise, especially in major business and shopping districts, and assaults, pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, break-ins, armed robberies, car thefts, and carjacking are common occurrences, particularly in Georgetown. Mariners have also been advised to be vigilant and to take appropriate precautions against armed attacks on boats in the country’s waters.
Sadly, the perception has been that the response of local law-enforcement authorities to the increase in violent crime has been “largely ineffectual” and that, although the police are cooperative, they lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.
Road safety is another nightmare. The USA claims that the rate of traffic accident fatalities in Guyana is 70 per cent higher than in the United States. There is general agreement that road travel and traffic are hazardous because of very poor road surfaces; farm animals sleeping or wandering on the roads; pedestrians walking on the road; and poor driving habits, including speeding, reckless driving, tailgating, cell phone use, quick stops without signalling, failure to dim headlights, and weaving in and out of traffic.
Mini-buses have been blamed for the majority of fatal vehicular accidents in recent years and travellers are warned to avoid using them.
As with other aspects of public safety, the Guyana Police Force is responsible for road safety but, the missions say, the traffic department is ill-trained and ill-equipped.
Public health is the other major concern. Referring to the well-known facts that the inadequate garbage removal system has resulted in illegal residential and commercial dumping on the roadside and into the drainage system, and that decaying animal carcasses have been occasionally discovered in the intake canals for the Georgetown water supply, the conclusion was drawn that the “water supply system throughout the country should be considered contaminated.”
Epidemic diseases such as typhoid, malaria and dengue fever are common and data from the World Health Organization were cited to show that 1.6 per cent of the general population is infected with HIV − among the highest prevalence rates in Latin America and the Caribbean. The UK puts the prevalence rate at around 2.4 per cent of the adult population, in comparison to a rate of around 0.2 per cent among adults in the UK.Medical facilities were deemed to be “severely limited” and travellers were strongly advised to ensure that their insurance could cover the costs of medical evacuation. Medical care is available for minor medical conditions. Emergency care and hospitalisation for major medical illnesses or surgery, however, are limited, owing to a lack of appropriately trained specialists, “below standard in-hospital care” and poor sanitation.
The ambulance service is limited to transportation without any medical care and is frequently not available for emergencies.
For persons holidaying out of town, most major eco-tourist resorts and hotels were deemed not to possess written emergency plans. Many resorts do not have adequately stocked first-aid supplies and many others have safety deficiencies, including a lack of easily identifiable lifeguards or no lifeguards at all.
The picture painted by these perceptions is not a pretty one. Nor is it a misrepresentation of reality. With the Caribbean Festival of the Arts just a few days away, the Ministers of Home Affairs and of Health, respectively, should consider what they need to do to make the country safer and healthier and to convince friendly foreign countries and their citizens who wish to visit Guyana that they have done so

Mc Skunt at his/her best

Former Central Committee Member of the PPP, Harry Narine Nawbatt says he did not seek re-election to the Central Committee (CC) of the party at the just concluded 29th Congress of the party.
Nawbatt, who is Minister of Housing and Water, was nominated by a party group.
He however did not contest the election and as such he “did not lose his seat” on the Central Committee he said in response to a report in yesterday’s Stabroek News.

In addition, there is no new member on the Central Committee by the name of Jaffar Ali.

The information that ‘Jaffar Ali’ was among the names of persons elected to the CC was obtained from a press release sent to this newspaper by party media relations official Kwame McKoy. Instead Faizal M Jaffarally was re-elected.

Monday, August 04, 2008

New Look

To better serve our readers, Guyana360 will undergo reconstruction, which should last a few hours. Please bear with us

More of Jagdeo's legacy

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimmination (SASOD) has grown and more than likely before he leaves office, Guyana is likely to enact legislation encouarging same sex unions. You think this is preposterous? Think again. How else will Bharrat Jagdeo live in his pradoville mansion with his companion?

Update on PPP/C Congress votes

It is now 12:15 a.m. and more concrete information has come to hand about the voting at the PPP Congress. Note that Frank Anthony is the only married person in the top three, while there is a divorcee heading the list. Also interesting, is the fact that Moses Nagamootoo (5th) got more votes than the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon (6th)and Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud (9th). Persaud will have to up his game if he is going to compete for the presidential candidate spot and might do so by increasing his already over-burdened presence in the media. For those who are now following Guyana politics, Nagamootoo was at rift with the party and was once referred to by the President as a "wishywashie" (Guyanese term for no good). This by the way has no bearing on the party's election of a Presidential Candidate, but is a good indiaction of how the party's membership might sway.

1. Bharrat Jagdeo - 777 (Pretty woman walked out on him, yet to attract another)

2. Janet Jagan - 671 (Widow, living longer than those spiritual people predicted)

3. Dr Frank Anthony – 658 (married with an intellegent family)

4. Donald Ramotar – 637 (touted for the Presidential spot)

5. Moses Nagamootoo – 595 (Making a comeback in the party)

6. Dr Roger Luncheon – 588 (Has outlived his usefullness of dazzling the media)

7. Navin Chandarpal – 582 (Always around the party's top brass)

8. Gail Texieira - 558 (Not bad for a woman who might someday run for office)

9. Robert Persaud – 542 (Laugh...Laugh...laugh...let's stop we would laugh all night)

10. Indra Chandarpal – 524 (Party stalwart still going strong)

11. Clement Rohee – 507 (Dunce, that would give away Guyana to the Dominican Republic)

12. Clinton Collymore – 472 (Lapy Dog still drinking soup)

13. Komal Chand – 449 (unbeliveably still a trade unionist)

14. Ganga Persaud – 445 (Still around after being accused of molesting young female staffers)

15. Hydar Ally – 443 (Keeping the Jagan's legacy alive in the media)

16. Mustapha Zulfikar – 437 (major grassroot organisor)

17. Anil Nandlall – 436 (Hopefully the next Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General)

18. Ali Baksh – 430 (Major grassroot worker)

19. Dr Bheri Ramsaran – 393 (accused sex offender)

20. Irfaan Ali – 380 (Bright guy with a good future in economics)

21. Faizal Jafarally – 375 (Grassroot organisor)

22. Ralph Ramkarran – 374 (Presidential hopeful, but poor performance)

23. Harripersaud Nokta – 370 (Party stalwart credited for lively work in the interior of Guyana)

24. Ulric Ramanah – 363 (Looking for party mobility)

25. Neil Kumar – 362 (Always drunk, yet telling athletes to stay fit)

26. Dr Jennifer Westford – 360 (With those votes, she will go full circle, the President not looking woman)

27. Cyril Belgrave – 332 (Lappy dog still drinking soup)

28. Dharamkumar Seeraj – 332 (Bright ideas and better suited for Agriculture Minister)

29. Kellawan Lall – 324 (Always in a bar fight. he is known as the toughest minister)

30. Pauline Sukhai – 309 (Has been moving up the ranks)

31. Reepu Daman Persaud – 300 (needs to retire before he colapses and dies before Janet)

32. Moti Lall – 286 (Grassroot organisor)

33. Harinarine Baldeo – 270 (Hard worker)

34. Mitra Devi Ali – 251 (Seeking upward mobility in the party)

35. Shirley Edwards – 246 (Oh my! Still hanging around and being rewarded for helping to cover-up the existence of death squads in Guyana).