Monday, September 29, 2008
The DPP should be asked to resign at best. This is pissing poor judgement and the clearest evidence that the DPP is trying to protect the rich and punish the poor - an extension of the PPP/C.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The JS needs to tap some answers and do so quickly.
One thing is certain is that there is a group of men out there -God knows where-willing to create havoc and attack in droves. But, from what we are hearing, there is another group being armed to take out the splinters from the Fineman gang.
We may be in for a showdown!
In Guyana, we are not that smart to keep a wire on foreigners who appear to be leaning to criminal enterprises.
However, we are also similarly perturbed that a shipment of guns and ammunition slipped past our customs. Surely, the cameras set up by Sattur and viewed from Luncheon's office, should have picked up something. Unless, the shippers were carefree after striking a deal with high authority.
Who knows how many more may have gone unnoticed? How many AKs? How many lives lost through the shipment of these arms?
The ghost of so many of our citizens continue to wrestle daily and the living continue to have nightmares. We need to have this evil knot of violence untied - unraveled if you may.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Initiation of Security Cooperation Dialogue with Caribbean Leaders
In a September 25 meeting with leaders of the ( ) and the Dominican Republic, I announced the United States’ support for and commitment to begin immediately a wide-ranging U.S.-Caribbean security cooperation dialogue.
Through this dialogue, the United States and our Caribbean partners will identify the means to counter the threats posed to our citizens and our democratic states by illicit trafficking in drugs, persons, and weapons. We will also develop long-term solutions to the vulnerabilities that make our nations targets of exploitation by and cartels. In the coming months, the United States will work closely with our Caribbean partners to articulate a framework for expanding cooperation and marshalling resources in common response to these shared challenges.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The Tuesday September 23rd Stabroek News headlines exclaimed that Skeldon is set to have a bumper crop in the second half of this year, using the existing old Skeldon Factory. In view of their track record so far there is doubt that there will be anything bumper about it, but we will see.
Here is a summary of the predicament which our sugar industry finds itself in today and the reasons why this is so.
The People’s National Congress Reform – One Guyana (PNCR-1G) sees it mainly as five (5) massive failures of judgement and performance which are combining to produce the disaster that is yet to become fully understood.
1. In the very beginning of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) strategic plan 1998-2008, the Board of the company wrongly assumed that the sugar protocols and the preferential price for sugar could not be removed by the European Union; this was the first mistake in the Skeldon Sugar Expansion Project since it was based almost completely on this false assumption, so whilst Trinidad and Jamaica and other , which read the situation right, were diversifying and minimising their sugar industries, we were expanding ours with money we did not have.
2. The second major problem in our sugar industry today were the huge wage increases which were given to the sugar workers between 1990 to 2006, increases which GUYSUCO could not pay and be competitive in international markets, even with a preferential price and so they were forced to reduce the workforce by 10,000 workers between 1998 - 2008; but in reducing the workforce so drastically and rapidly, they in fact created a large-scale shortage of labour in the industry which is plaguing them today; what is incredible is that even though they reduced the workforce from 28,000 in 1992 to around 14,000 now with an estimated 4000 casual workers, the wage bill still keeps rising drastically whilst the price of sugar is falling.
3. The third major problem is the changing weather pattern in Berbice, which is now a huge hindrance to the expansion, especially the mechanisation aspects of the expansion of the cane cultivation necessary to supply the new 350 ton per hour factory with cane, I don’t think that people really understand what this bigger factory means in real terms, so let me put it this way, the current loading at Skeldon today is around 310 punts or around 1800 tons a day, the current Skeldon factory can grind at around 93 tons an hour and to grind continuously it requires 2232 tons a day! The new factory at 350 tons an hour would require 8400 tons a day! Last year Skeldon Factory according to GUYSUCO’S own figures, only ground around 64% of the time available to it during the two crop seasons; shortage of labour and bad weather preventing machines from reaping and loading the canes caused most of the stoppages. The bad weather has also hampered field expansion and planting. For example this year Berbice was budgeted to plough 2500 acres it only ploughed around 700 acres.
Even if that factory had started on time it would only be able to grind around 20 weeks a year. The PNCR-1G is amused at this claim that the Skeldon factory will be co-generating power, because it will only be giving power for about 20 weeks a year, and if the labour shortages continue with high rainfall preventing the machines from harvesting the canes, it will not be a continuous grinding and as a consequence there will be very little surplus power for supplying electrical power to the consumers of the (GPL).
4. The forth major problem which was badly conceived was in expecting that the farmers in Berbice at Skeldon were capable of planting an area of 10,000 acres which is a size equal to the entire Skeldon cultivation prior to the expansion. It will not happen. And because it will not happen and because the price of sugar has been reduced due to the loss of the European protocols, this entire project is looking more and more like the biggest economic disaster this nation has ever experienced. Nearly 200 million US dollars worth.
5. There is also evidence that the other GUYSUCO estates, despite claims by GUYSUCO, are being deprived of money to keep their operations economical and competitive, and this is due to a starvation of funds to the other estates due diversion of funds to complete this expansion at Skeldon.
To support these five (5) contentions we will now give what evidence there is on each one of them which have led us to these conclusions.
1. In the 2001 Review of the GUYSUCO 1998-2008 Strategic Plan we the PNCR-1G noted the following as stated: "efficiencies have improved immensely and, although overall employment has reduced from 28,000 to 18,000 the increased output means that an annual employee productivity, measured in terms of tons sugar per employee has improved from under 6 [tons per employee] to nearer 17 tonnes [per employee] in 1999. The corporation intends to continue this improvement in performance through the strategy outlined in the following pages" clearly therefore they knowingly and deliberately reduced the workforce by 10,000 employees.
2. In the same 2001 strategic review of the corporation on page 5 under EU market we see the following “the sugar protocol is of indefinite duration and cannot be changed unilaterally and is likely to remain a secure access”. We also see this on the same page “the assumption made in this review is that the SPS agreement will be renewed” which we all know now that this was absolute nonsense since the SPS has been withdrawn.
3. Even Minister Robert Persaud and GUYSUCO have now agreed that the weather in Berbice is not allowing them to proceed with their expansion plans; factories make sugar from and so you have to supply it with sugar cane but as of now there is not enough sugar cane for that new factory to operate successfully.
4. The farmers in Skeldon who were supposed to plant nearly 10,000 acres have actually only planted less than 400 acres.
5. In 2005 in one of the GUYSUCO reports we saw the evidence of starvation of funds when Albion for example asked for 529 million Guyana dollars to do its capital works and was only given $183 million dollars, Rose Hall asked for $414 million and was only given 193 million Guyana dollars and this starvation of funds to do capital works to keep the industry competitive has been a hallmark of the industry for the past 5 years, and we have paid the price; in 2007 these are the cost per pound figures for the various estates, now remember that we were told that the industry would have to produce at 12 cents a pound to be competitive; Skeldon 30 cents/lb, Albion 19 cents/lb, Rose Hall 19 cents/Lb., Blairmont 18 cents/Lb, Enmore 17 cents/Lb; LBI 26 cents/Lb, Wales 23 cents/Lb; ICBU 41cents/Lb. contrary to all projections by GUYSUCO, Enmore, a Demerara estate, had the lowest cost per ton in the industry.
The Board of Directors “all political appointees” runs GUYSUCO as a political organization for their supporters and not purely as a business. So no blame can be attached to Booker Tate in this matter of the wages being so high. In 1990 the sugar industry wages was 980 million but after the contracting of Booker Tate to run the company and to counter the effects of Hoyte’s Economic Recovery programme, they raised the sugar workers salaries to 2.7 billion in 1991, a nearly three hundred percent increase.
In 1992 the sugar workers salaries were doubled again by Tate to 4.8 billion dollars, after getting into power and not understanding that the sugar worker’s salaries were already adjusted for the ERP, the PPP awarded more increases which raised the sugar industry’s wage bill to 12 billion dollars by 2000, in itself a completely irresponsible act, the previous chairman Odit told us in 2002 that employment costs were now so high that the viability of the industry is threatened, and it has not stopped this escalation of the cost of employment, the Industry’s wage bill was16.6 billion dollars in 2006.
Since 2001 the sugar industry’s wage bill has amounted to over 63 percent of total costs.
No strike by the GUYSUCO workers or a few teething problems in the start up of the new Skeldon factory can be blamed for what appears to be one of the biggest economic disasters in this country’s history in the making, it only gives the corporation an excuse, to buy time.
Congress Place, Sophia
Thursday 25 September 2008.
We know those GINA quacks and foolhardy ghost writers managed by Shoooban will rush to defend the Government's track record by highlighting the fact that money was given to host the first Guyana Fashion Week. And money was given to help rebuild the Theater Guild, and Guyana hosted Carifesta (Despite it been a flop).
All of these were shams designed to blind us. The biggest sham thus far, is that youth choice programme ran by the dolphin shipper, Odinga. That programme was the biggest sham because as Johann Earle exposed in the Stabroek News, a number of the projects were while elephants, a real wastage of taxpayers money.
We never like to play the PPP trump card of race, but we have to place it on the table this time. The fact remains that mostly Afro-Guyanese are involved in the culture and sports, hence this present administration is not to keen to support such programmes.
In the absence of any genuine cultural and sports programme, we have crime...lots of it too.
One typical example, Guyana did not participate in the recent Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) Games because as we heard, there was lack of funding. These games which are for kids 16 and under, have emerged as the stepping stone for a number of the regional athletes that we are now hearing. Veronica Campbell and Barbados' Thompson are just a few names that we can recall off the top of our heads.
And by the way, the media never dared to ask about the Guyana opting out of the games. It would be interesting to know what will Guyana team look like at the inaugural Caribbean Championships slated for Trinidad and Tobago next July.
At least information about the holding of this Championship has been made available for months now, but we expect Guyana to be rushing in June to assemble a team. And when they do, funding will be a problem, although the venue is T&T.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Like many right thinking Guyanese, we would have preferred to have the two men taken into custody so that the numerous ghosts that haunt this nation can finally be removed. In the emotional scheme of things, we have heard mostly Afro-Guyanese mutter words of disbelief that these men for whom wanted bulletins were issued, were killed and now rest rotting instead of before the courts spitting revelations of their escapades.
What really pinched our nerves here at Guyana 360 was the heckling of Lincoln Lewis, who spent recent time abroad serving the regional trades union umbrella. He professes to speak on behalf of oppressed Afro-Guyanese workers. Luckily, none of us here are Afro-Guyanese.
His argument about purported criminals being killed by police when they could have easily been arrested holds some truth. They have been such cases -the Mandela Avenue trio and Blackie quickly spring to memory.
However, in this case, Lewis is far off course - so far that a GPS or a Google Map will be of no use to him. We would certainly have visited Lewis to sit him down and knock some sense into his pee wee brain. As one who sits on the 'side of truth', you have to be smart and know when to harp. Don't be like our neighbour's dog, barking just for the sake of it.
Several times, the police issued wanted bulletins for Fineman and some of his associates including Skinny and yet they opted to parade across the landscape. Isn't it ironic that Lewis never thought to publicly encourage his black brothers to turn themselves in and face the law.
We would hate to think that Lewis was cheering on the guys as they went about plunging fear into Guyana. Fineman had the means by which to ensure that he was captured alive or that he went to police unhurt.
There was a former Amy guy living on the East Coast who the military expressed an interest in speaking with immediately following the 2002 jail break. This army rank who had absconded had made arrangements through some media operatives to be present when he turned himself over to the army. The plan worked like a charm.
Fineman was able to call Kaieteur news to issue a bloody treat to this nation, yet he never sought to arrange with Adam Harris, whom he contacted at brief intervals, to arrange his arrest.
Lewis, there was a window of opportunity - a window that Skinny got and later choose to close it by escaping custody. We are not going to delve into the fact that there was a shootout. The fact remains that had these two people turned themselves in, there would have been no shootout, this debate would not have been and no one would have visited you to say hello.
Let's be sensible about the realities of the situation in Guyana. Perhaps Lewis and others are running scared that there might be no force left to really challenge law and order in Guyana at least not now, at least not for the remainder of this year. The PNCR recognises this fact when they stated that the deaths of the two men gave the Government an opportunity. In reality, the PNCR is saying that the Government has a chance to quickly to regroup and focus on where it wants to take this country before the gang reforms with a new leader.
Its the cycle of crime that continues to ride innocent Guyanese. Mistrust is everywhere. Travel in a taxi, a minibus, or just engage anyone at any bus park and they would tell you that the Government and law enforcement officials had clandestine reasons to take out both wanted men.
After all, the deaths of Frazer, one of the most feared cops in the history of policing in this country and George Bacchus are still being cast under the hand of this PPP/C administration or at least some mafia-type, KGB secret organisation condoned by the Government. They say the 'Phantom Squad' is Guyana's equivalent.
True or false, it has never been proven and there is wide spread belief of a 'squad' in existence tied to some of the wealthiest people, most of whom would have acquired their wealth through nefarious activities. Evidence exist in the fact that following the Lusignan slayings, many Indians felt that the weakening of a 'squad' may have lead to the return of criminals on the lower East Coast. Again, this is part of many widely held beliefs that have never been brought to the fore, except through a Death Squad inquiry with weak terms of reference. The main witness that stirred authorities to establish the commission was later killed.
Apart from the Lusignan and Bartica killings, one particular incident that occurred during the reign of Fineman, has really affected us almost to the point where we were ready to promote some vigilante response. We vividly remember the news splashed across the front page of the Kaieteur News of the killing of Dexter Barry, a young Afro-Guyanese who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A young man well loved by his family and friends, living alone, just waiting for an approval from the US embassy to join the rest of his family.
It never happened, instead his family joined him back in Guyana to bid farewell.
The police found the murder weapon that snuffed out his life lying besides the lifeless body of Fineman. He may not have been the shooter at the time, but for all intent and purposes he was found with the weapon so we will presume he was.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
If this KN article is true as we suspect it is, then Irfan Ally has just become the fastest to scale up the ladder within the PPP/C, outdoing Robert Persaud and Bharrat Jagdeo as young PPP/C members to break into the Ministerial ranks at a relatively early stage of their political journey.
Ally is a sharp economist, fitting the description of Bharrat Jagdeo in his younger days at the Ministry of Finance.
Ally is a young, fairly untainted community organiser who worked tirelessly during the post-flood era, heading up the Government's flood relief payout scheme at the Ministry of Finance. Ally is currently a Parliamentary backbencher for the PPP/C and is now likely to move to the front to sit face-to-face with the ugly goons on the other side of the floor. That is the reason why the PNCR has placed all of it's ugliest people in the frontbench, to scare the young MPS on the Government side.
Here in lies the President's problem and his roadside stone that will possibly see his third term ambitions fail. The representative of the Nominations Lists is PPP General Secretary, Donald Ramotar. While Jagdeo decides who sits in Cabinet, Ramotar ultimately decides who sits in the National Assembly. And those who sit in the National Assembly will have to decide if they will stand with the PNCR and give the two-thirds vote for Jagdeo to continue another term.
This is where MPs who are not Cabinet members can opt to disobey the Jagdeo establishment and swing with Ramotar going forward. After all, Ramotar has thrown his hat in the ring as possible canidates to carry the PPP/C governmental reign beyond 28 years. Unless of course, the Jagdeo wand holds more weight in the party than is publicly perceived.
There are lots of persons to choose from the Party's National Top Up list submitted at the last elections in 2006, but it will be interesting to see who Ramotar replaces Ally with. Maybe he can cherry pick number 22 on the Party's National Top Up List, Pastor Kwame Gilbert, who has been seriously sucking up to the PPP/C of late. His choice will give the PPP/C religious depth.
Ramotar can continue with fresh faces in the back bench and opt for number 42 on the National Top Up List, Shyam Nokta, a consultant and son of long-serving member, Harripersaud Nokta. If Ramotar wants to really go for a fresh face then number 65 on the list is as green as it gets - Natasha Waldron, a former editor and anchor at NCN. If former sports journalist, Steve Nanvalle can do it then Waldron can too.
And then, there is also Brian Yong an IT entrepreneur.
If this KN article is true as we suspect it is then this group will have to look for new sources
He noted that information at hand also suggested that structural problems have been discovered which have caused the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s administration to hastily commence repairs of the old factory.
The party called for the revelation of the truth, saying that it was a Governmental responsibility.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), in a statement last evening, sought to clarify its position by saying that the new factory at Skeldon is a turnkey project, which meant that the responsibility for the design, construction, commissioning and handing over of the factory is with the Chinese.
“They started commissioning the factory on August 25, 2008, and encountered some
problems…It is the responsibility of the contractor to rectify any problems, and Guysuco will not take over the plant until it has been fully tested and proven, as stated under the terms of the contract.”
The statement added that the old factory at Skeldon was deliberately left intact at the end of the first crop as a contingency measure in the event of any unforeseen problems with the commissioning of the new factory.
“Plans that were already in place are being activated to start up the old factory to ensure that the current crop can be taken off.”
GUYANA 360: Where is Robert Montgomery Persaud (Monty)
Police say that the suspect is at present before the courts for sexual attacks on two women from the community.
Kaieteur News understands that he is also a suspect in Thursday’s attack at the Wismar Hospital, in which bandits invaded the compound and robbed two nurses, while raping one of the victims in the process.
According to reports, the suspect had entered the yard of businessman Philip Fordyce, when residents spotted him and raised an alarm.
The businessman, who owns a licensed handgun, armed himself and discharged a few rounds at the intruder, reportedly wounding him in the stomach and shoulder.
However, the suspect scaled Fordyce’s front fence and escaped, leaving a trail of blood in the yard.
According to reports, the blood trail ended in Silver Hill, almost a mile away from Fordyce’s home.
Police officials say that the suspect was charged in 2007 in connection with two women who were attacked in their homes. One of the women managed to wound the intruder, and the suspect was arrested after he was found with a similar injury.
However, he reportedly was granted bail on the two charges, as well as on a third charge regarding the theft of a firearm.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Stabroek News' Cathy Wilson on Linden Hospital attack: A nurse was on Wednesday night attacked and raped by an armed man at the Upper Demerara Hospital at Wismar, while her colleague was forced to watch.
Legally, there might be no distinction between rape and sexual assault. Sexual assault has a more broad definition that includes any unwelcome sexual contact, either direct or through clothing, which is committed by threat, force, or without the consent of the other person. The police appear to have dressed over this incident, leaving citizens to believe that the nurse in question was merely fondled or as they say in Guyana "feel up".
What is the police hiding or why is the police seeking to downplay the seriousness of the crime committed. According to an analogy made very popular by Barack Obama, you can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. In this case, the police is trying to blind us with lipstick.
Perhaps, just perhaps, Miss Wilson's report is not factual.
Defreitas said that he checked her pulse but wasn’t feeling anything. He went on to say that he ran into his office where he got methylated spirits, Limacol and shilling oil and ran back out to apply it her face but got no response.“I suspected she was dead but I still held on to her in case my speculations were wrong” Defreitas said.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Here is the silly part. Jones was walking along the road on his way home when he was confronted by an unidentifiable man who discharged a round at him and escaped. Any sillier and we shipping out.
Here is another interesting incident that occurred today in Linden at the Wismar Hospital Complex, Blue Berry Hill. We think this must be some of fineman's gang members in Linden turned loose without a leader.
Two female nurses attached to the hospital were attacked and robbed by two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun. One of the victims was also sexually assaulted during the incident. Shameful.
The two victims were in the casualty ward of the Hospital when they were confronted by the two bandits who held them up and took away their jewellery, two cell phones, a watch and a portable DVD player. One of the men then sexually assaulted one of the nurses after which they made their escape.
We know a few nice people from Linden and they believe that this attack was carried out by persons not residents of Linden.
"Most of the nurses you know and you interact with them. This caant be someone from Linden, I telling you," a good friend from Linden said. We had to remind her that with the bleek economic situation in the once economically thriving bauxite town, crime was certainly a quick way to make a buck. A gun in hand knows no friend.
Khan and Simels got them?
Was it Fineman's ghost?
Did they finally get eaten by those big, black mosquitos?
Was it one of Mc Koy's smelly bombs?
Were they kidnapped by SASOD?
Was it Killaman Lall or Ghilhuys that fired the deadly shot...We know they hardly miss?
Must have fell over into one of those pit latrines.
No contact for a while today and we are very, very, very suspicious that something is wrong, especially with the numerous fights in the blog sphere of recent.
Whatever it is, the fellas over here, will surely not be missed.
After so many, many, years of tormenting the status quo of this nation, the delete button finally came under the mouse click. It’s distressing to say the least friends. Gone so soon and although we never met, there is an inclination buried deep somewhere in our neighbours latrine which speak to missing them.
Update: Everything appears to have returned to normalcy.
The PNCR is deeply concerned about continuing reports that Oliver Hinckson has been placed in solitary confinement, without proper procedures being observed, shunted from police station to police station, repeatedly denied bail and, generally, being harassed by the Jagdeo PPP/C Administration.
It seems that the conditions are being created to harm Oliver Hinckson physically or to break his spirit. In the circumstances, where the security forces seem to have been given licence for such violations against Mr. Hinckson, matters could easily get out of hand with potentially disastrous consequences. Guyanese will remember that it was such unsavoury and illegal methods that led to the recent death of Edwin Niles.
The PNCR wishes to make it quite clear that the safety and well being of Oliver Hinckson is a direct responsibility of the Jagdeo regime and, therefore, if any harm should come to him, the Administration would be accountable to the Guyanese people.
It is time that the Jagdeo Administration understands that the continued suppression of the rights of individual citizens is highly provocative and can lead to consequences which will have a negative impact on the political and economical development of this society.
The Jagdeo Administration must drop the pretence that Hinckson is being tried for sedition and encouraging others to commit a terrorist act. Oliver Hinckson is a political prisoner. Nothing which is said or done by the Jagdeo Administration, at this time, suggests otherwise.
The PNCR has followed recent reports that the lawyer representing Roger Khan has been arrested for allegedly planning the elimination and the neutralising of key witnesses in the case against Khan. What is indeed alarming and what has been made clear in the excerpts in the court documents, is that the “phantom squad”, on the orders of Roger Khan, was supposed to carry out this exercise. Indeed, here is confirmation that Khan is the head of the “phantom squad” which every Guyanese knows operates both in and out of Guyana . These revelations have confirmed what the PNCR has been saying all along, that is, Khan has used “phantom squads” to carry out his biddings and the activities of his criminal enterprise.
These revelations are all the more important because Khan has admitted a relationship with the Jagdeo Administration. In statements he made before his arrest in drug cartels. , Khan boasted that he had been engaged in crime fighting activities to support and protect the Jagdeo Administration. On the basis of the foregoing evidence such crime fighting activities had to be done by the “phantom squad.” Its stands to reason therefore that Jagdeo and his cohorts cannot pretend to be unaware of what Roger Khan and his criminals were doing. The bombshell revelation of today are a further indication that as the pre-trial and actual trial take place it will emerge with even greater clarity that the Jagdeo Administration was in bed with Roger Khan, his “phantom squad” and the
The PNCR believes, that based on the confirmation by the US courts that Khan was head of the “phantom squad” which operated in Guyana , the Commissioner of Police and other law enforcement agencies must immediately begin an investigation into the extra-judicial killings of more than three hundred (300) Guyanese citizens between 2002 and 2004 by the Roger Khan criminal enterprise.
Khan's defense attorney, Robert Simels, was arrested Wednesday and "charged with attempting to arrange the murder of the main witness against Khan who is allegedly head of the murderous "Phantom Squad ," which the US Court has said has already killed over 200 persons in Guyana.
The alleges in a federal complaint that he paid hit-man "$1,000 for the hit" to a hit-man. Simels's instruction to the hit-man included "strict orders not to kill the witness' mother." The complaint states that Simels attempted to "eliminate" and "neutralize" the witness. The hit-man turned out to be a government informant.
The US Justice Department say that on June 19, Robert Simels met with the government informant in his office and paid $1,000 for the murder of the witness.
The conversation which was caught on tape, according to the federal complaint, proceeded as follows:
Here's a thousand dollars to get started.
Government Informant: Alright, no problem.
Simels: Um, all he (Kahn) says is be careful. He says don't kill the mother.
Government Informant: Don't kill the mother
Simels: He said you know, said just, just...
Government Informant: So what other option would he prefer?
Simels: He doesn't want you anywhere near her.
Government Informant: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, I, I can't get anywhere near it. That's why I'm asking about other options does he prefer, you know? So I can know what I'm doing I do exact so what, what I know well he can't say well you know I didn't approve it.
Simels: Well, he'd like as much pressure being put on (John Doe #1) as possible. Uh, but he thinks that if (John Doe #1)'s mother gets killed that...
Government Informant: ...it takes.
Simels: The government will go crazy. Uh, and he's probably right.
CGID President, Rickford Burke said that the Institute has for years exposed the fact that Khan Phantom has been engaged in murder for hire in Guyana with impunity. Burke alleged that "The President of Guyana and the Guyana government is aware of this but has done nothing to eliminate the gang or investigate its murder because Khan activities have protected the government and have sometimes been on behalf of the Jagdeo administration.
It has obdurately refused to launch an investigation into these mass murders. There have been credible allegations and evidence that the Phantom death squad has executed over 200 individuals allegedly under the direction of former Minister of , , Roger Khan and others who remain in the Guyana government.
Mr. Gajraj was forced to resign after leaked phone records revealed hundreds of telephone communication between his cell phone and that of a Phantom death squad leader, Axel Williams, and the US State Department announced that he was linked to crime. Williams was later himself executed. Prior to his death, Gajraj had approved an upgrade in his gun license, while he was under indictment for murder. This is another manifestation of the poisonous corruption of the Jagdeo regime and its complicity with criminals.
Burke noted that CGID expressed concern when Simels when to Guyana and named the witnesses in Khan's trial at a press conference, putting their lives and that of their families in imminent danger. Burke said that "I was therefore pleased when ruled on May 13 that Khan should face an anonymous jury because his criminal network poses a danger to the safety and security of the jurors.
Burke said that all Guyanese must express outraged Khan and his Attorney would allegedly attempt to export their murder for hire practice from to the United States. His said that the Guyana government should be made to account for its complicity with Khan for the past ten years.
The Federal Complaint Khan and his Attorney may be seen here:
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
1) The AK-47 rifle with Serial No# 415233 found on Jermaine Charles called ‘Skinny’ was one of the rifles stolen from the Guyana Defence Force and was used at the murder scenes listed below:
· Murder at Canal No#2 Polder, West Bank Demerara on 2006-10-25.
· Murder committed on two (2) persons at Agriculture Road, East Coast Demerara on 2007-12-16.
· Murder committed on eleven (11) persons at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara on 2008-01-26.
· Murder committed on three (3) policemen and nine (9) other persons at Bartica on 2008-02-17.
· Murder committed on eight (8) persons (miners) at Lindo Creek between 2008-06-20 and 2008-06-23.
2) Secondly, the AK-47 rifle #9351441 found on Rondell Rawlins called ‘Fineman’ was one of the firearms used at the following crime scenes:
· Murder committed on three (3) MMC Security Guards at Two Brothers Gasolene Station at Eccles, East Bank Demerara on 2006-02-26.
· Murder committed on Hannah Cameron and David Brummell at Lot 40 Second Street, Agricola, East Bank Demerara on 2006-02-26.
· Murder committed on Lauvern Scott at Lot 115 Third Street, Agricola, East Bank Demerara on 2006-02-26.
· Murder committed on Satyadeow Sawh and three (3) other persons at La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara on 2006-04-22.
· Murder committed on Professional Guard Service Security Personnel, Dexter Barry at Agricola Public Road, East Bank Demerara on 2007-08-18.
· Murder committed on two (2) MMC Security Personnel, Warren Hutson and Rodwell Clarke at Sheribana Landing, Essequibo River on 2007-10-01.
· Murder committed on eleven (11) persons at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara on 2008-01-26.
· Murder committed on three (3) policemen and nine (9) other persons at Bartica on 2008-02-17.
Mr. John Sauers
As previously reported by Media Critic, a videographer captured footage of Akon appearing to knock one woman off of a camera platform in the crowd, then pushing another woman off seconds later. His rep says that their raw video (scroll down to watch) shows the singer’s actions were not intentional.
“The unedited footage shows Akon struggling to find his balance and accidentally knocking into her (one woman),” said Akon’s rep. “He did not let her fall and gave her a hug and then they started dancing. You can see her smiling.”
A statement from concert promoters Hits and Jams Entertainment reads: “We are shocked to hear that there is a video clip circulating that suggests Akon treated a fan badly during his August 30th performance in Guyana. There were no incident reports stemming from the event. Despite a late start, the concert was a tremendous success and we hope that Akon will come back soon.”
The incident came just a year after he was charged by police for allegedly throwing a fan into the crowd during a gig in Fishkill, N.Y.
AKON TO STAND TRIAL FOR FAN-TOSSING
September 4, 2008 by Ryann Hayman
Fishkill Town Justice Harold Epstein ordered the singer back in court on December 1 for the start of his jury trial, reports E! Online. If convicted of both his charges – endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment – he faces a maximum of one year and 15 days behind bars.
Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Anthony Parisi has requested that Akon’s attorney, Andrea Zellan, try to work out a deal within the next two weeks to avoid a trial, reports E! Akon’s lawyers released a statement expressing a willingness to settle the case.
"We are pleased that Judge Epstein adjourned the case to a date certain for either a trial or a negotiated resolution,” the statement read. “Akon looks forward to putting this incident behind him, and in the meantime, he will continue to meet every requirement set forth by the court.”
The police said yesterday that the gun used by above the law Magistrate, Gordon Gilhuys in the June 26 shooting incident was unlicensed for this year but no explanation was given by the force as to why a charge was not preferred in relation to this.
The police also disclosed that the firearm had been loaned and licensed to the magistrate by a former police commissioner who it did not name.
Following the incident, the above the law magistrate was released on station bail and subsequently went on leave from the bench. There has been no indication on whether he will resume his duties at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court in light of the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) recent recommendation that no charges be laid against him.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The fire, which started at around 23:00 hours, completely destroyed three huge bonds rented by CARI AIR, which is owned by local businessman Peter Ramsaroop.
Isn't this the same Ramsaroop that came here and started a storm against the Government and recently attacked the administration's agricultural policy. Oh yes, he embarrass the Government's shabby processing plant in Sophia, after he decided to build a state of the art plant himself. Mr. Ramsaroop has learned the hard way, just as his new friend Glenn Lall is learning. You can't beat the Government. This is not the upperclass areas of New York. Around here, the PPP/C run things.
Monday, September 08, 2008
What is missing from the document is an enumeration of these stakeholders. It strengthens the position of the Guyana Government if it can show its regional partners that the entire country does not want its government to sign on to the EPA. There is nothing wrong with the society endorsing the President’s stance. Everything is wrong if stakeholders’ names are cited and their input did not exist.
My understanding is that a two-hour period was set aside for public participation at the one-day consultations held at the Convention Centre last Friday, under the title
“Plenary Discussions.” It lasted under three hours. It was at this stage one saw stakeholders’ participation. But the inclusion was not what one had envisaged when the President spoke about “consulting his people.”
The impression one got was that a select team of government ministers, including President Jagdeo, would ask stakeholders to consider his rejection of the EPA with a view of endorsing his call for not signing.
One would assume that, after his factual presentation, each consulted organization would examine the details and then arrive at judgement.
What happened on Friday afternoon, as I argued in my Saturday piece, was far removed from what one envisaged when the President proclaimed that there would be no signing unless he “consulted his people.”
Surely, two hours of public participation from the floor at the session last Friday at the Convention Centre cannot be interpreted as consensus from Guyanese stakeholders. If the Government of Guyana was to inform the EU and its Caricom partners that there is national agreement on the repudiation of the EPA in its present shape using language that GINA put out, then that would not be a correct picture of what took place at the Convention Centre.
GINA’s press release stated: “Opposition, political parties, trade union movements, private sector, religious bodies and other non-governmental organizations unanimously called on regional leaders not to sign….” The Chronicle, in its Saturday report, stated that there was representation from academia. UG is on recess for asbestos cleaning, and I am not aware that its Academic Board has met in statutory form to ponder on the EPA.
As I wrote above, one cannot quarrel with the presentation. My point is how factual is it.
Prior to the Convention Centre meeting, only two stakeholders were quoted in the press that they were in agreement with President Jagdeo — the Rice Producers Association and the Private Sector Commission.
The PNC holds a weekly press conference, yet it never mentioned anything about the EPA. Is it not strange that there is now a “Guyana Consensus” on the EPA arising from the efforts of President Jagdeo and there are no press statements from the different organizations in Guyana? We have heard nothing from the TUC. In my column yesterday, I left out the WPA and ACDA.
Were they involved in the “plenary discussions” at the Convention Centre? Yesterday’s editorial of the Chronicle observed that a “Guyana Consensus on the EPA has resulted from President Jagdeo’s initiative” Can GINA and the Chronicle list the members of the Guyana Consensus?
If there is national support, one wonders if it will hold after the rest of Caricom signs on to the EPA this week. Sir Shridath Ramphal has introduced an unanticipated equation into the entire episode. Sir Shridath warns Guyanese that they have to factor into the situation the repercussions of Guyana not signing. It would mean that the economy will be damaged.
He asks, if this happens, if the Guyanese people would be willing to stand alongside its Government. He opines that the Guyana Government would not want to take that risk “without the concurrence of the opposition parties and the trade union movement, because when the pressure is on, all would have to bear it collectively.”
The key word here, again, is “consultation.” If the economy will suffer from non-signing, what form would the dialogue take between the opposition parties and trade union on the one hand, and the Government of Guyana on the other, to consider how to cushion the negative effects? Would it take the form of two hours of “plenary discussion,” as we had last Friday at the Convention Centre?
On the controversy with the confirmation of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Corbin spoke of meaningful consultation. If our economy is going to stagnate because we oppose European bullying, should we not at least try inclusive governance in the hard times that lie ahead? Maybe a political miracle is about to dawn on Guyana.
I refer to an editorial in the Stabroek News dated Monday September 08, 2008 and several other letters written about the matter of Magistrate G. Gilhuys. The force though constrained has of necessity to respond to the public concerns about its role.
The Stabroek News stated that Commissioner Greene’s explanation that where cases revolve around policemen they prefer another opinion is completely invalid and unconvincing considering that in less clear cut cases involving the police, charges have been preferred without reference to the DPP. This dogmatic statement by the Stabroek News is another attempt to besmirch the image of the Guyana Police Force. This is coupled with subsequent statements that the Force avoids taking tricky decisions by sending the file to the DPP Chambers.
This is another spurious statement. The office of the DPP was established to provide legal advice to the Police Commissioner and that advice is constantly sought. The Force wishes to challenge the Stabroek News to provide one instance of “less clear-cut cases” involving police charges which have been preferred without reference to the DPP. If the Stabroek News cannot so do it should withdraw these remarks.
To deal with more legitimate concerns, the Force has been dogged by concerns over the “deficient statements”, as stated by the DPP.
On July 04, 2008, the DPP requested the Police to do further investigations into the issues now captioned under these words “deficient statements”. The investigators made every effort to clear up the issues as far as possible. Note that Cpl. George unto then had not been found fit enough to provide a statement.
A statement was procured on advice of his attending physician on July 16 and the file was returned to the DPP on July 28.
In relation to the issues to be clarified, one Doctor stated that he could not determine what calibre of firearm was used from the injuries or which were the entry and exit wounds. The surgeon who operated on Cpl. George recovered no warhead nor could he determine entry and exit wound. Clearly, no deficiency lay with the Police statements. Perhaps the DPP meant that the statements did not provide sufficient evidence in her opinion to prefer a charge.
The Police ranks were wearing regulation uniform, i.e. dark blue, (anti-crime) and brown and black special constabulary. Cpl. George wore a helmet marked “POLICE”.
The Force administration ascribed no issues to the area where the ranks were found as there are no specific routes to travel on return to base. Ranks may act based on and/or observation and information as it relates to patrol.
It is hoped that these comments put to rest concerns of any complicity where the Force’s administration is concerned. The firearm used by Magistrate Gilhuys is a police firearm loaned and licenced to him by a former Police Commissioner. However, the licence was not in force for 2008.
The Police received the file from the DPP on August 28 with advice of no charges. The subsequent statement by Cpl. George requesting no criminal proceedings was not sent to the DPP by the Guyana Police Force.
Press Relations & Press Officers (ag)
We live in a country where many important public officers are functioning in an acting capacity. We have an acting Chancellor, Chief Justice, Commissioner of Police and Auditor General among others. Against this background one would have thought that when acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack was appointed to the substantive position of DPP by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) this would have made the headlines either through the GINA medium or the goodly doctor's weekly press briefing. It made neither.
In an ordinary world such an appointment would hardly raise eyebrows since the average citizen would readily assume that such an important constitutional office would be filled by the most competent and qualified applicant through a transparent and procedurally proper process. Moreover, the selection and appointment is done by an august and highly venerated constitutional body known as the Judicial Services Commission.
Regrettably, the appointment of the DPP leaves more questions than answers. Here is a background to the appointment.
In late 2005 there was a public advertisement placed in the newspapers inviting applications for the office of DPP. There were two applications. Shalimar Ali-Hack who was acting DPP applied and Arif Bulkan, a brilliant and highly respected local lawyer submitted his application by hand on 12th January 2006 to Mrs. Chandra Jagnandan the Secretary of the JSC. His application was accompanied by recommendations by two Justices of Appeal: Justice Ian Chang S.C. and Justice Claudette Singh. At the time Arif was in the final year of the PhD programme at the Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada. The JSC never formally acknowledged receipt of Bulkan's application and he never heard from them.
The rest of 2006 passed as well as 2007 without any communication to Bulkan. In April of 2008 the JSC met and quietly confirmed Ali-Hack to the substantive position of DPP. Reliable sources have informed me that the application of Bulkan was never considered at that April meeting or at any previous meeting. In fact, the members of the Commission were told that there was only one application –that of Ali-Hack. This appointment never made the news until June when Stabroek News alone carried an article on the confirmation. The JSC never saw it fit to even interview Mr. Bulkan. One would expect where there are two applications for a position then both applicants would be interviewed unless the credentials of the second applicant are so unimpressive so as to render consideration and an interview wholly unnecessary.
However, in the instant case the credentials of Bulkan are preeminent both academically and professionally. Dr. Bulkan is a legal scholar par excellence. He has now graduated with a PhD in Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada joining an elite few of brilliant Guyanese lawyers with doctorates such as Dr. Fenton Ramsahoye, Dr. Mohamed Shahabudeen, Dr. Bertie Ramcharran and Dr. Barton Scotland.
Prior to that Dr. Bulkan graduated with a Masters in Law from University College London, University of London with a distinction. He served for many years in the DPP Chambers under acting DPP Ian Chang leaving as Assistant DPP to become a magistrate. After serving for some time as a magistrate he resigned to pursue a career in private practice. He has eighteen years of practice at the Bar.
I don't think any decent Guyanese citizen could object to a process that is transparent where two applicants are considered, interviewed and the better candidate chosen. However, these circumstances demonstrate that proper procedure was not followed. The JSC only considered one application and completely ignored/discarded Dr. Bulkan's application.
In my humble opinion Dr. Bulkan was the more eminently qualified candidate and it is a travesty that the JSC did not see it fit to extend the courtesy of formally acknowledging receipt of his application and inviting him for an interview. He would have shone and in my opinion the disparity would have been so great there would have been no other alternative but to recognise that he was the more qualified applicant. Further, it is also my opinion that Dr. Arif Bulkan would have been the breath of fresh air – indeed the renaissance – to revitalise a deeply stagnated DPP's Chambers. He would have met regularly with the young State Counsel providing the necessary guidance and legal stewardship they so desperately need. In short, he would have been able to provide the requisite and necessary leadership to lift those Chambers out of the oblivion that it has sank to thus enabling the Chambers to realise its true potential and fulfil its statutory mandate.
Guyana is much poorer for not allowing men of the calibre of Dr. Bulkan to serve his country. He has now taken up a position at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus to teach law. We wish him well in his endeavours. It is indeed sad that while we are complaining about a paucity of available human resources and the brain drain phenomenon; ironically, we are actively encouraging the most brilliant of us to seek employment outside of the shores of Guyana. Does this sound familiar?
Saturday, September 06, 2008
FREDDIE KISSOON is now calling Guyana Chronicle letter writers ghost with fictitious ethnic names. This is what he said in his Kaieteur News Column.
“Look at the Chronicle letter columns in these times. Five pieces are penned each day by writers using false names. In almost all instances, the signatures are not Indian names but Christian ones. This is to create the impression that quite a large number of non-Indians support the PPP because look how many of them write missives in the Chronicle eulogising the Guyana Government. Out of those five one must be on Frederick Kissoon.”
“I feel the way Cheddi Jagan felt in the sixties. In “The West on Trial” Jagan bitterly complained about the Chronicle’s attacks on him. It is my turn to cry about the Chronicle. But look who owns it today.”
Poor Freddie I have yet again more bad news for you.
Please spare us your pains and not equate yourself to Cheddi Jagan.
Freddie Kissoon you are no Cheddi Jagan.
You are no way even close to Cheddi Jagan.
You are not even qualified to hold a glass of water for Cheddi Jagan.
The most you can do is fetch Cheddi Jagan’s shoes.
Freddie you are more like the fox and the sour grape.
You know the rest of the story.
Freddie, this is politics we are talking about.
What you are talking about is something else.
The PPP/C Government does not have to use fictitious people to promote their agenda.
The PPP/C was elected by the people for the people and you and your PNCR cannot stomach it.
This is not about Indian and African Guyanese. This is politics in case you didn't know.
I hope you watched the Republican Convention.
You tell me and tell the world how many times the Republicans use the name of their own Republican President George Bush at their Republican Convention.
Like one Republican Senator said and said it best ' if republicans were a brand name dog food it would be pulled from the shelf '.
Freddie, the same could be said for you and your PNCR party.
I still dare you to go tell the PNCR that every election held since 1992 were free fair and transparent.
Don't you insult our intelligence by telling us that only Indians support the PPP/C.
Freddie Kissoon you are East Indian and you support the PNCR and no one ever doubt you and no one cares.
Freddie, tell us how many East Indians are in leadership roles in your PNCR party.
I will tell you one African who is in a leadership role in the PPP/C.
Who takes over the Presidency when President Jagdeo is out of Guyana?