Saturday, January 31, 2009
See fourth speech listed here.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Georgetown, GINA, January 30, 2009
Aquatic weeds are often found in waterways of cultivation areas. They impede the free flow of water, create transportation difficulties and increase the storage capacity in these waterways which may be problematic to farmers during the rainy season. In this light, Government has intensified its efforts to support farmers by embarking on a strategy for weed management in these waterways.A workshop today under the theme “An integrated approach to aquatic weed management in Guyana”, was held at the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) conference facility at which Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud, representatives from the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs), water users associations and other agriculture officials were present.
>>>Weed? Talk about misguided!
Rabart bai, is better yuh get rid of Nick 'Triller' Jackson. This is a scary statement that flies in teh face of all that you and your fellow quacks at the Agri Ministry have stated. Quick folks, the Skeleton Sugar factor is about to fall out the closet. It's no longer a secret Mr. far from the future President. Continue you to upkeep your facebook profile and sooner than later, you will reach the mountain top. Maybe the top of that mountain has two seeds and a plant...ahahahahah.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Guyana set to import sugar
Guyana, a sugar producing country, will be importing sugar from Guatemala, within the coming days.
Kaieteur News has learnt that the move is to facilitate the provision of sugar on the local market since the 2009 sugar crop will commence later than expected.
In a letter sent out by the corporation under the hand of Chief Executive Officer, Nick Jackson, to a customer, it was stated that in recent weeks, the Corporation has been making its best endeavours to satisfy customers by supplying from alternative centres with some adjustments to the delivery schedules.
The letter, dated January 26, 2009, also states that this move is as a result of anticipated production shortfalls stemming from the heavy rainfall experienced since November 2008.
This delayed the crop “start up, and in order to avoid any disruption of supplies, the Guyana Sugar Corporation has made a decision to import bagged brown sugar for the local market.”
The imported sugar, the letter noted, will be free flowing and may be lighter in colour.
“You are assured that the product will have the required quality guarantees based on the Caricom standard for brown sugar…We shall be commencing deliveries of the imported sugar by the first week in February.”
If Angelina or Brad had been at Davos this year, they would have been given the treatment ‘Royal celebs’ deserve. But they are not here, so in the absence of glitz we have to find other ‘stars’ to hang onto.
Thankfully there are plenty of alternative delegates worthy of our attention. For instance, economists like Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley Asia and Joseph Stiglitz formerly of the World Bank. Not heard of them? Not hanging on to their every utterance? Tut tut. No wonder you’re in this mess!
These men may not have the good looks or dashing manner of Hollywood stars, but here at Davos this year they are ‘rock stars’ in their own right.
When they walk through the hallways they are feted. Crowds gather to hear the words from their lips. A private chat with one or the other is economic nirvana.
Just this morning as I walked through the lobby, there was Roach holding court; cameras recording his words, journalists jostling to hear his view on how bad things would get.
For some time both men have been forecasting the horrible financial disaster we now face and were sneered at. They said it was going to get worse…and it did. And now at Davos both men can look us in the face and say “told you so”. Neither is actually saying that of course. Instead they are putting forward ideas and solutions to get us out of the mess.
What worries me is Roach and Stiglitz are saying the plans on the table won’t work, from stimulus packages, to co-ordination, to regulatory reform, they claim more needs to be done. We have ignored these economic rock stars before, to our cost. Let’s not make THAT mistake again.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Taking the abusive nature into context, one can safely say that a number of national trends point to a history of 'high-tech' abuses. Here is a list of a few clear cut cases
1. Gordon Moesely's ban from OP
2. CN Sharma's botting off the air
3. SN ad withdrawal
4. Hiring of Bernard Kerik
5. Firing of Minister Henry Jeffery
6. Weekly cussouts of the media
7. Attacks on Freddie
8. Adam Harris' non-payment of pension
9. Threats to set up the Integrity Commission
10. Ensuring VAT remains in place
11. Ensuring high toll at the Berbice Bridge
12. The 2005 floods
Monday, January 26, 2009
He writes: "You cannot force a new day. You can only prepare for that day whenever it comes. This is why Robert Corbin is so important, because he is best suited to this rebuilding process that will allow the party to be ready for 2016."
>>>2016 Mr. Harris? If the PNCR under Corbin continues along the current path, the party will be extinct by then. Unless of course that is your true aim.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
This convention defines discrimination against women as “any distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of sex, which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field”.
>>>The first resolve clause on page 3 of a Motion passed last year, calls on the National Assembly to (1) condemn violence against women as socially and culturally unacceptable in our society (2) assist victims to seek help (3) consciously develop programmes.
The AFC noted that it does not require resources to condemn. Anyone can do this. However, to assist victims, and to develop and execute programmes call for human and financial resources. Is the government of the day prepared to spend in this area?
Will shelters be built to help victims? When the government signed this convention it committed itself to establish tribunals and public institutions which can protect women against domestic violence.
After more than two decades of the signing of this Convention our innocent women are still languishing in bloodshed, murders and other forms of brutality.
How Come when the story broke both Guyana Chronicle and Kaieteur news carried identical stories?....a small introduction on the claims by the former First Lady followed by Bharrat Jagdeo's statement in full. Her statement was complied in 10 pages. His in half of a page, yet he got full coverage.
This is why we love Guyana. Fair, balance coverage of the news as it unfolds. No bull, no bias.
- on Opposition MPs refusal to challenge him on 'high-tech abuse' of ex-wife
PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday called on civil society and the international community to speak out on the issue of Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) refusing to challenge him on his reported high-tech abuse of his former wife, Varshnie Singh.
The President said he was disappointed by the non-comments from the opposition parties with regards to his caution to Varshnie to submit and move out of State House within two weeks or face having her name published in the newspapers.
Domestic violence is not the personal business of public officials or private citizens
The former First Lady has made a number of charges against the President of Guyana, who was her husband, and he has declined to respond to the specifics, implying that they are matters to be resolved between the two – indeed on an earlier occasion the former First Lady had herself publicly stated that she was not prepared to discuss the details of their relationship or disagreements.
We completely reject the view – whoever expresses it – that domestic violence is the personal business of public officials or of private citizens. The reason that domestic violence is not and cannot be dismissed as private business is that its effects have many negative implications for the public good.
The charges in the former First Lady’s statement of concern to Red Thread are those which amount to a description of domestic violence. To be clear, the definition of domestic violence covers not only physical abuse but any acts of commission or omission which result in emotional and psychological hurt to the receiver.
We don’t have to “know” whether every detail of the former First Lady’s statement is correct. No one has ever required us before to meet this standard in our defence of women or children who complain of abuse.
Proving or disproving allegations is for the courts to do. What we can say is that it is very unlikely, in our experience, that a woman would expose herself to public scrutiny with wholly fabricated charges against her partner, and that very few women report the first incident of abuse. In fact, women spend a lot of time hoping that the abusive behaviour will stop.
We are uncomfortably aware of the difficulty in getting complaints against high officials of the government, opposition, police and army dealt with. This makes it all the more imperative that when accusations of domestic (or other) violence are made against senior officials, and even the highest public official, we address them in a way that makes very clear that it is unacceptable in all its forms, whoever the complainant or the person complained against.
We know that when the accusations are made against the highest official the responses are likely to be coloured by the position of the responder in the political party spectrum. This will do a disservice not only to the former First Lady but to every single woman, child (or yes, man) who complains of being a victim.
Historically, Red Thread has responded to domestic violence charges by being advocates for the complainant using the laws on our statute books. In the matter of (the former) Mrs Jagdeo vs Mr Jagdeo, this might not be practicable given the constitutional exemptions of the President. In any case, it does not appear to us that Mrs Jagdeo is in search of an advocate for relief from her situation.
In the circumstances, all we can do is to remind the President that he recently advocated the deepening of the campaign against domestic violence, suggested we might have to name abusers and shame them, wherever they may be located, and called for men to join the campaign to recognize and understand the behaviour described as domestic violence and to speak out and organize against it. Guyana must get to a place where public utterances match private conduct.We will go nowhere in the fight against domestic violence if all we intend to fight against is domestic violence among poor people whose weapons are their fists and their cutlasses and their tongues because they don’t have power to wield.
Karen de Souza and Andaiye,
For Red Thread
N.B. Reprinted from Stabroek News
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The National Congress of Women
Thursday 22 January 2009
The Varshnie Singh-Jagdeo Statement
The National Congress of Women (NCW), the women’s arm of the People’s First Lady, Ms. Varshnie Singh-Jagdeo, as reported by her to the Media. Reform (PNCR), wishes to indicate its disapproval of the treatment meted out to Guyana ’s
The NCW notes that the Government of Guyana, as represented by the People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPP/C), is in support of the of 1996, which was passed in the Parliament of Guyana. This Act also had the full support of the Parliamentary Opposition.
In pursuance of the objectives of the Act, the NCW joined with all who promoted and supported the ‘Stamp It Out’ programme, which was mounted by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.
Guyana has, over the years, joined with member States of the United Nations in observing International Day of . This being so, the NCW wishes to record its amazement that the Head of State of Guyana is being cited as the perpetrator of “hi-tech domestic violence and persecution”. If the allegations made, by Mrs Singh-Jagdeo, are true, then the NCW is appalled at the behaviour of the Head of State, who appears to be only ‘talking the talk and not ’.
The The Married Persons (Property) Amendment Act of 1990 stipulates that, in the division of property, the woman, who lived with her husband for five (5) years in a legal marriage and/or seven (7) years in a common-law marriage, is entitled to her share of property which was acquired during the marriage. Which ever way, this marriage ‘lasted’ longer than the times stipulated in that Act. of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana provides for the woman, who has shared a marital relationship (legal or common-law), to benefit if there is a break down in the relationship.
Surely, Mrs Varshnie Singh-Jagdeo should be entitled to much more than one million Guyana dollars.
The NCW empathises and sympathises with this dear mistreated lady, whose only crime seems to be that she wanted to work with her husband “to move Guyana forward”.
The National Congress of Women calls on the Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO), the women’s arm of the People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPP/C), and all other women’s organisations to insist that the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana:
· gives full recognition and respect to Varshnie and the women of Guyana ;
· upholds the Constitution of our dear land and the Rule of Law herein; and
· pays over to the ‘former First lady’ her rightfully entitled share of their marital property.
National Congress of Women
Wednesday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
>>>Come on Varsh, what was laccking and in what areas? tell us please....please tell us. We beg dearly.
>>>Let us say that Bharrat Jagdeo sincerely meant that he needed to uphold the law by not allowing his wife access to state resources. Let us also give Bharrat Jagdeo the benefit of any doubt that he really wanted to uphold the law. However, how could he say that then allow Varshie to live at State House after they had divorced. Doesn't that classify as access to state resources? She lived there rent free and possibly paid no allowances for food and other amenities. Come on BJ, you are confusing us. Please clarify.
Varshnie has reduced herself to garbage and is now attempting to drag Bharrat Jagdeo down with her. We very much welcome this move Varsh, but at the same time, remember you had agreed to part amicably in that joint statement issued about two years ago.
Firstly, you should not have been residing at the State House after the separation. Were you hoping to patch up things? Or were you hoping that finally he would have come around and made love with you?
This is what you stated...
"Nothing I could do was ever right. Any attempts to find out what was wrong, why he stopped talking to me ... were met with long silences which lasted days on end and I got no answers."
>>>Quite frankly, Varshie is holding back information and has left the door open for speculation by commentators. Perhaps she should have also explained what was the sexual relationship like.
Even Bharrat Jagdeo himself had no time with the ramblings as he enjoyed a local inauguration party. Now that Obama has taken his place as the 44th President. Today is when we begin to look into Guyana's petty politics again.
St. Vincent PM, Ralph Gonsalves said this week that Politics is serious business and not a branch of the entertainment industry.
Perhaps Bharrat Jagdeo and other political big wigs should carefully try to understand what that means.
Jagdeo is not the only politician facing relationship issues...Look out for Corbin exposure coming soon...
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well we called up some buddies and we going at Windies Bar and watch live. We know they bathroom facility is working properly because we intend to talk some shit over beers.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
His trip to Qatar was part of the three-nation tour, which the Office of the President said was aimed at strengthening economic, social and cultural cooperation.
Qatar requested the postponement of the trip because of the crisis in Gaza, the sources said.
>>>This kind of crap happens when there is poor knowledge of the workings of Foreign Affairs. Who ever advised Bharrat Jagdeo to go to Qatar doesn't like him too much. The entire Middle East is unstable at this moment due to the fighting in Gaza. You would expect any advisor with the best interest of a head of state at heart to cancel any visit to the region because of security concerns. Instead, Qatar had to force Bharrat Jagdeo to stay away. How silly he must look.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
It is simple courtesy for the to inform the nation, in a timely fashion, when he is proceeding abroad on the nation’s business. Unfortunately, it has become the habit of President Jagdeo to leave these shores and the Guyanese people are only informed that he has departed when he has arrived at his destination.
A case in point is the recent announcement that he has gone on a visit to
, Qatar and . Not only was the announcement late, but the Government’s mouthpiece, GINA, could not tell the nation what it is that President Jagdeo expects from his visits to these countries. Is it that the country has become financially strapped and he is seeking loans from these nations? The Guyanese people are left to guess as to the reasons for the visits.
It is President Jagdeo’s right to choose whatever delegation he consider necessary for an overseas visit. But, surely, it must have occurred to him to take a communications operative or a senior protocol official on a visit to Libya , Qatar and Greece , countries where protocol considerations are of prime importance.
This was suppose to be top secret and you know what they say in Guyana...bush have plenty ears. Seems like Tusika Martin at Kaieteur news got plenty
woMannirman had the entire Guyana Steel Orchestra lined up, along with some of the borrowed Digicel girls to welcome the tourists. It was supposed to be live broadcast by NCN, who would have used the outing as a tune up for those live Parliament sessions. There was suppose to be aerial shots from the army helicopter. And the VIP lounge would have been the welcoming area. Some would have been repeat visitors, who of course would not have been strangers to the lounge after utilizing it on their way out on previous visits.
An official Government welcoming party headed by Kwami McSkunt was formed and they were key roles for all on board including Henry Jeffery, who finally saw how the EPA actually resulted in more tourists arrival. Plans for the welcoming party had slowed after a deadlock because McSkunt wanted to perform before the digicel girls.
"No one must steal my thunder, its my 5 seconds of fame and I am going to grab it," McSkunt had told the planning Committee before he barged out in his white pencil jeans and red camisole top. As he left the door, he was reminded by Luncheon that as part of his protest, he could not go Grenada with pencil jeans since there was a crack down on people showing their butt cracks in public.
Good sense had prevailed and McSkunt returned to the meeting. The stage was set for McSkunt to perform, but his show was to come after the Digicel Girls, but not on the same stage. He wanted to use the entire runway and tarmac for his performance, which included a cameo from Janet Jagan. She was tipped to show her nimbleness in a series of flicks across the tarmac and back, which she had learned and perfected from watching Jackie Chan during the last century.
Pumped up by the welcoming ceremony, the tourists were suppose to be garlanded by exotic weeds of all sorts which had accumulated in many canals after years of neglect. But the biggest surpise would have come during their trip down from the airport. Facebook and Hi5 Friends of Jagdeo were expected to line the route and in case of rain, they were suppose to huddle under the many billboards which carried photos and slogans of 'Bharrat our hero had won Suriname' and 'Jagdeo our God has brought us lots of cheaper Grease and African pride'.
The ex-Guysuco board members were suppose to have been used as tour guides, taking the tourists on estate trucks to all parts of Guyana. And where trucks can't go, like Mahaica and several of the Villages along the East Coast, the Berbice ferry renamed the MV Pirates captained by Ivor Spanish was to be called in. The boat would have many bars and drinks from the TH&D sports club and an array of lights powered by several GPL transformers. Polar beer would have been scarce then because there was no bridge linking Venezuela as yet.
There was expected to be a fake pirate attack as three plait- headed men with AK-47s would have boarded the ship. This was uppose to be just a 1 minute show and was the only time the exquisite guns of Guyana would have been seen by the tourists.
There were suppose to see the seven ancient wonders of Guyana: Cuffy Statue, State House, Luncheon's beard, Kaieteur Falls, Peter Ramsaroop's giant Guyana flag, the Demerara Harbour Bridge, the modern day Jones Town at Christmas falls and of course Bharrat jagdeo's bald head. They had to wonder where the other Wonder was, but that's the trick. It was in the mind.
But even before they had even touched down in Guyana, the fun would have started mid-air, as the incoming craft and another outgoing craft was supposed to rub wings, setting off a magical display of fireworks. They plane with the Tourists was arriving at pre-dawn so by the time the fireworks had ended, the ever competent pilot Jerry Gouveia would be able to land the plane on the blackened runway without much commotion.
We only have the first day itinerary, but from the peek we had from the second day list of activities, revealed that Mark Benschop and Moses Nagamootoo were to play important roles. Benschop was to drive the tourist to the ninth wonder - the Berbice Bridge. Once there, Benschop was suppose to experience a blow out and block the bridge and the excitement would have kicked off from there.
Once the Bridge was blocked, Moses was suppose to part the Berbice River for the Tourists to visit the ancient county. So many bold plans had to be spilled into the public because KN could not wait. woManniram has already said he would ditch the plans for the tourists and instead have them locked up and processed as criminals. That's how vex he vex.
>>> Pissram wants the world to know that he missed the Diaspora conference in India. Did you hear that. Pissram missed the Diaspora Conference. The earth must have stood still on that day. But how come he miss the bleeding conference, yet he writes as if he was seated next to Premiscuous. The things Pissram does for publicity is not easy.
>>> Mrs. Teixeira, we respectfully submit that it's time Guyana take the lead in an area where few have trod. Broadcasting Parliament would be an excellent idea, unless of course your Government is not too inclined on broadcasting the opposition members speeches and the heckling heard during debates, especially when Debbie Barks goes after Clement 'Black Cat' Rohee. Your Government is right. Maybe you need more time to craft how the Opposition will get 40 percent coverage in the House and the PPP/C 60 percent and how the NCN cameras would not show when the opposition walk outs. Confess Mrs. Teixeira. How much more time do you need to iron out these partisan issues?
In his submissions, Edmond said that on the day in question his client pulled up at the bridge with an intention of crossing when he was informed by the toll clerk that he would have to pay $7,200.
He said Benschop left to join the ferry instead but learnt that the vehicle would not be allowed on the boat and he subsequently returned to the bridge only to be told that he would have to pay $13,600.
Edmond further submitted that his client did not have the money to pay and after a while the officials at the bridge allowed him to park his vehicle in a corner and stopped a car for him to join to go across the bridge.
>>>> There are two things about the above section of an article published by Stabroek News that we found interesting. The first is the ridiculous toll $13,600. That's a lot of money for a man who just left jail less than two years ago. Then again, a man who just left jail wouldn't be driving a fancy pick up truck and probably would not be living in a king's mansion (Guyana's equivalent).
The second thing about this entire episode is that the people manning the bridge really treated Benschop like a king, a superstar. They really treated him like if he was the President. Bow down and worship. Come on Benschop! The people allowed you to park and they didn't allow you to hitch your own ride across the bride. Oh no! They stopped a car for you. But how could they just only stop a car for you? We now see why you get vex Mr. Benschop.
Realizing that you were the big king, they should have rolled out the red carpet, carry your jacket, open the car door, shut the door and finally stand on the bridge waving until the car you boarded fades in the distance.
Mr. Benschop you are so ungrateful.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Ms. Cheryl Sampson, the National Chairperson of the National Congress of Women (NCW) has been extracted from the PNCR-IG List of Candidates to be a member of the National Assembly of the Member of Parliament. of Guyana. She will replace Mr. James McAllister, who was recently recalled and she is expected to be sworn in today, Thursday January 15, 2009, as a
Ms. Sampson brings a wealth of talent and experience to the National Assembly. A trained teacher by profession, she also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in from the , a Diploma in Public Communication from the University of Guyana , a Diploma in Political Science from La Escuela Superior Del Partido - Havana , Cuba and a Diploma in Business Studies from the Government Technical Institute, Guyana .
Ms. Sampson has a long career in Education and women’s affairs. She started teaching in 1968 and demitted the classroom, in 2002, as a Head Teacher, moving to the to work on the Guyana In-service Distance Education (GUIDE) Project. She was also a Project Officer with the Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP). Ms Sampson is currently the Head of the Georgetown In-Service Centre of the .
Ms. Sampson who was born and is still residing at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, has been active for several years in promoting women’s affairs in Guyana . She was elected as the National Women’s representative on the Ethnic Relations Commission. She is also a Commissioner on the National Commission on Women and an Executive Committee Member of the Caribbean Women’s Association.
A long-standing member of the People’s National Congress, Ms. Sampson has served the Party in various capacities, including being the National Chairperson of the National Congress of Women and a member of the Central Executive Committee of the PNCR for the last fourteen years. Ms. Sampson has also acquired extensive diplomatic experience, as she was a member of several delegations representing Guyana at various International Conferences in Cuba , USSR , the Caribbean and elsewhere. She was also a member of the Guyana delegation to the 36th session of the United Nations in 1981.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Substantial revenues from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. Libyan officials in the past five years have made progress on economic reforms as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international fold.
This effort picked up steam after UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003 and as Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction. Almost all US unilateral sanctions against Libya were removed in April 2004, helping Libya attract more foreign direct investment, mostly in the energy sector. Libyan oil and gas licensing rounds continue to draw high international interest; the National Oil Company set a goal of nearly doubling oil production to 3 million bbl/day by 2015.
Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing the socialist-oriented economy, but initial steps - including applying for WTO membership, reducing some subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization - are laying the groundwork for a transition to a more market-based economy.
The non-oil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for more than 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum.
Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food. Libya's primary agricultural water source remains the Great Manmade River Project, but significant resources are being invested in desalinization research to meet growing water demands.
Libya is a transit and destination country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Libya is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons in 2007 when compared to 2006, particularly in the area of investigating and prosecuting trafficking offenses; Libya did not publicly release any data on investigations or punishment of any trafficking offenses (2008)
GDF INVESTIGATES DISAPPEARANCE OF ITEMS FROM MAIN STORES OF HQ 4 ENG BATTALION.
Investigations are currently underway into the disappearance of a TOTAL STATION and a power saw bar from the Main Stores at the Headquarters of the Guyana Defence Force’s 4 Engineers Battalion.
While the investigations are incomplete, the items were reported missing during Christmas period.
The Total Station valued at some $1.2M is a modern piece of equipment used in land surveying while the power bar is an accessory used on a power saw.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14
*ATHENS - President of the Republic of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo
pays official visit. To January 17.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15
*ATHENS - Greek President Karolos Papoulias meets the
President of the Republic of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo, at the
Presidential Hall, at 1030 GMT
Denis O'Brien wants to shed 450 jobs from his 4,500-strong Digicel workforce in the Caribbean.
The Irish businessman is planning to shed 10 percent of his staff by the end of February as part of cost-cutting proposals at the telecoms firm.
Staff were told of the plans yesterday.
Colm Delves, Digicel Group's chief executive, said the cutbacks are particularly relevant in the current economic environment.
He said even strong, fully funded companies like Digicel need to ensure they have a lean and efficient structure.
Digicel is the largest mobile provider in the Caribbean, with about seven million subscribers.
The redundancy plan applies to its operations in the Caribbean islands and El Salvador in Central America. Its interests in the Pacific Islands, Honduras, Panama and the British Virgin Islands are unaffected.
Mr O'Brien has overseen an investment of more than $3.4bn (€2.58bn) in Digicel's 31 markets since its launch in 2001.
Staff have until January 26 to apply for redundancy and will be informed if they have been accepted by February 5.
Digicel said it expected to complete the redundancy programme by the end of February.
The telecoms group said compulsory redundancies would be implemented if the required number of voluntary departures was not achieved.
- Caroline Crawford
The comments came from Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon who addressed the 1st Guyana Media and Communication Conference hosted by the Office of the President at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Turkeyen yesterday. It coincides with observances to mark the United Nations-designated World Press Freedom Day being observed today.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds today noted his continued affirmation of Government’s intention to open up broadcasting and is encouraging sections of the media to avoid misrepresenting facts in this regard.
He expressed disappointment with some sections of the print media which he noted, seemed to enjoy using misleading headlines, following his remarks at the Broadcasting Workers’ Workshop on June 26.
He was at the time responding to a headline printed in the Stabroek News on June 27 and articles written in the Freddie Kissoon column in the Kaieteur News on Guyana’s position on radio monopoly and broadcast legislation.
According to Prime Minister Hinds the media should be more vigilant about distorting and misunderstanding statements, which were evident on the SN front page “Guyana may not be ready for end to radio monopoly – PM”.
According to the Prime Minister, he was at the time reaffirming Government’s position to move deliberately towards enacting a broadcast law, a point that both the Guyana Chronicle and the KN highlighted by their headlines “Government open on ending radio monopoly” and “Ending radio monopoly still on Government’s agenda”.
He also responded to Freddie Kissoon’s column “Disintegration of Survival” which suggested that the Prime Minister’s words on the radio monopoly were not random emanations but were scripted inside Freedom House or Office of the President.
His remarks which he noted, were his own, were intended to help Guyanese understand the issues regarding the opening-up of the broadcast sector. During his remarks at the workshop, the Prime Minister made reference to the United Kingdom, where state monopoly on radio and television were well defended, until a law was enacted in the UK in 1973 which gradually opened the broadcast sector.
He used the example to highlight the significant social, political and economic changes that were necessary within the UK government before conceding in 1973, and explained the relevance of these issues in the context of Guyana today.
The Prime Minister believes that columnists such as Freddie Kisson should turn their attention towards highlighting the reported role which radio played in influencing violence in Rwanda.
Within the Guyana context, the Prime Minister made reference to the division among Guyanese in some sections of the media which led to a decision by President Bharrat Jagdeo and the late Opposition leader Desmond Hoyte to freeze the broadcast sector and establish an interim Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (ACB) until a broadcast law is enacted.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC - The Guyana government's monopoly of radio broadcasting is to end next year, President Bharrat Jagdeo has said.
Jagdeo told CMC in an interview on Friday that the long-awaited broadcast legislation would go before parliament by the middle of 2005 and, following its passage, "private individuals will be allowed to operate in the sector."
However, he warned that there would be some degree of control to prevent a proliferation of radio stations by unlicensed owners, as has occurred with television.
"We don't want what happened in the television industry to happen on radio, people squatting on the airwaves," Jagdeo said.
There are about 15 television stations operating in the city alone and government has taken steps to regulate the TV sector.
A committee comprising senior officials from both the ruling People's Progressive Party (PPP) and the opposition People's National Congress /Reform (PNC/R) has prepared a detailed document to guide the drafting of a new broadcasting system here.
It visualises a three-tiered system comprising state owned public broadcasters, privately owned commercial operations and community broadcasting services.
It proposes that an autonomous and independent National Broadcasting Authority (NBA) manage the new system. However, the drafters of the new legislation have placed much control in the hands of government.
I watched with disgust and amazement as the Government of Guyana squandered my voice, by issuing a statement on my behalf as a Guyanese, condemning Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip, and picketing the Embassy of the United States of America with slogans accusing the US of supporting “the murderous campaign of the Israelis.”
The current response from Israel is justified, as no country, including Guyana, would or could allow terrorists who have hijacked its neighbour, to attack it by indiscriminate rocket fire, and armed with the means to defend itself, failed to do so.
Hamas is a terrorist organization which thrives on a skewed interpretation of the honourable religion of Islam, the criminal agenda and support of rogue countries, and more importantly, naked cowardice. It is cowardly to use your religious message to convince a young man with his whole life ahead of him that his purpose is to go in the presence of innocent people and detonate bombs attached to his body, ending his life, that of many others, and maiming many in the process.
It is even more cowardly, after firing rockets and running like a common thief in the night, to hide among civilians − women and children − in an attempt to shield yourself from the consequences of your actions.
When Hamas was firing rockets at Israel, where was the Government of Guyana/PPP outrage against the cowardice? Where was the outrage against the suicide bombers? Was not the Hamas rocket fire murderous, or was it invisible to their politically twisted consciences?
I was schooled and qualified for my livelihood in the US. I have many family members living a better life in the US. The single greatest contributor to our economy is the US. The largest provider of aid to Guyana is the US.
The largest source of remittances to Guyana is the US. The embassy with the longest line of persons applying for visas, in the rain, sun, and wee hours of the morning is the US Embassy. If we are attacked by any country and cannot competently defend ourselves, the country that will likely have to defend us is the US.
My mother taught me not to bite the hand that feeds me, and it seems our leaders could have used some of her stern maternal teachings. The verbal attacks and picket of the US Embassy, chiding a sovereign country for defending itself while being silent on the terrorists they are forced to live in fear of daily, are reckless acts of the PPP.
We are in a far less fortunate position now. We are independent so the government can’t be exchanged by some superior authority. The US, disgusted with our continued outstretched but ungrateful hand, can simply cease to help us.
This may not be a problem for those with reckless mouths, since I am sure that at least some of the people in that picket line hold visas from the very country they were unfairly castigating.
The United States Embassy should ignore them, since their position is not a Guyanese one and not hatched of consensus.
Learie C Barclay
Currently, the ferry service serves as the only official public mode of alternative transportation to the newly constructed bride for which toll has been set relatively steep. No doubt in an effort to make a windfall.
Some PPP/C members are not at all too happy about the proposal from the investors, fearing that the decision could hurt their future political chances since a bevy of supporters rely on the cheaper ferry service.
Brassington has promised to raise the issue with President Bharrat Jagdeo when he returns from Libya.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
1. On the top of their list as you may be aware is the burdensome tax system. They are very concerned that your government created the VAT on Jan 1, 2007, soon after you won the 2006 elections. They were surprised that during your campaign, you never addressed this issue, even though there were numerous calls from many of us to overhaul the tax system and reduce the income taxes on us. Many are wondering if in 2011 prior to elections, the PPP will present a plan to reduce the VAT as an election gimmick.
2. Second on the list was the failure of your government in maintaining the drainage system in our beautiful nation. You have spent $1.7Billion dollars on one main contractor to maintain the system. A better approach would have been to hire 10 people per village with the right equipment to maintain their community drains. That would have created jobs in each village and a culture of pride. In addition, you need to be provided with a new architecture plan of what drains connect what trenches to what outlet. Paying a contractor money to clean a drain that is then blocked by houses or roads, then cleaning another part of the drain over the road without looking under the bridge and realizing that only a small clogged pipe connects the two drains is an exercise in futility. Hiring the local village residents and giving them jobs will have a much greater impact.
3. I visited Berbice and spoke to many of the residents. They, as I am, are very pleased that the Bridge is finally completed. The big issue now is that you cannot just triple the cost to cross the river, it is inhumane. None of the residents as of January 1, 2009, got any increase in their salaries and most of them lost their cash crops with the flood. The farmers will now add that new transportation cost on their products and will have to pass it on to us the consumers. By doing that, it will increase the cost and you the government will now get more money in VAT. This is money rape. In addition, you spent our NIS money to build the bridge, so how come, we have to pay two times for the bridge.
4. Many of the citizens voiced concern with the willy-nilly granting of concession to friends and the access some of them have to government resources through the tender process, such as the BMWs and state properties. We wanted to remind you that those are our properties and every time that is done without a fair market value means the government is stealing from us.
5. In all instances, many were surprised, angry, concerned that fuel prices went down by almost half on the world market, yet GPL and GWI who had increased our rates have so far refused to lower them back to pre-high fuel prices as the minibuses and other private operators were forced to do. Why then did government-owned business not do the same?
6. Some of our staff visited the Amaila Falls, where for the last four years you have talked about the Hydro-Electric Project coming to Guyana. By all engineering accounts, this was the wrong location, as the terrain is not conducive to such a project. As of this date, that project can now be listed as a scam, as concessions and money was given to one company to make this project a reality. You preached for the last year of the building of a Marriott Hotel. You wasted our taxpayers’ money, millions of US dollars, to move sewage pipes, then you had the temerity to tell us that the financial crisis stopped the project in your New Year’s message Marriott Hotel said they have never contemplated approving a franchise in Guyana and the investors had more than a year to get the money prior to the financial crisis and failed.
7. We all complain at the incompetence you have put around you to manage key portfolios. The President of the Private Sector, Mr. Gerry Gouveia recently defended you as a needed micro-manager, stating that many were incompetent to perform their task, therefore you had to takeover. Ministers of the government should be qualified in their field. Wearing of long boots doesn’t mean one understands drainage.
Our hope is that Your Excellency accepts this letter as constructive criticism. It is our hope that you start 2009 with a new passion for our country and focus on projects that will benefit us the people in ways that help us take care of our families.
Projects such as the Road to Brazil need to be started, which would create thousands of jobs for us.
Programs such as hiring residents of each village to maintain the drainage system, and reducing taxes and other levies placed on us in order to increase our spending power, which ultimately as you should know as an economist, will turn the economy over 10 times for every dollar we spend.
Once again, focus on fixing Guyana in 2009 before travelling to the Middle East and other countries over the next few weeks, and allow us to sit with you to work on the projects that will improve the lives of us the citizens. Your legacy can still be defined in your last two years and maybe become “Our Excellency”.
Until next time “Roop”
Friday, January 09, 2009
The new Assistant Commissioner Merai has been accused before the courts of Guyana of homicide of a civilian. The DPP struck his case out the day after the private prosecution against him had been filed by me at Vigilance, East Coast, Demerara.
The public is unlikely to get justice from an officer in any department who has had to answer accusations made in good faith and on sworn testimony against him.
It is hard to tell which reason for his return and promotion was strongest. Is it that his credentials mark him as giving strong support for the new Commissioner, Mr Greene?
Is it pure provocation of a constituency that sees him as a persecutor? Or is it merely to secure him an acceptable pension claimed as withheld from Mr Adam Harris and many others?
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Guyana 360: Mr. President, we hate to drag yuh bald head out of the clouds, but this is actually the land of many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many waters and not Uncle Sam.
In this land of many waters, wages are below par and your Government find it very difficult to increase wages, muchless give allowances. The freaking toll is high and that's the bottom line.
Admit that when you had that fat rat with the cat voice negotiating, he failed to remember that Guyanese would not have been able to pay the inflated cost to cross the bridge. There was a mock study, no consultations with the minibus associations and other such groups.
Apart from the few remaining strands at the back of your head, all you wanted was to have a structure that resemebled a bridge os you can ride out your last term in style. Go ahead ride the very folks from Comrade Cheddi home town tha blindly supported you.
At no time did you or your fat puppet consider the toll factor properly. Since the toll has already been agreed to and included in a promise to the investors, why not let Government subsidize part of the guaranteed revenue to the investors and lower the bridge toll.
And to offset the financial downturn, Bharrat Jagdeo, the leader of one of the world's poorest nation is proposing this
He said that especially for private cars and minibus operators crossing the river using the bridge, the one-time toll of $2,200 toll was cheap. He said that minibus operators would especially benefit from this. The President pointed out that if a minibus had to use the ferry, it would be charged $800 for each leg of the trip in addition to charges that the operator would have to pay on the number of passengers in the bus.
In defiance of an order from the Jamaica Regulator, OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation), Digicel has once again today blocked calls from LIME customers in all Caribbean territories to all its Digicel customers in Jamaica.
CEO for the region, Richard Dodd, noted "This is a blatant anti-competitive move by Digicel which has turned down several circuits which take traffic from the rest of the region and from the USA and other locations.
"It is once again a demonstration of the arrogance of the company and its contempt for the interconnection agreements signed with LIME, and negatively impacts customers and communication across the region. Digicel's continued anticompetitive behaviour should be a matter of concern for all regional Governments."
LIME is filing an injunction against Digicel for the action it is taking in Jamaica and wishes to notify its customers trying to make calls to Jamaica's Digicel customers that it will do whatever it takes to restore normal service to all regional customers and to maintain a fair and equitable competitive market for its
However, if this position persists then LIME will need to take whatever action is required to return normalcy to the telecommunications market in the region.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Georgetown, vaGINA, January 6, 2009Residents of Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam, Region Six today blamed the Town Council for not conducting drainage and irrigation works in the area which led to the area being affected by the heavy rains.
How come vaGINA don't report when people blame the Government for the flooding. We get the point now...blaming the the town councils will shift blame from government. In this day and age, no one will see that. We are too busy hustling bread and roof over head, so we would have missed it.
Where was the statement from President Jagdeo when Hamas was constantly firing rockets into Israel. The current fighting is complex, hence many world leaders have taken a 'middle man's' approach because they recognise Israel's right to defend its citizens.
But, Bharrat Jagdeo is really out of the loop so he goes out on a limb at Israel. Foreign Affairs is really lacking in the current administration. Piss poor response from a Caribbean head of state.
Cites connection to criminal enterprise
The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is blasting the Guyana Police Force for promoting embattled Senior Superintendent Steve Merai to the position of Assistant Commissioner of Police. "We are astonished at Merai's promotion in light of the torrent of allegations of criminal wrongdoings that have been made against him," the Institute said in a statement Monday.
"There are credible allegations that Merai has been involved in Guyana's underworld. He is currently entangled in a web of criminal allegations, including allegedly operating as an enforcer for drug barons; allegedly kidnapping for the purpose of extortion and of numerous extra-judicial killings," CGID said. The Institute said that "These are very serious allegations that are in the public domain, which the government can ill afford to ignore.
Merai was head of the notorious "Tactical Squad," known as the "Black-clothes Police." "Under Merai, the "Black-clothes Police" developed a bloody history. People's basic human rights were trampled upon. Lives were snuffed out via extra-judicial killings which became a norm. Drug dealers were protected, including Roger Khan, now in US custody. Eventually, the squad's corrupt and illegal practices led to its disbandment," asserted the New York think-tank.
The Black-clothe Police became notoriously know for the Mandela Avenue massacre, where three young men, including the son of former Guyanese diplomat, Lawrence Houston, were publicly executed when their car was pulled over.
"Merai was a material witness in the Coroner's Inquest into the three murder in 2005 by then Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder Allen, but otensibily defected to Canada for an extended period. He was however, allegedly forced to return one year later, amidst reports that he was deported by Canadian Immigration authorities. After he showed up in Guyana, he was readmitted into the Police Forces, where he maintained his rank – a testament to his political clout," CGID noted.
Last year a Georgetown businessman released a tape recording which captured Merai, then a Senior Superintendent of Police, shaking-down the said businessman, demanding that he paid money he had owed to an alleged West Demerara drug baron for a drug deal.
Guyana's independent daily Stabroek Newspapers reported that "Merai was heard on the tape demanding US$60,000 from the businessman to settle the case," on behalf of the drug dealer. When the tape became public, Merai admitted that it was his voice. He told Stabroek News that he heard about the drug deal and "approached the West Demerara man who admitted that the Georgetown businessman owed him US$710,000 for a shipment of cocaine and was hiding and not paying up."
The Stabroek Newspaper reported on November 10, 2007 that "According to the recordings, the businessman had collected a delivery of cocaine, which had been shipped by a Guyanese living in Venezuela from another man who resides on the West Demerara. After collecting the narcotics the businessman had allegedly refused to pay for it and the Venezuelan man and his West Demerara accomplice had reportedly contacted Merai asking him to ensure that the businessman paid up." Published reports indicate that the businessman, who recorded Merai's shakedown, was "deported from the US in 1999 after serving time for impersonation, possession of firearms and trafficking in cocaine."
CGID contended that "In June 2008, Merai, having admitted involvement in the aforementioned tape-recorded transaction, told the newspaper that he was "working undercover." However, the newspaper reported that none of his superior officers knew of or authorized Merai's activities. Merai also allegedly claimed that he was working for a foreign government."
But CGID dismissed Merai's explanation, saying that "Merai's claim that he was working "undercover" or under cover for a foreign government, is incredulous and stunningly superficial. At the time, he was not assigned to the narcotics squad. Further, his claim of working undercover as a foreign agent is not only "unlawful" but it is a "subterfuge," the Institute asserted. It questioned whether the government had investigated Merai's public confession of being a spy.
In November 2007, Guyana Police had acknowledged receiving a copy of the tape and a transcript. Police Commissioner Henry Greene also announced then that "an investigation by the force had been conducted and that the file had been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice." He also indicated that Merai had been relieved of duties as the coordinator of the Police Impact Patrol following the allegations, and was placed in charge of ministerial security. However, the organization said that Merai was never charged or disciplined.
The Institute said that the fact that President Bharrat Jagdeo, Minister of National Security Clement Rohee and Police Commissioner Henry Green, with full knowledge of the allegations against Merai, continue to sanction his tenure in the Police Force and command of the PPP's "ministerial security," is worrisome. "It is an indication that Merai's political loyalties to the PPP has paid a dividend."
The CGID added that "We strongly condemn Merai's readmission into the Guyana Police Force and his recent promotion to Assistant Commissioner. We believe that with this appointment, the criminal enterprise has solidified its foothold in the leadership of the Guyana Police."