Saturday, February 28, 2009
I am writing this letter to relate a very unpleasant experience that I just had with the Guyanese Honorary Consul in Barbados. I am currently residing in Barbados and my passport will be 15 years old in less than six months. I called Mr Norman Faria and explained that I am unable to travel to Guyana at the moment but I may need to travel to the United States.
He told me that since my passport is 15 years old I will need to travel to Guyana to get the new machine readable passport. He also explained that Guyanese passports had never been issued here in Barbados but that his office in the past would facilitate Guyanese nationals receiving new passports here. He went on to say, however, that this is now being discouraged since the implementation of the new passports.
I said I understand if it is being discouraged but I do need a new passport and I don’t mind taking the old type of passport since I cannot go home right now. He said that I will have to take two days and get it done. I thanked him and we ended the conversation.A few minutes later I decided to call him back to see what other avenues there might be. I identified myself again and said I had a question.
Then I asked him if the policy for all Guyanese living overseas is that they needed to return home to get a new passport. I was stunned when he rudely replied, “I do not want to get into this argument.” I tried to tell him that I am just trying to see if there are other options I may explore, but he continued to raise his voice.
He informed me that he had already told me what I had to do and I just had to do that and that he was going through the door. He then said if I have any other questions then I should take my passport and go to the Consulate Office, and then he hung up the phone.I was completely shocked and disappointed at this treatment. I have never even been treated like this at the hands of any Barbados official since I moved here.
How can Mr Faria demand that Guyanese be treated better here when this is the type of service he provides. Also, who is going to answer my questions now? All I want to know is what my options are for trying to get a new passport since I am unable to go home at this moment.Yours faithfully,Lloyda Nicholas
Jagdeo told a press conference that the Hand-in-Hand Trust Company had invested four million dollars in Certificates of Deposits on which SIB was ostensibly offering lucrative interest-rates, and 1.5 million in pension funds.
Jagdeo said that the $5.5 million amounted to nine per cent of Hand-in-Hand Trust Company’s assets, adding that Stanford Financials customers would be unable to sell securities until the Houston, Texas-based company’s assets are accounted for.
Stanford Financials receiver, securities Lawyer Ralph Janvey, said customers would be unable to make payments or transfers because the accounts have been frozen for the foreseeable future.Stanford, a wealthy cricket impresario who lives most of the year in the Caribbean, was charged last week by the US Securities and Exchange Commission of lying to investors about the safety and real returns of eight billion dollars in “certificates of deposits” and $1.2 billion in mutual funds.
There is no distinction between the major stories and those published weeks ago. Even the Government Incompetent News Agency (GINA) does a better job by actually archiving news items by date.
Whoever is behind the publication of the site needs an urgent lesson in website management and whoever it is behind the news items need to improve quickly. The site started out as news website, but has fallen apart faster than Clico and is now an olds website.
This newspaper has learnt that all may not be lost as the majority of the statutory reserves were still intact, but at present the future of the company is still uncertain as to whether the investment in CLICO (Bahamas) of in excess of $6 billion will be recovered.
Meanwhile the Shadow Minister of the People’s National Congress Reform, Winston Murray, proclaimed that it is evident that the Jagdeo Administration has been negligent in the delayed and dilatory manner in which they moved to protect the valuable assets held by the Guyanese people.
“Thousands of Guyanese workers are dependent on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which has a substantial investment in CLICO… Therefore, it must be a matter of national concern that the Administration failed to act with dispatch to protect the investment made by the NIS, on behalf to these Guyanese workers, in CLICO.”
Friday, February 27, 2009
From the Government Incompetent News Agency (GINA): The Government of Guyana wishes to express its strong disappointment over what appear to be deliberate attempts to distort and misrepresent important aspects of the press conference hosted by President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday on matters related to ClICO, Hand in Hand Trust, and the financial sector more generally.
In its issue today, the Guyana Times carried three stories related to this matter on its pages 2, 3 and 5. In all of these three reports, the Editor very cleverly omitted any reference to the very important statement made by the President that he had briefed the Leader of the Opposition, when he met with him at 12 noon on Wednesday, February 25, on the situation and on Government’s intention to approach the Courts to seek an order with relation to CICO.
It is on this basis that the President then expressed his disappointment that the Leader of the Opposition nevertheless engaged in grandstanding in Parliament on the matter subsequent to their meeting.
In the Guyana Times page 2 report on what the newspaper described as differences between the Government and the Opposition on the matter, the President’s disappointment at the position taken by the Leader of the Opposition is reported, but absolutely no reference is made to the fact that the President had briefed the Leader of the Opposition even before Government moved to the Courts.
This striking omission can only be intended to withold information on this important step taken by Government, and perpetuate the misleading impression that the Opposition was not apprised on developments on this matter.
The omission of the sentence is significant because it creates the impression that the President’s disappointment was a result of the Opposition Leader raising the matter in Parliament. Indeed, this is the legitimate right of the Opposition Leader.
Instead, the origin of the President’s disappointment is that the statements made by the Opposition on this matter seek to create the impression that they were not aware of action being contemplated by Government while, in fact, they were briefed in advance.
By the studious omission of this fact on the part of the Guyana Times Editor and reporter, the newspaper contributes to a perpetuation of this misinformation by the Opposition.
Secondly, in its report on page 10, the Stabroek News quotes the AFC as saying that the move to the Courts by the Government came in the wake of statements by the President that the economy of Guyana was sufficiently insulated from the effects of the global financial crisis, and that ClICO Guyana would not be affected by problems in the ClICO Group.
This is a blatant distortion of all previous pronouncements made by the President on the matter. Indeed, the President has been widely quoted as explaining the potential for mismatch between asset and liability maturities in the event of a run on any financial institution, including Clico, at the press conference he hosted immediately after returning from his official visit to the Middle East.
The same edition of Stabroek News on page 11 states that the President had at his earlier press conference “added that the only problem he could envisage in the short- term is a mismatch between liabilities and assets in the event of significant changes of the company’s investments abroad”.
In fact, the developments of earlier this week in the Bahamas constituted exactly that, a significant change in the status of the company’s investments abroad.
By no stretch of the imagination, therefore, could any of the President’s earlier statements be interpreted as suggesting that Guyana was fully insulated.
Thirdly, the Stabroek News report on page 11 by Mark McGowan makes reference to the President being “clearly irate” when asked certain questions.
It would be eminently obvious to anyone viewing a recording of the press conference that any hint of exasperation or impatience in the President’s responses was the result of redundant, repetitive, and clearly uninformed questions being asked by certain reporters, including the reporter from Stabroek News. Indeed, in at least one instance during the press conference, a reporter repeated a question that the President had just answered, resulting in the President responding by indicating that he would give the same answer that he had just already given. I
n addition, at no time did the President suggest the avoidance of “unnecessary unease among the populace” as a reason why Government did not indicate to the public earlier the likely financial difficulties faced by Clico Guyana. Instead, the President explained that no responsible Government or regulator would make premature statements which, simply by virtue of being made, could precipitate the demise of a functioning financial instutition. Indeed, this is evidenced and corroborated in all of the countries where action was taken in relation to ClICO.
Neither in Trinidad nor the Bahamas did the Government preempt regulatory intervention by making irresponsible statements to cast doubt on the strength of the institutions. In both countries, the first pronouncement by the authorities was the announcement of regulatory action or intervention.
A fourth example is found in the the same page 11 article in which the writer states that the President indicated that, if the NIS were to lose its investment of $6 billion, the Government would not be bound to provide the lost sum of money. In the first place, this discussion did not take place during the press conference but during a post-press-conference informal chat with some of the journalists who remained in the room.
In the second place, the President never made such a statement. When asked by a reporter if the law requires that the Government cover losses on NIS investments, the President indicated that he did not think so.
He went on to explain that if there are financial shortfalls at the NIS, such as might be indicated by an actuarial review, the Scheme would normally be required to reverse this deficit either by increasing its investment returns or raising its contribution rates.
At no point in time did the President indicate a departure from the commitment given during the press conference that steps will be taken to protect the pensions of those who have saved and invested in the institutions affected by these recent events, including NIS.A fifth example of misleading reporting is found at page 3 of Stabroek News.
During the press conference, the newspaper’s reporter asked about an alleged release that Guyana had been dropped from the list of countries to receive aid from Canada. Several reporters present at the press conference immediately turned to the Stabroek News reporter and advised him that there was no such report, and that they had already checked the matter with the Canadian authorities.
The President likewise indicated that he was not aware of any such release. Instead of clarifying the fact that there was no such release and that previous reports to this effect were inaccurate, the page 3 story attempts to suggest that the President undertook to check whether there was such a release. In fact, there was no such release, and this was made clear at the press conference, including by other reporters to the Stabroek News reporter.
These examples, and others, highlight the regrettable resort to incomplete, ill-informed, or misleading representations of what transpired in the press conference, and are symptomatic of a broader lack of accuracy in reporting these issues in recent times. The Government would urge greater responsibility on the part of journalists and editors in the interest of ensuring that the public receive the benefit of full and objective information on such matters which understandably and rightly are of interest to them
Government views these unsubstantiated and baseless comments as highly irresponsible and mischievous and wishes to state categorically that GBTI has not applied for any financial support or bailout in any form from the Bank of Guyana or any Government agency and does not face any issue requiring Government or regulatory intervention.
The comments made on Citizens’ Bank are, similarly, completely baseless and untrue.Government has noted that the Evening News has since retracted its comments and apologised for its actions, and it is hoped that other media houses and citizens will act responsibly in these matters.
Government further wishes to condemn what appears to be a coordinated attempt to cast aspersions on the strength of its financial system.
Such an approach is reckless and completely inconsistent with the practice of responsible journalism by knowledgeable professionals.
As has been reiterated by the Central Bank, Guyana’s financial system continues to be stable and the financial institutions operating in Guyana remain well-managed and financially sound.
The PNCR issued a Press Release yesterday on this very important national financial crisis.
It is evident that the Jagdeo Administration has been negligent in its delayed and dilatory manner in which they moved to protect the valuable assets held by the Guyanese people. Thousands of Guyanese workers are dependent on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which has a substantial investment in CLICO. Therefore, it must be a matter of national concern that the Administration failed to act with dispatch to protect the investment, made by the NIS , on behalf to these Guyanese workers, in CLICO.
A responsible, caring and pro-active Administration would not have put its friendships before its duty to take all necessary measures to assess the implications of the developments with respect to CLICO, within the Region, as well as the implications of the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Trust Company losing nearly US$1.5 million in .
The Party also expected, instead of remaining silent, the Monetary authority in Guyana , and the Commissioner of Insurance, would discharge their national responsibilities by submitting their proposals for dealing, in a timely manner, with the impending crisis., as the
The Party also wishes to remind the Jagdeo Administration that it has been calling for the appointment of a group of experts, from within and the Region, who understand the intricacies of the local and regional economies, to urgently analyse the current financial and economic crisis and propose solutions to cushion the effects of these developments on the Guyana economy.
The crisis is regional in scope and dimension, therefore, the PNCR urges that it be raised, on an urgent basis, at the next summit conference of the Caribbean Community.
The PNCR will table another Motion on this matter in the National Assembly of the Parliament under another Standing Order which could permit it to be debated in three days time.
Today, Friday February 27, 2009, the livingguyana.blogspot.com and which carried a letter with erroneous statements about the said Bank.Police Force received a complaint from the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) concerning an article that appeared on a website
The Guyana Police Force conducted an investigation and noted a second article on the same website in relation to the Citizen Bank Guyana Inc. Further investigations have revealed that these articles are erroneous and intended to cause confusion and disruption to the lives of citizens of Guyana and other stakeholders of these banking institutions.
The Force considers these acts to be erroneous, wicked and intended to cause public mischief. In the circumstances, an investigation has been launched to verify who is hosting this website and to pursue any other information or intelligence which surfaces during the investigation.
International and local agencies have been contacted for assistance in this investigation, and if it is determined that the law has been broken, anonymity does not exonerate anyone from the consequences that follow.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
“But does that make him a bumbo? Anyhow he is a big-shot and RAS mas’, as the Calypsonian Explainer sang, is a high mas’.”Now Stanford’s RAS seems to be grass — deeper, thicker and growing faster than the outfield of the Stanford Recreation Ground. In fact, he is batting on a Sticky Wicket that is getting stickier every second as he faces charges in the United States of masterminding and perpetrating a “fraud of shocking magnitude.”
From a Hall of Fame he is in a Hall of Shame. Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the SEC’s division of enforcement, said: “As we allege in our complaint, Stanford and the close circle of family and friends with whom he runs his businesses perpetrated a massive fraud based on false promises and fabricated historical return data to prey on investors.” His RASsets have been frozen. A liquidator, and this is not the bartender at the Sticky Wicket, is now in charge of the vast Stanford holdings.
I had first met RAS when he was plain Mr. Stanford or, as owner of an airline, plane Mr. Stanford in Jamaica on the day the Cricket World Cup was launched in Trelawney.
Mr. Stanford and his entourage were there for a meeting on his proposed 20/20 series, the domestic version, as well as the international winner-take-all match featuring “his” Superstars.On the other side of the table were the International Cricket Council (ICC) which had told Mr. Stanford that he needed to get permission from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to hold any of his events, either domestic or international, and the WICB represented by Mr. Ken Gordon.
The ICC team comprised Percy Sonn from South Africa who was then the President and Malcolm Speed, the CEO. Sonn, a street-fighter for the African National Congress during the Apartheid era, was not one to mince words and he told RAS bluntly where he could put his money.“Cricket is not for sale,” he declared.
Shell-shocked and dazed by the Sonn barrage, Stanford asked bemusedly afterwards, “Who is that guy?” Meanwhile, Sonn questioned, “Who does he think he is?”Interestingly, Stanford kept insisting that he was not in the cricket for the money, that he just wanted to have fun. But there was no fun in the Sonn who was a pain in the RAS.
Sonn warned RAS that if he started a rebel league he and his players would be on the outside of world cricket with no hope of looking in.Now RAS faces the prospect of being on the inside of a penitentiary looking out, not something that you would associate with a man with several private jets, many homes, yachts and listed as No. 62 in the list of the world’s richest men with a personal fortune of over US$2 billion.It is interesting that his star has plummeted just like his airline Caribbean Star.
RAS had started the airline thinking that with the onset of competition LIAT would just drop out of the sky and he would have it all his own way – something that characterised his approach to everything from cricket to conversation.
Regional governments kept LIAT going, defying logic and the odds. Stanford lost money and his Board did not like it. Even then it was evident that his business dealings were not as solid as he projected them. I had jokingly said that if you want to become a millionaire the best way is to start off as a billionaire and then buy an airline.
Caribbean Star was absorbed into LIAT and one jewel had dropped off the Stanford crown, giving it a slightly unbalanced if not tarnished appearance.In spite of this, Stanford continued at his old tricks. He had driven a hard bargain with the airline, publicising his charity but behind the scenes driving a bargain that was onerous and as one-sided as he could get it. The WICB had earlier experienced the duplicity that characterised Stanford’s dealings.There was a meeting to discuss the first regional 20/20.
Stanford was sent an aide memoire of the meeting in which he promised to rescue the Board from its financial woes. The document also included that the Board agreed in principle to the regional 20/20.
That was all Stanford needed. He took this as his licence to run the 20/20 and the Board got zero.I found out for myself the level of pettiness at which Stanford operated. Before I went to Antigua to live I donated my newspaper column to the Antigua Sun, a paper owned by Stanford (and also running at a loss).
I did it both because a colleague was the Editor of the Sun and because some Antiguans were reading my column off the web and liked it.
In 2007, I was negotiating with Stanford and his people on behalf of the WICB for an agreement that would allow him to hold the 20/20 and the Superstars game.One week two things happened that angered him.
I had written about an experience with Caribbean Star in which there was only one bottle of water and it ran out, leaving us thirsty on an island hopping flight from Trinidad to Antigua.My comment was that fortunately Stanford was a billionaire.
If he was just a millionaire there would be no water at all on the flight. I was also getting tired of the shifting ground rules or goalposts in the negotiations. We would agree on something and then his people would come back with a different position.
He brandished his money out front as an inducement and then kept reducing the amount while increasing his demands. I was openly critical of this ploy.
He personally called the Editor of the Sun and instructed him to immediately discontinue my column. I took this philosophically.As I told the Editor, that was his RAS business and he could do what the RAS he wanted.
Now the situation has changed and the SEC is calling the shots and big shots at that – Stanford, Madoff and the gang that couldn’t keep straight.
*Tony Deyal was last seen sound in the knowledge that by the time this article goes to print on Carnival Saturday in Trinidad, the SEC and the FBI had caught their RAS.
E News: When it comes to excuses, this sure beats the dog ate my homework.
T-Pain has scrapped a concert in Guyana after the local promoter said the entertainer received "credible death and kidnapping threats."
He had been the headliner for Monday's Mash 2009 "mega-concert," coinciding with the country's Carnival festivities. T-Pain had been the biggest name U.S. entertainer scheduled to play Guyana in years.
Local police say they are attempting to ascertain the identity of the person or persons who emailed and phoned several threats. No comment from Team T-Pain.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Usually, the Budget is passed by a simple majority and with all the Government MPs kissing ass, this year it looks pretty much the same....Wasted time and tax dollars in the House to feed the politicians who argue for nothing. The poo ole man at Demerara Waves has to sit through the tirade to bring the world the disturbing debates. He must have drawing patriotic strength from all those Guyanese songs played before the broadcast.
Some time on Saturday, 14th February, 2009, I was asked by you to give a comment on the association with the Government and Michael Brassington Jnr., who your newspaper had reported as having information on as being involved in the negotiation in the purchase of two derelict Bell 206 helicopters, and whose father you had reported had ties with Oleg Derispaska of Russia.
Indeed, my short comment to you was that “the Government of Guyana has an aptitude for dealing with unholy characters”. I even named a number of them, including Bernard Kerik. Moreover, I did advise that an investigation into what other negotiations may have been entered into must be conducted, and that in future the government must be cautious to check the credibility and credentials of such negotiators.
Very importantly, I acted exclusively on the premise that your reports that Michael Brassington Jnr. was indeed involved in the negotiations for the purchase of the two helicopters were authentic and accurate.
Again, I acted on the premise that your information that his father was in close contact with Russian oligarch Oleg Derispaska was authentic and accurate.
I have now learnt that both these reports and information about these Brassingtons are without foundation, wholly inaccurate and without any authenticity. They may be more referable to another Brassington, in whose interest this whole affair may have been conceived to create a diversion. I wish to forthwith disconnect the remarks I had made from Michael Brassington Jnr. and Snr., but maintain that indeed this government has an aptitude for dealing with unholy characters. Whatever harm and damage I may have caused the Brassingtons, I wholly regret and sincerely apologise for.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Corbin is arguing the need for both sides to work together, noting that he has reached across the isle at the expense of his party's expense. We question Corbin's ability to work with the Government, givenhis failure to hold his party together by working with those who are opposed to his views.
At 2: 45 pm, Corbin admits that he is no economist. This is interesting since Murray, who sits next to him, is still not yet in the House. he said that there is no increase in the manufacturing sector estimated in the budget. Corbin also expresses concern about people acquiring funding to undertake housing expansion. Minister Ashni Singh has arrived in the House.
At 3:00 pm, Corbin said that the Budget will create increase public debt, which will burden future generations. He added that the Budget increases the tax burden on tax payers. Like the veteran debater he is, Corbin pointed out that page 24 of the 2008 Budget listed the construction of the Skeldon Sugar factor to be completed in 2008. "Failure," he shouted.
At 3:30 pm, Corbin still firing. The only thing that makes sense in the last 30 minutes since our last update, is the fact that the Budget does not provide enough funds for GECOM to complete the registration process to hold local government elections. Already we can see the holding of local government elections being put off again this year.
At 3:50 pm, Corbin concludes his contribution to the debate. Thank God
She said that in addition to the ministry, help could also be sought from partner agencies such as Help and Shelter, Red Thread, other women’s organisations and churches. She added that help could also be sought from the Legal Aid Clinic which has been set up in six of the ten administrative regions and the police. Manickchand said that while there have been complaints in the past about police inaction, she has noticed that the force is now responding to reports. However, there is still room for improvement on the part of the police, she stated.
>>>Is this the same Minister that said the issue of the former 'First Lady' being abused is a private matter. Abuse is private eh Hon. Minister, now you telling women to seek help. You talk a good bubbly pot of crap and boi how you serving it up to the ordinary Guyanese.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The Magistrate is confused about the sudden interest since the staffer is supposed to be of the male specimen. She is now worried that the male staffer might try to solicit her male friends either when they leave or on their way to her home. She refused to say the name of the OP staff, but said that very soon people would see who is the real McCoy (whatever that means).
Welch's Marathon: With the three most established players in the side captain Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, already indicating that their wickets have a heavy price tag on them and the bowlers led by intelligent pacer Jerome Taylor supported by spinner Sulieman Benn and fellow fast bowlers Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards exhibiting the kind of discipline required at the highest level, it is difficult to see how England can extricate themselves from their current situation after such an embarrassing loss in Jamaica.
I hope he is not because if he holds any aspiration to become the President of Guyana in 2011, he must know that this Budget Speech would not do any good for his own chances or for that matter, the People’s Progressive Party.What the speech reveals is the stifling lack of imagination that exists within government.
Surely, the speech contained the same old policies which have been tried and tested in the past.
The PPP when it was in opposition had decried neo-liberal economic policies. Yet this same government has for sixteen consecutive years embraced a neo-liberal model of development, ironically the very model which was responsible for the economic meltdown in Argentina a few years ago and which is not shaking the very foundations of the global capitalist system.The present Budget is devoid of vision.It is hallow and shallow.
It does not lead anywhere but to a blind alley. It is based on a model that projects growth based on fundamentals that are not going to lift the masses of our people out of poverty.The 2009 Budget is like any other PPP Budget. You have heard one and you have heard all. The emphasis is on collecting more taxes so that public expenditure can be increased, increased borrowing to fund projects and the constant stress of macroeconomic stability.This nonsense about macroeconomic stability needs to be nailed once and for all.
There is nothing stable about macroeconomic stability in Guyana. We are either supporting an undervalued currency or floating an overvalued dollar. Macroeconomic stability is not allowing our dollar to appreciate and this is the surest sign that while we have economic growth this growth is distorted because it is not making our dollar stronger.Macroeconomic stability is also not helping interest rates to find their equilibrium.
These rates are being supported by monetary policies that are concentrated on sterilizing excess liquidity in the banking sector, instead of boldly and imaginatively seeking to put this excess liquidity to work.All of this is due to an unimaginative monetary policy which is perhaps the greatest failure of economic planning over the past twenty years.
The inflation rate baffles me. What is quoted as the official inflation rate bears little resemblance to what consumers face in the shops each day. Prices are high and this is one of the great tragedies in our country.
There is simply a lack of sufficient sensitivity to the impact of inflation on the daily lives of citizens.Yesterday, the printer’s devil was at work quoting the Peeper as saying that Guyana’s economic plans for 2009 rests on the tenuous strings of recovery within sugar and public consumption.
The latter should have read public construction.Even if as part of a stimulus package we had engineered massive public construction expenditure, this would not resolve the problems of underdevelopment since the construction boom in our country benefits a small number of contractors.
It was hoped that this year the government would have moved away from that model and instead try to design public sector projects so that it would help to a greater extent in job creation. The greatest obstacle to increased jobs, for example, in the construction sector, is the notion that Guyana has problems with absorptive capacity.
This thinking unfortunately is quite pronounced and is mainly responsible for only a handful of firms dominating road construction in Guyana.The private sector also has similar problems of capital concentration. While there are a number of small companies that are in existence at the moment, especially in the retail trade, wealth and market share in the economy are dominated by a few large companies in the manufacturing and financial sector.
Fortunately, most of these titans are doing well. But all it would take is for one massive failure of any of the large companies in Guyana for there to be a business tailspin. And this is why the eerie silence of the Budget in terms of monitoring some of the large companies in Guyana is worrying.But certainly, it is not as worrying as the fate of GuySuCo, the richest company in Guyana, but one which has for years now been facing problems, and on which the performance of the economy is hanging.
This is why I am worried for ‘The Donald’. And this is why I believe he should be worried too, because the 2009 Budget can shatter the dreams of his fans who are hoping that ‘The Donald’ will become the PPP’s next Presidential candidate.And this is why over the next week he must fight tooth and nail to have this Budget sent back to the drawing board.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Georgetown, GINA, February 6, 2009
The government is closely monitoring the ongoing developments in Trinidad and Tobago concerning CL Financial and its subsidiaries as it wants to make sure that the people’s interest here is protected. President Bharrat Jagdeo, at a press conference at State House yesterday, said close attention is being paid to the issue. Guyana’s tough financial regulations, including the Financial Institutions Act (FIA), and the stringent inspections conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have ensured that Guyana’s “financial sector is in good health”, and the likelihood of a CLICO-like debacle happening here remains remote.
>>>Those retards at GINA and OP would have you belive that Guyana is the most financially stable country in the world. At a time of great economic problems, that's a pretty good sell. Any investor would tell you that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is not true.
Over the last year, we have come to understand the plight of the Air Traffic Controllers, from low pay, unsanitary toilets and poor working conditions. The Union has done a great job in bringing these to the attention of the employer who in this case is the Government.
Not one of us can say that their demands are uncalled for. We too would have wanted our back pay and proper toilets and working conditions. Because of the limited staff in this field, it puts a strain on the others when one is sick or out for any given time. The bottom line here is that we must treat our people better.
Look at the tremendous job they do every day. Even with the limited equipment, they bring in our families as safe as they can to Guyana.
I felt the pain this week when I went to the airport at 4am only to be told that the flight will be at 11.30. I did not get upset because I support the call of the air traffic controllers.
The Minister’s decision to terminate is the same tactic of forcing the citizens into submission through fear. The Minister drives around in his nice 4 X 4 and has numerous staff and equipment at his disposal, so he doesn’t care of what others must go through. He doesn’t feel our pain.
The Little ThingsMany of us every day come up with ways to improve our nation. If only someone would ask our opinion; if only instead of the government coming and meet with the village leaders, they will come and ask us the citizens; if only when the government holds its propaganda TV shows on NCN, the hosts will allow us to call in. Why are they so afraid of the ordinary citizens?
Example of the little things that can make our lives better:
1. We may not be able to afford a four-lane highway all the way to the Airport, but we can make passing lanes every few miles where there is a wider stretch. That will cut down on accidents and make for a smoother ride. In addition, all the road turns were removed in Mahaica, Unity and Mahaicony. Why not do the same on the East Bank Road, which sees much more traffic everyday to the airport and where our visitors must use to come to the city.
2. From 7am to 9am rush hour traffic, no trucks should be allowed to drive on the East Bank Road into the City. Many workers are late for work or have to get up early due to the heavy congestions.
3. Move maintenance of roads and drains to the local communities. Hire local residents to maintain their drains and fix their roads. They will do a better job. You tell me, if I was hired to clean the drains in Bel Air, and after I cleaned it today tomorrow it is full with trash, don’t you think that person will know which resident did it? Empower us. We will prove we can do it better.
4. Instead of giving out plant seeds to everyone that comes and asks for it, why not give out one type of seed to each community. So for example, one community will plant peppers, one will plant tomatoes, not a case of everyone trying to plant everything which then causes everyone to try to sell the same produce at the market.
What if we open a farmer’s market in every community, where the residents get to buy right there instead of coming all the way town? That should immediately reduce the cost for the produce since there are limited transportation costs.
5. The overcrowding in jail is because our laws need to change. One ends up in jail without any bail for months for petty crimes. I know of one individual that was accused for taking drugs into the prison. He was held in jail for three months, on the fact that someone said they saw him. A year later there has been no trial.
6. It would be great to use some of the excess VAT money to help feed our needy school children. Many of them go to school hungry.
7. I have advocated for years to use some of the excess VAT money for free school transportation. It would be nice to hear the Minister say he will do that versus firing of the only few air traffic controllers we have in the country which will basically shut off all air transportation.
I am sure you can add to this list of the little things we can do better to make our lives better off. We can together make a difference in each other’s lives. We need our government to get on the bandwagon of good, versus always at us. We need them to listen instead of telling us what they will do.
We are the people paying for the government jobs. Yes Minister Benn, you only exist because we are paying your salary, and we want to terminate you too. Our roads are a mess in the villages and nothing has been done in decades. Maybe you are trying to keep the President from returning.
The Government has proven to be the worst employer in Guyana. We must get away from all the talk and get to action. Together we will make Guyana better. Join in the voices of Guyanese everywhere and be counted.
Until next time “Roop”
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Sources say this latest inquiry is part of an expanding probe into the drug trade which has gained momentum in recent weeks following seizures in the US and Canada of drug shipments which originated in Guyana.
>>>We boi Greene wants to impress the US people so he going after the drug empire. But we must warn him that the empire runs high and pockets deep. The empire is protected and never neglected by those in power. The empire is powerful and will use every dirty trick in the book to drum up enough pressure against you. The empire has seen to your appointment now more than ever, you had better be careful if you want to stay on the job pass the age of retirement. Lastly Mr. Commissioner, the empire has the power to track you down and the means to run your career into the ground. Take heed!!!
For the second straight press conference since Singh disclosed that their union was never registered, Jagdeo refused to answer a question about whether the public deserves an explanation. “I have spoken enough on this matter. I am not going to be saying anything else on it. And I think it’s clear what I said in my document. You, as I said the last time, speak to her.”
Jagdeo and Singh were married according to Hindu rites in July, 1998 and according to Singh there were at least three unsuccessful attempts to register the union. As a result, their marriage was never legal.
President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday told a press briefing at State House that he has urged Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh to wrap up the discussions on the legislation at the level of the parliamentary select committee set up to review it.
The special select committee was created by the Parliament in June 2007 to examine the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Finance of Terrorism Bill, but only started work a year later. Dr. Singh is chair of the committee.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Kenton Sanmoogan, 40 who was charged with reckless driving, false reporting and driving drunk while in charge of a vehicle was ordered to compensate the BVI Electricity Corporation $11,950 for the damage cost to the pole.
>>>If you think that's funny, read this...
Sanmoogan immediately fled the scene and went home where he called the Police Station and reported that his vehicle was stolen. His wife then inquired what happened and he eventually explained what transpired. Sanmoogan along with his wife returned to the scene where he turned himself in to the Police.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Along with Michael Brassington, fellow co-founder Paul Brassington, manager Andre Budhan; and maintenance director Brien McKenzie, were also arrested on Wednesday and charged with conspiracy to purposely violate regulatory requirements for operating commercial aircraft.
In addition, have also been issued for charter director Joseph Singh, and pilot Francis Viera.
The charges state that those running the now defunct Platinum Jet Management LLC routinely over-fueled aircraft to cut costs and falsified records required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to investigators, fuel loading contributed to twenty people being injured in a 2005 crash at New Jersey's , when a chartered jet failed to take off and smashed through a fence, crossed a busy road, and slammed into a warehouse.
Ralph Marra, New Jersey's chief federal prosecutor, said Platinum Jet played a "dangerous game with passengers and airplanes loaded to the brim with jet fuel."
Michael Brassington's name surfaced recently in evidence given to the Commission of Inquiry by Misick.
On Friday, January 16, 2008, senior Commission counsel asked Misick about named individuals accompanying him on a flight by chartered jet to Portugal on 18 April 2007. In particular, Milne asked about Michael Brassington.
"He was the pilot," replied Misick.
"Was Mr Brassington someone who flew you on a regular basis?" Milne asked.
"Mr Brassington is -- while he is a pilot, he is also a broker, and I think he was the part owner of Aerojet," Misick responded.
Milne persevered with his questioning: "Is he a regular pilot for you though? Has he flown you on other occasions?"
"He has flown me on other occasions," Misick confirmed.
Earlier US media reports claimed that a former Customs agent had implicated the same Michael Brassington, whose full name is Michael Francis Brassington, as part of a ring of corrupt Customs officials under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.
Brassington was also the co-pilot on a drug-running (N351WB) caught by DEA agents at Orlando Executive Airport in July 2000 carrying 43 pounds of heroin
The Guyanese pilot has been in the news again recently, this time in his native Guyana, when he was named in a procurement scandal over the disputed purchase by the of two antique 30-year old helicopters from a 'dummy' company in Delaware.
It was further discovered that Brassington's father, also named Michael Brassington, has close business ties with one of the most notorious oligarchs in the Russian mob, Oleg Deripaska, the "last man standing" in the Aluminum Wars in Russia during the 1990s for control of that strategic resource.
Brassington's name also surfaced in connection with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, because he had been the co-pilot on the drug-running Lear jet (N351WB) owned by Wallace Hilliard. Hilliard also owned the Venice, Florida, flight school where and were at the time learning to fly.
Further reports reveal that, in , a court temporarily revoked Brassington's airline transport pilot certificate (Number 083722815) for falsifying manifest sheets and trip itinerary logs.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
JERUSALEM — Hamas police in Gaza seized thousands of blankets and food parcels meant for needy residents, a U.N. spokesman said Wednesday, threatening to fracture relations between the international agency that cares for most of Gaza's residents and the territory's militant rulers.
Hamas policemen forcibly broke into an aid warehouse in Gaza City on Tuesday evening and confiscated 3,500 blankets and over 4,000 food parcels, said Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
Gunness said the incident was "absolutely unacceptable."
He said police confiscated aid meant for 500 families after U.N. officials refused to voluntarily hand it over to the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs. Similar U.N. aid packages had already been distributed to 70,000 residents over the past two weeks.