Dear Editor,The very thought that the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown is even considering splurging $20 million on itself under the guise that it is hosting a week of activities to celebrate its anniversary is just revolting.The members of the administration and/or the committee that came up with such a reckless proposal are evidently demented and not in touch with reality. They should be ashamed of themselves, and be condemned by those in authority at City Hall.How on earth could a municipality that is bankrupt; that is supposedly penniless; that constantly runs to Central Government for bailouts and other forms of financial assistance; that owes, as they say in Guyana, ‘Tom, Dick and HarryLall,’ even conceptualise such an idea. It is at best ludicrous.But the real question to be asked is: What does Georgetown have to celebrate? The collapsed wharf at Stabroek Market? The clocks at the various markets that do not work? The fact that the iconic City Hall is crumbling and falling apart? The rise in crime around the municipal markets? The non-completion of the Kitty Market? The statutory rape of a minor and killing of a mentally ill man whilst he was in the custody of the City Constabulary? They have done absolutely nothing to rejoice about.It would seem that the only validation and rationalisation that the Mayor could advance for the hosting of this ostentatious merriment is that the event is something which was held in the past but had been stopped, and that the event could be likened to that of the annual town weeks of New Amsterdam, Bartica and Linden. This reminds us of the pidgin-style saying: ‘Monkey see, monkey do’, which implies the act of mimicry, usually with limited knowledge and/or concern for the consequences.How pathetic! Do the New Amsterdam, Bartica and Linden municipalities fail to remit workers’ contributions to the Guyana Revenue Authority or the National Insurance Scheme, leaving their workers without any sickness, injury or maternity benefits?Sincerely,Modi Sankar
Dear Editor,For quite a number of years, I’ve always gotten angry whenever illegal immigrants caught in Guyana are hauled before the courts. Some get fined and deported, and I cannot recall any being jailed. I’ve always had the opinion that it is wrong, and reading Thursday’s papers, I felt a great relief when reading the article wherein our Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that steps would be in place to accommodate those desirous of entering Guyana.There are many reasons that cause people to enter another country, especially illegally; either for better opportunities, and like how we are witnessing problems in neighbouring countries that are causing people to migrate from their country all around. I must applaud Mr Greenidge and say it’s a much welcome move.However, Editor, I urge that even though we would be allowing immigrants, I hope that before this plan is executed, the authorities install proper mechanism in place to prevent lawlessness to occur. No doubt, once the floodgate is open, many would utilize the opportunity to enter, especially criminals/fugitives and drugs mules/dealers/barons.Our whole country is being kept back from development by means of technology because of our dinosaur’s era internet service we are getting for ages, and I hope that all ports of entry would be equipped with internet-ready computers and have network access with other countries, so that background checks could be made on those desirous of entering Guyana. And plans should be in place for monitoring of suspicious characters and the various offenders that would use the opportunity to enter here.Over the years, I’ve witnessed many deportees returning to Guyana, and they would amass followers and boast of the country they got deported from, and compare Guyana with those countries. Sadly, many would believe these disgraced criminals, unknown to them that sometimes the stories they are telling are not true; but it would motivate many of our ignorant youths, and they would end up looking at these deportees as some sort of saviour, and the deportees would encourage them to do all sorts of things, including crime and using illecit drugs.I’ve personally witnessed more than one such incident, so I am just using that as an example so that the authorities would put mechanisms in place to protect our youths; because they are vulnerable, especially our girl children. Not everyone entering Guyana would be bad, and I am quite sure we would be getting a lot of talented people also.Sincerely,Sahadeo Bates
A construction worker lost his life Saturday after falling from the roof of the house he was working on at Corriverton, Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne).Dead: Youraj SewlallDead is Youraj Sewlall, 29, of Number Nauth Village, Corentyne.Reports are the father of two and several others were constructing a house when he slipped and fell from the roof.This publication was told that when Sewlall fell he came into contract with an electric wire from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) before hitting the ground where several colleagues rushed to his assistance.He was taken to the Skeldon Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have since questioned all the workers as investigations continue.Sewlall leaves to mourn his wife and two children.
The trial date has been set for the Essequibo woman Bibi Safora Salim, who is charged for using Facebook to issue threatening and derogatory statements against President David Granger.The date was set by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan when Salim, who was charged for attempting to exciteBibi Safora SalimPresident David Grangerhostility on the grounds of race contrary to Section 2 (1) (C) of the Racial Hostility Act, Chapter 23:01 of the Criminal Offences Act, appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. The trial has been set for June 15, 2016.In April 2016, Salim pleaded not guilty to the charge and was placed on $200,000 bail.The 52-year-old mother of three, who hails from Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo, was taken into Police custody for questioning following her Facebook post about shooting the President.She was represented by Attorney Euclin Gomes, who told the Court that his client was “technologically challenged”.This claim was, however, challenged by Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers who strongly objected to bail and told the Court that Salim admitted in a statement to the Police to being the owner of the laptop from which she used a password to access the said account.He also objected to bail on the grounds of the serious nature of the offence, threats posed, and the racial remarks that were used on social media against the President.Salim reportedly sent two photos via whatsapp messenger to her son, which shared similar sentiments.According to Prosecutor Jeffers, the case files are completed and some 14 witnesses are slated to testify in the trial, which should have commenced since May 11.
The 144thSynod of the Anglican Diocese in the region got underway in Guyana. The highest decision- making forum of the Anglican Church in Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, got underway with a Grand Mass at St George’s Cathedral on Sunday.Reverend Charles Davidson in his address to the gatheringThe event is three days of debate and discussions on crucial issues in the church. Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Guyana, Reverend Charles Davidson set the tone for the rest of the session. In the Reverend’s address to the hundreds in gathering, he reiterated the importance of the responsibility of Christians make sure the body that Christ gave us continues to be vibrant and avoid the negative influences present in our everyday lives.One of the issues that will be discussed is the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Diocese of Guyana and the Ministry of Laity in the Church.Also present at the service on Sunday were Diocesan President Marin Porter, Brotherhood of St Andrew; Diocesan President Joan James, Mother’s Union; Henrietta Edwards, and the Clergy of Diocese among others.This is the first Synod since the consecration of the Right Reverend Charles Davidson as the eighth Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Guyana.
A Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, woman lost her life on Saturday, after she was stuck by a car on the Vryheid’s Lust Public Road, ECD.Dead is Shanti Singh, 30, of 75 Better Hope, who was reportedly hit by a car while running across the road. According to a Police release, the fatal accident occurred at about 19:20h.Police investigations have so far revealed that car PRR 530 was travelling along the northern side of Vryheid’s Lust Public Road when Singh, who was on the said side, attempted to run across the road but ended in the path of the car which collided with her.The woman received extensive injuries about her body and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead.The driver is currently in police custody assisting with investigations.
While most Toshaos are pleased with the pledge of the President to have Cabinet deliberate on accenting to aNTC ChairmanJoel Frederickspiece of land for the National Toshao Council (NTC), many of them are against the establishment of a five-person body to assist the Council.At the closing of the National Toshao Council Conference, Guyana Times spoke to several indigenous leaders and they expressed disapproval with the President’s call for the setting up of a five-person Indigenous People’s Authority to speed up the implementation of decisions coming out of the NTC.On Monday, President David Granger had stated that it is unfair for the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs to act as “postman” in a fragmented system diffusing across the several ministries in order to access aid for health, physical infrastructure, social protection, economics, and education, Granger stated that it is applicable for such a novel establishment.He predicted that the body will implement decisions made by the NTC and the National Assembly.“We need to clothe the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs with the authority to act decisively to deal with some of these problems,” he had said, charging the Minister to recommend measures to set up the authority.However, one Toshao of Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) stated that this is a bad move since it would usurp the role of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Council. “We don’t need something like that if we already have a ministry and the NTC,” he said, adding that the Government to turn their eyes at establishing ways to fix more pressing issues like mining and the social breakdown of the hinterland regions.Toshao of Isseneru, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) Darnes Larson said; “I don’t think it is a wise idea because the Ministry already has two Ministers, two advisors plus technical workers,” stressing that his opinion is not blinded by any “agents of division” or support of any political party.He stated that it is crucial for the Government to address issues such as mining, land titling, and the rights of Amerindian peoples.President Granger had stated that the authority would work under the Ministry to lend support to the NTC as a measure to better the quality of life for indigenous people.Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Shadow Minister Pauline Sukhai has also openly rejected the call. She contended that the new body would undermine the work of the Ministry and the NTC, explaining that the Ministry is already staffed with technical people to manage the affairs of the people.“I notice that there is an attempt to usurp the power of the NTC now and even the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs where now you are going to propose to establish a five-man committee to implement decisions. I don’t see independence in that,” Sukhai said.“…there is need for support for empowering and support of indigenous leaders. How will you establishing a five-person committee when there is a Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs with two Ministers,” she added.However, NTC Chairman Joel Fredericks received President Granger’s announcement with elation. “I believe this is a step in the right direction and I support it but I think the NTC should be a part it,” he said.
After all is said and done, it came to one thing: give the former stars a chance to prove themselves. And for three weeks, Team Debbah went through rigorous coaching seminar recently held in Monrovia.Among the participants were the Miracle Man, James Salinsa Debbah, Joe Nagbe, Janjay Jacobs, Kervin Sebwe, Christopher Wreh Oliver Makor, and the legend himself, George Manneh Weah.“It was an incredible experience as these former soccer stars sat through the seminar day after day,” said an eye-witness. The coaches were CAF Elite instructors, Henry Browne and Francis Tamba, assisted by former national Coach J. Kaetu Smith.Among the subjects discussed included the philosophy of coaching or how to turn an ordinary player into a quality footballer. “This was important because a coach must understand how to mold and impart quality knowledge into unsung players,” said an official who was at the program for all the twenty one days.With James Debbah in the lead, the coaches asked many questions and they got answers. It was an interactive discussion as the former soccer stars posed many questions and the elite coaches provided them the required answers.The would-be coaches, in their illustrations, identified certain situations that happened when they were actively playing abroad.“It was a shocking experience as the former super stars who played across Europe examined the information given them,” said another eye-witness.A member of the coaching staff told the Daily Observer yesterday, “We were impressed that these former super stars were brainstorming and drawing up their own conclusions.” He said by allowing them to manage the various national teams as coaches does not mean that all is well with Liberian football.“At least we have begun the process and only time will show us how right our decision is,” he said, “we now have people handling the national teams who have had firsthand experience playing abroad under varied coaches and they are bringing those experiences to help those young players that they would be developing.”That the newly appointed coaches demonstrated rigid determination for a better soccer program in Liberia was the fact that they were able to, during the early interviews conducted by the technical department of the LFA, convince officials why they are the best to lead the change that Liberian football needs presently.“It will be unfair to declare that there will be absolute success to lour football program because we have former players as coaches,” one of the Elite coaches told the Daily Observer, “what we’re doing is we are moving in the right direction with people who can and are able to transform their experiences into our players for a better performance.”The Daily Observer learned that the transformation of former soccer stars into firs class coaches is a process, being developed by the LFA to ensure that there is a pool of players to help the national effort.“The LFA is impressed by the commitment of those appointed,” an official said, “and we hope the general soccer public will support the process to use former players who are able to deal with local and professional players when it is necessary.”The general deportment of the participants, their interactive involvement and the effective manner they provided answers to why they are capable for the job, convinced the LFA that the exercise is worthy.“We are satisfied that all the participating coaches understood the philosophy of the game,” an Elite coach said. “That is fundamental in successful coaching.”The process now continues on December 4, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium at 9a.m. with practical application of the knowledge so far gained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberia football giants Barrack Young Controller (BYC) and Fassell departed the country to their respective hunting grounds early Tuesday morning on Air Maroc to honor their respective first leg matches in the continental club tournaments.The Blues – FC BYC are in Banjul, the Gambia to lock horns with Real de Banjul on Saturday, February 14. The Soccer Missionaries — FC Fassell are in Bamako, Mali, to host Horoya FC of Guinea on Sunday, February 15.FC Fassell should have hosted the Guinean team in Monrovia but because of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) the Confederation of African Football (CAF) delocalized football activities in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia thus forcing clubs from these countries participating in CAF competitions to find neutral venues for their respective home matches.Howbeit, the Malian Football Association (MFA) agreed to serve as home ground for Liberian representatives as well as the Sierra Leonean and Guinean teams.FC Fassell is in Bamako to host Horoya FC with the return leg taking place on Friday, the 27th of February also in Bamako.The three-time Liberian courier at CAF will host Real de Banjul in Bamako on Sunday, the 1st of March.Meanwhile, the first timer at the CAF tournament, FC Fassell called up nine players to boast their team. They included Vitalis Gobeoh Sieh, Eddie Wulue, Sam Chaplay Kollie, Aloysius Simujla, and Jeremiah Jlateh Sickey.Others included Bill Gayflor, Albert Nimely, Adama Massaquoi and Terrance L. Tisdell.For BYC, the likes of Mulbah Urey, Benjamin Gbamy, Prince Jetoh, Blamoh Nimely, Sporo Somah, Francis Jalabah, Prince Saydee, Gideon Williams, Samuel Thompson, and George Duada are in the line-up, amongst others.Barrack Young Controllers are supported by Mr. Robert Sirleaf while FC Fassell is bankrolled by diamond broker Cassell F. Kouh, Jr. Both men are the chairmen of the Board of Directors of their clubs respectively.Unlike FC Fassell, which would be their debut appearance in the CAF Confederation Cu, but BYC eliminated Asante Kotoko of Ghana on a 1-0 aggregate, but were also eliminated by Sewe Sports of Cote d‘Ivoire on a 4-3 aggregate in their last appearance. lShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A week-long training for customs authorities in Anglophone West African states began in Monrovia Monday, with the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, pledging to raise the country’s customs systems to meet modern standards.“Customs has today moved away from the traditional gatekeeper concept to an approach which meets the increasing demands of growing trade facilitation,” said Commissioner Tamba during the opening ceremonies of the World Customs Organization (WCO) – West African Customs Administrations Modernization (WACAM) Project. The LRA Commissioner further emphasized that customs operations today require the implementation of proper border procedures, the operations of border processes and setting the appropriate balance between border control and trade facilitation.“The LRA is fully committed to this process,” she assured participants at the Regional Workshop on Strategic Management.Underscoring the importance of the workshop, she declared that strategic management cannot be ignored in 21st Century customs, general revenue administration and business management, anywhere in the world.WCO representative Philip Wood said the project intends to work with a number of customs authorities in Africa to strengthen their capacities.Strengthening the capacities of these authorities is not about developing new plans but rather in building capacities that lead to developing excellent strategic plans aimed at meeting the requirements of the 21st Century and the WCO’s trade facilitation operations, among others, he said.The head of the Gambian delegation, Yankuba Darboe, and that country’s Revenue Authority Commissioner General, described the workshop as an opportunity for customs authorities to share their experiences in order to make improvements in their respective countries.He underscored the significance of strategic planning, stating, “Without a proper strategic plan, the organization cannot move (in any) direction.”Funded by the Swedish Development Agency, the WCO and WACAM Project seeks to strengthen customs organizations to perform up to global standards.-LINA Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)