July 27, 2016

Ballr Cup Tri-Nation Series… Australia down West Indies by 6 wickets.

By Akeem Greene.

Watched by a close to capacity crowd, a combination of steady bowling by the Australians and irresponsible batting by the West Indies batsmen was the main reason for Australia’s convincing six wicket win in the second day/night match of the Ballr Tri-Nation Series at the National Stadium, Providence on Sunday.
The home side were bowled out cheaply for a paltry 116 in 32.3 overs, the second lowest total in a One Day International (ODI) at Providence, as the spin combination of Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa combined to take six wickets for 55 runs in 15.3 overs.
An unbeaten 53 by Aussies opener David Warner drove the Australian’s chase, as they reached their target of 117 in 25.4 overs which allowed them to gain a valuable bonus point.
Mystery spinner Sunil Narine opened the bowling but that played little in stifling the visitors’ run chase as they motored to 44 inside eight overs when Windies captain Jason Holder trapped Aaron Finch leg before for 19.
The in-form Warner continued in usual aggressive style to help his side reach fifty in the 10th over with his personal score on 26 and the number three Usman Khwaja on eight.
The left-handed Khwaja played some handsome drives in an attractive 44-run partnership with Warner, before he top-edged a Sulieman Benn delivery to fall for 27 (5x4s) with the Aussies 85-2 at the end of the 17th over.
The change of ends for Narine proved to be the spark the West Indians needed, as the off-spinner who started from the top end was switched to the players pavilion end where struck twice in one over. The mystery spinner first trapped Steve Smith (06) leg before then delivered a gem of a ball to bowl Glen Maxwell (00) through the gates and give the match some life with the Australians 92-2, still needing 25 more for the win.
The experienced Warner seemed unmoved by the West Indian revival as the 29-year old reached his fifteenth ODI half-century off just 49 balls.
Warner along with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh ensured a batting collapse was not on the cards by shepherding their team victory with a 146 balls to spear; Narine took 2-36 in a valiant effort, while Holder and Benn picked up one wicket a piece.
Earlier, Smith won the toss and choose to bowl after the match was delayed due to a wet outfield and the Aussie decked in their canary yellow outfit got immediate success in the first over of the match.
Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc steaming in from the Media Center End had an eventful first over, with a close leg before call, a waist high no ball, then he floated one wide to which Andre Fletcher (04) played a loose shot straight to Glen Maxwell at point, to leave the home side 6 for 1 in the first over.
Johnson Charles had an early chance on five, when he played a flashing drive and was dropped by Smith at first slip but at the other end, Darren Bravo looked in total control with some eye-catching drives and authoritative pull shots to put the pressure back on the visitors.
A string of dot balls hampered the fluency of the batsmen and could have resulted in  Bravo playing  what can be considered a poor shot when he stroked a Mitchell Marsh delivery straight to extra cover to fall for an attractive 19 (3x4s) from 31 balls.
Starc returned from the Southern End where he uprooted the stumps of Charles with a classical in-swinging yorker to end the batsman’s struggling innings of 22 from 40 balls and left the team in a precarious position at 59-3 in the 14th over.
The experienced Marlon Samuels (10) came and went after he played a lazy shot to be adjudged leg before off the bowling of Lyon.
Kieron Pollard, who displayed maturity with his match winning knock two nights ago, played an unnecessary shot as he lofted his first ball straight down the throat of mid-on to put the West Indies in serious trouble with just 70 runs on the board and half the side gone in the 17th over.
Denesh Ramdin was next to go, when he played across the line and fell for a painstaking twelve  as Maxwell joined the party to leave the host six down in the 23rd over.
As the wickets continued to tumble and no partnerships were forming, captain Jason Holder (01) was bowled by Zampa and Sulieman Benn (03) pushed one straight back to Lyon, as an all-out total below a hundred was begging to look more likely with the team 91 for 8 in the 27th over.
Narine who did the job with the ball the previous match, was now needed with the bat as he struck the first boundary since the 9th over.
A useful partnership of seemed to brewing between Narine and Carlos Brathwaite as the pair got their team to the hundred but Narine played a rash shot when he chipped  to Adam Zampa to be out stumped for five.
The innings came to a close when the valiant knock of 21 (1×4; 1×6) by Brathwaite ended when he held out to a well-judged catch at long-on.
The off-spin of Lyon accounted for 3-39 while the skiddy leg-spin of Zampa took 3-16; while Starc took 3-39 on his return to international cricket.
Nathan Lyon was named man of the match for his impressive bowling performance on a typical low and slow Providence track.
The next match of the series is on Tuesday at the same venue, when South Africa will look to notch their first win of the series against Australia from 13:00 hrs. (akeemg@guyanatimesgy.com)

Grenade hurled at Glenn Lall’s vehicle

– Govt says it’s an act of “domestic terrorism”

Police blocked off the area surrounding Kaieteur News on Saffon Street, Georgetown, and have launched an investigation into the incident where a grenade was hurled at the vehicle of Glenn Lall, publisher and owner of the media entity.
The incident reportedly occurred late Saturday night as staff and members of the public gathered in front of the company to pay their respects to Assistant Editor Dale Andrews who had died on Friday.
According to information, around 22:00h, persons heard a noise coming from the vehicle, which was parked on the western side of Saffon Street, and had perceived it to be the sound of shattering glass. Grenade
Checks were carried out by security personnel, but no physical damage was observed on the vehicle. However, a more thorough search around the Lexus revealed a grenade lying just next to the right front wheel of the vehicle. Persons had not observed any suspects around the area at the time when when the grenade was hurled at the vehicle. Immediate contact was made with the Police, who visited the scene promptly to investigate the situation. Demolition personnel from the Force were, up to Sunday morning, attempting to get rid of the device before any serious damage was done.
Up to press time, Police were still trying to identify the individuals involved in the attack.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum has confirmed that the device was a fragmentation grenade, which had fortunately failed to explode as a result of poor storage that caused its deterioration.
He also disclosed that video footage from surveillance cameras in the area was viewed by the department but as the images were blurred, it was of no use.
Meanwhile, the coalition Government, in a statement on Sunday, deemed the incident as an act of domestic terrorism on the media entity. While condemning the act, the Government is thankful that no lives were lost or injuries sustained.
“The coalition Government stands resolutely in defence of press freedom in Guyana and condemns, in the strongest possible manner, this heinous and dastardly act of cowardice against Kaieteur News. The coalition Government is thankful, as are all right-thinking Guyanese that no lives or limbs were lost and there was no damage to property,” the statement read.
According to the statement, the Government believes that this was a wilful act against the entity aimed at intimidating, harming or creating fear.
The Government stressed its commitment to working with the Guyana Police Force so that the main perpetrators involved in the act would face the full force of the law.
“The coalition Government commits its full support to the Guyana Police Force as it investigates this sickening attempted act of terrorism. The Government looks forward to the perpetrators and possible intellectual authors being identified, pursued, arrested and placed before the court and being dealt with to the full extent of the law,” the Government declared in the statement.

Framework for food and nutrition security to be strengthened

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture hosted a national stakeholder consultation on strengthening the governance framework for food and nutrition security (FNS) in Guyana.
The consultation was held to gather inputs from the stakeholders in relation to the governance of food security in Guyana along with the announcement of the preliminary findings of the inception report on governance for FNS in Guyana. The gathering sought to establish a technical working group to support the work of the consultant.
FAO’s Country Representative to Guyana Reuben Robertson highlighted the need for the framework, noting that it is an important element in the process of achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 which speaks to the elimination of undernutrition, food and nutrition insecurity by 2030. This he “requires the involvement of all at the national level.”
Robertson disclosed that the achievement of food and nutrition security is dependent on the four pillars; food availability, access, utilisation, and sustainability.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture George Jarvis in his remarks highlighted what Guyana has been doing: “Guyana recognises a large section of the population depend on agriculture for food and income, this has led to the government continuously increasing investments in agriculture, expanding safety nets and social assistance programmes and enhancing job creating activities for both rural and urban citizens,” he said.
Jarvis noted that there was a food, fuel and finance crisis in 2007-2008 which lead to an economic downturn in 2009 and by 2011 there were high food prices. Those factors combined to drive 44 million persons into poverty and so it is very important to examine food security interventions worldwide.
“Commitments were taken in this direction in 2009 at a summit. 2010 saw the first decline in the number of nourished people in the world after approximately 15 years. That number dropped to 925 million from 1.023 billion the previous year,” Jarvis said.
The Guyana Food and Nutrition Strategy 2011-2020 was developed and officially launched in 2011. Its aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of all citizens and enhance food security. The ministry has been working to effectively implement this strategy through various initiatives.
The permanent secretary further stressed the importance of nutrition in daily diets: “Many of us in Guyana take food for granted and do not consider nutrition… you eat because you hungry and that’s it,” he said.
According to Jarvis, the ministry would like to use the forum to resuscitate or reactivate the council and shortly thereafter invite all the heads for the various agencies, bodies, ministries and agencies to sit and continue the work that was started in 2011.
Representatives from various ministries, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and United Nations agencies were among the participants, according to information by GINA.

“If you want to ban the used tyres, fix the roads!”– vehicle operators

In light of the decision of the Government to ban used tyres, drivers are still maintaining that with the implementation of the ban, there should also be measures put in place with regard to the road network development in the country.
According to a host of drivers who met with Guyana Times on Saturday, the decision to ban used tyres has created a major financial hurdle which was worsened by the bad roads in the country which they say quickly damage the new tyres. The drivers said that the cost of the new tyres was exorbitant and they were not as durable as the Government highlighted they would be since they needed to be frequently replaced, adding to their expense.
“They ban the tyres and we had to accept it, right? So, why they can’t fix the roads now? The tyres don’t even last long and the roads destroying them faster. The Government, the Town Clerk seh the tyres gon last long, he mussy don’t use Georgetown roads. We gotta spend more and more money. What happen man, is nothing we ain’t got to do but waste we hard earnings?” voiced a private car driver who identified himself only as Singh.
The drivers, however, indicated that if the roads, especially in Georgetown, were repaired given their current “broken” and “deteriorated state”, they would be more inclined to accept the Government’s prohibition of used tyres in the country.
“It will make more sense if they just fix the roads and done, man. We can’t accept this law if we gotta keep getting in expense…. That’s nonsense. The roads got some big big holes in it and we gotta drive in it, and the tyres damaging up more. Let them fix the road and then we gon accept they new law. They just sit down there making laws like it’s nothing because it ain’t affecting them. They ain’t concern about poor people,” one driver commented.

“Each One Teach One” programme to tackle illiteracy among youths – Youth Empowerment Adviser

A programme dubbed “Each One, Teach One” project aimed at fostering literacy and numeracy among young people will be launched shortly by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Youth Empowerment.
This is according to Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Aubrey Norton who explained that the programme is aimed at training individuals who will in turn train others with the intention of eliminating illiteracy and innumeracy from the country.
“The Each One, Teach One programme is a, ‘trainer of trainers’ programme which seeks to build capacity for a core of young people, to deliver literacy and numeracy to their peers. A lot of our young people are illiterate and innumerate. Now we want to make our young people literate, we want them reading and writing, so we are piloting this programme… We are calling it “Each One, Teach One,” because when we train them, they would go out and teach other people,” the advisor explained.
He related that the “Each One, Teach One” programme is among one of the may initiatives being carried out by Office of the Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, “aimed at empowering youths to become self-sufficient and develop them into productive individuals in the society.”
He explained that the programme will be targeting youths in communities such as Number 43 Village, West Coast Berbice;  Kildonan Village, Corentyne, Berbice; Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice); and, Suddie, Essequibo Coast, while a special programme would be executed for hinterland youths.
“We would have to take the training programme to them rather than they coming to the training programme, so we have scheduled for July, a youth leadership training programme in the Rupununi,” he explained.
Norton revealed that at the end of this year, the programme would be reviewed and if it is found to be lacking in any area, it would be modified to make it efficient and sustainable.
The advisor further revealed that as of this weekend, Office on Youth Empowerment will commence a training project with over 60 youths in basic leadership skills including effective communication, correct meeting procedures, and the role of the secretary and treasurer.
“We have found from moving around the country that a lot of the young people have not been exposed to leadership training. What has been happening is that even when you try to form youth organisations with them, they are willing, but they do not have the skills,” Norton stated.
He further pointed out that empowering youths with such skills is important so as to ensure they can benefit from the many entrepreneurship opportunities available within and outside of the country.

Spousal killings alarming – Lawrence

…calls for broad-based, community-driven response

As nine cases have already been recorded of Guyanese women being murdered, both locally and internationally, so far for 2016, Social Protection Minister  Volda Lawrence believes that despite efforts by the Government to significantly reduce these figures by implementing strategic measures, women continue to fall prey to senseless killings mostly at the hands of their partners or jealous lovers.
The issue has been brought to the fore by Minister Lawrence subsequent to the murder of another woman, Candacy Pitt, by her husband of 13 years on Friday.
Minister Lawrence in a statement said the country was undergoing an unfortunate phase whereby women have become the primary targets of heinous crimes which continue to burden not only the household of these victims, but the country by extension.
Noting the impact on the country, Lawrence pointed out that the nation’s overall development was susceptible to attenuation as Guyana continued to lose its most valuable resources owing to the “war” that has been launched against the womenfolk.
“This signals for us a lamentable negative and a deterrent to our overall national development, for we are losing our most important resource, which is so crucial to the sustainability of our nation,” Lawrence said.
The Minister said that the Government was aware of the quickly escalating issue and has been working to put in place measures that would secure the women of Guyana; however, these efforts seemed not to be working, as the number of women being murdered at the hands of their partners continued to rise.
“It seems that there are wanton murders, that domestic problems are being resolved today with recourse to extremely violent action. No longer can we hear of amicable solutions to our domestic conflicts.”
Considering the importance of having the crisis addressed before another woman suffered the fate of a brutal murder, Lawrence called for a broad-based response to be taken, especially by members of the community. She underscored the significance of healthcare workers and counsellors in tackling the issue at the grassroots level.
“There is no doubt a need for more interaction between members of the community, for more trained counsellors and experienced healthcare workers who can provide a forum whereby those suffering from mental illnesses, depression, family upheavals, abuse, can relieve their stress and communicate their problems and difficulties in an atmosphere of confidentiality,” the Minister said.
In the most recent case of murder, Pitt, 31, also called “Cindy” of Chelsea Park, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, was hacked to death by her husband of 13 years on June 3.
Pitt was at the time performing security duties at the Bygeval Secondary School.
Last week, Guyanese national Shemel Mercurius, 17, was shot dead in a New York apartment she shared with her aunt. Her 25-year-old boyfriend has confessed to the brutal slaying.
A few days earlier, Leelawattie Sookhoo, 37, and her 10-year-old daughter, Tisha Ahiram, were reportedly strangled to death by Sookdeo’s 22-year old lover in Suriname.
Another woman, Hafeeza Rohaman, 28, was allegedly murdered by her husband and buried in a shallow grave in Helena No 2, Mahaica.
Following this, Leolyn Sullivan was stabbed to death in her Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) home by her husband during an argument.
Also this year, Bibi Zabida Khan’s body was found in a trench at Zeelugt in January after she had gone missing. It was later confirmed that she had been murdered by her husband who then disposed of her body.
In March 2016, Indrawattie Somwar was hacked to death by her husband, while Simone Hackett, a mother of one, was murdered by her ex-lover and her body dumped in a Cummings Lodge trench.
Only recently, Latchmini Shivpujan’s lifeless body was found in her apartment at Old Road, Crane, West Coast Demerara.

Mother claims unprofessionalism of CPA workers

A mother is appealing for intervention by government after she reported that welfare workers from the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) made false allegations against her daughter with the motive of having her taken away from her custody.
According to the woman, Debbi Tappin, welfare workers visited her mother’s home demanding that she hand over her granddaughter.
Tappin related to Guyana Times that on 11 May her mother was at her home in Sophia when three officials insisted that the young girl be handed over to their care as she was reportedly being “sexually abused” and was “pregnant”.
However, after the grandmother refused, making it clear that the child’s mother was not at home at the time, the officials had left indicating that Tappin should visit the agency to settle the issue.
Tappin reported that when she visited the agency the same day she was escorted by the welfare officers to the Turkeyen Police Station where she was told by a senior officer that she was under arrest.
This publication understands that while the woman was at the station demanding information about her arrest and the reason behind her daughter being taken away, the welfare workers once again visited her mother’s home.
While at the station, Tappin alleged that the officer assaulted her as she was trying to make her way out of the building.
“While I was going through the gate, this man who identified himself as Mr Benn chucked me back against the gate post and the women officers were right there, he could have let them handle the situation” she related.
She further stated that when the welfare officials returned to the station with her daughter, the child was taken into a private room where she was questioned by the officials.
“They didn’t want me to go in, they said that I wasn’t allowed in. When my daughter came out and I asked her what happened, she told me that they told her she had been raped and was now pregnant,” Tappin explained.
Shocked at the unprofessionalism of the officials, Tappin related that she asked the officers to take her and the child to the Georgetown Public Hospital to have a test carried out in order to ascertain the claims.
However, according to the mother, after tests were done on the child it showed she was not pregnant and had not been sexually abused.
The enraged mother told this publication that she became annoyed since her family was embarrassed as news had circulated that her grade five daughter was pregnant.
According to her, she took her daughter to the CPA the following day where she met with Director Ann Greene whom she believed would have been able to offer help.
However this was not the case as Greene allegedly informed her that nothing would come out of the case and that she should “drop it.”
Subsequent visits to the Minister of Social Protection were futile as each time she ended up meeting with Greene.
The woman is calling on the ministry to investigate the matter since her daughter is facing the brunt of the offensive action.
She explained that students from her daughter’s school are aware of the matter also and have been teasing the child about being pregnant.
“I need something to be done because my daughter is suffering. She went to school and every student is teasing her, now she doesn’t even want to go anymore. She had exams but I can’t force her to go,” Tappin exploded.
Attempts to get on to Childcare and Protection Agency Director Ann Greene and Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence for responses to the allegations made were unsuccessful.

Linden farmer shot multiple times

A cash-crop farmer is now nursing gunshot wounds after he was shot several times about his body on Sunday morning.
According to information, at about 09:00h on Sunday, Cicel Todd, 56, of Moblissa, Soesdyke/Linden Highway, was shot to his left arm, left leg and along his pelvic region.
According to Todd, he left home about 08:30h on and went to Moblissa Hilltop where he collected wood shavings for his chicken pen.
The man recalled that while returning home, he heard a series of explosions and subsequently felt a burning sensation to his left side. He fell but raised an alarm, resulting in his daughter Deslyn Cornelius coming to his rescue.
The daughter rushed Todd to the Linden Hospital Complex where he was admitted. He has been listed as stable.
A 36-year-old man also a farmer of Moblissa is currently in police custody assisting with investigations.

Piracy attacks Fishermen should be given guns, Suriname protection – Ramjattan

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan is suggesting putting firearms into the hands of fishers going out to sea as one measure to reduce high-seas piracy.
His comments were made Saturday at the Number 66 Fishermen’s Co-op Complex where he met with fisher folk to discuss piracy and other issues affecting the industry.
The visit to Corentyne comes on the heels of an attack on 15 fishers by five pirates between 27 and 28 May last. The attack left one fisher; Hemchand Sookdeo, 45, of Number 55 Village, dead and three others missing: Dochan Sukra, 54, also called ’Butcher’ of Number 55 Village, Dhanpaul Ramphal of Number 67 Village, and Munish Churman, 26, also called ‘Boyo’ of Number 60 Village.
During the attack, the captain of the boat the missing men were in, Seepersaud Persaud, 43, of Corriverton, was thrown overboard five miles offshore but was rescued by other fishers after swimming for some three hours.
Minister Ramjattan, addressing the more than one hundred persons in the industry, said firearms might help to solve the problem: “I did make the statement when I first became a Minister and we had the bad round of piracy last year, that I want people, if it is possible for them whenever they go out to catch their fish, they can go out with a firearm, allowed by the nearest police station.”
He said the firearm will be uplifted before the fishers leave for sea and returned as soon as they return to shore.
However that suggestion was again met with opposition. One fisher noted that his son went out with a licensed firearm and it was taken away by the Surinamese.
Most of the waters Corentyne fishers use to fish are considered Suriname territory.
According to Ramjattan, negotiations are currently taking place between the two countries to iron out some of the issues surrounding fishing in waters belonging to Suriname and in close proximity to Guyana.
Most of the fishers have obtained licences from Suriname to fish in the foreign waters allowing them to ply their trade hassle free.
When this was told to the minister, he urged the fishers to seek protection from Suriname police: “You are using Suriname licence to fish in Suriname waters then you need to go to the Suriname police and ask them to protect you.”
Ramjattan noted that his government had suggested communication sets be used by fishers while out at sea, but the suggestion when put to the fishing community, was shot down. “When I made the suggestion, a lot of people went to members of the opposition saying that we want to take away most of your monies. They want us to give free radios but we can’t do that, we don’t have the money to do that.”
Ramjattan said too many lives and property are being lost due to piracy. “What is the value of a life as against putting up a $300,000 radio system?” He asked.
According to him, government will be looking to make it compulsory that persons going to sea to fish are equipped with a radio system.
Minister Ramjattan said there is need for more stringent registration processes in the fishing industry.
He also suggested that there must be proper documentation of persons who are going out to sea and in which boat they are going.
“We feel that one of the solutions lies with better communities; communities that live and also communities that are going to ensure that they give the information to the law enforcers so that we will be able to have this thing solved. And that we can know up front who might be the ones that will turn out to be bad boys…We have to start doing all of these things rather than sometimes pass the blame on to somebody else, like the police or government” Ramjattan outlined.
Ten days after fishers came under attack by five pirates on the Corentyne River, three remain missing. However with very little chance of finding the men alive, the focus of the search is expected to concentrate on the recovery of bodies as from today.
Commander of Berbice Police, Assistant Commissioner Ian Amsterdam made that disclosure on Saturday when he along with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan met with fisher folk at the Co-op Complex.
Amsterdam said that with assistance from Suriname and the Guyana Defence Force using their ‘metal sharks’ (sophisticated military boats) they have carried out extensive searches for the men who are feared drowned.
He noted that the services of divers may be employed as he vowed to find the men even if they are under the muddy Corentyne River water.
Meanwhile, Sookdeo was laid to rest yesterday at the Number 51 Cemetery.

Jubilee Hinterland Development funding project extended

– only 38 communities received funding thus far

Of the 211 hinterland communities that were identified to benefit from the Jubilee Fund for community development projects, only 38 have thus far applied, received funds and commenced their development project.
In January of this year, Government had announced that budget allocations were made for investments in excess of $4 billion, in support of the Plan of Action for Hinterland Development.
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan had also announced that in excess of $280 million was allocated to promote economic prosperity in these communities. This sum it was revealed is inclusive of grants for 211 Indigenous communities that would build village economies and fund other tourism-based projects, particularly for the Nation’s 50th Independence celebration. It was explained that the communities would be able to access up to $2 million in funding through the grant.
However, it was revealed that only 38 communities actually applied for and received funding through the grant. As such, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs has announced that the remaining Hinterland communities have up to the end of 2016 to access money from the grant to undertake their developmental ventures.
Under the Presidential Grant, Hinterland Communities would usually have been receiving $700,000 to embark on these developmental projects. However; in celebration of the country’s 50th Independence anniversary, the government released more funds for the benefit of these hinterland communities.
Some of the projects that have been approved for funding included but are not limited to: the expansion of village farms, aquaculture, cattle and poultry rearing, eco-lodges, construction of guest houses, village offices, shops and markets, landmark benabs, recreational parks, internet service, and purchasing vehicles for agriculture, among others.
Presidential Advisor on Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Mervin Williams stated that in order to benefit from the Jubilee Fund, the communities would have had to develop a business or project plan for the purpose of improving village economies and community enhancement. These proposals, he explained, would be assessed and approved, and funding would be issued.