October 24, 2016 By
October 24, 2016 By
There is an old Greek philosophy which states: Whom the gods may wish to destroy, they run them mad first.
In modern civilisation, the supply of electricity along with Internet and a reliable telephone service are paramount for decent survival and development of a country.
Guyanese based overseas, visitors and investors, would have a serious dilemma adjusting to our primitive service by these two giant entities.
Both of them have no respect for their customers. They are sluggish in responding to emergencies and at times, as I am proving in a matter with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), may be involved in eternal conspiracy to defraud the customer.
The same GPL will install a prepaid meter and the contractors/employees will not remove the postpaid meter that was there. This may be due to an attempt to blackmail and defraud the customer at a later date. Or it may merely be due to incompetence and not human error, for GPL employees are more interested, in my opinion, in conspiracies and fraud against customers.
As it stands at the moment, I am personally involved in a matter where some GPL contractors/employees/former employees, were involved in trying to defraud me and my company at a property we managed in Canje Street, Campbellville. They were arrested in a sting operation coordinated by my company and the Police. My understanding is that to date, they have not been charged. Also, I do believe that the Police did not conduct a thorough investigation by canvassing the area to build a bigger case and by failing to publish the photographs in the newspapers to invite others who may have been defrauded or attempts were made to defraud them.
In fairness to GTT, I must state that they have never been involved in any case of fraud but their bureaucracy, obviously, is too humongous and it appears that they have a tendency of losing control due to the monopoly or semi monopoly that they enjoy, similar to that of GPL.
GPL has scant regard for its customers. It is always a nightmare to visit their offices for anything.
The constant blackouts of GPL, are definitely in my opinion, an attempt to discourage support of the coalition Government. Also, I do believe that their inconsistency, bureaucratic corruption and confusion, along with fraudulent schemes against people, point to this fact.
The constant blackouts have become a nightmare for people in industry and commerce. Students have to revert to old style hand lamps and wall lamps and in some cases, rechargeable lamps. This is an unfair and burdensome reality, particularly for persons struggling to make ends meet.
In reference to GPL and the arrest of their fraudulent contractors/employees, to date, they have not approached us for any information. It is the opinion of this writer that they should be happy when citizens help them capture bandits within their authority, and should work closely with the people, with the customers and the Police. I expect GPL to be much more proactive against their employees and not to be proactive in just merely setting up customers or trying to inconvenience their lives.
GPL, as a result of its monopoly, is like one big beast that survives on the flesh and blood of those it needs to survive… its customers! They are always looking and visiting certain people with a hope to drive fear and terror in their hearts, and create ludicrous charges and claims against them to improve on their money garnering possibilities.
I wish to state that this is the one time where I tend to agree with Freddie Kissoon, columnist of Kaieteur News, who stated that: GPL is one organisation which will help to bring down the current coalition Government. Please note that the previous sentence was an indirect quote.
It is my view that GPL, like all businesses, needs to honour its honourable customers. This writer has had many problems with GPL that it hurts his heart. For a man who always tries to live in dignity and honour, GPL, on more than one occasion, has tried to create embarrassment and to eke money out of me wrongfully. As the big carnivore, despite being given evidence and facts, it refused to accept and continues to drink human blood in this country.
I know the Chairman, Robert Badal, as one of principle and dignity. I invite him to select professional person/persons to sit and listen to all my matters, some of which are in the courts, which I had to resort to, and others.
I really do hope to see a change soon. It has been too long.
RK’s Security Services
October 23, 2016 By
It is most depressing to me, and I am sure all Guyanese who have the welfare of our country at heart, to see the continuing hostile attitude that seems to pervade the relationship between the present political party in power and those on the other side of the table, both in and out of Parliament, the place which has been specifically designed for them to come together and work to find programmes and projects that would work for the benefit all the people of our nation, irrespective of political persuasion or any other diversity.
Most disheartening is the fact that the overriding atmosphere in all the deliberations between these two factions is that most times we get the feeling that there is more than mere opposition to one another, but a deep feeling of acrimony at the highest level. This is evident in the manner in which they seem to explore all means to discredit the efforts of either one or the other in whatever they are engaged, not only politically, but more devastating on the personal level.
The present situation is not only troubling in that it must definitely serve to keep hampering any progress we should be making, but that it will continue to keep our people divided, thereby lessening the general national effort towards our advancement. On the psychological level, it is eating away at the self-confidence and pride which we should be displaying as citizens of a sovereign nation.
Also, in an area in which I have been proven to be specially interested and effective, it is little by little eroding the respect in our leaders and institutions in our youths, something which would have an adverse effect when the time comes for them to play their part in our national affairs.
I would like to ask all our leaders to up the level of their dialogue and interaction to the point where statesmanship and goodwill become the hallmarks of their interaction, as this would serve to create an atmosphere which would make all our people feel a part of the national effort but, more so, facilitate all their endeavours towards the material progress of our people.
October 23, 2016 By
It warms my heart to see the media highlighting the plight of the disadvantaged in this country. As a Buxtonion and an ardent cricket enthusiast I just couldn’t resist penning this letter.
It seems that the infighting over the years at the East Coast Cricket Board level and the Demerara Cricket Board level has left one question unanswered.
What has become of Buxton Cricketers? Throughout the years these cricketers have shown what it means by rising above adversities. They have travelled far and wide throughout this country when teams have refused to visit their ground, and have put forward more than credible performances against several teams.
However, for some reason, Buxtonions are not worthy of playing for the East Coast teams nor are they worthy of being selected to Demerara /National trials to stake a claim in the national team. It has gone to such an extent that one of the most accomplished athlete of this Village (Buxton) and a cricketer at heart plies his trade in the football arena instead of being solely committed to cricket.
The only reason Clive Andries is playing cricket from my estimation is due to his passion for the sport; he makes the time whether football is playing or not, to play, and contributes extensively to the success of the Buxton Carl Hooper Cricket Team whether bowling his offspin or unleashing his Andrea Russell style brutal innings on opponents.
Due to the neglect of these cricketers, it seems there isn’t the desire like in years past to do the necessary training, etc, because the reality is, the chance of selection is not there, or has not been there for whatever reason, over the past three years, especially since the fracture in the Demerara, Guyana and East Coast cricket boards. Admirably, the team continues to churn out credible performances – (a case in point, the ‘A’ team winning four out of their last 5 games) just imagine if they are motivated by a level playing field, equal opportunities and the necessary support, what can be accomplished.
Buxton Carl Hooper Cricket Club had to have been doing something right over the years, because they have produced outstanding CXC & CAPE performers, graduates from the University of Guyana, from GTI and also from CPCE, and to this date none of their players has been associated with criminal activity.
The question has to be asked, when will the time come whereby these cricketers are going to be given a fair share of the proverbial ‘cricket pie’. One thing is for sure though, throughout all the adversities faced by this cricket club since its existence in 2000, they have continued to play the sport they love so dearly.
As a Buxtonion I must say thanks to all those persons who have played or are playing for the Buxton Carl Hooper Cricket Club and to those persons or entities that have contributed in whatever way, small or big, to the development of the sport in this village.
October 23, 2016 By
It is with a heavy heart and a desperate appeal to basic human dignity and respect for life that I write this letter on behalf of the Guyanese people. When we cast our ballots on election’s day every five years, it was not only for selecting the next President; it was a public communication of trust onto those who hold public offices will honour and uphold the social contract between the People of Guyana and the Constitution.
Public safety and security is not a privilege, but a constitutional right of every Guyanese. And it is the constitutional responsibility of the State to protect citizens from all forms of danger and threats to their life and property. When Guyanese pay taxes, they have honoured their side of the social contract. When the State fails to provide safety and security to its citizens it has effectively abandoned its constitutional duty.
It is a national disrespect to tell the people of Guyana that there is a 21 per cent decrease in crime when almost every single day someone is losing their life. As a Social Scientist, I understand and respect the role of science in policy, but common sense must also guide our decisions. Even if we disagree with the statistics, we should all be outraged if one child, father or mother is taken from their families to senseless killing or one family is traumatised from banditry. Likewise, we must all be outraged if one business is robbed, vandalised or forced to close its doors because it cannot afford to pay for its own security.
I commend the Guyana Chambers of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) for its initiative to step out of the norm and denounce such disrespect for human life and call on lawmakers to take immediate action to return communities to a place where people can pursue their happiness and live peacefully with their families. However, its proposed initiative to remove taxes for security equipment is colossally misguided. Requesting tax exemptions for security equipment might afford businesses to invest in better security systems to protect commercial properties. But focusing on businesses instead of your consumers – who are ordinary families – is like “protecting the DJ instead of the people at the party when someone screams fire.” Before long there is not a party. If we continue along this path, there will be no purpose of opening businesses.
GCCI should also recognise that calling for tax exemptions on security equipment does nothing to give investors hope and confidence that Guyana is still an economy worthy of their investment. The Chamber should use the opportunity to mobilise support and call on the Government to employ full force of the police and the military if necessary to restore peace and security in the country, even if this means declaring a “State of National Emergency.”
If families cannot feel safe in their homes, children cannot sleep and go to school without fearing for their lives and businesses cannot open doors without worrying about where bandits and robbers might come from. We are not honouring our responsibility as a sovereign nation and democracy to protect the People of Guyana.
Brutalising and terrorising families, senseless killing, breaking and entering businesses and instilling fear in communities are not Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese, Amerindians, Chinese or Portuguese problems; they are Guyanese problems, and we all must play our part in fixing it now.
We have always been a nation of strong, hard-working and peaceful people who would endure any hardship to succeed in the pursuit of our happiness and prosperity. We have as a nation answered the calls of history and fought for our freedom and the right to live our lives peacefully and with respect for each other and the law. Expecting us to sit quietly and accept such gross disrespect for human life and personal property is asking for too much.
Lawmakers must act now, or history will remind us of those chilling words “too late.” On behalf of the Guyanese people.
October 22, 2016 By
The half-year report from the Finance Minister underscores the dismal performance of the forestry sector under the new Government and new Board. The Ministry of Finance reported a decline in performance by over 15 per cent. The board has done everything to stymie the development of the forest sector. Analysts have exclaimed that this is perhaps the worst performance of the forestry sector in 20 years.
In less than one year of the board’s existence everything has gone through the window. Many companies have closed down or are in the process of closing down; investors’ lands are being repossessed without due process and basically leading to a total shutdown of the sector. It would be good for the board to release information on how many new investors they have attracted, how many new jobs have been created, how many new mills have been developed, how much new roads have been developed, how many new markets have been established, how much investments have been done. The answer is simply negative.
We agree that the Chinese were perhaps benefitting from some concessions, but what happened to the rest of the sector? The small man’s produces are not selling while the board seems unaware of the reality of the situation. If you go the length and breadth of this country small producers, as well as large operators are crying out there is no programme or plan to re-invigorate the sector; communities in the government stronghold of Linden and Kwakwani are crying out for help—what is the board doing?
In addition we are not hearing anything on the LCDS phase 2. We heard the board and government developing a new plan to replace the LCDS but where is it? Has Norway given any money since the new government took office? I suspect not. Given the record decline in the forest sector and the mismanagement of the sector under the new board and administration, I would urge Norway not to send any more funds to Guyana and to close off the agreement. Norway should read the Auditor General’s Report for the period when the APNU/AFC took office and see the shocking mismanagement and misuse of public funds over such a short period of time, particularly at the Ministry of Finance. So why put money into a system that is destined to misuse and mismanage the funds as it has proven while in office just over a year?
When the PPP/C was in office a particular board member was a constant critic of the President and Minister for Forestry, as well as Forestry Commissioner James Singh. But she is currently a board member so what she has to show of her knowledge and expertise of the forestry sector? A record decline in performance, while being on the GFC board! The public is calling on this particular expert to bring out all her plans and ideas she has or had for the development of the sector and Guyana as a whole. It’s time to walk the talk.
Seems to me the only solution is to get more competent people on the board, or more so in Government.
So board Chair and Minister, the ship is sinking fast; the public is waiting for Government to present A PLAN. The public is watching and slowly getting fed up.
Carlos DeBarros, Sr
Forest Ranger (ret’d)
October 22, 2016 By
Is it that the Town Clerk of Georgetown is just plain obtuse and a law onto himself, or is it that he is just simply uncaring for vendors, businesspersons and the citizenry of Georgetown?
Speaking with a number of vendors from the Kitty Market, I was advised of grave concerns they have with the design of the new Kitty Market, which is simply being ignored by the Town Clerk and the Council.
The design of the building does not allow for natural airflow and ventilation as the old design did, and when persons in the architectural field enquire as to why this was so, they were advised by the Town Clerk that this was because the entire facility would have been centrally air-conditioned for the shoppers and vendors, consistent with modern standards of shopping centres and malls.
Alas! The Town Clerk has just given an edict that only the area selling meat and seafood should be air-conditioned whilst everywhere else must be left to swelter in the heat and humidity of a virtually sealed building, as he can no longer afford to control the temperature of the rest of the building! Unbelievable!
Did he not have a budget for the construction of this facility? Is this just his call or is it the call of the entire City Council? What does the City Engineer’s, Markets and Public Health Departments have to say? What does the Central Housing and Planning Authority have to say about this? And the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry? Will all of the vendors whether in the meat and seafood section or otherwise not be required to pay a substantial rent? Does King expect the shoppers to leave the comfort of all the modern supermarkets, malls and stores in Guyana to put up with the discomfort of the hot and humid Kitty Market?
Does King realise that this is a public building and not one of his private homes, all of which incidentally are air-conditioned? What is the vendors union, the Ministry of Business and the Ministry of Communities going to do about this short-changing? What they need to find out is why the cost of constructing the Kitty Market was so enormous, yet so lacking in basic amenities and facilities?
James Mc Onnell
October 22, 2016 By
The dust has settled and the Guyana Male National Football Team has been eliminated from the 2016 Scotia Bank Caribbean Cup qualifiers. Coach Jamaal Shabazz is set to resign. Will Coach Wayne Dover be given the chance to return as the national coach for the third time to lead Guyana to historic moments again?
Coach Dover was appointed national coach of Guyana in 2009 for the second time and immediately led the national team to victory in an international mini-tournament in Suriname, who were celebrating their Independence that year. The tournament was named Independence Cup. Suriname, French Guiana, Curacao and Guyana took part. Guyana won all three games by a 1 goal margin to lift the Ronald Venetian, the then President of Suriname, trophy.
Dover was retained as national coach for the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup and led the team in round one in Suriname, topping the group with three wins against Suriname, Curacao and St Lucia, where the team qualified for the second round in Trinidad and Tobago, in a group with Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and St Vincent.
Guyana qualified as the second place team in that group and moved on to the quarter-final of the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup in Martinique of that year where they faced Jamaica, Antigua and Guadeloupe. That year Guyana ranked it’s highest ever in its history, with 86.
This excellent performance by Dover should be looked at seriously for consideration of him being re-hired as national coach by the President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Wayne Forde. This young talented Guyanese coach has excelled over the years with club and country and deserves the recognition.
Former Senior Male
National Team Manager
October 22, 2016 By
There is a real wisdom and power in Bob Dylan’s work; no one else comes even remotely close. At many different points in my life his words and music have been with me, and I know for many many others, too.
Personally, I would have just given him his own prize for being him.
I wonder if he will turn up to collect it?
If Bob Dylan thinks that this accolade needs not to be loudly proclaimed, that is good.
While winning a noble prize is a wonderful recognition, in his life journey, Dylan has reached where he is due to his inner strength. The media and others give such characterisations such as superstars, supermodels, poet laureate, honourable member, celebrity, etc that really do not mean much, for we are all basically humans and fallible.
Woe betides if the people we put on pedestals do no turn out so, for whatever reason.
Aren’t we all basically human beings?
October 22, 2016 By