Different rules…

first_img…for the plebesScott Fitzgerald supposedly confided to Ernest Hemingway that the rich are different from the poor. To which the paragon of brevity retorted, “Yes…they have more money!” Well, the biggest revelation from the Panama Papers is the rich don’t only have more money – they get to keep it by making the rules. While you and I have to cough it up to the Government as taxes.For years Guyana’s been dragged over the coals by the FATF for not doing what they demanded on “Money Laundering”. We’ve been threatened with “blacklisting”, placed on a list with “rogue states” and had our international financial transactions slowed down. And all this because we – an economy with barely a GDP of US$3B for our entire 800,000 citizens – were placing the world financial system at risk!! And as soon as Parliament reconvenes, we’ve been ordered to tweak our AML/CTF legislation once again.In the meantime, Oxfam’s just announced US corporations have secreted US$1.4 trillion in “tax havens”. That’s TRILLIONS, FOLKS’! One thousand billion is one trillion – 1,000,000,000,000!! . And in US dollars! Technology giant Apple, the world’s second biggest company, topped Oxfam’s league table, with some US$181 billion held offshore. Microsoft just has US$104 billion!! But don’t worry folks…that’s not “money laundering”.Why? This trillion-plus stash’s been moved around like the fella who plays three card monte and dared you to guess which one is the King. Well, in international finance, we don’t have to guess – the rich are all “the King”. And it’s not just the Americans. There were Billions stashed away by Latin American drug lords, Russian big wigs, Hong Kong business whizzes, Middle East potentates and Israel arms dealers.Marx’s been vindicated by the Panama Papers. Even though they mightn’t know each other, the rich of the world do form a CLASS. And that makes the rest of us – countries and people – all peons. And forget all the media sturm and drang…nothing’s gonna be done with the real big fishes. Cause the rich folks with those secret accounts make the rules of the game.Over here, businessmen are about to be burnt at the stakes for lobbying for their companies. Over in the States, OFFICIALLY REGISTERED LOBBYISTS for the fellas owning that US$1.4 Trillion spent billions to lobby the American Government to favour their companies. Just 50 corporations shelled out US$2.8 billion between 2008 and 2014 lobbying Govt officials. So that’s OK…it’s LEGAL.And don’t think only the rich countries are hurt by the tax dodge/money laundering by the corporations. Nokia evaded US$2 billion in taxes to India.Which coulda fed millions of those children they parade on TV!…for inside folksWe still don’t know “who” spent “what” for the D’Urban Park monument to the Jubilee Big Bash. But with the Government pumping in $150 million just to complete the 50 per cent or so that’s still to go, it means that at least $150 million has already been spent. By whom? Well, all sorts of names are floating around…but it gotta be some contractor or the other “lobbying” in the tradition described above.These contractors, for whatever reason (objections from on high?) have definitely walked off the job. What to do to save the honour of our fair country? Well, Prezzie called in the Public Infrastructure Ministry, but it seemed the goodly Minister buckled under the pressure – just like some of the wooden stands! Prezzie was then forced to send in the Army to complete the job.It was just like when Prezzie was a young soldier and the Army had to save GuySuCo from the GAWU strikers!…for Nagamootoo?Poor Prezzie must be paraphrasing Henry II of yore, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome Prime Minister?” As he wonders whether it was worth it to give the AFC 40 per cent of the Ministries – and the PM.How dare he and his shill identify military fellas in Government as an “independent political force”. Was he taking lessons from Luncheon?last_img read more

Budget food

first_imgSatiricus and his wife were discussing the Budget that everybody – especially Mrs Satiricus – was complaining about. They were in the kitchen where Mrs Satiricus, whose name was actually “Caustic”, was preparing Satiricus’ lunch for him to take to work. He was going to cover the Budget debate in Parliament on behalf of his newspaper.“I just can’t believe you wouldn’t have the lunch the other reporters get from the people in Parliament,” Caustic said fretfully.“And I just can’t believe every year I have to tell you the same thing,” complained Satiricus. “When I see those parliamentarians fighting for food, I just lose my appetite!”“Well I thought with your KFC buddies getting 40 per cent of the Ministries and seats, they would change the food etiquette!” said Mrs Satiricus with a smirk.“There you go again, with your attacks at the KFC,” grumbled Satiricus. “And don’t think I don’t know you really mean Nagga Man and Rum Jhaat.”“I have seen those gentlemen eat, you know,” said Caustic. “And I use the term ‘gentlemen’ very loosely!”“Anyhow, Nagga Man might’ve solved the problem,” said Satiricus. “He raised the Budget for food at every sitting of Parliament from .7 million to .5 million.”“Why?” Satiricus’ better half wanted to know. “More food to go around?”“No. Nagga Man demanded the 50 per cent increase should be for better quality food,” confirmed Satiricus. “When you have 27 Ministers out of 33 MP’s on the Government benches now getting new million-dollar monthly salaries, you can’t give them the old kind of food.”“You mean no more baked chicken, macaroni and fried rice?” Caustic demanded with some heat.“Naah! Lobsters and prawns!” said Satiricus. “With fettuccini alfredo.”“And you don’t want to eat some of that?” said Caustic incredulously.“You bet I do!” exclaimed Satiricus. “But can you imagine the fight for food that’s going to take place now?”“Worse than hogs feeding at the trough!” grinned Caustic. “Here hus…I’m done with your pigeon peas cook up!”last_img read more

What is WHO Up To?

first_imgThe World Health Organization (WHO), within days after we received the alarming news of a renewed Ebola outbreak in Guinea, issued an announcement downgrading an “Ebola health risk” in the three affected countries in the Mano River basin—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.This announcement came as the editors of this newspaper, Daily Observer, had just completed an Editorial urging Liberia’s Health Ministry (MOH) to be on a vital “high alert” at the Liberia-Guinea and other borders. The editors had to adjust the editorial to reflect the WHO announcement, while yet stressing the need for the MOH to deploy an emergency team and preventive health and medical supplies. These included Clorox-supplied buckets and thermometers to Liberia’s borders with Guinea, to ensure that everyone crossing is checked, with hand washing, temperature taking and other procedures strictly enforced.A day or two later the Guinea government announced that the persons who had died had been affected not by Ebola, but by having drunk lizard-poisoned water. Shortly following that new announcement by Guinea, both sides of the border were opened. Our Nimba correspondent Ishmael Menkor, in his dispatch reporting the border reopening, noted with alarm that people were crossing the border at will, with no hand washing or temperature taking being observed. That was the reason for our Thursday Editorial, “MOH High Alert Vital at Liberia-Guinea Borders.”We know of no investigation by WHO of Guinea’s original announcement last week of a renewed Ebola outbreak in their country. All we know is that following that country’s reversal later that same week, that no, it was not Ebola, but lizard poisoning that killed the three people. Yet WHO, without any investigation that we know of, declared the three worst affected countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—“downgraded Ebola health risks.” That statement by WHO baffled many people, especially in Liberia, who wondered how the Organization, without first investigating the situation in Guinea, was able to come up with such a sweeping announcement clearing the three countries of Ebola.Is it not very surprising then, that two days following the WHO clearance of the three countries, Liberia reported that a 30-year-old woman died of Ebola later that same week, and that her immediate community in Jacob Town, Paynesville had been quarantined? A senior medical practitioner, in the business for well over 40 years, told the Daily Observer last week he strongly believed that the three countries are in this Ebola affliction for the long haul. He listed three primary reasons: first, because big money is involved—in the billions of United States dollars; second, all these vaccine trials, being undertaken by Western nations, including the USA (Centers for Disease Control—CDC); France and Germany; and thirdly, the WHO itself knows about all this and is very much part of the scheme.That, said this medical doctor, is the main reason it took WHO so long to respond to the first Ebola outbreak in the Mano River basin two years ago. So it became evident that WHO’s delay was not simply a matter of ineptitude (incompetence). The delayed reaction may have been deliberate—let the Ebola sting hit so hard that the money to be made proceeds and the stage set for the urgency of the vaccine trials.We hope and pray that this is not the case. We hope, too, that the conspiracy theories, published by several scientists, notably Dr. Cyril Broderick, a plant pathologist, are not true—that certain nations, notably the USA and its Pentagon or defense establishment—are NOT developing this deadly virus as a weapon of war.Surely these three worst affected countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—are definitely NOT at war with the USA and can never be! So it is entirely implausible (unlikely, farfetched) that such a scenario would be at play.It is also our prayer that WHO and all others concerned will take this Editorial seriously and do whatever they can to keep this deadly Ebola menace far from the Mano River basis—or anywhere else—because it is not good for any country. The consequences are too ghastly (horrifying, terrible) to contemplate. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Malaysia’s oldest sprinter ready to challenge younger rivals

first_imgRepublic Kyrgyz sprinter Bulanova Anna (left) with Malaysian sprinter Siti Fatimah Mohamad (centre) and Komalam Shally Selveratnam (right) in action on 100m for women category during the 1st Malaysian Athletics Grand Prix at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday. MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The StarKUALA LUMPUR–For Malaysia’s Siti Fatimah Mohamed, age is not a barrier.The 33-year-old, who will be the oldest sprinter in the women’s 100m at the Philippines SEA Games, believes she can spring a surprise at the biennial Games.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Andray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai Sotto LATEST STORIES Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study UST can’t afford to make mistakes against Ateneo, says Chabi Yo Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee Siti will face a strong challenge from defending champion Le Tu Chinh of Vietnam, Veronica Shanti Pereira of Singapore, Supawan Thipat of Thailand and teammate Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli.She will also compete in the 4x100m relay together with Zaidatul, S. Komalam Shally and Nurul Faizah Asma Mazlan.At the India Open in Ranchi last month, the quartet clocked 45.97 to win a silver.Siti said that they are not only eyeing a medal in the relay but also want to set a new national record.“We hold the national record of 45.18 (set at the Asian Championships in 2017) and I strongly feel we can break it, ” added Siti, who has represented Malaysia since 2004. Asked whether this will be her last SEA Games, Siti said: “God willing, if I’m still in good condition then I will compete in 2021.”ADVERTISEMENT 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust The army lance corporal feels that she can give the younger rivals a run for their money.“I have faith in myself and with the experience and the preparations that I went through, I can finish on the podium, ” said Siti, who clocked a season-best 11.93 to win bronze at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Bukit Jalil in March.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4She has never won a medal in the sprint at the SEA Games and her best outing was a fifth place at the Kuala Lumpur Games two years ago.Siti, who has a personal best of 11.53, added that anything is possible in a competition. No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Siti has featured in three SEA Games and won two bronze medals in the 4x100m in 2007 in Korat and 2015 in Singapore. ‘People evacuated on their own’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Road carnage continues

first_imgYet again, Guyana experienced another deadly weekend, with the country’s roads claiming at least five fatalities. Five persons, all of whom could have been working and assisting their families and perhaps helping in the development of their communities and country as a whole, are now dead. This is in addition to the dozens of persons who lost their lives during the course of the year due to some form of recklessness by drivers, or, in some cases, carelessness by pedestrians themselves.We are indeed convinced that the efforts being made by law enforcement and other authorities to reduce the alarming rate of road accidents are not achieving the desired results. The year 2017 will go down as yet another year when Guyana experienced some of the most horrific road accidents resulting in the loss of lives and injuries to countless others. We are very much concerned about the number of persons losing their lives on our roadways. Too many families have been broken as a result of losing a loved one due to road accidents, most of which could have been avoided.The reasons for the high rates of road accidents are well known, and there is no need to rehash them here except to say that while there are various factors which impact on road safety, there is little doubt that the single most important in a general sense is enforcement of the traffic laws. The Government has enacted the relevant legislation in relation to driving under the influence, loud music in vehicles, overloading, speeding, etc, but if the laws are not adequately implemented, they become useless. It would be interesting to find out how many of the drivers/conductors who are stopped for breaking a traffic law/s are actually charged and brought before the courts. It should also be mentioned here that in some cases, Police Officers themselves are engaged in breaking the traffic rules; eg, by speeding or driving under the influence and, hence, are the source of some of the accidents we currently experience.While it is not our intention to paint the entire Police Force with the same brush, as there are many professional and honest officers within the Force, we are convinced that unless what is perceived as the endemic corruption in the organisation, and the traffic section in particular, is addressed in a systematic way, we will not achieve the desired results.Further, in addition to enforcement of the traffic laws, there are several actions which could be taken immediately to reduce the number of road accidents here. To begin with, the authorities should start fixing all the potholes on our streets and highways which, no doubt, pose a serious threat to people’s lives.Additionally, the authorities should immediately start clearing the parapets and roadways of all encumbrances such as old, abandoned vehicles, tractor trailers, carts, etc, as these have been known to contribute to accidents. At the same time, tougher action should be taken against persons who are bent on encumbering the roadways.We had also made the point before that Guyanese need to move away from the culture of disregard and irresponsibility in relation to using the roadways. The Education Ministry and other relevant stakeholders should examine the possibility of strengthening the school’s curriculum with the aim of increasing knowledge, skills, and understanding among children and young people about the responsible use of our roadways. Similar efforts should also be made targeting the adult population as they too are sometimes found to be irresponsible when using our roadways.There seems to be no effective leadership, both from a political as well as an administrative/technical standpoint, to confront the challenge. We believe the time has come for all stakeholders to return to the drawing board and reexamine their approach to road accidents, since what currently obtains has failed the nation.For a small country such as ours, we cannot afford to continue along this path. The number of deaths and disabilities as a result of road accidents is indeed very worrying, and something must be done urgently to bring a halt to the level of irresponsibility and recklessness on our roadways.last_img read more

Multicultural practice

first_imgThere are widespread claims of discriminatory treatment by some groups in Guyana, not only in the economic realm, but in the expression of their cultural practices. Guyana must begin to insist on “multicultural” practices.A multicultural practice means that there will be fair and equitable treatment of others by individuals, groups, institutions and the state. Instead of racism and discrimination, there will be respectful and equal treatment of individuals and groups from any ethnic, racial, or immigrant background.The cavalier treatment of the Ethnic Relations Commission raises doubts about the Administration’s commitment to multicultural practices.While we will have to accept the diversity we find ourselves with, we will also have to hone some kind of unity so that we may achieve what most modern states are expected to deliver to their citizens – at a minimum, civil peace. The question of “national culture” has occupied centre stage in the political arena. It has been the site of the contestation of power in civil society as well as the state. It has therefore been a wider struggle. This is what a multiculturalism addresses.The notion that some groups must reject or discard their cultural heritage to participate in the polity must be rejected. It arises from a barbaric past, when nations were forced to ‘assimilate’ by force.  Even in those circumstances, ethnic bonds were never completely annihilated. Witness Scottish nationalism almost four hundred years after their conquest. Modern international norms of ‘equality’ and ‘self-determinations’ of peoples militate cultural hegemony being accepted by even subordinate groups. Rather than the ‘melting pot’ ideal of integration, the ‘salad bowl’ model should be encouraged.  Let each group discover their roots and shape their cultural practices to suit “modernity”.It is a fact about the world that there are many multicultural societies. Each member of such societies is also a member of a particular cultural group. And each member of a cultural group will have different experiences from another belonging to a different cultural group. This is because our culture shapes and gives meaning to our life-plans, and the mere participation of each member helps to change the culture itself. Out of this relationship between people and their cultures arises a sense of identity and belonging.The question as to whether “unity” or “diversity” should be privileged is partially a semantic one, caused by the conflation of “state” and “nation”. But, at the bottom, the dispute has to do with power, as it almost always does.Political unity and culturally diversity do not have to be mutually exclusive. Each society has to find the right balance between the demands of the two concepts that is appropriate for its own circumstances, so as to have a political system that is cohesive and stable, while facilitating the cultural aspirations of all the peoples. We need political unity to guide the state, but that is not contradictory to “diversity” in terms of the “nation” – of diverse cultural expressions by the people of a given society.We need to address the type of cultural integration that may be best for Guyana in view of our evident cultural diversity. While the definitions of culture are legion, for our purposes, we may see culture as, in the words of Ronald Dworkin, “a shared vocabulary of tradition and convention” by a group of people. Their culture gives them a shared understanding of life – how to live it and how to organise it. Since each “shared understanding” may entail a different conception of the good life, there are obvious implications for the political viability of a culturally plural society.Having one’s social institutions embody one’s culture means that they will be immediately comprehensible to us, and therefore easier to use. The mutual intelligibility will promote relationships of solidarity and trust. Too many leaders work against this, and implicitly insist some groups jettison their cultural practices when displaying their own cultural strand during public appearances. They should rather insist on the widest expression of our national multi-cultural tapestry.last_img read more

Wakenaam cattle thief sentenced to 3 years in jail

first_img– still at largeWhen efforts by the Police in G Division (Essequibo Coast-Essequibo Islands) to locate Joseph Sohoye, who escaped lawful custody earlier in June, were in vain, a sentence of three years was handed down to him inWanted: Joseph Sohoyeabsentia.The 37-year-old from Wakenaam Island was before the Court for praedial larceny. He had pleaded not guilty earlier in January to the charge and was on remand when he made good his escape while being transported by Police to his trial.Recently, at the Wakenaam Magistrate’s Court, an ex-parte trial was conducted and Magistrate Sunil Scarce, based on evidence presented, found Sohoye guilty of the offence. He was, therefore, sentenced to three years imprisonment.Police are continuing their search for Sohoye so that he can serve his time. Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Sohoye can contact the nearest Police Station.last_img read more

Repair works on Harbour Bridge moving apace

first_imgA team of engineers on Saturday successfully replaced an-18-year-old pontoon that was on the western retractor span of the Demerara Harbour Bridge. The bridge had to be closed for some six hours to facilitate critical maintenance works.By the time the media arrived at the worksite, some three hours after closure, steps were already being taken to reassemble the connections on the new pontoon.General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Company, Rawlston Adams, updated reporters on the works. He explained that DHB personnel actually started work since Wednesday, dismantling the stairs. The following day, they installed a temporary pontoon to hold up the portion of the bridge where the replacement was taking place.The southern wrench being repositioned on the new pontoonOn Friday, they removed the wrenches and other connections on the old pontoon – all in preparation for Saturday’s major task.“This morning’s (Saturday) operation was to remove the old pontoon and install the new pontoon. We got the new pontoon installed (at) about 10:00h, and after (that), we started to reassemble the pipes and wrenches on the new pontoon… But we had some nasty weather. We tried to work through it, but it was difficult and there was a second round of shower, so we’re persevering,” Adams explained to reporters.He disclosed that the team, comprising engineers from DHBC and the contracting company, Industrial Fabrications Inc. (INFAB), will return to the site to remove the temporary pontoon.Afterwards, the hydraulics will be reinstalled, and then testing will commence to ensure that the bridge can retract for marine traffic. The testing exercise will continue on Monday, and then, on Tuesday, the bridge will retract for the first time in four days to facilitate marine traffic.The workers reassembling the connections onto the new pontoon“The hardest part was to get the old pontoon out, and that was done; so we’re now in the reconnecting phase… (But) we’ve learnt a lot from this exercise in terms of planning for the new one, so we’re documenting everything here so that we can go back to the drawing table and review what was done and make plans so that we can reduce the time it takes for some of these works,” he noted.This, the General Manager added, will be helpful when DHB officials embark on the second phase of the project — to replace another pontoon on the eastern side of the retractor span.While Adams commended his team for an excellent job done, he, at the same time, expressed disappointment with the public for turning up at the bridge during the closure, when several ads and PSAs (public service announcements) were done to inform about Saturday’s closure. He further pointed out that they’ve managed to do all the other works without disturbing vehicular traffic on the other days.Stretching for 1.25 miles, the floating Demerara Harbour Bridge is a strategic link between the eastern and western banks of the Demerara river. It facilitates the daily movement of large numbers of vehicles, people, and cargo. The structure was built in the 1970s, but was opened in July 1978 with the expectation of lasting for only 10 years. However, some three decades later, it is still floating.Meanwhile, the process is still ongoing for a new Demerara River crossing to be built. A feasibility study was conducted to determine several factors, among which are location and type of bridge. That report was handed over to the Public Infrastructure Ministry, and is now before Cabinet for review.last_img read more

Nine Kenyans qualify for 2019 Kenya Open

first_img0Shares0000Kenyan Pros who have qualified for this year’s Magical Kenya Open pose for a photo at the end of the Windsor leg of the Safari Tour Golf Series.NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – Nine Kenyan players, who have qualified to play at this year’s Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship, have been named following the conclusion of the 2018/2019 Safari Tour Golf series today at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club. Two players tied for eighth spot – the Safari Tour Golf Series qualifying cut-off for the Kenya Open – pushing the number of players qualifying to nine. Muthaiga Golf Club’s Greg Snow leads the team of nine professional player having accrued a total of 113.5 points across the six Safari Tour golf series.Greg has been dominant, taking maximum points in four of the six Safari Tour events, to take top spot on the Road to Kneya Open ranking. He has featured at the Kenya Open 11 times with his best finish coming in 2014 when he finished 10th.He is joined by Mumias Golf Club’s Dismas Indiza who amassed 111 points after a consistent performance across the Safari Tour to finish second.  Indiza has featured at the Kenya Open 19 times; with his best finish being tenth in the 2008 edition.Riz Charania poses with the Safari Tour Golf Series trophy after emerging winner of the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club leg of the Safari Tour seriesWindsor’s Rizwan Charania booked third spot on the Road to Kenya Open ranking having amassed a total of 79 points; with his win of the Windsor leg of the tour cementing third spot. He has played at the Kenya Open 14 times; his best finish coming in 2017.David Wakhu, who won the Nyali Golf and Country Club leg of the Sadfari Tour Golf Series, finished fourth on the Road to the Kenya Open ranking, with a total of 72 points; while the Professional Golfers of Kenya Captain, John Wangai, finished fifth with 68.5 points. He has featured at the Kenya Open on six occasions.Thika Golf Club’s, Simon Ngige, finished sixth with 66.5 points and shall now take part at his 13th Kenya Open tournament; while Golf Park’s Tony Omuli will be taking part at his seventh Kenya Open event having finished in seventh place on the Road to Kenya Open ranking with 53.5 points.Meanwhile, Vet Lab Sports Club’s Nelson Simwa and Windsor’s David Opati tied for eighth with 51 points apiece to complete the list of nine Kenyan players at this year’s tournament.The Safari Tour Golf Series, which was launched in August last year, formed the qualification tournament for Kenyan players taking part this year’s Kenya Open.The nine pros join six amateur players who have already qualified to play at this year’s Magical Kenya Open Championship; these are Daniel Nduva, Samuel Njoroge, Mike Kisia, Edwin Mudanyi, Bradley Mogire and Mutahi Kibugu.0Shares0000(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more