June 25, 2017

Archives for May 2017

Tribute to a Mother

By Janet Jagan

Janet and her mom (right)

My mother died at the age of 95, some 5,000 miles away. She was very old and had lived a long and useful life. I remember her for what she gave me, rich gifts which I have cherished my lifetime.

She taught me hard work and honesty, honesty at all costs, no in-betweens or half-ways. She taught me these qualities by her own conduct and what I suppose were disciplinary measures, which I can no longer recall.

What I recall of my childhood in Chicago, U.S.A., was a happy one; a quiet household of my mother, father, bother and myself; few conflicts; no shouting; no beatings, maybe an occasional spanking and, above all, harmony between my parents.

Early in life I learned from my parents that life is not easy; that one has to work hard to achieve one’s goals; that school is serious business and that there is a time for play and a time for work.

My mother, though with only a limited education, had skills which carried her right into her old age. Her hands could do almost everything but most of all, sew, knit and crochet; she made beautiful and useful things.

Learning from her mother’s example, Janet had also been a dedicated mother and wife(Jagan’s family photo, 1958)

During the terrible depression of the 1920s and 30s in America, when unemployment was excessively high, my father joined the ranks. Jobs were impossible to find. My mother took in sewing jobs at home and helped us survive, along with her frugal use of what we had. But even this does not show what kind of a mother I had and lost just recently. Maybe this example portrays her relationship with people, which was of an outstandingly warm quality.

Shortly before her own death, her friend of 80 years died. Imagine, a friendship lasting 80 years! My mother told me how she sewed this friend’s wedding dress sometime around World War 1.

Mothers, as women know so well, are mostly the centre of life in families; they set the standards of life and the qualities they expect in their children.

Those of us who have had the good fortune to have good mothers can surely be called fortunate. (Copyright: Nadira Jagan-Brancier, 2009)


Indentured mother of a President

Dr Cheddi Jagan and his mother, Bachaoni

The late President of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan, was the son of indentured sugar workers. Of note is his hardworking mother, Bachoni. He wrote that he learned the elements of finance from his mother.

His parents, Bachoni and Jagan (father), had arrived in the then British Guiana as young infants with their mothers from the district of Basti in Uttar Pradesh, India. Both his grandmothers came as indentured immigrants in 1901 and were “bound” by a five-year contract to different sugar plantations in the county of Berbice.

Life was very hard and both his parents had to start working in the canefields at a young age to supplement the family income.

In her piece, “When Grandpa Cheddi Was A Boy” (A story written for her grandchildren), Janet Jagan wrote: “Great grandmother Bachoni was very small, very quiet, except when one of her children was bad; then she could talk to them hard. They learned early that size isn’t what counts and they all behaved well and listened to her. Life wasn’t easy for her. She had eleven children, six boys and five girls and brought them all up to be strong, healthy and hard-working… Grandpa Cheddi had to help in the kitchen garden, weeding and watering the plants. When there was enough for market, he used to go with great grandmother Bachoni and sell the greens and fruits at the Port Mourant market place.”

Dr. Jagan (third from right back row) with his mother, brothers and sisters (1965)

Cheddi’s mother never went to school; however, she taught him important life lessons, which ultimately laid the foundation for him to become the President of Guyana.

In Janet’s “Cheddi – A Unique Leader”, she described her husband as the “Father of Independence” and a “man who was our brother, our father and who gave our country the unique leadership of a man who truly cared about the people” – qualities he inherited from his parents. (Photos and information from www.jagan.org and the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre)


‘Create opportunities for self-development’

Crystal is a designer and mother who believes with determination anything is possible

By Utamu Belle

Sneak peek of designs from her bridal collection

Motherhood is nothing short of amazing, as proven by one of Linden’s top fashion designers and mother of two, Crystal Lam.

At 24, Crystal, a young mother of two girls, is already a budding entrepreneur in the local fashion industry and the innovative mind behind Crystal Lam Designs. For her, motherhood is the driving force and motivation behind her success story.

Crystal started off with careers in banking and public sector, but sewing and designing have been her passion since the tender age of 12. She would sew school uniforms for her high school friends. Her first major opportunity came in 2008, when at age 15 she presented her inaugural line, Eye Candy, at ‘Linden Fashion Night’. Lam admits that the exposure afforded by this event was a “superb one”.

The designer recalled in an interview with Sunday Times Magazine that at the age of 19 she became pregnant with her first child. Consequently, she decided to put a hold on fashion designing in order to take up her new role as a mother. But after learning how to balance mother and work, she decided to pick up where she left off in her fashion career.

“I told myself that motherhood is more important. But I learned to balance it,” she stated.

Having had her second child a few months ago, Lam explained that the experience has taught her how to manage her family while pursuing her dreams.

With her two daughters

“I think sometimes people make a lot of excuses. I just had to work out a system. But I don’t think being a mother is an excuse for you to put your dreams on hold.  You have to find a way to incorporate it, to make it work.

“With my second pregnancy, I initially doubted I could make motherhood and a career work, but I was determined to do both and learned to be balanced. I participated in Guyana Fashion Week and acquired my work studio, all the while being pregnant. I think this pushed me further and caused me to be even more motivated,” Crystal expressed.

Crystal disclosed that working a “9 to 5 job was more stable”, however, after several years of juggling a fulltime job and a designing career, she decided to fully commit to fashion designing in 2015.

“It was like a prison doing something that I wasn’t passionate about. I felt like I was being suffocated. So in 2015, I took the risk and decided to go fulltime as a fashion designer,” she recollected.

The designer admitted that balancing motherhood and a career in fashion designing is demanding, but she is positive that her efforts will pay off in the long run.

“If I tell you that it’s easy, I’d be lying. There are times of doubt and wanting to go back to a ‘regular’ job. But I think when you’re passionate about something that gives you the extra drive to keep pushing ahead,” she expressed.

Crystal also credits the “immense support” from her family for her drive. For instance, her younger sister assists with babysitting and also with designing.

The entrepreneur pointed out that it is important to allocate time for relaxation, despite having a hectic schedule. This, she said, contributes to being a rounded individual.

Crystal has produced five fashionable collections, participated in Style Mission and Guyana Fashion Week events. Other achievements include being awarded ‘Best Gown’ prizes for her designs in two Linden Town Week Pageants and ‘Best Professional Wear’ for her design at another fashion event.

Presently, the designer is planning to launch her male clothing collection next month; a bridal collection and to offer exclusive bridal services, such as hair and makeup. Notably, through her bridal services, she is focused on creating employment for other young entrepreneurs.

Despite hectic schedules, Crystal always finds time for her children. She said she would like to set an example for her daughters and to provide “the kind of life that I would like to see my girls live”. Additionally, Crystal teaches her children, by example, that anything is possible if you are determined. She is a firm believer that “children should be allowed to craft their own paths, as it relates to the profession they want to choose and that parents should assist in nurturing their dreams”.

Her advice to young mothers is “don’t just look for jobs, create them”. She added: “There’s always something you can do. You don’t have to neglect your kids. I think everyone was created with some skill, so explore that creativity. Look for avenues to create employment for yourself. Also, stick to the plan, persevere and keep working towards your achievement, it will eventually pay off,” she encouraged.

For more information on the designer’s work, visit Crystal Lam Designs on Facebook.


Venturing into the ‘heart of Guyana’

By Ashraf Dabie

Bikers on the Safari

Many of us are unaware of the adventures that lie just beyond our backyards. However, with the establishment of the Pakaraima Mountain Safari, both Guyanese and tourists from abroad are given the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Guyana.

The Safari is the ideal outdoors adventure where you can explore Guyana’s mountainous regions, while learning about the rich culture of indigenous communities.

The Pakaraima Mountains are said to have some of the most breath-taking views of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana).

Several years ago, roads linking the villages of Region Eight – from Maikwauk to Monkey Mountain all the way to Karasabai leading into Yurong Paru in Region Nine – never existed. As such, the villages of the Pakaraimas were land locked and only accessible by air. This posed tremendous difficulty for the indigenous people from the Patamona and Makushi nations to traverse in these areas. However, the construction of an access trail led to the villages of the Pakaraimas opening their doors to welcome the inaugural Pakaraima Mountain Safari in 2003.

A few of the vehicles that were part of the Safari’s delegation

On March 22, 2003, a Safari consisting of four Land Rovers, two tractors and several trailers of passengers set off on a historic journey from Karasabai to Orinduik. The two-and-a-half-day journey was led by Harripersaud Nokta, the then Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, accompanied by a number of fellow Government officials, as well as the Commander of the Lethem and Karasabai Police Stations and 21 other persons.  That historic journey is the birth of what is now known as the highly anticipated Pakaraima Mountain Safari.

This annual event takes explorers literally into the heart of Guyana as the route begins in Georgetown and ends at Orinduik Falls, which lies at the foot of the Pakaraima Mountain Range bordering Guyana and Brazil. The route allows adventurers to travel through the pristine forests of Guyana, over majestic mountains and hills inhabited by a diversity of wildlife and indigenous nations.

Exploring scenic landscape is one of the exciting features of the Safari

The off-road expedition offers an understanding and appreciation for the bond between man and nature, so much so that one may wish to continue on this venture forever. Stops along the route allow for adequate time to bask in the beauty of Guyana or even wash off the weight of the world under the many waterfalls scattered along the journey. Sleeping under a vast blanket of stars and being lulled by the sounds of the forest are some of the unforgettable experiences on this trip. The “adventure of a lifetime”allows for indulging in indigenous cuisine, exchange of cultures and learning a new way of life.

After 15 years of embarking on this life-changing adventure, the Safari continues to grow with a promise of new experiences year after year.

Refreshing baths at cascading waterfalls are enjoyed on the journey

Departed from Georgetown on April 8 and joining along the way 30 vehicles and 40 motorcycles, this year’s Safari had the largest delegation. The expedition, which lasted for nine days, concluded on April 16.

The highlights of the trip included visits to 14 indigenous communities, stops at several waterfalls and participating in the Rupununi Rodeo.

The Pakaraima Mountain Safari is organised by its established club as well as the Rainforest Tours in collaboration with Guyana Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Communities and the Administration of Regions Eight and Nine.

Rugged terrain

This annual event, generally occurring around Easter, encourages the promotion and growth of tourism in Guyana by creating an adventurous experience. It attracts scores of foreign explorers and nature lovers. It also encourages the development of indigenous communities as participants are obligated to make donations and support the entrepreneurial ventures of the families in those communities. More importantly, the Safari presents the ideal opportunity for Guyanese to acquaint themselves and fall in love with the natural beauty and wonders that exist beyond the country’s coastlines.


An unforgettable adventure

Scenic creek in Rockstone (Photo by Kester Clarke)

The community of Rockstone, tucked away in the heart of Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice), is a scenic tourist destination with its flowing creeks, lush forest and welcoming residents.

Rockstone is situated on the right bank of the Essequibo river, approximately 22 kilometres or 14 miles away from Linden.

Upon arriving at this remote farming community, tourists are greeted by the friendly people living there. But the ultimate experience begins on the trail to the community. When travelling to Rockstone by road, which is highly recommended because of the adventure the trip offers, tourists get a chance to admire the flora and fauna of the area. Venturing further into the community, an amazing view of the mighty Essequibo river can be seen just off the Rockstone Landing. Visitors to the community are welcomed to stay at the Arawana Lodge, an accommodating guesthouse – one of the prides of the community. For nature lovers, camping outside the Rockstone Landing is idyllic.

Rockstone is an ideal adventure for nature lovers

In Rockstone, tours of the picturesque community, nature walks and river trips via canoes are provided by trained and knowledgeable tour guides. A trip to Gluck Island is the ultimate adventure for families. Notably, the community is a birding paradise, with several species of birds inhabiting the area. Rockstone is also known to be the home of the world’s largest fresh water fish, the Arapaima.

Apart from its exciting adventures, tourists flock to the community annually for the Rockstone Fish Festival, a fun-filled nature event hosted by the Rockstone Tourism Association and the Guyana Tourism Authority. The festival is usually held for two days in October. Patrons participate in exciting activities such as fishing, cooking, roasting, scaling and deboning competitions, nature walks, river tours and camping.

For nature lovers and those seeking a getaway from the ‘concrete jungle’, Rockstone is sure to be an unforgettable adventure. (Photos and information by Utamu Belle)

Enjoy a tour of Rockstone in a canoe

Rockstone Landing (Photo by Deon Thomas)


Spreading love through art

Courtney and Annie with their son

Matt & Annie Arts – Turning Ideas into Reality is a business started by Courtney and Aneeza Douglas, both of whom graduated from E. R. Burrowes School of Arts with diplomas in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Together, they have won five National Arts Awards and numerous art competitions. They were married in August 2013 and have a son, Lucas Myles. Courtney is currently working at Tinninben Animation Studio, and Aneeza does commissioned artworks at home.

Art plays a significant role in the lives of the Douglases. Courtney states that their “gift is from God” and they believe that “whatever they do with it is their gift back to God”.  Courtney and Aneeza love what they do and, through their creations, want to share that love with their clients.

“When someone purchases a piece of art, we want them to take the love from our home to their home. We want to leave a legacy. Part of it is, ‘Don’t try to be better than anyone, try to be better than the person you were yesterday.’ Only then we can see changes in all aspects of life,” expressed Courtney.

Colouring Book illustrated by Courtney

Courtney Matt Douglas graduated from Burrowes with a diploma in Fine Arts and was awarded “Best Student in Painting, Drawing and Graphic Designs”.  He is the winner of the National Coin Design Competition, which was held to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Indian immigration. Additionally, he won the National Drawing Competition 2013 with the piece of Guyana’s master batsman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Matt and Annie’s artworks are showcased at Dis Is De Place exhibitions held at the end of each month at the Courtyard Mall, Robb Street, Georgetown.  Their craft includes leather jewellery of the finest quality.

The artist mentioned that his daily Facebook sketches (Sketch A Day) are for the benefit of his fans and to demonstrate his ingenuity and dexterity with the pen and to further develop his technique.

Courtney’s “Inspirational Arts Series” feature famous persons who inspire the rest of the world, including poets (such as Maya Angelou), sportsmen and women (such as Muhammed Ali, Lionel Messi and others), humanitarians (Mother Theresa), civic leaders (Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King), and literary geniuses (Derek Walcott and others).

For more information, visit Matt & Annie Arts – Turning Ideas into Reality on Facebook.



‘Canje pheasant’

‘Mother’ means more than just giving birth

By Ashraf Dabie

Joan Stephens Deveaux

The definition of a ‘mother’ is often limited to one who has given birth. But think about those women who go above and beyond the call of duty to care for others. Shouldn’t they be considered mothers too? We ought to give due credit to all those ‘mother figures’ who have invested all their energies and resources in improving the lives of strangers. One such individual is Joan Stephens Deveaux.

Joan is a caregiver at the Godchildren Convalescent Home in Durban Backlands, Georgetown. She began her tenure at the home in the year 1998 and was recently promoted to Supervisor/House Mother earlier this year.

The 56-year-old is the biological mother of one; however, her motherly love is extended to so many more. Joan’s responsibilities include working 12 hours a day, sometimes more, caring for the children at Godchildren Convalescent Home.

In an interview with Sunday Times Magazine, she recalled that upon her initiation at the Children’s Home, there were mostly sick infants and toddlers at the institution. This meant additional nurturing, special care and attention, as well as affection, were needed to nurse these ones back to health. Among the children in her care were patients of malnutrition, mental disorders, HIV and various forms of disabilities. Long days and sleepless nights were ‘normal’ for the House Mother. She mentioned that it is even more hectic when residents of the home are admitted to the hospital as she would remain by their side, ensuring that they are sufficiently cared for.

With her help and the assistance of other caregivers attached to the Home, Joan was able to secure permanent homes for a majority of the children after they had regained health. Those remaining were sent to St. John’s Bosco and St. Ann’s Home, among other institutions, where they currently are able to attend school, securing a potentially successful future, all thanks to the dedication by Joan and her team.

The caregiver expressed delight in being afforded the opportunity to impact the lives of the children at the Home.

“You just love and care for them. You treat them like your own at home,” she expressed.

Joan recalled she was inspired to work at the Home after a friend told her about the institution. She remembered seeing the plight of the helpless children who were forced to seek refuge at the institution because of parental neglect. She simply could not turn her back on those who later became her very own.

The Children’s Convalescent Home is a community outreach programme of the Guyana Red Cross Society that provides residential care and support for children ages five and younger. This facility provides refuge to those suffering from undernourishment, abuse, neglect and abandonment. With the assistance of dedicated personnel, the institution is able provide a home for a number of children, showering them with the love and support needed to create a conducive environment for development.

Even though Joan may not be the biological mother of the children at the Children’s Convalescent Home, for many she is their only ‘idea’ of a mother. The bond she has established over the years and the impact she has had on the lives of the many children passing through her supervision are enough to safely say that Joan Stephens Deveaux is not just the mother of one.


The Mothering and the Shaping of Creative Energies

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother – Abraham Lincoln

Guyanese author Sasenarine Persaud

It is not without significance that ‘the mother’ finds herself a prominent presence in literature; if she is not on the cover as the author of a book with pen in hand, then she is present on the dedication page or in the acknowledgement page as the ink in the pen – the influence and source of the author’s product.

The dedication or acknowledgement is no easy consideration and ought not to be taken lightly.  The mother is the mother of all creation, the mother of all creative work, especially of first published books. For a first time published writer the dedication may be an easy consideration, but for an internationally recognised author with a string of publications to his/her name, it is another matter.  Yet, it continues to happen for such well-known writers to dedicate a work to their mother. Whatever the case, the mother deserves a place.

When the mother appears on the cover of a book, she is there in her own right as the author, in full control, moving words and symbols and images about in order to create the optimum effect. When the mother appears on the cover of a book as author, it is an assertion of her ability and craft. But that appearance on the cover of a book may be more than just a show of ability and craft. The woman in a male dominated world – in a male dominated world of literature, in many cases – starts out at a disadvantage, denying herself the right to be on the cover by sacrificing herself in order to elevate her male spouse, or having to inch her way into the ranks of writers, fighting off challenges, awaiting acknowledgement, acceptance and appreciation, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the dominant male before breaking the class ceiling.

Hats off to mothers who have made a name for themselves in the literary world: Rajkumari Singh, Jan Lowe Shinebourne, Sharon Maas, Grace Nichols, Paloma Mohamed and Ryhaan Shah, among others.

As mentioned before, the dedication page or acknowledgement page is no trite consideration and ought not to be taken lightly. Here is a just completed book after many hours, days, weeks, months, or years of solitary toiling. Let’s say the book had taken years to produce and now the author looks back at this wonderful piece of creation and is satisfied that he/she is solely responsible for this creation. But the more he/she looks at the work, the more others seem to be staking a claim to the work. And the longer he/she looks, the more names appear as contributor. So the dedication/acknowledgement is a matter of great and grave consideration. And when the mother appears there, it is not without due credit.

Here are some examples of mothers whose influence resulted in the production of books, books that helped in the shaping of Guyanese literature. It is said that the mother of Martin Carter (Violet Eugene Wylde) loved books and enjoyed reciting verses; while N. E. Cameron’s mother wonderful organising ability grounded in religious tenets was foisted on him.

Here are some examples of writers dedicating their books to their mothers and, generally, to mothers. Shammi Nohar dedicated his book “Saudia” to his mother; Gideon Cecil did the same in “Songs of my Soul”; Berkely Semple in “Lamplight Teller”; Julie K. Jailall in “Sharda”; Clive Sankardayal in “The Brown Curtains”. Imam Baksh in “Children of the Spider” dedicated it to his parents; Moses Nagamootoo (Guyana’s current Prime Minister) “Hendree’s Cure” is in memory of “Pa and Ma”. Harry T. Hergash dedicated his book “A Collection of Indian-Guyanese Words & Phrases” to his “paraajee, paternal great-grandmother”, while Donald Trotman dedicated his “Forest Leaves” to the memory of… and Rajkumari Singh, who was the surrogate mother to numerous writers, artists and dramatists.

This is how part of my dedication reads in “The Balgobin Saga”, Hansib Publications (2008) … “to my mother for burying my navel string in the library [National Library]. Thank you, Mom, I didn’t get the chance to say thank you – you died too young, you died before the books of your sons were published. My brother, Sasenarine Persaud, is the author of more than twelve books, many appearing on the shortlist of the Guyana Prize for Literature, while I have authored six books and edited numerous others. The formal education of my mother didn’t go beyond ‘lil a, b, c’, but she managed and she also managed to execute part of her vision for her children. Thank you, Mom.”

Responses to this author telephone (592) 226-0065 or email: oraltradition2002@yahoo.com

What’s Happening:

It is here – a new book, “Guyanese Writers of Indian Ancestry” commemorates the centennial end to indentureship and (Indian) Arrival Day. It is available at Austin’s Book Service and directly from the author. The book will soon be at other locations, including the National Library, hotels and airports.


Time compression…

…by Government

The PNC-led APNU/AFC coalition spent millions of taxpayers’ dollars producing a 16-page insert in the Chronic “celebrating” their two-year stint at the helm of the ship of state, Guyana. It’s like the Captain of the Titanic celebrating the 115th anniversary of hitting that iceberg in the North Atlantic!! But at least the Titanic’s captain had the grace to go down with his ship, didn’t he?

But in Guyana, even though the Government deliberately ignored all the warnings by the business community, the Opposition and independent analyst that they’ve been steering the Guyanese economy directly into the iceberg called “recession”, it fell on deaf ears. And the Guyanese economy’s in a free fall headed to the bottom of the whirlpool of economic debris. And these jokers have the chutzpah to “celebrate”!!

What’s to celebrate? From where this Eyewitness sits, their only achievement is offering another proof of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – in the social world. At its heart that now venerable theory is very simple: as things move faster, for outside observers, time slows down. What the PNC-led APNU-AFC Government has done is to move so fast in destroying within two years the economy the PPP rebuilt in 23 years. Guyanese are convinced the PNC’s been ruling for 23 years!! That’s how long they feel they’ve been suffering!! Twenty-three years have been compressed into two years!! Roll over Einstein!! Meet the PNC!

But your Eyewitness can now see some method to the madness from official quarters. The Shill wasn’t only deflecting criticisms of a “do nothing” government, he was also trumpeting their “success”!! But he, at least, was pithy, even as he was pitiful!! This latest output of the Chronic was so prolix, your Eyewitness was seriously challenged to plough through them. They’re so much garbage a fella can rummage through!!

So, what was the insert all about. They started out by reprinting Prezzie’s “Swearing-in” address, where he proclaimed “A year of renewal”. The only thing’s “renewed” is the despair from the PNC’s first stint at the helm under Burnham. This was followed by PM Nagamootoo taking 2000 words to announce a “new paradigm” in “a new democracy”. He certainly knows what he’s talking about. In this “new paradigm”, all the terms of the Accord defining the “new democracy” giving him more powers were broken by the PNC. But the PM’s not only mute – he insists everything is “OK”!!

But the biggest joke of all was the article on Basil Williams announcing his “top priority”: “Restoring the ‘rule of law’!! While your Eyewitness isn’t any spring chicken, on reading that he immediately began “ROTFLMAO”!!

Rolling on the floor, laughing my ‘a55’ off!!

…in money laundering

They say you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. But then you gotta make sure the “gift horse” isn’t a “Trojan Horse”, don’t you?? This thought flashed into your Eyewitness’ mind when he read of the donation of G$4 billion drugs by a US NGO – Guyana Medical Relief Council – to the tune of US$20 million!! Now this is real money – greenbacks – not Guyana’s monopoly-money.  The Bank of Guyana recently claimed they stabilised THE ENTIRE GUYANESE ECONOMY by pumping the same amount into the banks!!

Some raised concerns these drugs might be expired or “almost”- expired – and will soon be dumped. Some worried the drugs might have nothing to do with the specific ailments that trouble Guyanese – like diabetes.

But your Eyewitness is worried the US just warned Guyana was still on their radar for laundering money.

Isn’t this what getting a US tax-write-off for US$20 million of expired drugs, is?? Let’s follow the money, SOCU or FBI!!

…at D’Urban Park

We just heard, from one military personnel, Bess, to another, Nicolett, that D’Urban Park’s about to be “spruced up” for Independence 50+1.

But wasn’t it only a year ago G$1.3 billion was spent to “fix it up” for Jubilee?

Ahh…how time (and money) flies when the scandals come fast and furious!!


What’s missing…

…in the “accomplishments”

Sometimes what’s missing is even more important than what’s present. That’s what struck your Eyewitness when he perused the 125 “accomplishments” the PM’s Shill compiled to ward off criticisms about the coalition being a “do-nothing” government. Now when you come down to it… what exactly was it the folks who voted the coalition into office wanted? OK…not to just throw out the PPP because of ethnic sentiments (APNU) or revenge (Nagamootoo and Ramjattan in the AFC).

We’re talking about real bread-and-butter issues – like …well…bread and butter, for which one needs money to buy to keep body and soul together. Your Eyewitness is talking about jobs…jobs that’ll allow folks to work for THEIR money to maintain their dignity and not depend on handouts on breadlines. And that’s where the Shill went mute: not even a squeak about creating businesses that’d employ people.

 Instead, we hear about relaunching the National Service and the Cadet Corps and suchlike, to herd another generation into a dependency syndrome mentality. Rather than, say, closing down the sugar industry and talking vaguely about ‘leasing the land’ to workers, why couldn’t the Government identify some specific crop, provide the seed money, and identify markets?? Or launch some new industries like the Eastern Tigers??

Don’t they remember what the Japanese Government did when the Mazda rotary engine gamble went bust?? They didn’t just wring their hands and launched National Services to sop up the unemployed. They identified a strategic global need for oil tankers – occasioned by OPEC’s new monopoly  and got Mazda into the business of building tankers. That didn’t mean Mazda went out of the car business – but they got a breather that was a win-win for them and the country. Japanese got jobs, and Japan benefited.

 But your Eyewitness will tell you why this government isn’t going to move in that direction to create jobs – apart from having to find sinecures for all those army veterans who just can’t cut it in business. And apart from not appreciating that SOMEONE has to make profits – and get rich in the process – in a capitalist economy.

 Thing is, most of those who have the background to run successful businesses aren’t going to roll over and play dead like back in the first PNC turn at the wheel. The modern liberalised world offers more options for capital – which after all, is the very definition of “fungible”. Have you noticed some of them already starting to move out?? But back to where we started – what’s missing.

 The PM’s Shill – like most of his cohorts – having never even run a cake shop, is absolutely clueless about what it takes to  MAKE money.

All they can do is spend it!!

…in rice

One of the “accomplishments” the Shill claimed was to have secured “New markets for rice”. And once again this government exposes its total ignorance of what makes a “market” for a person who produces goods to sell. A market is one in which you MAKE A PROFIT!! To break it even finer for the know-nothing government – you have to sell your goods at a higher price than what you produced it for.

 A market isn’t one where you make a loss…that’s DUMPING!! Could the Shill tell the nation which market they opened up where rice farmers and millers are making a profit?? Was it the one his boss Nagamootoo promised also two years ago he “secured” in Mexico?? Could he tell the nation how many tonnes of rice or paddy have been shipped to Mexico??

 Your Eyewitness will spare him the effort. Zilch!! Nada!! Zero!! While bull-sh*t may help grow rice as manure, it doesn’t create markets!!

…in the new GECOM list??

One of the nominees for the GECOM Chair by the Opposition Leader confessed he doesn’t think Prezzie will select anyone from the second list.

Of course, he won’t! That special female ex-Judge wasn’t on it!!