January 21, 2018

Archives for October 2017

Guyana preparing for French Guiana invitational Volleyball

The Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) is currently preparing for an invitational Inter-Guiana Under-20 Junior tournament for both male and females which is expected to run from November 3 to 5 in French Guiana.
Guyana along with Suriname and hosts French Guiana, will do battle in the three-day event which is hosted by the French Guiana Volleyball Federation (FGVF). According to coach Levi Nedd who will be accompanying the teams when they wing out on November 2, said training preparations have been productive.
The Volleyballers underwent a training session on Sunday at the National Gymnasium and according to Nedd, the teams will continue their training at the same venue on Saturday October 28 and Sunday 29 with aims of further fine-tuning the players for the meet which he considers crucial for the blooding of a national team ahead of the 2018 Inter-Guiana Games (IGG).

Some of the female Volleyballers during a training session
on Sunday at the National Gymnasium in Georgetown

Speaking on the current form of Guyana regarding its progress in the sport, the former national player turned coach said, “After just being victorious at the IGG, it is important for Guyana to gain another title, so the youth development of the sport could further be propagated.”
Coach Nedd also confirmed that a few notable faces will participate in the invitational while adding that he plans to focus more on the players gelling together ahead of the competition. “The notable faces will be most of those who participated in the recently held IGG in Suriname while some of the areas to be worked on will be to inject more team synchronization into the system,” he stated.

Main focus is on ‘re-establishment’ of Golden Jaguars, says GFF President

The re-establishment of the men’s national football team, the Golden Jaguars is on top of the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) agenda. This was disclosed by the federation’s President Wayne Forde; with two international matches lined up for the Jaguars against Trinidad and Tobago and Indonesia in November, Forde maintained that the GFF is looking to examine the national players ahead of next year’s Caribbean championships.

The Golden Jaguars will face Indonesia and Trinidad and Tobago in November

He pointed out that for the past two years the federation has been putting things in place for Guyana to have a solid youth foundation and he explained with that now in place, the focus will be on the senior teams.
“What the general public is witnessing, is the unfolding of a deliberate strategy; we spent the last two years putting the mechanics in place for the youth development programme,we have the ATCs (Association Training Centers), we have the intra association leagues, we have the coaching education programmes, all of that is being done at a very rapid pace. We think that we are at a point where the youth development program [which is the most important arm of any ambitious football nation], we think we have set those corner stones in place, we now getting to the point where we want to re-establish the national team brands, both female and male.”
He continued; “seeking out these interesting international engagements, whether it is out of the confederation or not; is one where we can first of all take a good look at the international players that will take us into our 2018 Caribbean Championship and the League of Nations which CONCACAF is working on. Apart from that, in our opinion it is going to help in the international brand appeal of the Golden Jaguars. We are hoping the result of that would be one where we can bring in more partners in terms of sponsors that can help because I’m sure everyone wants to be associated with a national team that is getting around the world, not only getting around but of course succeeding.”
Forde also revealed that the GFF is working on setting up another game against another Asian country. He stressed that the federation is aiming to go sub-100 in the FIFA International ranking within 12 months.

Persaud hoping to cement place in senior team

By Clifton Ross

Guyana Jaguars newbie Akshaya Persaud said cementing a spot in the senior team is what he intends to do once he’s given the chance to play when the 2017/18 Digicel Regional 4-Day tournament bowls off this week.
Persaud, the leading run-scorer in the recently concluded Jaguars 3-Day League was the lone new face in the 13-man Guyana team which was released on Monday. Following his practice session at the venue of the Jaguars opening match; the Providence Stadium, the batsman was delighted to have finally been rewarded with a senior call-up.
“First, I must thank almighty God for making this possible, I know from my hard work I must get the rewards in the future. I was keeping it simple and keep the basics going, last year I had a good tournament, I got over 400 runs this year I got over 500-odd runs so it was due to come,” Persaud said.
The West Demerara skipper cracked two tons this season including 151 as he ended with 520 runs at an average of well over 70 runs from 7 rounds played. His form which seemed to continue from last season where he tallied over 400 runs, was coupled by the batsman being offered an Academy contract which has seemingly aided in his growth from strength to strength.
Regarding the technical aspects of his game, the Cornelia Ida resident said he doesn’t stray too far from the fundamentals as he stressed on keeping in touch with the basic side of training and execution. “I was just doing the basics right, a lot of extra work, batting and bowling especially in the rainy season I was in the indoor facility at LBI so I’ve been putting in extra work.”
Nephew of former national batsman Rabindranauth Seeram, Persaud credited advice from his uncle whom he works with a lot at home along with the invaluable relationship he shares with veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul who he refers to as “Pops” as significant figures in the development of his career.
“The coaches in the academy and the players in the senior team, also at home I work with my uncle Seeram also I must thank Shiv for some advice he gives me throughout my career, my parents and my village who have all helped med throughout my career,” he explained.
He further added that Seeram has placed special emphasis on teaching him the ins and outs about cricket, saying “He tells me to keep it as simple as possible and don’t rush anything and keep it simple while sticking to the basics.”
A Junior member of the Guyana Amazon Warriors team over the years, the left-hander said his stint with the warriors during the CPL has helped to improve his cricket from a physical perspective which has played a pivotal role in his recent success. “That has boosted my career a lot, especially my fitness because the trainers are very hard-working, it has helped my batting and bowling but it helped my fitness especially.”
Despite making the 13, the young batsman was aware that he still needs to learn as much as he can while he can, especially that hopes of securing a permanent spot in the team were at the forefront of his goals. “I think what I was doing in the 3-Day tournament that brought me success I will keep doing, I just have to be a bit weary because there is a lot of international bowlers in the regional tournament so I just have to go and adapt” admitted Persaud.
Although Guyana will commence their title defense minus five of their top players; Keon Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Vishaul Singh, Shimron Hetmyer and Davendra Bishoo who are all on international duty, Persaud who could likely make his first class debut said he’s maintaining composure as he knows the importance of being focused ahead of such a big tournament.
“At the moment I’m just relaxing and just doing my batting and bowling, probably on that day I might have a few nerves but it’s just for me to go out there and keep my focus as well as my concentration”. He ended.

Guyana’s Priyanna Ramdhani selected for Pan AM Camp

Guyana & Caribbean Ladies Badminton Champion Priyanna Ramdhani has been selected by the Pan American Badminton Federation Development Director to participate in the Young Talents Camp 2017 set for November 9 to 15, 2017 in Paramaribo Suriname.

Badminton Champion Priyanna Ramdhani

The selection was made after her incredible performance at just 15 years of age to reach the quarter finals of the recently concluded South American Youth Games in Chile where she was also ranked at number four in the South American ranking.
Priyanna also won two gold medals and one silver at the Caribbean Badminton Championships (CAREBACO) held in Trinidad playing in August this year.
This Young Talents Camp will be involved in sessions twice per day under the direction of the Pan American Programme coach.
After the conclusion of the camp, Priyanna will then take part in the Suriname International Open Badminton Championships from November 15 to 18 at the Ismay Van Wilgen Sports Hall.
Her Goal is to start building her World Ranking Points to help her qualify and attend future tournaments and games.

The maximum leader…

…doesn’t have to explain
Asked about why he didn’t tell Burnham he disagreed with one of the latter’s decisions, Hamilton Green replied wryly, “Who could tell Burnham anything once he made up his mind?” And that’s precisely the reason Guyana’s on the brink of another dictatorship right now. Burnham set the mould for those who’d want to follow in his footsteps – such as Prezzie who promised to do just that.
Burnham didn’t give a hoot as to the consequences of his decisions for Guyana. Asked in a documentary whether he’d change course for Guyana if his “socialist experiment” failed, Burnham replied the experiment would continue come hell or high water. As he announced in Parliament, “Back to back; belly to belly; I don’t give a damn, I done dead already!!”
So those who think Prezzie will change his mind on the GECOM appointment or will offer reasons for his decision just wasted a thought. Why should the President give reasons, when he is a General, “moulding” Guyanese to fulfil the vision of the Founder Leader? Does anyone out there really believe Burnham traipsed around in a full General’s outfit because he ran out of civilian garb?
Pleeease!! And Prezzie’s a REAL general, who spent his whole life having EVERYONE bowing and scraping. When a General gives an order to jump, there’s just one choice: “How high, sir?!” Now on the matter of offering reasons, the Judge told him that based on the political realities, Guyana needs “discussion and compromise” and he really should tell the people why he rejected those 18 nominees.
But Prezzie’s response was to demand he be shown where in the Constitution he’s supposed to do that. But that’s being quite disingenuous, isn’t it? Where in the Constitution did he find the criteria he set Jagdeo as to who’s a suitable candidate? And that’s the nub of the question, isn’t it? A constitution cannot specify the rule for every contingency a country will confront for all times.
What it does is to propose PRINCIPLES that should be used as guidelines in those contingencies. Now it’s patently clear to anyone not seized of a maximum leader syndrome that Art 161 (2) was inserted in 2000 to encourage “consultations and compromise”. This is the SPIRIT of the constitutional rule – which must be followed if the leader is serious about “obeying” the Constitution. In England, for instance, there’s no written constitution, the principles have been solidified into traditions that have a greater force than the stated law.
As soon as any leader begins to insist on following the LETTER of the Constitution, know that he’s playing games!
Dangerous games for the people.

…and the ABC countries
The local plenipotentiaries of the ABC countries are being importuned to intervene in Prezzie’s unilateral appointment of the GECOM Chair. The local and domestic Guyanese implorers are begging them to “do the right thing”. But they should know no nation’s ever done the “right thing” for purely moral purposes. It’s always about their “national interest”, isn’t it?
And this isn’t a theoretical thing for us. Just peruse the declassified US files between 1960 and 1968 out there in the worldwide web. There, the AB (“C” wasn’t needed!) pretty much created the Maximum Leader Burnham, funded his PNC and closed their eyes to the rigging and other crimes against the Guyanese people – because it suited their interest.
Guyanese shouldn’t take this personally – it really had nothing to do with them, per se. What they should do is look at Spike Lee’s movie “Do the Right Thing” and listen to Public Enemy’s title song: “You got to fight the power, fight the power, fight the powers that be.”

…and pork-barrel politics
The Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman just gave an ANNUAL GRANT of G$100 million – from the Ministry’s coffers? – to UG for “technological pedagogy”.
So whatever happened to the US$10 million – or GY$2 BILLION that was given for the same purposes by the World Bank?

Signed, sealed, delivered…

…by the military
Your Eyewitness has had over two years to look closely at the military mindset at work when running a State. And, dear reader, let’s not kid ourselves – this has been a military Government from day one. Your Eyewitness had predicted this happenstance since the APNU/AFC campaign unfolded. If it barks like the army, orders like the army and salutes like the army, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude it’s a goddamn army in command!!
So what was different with the GECOM decision from events during the campaign days, when so many top Disciplined Forces brass were on display you had to shade your eyes from being blinded with the reflection from the medalled chests?!!?? From the beginning, Pressie made it clear he was going to pick his own GECOM Chair – come hell or high water.
Does anyone think this trained historian doesn’t know the history of Art 161?? Heck…he could teach some of the lawyers a thing or two about that “compromise” formula which assisted in the ousting of the PNC in 1992. Like Hamilton Green, whom he honoured with the OR in one of his first acts as President, Pressie was and remains an unapologetic, unreconstituted Burnhamite. He was one of those Burnhamites whom Hoyte banished and peripheralised when he decided to chart a new course for Guyana post-1985.
Of Burnham’s two ideologues in charge of indoctrinating the two key institutions, McDavid was with the Public Service, and Granger was with the Disciplined Forces. McDavid was banished to Russia, and Granger was made his military advisor. Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer! Hoyte didn’t even solicit Granger’s opinion on the weather!! Granger, like Green, never accepted Hoyte’s acceptance of the 1992 elections results. If he’d been in charge of the army, he would’ve never deployed troops to save the day when Green attacked GECOM as the votes were coming in and the PNC was shown as losing. Strike one against Joe Singh!!
Like Burnham, Pressie will never allow technicalities like voting to remove the PNC. His military training impels him to accept “collateral” damage for the cause. Problem is: as a military leader, he insists it’s his sole prerogative to define “the cause”. Like Burnham, he sees the PPP as “evil incarnate” and beyond redemption. They must be prevented from returning to office by any means necessary.
Pressie has Burnham’s perspective on constitutions: they really don’t matter, and are essentially a sop to placate those who believe in such “Nancy stories” like “democracy”. As Burnham told his 1979 Congress: “You can’t just read on the lines, comrades: it’s more important to read between the lines!!”

… and irreversible
As an indicator of the contempt Pressie has for the PPP, you only have to look at how he toyed with them in accepting list after list when he never intended to pick anyone from those lists. In fact, anyone who accepted being on the PPP list was given the kiss of death – even if Pressie hadn’t already picked his GECOM head.
But the way he actually made the cut was just rubbing salt into the wound. Patterson confirmed he was never consulted about being the GECOM Chair until a few hours before Jagdeo was summoned to State House on Diwali night. He just got a call from Pressie, and then and there he said, “Yes sir!!” For all your Eyewitness knows, he might’ve been lighting his diyas, yet he didn’t even miss a beat!!
“A few hours ago …I was never approached prior to tonight,” he said, and explained that Granger called him, made the offer, and he accepted!
Signed, sealed and delivered!

…CCJ test
The PPP’s taken Pressie’s unilateral move to the CCJ. But they’ll get a clue as to how the CCJ’s wind is blowing with the case the spit press insists in dubbing “third term”.
Somebody’s getting more than Christmas this December!!

GECOM Chair: Dharmic Sabha adds voice in condemning controversial appointment

The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha has joined the long list of organisations that have come out and publicly registered condemnation of President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Dr. Vindhya Vasini Persaud

The Dharmic Sabha said it is “disturbed at the unprecedented action” of President Granger in unilaterally appointing 84-year-old Patterson to the post of Chairman of GECOM.
The Sabha, in a statement, noted that the Constitution of Guyana, which is its supreme law, prescribes a process for the selection of a GECOM Chairman which has up to this moment been respected and adhered to by all past Presidents.
“While the Constitution also provides for the President to appoint a Chairman to GECOM in the instances where no list is provided by the Opposition Leader or if those persons on the list are found to be unacceptable, the Dharmic Sabha is deeply concerned that the President has chosen to ignore the three lists provided by the Leader of the Opposition without giving any reason as to the unsuitability of those nominees.”
The Hindu religious representative body said the lists were submitted “after a process of wide consultation”; thereby including Guyanese in the decision-making process.
It noted that the Carter Formulae crafted to ensure transparency in the process of selection of the Chairman espoused inclusiveness and engendered participation of civil society. “To ignore the lists of diverse and competent Guyanese smacks of arrogance and a desire to thwart the democratic process in place for all of Guyana to feel confident in the electoral process going forward,” the Sabha declared.
It said too that “the indecent haste to appoint someone late in the night has also raised many valid questions as to the genuine desire for a transparent electoral process”.
In addition, the Sabha said the choice of candidate as someone who is currently employed by the Government in an advisory capacity and who has had long association with the ruling party, also raises concerns about impartiality that is necessary for this key constitutional post.
“Free and fair elections are intrinsic to democracy and Guyana’s democracy has been hard won. All Guyanese should feel confident that our elections are free and fair with the results reflecting the wishes of the population. The manner in which the President has appointed the new GECOM Chairman, a person who will be tasked with ensuring the transparency of elections, has raised lots of questions and feelings of distrust across the country. The President has caused Guyanese to question his genuineness with regard to ensuring a democratic free and fair electoral process.”
To uphold democracy, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha is calling on President Granger to review his decision and to act in the best interest of all of Guyana.

World-renowned Vascular Specialist to give free clinic in Guyana

The Doobay Medical and Research Centre has announced an executive clinic with Dr Sonia Anand, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at McMaster University in Canada.

Dr Sonia Anand

The executive clinic, to be held on Saturday, October 28, at the Doobay Medical and Research Centre at Annandale, East Coast Demerara, aims to provide high-level medical consultations to senior business, Government, and other national leaders by one of the world leaders in vascular medicine.
Dr Sonia Anand is the Director of the Population Genomics Programme and a vascular medicine specialist at Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethnic Diversity and Cardiovascular Disease. She also holds the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario/Michael G DeGroote Chair in Population Health Research.
Her present research focuses on the environmental and genetic determinants of vascular disease in populations of varying ancestral origin, women and cardiovascular disease.
According to a statement from the Doobay Medical and Research Centre, her work is widely published among academic and peer-evaluated journals and she teaches clinical epidemiology courses in methodology and cardiovascular disease at McMaster University.
The Centre, known for providing affordable dialysis for patients with renal failure since September 2011 has continued to expand its operations to cater to more patients, as well as to expand the range of services being provided.
Founder and President of the Centre, Dr Budhendra Doobay, said “we have been working hard not just to expand our services, but to improve our research capability to better serve the specific needs of the Guyanese population.” He added that diabetes and other diseases are common all over the world but there are ethnic variations, having a specialist of the calibre of Dr Anand, who researches these ethnic differences in the diseases is a rare but extremely useful opportunity for people in Guyana.
Dr Doobay will be accompanying Dr Anand and would also be taking the opportunity to ensure that a number of local professionals get a chance to benefit from interaction with Dr Anand.
Dr Anand said she is “excited about being able to visit Guyana and make a contribution to care for patients and give counsel to as many persons as possible about the issues of their health.”

Surviving Breast Cancer: Stories of Strength and Faith

Life can sometimes throw us a curve ball, but the will to overcome obstacles can be brought to the surface when we are faced with challenges. This is true of two exemplary women who have fought and beaten breast cancer.
Rosaline Clarke
Because of her strength, her determination and her positive outlook on life, Rosaline Clarke embodies the spirit of a true cancer warrior and stands as a prime example that breast cancer is no match for a woman like her.

Rosaline Clarke

Known to most as ‘Ms Rosie’ or ‘Sister Rosie’, this mother of three learned some years ago that all of her siblings have been directly affected by cancer, two of which she helplessly watched as they were consumed by the disease.
Rosie’s personal journey with breast cancer began just one year ago while on vacation in the United States visiting her 97-year-old mother. It was on the third day after arrival that she “felt a sharp pain” in her left side breast. At first, she thought it was most likely a muscle strain caused by the luggage she had been hauling around, but after an examination, found that there was a lump in her breast. Rosie’s eldest sister, who was present at the time, encouraged her to remain calm. It was then that her sister disclosed for the very first time that she too had been battling cancer in her left breast for just about two years.
Three weeks after returning to Guyana and seeking a second opinion, Rosie underwent a lumpectomy. The initial report was that it was a cyst that had developed in her breast, but after a biopsy was conducted, Rosie was called in by the medical practitioners – she was strongly urged not to come alone. Yet, ever the brave soldier, Rosie went by herself, but she attests that she was not alone as, she said, her faith and resolve in her “God and Saviour” walked beside her.
The news was not good: Rosie had developed cancer in her breast. Two options were placed on the table – remove the lump or remove the entire breast. Rosie had a huge decision to make. She opted to remove her entire breast and avoid the rigors of chemotherapy she had learnt of from her eldest sister’s experience with the treatment. Rosie has since started her treatment using the “five-year pill”.
In a press release from GTT, the telecommunications company said it celebrates this warrior spirit that lives on in Rosie. The company also commends her unrelenting desire to live in victory.

Mitzy Gaynor Campbell speaking at GTT launch of its Pinktober event earlier this month

While faced with the overwhelming temptation to fall into worry and depression, Rosie continues to beat the odds and has instead thrown herself thoroughly into serving her community through her local church, the Open Bible Church in Queenstown. There, she serves as an usher and Sunday school teacher and assists in many of the church’s programmes to the immediate and surrounding community. There, she too receives much support through prayer and fasting with other members and the leadership of the church.
“I wasn’t afraid… I wasn’t scared,” Rosie recalled the initial days of her journey and battle against cancer. Her philosophy is: “Belief kills and belief cures”. This warrior chooses to believe in the power of God to heal her completely.
Rosie spends much of her time reading and doing research geared towards educating herself about the disease. On any given weekend, you can find Rosie with her Sunday school children at their book club. On weekday afternoons, Rosie’s time is spent with her granddaughter on the veranda of her Albert Street home in Georgetown.
Mitzy Gaynor Campbell
At the heart of every warrior is a resilient spirit that refuses to give up and this is exactly what Mitzy Gaynor Campbell does – refusing to surrender to breast cancer.
From a young age, Mitzy had always been a fighter. She knew that she was strong and she wanted everybody to know it. So, when cancer came knocking at Mitzy’s door in 1998, she knew that there was only one thing she could do, fight.
Fight was exactly what she did. After Mitzy had seen four of the women in her family and even her maternal grandmother die from cancer, she knew that she would have to fight the hardest battle of her life. She could not just allow this disease to continue robbing her family of their rich history and cultural heritage.
This 2015 recipient of the National Award, the Golden Arrowhead of Achievement, Mitzy fought cancer head on and has lived to tell her story. Twenty years later, she continues to serve as a beacon of strength and hope to all who know of her battles.
Currently, her main desire is to ensure that all women not only get themselves screened, but to be educated on reproductive health and contraceptives. With eight children and 10 grandchildren, she knows the importance of Planned Parenthood. (Information and photos by GTT)

Antigua PM prematurely revokes tourism minister’s appointment after arrest

Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism, Investment and Energy Minister Asot Michael was detained and later released by the United Kingdom Metropolitan Police yesterday, Antigua’s Observer newspaper reported.
But before Michael could walk out of the detention centre in London, his prime minister, Gaston Browne, had revoked his appointment as minister.
Browne was informed of the detention in Jordan on his way from Montenegro where he led a government delegation to an international conference on citizenship by investment, the newspaper quoted a press statement from the prime minister’s office.
“While I have no firm details of the reasons for Mr Michael’s arrest, the arrest itself is sufficient for me to revoke immediately his appointment as a Cabinet member and to relieve him of all ministerial portfolios until this matter is resolved,” PM Browne said.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism, Investment and Energy Minister Asot Michael

The speed with which Browne revoked the appointment of Minister Michael immediately raised eyebrows and questions as to why he (Browne) did not step away from office after accusations that he had received three million euros from Brazilian construction firm, Odebrecht, which has been alleged to bribe numerous heads of government in Latin America to cover up or facilitate money laundering activities.
Browne strenuously denied the allegations, later saying that he had been exonerated after a private arrangement with the newspaper, El Pais, which he had sued for defamation for carrying the original story quoting a former Odebrecht lawyer.
In the press statement, the prime minister advised that he received news from Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner in London Karen-Mae Hill that she had been informed of Michael’s arrest on his arrival in England yesterday morning.
Without waiting for further details, Browne, according to the report, declared: “I have repeatedly stated that I expect every member of my Government to comply with the highest possible standards required of public office, and while Mr Michael might establish his innocence in time, the fact that he has been arrested obliges me to relieve him of all government duties.”
The Government’s Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst was quoted by the Observer as saying that MP Michael was released from custody some time after 4:00 pm local time, and that the minister had been advised he may be wanted for further questioning. He is being represented by UK lawyer James Guthrie.