February 25, 2018

Archives for January 19, 2018

‘Bad Blood’: Int’l boxers ready for showdown in Guyana

Overseas fighters have begun arriving in Guyana for the international card “Sangre Malo” at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall this weekend.
The six-bout card that is jointly promoted by the Guyana Boxing Board of Control and Next Gen Global Marketing under the name, Sangre Malo which is Spanish for `Bad Blood’ promises nothing but fistic fury.
Local fighters – Dexter `De Kid’ Marques, Dexter `Cobra’ Gonsalves and Elton `The Bully’ Dharry – will oppose their counterparts from Venezuela, while Shawn Corbin (Guyana) faces Trinidad and Tobago’s Sheldon Lawrence.
Two Barbadian fighters – Anderson Emmanuel and Keithland King – will face off with Guyana’s James Moore and Anson Green, respectively.
Both Gonsalves and Marques concluded glovework earlier than normal on Monday; the reason being to avoid any injuries that might result from glove work.
Amateur champion Steve Allicock and Orin Bancroft are the duo’s sparring partners and they have both been doing eight to 10 rounds of glove work since that segment of their preparations began.
The main supporting bout on the card will feature Corbin facing Lawrence in a 12-round contest for the World Boxing Council’s Fecabox light heavyweight title.
Corbin is making a return to the ring after losing to England’s Nathen Clevery in 2014 for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental cruiserweight title. He has won 15 of his 22 professional fights and lost five with two draws.
Lawrence has won 10 fights (eight by K.O’s) and lost one. He won his last four bouts.
United States-based Guyanese, Elton Dharry, who is the current CABOFE and Inter-Continental bantamweight champion will take on Jesus Garcia of Venezuela in an eight round contest.
Dharry arrived in Guyana on early Tuesday while the Venezuelans were also scheduled to touch down later on the same day.
Heavyweight debutants Moore (Guyana) and Emmanuel (Barbados) will face-off in a four-round contest.
Guyana’s Anson Green and Barbados’ King will clash in a four-round junior middleweight contest also.
Fight fans are reminded to get their tickets early as the promoter, Aleem Hussain, has predicted a sold out arena come Saturday night.

‘I’m very hungry to play a lot more international cricket’ – Reifer

By Akeem Greene

December 9, 2017 in Hamilton, New Zealand will forever be etched into the memory of Raymon Anton Reifer as it was the day he made his Test debut for the Windies. It was the sweetening taste of the pie which has now left the all-rounder yearning for more opportunities to play at the highest level.

Raymon Anton Reifer

After initially being picked in the squad for the three-Test tour to England, Reifer also booked the trip to Africa where the Caribbean side played Zimbabwe in a two-Test series before meeting the black caps.
The momentous occasion came after regular skipper, Jason Holder had to sit out the final Test after he was suspended for a slow-overate offence. His nippy left-arm medium pace was the first piece of his puzzle to be showcased. He got the scalp of Henry Nicholls and ended with figures of 1-36.
With Windies’ back pressed against the wall he displayed great prowess with a gritty and most importantly unbeaten 23, spending a minute shy of two hours at the crease. The second stanza was as improvement to the first, with another batting innings, this time over two hours in the middle.
It is those series of events which has left the Barbadian feeling he can survive and be consistent at the highest level.
“I’m very hungry to play a lot more international cricket and be successful at it. It’s a huge honour to play test cricket obviously something I’m very proud of. I was a bit nervous but once I cross the line all of those nerves went away,” he said on Monday.
Since joining the Guyana Jaguars when the regional First-Class circuit became a professional league in the 2014/15 season, the father of one from Wanders Cricket Club in Christ Church which has produced the notable likes of Ian Bradshaw, Kraigg Brathwaite and Holder among other Windies player, Reifer has been a key figure in the four consecutive titles for the franchise.
His stats speak for itself as in the 28 matches to date he has scored over 1,000 runs and taken 71 wickets. A deeper look into his performances will see since the 2014/15 season, his numbers are always on the upward move.
“I have to thank the Guyana franchise for the opportunities they’ve given me over the past 4 years and I’m very thankful for that. The team environment is good and everyone gets along well and since we play as one. [Captain] Leon [Johnson] has been doing a really good job for us and leading from the front throughout the years.”
In examining the adjustments he needs to apply to his game in order to adapt to international cricket, he outlined discipline as critical.
“In international cricket you have to be a lot more discipline because there’s not much margin for error. You have to be constantly improving if you want to be good and be able to work out things quickly,” the 26 year-old contended.
Winning series against top ranked opponents have become non-existent by the once world dominating men in maroon. The said debut series for the man from St. Lucy proved to be another catastrophe, being served an empty plate after two one-side Tests. It begged the question, is there any light at the end of tunnel for Windies? According to Reifer building team synergy is the first step at a spark.
“The more games we play together we will start to get the results we’re looking for and it is just a matter of time before that happens.”
The season’s final round commences on Thursday and the player plans on using it as another opportunity to continue fine-tuning his technique.
“I haven’t got the returns I’ve be looking for in the first 2 matches [since I’ve returned] but I will continue working a lot on the areas I see the need for improvement.”
Looking ahead to the Super50 which begins January 30, he plans on playing his role in helping the Jaguars win a title after coming up empty handed since 2005.
“We need to keep it simple and play the cricket we know how to play. My Plan for the Super50 is to better my performance at the previous tournament as I continue to develop as a professional.”

Guyana’s ‘Green Machine’ moving up world rankings

The Senior National fifteens men’s rugby team, commonly called Green Machine productive 2017 has seen them having an upward movement on the World Rugby rankings from 60 to 49, which is now the highest ranked Caribbean territory.

Guyana’s Green Machine are now the highest ranked Caribbean team (Delano Williams Photo)

With the rise in rankings, the Green Machine will be engaged in a test series with Mexico (ranked 55), Colombia (ranked 41) and Paraguay (ranked 40) which begins in August.
“We will be joining the top two in the console b in South America along with Mexico as the most promising marketing development country to represent RAN [Rugby America North], north versus two of the best in South, Colombia, Paraguay in a test series which is supposed to be in August”, Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) President Peter Green told Guyana Times International Sport.
Guyana has been a dominant force in RAN at both the 15s and 7s level and though they suffered some upset defeats to USA South Panthers and Jamaica, they still have made steady progress, which is a pleasing sight for Green.
“This is a tremendous improvement and not only that world rugby has been paying more attention to this side of the region and realize that were are advocating every year, we are playing the same teams and not really improving so now they are rewarding Guyana for being the number one ranked team”.
Only the USA South is higher rank but it is understood they are not a country or nation and rather just a team that is used a bench mark to see how the Caribbean has progressed.
The move to the test series with two of their South American counterparts sees Guyana now not having to participate in this year’s RAN championship.
Green explained “We have been exempt from playing in this year’s RAN championships which means that whoever wins the RAN championship (north) will be playing off against the second rank team, Guyana or Mexico, depending on the upcoming test in August for promotion and relegation which is the new format”.
Green expressed his enthusiasm over the future of Guyana’s rugby on the basis of a talented crop of youth players. He explained that the GRFU will close all of their outstanding matches from 2017 and then seek to have their first tournament in February.

Guyana’s Keemo Paul in full support of Stewart after World Cup drama

By Akeem Greene

Former Windies under-19 vice-captain Keemo Paul has pledged his support to current captain Emmanuel Stewart after the player was the centre of the latest controversy to hit the ICC Youth 50-over World Cup which is being held in New Zealand.
South Africa opener Jiveshan Pillay was given out obstructing the field after picking up the ball and returning it to wicketkeeper Stewart after it stopped close to the stumps.
Stewart appealed for the batsman’s dismissal and on review from third umpire, the player who was on 47, was given out.
According to the article 37.4 of the Laws of cricket, “Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder”.
Paul told Guyana Times International Sport on Wednesday, “It is in the rules of the game. It is appropriate to appeal if you think it is out. It is all in the rules so we can fault him for what is right.”
The 19 year-old added, “Yes I will support him. I am a West Indian so the support is definitely there.”
At the post match press conference Stewart said his decision to uphold the field appeal “wasn’t in the spirit of the game.” He stated precisely, “I asked the question and it was given out based on the laws and the rules of the game but on reflection it wasn’t in the spirit of the game. I think moving forward I would have withdrawn the appeal.”
Paul who is now one of Guyana Jaguars leading all-rounders explained that the decision to withdraw the appeal is always with the captain.
“In the games they always ask if you want to go through with the appeal or not and it was in his power to withdraw the appeal if he wanted to. I won’t know his plan of thinking at that time but he went through with it.”
The incident sparked social media frenzy with many former great players and commentators voicing their displeasure or support.
Learned commentator and former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop took to twitter and stated, “Law needs changing but don’t criticise West Indies U19s. These are kids learning their way on the path to being adults.”
A section of the preamble to the law of the cricket concerning the ‘Spirit of Cricket states, “The major responsibility for ensuring fair play rests with the captains, but extends to all players, umpires and, especially in junior cricket, teachers, coaches and parents. Respect is central to the Spirit of Cricket. Respect your captain, team-mates, opponents and the authority of the umpires. Play hard and play fair. Accept the umpire’s decision.”
Paul in his concept of the ‘Spirit of cricket’ stated “There is no specific definition but it’s all a part of cricket. What is in the rules and you play by the rules so you cannot really fault anybody if they do what’s in the rules.”
At the victorious 2016 World Cup campaign in Bangladesh, Paul himself was the heart of controversial mankad against Zimbabwe which sent his team into the knockout phase. However, the man from Saxacalli prefers not to gather a dismissal by that rule again. “I don’t think I would do it if the situation arises again. It caused a lot of controversy and a lot of things were said. I don’t think if it ever comes down to that again I would go that route.”

Children Mash coning for “bigger and better” for 2018

The Children’s 2018 Mashramani celebration is expected to surpass previous years, with the addition of a new component. The new feature will see the Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools displaying different aspects of the Guyanese culture.

Unit of Allied Arts, Administrator (ag) Lorraine Barker-King

Acting Administrator for the Unit of Allied Arts, Lorraine Barker-King, during an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), said that the implementation of the component will allow for the students to better showcase this year’s theme – ‘Let’s Cooperate and Celebrate Republic 48’.
Barker-King explained that “the Nursery children they will be looking at showcasing our people, the Primary children they will be looking at our flora and fauna, Secondary students will be looking at our industries, we are showcasing our culture.”
There will also be individual and regional presentations that will be allowed to design costumes exhibiting any aspect of the main theme.
The regional Semi-Final competitions are slated to commence on January 23 and conclude on February 9. The official schedule for each day of competition will be made public shortly so that persons will be able to witness the student who will be participating in the various events.
The Acting Administrator said the Finals which will be held in Georgetown “are scheduled to start on February 15 with Dance and Masquerade; February 16 with Calypso and Dramatic Poetry and on February 17 the children’s road parade”.
The Finals will be staged at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) with two sessions per day. The first session will commence from 9:30 am and conclude at 12:30 pm for the Nursery and Primary school students and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm the Secondary School students will take to the stage.
The route of the children’s costume road parade, Barker-King noted that it will leave from Parade Ground at 10:00 am heading East into Middle Street, North into Camp Street, East into Lamaha Street, North into Albert Street and culminate in the National Park.
The Acting Administrator noted that the students are excited to be participating in the various events and are taking every opportunity to practice and master their routines. Persons are being urged to show their support in attendance to view the parade.

Man admits to killing brother at North West District

Just over four years after his sibling’s death, Neville France admitted that he killed his own brother, Richard France, on December 12, 2013 at Falls Top, North West District, Essequibo.

Self-confessed sibling
killer, Neville France

The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter when he was arraigned before High Court Judge, Justice Navindra Singh on Monday. His sentencing was, however, deferred to February 5, 2018 after his lawyer, Siand Dhurjon applied for a probation report to be presented to the court.
According to evidence that was provided by Police, the self-confessed killer and his brother resided in the same house with their father. On the day in question, the brothers were imbibing at a neighbour, when an argument ensued. Later the day, it was reported that Richard France returned home and was sitting on a bench outside when he was confronted by his brother and another argument erupted.
Further evidence provided by Police stated that when Richard France attempted to walk away, his brother stabbed him to the left side of his upper back. He then collapsed and died.
State Counsel Mandell Moore presented the prosecution’s case.

Cervical Cancer is beatable

By Anu Dev

“Prevention is better than cure.” – Desiderius Erasmus
January is “Cervical Cancer Awareness Month”!

In my gynecology rotation, one of the questions we got asked by different doctors was, “What’s one of the most preventable types of cancer?” And the answer was always the same, “cervical cancer”.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. That’s because there is both a sensitive test for detecting pre-cancerous lesions — the pap smear — and there’s an effective method of dealing with HPV, one of the most prominent risk factors for the disease.
But before I go into that, perhaps an anatomy refresher might be necessary. Where exactly is the cervix? Well it’s actually the lower part of the uterus (womb), and it connects the cavity of the uterus to the vagina. In non-pregnant women, it’s about an inch long and is roughly cylindrical. And during labour, it dilates to allow the baby to pass through. It’s the body part that people are usually dramatically shouting about in movies when they’re yelling, “She’s 10 centimetres dilated! She’s gonna have this baby right now, on the subway!” Or you know, wherever the plot needs the woman to give birth.
In all types of cancer, the problem begins when cells deviate from their fixed growth patterns and appointed job descriptions and start growing uncontrollably. This can happen in the lungs, in the colon, and in the cervix.
In cervical cancer, the cells don’t suddenly make the switch from normal to cancerous growth; there’s a stage in between. This in-between stage can be picked up on a pap smear, and intervention can be made before the cells have a chance to progress to the cancerous stage.
We’re all well aware about the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, but do we know what factors can increase your risk of cervical cancer? Well, for starters, cigarette smoking also increases your risk of getting cervical cancer. It’s a twofold risk increase compared with nonsmokers, actually. As an aside, smoking also increases your risk of developing bladder, stomach, mouth, throat, and a whole host of other cancers. Yeah, as far as vices go, that’s a pretty bad one to have.
The other risk factor I’d like to mention is HPV infection. Certain strains of the HPV virus, HPV 16 and HPV 18, are associated with the development of cervical cancer.
In fact, it is believed that a woman must be infected with HPV in order to develop cervical cancer.
There currently are vaccines like Gardasil and Cervarix that are available to prevent infection by HPV; and, by extension, prevent cervical cancer.
Current recommendation for screening for cervical cancer via pap smear are for women aged between 21 and 65 years to be tested every 3 years. So if you’re due for a pap smear, make sure you get one. If you’re not vaccinated against HPV, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated. This is one type of cancer against which we have the tools and the know-how to try to prevent before it even gets a foot in the door.

Crime warnings

Satiricus was quite upset: What right have these foreigners to meddle in Guyana’s affairs? “What we do in Guyana was our business, wasn’t it?” he fumed, as he made his way to the Back Street Bar. As he took his seat at the table, where the fellas had already created a decent forest of beer bottles, he blurted his concern aloud even before starting on his beer.
“Calm down, calm down Sato,” said Cappo, as he shoved the bottle towards his friend. “A who yuh a talk ‘bout? De Indian Guvment na invite Nagga Man fuh wan free trip to India?”
“Not really,” replied Satiricus. “But since you brought that up, why didn’t they invite him?”
“Budday! Dem na invite none Minista,” protested Bungi. “An’ he a wan PRIME Minista!!”
“So how come they invited that Attorney General from Jamaica?” Satiricus wanted to know. “She’s a member of the Cabinet.”
“Sato, like you listening to Nagga Man water-boy?” Hari grinned. “Unlike Guyana, the Jamaican AG is not a Minister; she sits in Cabinet just as a legal advisor. They have a separate MINISTER of Justice.”
“Oh!” said Sato. “I always knew Nagga Man water boy was full of it! But I was talking about the US and the British embassies announcing crime is too high here!”
“Suh how da a “inta-ferin’?” Cappo wanted to know. “Dem only warn dem own citizen!”
“But everybody heard!” protested Satiricus. “And it contradicts my fearless leader Rum Jhaat, who said serious crime went down! That is interference!”
“But Sato, if dem British an’ dem American seh crime gaan up,” said Bungi. “Yuh na t’ink dem know somethin’?”
“What could they know?” asked Satiricus exasperatedly. “They get the same facts the police issue.”
“Like you forget the British are advising the police?” asked Hari, as he downed his beer and signalled for another round for all. “They see the figures before Rum Jhaat boys massage them!!”
“Oh!” exclaimed Satiricus. “I better go home early!”

2018 Soca Monarch launched

After a two-year hiatus, the 2018 Carib Soca Monarch was launched at the Department of Culture, Education Ministry.

Minister with responsibility for
culture, Dr George Norton

The competition, which is slated for February 10 and 17, will see 15 performers competing for the grand prize of G$1.5 million.
At the press conference on Monday, Minister with responsibility for culture, Dr George Norton highlighted that the competition will now be under the purview of the Central Mash Committee. Minister Norton also stated that music is the bloodline of the Mashramani festival and urged local deejays and promoters to get involved in the publicising of the competition’s music.
Competition Coordinator, Nigel Worrell, noted they received a total of 18 entries which was fine-tuned to a total of 15 semi-finalists. Those semi-finalists are Alisha “Sasha Melody” Hamid, Brandon Harding, Colwin “Lil Colwin” Blair, Colwyn “Soca Colwyn” Abrams, Delon “Soca Del” Azore, Diana Chapman, Jonathan “Lil Red” King, Keron “Norek Mas” Sam, Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, Quacy “Avalanche” Coates, Roger “Young Bill Rogers” Hinds, Roshauna Fraser, Samantha Grant, Shellon “Fluffy” Gally and Stanton “Cardiac” Lewis.
These 15 contestants will be heading to the mining town of Linden on February 10 for the semi-final leg of the competition, where five contestants will be eliminated. Then the remaining 10 will head to D’Urban Park in Georgetown to compete for the grand prize on February 17. They will be judged on lyrics, melody, rendition, diction and musical arrangement.
The first prize winner will receive G$1.5 million, 2nd prize G$700,000; 3rd prize G$500,000 and 4th prize G$400,000. The Ministry is seeking to collaborate with a local telephone company to implement a People’s Choice Award which will see the winner receiving one hundred thousand dollars. The eleven newcomers will all be vying for the US$1000 prize of Best New Comer.

Imbaimadai: Not just a missing town

Imbaimadai is a small mining town deep in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region of Region Seven founded by miners.
It is not only well-known for its gold, diamond and other precious mineral deposits, but for its majestic mountains, being part of the Pakaraima range along the Guiana Highlands, its hundreds of miles of jungle, and its cold nights and steamy days.
Possessing natural richness throughout, Imbaimadai offers exciting adventures to nature lovers. (Photos by Sam Rich on Flickr)

A child playing in a tree nearby to the school

Arriving in Imbaimadai

Cascading waterfalls upriver of Imbaimadai

Getting to Imbaimadai via the Mazaruni River

Imbaimadai Primary School

Scenic view of the waterfalls

The Police Station

View of the mountains from a hill in Imbaimadai