Young Jesse Marsh’s national 13-14 age group 100 metres butterfly record, set at the long course time trial at the SPEEDO Winter Juniors in Atlanta, United States, last weekend, is causing a buzz in the local swimming fraternity. The Florida-based St Andrew’s student lowered the previous mark of 59.27 seconds to 58.49 and became the first local 13-14 age group swimmer to go below the 59 seconds marker. Jesse’s father and former Swim Jamaica vice-president, Allan Roy Marsh, described the young swimmer’s achievement as surprising, noting that Jesse did not practise the 100 butterfly since July, and has basically been competing on his own. “To some extent, it was (surprising). He has been working hard and working consistently. What was surprising is that he was able to go to the US junior nationals in Atlanta the week before and break the butterfly record, improving his time by a second-and-a-half. “That was surprising, because it was such a big meet, and he was not at his best. But he has been putting in the work, and we are happy,” he told The Gleaner. GREAT POTENTIAL “We knew he had the potential to do it, and he basically swam the race by himself and on the last day of the meet. This was the first butterfly he had competed in the long course pool since July, so he wasn’t in practice for it, but he was able to carry his condition in from his training,” he continued. Marsh has been getting rave reviews from local swimming experts, who are hailing him as the next big thing from the pool. But his father is not so sure just now. He wants the young swimmer to develop and take things in stride. “There is a positive feedback because we do not have many national age group records, and there are people reacting very positive towards this. He trains consistently. The coaches admire his work ethic. Among his current coaches at St Andrew’s school in Boca Raton, Florida, is a former Jamaican swimmer, Ramon Walton. Walton says Jesse is very coachable and he works, and they told me he was the only swimmer who made every practice this high-school season. “This is something he loves to do, I never had to push him. I just gave him support, and I am very pleased (with this achievement). But it’s what he wants to do, because you can’t really predict the future of young age group swimmers. So many things can happen, so many distractions can take place. “So talent is only the beginning, work rate is what is important. The older the swimmer gets, his work ethic and being coachable are more important. Talent alone cannot take you to the highest level; you need work ethic and belief. But if you continue to work you will move up the ranks as you get older,” he stated.
Dear Editor,It is with some interest that I am following the saga involving the Ogle Airport Inc. and the monopoly position that is occupied by one family. What is happening is a failure of the trust, powered by greed.My understanding of the evolution of OAI revolves around what I described as one of progressive experiments in public/private partnerships. Five operators who, through the use of the Ogle aerodrome, benefited from the generosity of the state, would form themselves into a company; and that company would have the facility to develop for the benefit of these operators and the industry as a whole.The state provided the land through a lease at peppercorn rent, and the state also on-lent a two million Euro EU facility to the OAI interest free. In addition, the state invested millions of dollars in equipment necessary for the proper operation of the airport.How one family has dominated the business activities and grown to have virtually total control of the Ogle Airport is a matter for the partners who were all outmanoeuvred. Government trusted that the spirit of the initial pact would be honoured. I also feel that the original partners operated with a great amount of trust among themselves.Warning signals went unheeded, the challenges of one of the largest operators and its public spat with OAI is well documented in the media. The concerns of emerging operators who cannot have accommodation is also made public.In all of this, the state has a responsibility to ensure that OAI stays faithful to the spirit and letter of its agreement with the state.When the state makes concessions to allow businesses to grow and to power larger economic growth, it does so because it does not want to burden Guyanese businesses with huge unaffordable initial capital outlays.To acquire that amount of land and the investment in buildings and instruments would have cost OAI more than fifty million US dollars. These peppercorn leases were never intended to allow the lessee to extort huge supernormal profits by on-leasing at astronomical rents to others. Thus the state has a provision that the lessee must have the state’s approval to sublet to others. If a citizen get a house lot and wants to sell it before a certain amount of years, the house lot owner/buyer has to pay a penalty to the state. I know that an element of market value is applied in calculating this penalty.I want to advance a formula to the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission/Ministry of Public Infrastructure where subletting at Ogle is concerned. Let OAI pay an annual processing fee for the sub-letted portions. The annual processing fee would equal Proposed subletting rent per acre less (-) annual lease rental of $6This way, any exorbitant rental fee would come to the state.In addition, the state has to be concerned with maintaining a competitive market economy and guard against monopolies. We have to ensure that the smaller firms in any industry are not challenged with predatory practices. While we still have a long way to go to set and police general principles, we must deal condignly with the specific cases that emerge. Moral suasion, while not a panacea, could be a mechanism to start with.Thank you.Sincerely,Name supplied
Dear Editor,After the historic voting ended regarding the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said the voting process was “open and transparent” and “that is how democracy works and we are fully committed to the rule of law.”However, for exercising his constitutional right to vote on behalf of his constituents, MP Charrandas Persaud was assaulted, issued death threats, offered protection by the minister of security, and ultimately, forced to flee Guyana in fear for his life.Government did not let up. They characterized Mr. Persaud in the state-owned Chronicle as a “Judas at Christmas,” a Biblical reference to arguably the most famous betrayal which ended with death. It underscores the hostility of coalition electors injected into the voting process.Our constitution prohibits Government from abridging a free exercise of religion; to disrespect Christians using the press is to limit this free exercise of their faith. The Prime Minister, a Christian, found the Judas Iscariot depiction of Mr. Persaud “distasteful” (see “Historic no-confidence vote,” Chronicle, Dec 23, 2018) as a matter of religion but not democracy.He approves of the flawed idea of betrayal, writing that the two hundred thousand voters who elected the coalition government would justifiably feel betrayed, but their “rage has to be tempered by the coalition’s own commitment to the norms of parliamentary democracy…”I respectfully disagree with the Prime Minister’s version of parliamentary democracy, which sends a message of hostility. Where a law allows for a citizen to vote, the idea of betrayal is a dangerous threat to both the act of voting and the law. In short, an elector must vote without being hog-tied to party, intra-party committees, or personality.Members of the coalition (e.g., see Sherwood Lowe, “Personal conscience irrelevant in no-confidence motion,” SN Dec 24, 2018) may find the recent press release on the issue from the British High Commissioner instructive. In it, we read: “Members of Parliament must be allowed to undertake their constitutionally mandated roles in the absence of fear or favour.”Further, Mr. Persaud participated in Guyana’s republican form of political representation. That is, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is not a government of the coalition, by the coalition, and for the coalition. Behind each MP that occupies a seat in parliament are, I believe, about seven thousand voters-constituents who are never invisible.Mr. Persaud owed his alliance first and foremost to his constituents (the “people”) in Berbice where, arguably, his action is approved (see “Some Canje residents say proud of Charrandas Persaud,” SN Dec 22, 2018). As an elector, his conscience is most relevant as it is becomes the property of his constituents at the point of casting a vote. This is the essence of voting.Remove it and the entire process crumbled. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. Our constitution does not require an elector in parliament resign from a seat or abstain from voting, especially where one is compelled to do either due to practice or policy that opposes the tenets of republican democracy.On the contrary, an elector’s primary duty is to confront such practice or policy by way of a vote. This is so because the power of a vote is always supreme to the power of a government. That fateful Friday, the government saw an “irrelevant” elector in a seat, but ignored the seven thousand constituents standing behind him in accordance with the principle of republican democracy.This republican democracy makes Persaud’s action a good omen for Guyana, but only if others vote independently, free from fear or favor.Sincerely,Rakesh Rampertab
Police in Totota, Bong County, have arrested and remanded a 33-year-old man identified as John Mulbah for allegedly beating his girlfriend Alice Sam to death.According to Police accounts, the incident occurred last Sunday when John Mulbah accused his fiancée of responding to what he considered as a suspicious mobile phone conversation with another person.The police information further stated that while Alice was conversing, her husband-to- be, John Mulbah forcibly took hold of her phone on suspicion that she was in a conversation with a lover.The Police report revealed that a scrimmage ensued when Alice tried to recoup her mobile phone from her betrothed but John, according to the police, put on an insolent posture releasing a blind man slap in Alice’s ear and stepping in her stomach, leaving her unconscious. Alice Sam was pronounced dead by health workers on duty at the Phebe Hospital upon arrival on Sunday night.The investigation maintained that the deceased early last year underwent surgery when she gave birth to Mulbah’s son who, following her death, now lives with Alice’s mother in Totota. Many of Totota’s residents who spoke with this newspaper disclosed that John Mulbah and Alice have had a long history of conflict over phone conversations.Some of the residents told this reporter that the deceased on many occasions complained of her boyfriend searching through her phone for strange numbers.The residents narrated that John had constantly accused his fiancée of having outside relationships, a claim they said the deceased had always denied.There were mixed reactions among residents of Totota, with some describing John’s action as out of mistrust, while others labeled him as cruel and wicked.Meanwhile, police at the Totota depot have charged John Mulbah with murder and processed him to be sent to the Gbarnga Magisterial Court for arraignment.The remains of the deceased have been deposited at the St. Kennedy Funeral Home in Gbarnga.According to police, the suspect blamed his action on the work of the devil and pleaded for forgiveness.The police said they were informed by suspect John Mulbah that on many occasions he had suspected his girlfriend of being in a relationship with another man.He told the police that he did not intend to take the precious life of his wife-to-be but to penalize her by seizing her mobile phone for a short period of time.John, a father of one is appealing to the family members of his late girlfriend for pardon and said it was the work of the devil.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…deposit base, loans show increaseDays after he celebrated his 90th birthday, Demerara Bank Limited Chairman Dr Yesu Persaud can also celebrate his bank’s strong performance for last year, when it recorded a net profit of $2 billion.According to a statement from the bank, for the year ended September 30, 2018, it recorded a gross profit before taxes of $3.1 billion and a net profit of $2 billion.The bank noted that the gross profit is an increase of 31 per cent over the previous year’s profit, while net profit showed an increase of 28 per cent over the said period.The bank’s deposit base rose to $58.2 billion, as compared to $57 billion in 2017; while loans and advances grew from $25.46 billion to $26.8 billion. Managing net non-performing advances remain a challenge throughout the banking sector in Guyana, the bank stated.However, despite these challenges, Demerara Bank, in the year 2018, recorded a reduction in net non-performing advances from $783 million to $672 million. The fiscal year was such an excellent year for the Bank that its Board of Directors declared a favourable payment of dividends to the shareholders — with a final dividend payment of 100 per cent, while the interim dividend paid of 35 per cent is overall the highest ever paid.The Bank gave credit to its founder and Chairman, Dr Yesu Persaud, in noting that it has been able to double its assets every six years while maintaining its profit. The Bank noted that it has been able to maintain a sizable lending portfolio, with only a small percentage of non-performing loans.According to Demerara Bank, it has not only designed business strategies aimed at strong financial performance, but it is also one of the Ambassadors for Guyana’s Green Initiative, contributing by operating most of its branches on solar energy to reduce its carbon footprint.Dr Persaud recently celebrated his 90th birthday, and the Bank made mention that its remarkable performance is a great gift to him, since he has been the visionary behind establishment of this truly indigenous commercial bank.He was challenged by many financial experts that an indigenous bank would never be successful without cooperation from foreign entities.The Bank also gave a commitment to maintaining its efforts to transform for long-term success. It noted that its officials are optimistic that the investments they are making would result in growth over the long term.“They mentioned the Bank is steadfast (in wishing) to living up to its mission; that is, to excel in providing innovative and superior banking services through well trained, dedicated and courteous staff, in the interest of their customers and shareholders; and to fulfill their social responsibilities through meaningful involvement in community development,” the bank said.
…autopsy orderedAn investigation has been launched into the death of a woman at the New Amsterdam Hospital after she was allegedly given nine injections by a doctor at the health facility.Dead: Sooroojdia DookeramDirector of Health Services in Berbice, Jevaughn Stephen told reporters on Friday that following the protest in front of the medical facility, an investigation has been launched. He added that the issues which the residents were protesting over are being addressed as the region seeks to improve its services.Sooroojdia Dookeram, 69, was taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital on Tuesday last complaining of stomach pains.She was reportedly given five injections but began vomiting. According to her daughter, as a result, she was given two more injections to which she again displayed a negative reaction and was thereupon administered a further two injections. She died shortly after the last two injects were administered.The pathologist attached to the medical facility is on leave in her home island of Cuba but Stephen assured that an autopsy will be performed on Dookeram’s body.Dookeram’s death is one of the several issues which forced residents to the picket line on Tuesday last as they expressed their disapproval over the state of affairs at the medical faculty.Seepaul Ramlochan, whose brother’s body was left to decompose at the hospital’s mortuary, was also on the protest line.Stephen added that the issue of lengthy delays by persons who showed up at the medical facility seeking attention is because of a new system which should have been implemented two years ago. The system, Stephen explained, requires doctors to obtain additional information from the patient. The four-page form was shown to this publication and on the front page, there were 23 questions. According to the Health Services Director, additional staff have been deployed to the department to assist with filling out the forms.The Health Services Director further pointed out that the Accident and Emergency Departments will no longer be operating in the same place as from next week. This was a contentious point of the protesters, who had explained that it was illogical to have both outpatient and A&E Departments operate as one.On Tuesday last, residents of New Amsterdam and surrounding areas called on Government to address the rapidly deteriorating condition at the NA Hospital.Additionally, the residents alleged that several critical pieces of equipment are out of order in addition to a shortage of basic medicine leaving them to come to the conclusion that the state of the institution’s affairs is not being properly managed. The residents turned out in their numbers and staged a picketing exercise in front of the hospital’s compound while chanting “The CEO must go” for several hours as they marched to have their concerns addressed.
A footballer attached to the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) was on Thursday morning gunned down moments after taking his fiancée to her Independence Boulevard, Albouystown home.Thirty-nine-year-old Paul Anthony Daniels, of Schoonord, West Bank Demerara,Dead: Paul Anthony Danielswas shot once to his chest during an alleged robbery about 06:00h.The man reportedly went to drop home his fiancée and had decided to watch some television before departing the home where the incident occurred. Based on reports received, two armed men entered the home through a door located on the northern side of the building, which was left open.Upon entering the house, they held Daniels and his fiancée at gunpoint and relieved him of a gold chain which he was wearing at the time and an undisclosed sum of cash, after which the men exited the house. Daniels, who was also a construction worker, went in pursuit of the men and during the chase, the suspects discharged several rounds, one of which hit Daniels, in the region of his stomach.He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. When Guyana Times visited the scene on Thursday morning, there were several bullet holes in the zinc gate and bloodstains on the ground.Several persons had gathered while the man’s fiancée was reportedly at the Brickdam Police Station providing further statements. Staymon Ross, a neighbour, recalled hearing gunshots and immediately running towards the front. He noted that by the time he reached the front of the yard where the gunshots were heard, he saw Daniels lying in a pool of blood.Without hesitation, he assisted in placing the injured man into a vehicle and took him to the hospital; however, but by the time they arrived at the medical facility, the injured man took his last breath. He noted that the father of one lived on the West Bank of Demerara, but whenever he was working in Georgetown, he would stay at his fiancée.He explained that Daniels had just arrived at the house when the two gunmen attacked. He could not say what occurred in the house, but was told that the construction worker was robbed of the gold chain he was wearing at the time.“This boy ain’t got no problems with anyone, so it had to be a robbery… he does come and go and people don’t even know when he is around…,” Ross noted.He said that the couple were due to get married soon.Ross is also of the belief that the crime situation has taken a turn for the worse, calling on the Head of State to intervene. Another neighbour told Guyana Times that she was sleeping and was awakened by the sound of bullets followed by loud screams. As she rushed to investigate, she saw Daniels panting for breath.Within seconds, she noted, he took a long breath and at that time, she thought that he was dead. However, he was placed in a vehicle and rushed to the hospital. She too stated that Daniels was never involved in any illegal activities.“He does come and go… both of them work and when she work, he does drop she home… and that is what exactly happened this morning,” she noted.However, some at the scene recalled only a few days ago, two men had visited the area enquiring about Daniels’ whereabouts, leaving them to believe that the shooting might have stemmed from an old grievance.A few also believe that the now dead man might have known his killers since they called out his name as they made their way into the house. After the shooting, the two men escaped on two pedal cycles.The Police have launched an investigation into the incident, but no arrests have been made.
Fort St. John police are seeking public assistance as they hunt for the person or persons responsible for another well site theft. They say this one occurred near the mile 98 road late last Friday or early Saturday morning. Entry was gained through a locked compound gate and other security measures were disarmed.- Advertisement – A ten thousand dollar Thermal electrical generator, with Pen West, etched on one side was stolen for the second time this year. The RCMP is taking public information assistance calls at the usual detachment and crime stoppers numbers…250-787-8140 and 1-800-222-8477.
National Toshaos ConferenceIn the wake of stinging criticism from the parliamentary Opposition over his Government’s reversal of Indigenous peoples’ rights, President David Granger has admitted that much more work remains to be done in the hinterland.President David Granger during his addressGranger was at the time speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Toshaos Conference at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre on Monday, where he delivered the feature address.Only on Sunday the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had called out the Government for its poor track record in office when it came to Indigenous people, in particular their land rights. At the conference on Monday, Granger admitted to the gathering that the Government still has work to do, even as the country is months away from elections.“We have made great progress in hinterland human development over the past four years. There is still much more work to be done. The gap between hinterland and coastland remains wide,” Granger said.He added that the NTC, in accordance with the Amerindian Act, is responsible, among other things, for the preparation of plans for promoting hinterland human development. “The Council must do so. I look forward to working with the NTC to further hinterland human development,” he said.A scene from the opening ceremony of the NTCFurther elaborating on the role of the NTC, Granger pointed out that the conference presented an opportunity to self-analyse and review the progress that was made since last year’s NTC.“The National Toshaos’ Council’s Conferences are annual opportunities to expedite plans for social and economic improvement. These conferences are occasions for Indigenous leaders to review the progress they made in developing their villages and to renew their commitment to improve the lives and livelihoods of their people and to repair and remodel their Village Improvement Plans (VIPs) for future years,” he also said.ReversalIn a statement on Sunday, the parliamentary Opposition took the President to task for his Government’s record on Indigenous rights, even as they welcomed participants in the National Toshaos Conference.In the statement, the People’s Progressive Party noted that by the Government’s own admission last year, it has not issued any land titles since coming to office. This, according to the party, is despite the fact that when it left office, there was US$10.7 million put aside specifically for land titling.“In 2018, Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Affairs admitted before the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources that no titles or extensions of lands to Amerindian communities had been issued by his Government. Demarcation of titled lands is now at a stand-still.”The party also pointed out that due to the Government’s repudiation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy and its related initiatives designed to further national and Indigenous peoples’ development, years of hard work have been jeopardised.“Under the Low Carbon Development Strategy, several programmes, including multi-year projects, were identified that focused specifically on the development of Amerindian communities – the Amerindian Land Titling Project, the Community Development Plans, the Project for Hinterland Electrification and the Hinterland ICT Project, all were fully funded.”“All have stagnated due to the Government’s reluctance to move on these issues, or, they have been tarnished with corruption and/or monies have been squandered due to corruption. The Government’s alternative of a Green State Development Strategy remains a mystery with no specific initiatives to address the developmental needs of the people,” the party added.The PPP was also critical of the Village Improvement Plan initiative touted by the President on Monday. According to the party, it violates the autonomy granted in the Amerindian Act. This plan, according to the party, may end up stalling the titling process even more.
ONE matter on which all Angelenos can agree is that the 405 Freeway is a traffic nightmare that needs to be fixed. Now. So it’s inconceivable that the staff of the California Transportation Commission would propose stiffing the San Diego Freeway in the first rounds of traffic-relief funding to come from the $19.9 billion state transportation bond that voters endorsed in November. Specifically, the staff deliberately excluded funding to build a northbound car-pool lane – let alone any other improvements. This is a snub not just to Los Angeles, but to the entire region – which, by the way, supported the bond measure because it was sold as a solution to nightmares such as the 405. Yet, under the scheme being considered by the CTC, the region would get a mere $327 million – just a fraction of the $1.5 billion that the experts at the California Department of Transportation recommended. That figure equals just 12 percent of the transportation bonds being expended this round. And that surely doesn’t add up to being fair to the county that has more than one-quarter of the state’s inhabitants and more than one-third of its traffic. L.A. County provides its share of tax revenue to the state and should receive a commensurate amount of transportation funds without having to put up a fuss. Caltrans itself makes no bones about the freeway’s significance in the commuting collective of Southern California. On its Web site, it notes that “Route 405 is one of the most important traffic arterials serving the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.” And yet local politicians have to scream, holler, threaten and cajole to get consideration of what should be an automatic priority for the traffic-relief portion of the bond. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa even dodged traffic on a rainy afternoon in Westwood for the TV cameras to get the word out. A hearing on the matter is set for today in Sacramento, and a final decision will be made next week. The mayor and others are urging Angelenos to contact the CTC and protest the proposed funding scheme. We’d like to help spread that message. Anyone who cares about improving traffic in Southern California should contact the CTC at the phone number or e-mail address below and let it know that L.A. isn’t going to take this snub without a fight. Call the CTC at (916) 654-4245 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!