APNU/AFC cabal must answer our citizens at the polls

first_imgDear Editor,The Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) recently indicted its readiness to address competently, the institutional oversight of General and Regional Elections. In the last week of December 2018, several of our widely circulated newspapers reported the following statement of GECOM’s Public Relations Officer, Ms Yolanda Ward, who in relation to the passing of the No-Confidence motion, affirmed that GECOM would uphold its constitutional mandate. She said:“For us at GECOM, it’s our constitutional mandate to conduct General and Regional Elections as well as Local Government Elections. If that is the decision that we will have to conduct elections within a short period, then we will have to ensure that those elections are held as required, because it is our constitutional mandate. I’m sure that our Standard Operating Procedures will click into gear and we will be prepared to execute elections at a time we have been asked to do.”Further, it is wide knowledge that GECOM has a register of registrants that is valid until the end of April 2019. It is based on the ninth and tenth cycle of continuous registration, and the last claims and objection exercises were undertaken in preparation for the November 12, 2018, Local Government Elections. Hence, GECOM should not have too many adjustments to be fully prepared for the Elections within the constitutionally due “90 Days”, after the Government has fallen. It is no secret that this APNU/AFC Government has demonstrated traits of being the most corrupt Government to occupy the seats of our National Assembly. In exercising Government matters, they are most dictatorial, non-transparent and acutely disrespectful to our people and Country’s obligations.They have failed to fulfil all their Manifesto promises to the citizens while enriching themselves. Significantly, production in most of the vibrant activities and areas they inherited have dropped drastically. This vindictive regime has dashed our youths’ future to the wolves rather than secure it. Spiralling crime, cost of living, as well as increasing taxes, now threatens and enslaves our basic existence, as this illegal Cabinet now attempts to force our people to witness their mantra and geriatrics in Parliament. The mansions and expensive Cadillac lifestyles of the few in the APNU/AFC cabal are too much for our small and hardworking population to bear.Ramjattan’s recent cries and utterances about new House to House Registration is merely a futile attempt to confuse the public and delay the process of having General and Regional Election in the stipulated, constitutionally-due date defined by the 90 days period. GECOM’s continuous registration activities improved the same list of registrants by way of the approved methods for use at the 2015, 2016 and 2018 elections. Given there were no outcries from Ramjattan or the APNU who deemed it good for those occasions, what is the issue now?It is public knowledge that there is a process in place to address the issue of deceased persons on the List of Registrants whereby the GRO department would submit a list of deceased names, which GECOM shall delete after authentication. We now await the statements of GECOM’s Chairman Justice (Retired) James Patterson, who is expected back at work on January 22, 2019.Mr Ramjattan, your time of calling is now! You and the fraudulent APNU/AFC cabal must answer our citizens at the polls!Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

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Govt refuses to conduct social, economic assessments

first_imgGuySuCo takeoverEven as the coalition Government assured that no decision would be taken on the future of the cash-strapped and heavily indebted Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) without meaningful consultations with the relevant stakeholders, it has come under criticism for not undertaking any social or economic assessments.At one of its consultation meetings on Saturday, the State’s delegation was asked whether any assessments were done before, particularly ahead of its decision to close the Wales Sugar Factory to ascertain the implications.The Skeldon Sugar FactoryThe delegation was led by Second Vice President and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and included Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, Social Protection Minister Amna Ally, and Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma. The issue was raised by the Opposition’s representative Irfaan Ali, who along with Juan Edghill were at the meeting.Opposition Member Irfaan Ali“When I enquired from GuySuCo about any social or economic assessment that was done to inform any of the Government plans and recommendations, which include closure of estates, it was quite revealing to learn that none was done. How could the Government even contemplate a position on such an important industry to the economy and people without examining the social and economic implications?” Ali pointed out to Guyana Times.He noted that both the Sugar Corporation and the Government officials acknowledged that despite neither of these studies being done, they went ahead with the closure of Wales Estate since they saw no need for it.“This is the height of irresponsibility and we must not tolerate this as a people. The social and economic landscape of tens of thousands is being dissipated without any assessment of what the decision means for the country and people,” Ali remarked.The Opposition member further said that what was even more shocking was Vice President Ramjattan’s response that Government has enough information to make their decision. Ali outlined that the Minister even went on to say that if the Opposition wants a social and economic study they can do it themselves.GAWU President Komal Chand“It is clear that the Government has no concern about the welfare of these communities, the people and the sugar industry. An examination of the social and economic impact of any decision relating to the sugar industry is fundamental if we are to understand the holistic contribution of this industry to national life,” he explained.According to the Caribbean Development Bank mechanisation report December 2014, “the sugar industry still contributes around five per cent of GDP; provides direct employment for approximately 16,000 (in 2013) (95 per cent male); supports over 300 services providers; and is the third largest contributor of foreign exchange. It also plays a critical socio-economic and environmental role in the predominantly low-income coastal communities where cultivation and processing are concentrated.”Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU), Komal Chand, who was also at the meeting, also told this newspaper that Government was irresponsible in not conducting any assessment beforehand.He explained that a social economic impact study should have been done, especially since Government will soon be making a decision on the beleaguered sugar industry.“Having not done a study or assessment on an industry that has such a wide-spread effect is big and having not done any, they say they will not do one now… It does not show that they are a responsible Government and a Government that cares about the people,” Chand noted.The GAWU head explained that the closure of GuySuCo will have far reaching implications not only because of the thousands of workers who will be displaced, but because there are thousands more Guyanese who depend upon the workers’ income.He pointed out that the spin-off effect of the workers distributing their income and the effects it has on the economy, is something that Government is not bothered about, otherwise they would have done the assessments, which would have provided critical information about how much the Guyanese population depended on the sugar industry and the consequence of closing the industry.According to Chand, the assessment would have also highlighted what other sector or industry the displaced workers can possibly turn to.There continues to be uncertainty over the future of GuySuCo with accusations of “secrecy” against Government, following a deal struck a Trinidadian company.Last month, Guyana Times broke the story that Trinidadian company D Rampersad and Company Limited (DRCL) was likely to rake in major benefits from the Guyana Government, including favourable tax incentives for the development of an integrated sugarcane processing facility at the Skeldon Sugar Estate, after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked in December for the undertaking of a feasibility study.However, Government has since denied any secrecy in a deal struck with a Trinidadian company, with Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman pointing out that it was merely a MoU to conduct a feasibility study.Moreover a few days after, the coalition administration was faced with more backlashes after it was revealed that Prime Minister and First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo’s son-in-law is reportedly working to bring in investors for a possible takeover of the cash-strapped GuySuCo.A previous correspondence from the Agriculture Ministry had stated that it was having dialogue on potential investments in GuySuCo with representatives of an India-based Company with extensive knowledge of the sugar industry, Srinath Ispat Limited.last_img read more

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Man Dies after Lifeguards rescue him in Ocean Beach

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 10:01 AM January 9, 2019 Posted: January 9, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Lifeguards rescued a beach-goer Wednesday who was swept into the ocean at the mouth of the San Diego River after chasing his dog into rough surf.The man, identified as Gregg Owens, was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit, where he was later pronounced dead, the Medical Examiner’s Office said Thursday.The man, a visitor from Nevada believed to be in his mid-50s to early 60s, entered the water in northern Ocean Beach to retrieve his pet shortly before 2 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.A short time later, bystanders noticed that the tourist was face-down in the surf and being dragged out to sea by strong currents, SDFRD spokesman Jose Ysea said.Lifeguards arrived within several minutes, by which point the man was roughly 75 yards from shore. The personnel used a personal watercraft to rescue the victim, finding him unconscious and not breathing.The lifeguards performed CPR on the man on the beach prior to the arrival of an ambulance crew, which took him to UCSD Medical Center in unknown condition.The victim’s dog made it back to shore unharmed, Ysea said.A roughly 36-hour period of dangerously high surf began this morning, prompting authorities to issue beach-area safety warnings and temporarily close Ocean Beach Pier as a precaution. center_img KUSI Newsroom Man Dies after Lifeguards rescue him in Ocean Beach Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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