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NY Guyanese remember Vajpayee

first_imgDear Editor,New York-based Indo-Guyanese fondly remember Atal Behari Vajpayee, because he conferred a lot of benefits on them and he interacted with them like no other Indian PM ever did. Vajpayee’s love for the diaspora and his humility towards humanity set him apart from his predecessors. And not unexpectedly, Indo-Caribbean people paid glowing tributes to Vajpayee upon his passing last Thursday. They remember him as the leader who institutionalised the relationship of the diaspora with India. They note his outreach with the increase in foreign aid to Africa and the Caribbean.I and other Guyanese had the rare honour of meeting Vajpayee-ji several times in the US and India. Atal-ji, as he was fondly called, had a special affinity for the Indian diaspora, and he met Indo-Caribbean persons with warmth whenever he visited New York.Vajpayee’s first encounter with Indo-Caribbean persons was in September 1977, and again in September 1978, when, as Foreign Minister, he addressed the Indian diaspora on the sidelines of the UN. He addressed the UN in Hindi, the first person to so do at the UN body. He drew loud applause at the UN and at the forums with the diaspora.In September 1990, several Guyanese joined a rally in front of the UN to support India against terror fomented by its neighbour. Vajpayee came out of the UN and applauded the participants for their support to India. Later, at the Waldorf Astoria, he extolled the virtues of the diaspora, including praising Indo-Caribbean people. He was described as perhaps the best orator of India.Vajpayee also interacted with Indo-Caribbean community leaders on other occasions, telling them how impressed he was with their cultural retention and nationalism towards Mother India. In the 1990s, he held several meetings with overseas-based Indian communities.At a meeting at Salaam Bombay restaurant in 1997, Vajpayee heard suggestions from Dharamdatt Durjan Sukhai of Demerara, Ramesh Kalicharran of Essequibo and this writer from Berbice for a global forum of people of Indian descent, and honouring overseas-based Indians who made outstanding contributions to the diaspora and/or India. Dharamdatt suggested the idea of a Kowsilla Bravery Award (named after that courageous Leonara freedom fighter) for those who courageously champion the interests of the Indian diaspora. At that session, Dharamdatt honoured Vajpayee with a Chowkee reminding him he was a bachelor – Vajpayee and the attendees burst into laughter. Vajpayee publicly promised that should the BJP ever form the government at the centre, and if he were to become its PM, he would take measures to implement the suggestion of a global forum of the Indian diaspora.The BJP would eventually come to power (1998) with Vajpayee as PM, and in 2000, Vajpayee appointed a “High Level Committee” to meet with community leaders and media personnel of the diaspora to: assess the status of PIOs like Indo-Caribbean persons and Indo-Fijians, etc. and non-resident Indians (NRIs born in India but residing abroad) and to develop a policy framework to forge a mutually beneficial relationship between the diaspora and India.The Committee, chaired by Dr. L.M. Singhvi, a Member of Parliament, travelled and met the diaspora, including Indo-Caribbean persons in NYC. Indo-Caribbean persons proposed a bi-annual forum of global diaspora in a different country, and honours for Indians who made significant contributions to India or to the diaspora.Vajpayee accepted the recommendations, and he concretised relations with the diaspora through the PBD. The first PBD was held in 2003, with Sir Shridath Ramphal and V.S Naipaul as keynote speakers and honorees. Cricket icon Rohan Kanhai was also on the list of honorees, but he did not attend the PBD. Several Indo-Caribbean journalists were invited to the PBD on all- expense-paid trip to Delhi. President Bharrat Jagdeo was the keynote speaker and honoree at the second PBD. Other Guyanese and Indo-Caribbean persons were honoured at subsequent PBDs. I attended a dozen of the PBDs as a journalist or speaker.The NY Indo-Caribbean community is most grateful to Atal-ji for all the benefits he conferred on the Caribbean and the Indian diaspora, never mind that there has not been much gratitude. They mourn his passing by speaking glowingly of the late PM.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram (PhD)last_img read more

GECOM being run like old-time cake shop (Pt 2)

first_imgDear Editor,In relation to matters of expenditure of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) — and in particular the queries regarding voters’ education activities, which are woefully inadequate — a proposal should have been submitted to GECOM for approval.Further, the CEO, Mr. Lowenfield, MUST be able to provide timely information in respect to the execution of tenders and who were the evaluators. He should also provide copies of the evaluation report, substantiate the position of the National Procurement & Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) or Cabinet, and state whether mobilisation was paid in advance and a performance bond was established.The Auditor General’s report made reference, and there were serious questions in respect to the millions of dollars that were spent on voters’ education. Some of the questions were related to where, when and how the public relations company receive the contract. It is more serious that when the issue was raised about voters’ education, Lowenfield first claimed ignorance and pretended that he was unaware of what is happening. However, he admitted that he “instructed that this be done, especially in the hinterland and far-flung areas, but that he had no knowledge if had been done”. This is indeed a very serious matter!The fact is that the Commissioners are part of the overall management of GECOM, and the law and procedures of the organisation allow for establishment of a Finance Sub-Committee, approved by the Chairman, which must report at the meetings of the Commission. Relative, therefore, are the following queries: Who are the Commissioners that currently constitute this Sub-Committee? And why is what are required and necessary so difficult to be obtained by Commissioners?Unequivocally, if the management is not submitting financial information, the Commissioners should not sign off on any request for approval. It is recalled that, only recently, ‘selected’ members of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Development Board were charged and placed before the courts for issues related to the activities of the organisation. It cannot be that the system is designed to work in one way for a particular set of people, and blatantly discriminate against another.The fact is that there are serious questions for many Returning Officers and GECOM Commissioners to answer regarding what took place on Nomination Day. It is therefore very worrying that Lowenfield refuses to share the list of duties and responsibilities of the ROs and Presiding Officers. It is imperative that the GECOM Commissioners demand the list of duties of all the GECOM staff members, and a proper account from the public relations firm that is hired to do what is supposed to be done.While there are serious concerns about how staff members are being employed at GECOM, concerned citizens are more interested in the lavish spending and high life of some GECOM staff members. It is time the Auditor General tell the public what is happening at GECOM in respect to the questionable hundreds of millions of dollars of excessive spending.Further, what is the DPP doing about the matter? Were the documents forwarded to the DPP’s Chambers?In view of the attitude and behaviour of the Chief Elections Officer and his accommodation by the ‘big four’ in the Secretariat, there absolutely is neither trust nor confidence in what GECOM is doing. The time is most opportune for the nation to rise up against this blatant disregard by GECOM, and its lack of accountability and transparency in implementing policies.While this is a constitutional agency, there must be public accountability for taxpayers’ money, and to the people. Every action must be taken to ensure that the rights of citizens are not trampled upon via Lowenfield’s Town Clerk’s approach, and apparent eroding grey matter of the Chairman.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

“Make the investment today” – Dr Bynoe

first_img…urges UG students to position themselves for oil sectorAs the time gets closer to first oil, Director of the Department of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe is urging Guyanese, particularly young people, to position themselves to benefit from the budding industry.New UG students at the orientation exercise“Make the investment today because Guyana is not just about the oil and gas; and oil and gas is not just about the wells, it’s not just about the drills. It is also about the supplementary infrastructure that is needed,” he is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.Dr Bynoe was at the time addressing new students of the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences during an orientation exercise, the Department of Public Information (DPI) reported.The Energy Director explained that the petroleum sector also speaks to “hotels, transportation, scientific data and the range of other things needed to make informed decisions”. He told the students that they can position themselves to benefit from the petroleum sector by diversifying their career options.He added that employment positions within the industry are not restricted to just the technical field. He implored the students to not follow the rhetoric but to think about where their future lies.The Energy Head stated that there will still be a need for financial analysts, marine biologists and several other professions in the sector as its production and business develop.“We will still have needs for the financial and managerial accountants, you will still have a need for what we may all a softer side.”Bynoe also urged the students to be patient as they continue their academic journey to enter the world of work. He reminded them that no one is born an expert at any given profession.last_img read more

Neuer shines for Germany juniors in W. Cup warm-up

first_imgHe was only beaten by a Thomas Mueller penalty and a goal from Julian Draxler in the shortened training match, which was 35 minutes per half.“He faced some shots on goal and made a few very good saves. It is another step in the right direction,” said Germany’s assistant coach Thomas Schneider.On Monday, Neuer played his first game back in a 7-1 win over the Under-20 team at Germany’s World Cup training camp in north Italy, but his presence in the junior goal made for a much closer scoreline on Wednesday.On Saturday, Neuer will play his first full match after injury in Germany’s friendly away game against Austria in Klagenfurt.Germany head coach Joachim Loew has said Neuer will travel to the World Cup as his first-choice providing he proves his fitness ahead of their opening game against Mexico in Moscow on June 17.Loew has taken 27 players with him for their training camp, including four ‘keepers, with four to be cut before the list of the official 23-man squad is delivered to FIFA on Monday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Germany captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer took another step towards the 2018 World Cup with a good performance for Germany juniors against the senior team in a practice match on Wednesday at the Rungghof training center in Girlan, northern Italy. © AFP / MIGUEL MEDINABERLIN, Germany, May 30 – Manuel Neuer took another step towards the World Cup, after eight months sidelined with injury, by impressing in a training match for Germany’s Under-20 against the senior team on Wednesday.Germany’s captain and goalkeeper, who suffered a fractured foot last September, impressed for the junior team in a 2-0 defeat by the senior Germany team.last_img read more

Arsenal star hails duo as partnerships form at the Emirates

first_imgArsenal’s record signing Mesut Ozil says his relationships with team-mates Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla are helping him at the Emirates.The Germany international joined the Gunners in the summer of 2013 for £42.5m but his form and first-team place have been far from assured.However, he has enjoyed linking up with Chile star Sanchez and Spanish schemer Cazorla, despite the trio often vying for the same playmaker position.“[Santi and Alexis] are the type of players that, like myself, think before things happen on the pitch,” Ozil told Arsenal Player.“Especially with Santi, you can see that he’s playing such an outstanding season for the team and he’s so important for us.“When you look at the whole squad, it doesn’t matter if the manager rotates slightly because we can compete as a team, no matter who is playing. That’s a big plus for us and that’s why we’re near the top of the league.“[My partnership with Alexis is] progressing really well, and you can see that in our matches. He’s really important for the team and that shows with the goals – he’s scored a lot of goals this season.“You can see it in training too – I look for him when I have the ball because he makes those runs. For that reason, we’re happy to have a player like that in our ranks.” 1 Arsenal star Mesut Ozil last_img read more


first_imgBusanna Feda O Donaill Jun BFCDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Nov-2011 St Eunans 1 – 7 2 – 7 Naomh Ultan Tir Chonaill Park Donegal Town Final Marley Coach Hire Division Four ReserveDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Nov-2011 Letterkenny Gaels 0 – 12 2 – 3 Red Hughs Letterkenny13-Nov-2011 Convoy Naomh Padraig Leifear Convoy Conceded by Convoy McGlynns Resturant Castlefin Division Two ReserveDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Nov-2011 Glenfin 0 – 9 0 – 15 Sean MacCumhaills Pairc Ghleann FhinneCentra Supermarkets Division ThreeDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment 13-Nov-2011 Carndonagh 1 – 10 0 – 5 Milford CarndonaghCentra Supermarkets Division Three ReserveDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Nov-2011 Aodh Ruadh 4 – 13 0 – 6 Naomh Colmcille Fr Tierney Park Marley Coach Hire Division FourDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment12-Nov-2011 Red Hughs 0 – 10 1 – 4 Naomh Ultan Red Hughs12-Nov-2011 Naomh Padraig Leifear 0 – 7 0 – 7 Naomh Padraig-Muff ConvoyCentra Supermarkets Division ThreeDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment12-Nov-2011 Naomh Mhuire 1 – 5 0 – 15 Naomh Naille The Banks MullachderghGAA: COUNTY DONEGAL RESULTS was last modified: November 13th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GAA RESULTSlast_img read more


first_imgThe U14 League A-Final was held on a very balmy Thursday night in Burt where a determined St. Eunans took on the raging hot favourites Buncrana.The game was an extremely tight affair where space was at a premium with both defences on top. Playing with the wind Buncrana were up 0.4 to 0.1 at half time . St. Eunans started brightly in the second half but Buncrana were able to reply to each score. In a tense closing quarter and after both sides missed goal opportunities Buncrana got the decisive and only goal of the game.The final score was Buncrana 1.08 to 0.04 for St Eunans.But on the night hurling was the winner. BUNCRANA EDGE OUT ST EUNANS IN UNDER 14 HURLING FINAL was last modified: May 25th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgDean Reynolds along with staff members Liz Gordon, Steven Gibson,Seamus Kelly, Danny McFadden, students, Amy Brolly and Gavin Meehan. Also pictured is Neil Meehan from the Parents AssociationDeele College in Raphoe is the new standard bearer in the world of ‘technology in education’ with the launch of their new interactive school app.The secondary school is the first school in the county to launch their own app, which is now available on the android and apple stores.It is envisioned that this app will provide a stronger link between parents and the school, with various features, which will allow parents to send notes on absenteeism, see homework assignments and monitor students’ progress. The school has made huge strides on the technology front in recent years with the introduction of an ICT team, who have earmarked various projects to enhance the technology in the school.Dean Reynolds, Amy Brolly, Danny McFadden, Gavin Meehan and Neil MeehanAlong with the app, the school is preparing to launch their wireless internet service in the school in the coming months, which will allow teachers to use the latest technologies, such as IPads in the classroom.The app itself, which was launched last week, will allow students to access daily timetables on their phones and tablets, as well as exam timetables and study guides. It is hoped that students will be able to access all homework assignments via the app from the beginning of September and that students will also be able to submit homework via the app.Deele College Principal Mr. PJ McGowan says this app is the latest initiative in the developing world of IT in schools and as an aid to teaching and learning. Dean Reynolds, Amy Brolly, Gavin Meehan, and Neil Meehan“As a tool for communication it will greatly improve links between parents and the school and the chief benefactors are the students. We are very grateful to Reynolds of Raphoe for their generous sponsorship towards the development of the app.“We are also appreciative of the team of people within the school led by Mr Danny McFadden who had the foresight and willingness to follow an idea and develop the app”With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, Deputy Principal of the school, Mr Danny McFadden says that it is imperative that Deele College embraces the new educational tools available through the latest technology.“Students today are immersed in technology and we want to use this to show students that learning can be interactive and fun. The launch of this app is an important step for the school but it is also just the beginning, as we strive to improve our ICT infrastructure to meet the demands of 21st century education.Deele College ICT team and students, along with members of the Parents Association and our sponsor Reynolds of Raphoe“Parents play such a vital part in a student’s education and we want to foster greater links between the school and parents. Parents will be able to see what is going on in the school via our monthly newsletter and also keep track of the work undertaken by students. It provides a new way to interact with parents, as they can receive notes via the app about important events in the school, such as parents’ evenings and prize giving. Teachers can upload assignments and receive them via the app, which is a huge step forward in terms of teacher/student interaction.”The app, which has been generously sponsored by local company, Reynolds of Raphoe has already been a huge hit among students and parents and the school management would encourage everyone connected to the school to download the app to their phone or tablet.While many others will follow suit in the coming months and years, it is great to see a Donegal school leading the way.DEELE COLLEGE IS ‘APPY’ FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS! was last modified: April 10th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AppDanny McFaddendeele collegedonegalRaphoelast_img read more

To the polls in special election

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week As they have throughout much of the campaign, opponents dogged him at his events, protesting with signs and chants. Over the weekend, they shadowed Schwarzenegger’s bus tour, with actor Warren Beatty and others speaking out against the governor’s agenda. The Alliance for a Better California, a coalition of unions that formed to fight Schwarzenegger’s plan, had about 15,000 volunteers knocking on doors and walking precincts this weekend, spokeswoman Robin Swanson said. “In terms of this grand ‘reform’ package, I think people will be very disappointed to realize what exactly this is,” Swanson said. “But I’m also pretty darn confident we’re going to defeat all of this (today).” More than $250 million has been spent by the various campaigns, including more than $80 million by the pharmaceutical industry to support Proposition 78 and oppose Proposition 79 – rival measures to provide a discount drug program. The unions have spent more than $100 million to defeat Schwarzenegger, while his California Recovery Team has spent more than $35 million. SACRAMENTO – Ten months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger launched his “year of reform” effort to overhaul California government, voters will decide today whether to grant him the tools he says he needs to fix a broken system. The vote follows a tumultuous year in which Schwarzenegger saw his poll ratings plummet under an onslaught of criticism from Democrats and unions, who said he was out of touch with average Californians and that his agenda would hurt education funding. Schwarzenegger spent Monday crisscrossing the state in an 11th-hour effort to boost turnout for his four ballot propositions, all of which have been trailing in polls. “Give me the tools so I can make the changes in California,” he urged supporters at a stop in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville. “That’s why people sent me to Sacramento: to fix the broken system.” Most polls have indicated the governor’s measures are trailing. But political experts said if they pass, the reforms could result in substantive, historic changes to California government. “If these things pass, which I doubt, historians 30 years from now could look back and say this was a turning point,” said Tim Hodson, executive director of the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento. “This was an election where control of the budget process was really shifted to the governor. That public-employee unions got their first two major defeats on the statewide ballot. I think they could say this was a turning point where the balance of power started to shift.” Schwarzenegger first announced his proposed reforms in his State of the State speech in January. His original proposal included a budget overhaul package, pension reform, redistricting and teacher merit pay. Some of his original plans were dropped or postponed, so voters today will decide on: Proposition 74, to increase the time before public teachers receive tenure. Proposition 75, which requires public-employee unions to seek advance consent from members before using dues for political purposes. Proposition 76, state spending and school funding limits. Proposition 77, to create a panel of judges to draw district lines for elected officials. Additionally, four other measures unrelated to the governor have been placed on the ballot by outside groups. They are: Proposition 73, which requires parents to be notified before a minor has an abortion. Proposition 78, a drug-discount measure proposed by the pharmaceutical industry. Proposition 79, a competing drug-discount measure proposed by consumer groups. Proposition 80, to re-regulate the electricity industry. In Los Angeles County, voters will also decide the fate of Measure Y, a $4 billion construction bond for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Secretary of State Bruce McPherson has predicted that 42 percent of the state’s 15.8 million voters will turn out. That is substantially lower than the previous statewide special election, the 2003 recall, in which 61 percent of voters showed up. At least 1.8 million ballots had been sent in prior to the election by mail, out of 4.5 million absentee ballots issued to voters. Los Angeles County will have 2,172 polling places set up, manned by about 14,000 poll workers, according to county Registrar-Recorder Conny McCormack. That is about half as many locations as for the presidential election last year, but still about 500 more than the 2003 recall. By law, the final results must be tallied by Dec. 8. “We feel very prepared,” McCormack said. “All of our poll workers have been recruited and trained. We feel very ready.” Harrison Sheppard, (916) 446-6723 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Maddie McCann investigator who was accused of embezzling search funds found dead

first_imgThe private investigator who was embroiled in a controversy over his suspected embezzlement of funds raised to help find Madeline McCann has been found dead.Kevin Halligen was found at the home he shares with his long-term girlfriend in Surrey.According to MailOnline, it has been speculated that alcohol may have played a part in his death, and it has also been alleged that he was discovered surrounded by a pool of blood. Police are currently investigating the matter. Halligen was hired by the missing toddler’s parents in 2008, and it has been alleged that he conned £300,000 out of Maddie’s search fund to finance a lavish lifestyle of luxury travel, top hotel suites, and chauffeur driven cars.Madeline (second from left) on her last trip to Dungloe before she disappeared n 2007.Halligen (56) had been the CEO of Oakley International when he met the McCanns, and they settled on a contract worth £500,000.Initially, the couple was impressed with his work, boasting a workforce made up of ex-FBI, CIA and Special forces officers. He also claimed he could access phone logs and source satellite imagery from the night of Madeline’s disappearance. However, it was then claimed that the firm never investigated calls made to the special hotline, and the satellite images were from Google Earth.They terminated the contract with Halligen 6 months later, after paying him £300,000. Just after his contract ended with the McCanns, Halligen plead guilty to defrauding Trafigura, a company based in the Netherlands who asked him to help free two company executives in the Ivory Coast in 2006. He was given $12 million initially, and a further $2.1 million to hire lobbyists in the US.The following day, Halligen splashed $1.7 million on a luxury home with a swimming pool.In 2014, Halligen was the subject of Channel 5 documentary “The McCanns and The Conman”, where he argued that the funds are fully accounted for.Maddie McCann investigator who was accused of embezzling search funds found dead was last modified: January 14th, 2018 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:kevin halligenmaddie mc canmadeline mc cannthe mccanns and the conmanlast_img read more