Jordan Lyons scored 17 points, Matt Rafferty had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Furman stunned the defending national champion and eighth-ranked Wildcats in overtime, 76-68 on Saturday.“We’re just tiny old Furman,” coach Bob Richey said. “Most people ask us what state we’re in, what city we’re in. Now all of a sudden people are starting to figure out who Furman is.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum LATEST STORIES Lyons and Rafferty delivered huge buckets in overtime to key a 7-0 spurt that put the Paladins ahead 69-63 in the final minute, enough cushion for them to hang on for the victory in front of a shocked sellout crowd at the recently renovated Finneran Pavilion.“It almost can bring me to tears to think about how proud I am of the resolve, the resiliency and the fight this team has,” Richey said. “They play together, they play connected. It’s the definition of a team.”Phil Booth scored 20 points and Colin Gillespie had 19 for the Wildcats (2-2), who were coming off a 27-point loss to Michigan in a rematch of April’s national championship game. It marked the first time Villanova lost back-to-back games since March of 2013.“It’s not that shocking, to be honest,” Booth said. “They’re a very good team. We’re still a young team trying to find our way.”Trailing 58-53 with under four minutes to play in regulation, Joe Cremo hit a 3-pointer, Booth scored and Gillespie made a layup in transition to put Villanova in front, 60-58, in the final minute.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rike leads NU in final UAAP game over UE If opponents and fans aren’t paying attention to the team from Greenville, South Carolina, they’d better start now.Clay Mounce added 15 points and Noah Gurley and Alex Hunter scored 13 apiece for the surging Paladins, who have started 5-0 for the first time in 30 years. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Furman guard Alex Hunter (10) and forward Clay Mounce (45) celebrate after their team defeated Villanova 76-68 in overtime in an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)VILLANOVA, Pa. — First, it was Loyola. Next came Villanova.One by one, Furman is picking off teams from last year’s Final Four and proving to be the surprise story of the first month of the college basketball season.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View comments Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title After Lyons hit two free throws to tie the game at 60, Booth missed on the other end and Hunter misfired on a long 3-pointer in the final seconds. Cremo was called for a foul while going for the rebound, but Rafferty couldn’t connect on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2.6 seconds left, setting the game up for OT.Rafferty said his teammates picked him up and told him to make up for the missed free throw in overtime — which he did.“This was incredible,” Rafferty said. “I’ve never been a part of something like this.”ROAR OF THE LYONSTwo days after pouring in 54 points while matching an NCAA record with 15 3-pointers in a 107-67 win over North Greenville, Lyons had more big buckets, including one that put Furman ahead 48-46 with a little over eight minutes remaining.Richey was proud of how the junior guard dealt with ’Nova’s defense, especially after he was held to five points in the first half.“He was mature enough to know he had to play within our team concept,” Richey said. “He got going in the second half. I was really proud of him.”CHEMISTRY ISSUESAlthough he put his team on his back at times, scoring five straight points during one stretch to tie the game at 51, Booth shouldered a lot of the blame for the loss.“I have to do a better job of showing the team what Villanova basketball is on both ends of the floor,” said Booth, a senior guard who was a part of the Wildcats’ national championship teams in both 2016 and 2018. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? “We’re trying to work on a lot of chemistry things as a team,” he added.BIG PICTUREFurman: It’s only November, but the Paladins are looking like a team that will be dangerous in March. In their only other road game of the season, they upset last season’s NCAA Tournament darling, Loyola-Chicago, on a last-second dunk.Villanova: After losing four players from last year’s national championship squad to the NBA draft, coach Jay Wright continues to search for his best rotation. On Saturday, freshman Jahvon Quinerly, a five-star recruit, didn’t get in the game after playing key minutes in Villanova’s first three games. The Wildcats’ depth also took a hit Friday when the team announced that redshirt sophomore Dylan Painter will transfer.“You always want to get the young guys in,” Wright said. “It was close and then we got down the stretch and you try to ride it out with the older guys and hope you can get through the game.”UP NEXTFurman hosts Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday.Villanova faces Canisius in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando on Thanksgiving.
Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson lays up a shot against the Chicago Bulls during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson picked up where he left off on his record-setting night in Chicago earlier this season, making seven more 3-pointers and scoring 30 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 146-109 victory over the Bulls on Friday night.Thompson set an NBA mark in the first meeting between the teams on Oct. 29 by hitting 14 3-pointers as part of a 52-point night while playing only the first three quarters. He made three from long range in the first 70 seconds of the rematch and the rout was on in the most lopsided win of the season for Golden State.ADVERTISEMENT Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Donovan Mitchell dominates as Jazz thrash Lakers Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Warriors: Visit Dallas on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ The Warriors took a double-digit lead after just 2:19 and the Bulls never got the game back within single digits. Jonas Jerebko banked in a 3-pointer from beyond half court at the end of the first quarter to give Golden State a 43-17 lead that grew to 44 points in the third quarter.Stephen Curry made back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third quarter to move past Jason Terry into third place all-time in made 3-pointers. He made five overall and finished with 28 points. His 2,285 career 3s trail only Reggie Miller (2,560) and Ray Allen (2,973) in NBA history.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissKevin Durant added 22 for the Warriors, his 15th straight game with at least 20 points.Zach LaVine scored 29 points to lead the Bulls, who have lost six straight games. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college TIP-INSBulls: Chicago had its largest first-quarter deficit in franchise history. … The Bulls allowed 18 3-pointers and made only nine. They have given up 103 more 3-pointers than they’ve made this season, the worst differential in the league. … G Kris Dunn finished with a minus-45 rating. … G Bobby Portis was on a 28-minute limit in his third game back from an ankle injury, but played less than 17 with the game out of hand early. He scored 16 points.Warriors: The 26-point lead after the opening quarter was the biggest for the Warriors since they led Sacramento by 30 points on Nov. 2, 1991. … Thompson’s 21 3-pointers in two games vs. Chicago are tied for the most ever in one season against the Bulls with the 21 made by Antoine Walker in four games in 2001-02. … Thompson is averaging 27.7 points over his last six games.UP NEXTBulls: Visit Utah on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil View comments
Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college A robot passes a basket containing drinks to a woman in wheelchair during an unveiling event in Tokyo Friday, March 15, 2019. Organizers on Friday showed off robots that will be used at the new National Stadium to provide assistance for fans using wheelchairs. (Kyodo News via AP)TOKYO— Tokyo’s Olympics may become known as the “Robot Games.”Organizers on Friday showed off robots that will be used at the new National Stadium to provide assistance for fans using wheelchairs.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title He said the suits would also be used away from the venues in “related facilities and airports.”He said the suit improved “efficiency” by about 20 percent, allowing the wearer to lift more, and for a longer time.Battery life if about four hours, and the suit gives the wearer the ability to lift about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) more with the same energy expended.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Through this occasion, people in the world will be able to realize how advanced Japan is in terms of robot technology,” Hideyo Hirata, director of technology services for the Tokyo Olympics, told reporters.Minoru Yamauchi of Toyota, the general manager for 2020 Robot Development, said the automaker is branching out and becoming a “mobility company.”“We have been looking at how we can support the daily lives of people, and how we can develop robots that can partner with daily life,” Yamauchi said. “In the Tokyo Olympics, there will be many guests in wheelchairs and we would like them enjoy the games without worrying about their mobility.”Yoshifumi Uchida, general manager of Panasonic’s Paralympic department, said its power assist suit technology was developed partly because of Japan’s aging population. This could help get more women and the elderly into the working population.“We would like to have a society where people can work without caring about gender differences or age differences,” Uchida said. “When you are carrying a suitcase or a heavy box, this is where the power assist suit becomes valuable.”ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Magic get crucial win in NBA playoffs chase, rout Cavaliers Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Tokyo Olympic official Masaaki Komiya pointed out that Japan is known for its robot technology, and the 2020 Summer Games are a good place to show off.“Robots should not overwhelm people,” Komiya, the vice director general to the Tokyo Olympics, told a news conference. “Robots are something that have an amicable relationship with human beings and can work together. That’s the kind of robots we envision.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe robots are made by major Olympic sponsor Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota officials said 16 of the so-called “human support robots” will be used at the National Stadium with five other “delivery support robots” also being available.Not to be outdone, Panasonic Corp.— also a major Olympic sponsor — showed off its “power assist suit.” When worn, the suit offers support to the back and hip area and allows for heavy objects to be lifted with less effort. Panasonic said 20 of the suits will be used at the Olympics and could help guests with their luggage and with other lifting chores. Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View comments
Dear Editor,This is Guyana today: sugar workers and their families continue their descent into poverty; rice farmers and cash crop farmers are at risk of losing their land because of unaffordable new lease and D&I rates; overtaxed working class Guyanese are faced with dispossession as various Government agencies move against them; bauxite workers employed by RUSAL face an uncertain and precarious future; business is under severe strain; the sustained decline of the economy continues unabated; corruption is rampant, and fear stalks the land; a milieu of despair and hopelessness spreads across the country.This is the Guyana in which APNU/AFC are drowning in the misery they have created.APNU/AFC are desperate to change this desperate narrative. But instead of trying to bring solutions and effect a transformation of the narrative, APNU/AFC are trying to substitute the narrative with unfortunate drama. The truth, however, is that they can huff and puff all they want, the people of Guyana know their tricks, and are angry.Their latest drama is to charge two former high-ranking professionals in the previous Government with misconduct in office, a charge that is not in the law books.While the State media and others screamed out the headline of charges being laid against Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington, implying they stole billions of dollars, the truth is that the charges are a travesty, truly whimsical, vulgar, and epitomizes the vindictiveness of this Government. The Leader of the Opposition is right that the charges are frivolous.The charges, in fact, expose the absolute absence of any regard for ethics, morality, and the law. This is pure and simple political harassment and intimidation. These men are two of Guyana’s public servants who have served with competency, commitment and dedication; qualities that many in APNU/AFC are totally lacking.It is noteworthy that approval to sell these parcels of land was obtained from Cabinet, the highest decision-making body in the land. It is further noteworthy that these two men were part of a Board that included stakeholders from civil society, including the private sector.When the Board finalised the sale, they obtained the permission of Cabinet. Why, then, did SOCU not charge everyone? Why just these two men?By now, however, everyone realizes these are merely trumped up charges.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammy
Dear Editor,Last year an email was sent from Basil Williams, Chairman of the PNC, to Amna Ally, Joseph Harmon, Winston Felix and Raphael Trotman. In that email, he reminded them of some decisions that were taken by the PNC’s Elections Committee in preparing for the next elections.In it he spoke about their throwing on some mega parties to attract young people. A lot of money will be spent to bring artistes from the Caribbean and further afield. He is, no doubt, working on the assumption that by doing these ‘feel good things’, they will be able to shore-up their flagging support.In fact, he was explicit. Their disrespect for their supporters knows no bound. It is rooted in their philosophy that, give them a sport and they will forget their own conditions.Note that they are planning ‘a Carnival’ in May for Independence. This is the plan kicking in. Foreign artistes and huge parties are being planned. The ‘oil’ money is being spent in advance.He also had some other measures to deceive the Guyanese people, including temporary removal of some taxes and relaxation of the 2 a.m. curfew, until after elections.So, if they can succeed in postponing the elections for two years, as was done in 1990, then, with oil money, they hope to intoxicate the country with parties. They believe that that would make their supporters forget the abominable performance of the regime and make them stay with this corrupt and incompetent regime.In passing, it is interesting to note the persons who the email was addressed to. Is this the rigging team?The first step in the rigging ‘process’ is to postpone the elections and to splurge. They hope that that would serve as the explanation for an APNU ‘victory’ if they succeed in implementing their scheme.However, they should put in their equation that the PPP/C is not in the mood for any postponement, they could be putting the country in a constitutional crisis.Secondly, the crude way that they used to rig ‘in’ the past may not be possible now. The PPP/C is going to work hard to block every loophole, to prevent rigging.The new measure that was used in 2015 was bogus statements by poll. It would be hard for them to repeat that stunt in the next elections.They are using ‘their influence’ in the judiciary to frustrate the hearing of the Elections Petition case. That would expose them and their plants operating in GECOM. This is disgraceful.The PPP/C is working to deal with all their shenanigans. It needs the support of all democratic and peace loving people to stop the riggers.Amna Ally’s call is just a ruse to implement their diabolic plan. Let us ensure that they don’t succeed, and in so doing win back democratic government.Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer President
Dear Editor,Our national Government seems comfortable with building, maintaining and subsiding the operation of a new Demerara River Bridge (reportedly in addition to the existing Demerara River Bridge). Commuters pay the paltry sum of $100 for a car to use the bridge, while the same commuter, who pays the same taxes to the Government, has to pay virtually twenty (20) times more to cross the Berbice River Bridge…..and now there are moves afoot to add insult to injury by a substantial increase in the fees to cross the Berbice Bridge.Is it not time for our ‘NATIONAL GOVERNMENT’ to simply assume full ownership, control and management of the Berbice River Bridge, and so relieve us Berbicians, who are the main users of the bridge, the heavy burden of yet another discriminatory charge to commute nationally, especially as most critical ‘national/civil services’ are located in the city of Georgetown?PLEASE, Mr President & Cabinet, do consider some equitable treatment for us Berbicians.Sincerely,Nowrang Persaud
Dear 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)
Dear 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 Kumar
Dear Editor,Please allow me space to respond to former PNCR Executive member B Beniprashad Rayman who made an effort to pose questions in true ‘straw man’ fashion. It is always difficult to reply to fiction with fact as readers are often left at a loss of whom to believe. These are the tactics of the desperate but they must never be allowed to flourish.Rayman begins by positing that the Diamond and LBI estates were closed by President Bharrat Jagdeo. The Diamond factory was closed in 1985 and a large area of the estate’s cultivation was retired. Bharrat Jagdeo was a student at the time. In 2011, a decision was made to close the LBI factory. The decision was taken against the backdrop of the improvement of the Enmore factory and the construction of the packaging plant which yielded a higher price for the sugar produced. Few of the workers were affected by the closure; some were retained at LBI to work in the enlarged workshop that was created, while the others were transferred to work in the Enmore factory and a small number opted for early retirement. In contrast, the actions of the Granger administration are unmatched for their callous nature.In April 2016, the Granger administration closed the LBI Estate which ceased to exist and many workers were shown the door. A few weeks later, Granger announced its closure of the East Demerara Estate and put thousands out of work. Granger has closed four sugar estates and put seven thousand persons out of work. The rationale offered by Granger’s Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan that, “Probably, it was destined that way. Probably God wanted it that way that we have to make the decision now,” who also said that payment of workers’ severances was a “drag” on the economy. David Granger is not done with the sugar industry by any means, GuySuCo remains the country’s single largest employer, going by Ramjattan’s pronouncements, probably nothing but total closure of the sugar industry will satisfy ‘God’.The absolute fiction of the PPP Government closing down the bauxite industry is in direct contrast to the facts; production of bauxite declined rapidly after Burnham nationalised the industry in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, bauxite production was 1.5 million tonnes per year or half the annual level of the 1960s and 1970s. The state-owned Guyana Mining Enterprise Limited (Guymine) suffered repeated losses as a result of inefficient management, declining world prices for bauxite, and prolonged strikes by workers. The losses drained the company’s capital reserves and led to the deterioration of plants and equipment. Guyana’s single alumina plant, located in Linden, used to separate 300,000 tonnes per year of aluminium oxide from raw bauxite ore until the facility closed in 1982. Interestingly, it was the USD 400 million levies paid by the sugar industry that propped up bauxite and Burnham’s burgeoning Public Service. How soon we forget.In 1992, PPP/C met an arrangement by the Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFIS), which funded and placed MINPROC as manager of the Linden Bauxite Company (LINMINE). MINPROC’s purpose was to determine and demonstrate whether LINMINE could be profitable. MINPROC reported that the there was no pathway to profitable operation; however, the PPP/C did not shut down the industry. They subsidised the industry until OMAI came on board as a managing partner/investor. The PPP brought in both current employers in the bauxite industry, Bosai, and Rusal. The PPP has also enabled large-scale gold mining and timber operations whose employees are primarily from Region 10.Having dispensed with the distracting fictions, I can discuss a matching of performance by Irfaan Ali during his tenure as a Minister and David Granger as President. Irfaan Ali held the important Housing and Water portfolios, he delivered 28,456 new housing units, more than anyone in the history of Guyana, provided transformational leadership in the industry, with his ‘one-stops’ delivering expedited house-lot ownership throughout the country. Irfaan Ali delivered twenty-five new wells and seven treatment plants, moving access to potable water from twenty-five per cent of the population to over fifty per cent. Granger has held one portfolio during his tenure as President: oil and gas, this he assumes reluctantly after widespread criticism and dissatisfaction surfaced about Raphael Trotman’s disastrous engagements with ExxonMobil, namely, the hidden $18 million bonus and the two per cent renegotiation. Granger has not accomplished anything in the O&G sector, and in fact, passed the work of securing the interests of Guyanese through local content legislation to Dr Mark Bynoe, a crony who wrote for Granger’s National Review publication. Bynoe also passed the buck; this work has been delegated to foreigners to the detriment of the local populace. Granger as President cannot match the achievements of Ali as Minister. I will concede that David Granger is unmatched in his incompetence, mismanagement, untrustworthiness, undermining of democracy, lack of vision, lack of leadership and his penchant for pursuit of the trivial.Over the coming months, Irfaan Ali will deliver speeches outlining his vision for Guyana’s future; they will be as detailed as articulate. In the same period, Granger will subject us to the vague ‘good life’ promise he has been making since Noah was a boy. Granger has promised much and delivered very little. Granger deliberately cloaks his incompetence in vagueness. Irfaan Ali’s promises will be made on deliverables, based on sound economic principles and an unmatched performance record.Respectfully,Robin Singh
– commences hearingsThe much anticipated Family Court has finally commenced operations and is currently hearing cases.The Family Court is located in the compound of the High CourtActing Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh, announced on Tuesday in statement that the Family Division of the High Court has been established and began hearing cases since May 6, 2016.It has been almost five years since the Family Court building was completed and handed over to Government. Works were ongoing for over seven years to have the Family Court established and in operation, but this was been constantly delayed over the past years.For almost a year, the delays were blamed on the acquisition of furniture and the hosting of Commissions of Inquiries (CoIs) at the building, located in the compound of the Georgetown Supreme Court, overlooking King Street.Then more recently, revision of the Rules of Law had caused the opening to push back. However, in February, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams had laid over the completed Rules of Law, which will govern the practices and procedures of the Family Court. The rules were completed a while ago but some “necessary amendments” had to be made.The Chancellor acknowledged the numerous hurdles that had beset the functioning of the facility, noting that the Supreme Court will treat those as lessons learnt.The Family Court will hear and determine all proceedings which touch and concern family matters. The procedure of the Family Court will be governed by the Family (Proceedings and Procedure) Rules 2016 (FPPR).The main applications that could be made to the Court are for divorce, custody and access, division of property, maintenance, guardianship, parentage orders including paternity orders, protection of children, wardship, variation of an existing order and breach of orders. The Court is meant to encourage dispute resolution, including alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and therefore will facilitate a participatory approach to problem solving so that family disputes can be dealt with justly and expeditiously while ensuring the welfare of family members, especially children.The Family Court will be presided over by two judges. However, the FPPR will be applied by Judges who are assigned to the Berbice and Essequibo jurisdictions of the High Court where the Court shall receive and hear applications at the New Amsterdam and Suddie High Courts respectively.The Court has its own registry for receiving applications in family matters and includes a child friendly space in the form of a Children’s Waiting Room for parties who are required to attend the Court. The well trained staff of this new registry are geared to provide a customer friendly process for persons who attend at the registry and the Court.The Court will work in close liaison with the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) in matters affecting the welfare of children. In addition, it is expected that parties to family court matters will utilise the Mediation Centre of the High Court.Justice Singh expressed appreciation to the Government of Guyana; the United Nations Children’s Fund; the Government and people of Canada, as well as its diplomatic representatives in Georgetown, for the support readily given to the training of Judges and support staff in the anticipated work of the Family Court.