Double standards – one obscener APNU/AFC weapon consolidating dictatorship

first_imgIt is too obscene for anyone to miss. The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) has effectively incorporated double standards in its arsenal of weapons to consolidate dictatorship in Guyana. They campaigned in 2015 on an agenda of change.But the May 2015 change of Government allowed dictatorship to return to Guyana. For those who still only see the threat of dictatorship, the bad news is Guyana has already become a dictatorship. The double standards we see being practiced every day are instruments of power perverted. These double standards represent yet another stark demonstration that Guyana has already become enmeshed into the dark days of dictatorship, days reminiscent of the Burnham/Hoyte People’s National Congress (PNC) authoritarian regime.APNU/AFC, similar to the PNC Governments between 1964 and 1992, simply do not care if anyone trusts them or not, they are only interested in maximising the use of any instrument that will reinforce their power. Those who, or those actions which are supportive of the Government, even if laws are broken and even if the actions are absolutely corrupted, are protected by “sovereign immunity”, a powerful weapon the State uses to enforce its dictatorial power. APNU/AFC is determined that it will govern, surpassing the PNC in its enforcement of the principle “the King can do no wrong”. That immunity extends to the “King’s” people.No one denies that high officials linked to APNU/AFC are associated with the ship recently caught with smuggled fuel. The Head of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) conceded that it was a criminal fuel smuggling operation. Yet the owners of the operation are getting away “scotch-free” – no punishment, nada. For this serious crime on the high seas, the owners simply have to pay the taxes owed for the fuel that the ship was caught with. Who believes this was the first ever smuggled fuel this ship was involved in? Was this smuggling operation not an open secret all along? What if the people associated with this ship with smuggled fuel were not linked to the Government? Without double-standards, the minimum would have been seizure of the ship and criminal charges against the owners or the operators.Blatant double standards are evident in the news that three low-level Police officers were transferred after a routine sitting of candidates for a drivers licence examination revealed there were 106 persons who physically took the exams, but there were 207 written exams at the end, 101 extra non-present candidates. How did this happen? To make matters worse, the three Policemen had no official or unofficial role to be present. Assuming, they were involved in the skullduggery all by themselves, why is it they are simply transferred? This is a crime and they should be charged with a crime. The soft-landing “punishment” is merely hiding the crime and allowing a pass.The issue of Government’s response to Rusal versus sugar workers provides a sinister insight into the muddy mind of this Government. We commend the Government for quickly meeting with the Rusal bauxite workers whose jobs are on the line because of the American sanctions against Rusal. The quick response by APNU/AFC to establish a task force that will seek to provide necessary support for the 200 plus Rusal workers, if and when they would have lost their jobs, is the right thing. The question is why no one in this Government thought of a similar task force, why they rejected a task force proposal in December 2016 and why the livelihood of 7000 sugar workers did not elicit a similar urgent response from APNU/AFC. There is a worrying double standard in APNU/AFC’s response in the case of the 200 Rusal workers whose jobs are on the line versus the 7000 sugar workers who have lost their jobs.Frighteningly, these few examples of double standards are just from this past week. If one cares to look, we will see the double standards every day. When Juan Edghill demanded to speak in Parliament, even as the Speaker was denying him his rights, Police was brought in to arrest him and his colleagues who joined him in standing up. The APNU/AFC leaders accused the PPP MPs of being disrespectful and undemocratic. Yet these same leaders smile when their Councillors refuse to allow any civil meeting of the Regional Democratic Councils in Regions Two and Five. Most Guyanese are willing to simply “smh” in disgust. APNU/AFC, however, is “lol” as they wreak havoc with disgusting double standards.last_img read more

GRA should have published its annual report on website

first_imgDear Editor,I refer to Mr Geoffrey Statia, the Commissioner General (CG) of GRA, responding to my letter captioned ‘Why has the GRA’s Annual Report for 2015 not been laid in Parliament?’While I welcome the steps he has outlined and his commitment to correct the inherent malfunction in meeting its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers, we must recognize that the Revenue Statement is not the published Annual Report. So the fact remains that the 2015 Annual Report of the GRA is still incomplete. So what next, Mr Statia?From Mr Statia’s discourse, it now begs the question: How can the public read the 2016 Annual Report of the Bank of Guyana (BoG) since April 2017, but cannot read the same for the GRA? Only the 2014 Annual Report of the GRA is complete? Isn’t GRA, according to Article 9 of the Revenue Authority Act, (1996), an independent body corporate similar to the BoG? And does it not have the power to trigger its own audit and its own annual report?Even if the GRA is dependent on the Audit Office to complete the laying of its report in Parliament, there is nothing stopping Mr Statia and the GRA from following the culture of public accountability that exists at the Central Bank. The GRA is struggling to adhere to the basics when it comes to transparency and accountability. I am hoping the Minister of Finance — especially Minister Jaipaul Sharma, who is known to be a stickler for following the law — would have a word with the GRA, so that entity can get into financial shape.This is an easy fix; like the Bank of Guyana, GRA should have the ability to publish its annual report on its website. The rule of law provides for it; the Guyanese taxpayers would welcome it; and therefore the only missing link is whether, at the very top of the GRA, there is a firm commitment to transparency, financial accountability and following the rule of law.Regards,Sase Singhlast_img read more

Murder suspect escapes from Police custody

first_imgAnthony Jhagroo, who was held in connection with the murder of mechanic Yogeshwar Shivcharran, who was beaten at Belle West, West Bank Demerara, escaped from Police custody on Wednesday morning.Yogeshwar Shivcharran and partner Aresa Persaud in happier timesAccording to reports, the man escaped during the wee hours of Wednesday morning, when there was an extended power outage in Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Four (Demerara-Mahaica).Reports are that at about 03:30h on Wednesday, the man, said to be in his early 20s, made his way through a gap in the wall of the holding area of the La Grange Police Station, West Bank Demerara.According to reports, there were two Police ranks on duty at the time of the escape. The two officers are being held under close arrest and the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating.Guyana Times understands that Police reportedly sent out a search team around 10:00h Wednesday morning, but up to late Wednesday evening, the man was not recaptured.Meanwhile, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum when contacted said he was unaware of the escape, but stressed that the officers who were on duty at the time could be charged for failing to report the escape.Police Detectives were awaiting the results of a post mortem-examination performed on Shivcharran before charging the suspect. Those results showed that the man died from blunt force trauma to the head and haemorrhaging.Shivcharran, of Belle West, West Bank Demerara, succumbed to his injuries six days after an alleged beating, reportedly at the hands of drunken neighbours.Relatives noted that Shivcharran suffered seizures and in a mental episode last Monday, July 4, he had removed his clothing and approached his neighbours who were consuming alcohol next door.Information received indicated that the man’s neighbours reportedly pelted the mechanic with beer bottles before beating him to his head and body. Shivcharran was treated at the West Demerara Regional Hospital before he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday night. Before the suspect in custody fled, Police on Monday had questioned and released three women in connection with the crime.The suspect was being held at the La Grange Police Station since Tuesday following the Police investigations. … sneaked through gap in station walllast_img read more

Region 5 RDC meeting disrupted again

first_imgAs the ongoing saga between members of the two political entities of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) continues, the nation’s national pledge has been caught up in the dispute. In an interview with Guyana Times on Saturday, Region Five Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal disclosed that last Thursday’s RDC meeting was disrupted once again.A section of the gathering at last Thursday’s disrupted meetingHe told this publication that only the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Councillors, along with newly appointed Regional Executive Officer, Ovind Morrinson and his staff, stood for the recital of the national pledge.“For the national pledge, all of the Councillors of the PPP were standing there, the recently appointed REO and his staff stood up and they had recited the national pledge while Councillors from the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC remain seated so they disrespected the national pledge,” the Chairman pointed out.“Mr Morrison had attended his first statutory meeting there. I had introduced him, I had welcomed him to the region and I had given him the opportunity to address the Council; however, the Councillors continued with their disrespectful behaviour and did not allow him although he was standing on the floor, and had entered his presentation but because of their disrespectfulness, he had to discontinue,” the Chairman expressed further.Ramphal opined that it is the duty of all citizens to honour the pledge.“They are more disrespectful now because every individual of this land should respect the pledge of this land despite their political affiliation, religion or race… they should have stood at the time when the national pledge was recited,” Ramphal surmised.He also indicated that he then asked to be excused and gave way for the Regional Vice Chairman, Rion Peters, to continue the meeting, but he was also disallowed from presiding.Guyana Times has learnt that the new REO had expected the meeting to move forward as he reportedly stated his intention to work with the RDC to advance the work of the region.Earlier this month, Ramphal had contended that because of the lack of monthly statutory meetings, there was a lack of transparency with regard to the RDC’s financial operations. He had stated that the lack of meetings was also affecting the degree to which there could be effective monitoring of projects that were awarded and he had made calls for former REO, Roderick Edinboro, to be clear on the region’s financial records.The issue that has led to the constant disruption of RDC meetings, stemmed from Councillors of the APNU/AFC demanding an apology from the Chairman, premised on claims that Ramphal had disrespected President David Granger by not showing up for an event on January 15, where the President commissioned two buses under the then Three ‘Bs’ initiative.Ramphal has however argued that he was never invited to the event, and as such, there was no need to apologise.Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo late last month expressed that Government should condemn what he described as “thuggery” at the Region Five RDC.“President Granger, who talks a lot about social cohesion and allowing local government organs to work, should look at what his Government is doing,” Jagdeo had pointed out.last_img read more

The end of an era: Fort St. John says goodbye to the Condill Hotel

first_imgEvans says to him, that area will always be the Condill and he will always have the memories. “It had running water and it was heated water and you could go in and for 75 cents have a bath. A lot of people did it.”There were three hotels at the time. The Condill, The Frontier Inn and The Fort.Evans says that due to the age of the building, there isn’t much that can be done in terms of restoration.“Buildings like that have a lifespan unfortunately and it is time for it to go. You couldn’t buy it and drag it into the 21st century, it isn’t practical.”Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Condill Hotel has been purchased by the City of Fort St. John and with plans for demolition, some will still have memories of the historic hotel.The hotel was built in 1942 during the construction of the Alaska Highway. It also turns 75 this year.The original owners Con Hergot and Joe Dill built the hotel.- Advertisement -Larry Evans says the hotel will have memories for many people, including himself.“It was a place to stay at the time because it was a modern hotel. What they did is, Con took his first name and Joe took his last name and they called in the ‘Condill’ and that is how it got its name.”Evans noted that one of the main things about the hotel was the fact that it had hot, running water.Advertisementlast_img read more

Coach Arena confirms Liverpool captain Gerrard to join MLS Side LA Galaxy

first_img1 Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will join MLS side LA Galaxy in the summer, according to coach Bruce Arena.The Reds skipper has agreed a deal with the American franchise, and will complete a switch when his contract expires at the end of the season.Gerrard, who claims he would have signed a new contract at Anfield if it had been offered at the start of this campaign, has been at the Merseyside club for 17 years.And, speaking in an interview with the LA Times, Arena confirmed the former England skipper will move to America.“Steven Gerrard arrives in July and by then we will certainly have a plan available,” he said. “He’s a player of quality. I’m not concerned about how he’s going to fit in with our team.“We have a club now with a proven history of success. All those things go hand in hand in making LA Galaxy a very attractive team for players such as Gerrard.”Galaxy president Chris Klein described the Reds captain as “the perfect fit”.“We just started thinking in the universe of players that are out there, we want to make a decision on what signifies a Galaxy-designated player.“When we look at that, Gerrard is the perfect fit with what he brings to us on the field and the character that he has off it.” Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard last_img read more

East Coast flight delays blamed on computer

first_imgLinda Rutherford, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines Co., said the airline experienced delays on about 40 percent of its 3,300 daily flights – the majority due to the air-traffic control problems. Bryan Baldwin, a spokesman for JetBlue Airways Corp., said some flights experienced delays as long as four hours, and said the problem is likely to continue into the evening. “The New York metro area is the most congested air space in the country,” Baldwin said. “When there’s any type of interruption to the air traffic system, it’s going to affect the most congested areas the most.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Delays for arriving flights at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport averaged nearly four hours early Friday evening, the FAA said. Doug Church, a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said the problem forced controllers to enter flight information manually, which he described as a time-consuming practice. “With some of these East Coast airports, nothing is getting in right now,” Church said Friday afternoon. AMR Corp.’s American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner acknowledged the computer troubles and said the nation’s largest carrier experienced about 50 cancellations on the East Coast, with New York’s LaGuardia departures being hit the hardest. Hundreds of flights in both directions were delayed for two to three hours at New York’s two other major airports, Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International, said Steve Coleman, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Betsy Talton, a spokeswoman for Delta Air Lines Inc., said the Atlanta-based airline was experiencing delays of roughly two hours Friday in the Northeast, but she attributed the backlog to thunderstorms. WASHINGTON – A cascading computer failure in the nation’s air-traffic control system caused severe flight delays and some cancellations Friday along the East Coast. A computer system in Atlanta that processes pilots’ flights plans and sends them to air-traffic controllers failed early Friday, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Diane Spitaliere said. In response, the agency rerouted the system’s functions to another computer in Salt Lake City, which overloaded because of the increased volume of data, magnifying the problem. The FAA could not immediately calculate the number of flight delays caused by the problem, which was made worse by bad weather, Spitaliere said. Airlines experienced thousands of delays, some lasting several hours, in what was shaping up to be one of the country’s worst days this year for air travel. Although the computer malfunctions were fixed shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, their impact lingered on into the late afternoon, especially in New York, where computer systems took two extra hours to connect with the central system in Atlanta, the FAA said. Spitaliere said the flight delays in the rest of the country were not as severe. last_img read more

TRANSFER LATEST: Crystal Palace target loan deal for Al-Ahli striker

first_img1 Crystal Palace are eyeing a loan move for Moussa Sow, according to reports in France.The 30-year-old striker is currently plying his trade for UAE side Al-Ahli but is apparently keen on testing himself in the Premier League before his career is up and Palace are open to a short-term deal.The Eagles are desperate to revamp their frontline having parted with Emmanuel Adebayor and Dwight Gayle this summer and have seen bids for Michy Batshuayi and Cristian Benteke fall through.It appears that Palace are still pursuing Benteke, but are also keen to bring in Sow to provide support for the Belgian.According to L’Equipe, Palace have made contact with Sow’s agents and Al-Ahli representatives about a move.Born in France, Sow began his career at Rennes and has played for Lille and Fenerbahce.He has also made 29 appearances for Senegal. Moussa Sow in action for Fenerbahce last_img read more

Convict must pay victim’s family

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FERNANDO – An illegal immigrant convicted of vehicular manslaughter in connection with a crash that killed an off-duty paramedic from Antelope Valley has been ordered to pay $21,000 to the victim’s family. San Fernando Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen issued the restitution order Thursday against Juan Bibinz, 39, who is serving a four-year prison term. Bibinz, a Littlerock resident, pleaded guilty in May to the vehicular manslaughter charge stemming from the crash that killed Michael S. Sprinkles on Sept. 6 on a rural stretch of Sierra Highway in Agua Dulce. Bibinz’s auto crossed the center divider and hit Sprinkles’ vehicle head-on, according to witnesses. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Sprinkles, a 37-year-old father of two, had worked 10 years for ambulance company American Medical Response. Bibinz, who was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers at the scene, had prior felony convictions, served time in state prison, used numerous aliases and was deported in 1999, according to authorities. He returned to the U.S. illegally and faces deportation again after his release from prison.last_img read more

Police Need Help Identifying Man Pulled From Flatrock River

first_imgHe is currently in critical condition at Methodist Hospital.  Indiana Conservation Officers are currently trying to identify the man.He was described by witnesses as being a white male in his thirties and dressed in an orange jacket.  If you know who this man may be, please call Indiana Conservation Officer Dispatch at 812-837-9536. Indiana Conservation Officers need help identifying a man that went over a low head dam in Shelby County. At approximately 1:00 this afternoon, witnesses saw a male in a Bass tracker Bantam boat go over the low head dam on Flatrock River in the Vandalia/Geneva area. The man was pulled from the water by Shelby County Swift Water Rescue Team. last_img