Why didn’t the President visit Rose Hall?

first_imgDear Editor,It was pleasing to see that President David Granger during a visit to Berbice on March 16, 2018 took some time to meet with laid-off security guards in New Amsterdam. According to the release from the President’s office, His Excellency reportedly said: “… it is beyond unreasonable for workers to be left without salaries for such a long period”. Those are indeed positive words from President Granger.But while heartened by that interaction, wasn’t it most unreasonable that the President, though a stone’s throw away, did not visit the now jobless, ex-sugar workers of Rose Hall, who are also facing difficulties. President Granger, at his swearing-in on May 16, 2015, said: “I shall be a good President for all the people.” Certainly, a good President would have ventured to see how the people of Rose Hall are making out since they lost their jobs and to see what assistance he could give.Rather, the President chose to send Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who, in his usual self, put his foot in his mouth and made incorrect assertions. Mr President, I urge you to live up to your commitment to be a good President and give all our people a Good Life.Yours faithfully,Liebert Alleynelast_img read more

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1 in custody as investigation continues

first_imgBy Kizzy ColemanPolice have arrested and are interrogating a man for the murder of the two Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) rice farmers who were killed after bandits set their home ablaze on Sunday night.Dead: Mohammed and Bibi MunirBibi Munir, 70, and her husband Mohammed Munir, 77, of Lot 16 Good Hope, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) were killed in the fire following a botched robbery.Speaking with Guyana Times on Tuesday, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum said that Police have one man in custody who is currently being questioned.Late Sunday evening, pandemonium broke out at Good Hope when several armed men invaded the premises of the two prominent rice farmers and after not being able to gain access to them, torched their house burning them alive.Eyewitnesses said that around 23:15h, gunshots were heard and upon investigation it was discovered that the house of the couple was on fire.Neighbours of the victims ran out of their homes to render assistance to the couple who were heard yelling for help.Residents of Good Hope as well as the Fire Service worked hard to save the couple, but all efforts proved futile as the grilled room that the couple had hidden in caved in trapping them inside.They subsequently burnt to death which the post-mortem examination confirmed.Meanwhile, the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) in a release called for the haemorrhaging of innocent lives by crime to cease as this incident is the most recent in a spate of crimes in Guyana.The IAC, in forthrightly condemning these latest incidents, called upon the authorities to immediately implement effective security measures to curb these attacks on Guyanese.It is urging the authorities to ensure that security is given more importance as it believes that the fear that continues to be instilled in the hearts of the citizenry can no longer be tolerated.The Committee noted that it has expressed similar sentiments in the past for countermeasures to be implemented as swiftly as possible so as to stop the haemorrhaging of innocent lives.The IAC took the opportunity to express condolences to the immediate family and relatives of the victims and called on civil society to join in its call.Meanwhile, late Tuesday afternoon, Mahendra Persaud, of Wakenaam, Essequibo, lost his life in Georgetown after being attacked and robbed by an armed bandit (see story on page 14). Good Hope fire/homicide– IAC calls for end to haemorrhaging of innocent liveslast_img read more

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The man, a convicted fraudster to be charged soon – Police source

first_imgAccording to information reaching Guyana Times, Tameshwar Beekham, 38, of Crabwood Creek, Corentyne,Tameshwar BeekhamBerbice, is expected to be charged before the end of the week in relation to a series of death threats he issued to the Leader of the Opposition and former President Bharrat Jagdeo and a number of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) parliamentarians.Beekham, a self-professed A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) supporter, took to his Facebook page and ranted over the idealisation of the APNU/AFC Government’s accomplishments and vision of former President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, and openly stated his intentions to target Freedom House and “murder” Jagdeo and the PPP/C.Beekham was arrested on June 6 by Police in Springlands and was subsequently transferred to the Criminal Investigations Department, in Georgetown.According to a Police source, the man has confessed to investigators about his threats. “He admitted to the threats on Facebook and so we should proceed with instituting charges,” a Police source related to this newspaper.According to the man’s Facebook page, he had encounters with the Police in relation to the same issue, but still continued his anger filled threats.Beekham however, is no stranger to the courts and prisons as he was jailed for seven years on charges of fraud. According to reports, he allegedly fraudulently obtained money from a number of persons while he was a Customs Officer employed with the Berbice Anti-Smuggling Squad (BASS). He even stated that he was wanted for three years.Beekham was convicted for fraud and served a seven-year prison sentence from August 26, 2005 until November 24, 2012.His actions come on the heels of a recent incident where Police had detained a 52-year-old woman, who allegedly posted racially-inciting social media comments about African Guyanese, and what appeared to be threats to President David Granger.The woman has since been charged for attempting to excite hostility on the grounds of race contrary to Section 2 (1) (C) of the Racial Hostility Act, Chapter 23:01 of the Criminal Offences Act. Her Facebook post stated that “Granger want a bullet in head… I am out of a job now because of them.”last_img read more

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F Division launches Bartica Youth Summer Programme

first_imgThe Guyana Police Force is continuing to work diligently to have youths across the country engaged in constructive activities under its crime prevention initiative.F Division Commander Ravindranauth Budhram along with facilitators and participants of the summer programme at the launch on MondayTo this end, F Division (Interior locations) on Monday launched a summer programme in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). The programme, which will last for two weeks, targets children between the ages of six and 16.During the summer programme, the participants will be engaged in various activities and interactive sessions. Some of these activities include football, cricket, singing, and crafting sessions in floral arrangements and sewing (designing patterns), among other activities.The facilitators of the summer programme will include members of the Police Force, teachers and other volunteers from the town of Bartica. Senior Superintendent and Divisional Commander Ravindradat Budhram disclosed that at the end of the two-week programme, there will be an exhibition for the parents of the participants to view the pieces created by the children.According to the Divisional Commander, the aim of the programme is to get youths in Bartica meaningfully involved and occupied during the school break.“The youths today will be the leaders of the future, and therefore this programme will enhance their ability to interact with each other and work as a team. It will also help them to strive to be part of the solution in keeping their community safe,” Commander Budhram stated.last_img read more

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Govt defends decision as PPP predicts recipe for disaster

first_imgDelinking environment from Natural Resources MinistryGovernment is defending its decision to establish a separate department with responsibility for the environment while the parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) predicts disaster.State Minister Joseph HarmonMinister of State, Joseph Harmon, chairing this week’s post-Cabinet press briefing, disclosed that the move to remove overview of the environment sector from the Natural Resources Ministry was to lessen the responsibilities which lie on the shoulders of the subject Minister Raphael Trotman.He explained that in so doing, it will alleviate potential conflicts which often existed between the simultaneous management of the extractive industries and the environment.In this vein, President David Granger made the decision to have responsibility of the environment be handed over to a Department of the Environment under the Ministry of the Presidency, since a number of environmental areas, including the Office of Climate Change, are already there.Prompted for a comment on this development, PPP/C Chief Whip and Executive Member Gail Teixeira laughed at the apparent indecisiveness of the Government in outlining how it wants its ministries to function.Making reference to the many changes in Ministries and transfers of Ministers since the coalition’s assumption to office, Teixeira sarcastically declared that the reigning confusion was making it challenging to keep track of who was responsible for which sector of the country.On a more serious note, however, she explained that these constant changes are a demonstration of ineptitude and an undermining of the public service.“They (public servants) like to know where they are, they like to know their supervisors, they like continuity, they don’t like that one morning you wake up and you are with this minister, the next morning you wake up and you’re with another minister and then suddenly you are moving back; you then find yourself making arrangements to move to another building and then suddenly you moving back to another building. This is a recipe for disaster in a public service,” she stated.Teixeira added that the situation could also arise where important files go missing as a result of the numerous moves.Furthermore, former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall pointed out that this move will result in financial chaos in the accounting system.“Because we had a national budget where the National Assembly approves line items situated under a particular ministry and now it is cut in half or quarter and transferred over…there are financial implications on how they will account for the money and without parliamentary scrutiny. That is why these abrupt changes are minimised because it leads to mismanagement,” he explained.last_img read more

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Transforming Rural Settlements into Engines of Socio-economic Growth

first_imgA German humanitarian has urged Liberians and their support partners to join in the transformation of rural communities/settlements into vibrant socio-economic belts for development, growth and progress.Mr. Rudolf Janke made the statement recently in the transformed village of Konjorloe/Konjorlahun while discussing with women, chiefs and elders on the importance of micro-credit for their socio-economic improvement in Foya Statutory District, Lofa County.For the past four years, Mr. Janke and his support partners in Germany and Liberians in the United States of America have assisted the citizens and residents of Konjorloe and other villages in the areas of sanitation and infrastructure development.As a result of such accomplishments, other sustained plans are now being worked out to include other villages that have demonstrated some initiative in maintaining the critically needed sanitation facilities.Mr. Janke and partners through the Village People’s Empowerment (VIPE) has rendered assistance to rural dwellers through the reconstruction of Konjorloe, a village that was completely destroyed during the 15 years civil conflict in Liberia.Mr. Janke, women, men and a team of professional Liberians of VIPE have worked hard and restored critical sanitation facilities such as modern bathrooms and latrines.The German national reminded the interest free soft loans beneficiaries that paying the loans on time were critical to the extension of similar assistance to other needy communities in the Foya Statutory District.According to him, livelihood components in the form of goats, sheep and others could not be sustained due to the destructive nature of the domestic animals to crops such as rice, cassava and variety of foodstuffs.He said that VIPE is also providing some assistance to the school feeding program and some of the teachers are being paid by local non-governmental organizations.The VIPE team and Mr. Janke also developed strategies that have enabled the citizens and residents of Konjorloe to build better houses through soft loans under a revolving scheme for the past four years of operations.Other critical projects undertaken and completed include rehabilitation of the school, a new mid-wives’ residence and recruiting business instructor Florence Korsor to train the rural women in better business practices.Despite the multiple challenges in working with the rural dwellers so they can understand the repayment of the interest of the free soft loans, significant progress has been made in the lives of the citizens and residents of Konjorloe.In separate interviews the residents of Konjorloe village expressed gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Janke and the team from the VIPE for the assistance over the years.Beneficiary Tawah Kumba Borwah, 45, told the Daily Observer that the interest free soft loan initiative has transformed her life and her family of five children.“I really want the soft loan initiative to be extended to other villages in the area,” Madam Borwah stressed.Madam Lusu Momo, 48, said that the soft loans have given their house hold splendid socio-economic benefits such as the paying of school fees and other social benefits.“Me and my family of six children have greatly benefited as we now live in a better house and have good sanitation facilities,” explained Madam Momo.In related developments, plans are being developed to educate more trainers of the micro-credit component of the VIPE’s socio-economic empowerment of rural Liberians in that part of the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Japan Assures Support to Liberia’s Development

first_imgThe Charge d’Affaires of the Japanese Embassy, Mr. Shigeru Umetsu, said Japan intends to continue supporting Liberia in the energy and infrastructure sectors. His country is not only focusing its support to Liberia on the Ebola Virus Disease.Speaking at the official handing over ceremony of the seven ambulances and 48 beds at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mr. Umetsu expressed his deepest condolences to the people of Liberia.The Japanese Charge d’ Affaires recalled that Japan was fast in responding to the Liberian people through financial and material assistance during the early outbreak of the virus.He promised that Japan will not stop supporting Liberia in the fight against Ebola but also lead Liberia back on the development track and continue to stand side by side with Liberia.The Japanese Diplomat stressed that despite the distance between Liberia and Japan, the Japanese people are very determined to support the Liberian people in the fight against Ebola, as the fight against Ebola is an international fight which includes Japan.Representing the Government of Liberia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sylvester Grigsby, expressed appreciation to the Japanese government for the donation.  He recognized that it hailed not just from government to government but also from people to people.Mr. Grigsby recalled that since the beginning of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration, Japan has been there for the Liberian people. The partnership between both countries has seen projects including the reopening of the Japan-Liberia Friendship Hospital, the ground breaking for the four-lane Somalia Drive project, and the Japan Food Aid under the “KR Two” program.Speaking at the Health Ministry, where the handing over ceremony took place, the Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister mentioned that the Liberian Ambassador in Tokyo had also been receiving phone calls and held meetings with students, members of Japan’s Parliament and ordinary Japanese willing to contribute to the fight against Ebola in Liberia. The Liberian Ambassador said there is currently a container at the Embassy in Japan with more than 1000 students’ footwear, gloves, PPEs and body bags awaiting shipment to Liberia.On behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan and the Government and People of Liberia, Mr. Grigsby thanked the Government and People of Japan for the solidarity that has not only been expressed but demonstrated.For His part, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel Addy recalled the launching of Liberia’s transformation  agenda and Japan’s focused assistance on the infrastructure segment of the agenda.Minister Addy stated that Japan and Liberia were in the process of building the Somalia Drive before the outbreak of Ebola.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Land Commission, FAO Conduct 3-Day Workshop

first_imgThe Land Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are conducting a 3-day awareness workshop on responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security.Speaking at the official opening of the workshop on Tuesday, June 17, at the S. Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church, the FAO Country Director to Liberia, Jean-Alexandre Scaglia, said this is the beginning of tangible national and international efforts on the voluntary guidelines on the governance of tenure of land, fishery and forests for the country.Mr. Scaglia said the mission is to promote responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests with emphasis on all tenure of private, public communal, indigenous, customary and informal land.Mr. Scaglia said, the goals of the guidelines are to achieve food security for all and support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security in Liberia.   “This is the effort towards the eradication of hunger and poverty, and also intended to contribute to achieving sustainable livelihoods, social stability, housing security, rural development, environmental protection and sustainable social and economic development for the people.”According to the FAO Country Representative, the guidelines cover three key areas that are crucial for the attainment of food security, rural development and social and economic development as well as cross cutting issues.Mr. Scaglia said, Liberia stands to attract more investments in agriculture, fishery and forestry if farmers, community people, and ordinary citizens are supported in getting not only access but also right to land, and fishery and forestry they need.The three areas includes land, that allow families and other citizens to produce food for consumption and increase income through the sale of produce from their farms, fisheries, the secure the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on marine and inland fisheries, and forestry, that improved governance such as effective law enforcement, reduced corruption, and greater transparency to promote sustainable forest management.Also speaking at the workshop, Dr. C. Othello Brandy, Chairman, Land Commission, said this was an opportunity for people of national concern to discuss the way forward of food and security to Liberia.“We hope that the results of the workshop will have the practical measures put into place to increase the issue of access to land by women and men including children both in the rural and urban areas in the country,” Chairman Brandy hoped.Dr. Brandy said the issue of funding was one of the problems, stating that there is a need for government to create the necessary condition that will empower farmers in their production.The program brought together over 100 persons, including members of civil society organizations, staffs of Land Commission, FAO representatives other government officials.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Clinton Wants Liberians to Fight Stigmatization

first_imgFormer United States President, Bill Clinton, has called on Liberians to desist from stigmatizing Ebola survivors but rather embrace them and make them feel part of the Liberian society.  Speaking during a one day visit to the country on Monday, President Clinton said, “Don’t be afraid of them [Ebola survivors]; they are okay. They should be embraced, rather than discriminated against.”  President Clinton made the comments to reporters at the Emergency Operations Center on 18th Street in Sinkor. He held a meeting with the Incidence Management System (IMS) and partners (local and international) who have assisted Liberia in its fight against the Ebola virus disease.  Prior to the meeting, President Clinton interacted with some Ebola survivors, including the leadership of the Ebola Survivors Network who shared with him some of the challenges they face as individuals and as a network.  The president of the network, Patrick Faley, highlighted problems affecting them. He summed these up as discrimination, stigmatization, and access to jobs and healthcare.  President Clinton, responding said they were in the country because they didn’t want the world to forget about them. “We want to do what we can to help. I want the people in Liberia not to discriminate against you. They should not be afraid,” he urged Liberians, adding, “We have to get past this stigma. We can’t have your countrymen and women discriminate.   They should celebrate with you that you survived and help you deal with these other problems that come up.”  President Clinton’s call for an end to stigmatization comes with just few days left for the World Health Organization to declare Liberia free of the deadly virus.   The former US president said it is necessary to support Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery plan and assist President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf rebuild the country’s healthcare delivery system, specifically in training more healthcare workers. “We need to get the funds in here to train community health workers and other health practitioners to make sure you don’t get this disease,” he said.  President Clinton and his daughter Chelsea are on a nine-day visit of four African countries to observe foreign projects the Clinton Global Initiative has supported which is connected to healthcare, global warming, wildlife protection, education and agriculture. They have already visited Tanzania, Kenya and are now on their way to Morocco on the last leg of the African tour. This is the 12th time President Clinton has visited Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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AU Describes Ellen as ‘Africa Asset’

first_imgThe Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of States and Government of the African Union (AU), Zimbabwe’s President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has described President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as an asset to the African Union (AU), and the African continent and its people.President Mugabe, who praised President Sirleaf for her commitment and hard work in the cause of the African continent, said her continual contribution to the improvement of the continent is highly laudable.According to a dispatch from Johannesburg, South Africa, President Mugabe made the comments following the back to back presentation of reports on the African Union High Level Committee (AU-HLC) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum AU-HLC and the APRM Forum on the final day of the 25th AU Summit held at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. He termed the reports as “substantive and informative”.President Sirleaf chaired the AU High Level Committee of ten Heads of States and Government and the APRM Forum for the last two years.According to the dispatch, President Sirleaf, in her report, outlined the various activities that have been undertaken by the committee as well as the current status of the Common African Position (CAP) which are to be integrated and incorporated in the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).She informed the Summit that the Committee of African Negotiators is currently engaged in consultations at the United Nations headquarters in New York to ensure the integration of the CAP into the new global development agenda.President Sirleaf was one of three Co-chairs of the Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda constituted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon representing the African continent.On the African Peer Review Mechanism Forum report, the Liberia leader, who recently passed the baton over the Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyetta, highlighted achievements, pointed out challenges and constraints faced and proposed recommendations on how to effectively mitigate such obstacles and ensure that the APRM Forum achieves its objectives promoting good governance and consolidating the processes of democratization, transparency and accountability, peace and security and the rule of law and human rights across the African continent.During the Ebola session later, African leaders praised President Sirleaf for leading her country into freedom, describing her leadership during the Ebola crisis as extraordinary, exemplary and outstanding. They called for extreme caution and the avoidance of complacency considering that Guinea and Sierra Leone are still reporting cases.President Sirleaf provided briefings on the current state of affairs of the Ebola crisis and outlined measures being taken to avoid a reoccurrence of the virus in Liberia, including regional collaboration and common interventions along the border.She reflected on the incredible and outstanding role of the AU Ebola mission (ASEOWA) and thanked the continent for standing with Liberia through ASEOWA and other interventions including financial, logistical, human, technical and other forms of support. She said the Liberian government and people will remain grateful with the AU for the assistance.Other issues handled on the final day of the summit included discussions on the work of the Peace and Security Council, the outcome of the Dakar Summit on Higher Education, the adoption of Decisions, Declarations, Reports, Resolutions and Outcome of the 25th African Union Summit, among others.She thanked President Jacob Zuma and the South African people of hosting the Summit and for the hospitality shown; to President Mugabe for his leadership, wisdom and skills demonstrated; and to Dr. Nkosazana Zuma, for a good job done as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.She congratulated her colleagues for their participation and for qualitatively deliberating the issues brought forth at the 25th AU Summit, wishing them God’s speed and safe journey back to their respective countries.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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