Under the premise of being dedicated to providing medical services, The Save-A-Life Inc was on Saturday officially launched.The charitable foundation will utilise the volunteer work of predominantly medical practitioners to venture into rural, unserved areas in order to provide comprehensive medical care and services. “Three months ago, she (Dr Bemaul) called me to assist in forming a legal charitable organisation to continue to do medical outreaches and here we are today,” were the words of Mohamed Karimullah, a Director of the organisation. In highlighting reasons for creating the foundation, Karimullah stated that, “There are people who do not access community health centres for various reasons such as prejudice, cultural stigma, poverty, old age, disability and lack of some form of support.”The charity’s mission is to enhance quality of life through adequate healthcare and non-medical charities in a sustained manner through collaborating with governmental and non-governmental organisations. According to Dr Kamela Bemaul-Sukhu, another Director of the charity, the launch was held in order to create awareness of the organisation, announce their intentions, attract volunteers and inspire donations/funding.The Save-A-Life Inc aims to attract medical and non-medical volunteers who will assist in the outreaches. They plan to set up “satellite groups” in different areas of the country, which will create a list of patients who are in need of the organisation’s help, so that the outreaches can be more effective. Dr Bemaul has expressed intentions of going into areas such as East Berbice, Madhia, Islands on the Essequibo River, Georgetown orphanages and The Palms.Apart from the donations and funding they are hoping to receive, the charity has outlined a number of fundraising activities to allocate monies for their outreaches. In fact, two of those fundraisers have already been held in the forms of a take-away lunch and car wash. Dr Kamela Bemaul-Sukhu, Mohamed Karimullah, Devindra Sukhu, Dr Philicia Findlay and Dr Navindranauth Rambarran all make up the Board of Directors for the charity. They strongly believe in selfless service and guarantee that all funds and donations are directly put towards providing care and supplies for their future patients.
Members of the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) took the streets on Thursday to observe a silent protest, in light of the No-Confidence Motion that was disallowed by Mayor Patricia Chase Green earlier this week.Initially, the motion which was filed by former Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan against Town Clerk Royston King, was disallowed by Mayor Chase Green at a statutory meeting held on Monday, although it was scheduled to be discussed.Evidently, this had raised some concerns of members of the MAPM who questioned the ability of the Town Clerk to perform his duties and their disapprovalSome of the protesters holding placards calling for the removal of Mayor Patricia Chase Green and Town Clerk Royston Kingof some of the decisions taken by Mayor Chase Green.As such, the citizens have decided to raise their voices in support of the Duncan’s motion. The protest was an hour long, conducted on Regent Street, opposite City Hall and saw approximately 30 persons holding placards with slogans calling for the removal of the Mayor and Town Clerk.One of the protesters, Alana King stated, “The bottom line is we have no confidence in the Mayor or the Town Clerk. We would like to have the Town Clerk removed from his position.”She later stated that the behaviour displayed at City Hall by the Mayor and the Town Clerk is very disturbing to the citizens and those in attendance. There are cases when decisions taken by King were not consulted with the Council. As such, she believes that there must be accountability and the Mayor should be held responsible, adding “She [the Mayor] is condoning his actions.”“The evidence is before us that the Town Clerk’s actions in the recent months…I’m floored as a citizen by his actions,” King added.While majority of the council has approved of Royston King as the Town Clerk, the MAPM members still believe that King is incapable of performing his said duties and disapprove some of the decisions that were taken by him and Mayor Chase Green.Another member of the MAPM, Don Singh, who also spoke to Guyana Times, stated the duo must be removed because of the mismanagement of monies that the Council obtains and the use of the revenues for personal objectives.“If you were here on Monday, you would’ve seen them [the Councillors] orchestrate the Town Clerk’s defence and was then adapted by the Council within about 10 seconds,” he stated.Singh highlighted that despite the fact that the City Hall building needs to be renovated, $57 million worth of office equipment was purchased for the Town Clerk’s office. Fees for various services are constantly being raised by the Council.“They use Georgetown as their personal piggy-bank. They take what they want. Last week’s budget was passed with 10 Councillors and not even a proper quorum,” he stated.Meanwhile, later that day was the election at City Hall, which they believe was pre-determined and the Mayor will win again. Singh presumed that Lionel Jaikaran, who is in favour of the motion, will not be elected but Akeem Peter will.“We don’t have democracy. Everything is preordained and set-up from the get-go,” he added.As expected, Mayor Chase Green won the elections and Akeem Peter was appointed as the Deputy Mayor. However, they have pledged “to do their best to have her removed” from City Hall.Nevertheless, when asked if the protest will continue, the protesters noted that with the upcoming Local Government Elections in a few months, they will not stop until results are evident calling the leadership at City Hall “an undeniable fracas being unleashed on the poor citizens of Georgetown.”
After being mired in controversy following the crowning of Rafeiya Husain as the local representative to compete for the Miss Universe 2017 crown, Guyana has now been reportedly banned from participating in the international pageant for the next two years.A committee member revealed that after complaints were filed which indicated that the Director of the Miss Universe organisation in Guyana ran an illegitimate competition, an investigation was launched by the pageant’s head organisation.Based on findings of results tampering, etc, Director Jyoti Hardat has now been allegedly fired and Guyana given the ban.Guyana Times attempted several times to contact Hardat in New York for a response and confirmation, but the calls went unanswered and were not returned.The organisation will reportedly be issuing a press statement next week.After Husain’s crowning at York College Performing Arts Center in New York, the 15 other delegates reported that the pageant was rigged, and Husain was hand-picked as the winner even though the crown was not rightfully hers.The young women alleged mistreatment, sexual harassment, and disrespect by the organisation.Some took to social media and told tales of what occurred during their Miss Universe journey.Two contestants who spoke out were Altea Kelly and Sharisse Victor.According to Kelly, Hardat introduced her to “a potential sponsor” who later made sexual advances towards her.A number of committee members who confirmed the accusations by the delegate also immediately resigned.The pageant received many negative views after Husain, who was the 2016 pageant’s runner-up, entered to compete despite the fact that the pageant contract specifically asked that the delegates not be a current title holder or first runner-up in any national pageant.Section One, Sub-section ‘H’ of the delegates’ contract reads: “I represent and warrant that I have never been a contestant or delegate in a previous Miss Universe Pageant. I am not the current title holder or first runner-up in any national pageant or competition.”Delegates complained of her being given special treatment throughout the journey and privileges.Husain, however, did not place in the international pageant despite the high hopes of some Guyanese.She took to social media some time after the pageant to reveal that she got little to no support from Guyana during her time in the international pageant.
Fuel price hike– signal fare increase from June 14Linden’s hire car drivers, referred to as “hundred dollar” short drop car drivers, struck on Monday over the recent hike in fuel prices and Government’s non-intervention.The Wisroc-Amelia’s Ward car parkThey have also signalled intent to increase fares in the Linden community. While some are awaiting 72 hours before facilitating the increases of an additional $40 and $100 to the existing $100 and $200 fares, others have already started implementing them.The drivers, who ply the Mackenzie to Wismar route, ceased operations for several hours on Monday morning, proposing through their association that the fare be moved from $100 to $140 for short drops and $200 to $300 for off-road jobs.Persons in the community have since noted that the effects will be significantly felt, since the cars are one of the main sources of public transportation in the community.“We, the drivers of the Wisroc/Amelia’s Ward short drop cars, are hereby notifying the general public that (there) (sic) will be an increase of cars fares from $100 to $140 for short drops and $300 off road. School children in uniform will pay $100. Out of uniform $140. This is effective from Thursday 14th June 2018,” the circular passed around to drivers with respect to the increases stated.Speaking with this publication, some drivers vented their frustration over the situation, noting that the gasoline prices have skyrocketed. “We know that when gasoline rises it affects everybody directly or indirectly. Gasoline would have risen so high that you have to pay extra money for the parts on your vehicle, the wear and tear and everything; therefore it affects us. I personally feel if they could drop the gasoline back or, we know they wouldn’t want to drop it back; so we’re calling for an increase in our fares. For quite some time, we’ve been operating at a hundred dollars even though prices have been going up. But in the month of May, the prices made a high jump from like $219 to like $235 a litre,” one of the car operators indicated.He added that he believes it is only fair that the fares increase to cushion the effects on drivers and vehicle owners. In support of the increase for off-road jobs, the driver pointed to the deplorable condition of the road in the community. “We got some terrible roads to deal with man…When you go to Wisroc (on) these roads, you have to go through trails, because the potholes are so numerous. Even the taxis are raising (costs) because the rising price of gas does not only affect the hundred-dollar cars, it affects the minibuses and the special hire taxis also,” he said. When asked if car operators will await the go ahead from Government before implementing the increases, the driver noted that the drivers are private operators and are therefore responsible for setting their own tariffs.Meanwhile, some drivers are not in support of the increases.Car operators plying the Linden- Georgetown route have so far not opted to increase their fares. “This what they doing ain’t making sense. You can’t punish the people by increasing fares, because nothing ain’t really going on in this place. Some people could barely afford it,” a Linden- Georgetown operator told this publication.However, another operator shared contrasting sentiments. “Right now I studying to park me car and go in the bush and work, because this here ain’t mekin sense. You got to full up your car with $9000 in the morning, and by time you make a trip you gotta full up again. It real hard!” he stated.Increase unfairHowever, passengers have touted that the increase in transportation fares are unfair.“For me personally, I think it’s unfair in Linden, because the distance they does drop these people is already short. Sometimes you going from the park to a short distance, is a hundred dollars. If you going til over the river is the same hundred dollars.Now they increasing by $40, come on. Everywhere else increasing by $20. Why they want $40 and $100? Is not like people get a raise of pay or anything,” one commuter noted. Another said she fears that the increased prices will remain even if gasoline price dropped.“When gas prices go up it does go up, and when it go down there is no guarantee that they will drop back the prices,” she said.No adjustmentsLinden Mayor Waneka Arindell on Monday informed the general public that the decision to increase “is not yet legitimate” and advised that “no adjustments be made to the current prices.” She added that her office has been in contact with the relevant authorities and was advised that current discussions are underway as it relates to the cost of fuel.“…Until we receive an official response from the relevant authorities, no increase in transportation costs should be made. Drivers are urged not to increase and commuters are urged not to pay any increases and to report cases where the demand for such increases are made,” she outlined. (Utamu Belle)
The second review of the local content policy is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year. This is so according to Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, who made the announcement while addressing a recent forum at the Pegasus Hotel.Business Minister Dominic Gaskin“There is currently a second draft local content policy framework being reviewed and consulted on. We’ve also recently completed a terms of reference for a consultancy to complete the local content policy based on consultations and a draft, also an implementation plan depending on whether or not legislation is going to be needed for the implementation. This process should be completed by the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year,” the Minister informed.He added that it was important for the new legislation to be ‘balanced’, since a ‘too strongly national’ local content policy can jeopardise the efficiency or the viability of the company being relied on to harness the resource.Gaskin, however, warned that Guyanese would not be able to benefit from the local content policy if they were unable to meet the capacity of the oil and gas sector. According to him, capacity development costs should be borne by the industry that is going to benefit in the long run.In continuing, the Business Minister advised that Guyanese should be willing to carry the burden of oil expenditure and not only seek to benefit from oil revenue.“As the owners of this oil, Guyanese people must become the main beneficiaries of those production costs. In other words, we have to benefit not only from oil revenues, but from the spending that is associated with oil production,” he pointed out.Gaskin said despite the fact that oil and gas will provide growth opportunities, persons should not only be dependent on job opportunities in the sector as he noted that “we should not be blinkered in our own approach to investments”.The primary aim of the policy is ensuring the education, inclusion, and advancement of as many Guyanese as possible in the industry.As ExxonMobil prepares to officially commence production in 2020, there is much preparatory work currently ongoing, which requires services tailored to the specific needs of the industry.The draft local content policy has been criticised in recent months for lacking provisions which would safeguard against exploitation by companies, especially since there have been intensified reports of the local companies being bypassed for contracts and services with foreign companies being favoured.The document does not cater for issues such as how to avoid procurement fraud, conflict of interest and favouritism, among others.According to the draft local content framework document, the policy seeks to address the suite of opportunities that may arise and the approaches to be taken in selecting and developing opportunities related to enhancing the capabilities of Guyanese nationals and businesses through training and well-tailored social contributions for greater impact and benefits among others.Earlier this year, following the closing of the inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GIPEX), the Private Sector Commission (PSC) vowed to continue pushing for an effective local content policy that would benefit all Guyanese.
Nominations were opened for the public to select women for the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award, which was organised to highlight the work of Guyanese women in their various fields of work.The award is set for May 16 at the Pegasus Hotel, where 26 women will be celebrated for their contributions to society.One of the organisers and Managing Director of Cerulean Inc, Lyndell Danzie-Black told Guyana Times, “The award is the brainchild of the Nico Consulting Incorporated and Cerulean Inc. We decided that we wanted to provide a platform for women, especially the celebration of the work of women”.She added, “We realise that there is so many women who are doing great work and not being recognised for it. Because of that, we thought that it would be a good thing to do the award, which we call the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award.”To nominate persons, a Facebook page was created under the title 25 influential women leaders where persons can get acquainted with the details and requirements.“What the award does is that it gives the public an opportunity to nominate 25 women leaders. We want to encourage them to start the nominations. We are going through in a very transparent way with seven judges.”Danzie-Black said that anyone is eligible to enter the award ceremony as long as they have made a valuable contribution to assist others. Corporate companies can also sponsor spots for their employees to attend the event just to witness the recognition of outstanding ladies.While the nominations are closed, the 25 persons will be announced shortly to the general public. It is the inaugural event and promises many more in the coming years.
The body of 28-year-old Yannick Janniere, also called “Kayzim” of Stewartville, West Coast Demerara, was on Friday morning pulled from the Pepper Hill River Mouth, Cuyuni River.The discovery was made two days after Janniere disappeared while attempting to swim towards a drifting boat to save himself.It was reported that Janniere and several other workers were loading a dredge and other equipment belonging to their employer onto a pontoon for transportation to another area.However, as the men were finished loading the equipment onto the pontoon and were ready to journey to the other location, the boat that was attached to the pontoon unloosened and the pontoon began to drift downstream.Janniere reportedly jumped from the pontoon into the rough waters of the Cuyuni River and began swimming towards the drifting boat.He swam for about 200 metres before he disappeared under the water. His fellow workers raised an alarm and some even jumped into the river in a bid to rescue him, but he has not since been seen.The incident was reported at Bartica Police Station and an investigation was launched. The man’s body was taken to the Bartica Hospital Mortuary.
Mayor Narine’s vehicle and another that was damaged in the accidentThe vehicle owned by Mayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine was on Tuesday afternoon involved in an accident along the Rupert Craig Highway, East Coast Demerara, which left three other vehicles badly damaged.Guyana Times understands that the Mayor’s driver was alone in the vehicle at the time and was making his way to Georgetown when he lost control of the vehicle bearing registration plates PPP 8909 and crashed into three parked cars in the vicinity of Movie Towne.Commander of C Division (East Coast Demerara), Calvin Brutus confirmed the incident but was unable to give particulars of what occurred. However, an inspector attached to the Sparendaam Police Station revealed that the 42-year old driver was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.He further disclosed that a male driver, who was sitting in his car at the time, was injured as a result of the impact and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he remains a patient in a stable condition.Meanwhile, the Mayor’s driver has sought medical attention since he too complained of feeling unwell, although he did not receive major injuries.Mayor Narine departed Guyana for Trinidad on Tuesday morning to attend a Global Covenant of Mayors (GCOM) for Climate Change and Energy in the Caribbean.Just under a month ago, seven parked cars were badly damaged as a result of a speeding car which lost control on the vicinity of Liliendaal on the East Coast of Demerara.
…says he never was a major player in OAI developmentBY DEVINA SAMAROOChairman of the newly rebranded Eugene F. Correia Airport Michael Correia on Monday delivered a feral blast at Director of the Roraima Group of Companies Captain Gerald Gouveia over his stern and persistent objections against the renaming of the Ogle International Airport, in recognition of Guyana’s first Public Transport Minister, whose surname coincides with that of those individuals who own majority of shares in the company.The proceedings commenced with a fiery speech by the Airport’s Chairman, who used the opportunity to set the record straight by lashing out at Gouveia and all the other operators who opposed the renaming.Correia made it pellucid that no member of his family had in any way suggested to President David Granger that the Airport be renamedThe newly rebranded Eugene F Correia Airport“Correia”; nonetheless, he expressed gratitude that the administration went ahead with the initiative despite the protests mounted by the National Aircraft Transport Association (NATA), an organisation consisting of nine of the ten aircraft operators working out of the now Correia Airport.The Airport Chairman argued that Roraima Airways and all the other operators who are contesting the renaming have contributed little or nothing to its development but are yet cashing in on the investment he and his family have made.“Roraima Airways, to use as an example, has recently expanded its building and its fleet of aircraft with a reported investment of US$2.5 million. But what has Roraima Airways contributed to the investment in the Airport? The total private investment of Roraima Airways in this Airport is US$83,000 by comparison, or 2.2 per cent of the total equity in the Airport,” he disclosed in portraying that Gouveia and the others have no right to make an objection.He went on to highlight that Gouveia, in his cries, is simply ridiculing a decision taken by two of the most accomplished aviators: former Director of Civil Aviation Anthony Mekdeci and former Chief Pilot of Guyana Airways Corporation Malcolm Chan–a–Sue, both of whom are senior managers of the Airport.“Why is Gouveia trying to tear down the good name, and damage the reputation of these national icons, who have helped to make him in his career, and who have made Ogle International Airport the envy of the Caribbean,” Correia stated.Subtly taking a swing at those operators who objected to the name change, he contended that “self-interest”, “greed” and “jealousy” appear to rule the day.No dictatorshipPresident David Granger in his address, also made it clear that he was not lobbied for the Airport to be renamed but rather, it was a genuine decision he took to recognise the contributions of great Guyanese to the development of the country.“I was not coerced, I was not lobbied. It was simply to recognise the character of the man,” he said.Granger also made it clear that his administration’s decision to ignore the calls for a reversal of the decision is not a show of dictatorship since the Airport’s Board already granted permission for the undertaking.Further justifying his decision, the President chronicled extensively the sterling contributions and achievements made by Correia.Moreover, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson described Correia as a son of the soil whose record every Guyanese should be proud of.Addressing concerns over the name change, Patterson once again assured that the Airport’s functions and operations will remain the same.“This airport will still provide a means for those in hinterland communities to bolster economic activity; this airport will still provide a link for access to key services; this airport will still impact lives in big ways,” he stated.The operators who opposed the renaming of the Airport complained that this act will give an unfair advantage to the Correias.In November last, the operators vented frustration over the anti-competitive nature at the facility being practised by the company that runs the airport.“The Correia Group controls the Airport and has increased the cost of fuel; monopolised ground handling and other services and arbitrarily terminated tenancy contracts with the apparent aim of forcing us out,” the operators had expressed.Against this backdrop, the operators are now fearful that the renaming of the Airport to “Correia” will only add to the long list of problems they endure on a daily basis.
Pension package… to also get free maids, bodyguards, drivers, duty-free concessionsPeople’s National Congress (PNC) stalwart Hamilton Green will next month begin receiving a multimillion-dollar pension packaged being calculated at almost $20 million annually, in a move that is being described as a “vulgar” rape of the Treasury.PNC stalwart and former Prime Minister Hamilton GreenThe move comes in the form of a legislative package being piloted by the Finance Ministry under the hand of substantive Minister Winston Jordan who is scheduled to lay a Bill in the National Assembly next week that will give Hamilton Green a pension that is pegged to the current salary of the sitting Prime Minister.Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall has since calculated that this will result in Hamilton Green getting approximately $1.4 million as pension per month.Additionally, Green will also get the facilities to which a former President is entitled; that is, free electricity, water, telephone, Internet, drivers, bodyguards, maids and office staff, as well we duty-free concessions.This means that Green’s pension package amounts to in excess of $20 million annually.News of the legislative package to benefit Green surfaced earlier this week when the National Assembly released its Order of Business for its next sitting on Monday.According to the parliamentary Order of Business, Jordan will present to the House, on behalf of Government the “Prime Minister Hamilton Green Pension Bill”.That Bill, according to the description in the Order Paper, will pave the way for an Act “to provide a pension, benefits and other facilities to Hamilton Green, Prime Minister from 1985 to 1992, to enable him to live in keeping with the high office he occupied”.Guyana Times has since seen a copy of the proposed legislation which outlines that the Prime Minister Hamilton Green Pension Act 2016 and shall come into operation on December 1, 2016.The Bill inherently and explicitly states that the pension that Green is receiving since retirement shall be discontinued with effect November 30, 2016, in order to facilitate the larger package being catered for in the Bill.According to the proposed provisions in the Bill, “Notwithstanding anything in the Pensions (President, Parliamentary and Special Offices) Act, Prime Minster Hamilton Green shall be paid a pension in accordance with Section 4 of the said Act based on the salary paid to the Prime Minister, as though he actually earned the said salary, taking into consideration his record of service as a legislator.”Another of the provisions in the Bill, is that the former President (Benefits and Other Facilities) Act 2015 shall, subject to such modifications as may be necessary, apply to Prime Minster Hamilton Green and for that purpose wherever the word “President” occurs it shall be substituted by the words “Prime Minister.”According to the proposed legislative package, “Prime Minister Hamilton Green shall continue to receive any other benefits and facilities provided for in any other law.”Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall in lambasting the move by the coalition Government recalled that Green served as Prime Minister from 2005 to 1992, “that is, an entire generation ago and before every person who is 25 years and younger were born…This is nothing but a vulgar rape of the Treasury.”Nandlall is adamant there are many important issues affecting the welfare of “our people, especially our children and the elderly, that are competing for scarce financial resources which we are told cannot get done, yet this Government decides to use these scarce finances to give Green such a huge pension… Imagine, with all the problems facing the people of this country that is this Government’s priority.”CondemnationThe former Attorney General in his condemnation of Green’s package recalled too that Green was getting a pension all along and that only recently, the City Council handed him a package which included guards, maids, etc.“Worse yet, this plunder of the Treasury is being done by those who promised lean and clean government and who cuss out President (Bharrat) Jagdeo for years about his pension at every street corner and in every media house in this country… The hypocrisy is sickening.”Nandlall said he maintains that never before in the history of the Caribbean were an electorate so comprehensively fooled and conned by a group of politician as this “[A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC did to the Guyanese electorate during the 2015 election’s campaign… I also maintain that not more than five thousand persons are benefiting from this Government.”These, he said, includes the Cabinet, their family, relatives and friends and a few party hacks. “The working people of every race, including the public servants, teachers, Police, soldiers, farmers, tradesman, fishermen, bauxite workers, miners, loggers, rice farmers, sugar workers, vendors, businessmen, and the professionals continue to suffer in a stagnant economy presided over by an utterly incompetent Government.”Green served as Guyana’s Prime Minister under the PNC Desmond Hoyte Administration, up until October 1992. In March 1993, Green sued the PNC for violation of his constitutional rights when that party at its Congress voted to expel him from the party.The former Prime Minister and Mayor currently serves at the helm of the Central Planning and Housing Authority – a position he was appointed to following the May 2015 electoral victory by the PNC-led APNU/AFC coalition.