Sugar workers at the Rose Hall Estate on Monday intensified their strike with a protest outside the estate at East Canje, Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne), calling for the removal of the manager.One of the workers’ representatives, Mark FaraiaWhile the workers were demonstrating, their union the Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU) was invited to meet with management at 13:00h.During the high-level meeting, GuySuCo agreed to give the workers their obstacle payment which they were demanding.On Wednesday, almost 1000 workers walked off the joy, protesting management’s unilateral decision to alter the arrangements in obstacle payments, and their refusal to meet with the workers’ representatives.Initially, the estate’s management was only willing to pay the money if the workers would have completed their allotment of work for the day.The workers, in turn, were arguing that they could not complete what they are being asked because of the conditions under which they have to work.Scores of workers took to the picketline on MondayWhile on the picketline on Monday, one of the worker’s representatives, Mark Faraia explained that all of the workers are aware that the corporation is in a crisis: “If you are talking about reducing cost, I think that the management, the CEO, the Board and the executives should consider a pay cut; that is what big companies do, that is what smart people do. Why not give up some of the benefits that they enjoy, then they would earn themselves the moral authority or permission to come and take anything from us… This manager is incompetent. If the government want to close this estate, don’t let them use the workers as a stepping stone to close the estate.”Workers are expected to recommence harvesting today, however grinding is not expected to recommence till Wednesday.As a consequence of the six-day strike action, 660 punts of cane which had been harvested, loaded and transported to the factory, were discarded because the factory had not been grinding since Wednesday.
Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana, Lineu Pupo de Paula handed over a quantity of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine to the Public Health Ministry on behalf of his government on Tuesday.Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence receiving a portion of the MMR vaccines from Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana, Lineu Pupo de Paula in the presence of Director of Family Healthcare Services in the Ministry, Dr Ertenesia HamiltonReceiving the donation were Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence; Director of Family Healthcare Services, Dr Ertenesia Hamilton and Focal Point for Adolescent Health, Dr Oneka Scott.A total of 10,000 units were received to aid in the continued fight against the MMR viruses. The Brazilian Ambassador noted, “This is the second donation that Brazil is offering for the Ministry of Health this year.”Earlier in 2017, Brazil and PAHO/WHO donated drugs to help counteract Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease found in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Ambassador Pupo de Paula said, “It is in our interest to help to vaccinate children and everybody…This just shows how good the relationship between the two countries is going.”According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister Lawrence welcomed the Brazilian Government’s gesture, noting that the vaccines acquired would go directly towards ‘cross border vaccination activities’.“We do have a lot of persons traversing through Guyana, whether they are coming here to find work or to invest or whether they are using here as a ‘jump off’ point to some other neighbouring country,” the Minister explained.She alluded to the fact that there were outbreaks of the MMR viruses in neighbouring countries. However, she noted that through efforts by these countries and Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), initiatives were put in place to prevent the spread of such viruses.Although these outbreaks did not affect Guyana in any significant way, Minister Lawrence emphasised that the vaccines acquired would “ensure that we have a stockpile of vaccines…We have a vaccination programme in Guyana, we are catering for that through our budget and through some of our partners”.Further, she added, “because of the high incidence of persons going back and forth — Brazilians, Surinamese, Venezuelans and so on, this boost will help us to take off that excess and ensure that we always have, to be able to help our sisters and brothers from the neighbouring states.”The adult population will be primarily targeted. Public Health Ministry Director of the Family HealthCare Services, Dr Ertenesia Hamilton detailed, “Some of our adults are still at risk because they would have not benefited .… So this donation will be aiding in improving the immunisation of our adult population, and those persons, who would have not been caught in the normal immunisation programmes.”More specifically, it was further explained that the adult population in Regions One, Two, Seven, Eight and Nine (regions sharing borders with Venezuela and Brazil) would be the first to access vaccines from this donation. “Also, we try to immunise all of our officers who are first responders such as Port Health Officers, our Immigration Officers, our Police and our soldiers,” Dr Hamilton stated.
Natasha Singh, of Lot 22 Crane Old Road, West Coast Demerara (WCD), a former member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), was on Friday arraigned on fraud and kidnapping charges when she made her appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Singh denied the charges which stated that on June 18, 2018, at Georgetown, she demanded with menace the sum of $200,000 from 73-year-old Mohammed Yusif, a pensioner with intent to steal same.Police stated that on the day in question, the defendant went to the defendant’s home and allegedly kidnapped him after which she demanded the money for his release. The court was told the defendant and the victim knew each other.Police Prosecutor Sanj Singh made no objection to bail being granted, and the mother of four was released on $60,000 bail. The matter was adjourned until July 20, 2018.
– as report shows disparities in revenue & expenditureWith the release of the Bank of Guyana (BoG) Quarterly Report and Statistical Bulletin, the National Insurance Scheme’s financial position raises several questions, as it has gone from a multimillion-dollar surplus to a multimillion deficit in just one year.According to the report, NIS’s overall balance reflected a surplus of $152 million at the end of March 2017. This good fortune has dramatically turned around, however, because at the end of March 2018, the entity was in the throes of a $296 million deficit.“This was reflective of increases in current and capital expenditures by 15.9 per cent and 38.5 per cent to $5.7 million and $2 million respectively, relative to the increase in revenues by 6.6 per cent to $5.4 million.”The report also notes that the Public Sector’s net credit position deteriorated by 66.5 per cent to $46.8 million – moving from $28.1 million at the end of 2017. The report blames this on worsening Central Government net credit standings. NIS was also cited in the report, when it comes to net deposits.“Net credit to the Central Government was higher by 27.1 per cent or $21.5 million to $101.1 million at the end of March 2018. The public enterprises and the other category of public sector, which includes local government and NIS, remained net depositors; increasing by 5.7 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively at the end of March 2018,” the report adds.The NIS has been implementing a number of recent changes. Funeral grants were among some of the increases announced by the entity effective from January 01, 2018.The funeral grant was increased from $40,398 to $44,438; and as it relates to the increase in minimum payments for Old Age and Invalidity pensions, those provisions have been increased from $27,500 to $30,000 per month.The NIS had stated in an advertisement that all pensions that are above the minimum payable rate would be increased by two per cent.The monthly insurable earning ceiling has also increased from $220,000 to $240,000 per month, while the weekly insurable earning ceiling will be increased from $50,769 per week to $55,385 per week.The insurable earning ceiling is the upper limit on earnings that attract NIS contributions.In 2017, increases in insurable earning ceiling went from $200,000 to $220,000 per month, and from $46,154 to $50,769 per week.Additionally, the minimum insurable earning ceiling for self-employed persons contributing to the NIS has been increased from $62,400 to $68,750 per month.The minimum rate for old age and invalidity pensions has also been increased from $25,000 to $27,500 per month.
Lindo Creek CoI Report Even as Government continues to review the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report into the Lindo Creek Massacre, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Brigadier David Granger, on Wednesday said that those officers who are implicated in the Lindo Creek Massacre will face the consequences of their actions.“The report’s recommendations will be acted upon in due course. The days of concealing security sector mistakes and misdeeds are over. The Force’s officers will be held accountable for the consequences of their actions, and for the instructions they issue to their subordinates,” the President said in his remarks at the swearing-in of the new Police Service Commission.Moreover, the CoI report, which according to the President is being reviewed in detail, contains a lot of evidence.“That report raised troubling questions about the role of the Defence and Police Forces during the ‘troubles’, and the reticence of the political administration of the day to provide useful evidence to the Commission of Inquiry into the massacre,” he asserted.President Granger further stated that the ‘troubles’ was a dark period in the country’s history. He added there is need to build public trust in the Police Force, and noted that security reform is now more urgent in light of the CoI report.“The inability of the Police to arrest the outbreak of criminal violence quickly led to the emergence of so-called ‘phantom’ death squads. The ‘troubles” revealed also how drug lords had infiltrated the Force. The ‘troubles’ exposed the influence of a small but influential group of rogue officers. It revealed the need for more careful selection of officers, and improved intelligence-gathering,” the President added.Sometime between June 12, 2008 and June 24, 2008, miners Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres were shot and killed, and their bodies burnt at the Upper Berbice River mining camp which was being operated by Leonard Arokium.Almost 10 years after the Lindo Creek massacre, President Granger established a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and selected Retired Justice Donald Trotman to probe the killings. The inquiry commenced back in February, and after several months, the report was compiled and handed over to the President last week.The lone Commissioner had said the main objective of the CoI was to find the truth, and to bring healing and closure to the nation as a whole. He had expressed hope that the Lindo Creek and other inquiries would help bring about reconciliation among Guyanese.On the other hand, President Granger had described Lindo Creek as a “massacre of the innocent”, saying his Government believed the way the investigation was handled indicated that there was a high level of collusion.He had also rejected suggestions to extend the CoI’s focus to several years before 2008, when other major criminal activities had plagued the country.Meanwhile, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had expressed skepticism about participating in, and supporting the work of, the Commission.The Party believes that, given the manner in which the CoI was constituted and the commentary from senior Government officials, it was designed to achieve a political outcome and continue the Government’s programme of witch-hunting Opposition personalities.The PPP/C had even said that the Government-sponsored inquiries into the ‘troubled’ period should have started from the period 1998, when the real wave of ethno-political violence commenced, which would assist in addressing the root cause of the violence.
A male traffic rank who was on duty on WedThe injured rank lying on the roadway as his colleague calls for helpnesday afternoon at Eccles, EastBank Demerara, was struck by a female driver.The incident was confirmed by Traffic Chief Linden Isles, who told this newspaper that the rank was not seriously injured.Isles was unable to say whether or not the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident.
A three-vehicular collision along the Soesdyke Public Road, East Bank Demerara (EBD), on Sunday night has resulted in the death of a 23-year-old employee of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).Dead: Collin BourneThe dead man has been identified as Collin Bourne of Lot 91 Timehri Prison Area, EBD, who worked as a “Red Cap” at the airport.Based on information received, the accident occurred around 22:15h involving two minibuses (PHH 3467 and BVV 5802) and the motorcycle (CH 6758) that Bourne was driving at the time.Reports are that the minibus, PHH 3467, was proceeding south along the eastern carriageway reportedly at a fast rate of speed whilst the other minibus, BVV 5802, and Bourne’s motorcycle were proceeding in the opposite direction.Bourne was said to have been riding his motorcycle behind the minibus (BVV 5802) and while on the eastern carriageway, he collided with the other minibus (PHH 3467).According to the police, as a result of the impact, the motorcyclist fell onto the western carriageway, into the path of minibus BVV 5802, and was subsequently struck down.Bourne was picked up in an unconscious state and rushed to the East Bank Demerara Regional Hospital at Diamond Village, EBD, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.The young man’s body is presently at the Lyken’s Funeral Parlour awaiting a post-mortem examination.Meanwhile, both minibus drivers are in police custody assisting with the investigation. The police have since confirmed that the two men underwent a breathalyser test and it was revealed that the driver of minibus PHH 3467 was found above the legal limit of alcohol consumption.The motorcycle the now dead man was riding at the time of the accidentSpeaking with Guyana Times, the young man’s father, who also works as a “Red Cap” was in a state of shock and disbelief. He stated that he was at home when he received the devastating news that his third child was killed.The young man, who attended the Diamond Secondary School, has been employed with the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport for the past three and a half years.He was described as an easy-going person. His distraught father is hoping that a thorough investigation is conducted into the accident which has left him mourning the loss of a child. At the time of the accident, the young man was reportedly heading to Georgetown.The young man leaves to mourn his father and five other siblings along with other relatives and friends.
Head Coach Gary Alexander wasn’t ready to make any excuses for the loss, and wasn’t happy with how the team came out to play to start the game. “We started flat again. You give them a lead when you have short numbers like that you don’t always come back. Excuses are for losers. We just didn’t play well,” he says. One area that particularly plagued the Huskies was penalties and the penalty kill. Overall the Huskies discipline was decent, but three powerplay goals were too much to overcome. – Advertisement -“We were sloppy in our own end. We didn’t play our positioning like we had been on the penalty kill and it cost us. At the same token we have three or four guys recovering from the fly and haven’t had a lot of ice time in the last seven or eight days, but like I said excuses, excuses but it all adds up here and there.” Scoring in order for the Huskies were Jordan Harder, Dayne Pedersen, Cayle Bell, Dayne Pedersen, and Shane Rutherford. Assists went to John Apsassin (3), Brighton Campbell, Tyson Glass, Taylor Greatrex, Lien Miller-Jeannotte, and Daylen Pearson. Next for the Huskies is a home game tonight at the North Peace Arena at 8 p.m. against the Slave Lake Wolves.Advertisement
Assistant coach Todd Alexander said the practice justifies his optimism in his club that they can get things turned around from their 0-2 start.“I’m always optimistic until I’m proven wrong and then as soon as I’m proven wrong I shake my head and then I’m optimistic again. I think that’s how our team needs to be. You have to have a short term memory in sport. Sometimes things happen and that’s the way it is but the guys that can shake it off and get back in there and fight another day are the ones that we’re looking for,” he explained.The Huskies are still working to shore up their play in their own zone and get use to playing within their system before their home opener next Friday.- Advertisement -“We’re still working on our d-zone coverage. That needs to get a lot better as we’re allowing too many shots and too many goals. That’s not our identity; it never has been here. We’re not a run and gun team; we don’t want to run and gun. We want to play good, solid defence and take care of our opportunities when they unfold in front of us,” Alexander said.The home opener for the Huskies will be on October 17 against the Fairview Flyers. After that their next tilt will be on the road against the Beaverlodge Blades on October 22.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Soccer Club has closed house league registration and is set to begin the regular season on April 30th, but they still need ten more youth soccer coaches.559 Fort St. John residents signed up for the house league program. The Inaugural house league tournament last week saw around 80 percent of registered players playing in the tournament.The house league will run divisions in U3-U4 Co-Ed, U5 Co-Ed, U7 Boys and Girls, U9 Boys and Girls, U11 Boys and Girls, U13 Boys and Girls, U15 Co-Ed, and U17-19 Co-Ed. They need two coaches in the U3-U4 Co-Ed division, the U5 Co-Ed division, the U7 Boys division, the U7 Girls division, and the U9 Boys division.- Advertisement -The competitive division’s Fort St. John Northern Strikers have already started their season as multiple teams travelled to the Gold Pan Tournament in Quesnel last weekend. Nine U15 players on the Northern Strikers also tried out for the B.C. Summer games team and are waiting to see if they make it to the second round of tryouts. Players from the U15 Boys trying out are Lee West, Dylan Buziak, Liam McGarvey, Sam Hafner, Jacob Haluszka, Harrison Sewell, and Tyson Nielsen. The two U15 Girls that tried out are Bella Ziebart and Mykenzie Beech.The U15 Boys have been invited back for an additional tryout in the next couple weeks. The girl’s results will be announced in two weeks.