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Date: 18 Dec 17 02:12pm
Several supporters of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) again picketed the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), calling for a recount of the May 11 votes. In the crowd were General Secretary, Clement Rohee and former Prime Minister, Cheap Jerseys, Sam Hinds.However, bystanders were greeted by a sideshow with the presence of Gino Persaud, an official of the watchdog body, Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI). He also bore a placard, “The Back of PPP Corruption is Broken.”
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Date: 18 Dec 17 02:12pm
The newly appointed Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, formally met with the staff of his Ministry yesterday, in the conference room of the  Ministry’s Carmichael Street office.AG Basil Williams with the Heads of Department of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.Mr. Williams was sworn in as the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs on Wednesday at the Office of the President, (to be renamed the Ministry of the Presidency) by President, David Granger.In addressing the employees for the first time, the Attorney General welcomed everyone and reiterated the commitment of President Granger, who had said that his administration would be working in the interest of all Guyanese.Mr. Williams articulated, Cheap Jerseys From China, among other things, the need for professionalism by all Public Servants within the Ministry. He said that within his remit as the Attorney General, no malice, retribution or ill will shall be expounded on his part to any staff, regardless of political affiliation, race or religion.  He charged the employees of his Ministry to do their work to the best of their abilities and promised to give his best in the performance of his functions.“At all material times, I will consider myself to a be a servant of the people of Guyana, and I trust that you will see yourselves, each and every one of you, in the same light… I look forward to working with you all, as a team, for the betterment of the Guyanese people in terms of the remit of the Attorney General Chambers and the Ministry of Legal Affairs.” said the Minister.
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Date: 18 Dec 17 02:12pm
–    State Dept. gives commitment to work towards restoration of democracy By Abena RockcliffeThe United States Chapter of the Alliance For Change (AFC) has turned to authorities in that country for assistanceUS Congresswoman, Yvette Clarketowards the “restoration of the democratic process and constitutional governance in Guyana.”Kaieteur News was told that the body has been able to secure commitment from members of the US State Department and Congress for this cause. Commitment was given after a number of serious issues facing Guyana were made known, including the infamous recording of a conversation between Attorney General Anil Nandlall and a Kaieteur News reporter.At a press conference held yesterday at Georgetown Club, AFC Member of Parliament Trevor Williams disclosed the extent of the party’s US Chapter’s work for the realization of a better Guyana.He said that the work was driven by the disappointment in the President’s move to prorogue Parliament.According to Williams, the Party’s USA chapters in Washington DC, Florida, Atlanta, New York/New Jersey and Iowa, have expressed deep disappointment with the recent suspension of the Parliament by President Donald Ramotar.The MP disclosed that the various US chapters are meeting with major international stakeholders such as the US State Department, US Congressional Representatives and Senators, United Nations, Transparency International, OAS and other agencies, to inform them of what is happening in Guyana and to elicit, among other things, their support to publicly call on the President to restore Parliament and democracy in Guyana.Williams said that on November 18, with the assistance of the President of the AFC Washington DC chapter, Chairman of the NY/NJ-AFC chapter, Dr. Rohan Somar, had a conference meeting with the USA Director of Hemispheric Affairs and otherCongressmanHakeem Jeffriesofficers of the US State Department.He said that at that meeting, reasons were given as to why the AFC laid a “No Confidence Motion’ in the National Assembly against the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government.The MP said that the meeting heard of the failure of the Government to establish the Human Rights Commission as mandated by article 212 G of the Constitution; failure of the Government to establish the Public Procurement Commission as mandated by article 212 W of the Constitution, as well as the President’s refusal to assent to Bills passed by the National Assembly, “effectively making an elected dictatorship rather than a democracy.”He said the “unauthorized expenditure by the Minister of Finance, who was discovered to have spent over 4.5 billion dollars from the Consolidated Fund without Parliamentary approval as required by the Constitution”, was also discussed.Williams said that the “negotiation and implementation in secret of multi-million-dollar contracts, with benefits accruing to family, friends and favoured associates of PPP Ministers, involving, in particular, infrastructure, construction, natural resource extraction and various other projects” was also highlighted.Also brought to the forefront was the “extensive corruption in Government, which has consistently led to Guyana’s ranking as the most corrupt country in the Anglophone Caribbean and one of the most corrupt in the world, according to data compiled by Transparency International. And the breakdown of the institutions of law and order, involving unsolved criminal activity, police brutality that has included torture of suspects, and a high level of extra-judicial killings”.The AFC member told US officials of the “multiple infractions of the Constitution byMembers of the AFC USA chapter with US Congress officials after the meetingPPP Ministers and other high-ranking officials in government, including the recent release of a recorded telephone conversation in which the Attorney General stated that he used public finances without approval, and warned a friend of impending extra-judicial sanction against a prominent newspaper critical of the Government.”Williams said that a series of regular meetings are planned and that the US State Department committed itself to work with all political parties to bring a peaceful political solution to the current impasse in Guyana.Also, on November 25 another delegation met with Members of Congress.This delegation was made up of Vice Chairman of NY/NJ chapter, Ewart Marshall, and Anita Jaikarran, MBA and NY/NJ- AFC Executive Committee Member and representatives from other diaspora group including; Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), Center for Social Justice & Development, Center for Guyana’s Progress, APNU and PNCR.Those persons met with US Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke and Congressman and Hakeem Jeffries.Williams said that a wide range of issues were discussed by the delegation and AFC representatives detailed the moral and democratic decay in Guyana. He said that members of Congress asked probing questions and expressed their dismay at this constitutional breakdown in Guyana.According to Williams, Representatives Clarke and Jeffries expressed concern about the breakdown of democracy and the Constitution in Guyana and pledged to remain engaged, Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, and to work with other Members of Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure a restoration of the democratic process and constitutional governance in Guyana.
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Date: 18 Dec 17 02:11pm
…as Guyanese protest Venezuela’s land claims By Leonard Gildarie in New York Guyana’s Head of State, David Granger, has called on the United Nations (UN) to launch a special system to protect vulnerable small states threatened by external forces.Making his maiden address to the UN General Assembly yesterday, and amidst a peaceful but noisy street protest outside by Guyanese against Venezuela, the President, as expected used his speech and time to criticize the illegal claims by the neighbouring country.The special protection system, explained the President afterwards to reporters, would ensure that UN move beyond just being a passive player into a body that practices preventative diplomacy.The ongoing annual UN forum has been seen as an ideal place to raise awareness of the Venezuela border claims.With meetings on the sidelines between world leaders including from The Netherlands, Sierra Leone, and the United Kingdom, Guyana has been ramping up the issue.President David Granger during his address to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday.True to his promises made Sunday, the speech yesterday served as an opportunity for the Head of State to remind the UN of its commitments made for the protection of small states in 1994. That resolution paved the way for small states to call on relevant regional and international organizations to provide assistance when requested and requests the UN Secretary-General to continue to pay special attention to monitoring the security situation of small states.The Venezuela border claim has been one of the biggest challenges for the new administration since it took office in May.Following a significant discovery of oil earlier this year by US-owned ExxonMobil, that neighbouring country immediately moved to take control of two-thirds of Essequibo, the largest county, and parts of the maritime area, including where the oil well was drilled offshore Guyana.Venezuela also recalled its ambassador and in recent weeks started to assemble its troops at the border of Guyana.Trade between the two countries is also being threatened with an oil-for-rice deal not likely to continue after November, unless Venezuela does an about turn.On Sunday evening, in an UN-brokered meeting chaired by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Venezuela agreed to return its ambassador for talks and to approve Cheryl Miles, the designated envoy from Guyana.During his address to the world leaders yesterday, Granger reminded that the United Nations – established 70 years ago after the formal end to the Second World War – became the midwife of a new international order.Since beginning in 1945 with a membership of 51 countries, the UN has quadrupled to 193 states, the majority of which are small.Ambitious Venezuela“Venezuela’s expansionist ambitions cannot be allowed to unsettle the principle of inviolability of borders, undermine the tenets of international law and unravel borders which have been undisturbed for decades, ” he said.With Guyana recommitting to preserving the Caribbean as a zone of peace, Granger made it clear that it is headed to theInternational court on the matter.Protestors in front of the UN Headquarters, New York.“Guyana seeks a resolution of this controversy that is consistent with the Charter of the United Nations.”Expressing confidence in the UN to identify solutions that will validate the “just, perfect and final” nature of the award, the Head of State noted that the Good Officer process has failed to work over the past 25 years.“We feel that this process has now been exhausted. Guyana does not wish that this obnoxious territorial claim should obscure the prospects of peace and obstruct the possibility of growth for the next fifty years. We need a permanent solution in order to avoid the fate of perpetual peril and penury. Guyana seeks a juridical settlement to this controversy.”Granger insisted that Guyana wants to bring an end to Venezuelan aggression also. “We want to develop our country, all of our country, in accordance with International law. Guyana calls upon the United Nations to give real meaning to Resolution A/RES/49/31 of May 9th 1994 by establishing a collective security system not merely to ‘‘monitor” but, more so, “maintain” the security of small states. This resolution is a “manifesto’ of small states security.”He explained that for 50 years, Guyana- a small country- has been prevented from fully exploiting its rich natural resources.Scared Investors“Venezuela has threatened and deterred investors and frustrated our economic development.For 50 years our territorial integrity has been violated by Venezuela which has occupied a part of our territory, the most recent incident being on October 10, 2013 when it sent a naval corvette into our maritime zone and expelled a peaceful, petroleum exploration vessel which was conducting seismic surveys.”He said that Guyana rejects the threats and claims by Venezuela which are in defiance of International law. “Guyana resists Venezuela’s acts of aggression in defiance of the Charter of the United Nations which prescribes the peaceful settlement of disputes and proscribes the use of armed force.”As a matter of fact, Guyana’s border with Venezuela was settled 116 years ago.  “The whole world, except the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, accepts our borders.”World leaders were told that a tribunal issued an award on the 3rd of October, 1899, giving Venezuela 13, 000 square kilometers of this country, an area bigger than Jamaica or Lebanon. “Venezuela was bound under International law to respect that award, which it did for the subsequent six decades.”But Venezuela, at the onset of Guyana’s independence resorted to various stratagem to deprive Guyana of its territory.“There has been a series of acts of aggression by the President of Venezuela against my country – from the time of President Raúl Leoni Otero’s Decree No. 1.152 of June 15, 1968 to the time of President Nicolás Maduro Moro’s decree of May 26th 2015.”With Venezuela boasting a bigger population and army than Guyana, the threats over the years have retarded this country’s development.“Venezuela’s expansionist ambitions cannot be allowed to unsettle the principle of inviolability of borders, undermine the tenets of international law and unravel borders which have been undisturbed for decades.”ProtestsMeanwhile, outside of the Manhattan offices of the UN, dozens of Guyanese gathered, singing The Tradewinds- “Not a blade of grass”.According to Irving Washington, a spokesperson for the Guyana Unity Movement, Guyanese in the diaspora are naturally concerned about the recent aggression by Venezuela.“We are doing what we have to do and intend to keep this up whenever the issue arises.The protest was also organized by the Center for Guyana’s Progress and Anything Guyanese.Charles Sugrim and Lawrence Houston are also two Guyanese who were part of the protest which was conducted with placards, loud chantings and behind metal barriers.“The land belongs to all of Guyana. We will fight for it, ” a vocal Sugrim said.Also there was Eustace Harcourt, father of murdered activist Courtney Crum-Ewing. He said that it is time for Venezuela’s aggression to end. He also urged the new administration to bring the killers of his son to justice.Crum-Ewing, Wholesale Jerseys From China, who was a one-man protestor of the previous administration, was gunned down in Diamond, East Bank Demerara, while doing political work for the May 11 elections.Charles “Chuck” Mohan, a Guyanese-born lecturer, believes that Maduro should keep his hands off Guyana.
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Date: 18 Dec 17 02:11pm
“…the new Vice Chancellor is bringing new ideas, new approaches and you have to give him some time to see what he does. We can’t start encroaching him and handicapping him at the start of the process.”Mr. Vincent AlexanderEducationA needful transformation at the University of Guyana (UG) must go hand in hand with a metamorphosis of the academic staff. This assertion was recently made by Technical Adviser on Tertiary Education to the Minister of Education, Vincent Alexander.Alexander is of the firm opinion that the academic staff of the national tertiary institution must embrace a change in the way they carry out their duties.  “They need to understand that their commitments have to be to the students; efforts have been made to enhance their salaries and they have got to commit to giving service to the university and not short change the university, ” said Alexander.But the metamorphosis of which Alexander spoke is only one of three things he believes must occur at the university to aid its transformation.  He also spoke of the need for the university to be recapitalised and to embrace moves towards examining its curriculum in order to meet the needs of the nation.Alexander’s remarks were made, recently, when he spoke of the recently implemented leadership team at the university. The Technical Adviser, who is a member of the university Council, Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, has disclosed that while the implementation of a new leadership team was approved by the relevant body of the university it was, however, not without some concerns.“There were people who shared different views in terms of the availability of the finances to get it off the ground…but at the end of the day they have to take collective responsibility. Notwithstanding the individual views, the Council did give the go ahead for this to happen, ” Alexander noted.The new leadership team, which was proposed by Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, became effective on Saturday October 1, 2016. It includes three Deputy Vice Chancellors – Vice Chancellor of Academic Engagement; Vice Chancellor of Planning and International Engagement and Vice Chancellor of Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement.The leadership team also includes a newly established position of Chief of Staff of the Vice Chancellery and there is also a Director of Strategic Initiatives.“There is obviously going to be additional cost; there is no question about that but I think that you have got to give leaders the scope to pursue the course of action that they think will work unless what they are doing is out of the ordinary, ” said Alexander of the recent development.He continued, “…I think that is the framework with which I would approach this matter…the new Vice Chancellor he is bringing new ideas, new approaches and you have to give him some time to see what he does. We can’t start encroaching him and handicapping him at the start of the process.”The Technical Adviser said that he will maintain the disposition that the Vice Chancellor must be given a chance to implement what he has proposed once it is not deemed outrageous. “I wouldn’t consider it outrageous so in that context I would say give him a chance and see what works, ” asserted Alexander.A number of persons have vocalised their views on the leadership team.President of the University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU), Mr. Bruce Haynes, like Alexander, has called for the changes to be given a chance since they were not introduced in a dictatorial manner but rather received the blessings of the financial arm of the University – the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC). The F&GPC is a policy making body of the University second only to the University Council.According to Haynes, he has no qualms with the leadership team since based on what has been proposed, the Vice Chancellor has made use of persons who are already within the employ of the University.“What I understand is that these changes have not cost the University anything in the extreme…He (the Vice Chancellor) has basically reworked the system to accommodate new initiatives. Taking the University to where it needs to be calls for changes and a reworking of the system to accommodate this.“Persons in the leadership team have basically been re-deployed. The Vice Chancellor has redeployed the resources effectively so that they can be maximised, ” said Haynes as he suggested that those against this move are fewer than those supporting it.Very vocal about his opposing view has been former UG lecturer and Kaieteur News Columnist, Mr. Frederick Kissoon. Kissoon believes that the decision to put the team in place is a mistake. “The University has not got that kind of student and employee populations to warrant such a vast outlay of personnel….that by any global standard is highly irregular, ” underscored Kissoon.He is therefore convinced that instead of creating new positions and increasing the leadership, team efforts could have in fact been made to distribute duties to the existing Deans.
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