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Date: 20 Apr 18 01:36am
FOUR persons last Friday evening received awards for outstanding contributions to the shipping industry in Guyana.The awards were handed over during the Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony of the Shipping Association of Guyana (SAG), held at Le Meridien Pegasus.From left Andrew Astwood, Leroy Benjamin, Glenis Hodge, Guest Speaker Grantley Stephenson who is the 16th president of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA)., and Richard Van Sluytman.Among the awardees were Mr. Andrew Astwood for Long service; Mr. Richard Van Sluytman won the SAG Chairman’s Award; Mrs. Glynnis Hodges won the outstanding Woman Business Executive Award Innovativeness and Mr.Leroy Benjamin got the Outstanding Service to the Maritime Industry Award.SAG said that Long Service awardee Mr. Andrew Astwood had served the Shipping Association of Guyana for seven years, six of them as its Chairman.  His business acumen had kept the Association financially viable mostly due to his three decades of experience as an Accountant.  He spent most of his career at the Guyana National Shipping Corporation where he acquired extensive knowledge and experience in Maritime Transportation and Logistics.He is now the acting Managing Director of GNSC, one of the leading Shipping Terminals and providers of maritime transportation and related services.Mr. Richard Van Sluytman, SAG said, received the Chairman’s Award for the innovativeness his company continues to employ in penetrating maritime markets in the Caribbean and Latin America.This awardee, SAG said, had known nothing else but Shipping his entire life.  As a child he watched his father and grandfather operate their own cargo vessels, Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys, called Coasters, transporting general cargo to Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil and the Caribbean islands.In 1978, he purchased his own Coaster and kept up that service, but the rigors of life on the sea kept him away from home more than his family had liked.He established a shipping agency – Van Sluytman Shipping – in 1970 and some 17 years later, came together with his partner Frankie Comacho who was also operating an agency.  They decided to consolidate under the name Caribbean Shipping.In 1992 when they took on their first major line, they were incorporated as C&V Caribbean Shipping Ltd.Today C&V Caribbean are agents for several international shipping lines freighting both break bulk and containerized cargo.Mrs. Glenis Hodge was recognized for standing out among the few Guyanese women in the local Maritime Industry and for the versatility, vision and outstanding achievements of a female entrepreneur.Glenis Hodge, SAG said, begun her career in Guyana’s Maritime industry at the Guyana National Shipping Corporation at age 18.After 10 years she was initiated into the intricacies of international shipping when TECMARINE, an international shipping line came to Guyana in 1994.  It didn’t take too much longer for her to grasp the intricacies of serving ports in the USA, the Caribbean and South America.Just one year after the ownership of TECMARINE changed to Tropical Shipping, she was appointed to the demanding post of Country Manager.Leroy Benjamin, of Benjamin’s Marine & Salvage Services, was awarded for decades of unwavering commitment to Marine Salvaging and Services in Guyana.Mr. Leroy Benjamin has a reputation for being the most innovative marine salvager, a reputation which has gone beyond local shores and his skills are called upon in Suriname and across the Caribbean.He is known for succeeding in bringing up sunken boats and barges in circumstances where reputable salvagers from as far away as North America have failed.“Benjie’, as he is known, also operates a fleet of tugs and barges ferrying stone and other products around and outside of Guyana.  He counts Boskalis, Mazaruni Granite, Toolsie Persaud and BK International among his regular clientele.
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Date: 20 Apr 18 01:36am
…staff members reiterate call for testing of top officialsLow level staff members of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) are angry and fearful that they are next to be “arbitrarily” dismissed after taking the controversial lie detector test. As a result, staffers continue to ‘spill their guts’ over grave irregularities allegedly occurring at the agency.Between Thursday and Friday last, at least seven low level GEA staffers were fired because they allegedly failed polygraph tests. Although they were not shown their test results, staffers said that the Head of the Energy Agency, informed them that they were being fired because they failed their lie detector tests.The staffers thus called for a thorough investigation of GEA and its hierarchy, “because you will see that up there, all is not well, ” a staff expressed. “They are firing us, the small man, but the corruption is at their level, Cheap Jerseys Store, ” a terminated male staff who requested anonymity said.“Tell me, ” he continued, “they firing us, but when (a named senior staff’s) brother was caught with duty free fuel in his Essequibo gas station this year, why was he not prosecuted? Instead, two of the officers on the team that clamped down on the gas station are among those fired because of lie detector tests.”That same senior officer, Kaieteur News was told, was never polygraphed and although top brass officials know about the duty free fuel that the Essequibo businessman was not authorized to have, “they did nothing about it.”Staffers added that the management of GEA is in such disarray that employees are to some extent inefficient and agency business suffers.  They said the fleet of vehicles owned by the GEA has been in existence for the past eight to 10 years. Poor administrative management has contributed to them being used for political ‘run-around’ while the Inspectors are forced to utilize taxis to carry out their duties.This alone costs the agency approximately $20, 000 per team depending on where they are dispatched to. “The administrative personnel also instruct the Inspectors to conduct their work in a vehicle which was used to transport the fuel marker. This, of course, leads to some level of contamination and may result in varying tests results conducted by the Inspectors.”Workers alleged that “there are even instances where the lives of Inspectors and Marking Officers were put to risk because of poorly maintained vehicles.”“Contracts for maintenance and repair to some vehicles are awarded to friends of the Head of the Administration department and all above factors definitely lead to a high cost of vehicular maintenance, ” the staff said as they continued to point fingers.“Contracts for building maintenance, purchasing of equipment and such, are often approved after the work would have already been completed by the contractor. This is due to the ‘strong relationship’ the administration Head has with the Ministry official, the inside source informed.In a release to this newspaper earlier this month on fuel smuggling allegations, the source said, “The meeting that the GEA Head spoke of was held in April 2012 at the Cara Lodge Hotel, Quamina Street. But it was a mere presentation, by the staff, on how to curb fuel smuggling. To date another meeting has not been held despite staffers pleading for one to air real concerns.”Earlier this month, when the GEA said that fuel smuggling had been reduced from some 34 per cent to a mere one per cent, staffers asked, “Did the CEO and his managers do this or is it because of the said staff who he now claims are incompetent and even referred to the marking officers as thieves?”The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) told Kaieteur News yesterday that it was actively pursuing the new developments. Patrick Yarde said that his staff had been informed about the GEA dismissals after staffers called to express their dissatisfaction and disgust.Hollyann France, Nksi Dalgetty, Hillon Chester, Jenelle Noble and Nikeshia Gordon said they were summoned by the GEA head to a meeting which centered on their dismissal. The staff said that they are stunned by their abrupt termination.GPSU has however vowed to continue the investigations into the dismissals as only recently other GEA staffers were fired as a result of polygraph testing. The newly expelled staffers are however expected to present their termination letters and write statements while a meeting is scheduled for next week with the union.They further highlighted the poor work conditions and, “poor management of the agency.”
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Date: 20 Apr 18 01:36am
Four years ago he had his eyes blown out by the blast from a shotgun, but that has not deterred 18-year-old Douglas Tika from pursuing his dreams.Since then he was awarded the Best Graduating Visually Impaired student CSEC prize at the St. Rose’s High School. Come Sunday, he leaves for Canada to represent Guyana at a leadership training programme under the auspices of the Canadian Institute for the Blind.Tika is the first Guyanese to be selected from among five local applicants to represent this country at the inaugural event.Programme manager, Caribbean Council for the Blind, Eye Care Guyana, Charles Vandyke, told this newspaper that the local organization was extended an invitation to partner with the Canadian Institute for the Blind with regards to participation at the event.The programme lasts for two weeks and according to Vandyke, Tika should benefit significantly since the Canadian Institute for the Blind has an unenviable track record of working with the visually impaired.“What we are establishing is a normal relationship with them to have especially youths who are visually impaired benefit from the programmes they offer, ” Vandyke told this newspaper. The young beneficiary expressed his delight at the news that he will be representing his country.“I am happy that I could represent Guyana and I think that it would be a great trip because it is not a pleasure trip, it’s about representing your country, ” Tika said.Douglas was not born blind. In fact, he was one of those enthusiastic youths who had so much going for him when tragedy struck.In October 2004, the Enterprise, East Coast Demerara youth was at a friend’s house when a shotgun accidentally went off, sending the pellets into his face.Tika was 14 years old at the time and from a life of bright lights, he was plunged into darkness.He has promised to do his best to represent Guyana and has urged others who are similarly afflicted not to give up.“At first it was tough but now I have blended in. Families need to support these people, ” he urged.Tika himself is not short of family support.The visually impaired youth who is awaiting a scholarship has the unstinting support of his father Dr. Davenand Tika.According to Dr. Tika, all is not lost when one loses one’s sight at a young age. “Lots of parents have their blind children at home.They don’t know that a school exists for blind people. But avenues are available, possibilities are available, Alexis Sanchez Jersey, opportunities are available.They just have to get out and explore these opportunities and these avenues, ” Dr. Tika told this newspaper.He said that despite his situation, his son has not given up on his education and he is currently pursuing a Spanish course at the Venezuelan Institute.He was loud in praise for officials at the Ministry of Education who he said had been giving tremendous support to his son.“Who says Guyana does not have helpful people? They’re so helpful; they are so kind at the Ministry of Education.Daphne Franklin, Romeo Mc Adam, man they are livewires. I was so pleased with the kind of help that they wanted to give to a visually impaired student, to admit him into school, ” Dr. Tika stated.
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Date: 20 Apr 18 01:35am
The Office of the Ombudsman may not be empty for long as President Donald Ramotar and Leader of the Opposition, David Granger, have been discussing this pertinent matter.According to Dr. Roger Luncheon, Granger has approached the President regarding the appointment of the Ombudsman.He related that the kind of information provided such as terms and conditions and accommodation gives the impression that the search is being heightened for the Ombudsman.“I want to believe that mutual efforts are indeed paying off and that the President and the leader of the Opposition, with whom he is statutorily obliged to consult on a number of these appointments, that indeed a very useful basis for that consultation is being put in place, ” Dr. Luncheon said.Recently, leader of Alliance For Change, Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, Khemraj Ramjattan said that the President is acting unconstitutionally. He stressed that the non-appointment of the Ombudsman makes a mockery of the democracy of Guyana’s Constitution.He had pointed out that annually a budgetary allocation is made for the Office of the Ombudsman, but its substantive office remains empty.“We can only row and make statements and that we have been doing. A number of persons have talked on this matter. At the budget debates, a number of speakers indicated that they have been taking moneys out of the budget for the Office of the Ombudsman. We have a number of persons being paid as staff, but no Ombudsman, ” Ramjattan said.
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Date: 20 Apr 18 01:35am
Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee yesterday told reporters seeking a comment on the revelations in the on going trial of Robert Simels, said that he has taken a position not to speak on the matter.The Home Affairs said that he had adopted that position and will never ever speak on the issue.He said that it was not about the sensitivity of the issue just that he will not be commenting on the issue.Over the past two weeks there have been some startling revelations in the witness tampering trial of SimelsThe first prosecution witness in the trial was a self-professed former member of the Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan phantom gang, 34-year- old Selwyn Vaughn who told the US Court that Roger Khan ordered the killings of political activist Ronald Waddell, and boxing coach Donald Allison.Vaughn said that he knows what happened because he was there in a Burgundy diesel Toyota AT 192 motorcar when four other named members of the squad turned up and shot Waddell.Vaughn claimed that he was the lookout man who was tracking Waddell and that he called Roger Khan on his cell phone that night and reported that Waddell had left his residence and his car was idling on the roadway.Within minutes, four members of the phantom squad, all former members of the Guyana Police Force, turned up and shot Waddell.The witness also said that after the shooting that night, Khan and his group, including Vaughn, gathered at the Blue Iguana nightspot and from that location Khan called the Minister of Health in Guyana, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.According to Vaughn, Cheap Authentic Jerseys, Khan instructed Ramsammy to order the doctors at the Georgetown Public Hospital to let Waddell die.However, Dr Ramsammy said that this was never the case. He said that he was not in Guyana when Waddell was shot. In fact, he was in New York for the death of his father.Waddell, the former talk show host, according to the witness, was criticising Shaheed Roger Khan and was connected to the infamous Buxton Gang of Escapees.The jury also heard a tape recording in which the star witness contradicted an assertion that Simels made, that former Army major David Clarke’s wife, Captain Fraser nursed Rondell Rawlins aka Fine Man of Buxton back to health.The witness, who knew that Simels was in constant contact with Roger Khan, stated that Roger Khan himself would be able to confirm that he Vaughn kept Rawlins in a safe house in Agricola during the period when the Guyanese police were on the hunt for him and when Fineman was injured.“Rawlins was in a house provided by me.” Vaughn told the court in New York. “He was not in Buxton and he (Vaughn) was the only one who had access to him in that house. “Something that Roger himself would be able to confirm, ” the witness stated in sworn testimony.There was also the FEDEX official that said that the company shipped the equipment from the Pegasus Hotel to Robert Simels office as well as the Case Officer who told the court that Khan while in jail was attempting to procure more spy equipment.
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