The composition of Guyana’s financial sector include the banking system, the New Building Society (NBS), trust companies, finance companies, asset management companies, pension schemes and the insurance companies. The commercial banks, however, dominate the financial sector; and hence, in today’s feature, I have narrowed my focus on the banking system, to begin with.The Bank of Guyana’s half-year report for June 2017 revealed that Net Domestic Credit declined by 4.4 per cent to G0.2 billion, when compared to a 5.4 per cent reduction for the corresponding period in 2016. The net credit position to the Central Government improved G.06 billion to G.6 billion as well, while the public enterprises’ deposits fell by 32.6 per cent to G.067 billion. Credit to the Private Sector fell to 6.9 billion or 1.0 per cent on account of reduction to all sectors except the real estate mortgage, mining, construction and engineering sectors and other services.Net foreign assets of the banking system contracted by 1.1 per cent to US1.9 million at the end of June, 2017 from US1.3 million for the corresponding period in 2016. This outturn was on account of a reduction in the net foreign assets of the Central Bank, despite the net foreign assets of the commercial banks experiencing an increase of 3.2 per cent to US7 million.Turning to the liquidity profile of the banking system, total liquid assets of commercial banks amounted to G2.637 billion, which fell by 7.4 per cent below the period ended December, 2016. This outturn was on account of a reduction in the level of excess reserves held by the commercial banks. Excess liquid assets to required liquid assets ratio was 46 per cent for the period ended June, 2017 when compared to 57 per cent for the corresponding period. Total reserves deposited with the Bank of Guyana stood at .4 billion as at June, 2017, representing a reduction of 12.1 per cent from the level recorded at the end of December, 2016, reflecting a reduction in deposits at the commercial banks.Non-Performing LoansTotal non-performing loans (NPLs) stood at G$30 billion as at the end of June, 2017, representing 12.6 per cent when compared to the corresponding period, from $26.6 billion in 2016. This level of non-performing loans represents 15.7 per cent of the total loans, of which commercial banks’ total loan portfolio stood at $142.7 billion as at June, 2017. Though other indicators, as highlighted earlier, would have shown that the banking system remained relatively sound, such that the statutory liquid assets were in excess by 93.5 per cent or $78.52 billion and net income before tax stood at $7.7 billion. Given that the level of non-performing loans is one that could pose a serious threat to the soundness of the commercial banks’ portfolio, this indicator ought not to be taken lightly. Interestingly, the IMF Country Report for Guyana (2017) highlighted the fact that one domestic bank (alone) accounts for half of NPLs, though it has extended only a fifth of loans.The banking system has certainly been weakened against this backdrop, especially when looked at historically. Meaning, in the last seven years — 2010 to present — the level of non-performing loans has increased at an alarming rate: 309 per cent, from $7.307 billion in 2010 to $29.945 billion in June 2017. This outcome therefore merits the question: what are the determinants of non-performing loans? The answer is twofold; wherein the causations are stemmed from macroeconomic conditions and a bank’s specific factors.The rapid deterioration in commercial banks’ assets quality could lead to substantial losses and reduction of capital buffers. Increases in NPLs would not only increase banks’ vulnerabilities to further shocks, but also limit their lending operations, with broader repercussions for economic activity. This is evidenced by the fact that, indeed, lending has contracted during the period under review, as highlighted earlier, and as a consequence other sectors have recorded deteriorated performances as well, compared to the corresponding periods and recent years.Further, the increases in NPLs have a significant impact on credit as a share of GDP, real GDP growth, unemployment, and inflation in the periods ahead, thus validating the notion that a healthy and sustainable growth cannot be achieved without a sound and resilient banking system.Finally, citing an IMF working paper (2013) with respect to policy implications, “first, given the adverse effect of NPLs in the broader economy, and also in view of the significant contribution of bank-level factors to NPLs, there is merit in strengthening supervision to prevent a sharp build-up of NPLs in the future, including by ensuring that banks avoid excessive lending and maintaining high credit standards.”Beyond this, given that high levels of NPLs pose a burden on the economy, inter alia through limited bank lending, the need for a swift, orderly clean-up of banks’ portfolios is highlighted.
…in Guyanese electionsDeus ex machina – the god from the machine – was a device from ancient Greek theatre by which the god was lowered onto the stage by a crane to intervene in the goings-on there. Nowadays, it signals an author concocting an intervention to get him out of a contradiction in the plot, which is completely out of the blue. It can also happen in real life.Recently, that data mining company, Cambridge Analytica (CA), has been in the news; more from the issue of Facebook – company from where data on 50,000 account holders in the US was collected – betraying its users who thought the data from their personal postings were safely sequestered away. CA is owned by SCL Elections, which hires itself out across the world to mine and manipulate social media for political and other interested organisations.Back in February, when the story first broke, your jaded Eyewitness described how CA influenced the Kenyan elections, and asked, “And, dear reader, if data manipulation could affect the Kenyan elections, why should we be exempt??” Well, no newshound followed up here…but lo and behold…it was just announced that Guyana was one of the countries in which CA did its thing!! And immediately the three parties still standing — the PNC, PPP and AFC – all followed Shaggy and shouted, “Wasn’t me!!”So, if it wasn’t the usual suspects, who did the dirty? Well, your Eyewitness will use the Sherlock Holmes test: “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The question, then, is: apart from the political parties – which other organisation used social media very heavily and got involved in elections??And the answer, dear readers, is – the Guyana National Youth Council (GNYC)!! You remember them and the young persons who led the organisation to their remarkable intervention in 2015 that led to the PPP being ousted from office, don’t you?? Well, if you don’t, that’s the point, isn’t it? Who was the deus ex machina that intervened to make a completely unknown bunch of young people burn like a supernova and then became a black hole in executing their most CA-like “Vote like a boss” campaign??After they PARTNERED with GECOM to “educate voters”, they claimed: “GNYC is a legally registered and independent youth-led NGO established in September 2014 after a series of broad-based consultations with youth and youth serving entities. While this was before the GNYC’s partnerships with its current donors (Cuso International and USAID LEAD project), the process was facilitated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme.”Maybe it was a coincidence, but the group was formed just after the famous “feral blast” of July 4, 2014!!…in seawall Police shootingsYour Eyewitness must confess he’s of the “hang ‘em high” school when it comes to applying justice to wrongdoers. But he must confess also that the “justice” part must first be applied. The “shoot first and ask questions later” approach just can’t work – if for no other reason that Justice being blind, has to HEAR testimony, since she can’t see what goes down.And that’s what’s been going through his mind with this seawall shooting that just won’t go away. At first he thought, “Good!! At last these withdrawal robberies will stop – just like the carjacking epidemic – now the gang’s been taken out.” But as details started to slowly trickle out, there were just too many gaps in the Police’s account. As is, it’s either there’s some kind of coverup going on – or a deus ex machina being invoked to explain the unresolved plot.With Hughes bringing forward witnesses, there should be an impartial inquiry, so we can hear all the sides of the story.…on kite flyingAs a callow youth, your Eyewitness could never get the loop right for his home-made kite to stay up in the sky. Caused him no end of “tantalising”!He’s happy for the deus ex machina keeping up his Chinese kites nowadays!!
Dear Editor,Since the PPP/C demitted office, the present regime has conducted several forensic audits, using firms and individuals that have expressed political opposition to the PPP/C, even hostility.Despite the fact that these auditors have found no evidence of corruption, the media continues to spread disinformation.The Stabroek News’ editorial of September 26, 2016, in its first paragraph said that under the PPP/C government “…there was a heavy veil drawn across the huge procurement sector.” This statement is untrue and completely unfounded.We need to first reflect on what the PPP/C inherited when it assumed office in 1992.The PNC, which now leads the APNU/AFC regime, had no tendering process. Contracts for projects, goods and services were given to their cronies and party financiers.The PPP/C administration not only changed that system, they introduced an open bidding process and implemented systems to establish and enforce transparency. These included inviting members of the media and representatives of the tenderers to the opening of the bids.The media, therefore, clearly played a role in this process and yet the Stabroek News’ editorial speaks about a “heavy veil,” which shows either ignorance or anti-PPP/C bias and an intention to revise history.The PPP/C was the first government in the entire region, and probably still is, whose Cabinet gave up its right to award contracts and only kept a “no objection” for contracts valued at more than $15 million.It was the PPP/Civic that not only suggested the establishment of a Public Procurement Commission (PPC), but also passed the necessary legislation for its establishment.Why it was not passed is the question that has been frequently asked and answered many times. Yet some sections of the media continue to ignore the explanation given and continue to repeat the half-truths and lies of the APNU/AFC.It was not put in place because of the intransigence of the then PNC/APNU/AFC opposition.At the level of the Public Accounts Committee, the then Opposition attempted to take over by trying to appoint the majority of members of the PPC. They even proposed, unofficially, that they appoint the chairperson. They wanted to control the PPC.In 2011, when the combined opposition got a one seat majority in Parliament, they became more belligerent. They wanted to appoint all members and to remove the Cabinet’s no-objection’s role.The APNU/AFC were doing their utmost to bring the country to a halt. This was evident in their actions when the first Budget of the 10th Parliament was presented to Parliament. The APNU/AFC cut important developmental projects from that first budget. They also cut subsequent budgets.Moreover, they opposed the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project, the Marriott Hotel, the Specialty Hospital, the Anti-Money Laundering Bill, etc. These are but a few important projects designed to advance the social and economic development of our country.Despite all of this negative position of the APNU/AFC in opposition, the PPP/C was ready to establish the PPC.However, after clearly seeing the intentions of the Opposition, the PPP/C proposed the establishment of the PPC, but that Cabinet retains the right to give its “no objection.”The Opposition even refused to make this concession. Clearly, the establishment of the Commission in such circumstances would have brought the country to a standstill. That was not an option.It is apposite to note that the two parties now in government have adopted the same formula to establish the Commission that they rejected while in opposition.Moreover, the reason that the PPC is not yet operational is because the regime is trying to subvert it. They claimed that they are recruiting the staff for the PPC.Staff recruitment is a function of the Commission itself and not the government. Clearly, they want to saddle the PPC with a PNC support staff. Through this mechanism, they hope to tighten their grip on the PPC.The abovementioned editorial is high in praise of the regime establishing a Bid Protest Committee, (BPC). Implicit in the article is that under the PPP/C Government this did not exist and that no appeal was tolerated. That is not true.Under the PPP/C, a Bid Review Committee was set up to examine complaints and appeals whenever they were made. This comprised technical persons from the Ministry of Finance and the ministry/agency concerned.True, it was not a permanent committee, but established as the need arose. This Bid Review Committee is just another “job for the boys/girls” scam.The PPP/C administration has done more than any other in this country and the region to ensure and enforce transparency and accountability in government.The regime’s forensic audits and the fact that the head of the National Tender Board (NTB), who served under the former administration, has been retained and also has a senior position in this regime, is testimony to the fact that the regime and sections of the media intend to smear the PPP/C’s record without regard for facts.The Stabroek News’ editorial writer needs to get the facts instead of repeating, parrot like, lies, distortions and half-truths that have been answered time and time again. That newspaper, like all others, has a responsibility to present facts and fair comment to the public at large.Donald RamotarFormer President
“Do not let the candle of wisdom die out in the darkness of lust and error. For the wise man approaches with his torch to light up the path of mankind.” Kahlil GibranDiwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’, is one of the most enchanting and beautiful festivals that adorn the Hindu calendar. It commemorates the beginning of the Hindu New Year and there is an unmistakable element of fun, laughter, excitement, reunion, and heartfelt felicity associated with the celebration. And why not enjoy and have some fun when the harvest season has ended and the financial books are closed?Diwali originated in rural India as primarily a harvest festival, a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Diwali is observed in many countries outside of India, and in Guyana and Trinidad, the Hindu community joyfully anticipates the coming of Diwali.The inside and outside of homes are beautifully decorated with deyas (earthen lamps), and with every passing year, we are literally mesmerised by the spectacularly dazzling display of exquisitely and artistically designed illuminations on motorcades, houses and business premises that seem to outshine the glitter and glamor of Manhattan’s Times Square.Amidst the jubilation and display, we must not lose sight of the strong spiritual current that runs deep in the proper observance of Diwali. Diwali signifies the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance. This is the light of spiritual knowledge that comes from the long and arduous journey towards self-realisation.The longest journey begins with the first step, and this Diwali is another reminder for us to take that crucial first step towards self-realisation. We do not have to go out of the way and put on a special show or display; one piece of cotton soaked in oil or ghee in an earthen lamp and lit with humility and a deep yearning to be free from ignorance is far “brighter” than thousands of dazzling illuminations lit for mere revelry and enjoyment.In all the great religious and spiritual traditions of the world “light” itself is symbolic of knowledge, joy, purity, vitality, life-sustaining power, as darkness is symbolic of ignorance, destruction, and death.As Shri Krishna sang in Gita: “I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance”. [Bhagavad Gita 10:11]. As conditioned beings we are all caught in this cosmic drama of light and darkness, joy and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat, etc and the experience of these dualities seems to be a necessary element in our spiritual evolution.This is beautifully expressed by the mystic poet Rumi, who wrote: “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites that you will have two wings to fly, not one”. It is not surprising, therefore, that Diwali is celebrated on the 15th day in the dark half of Kartic (October – November).It is but fitting that we celebrate this Festival of Lights on the darkest night of the darkest period – indicating that just as the emergence from darkness makes the sunlight even more dazzling and splendid, so God’s Grace and the ensuing spiritual knowledge and awareness (the light of the diya) is most manifest, and revealing as we emerge from the depths of spiritual slumber induced by the dense darkness of ignorance and error (the darkest night [Amavasya] of the soul).Throughout the ages, our rishis and sages have sought for this Light as is evident in the famous Gayatri prayer: Aum/Bhuh Bhuvah Svah/Tat Savitur Varenyam/Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi/Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat~ The Rig Veda (10:16:3)Meaning: “We meditate on that most adorable, desirable and enchanting lustre and brilliance of our Supreme Being ….who is our creator, inspirer and source of eternal Joy. May this warm and loving Light inspire and guide our mind and open our hearts.”And in the Brihad – Aranyaka Upanishad there is the invocation: “Lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality”.The spiritual dimension of Diwali is heightened by fact that around this time at different periods in the history of the universe and the world certain events occurred that brought forth great joy and spiritual effulgence and obliterated the forces of darkness and evil.Lord Vishnu in His fifth avatar appeared as Lord Vamanadev (The Dwarf Incarnation) and vanquished King Bali. Another avatar of Lord Vishnu, Lord Dhanvantari appeared around Diwali time and delivered the Ayurvedic science of medicine to mankind. The Pandavas of the Mahabharata returned from their exile at the time of Diwali and Bhagwan Shri Krishna killed the wicked king Narakasura and liberated 16,000 princesses from captivity.Bhagwan Shri Rama returned to Ayodhya amidst jubilant festivities and celebrations on the night of Diwali. In the absence of Bhagwan Shri Rama, the citizens of Ayodhya were bereft of all happiness and joy (as if the light of their lives was extinguished) and they were plunged into unbearable grief, despair and darkness.They illuminated their dwellings in grand style to reflect their inner joy and exuberance because the Supreme Embodiment of righteous, good governance and dharma had returned to take His rightful place on the throne.On a more recent time scale, Diwali is celebrated by the Sikhs because on this day in 1619 Guru Hargobind (the Sixth Guru), was released from captivity at Gwalior Fort by the mogul emperor Jahangir (the same tyrant who tortured and martyred the Fifth Guru, Arjan Dev, in Lahore).The Jains also celebrate Diwali because Mahavira (the last Jain Tirthankar) attained nirvana or salvation on Diwali night in 527 BC, over 2500 years ago in Pavapuri province in Bihar. The Harivamsa Purana (a supplement to the Mahabharata) provides one of the oldest references to Diwali by mentioning dipalikaya as a festival marking the nirvana of Lord Mahavira.One of the core principles of Jainism is the adoption of compassion and non-violence as a way of life itself and the concept of aparigraha or non-possessiveness to protect the environment from human greed.For Buddhists, Diwali marks the anniversary of the third Mauryan emperor Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism. Ashoka is still the only emperor who renounced war after victory.In still more recent times, the great reformer, guru, and storehouse of Vedic knowledge, Maharishi Saraswati Dayanand, attained nirvana on Diwali night. He fiercely fought against superstitions and hypocrisy and his core mission was to re-establish the glories of the Vedas. On that moonless night of Amavasya, Maharishi ushered in a new dispensation for mankind based on truth, justice and equality and a new society – the Arya Samaj.Diwali is also the worship of Maha Lakshmi. Maha Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Among the four goals of man, purusharthas (dharma, artha, kama, moksha), artha is associated with the attainment of wealth and material prosperity.The ancient rishis never neglected any aspect of human life; so Hinduism can never be described as “other-worldly”. No good can come out of false renunciation. Active involvement in the world has to be the way for most of us. The human dimension of our existence has to flourish but every aspect of our life and must be guided by dharma (righteous conduct). Wealth must be acquired by ethical means and even then we have to banish greed and covetousness from our lives.Maha Lakshmi rides on an owl, a creature that is said to sees better in the dark; reminding us that when we become carried away by wealth, we quickly become enveloped in the darkness of ignorance.But as we light our deyas, we have to realise that it is God’s presence in our lives that can make us truly prosperous and illuminate our lives in the midst of the darkest pain and suffering. I know many people who are normally referred to as “poor people” who have a light shining in their eyes, a glow on their faces, and a song in their hearts. These are the blessings we need on this Diwali day.We have to keep the light of knowledge and virtue burning brightly within and bring it forth to the world in good actions and deeds, working vigorously and selflessly to eradicate poverty, violence, exploitation, injustice, hatred and cruelty, fiercely resisting all forms of discrimination, forging friendship and goodwill, and in humble and little ways, bring warmth and joy in the lives we touch.Happy Diwali!Cecil Ramkirath
Dear Editor,“But it would also be politically suicidal because it is precisely such an outcome the PPP seeks—I don’t believe sending such a partisan list was accidental. The President must not fall into that trap; he must do everything in his power to resist the temptation to act unilaterally. Unilateralism should be an absolute last (sic) resort,” writes Dr David Hinds on January 11, 2017, in his support for President David Granger’s rejection of the six nominees for GECOM chairman. “I agree with the President’s rejection of the list sent to him by Opposition Leader, Mr Jagdeo. Mr Jagdeo must have known that his list was mostly partisan (sic) and that it flies in the face of the spirit of the Carter formula.” So writes the Afrocentric David, advising his own President David against some Jagdeoliath as if the non-David is someone eyed towering Philistine only fit to be slain-as usual.When Dr Hinds writes about things “partisan” he is an expert being an unapologetic Afrocentric advocate. When he speaks on what may be supposedly “non-partisan” one knows exactly where he is coming from. He wants a pawn as GECOM chairman who will be beholden to the PNC to rig the 2020 elections. Already some 3000 birth certificates are reportedly being “manufactured” to advance their ages to make them eligible to vote in the 2020 elections.Adamant in advocating that they will not criticise the APNU/AFC coalition because that would be undermining an African Government to see it replaced by an Indian Government, the ACDA and the likes of Dr Hinds forget a few things. ACDA as an unapologetic Afrocentric organisation operates as if it is forever imprisoned in chains of the past. Has it learned its lesson well since 1992? What have we learnt from history?Dr Rodney was not fighting to replace the PNC with an African Government. He wanted to merge the WPA with the PPP.The AFC secured and delivered the 11 per cent crossover Indian votes in the 2015 elections which brought the Coalition to power. Only two AFC ministers are Indians, while four are African.GECOM was headed by an Indian, Dr Steve Surujbally, a veterinarian, who presided over the questionable 2015 elections. Unexplained inclusion of fake statement of polls (SOPs), missing and unaccounted ballot boxes, and failure to do recounts after promising to do so occurred in that election under his watch. It took one entire week to declare the results in 2015.Where is it that Dr Jagdeo was partisan in all these shenanigans? Why must the Indian be always expected to deliver to satisfy partisan Afrocentric demands even as a “last resort” by Dr Hinds’ advocacy – one “David” to another “David” – as in Mr Granger?Dr Hinds’ mode of operation is so transparent, he forgets we are wiser in the 21st century. Of course he is in favour of the Opposition Leader meeting the President. Why not? Nothing may come of it if it does take place. He advocates that President Granger grant the request. But Dr Hinds does so for crafty reasons. “Mr Jagdeo has taken a good first step in seeking to meet with the President, something he should be doing (sic) more often. (Shouldn’t Mr Granger be seeking Dr Jagdeo’s counsel more often since he is more experienced?) I see such a meeting achieving two things—a commitment (sic) from the President that he would not act unilaterally and a commitment from Mr Jagdeo that he would send the President a non-partisan list.” Here’s Dr Hinds’ Brer Anancy cunning. He wants Mr Granger to make an empty promise in return for the Opposition Leader to promise -mind you – a concrete promise to send what he calls a “non-partisan list”. What was partisan about the first list anyway?With the ACDA’s Mr Eric Phillips fulminating from the inception that the list be rejected because the ACDA was not initially consulted by the Opposition Leader, aren’t they trying to have their cake and eat it too? ACDA is not independent from the coalition Government in any way. Yet they want it both ways. The Opposition Leader has absolutely no obligation to consult with the ACDA since it is part of the Government. The ACDA may be a Trojan horse by all intents and purposes. Why does it want to have its cake and eat it still?Currently, the PNC-led Coalition has messed up the economy by retrenching hundreds of Amerindians and Indian sugar workers. Now Guyana is headed into a judicial quagmire with the Presidential term-limit case. Will non-partisanship reign supreme to save Guyana from the APNU/AFC coalition mess?Sincerely,Sultan Mohamed
Dear Editor,I wish to thank the media for their expeditious handling of my letter on the Cox matter, albeit in different ways. I, however, wish to clarify some issues raised by Cox, since they represent his trend of trying to mislead and bamboozle the public.Cox is reported as saying that ‘Alexander wrote him to the effect that since he was not a student, the University hadn’t any examination results for him; however, simultaneously, he received additional letters from UG officials acknowledging that he was a student who needed to settle all his outstanding balances before receiving his examination results’.It is true that some time in the 2012-2013 academic year, he received the latter letter which was issued at the behest of the new Vice Chancellor. It is not true that the contradictory letters were issued simultaneously. However, the said Vice Chancellor, subsequently, in his affidavit to the court, indicated that the issuance of the letter was a mistake on his part and that in fact Cox was not a student and was not entitled to examination results. Cox seeks to mislead the public by omitting to tell the entire story.Secondly, rather than producing some document of 2012 in relation to a 2000 transaction, Cox should produce the 2000 agreement, which clearly stipulated his obligation and commitment to repay the loan, granted in 2000, in monthly instalments immediately thereafter. He defaulted on that agreement and was not granted loans in 2001 and 2002.Let’s assume that Cox is right that he had six years to repay the loan granted in 2000, why is the document to that effect dated 2012? And why if that was the case, he failed to acquire loans for the years 2001 and 2002?Further to that, the repayment of the loan and payment to UG are quite different transactions. As a loan student, Cox was required to acquire a loan at the commencement of each academic year. The transmission of the loan document to the University would have been his payment of his fees and would have had nothing to do with when the loan is to be repaid to the Ministry of Finance. UG’s regulations clearly and publicly stipulates the deadline for payment, be it by cash or loan; that non-payment by the deadline incurs a late fee for which there is also a deadline; and that, at the time of examinations, if the fee is not paid, the student is not entitled to write the examinations.Cox’s claim, after defaulting for two years (2001 and 2002), that he still had the latitude of time to pay in 2012 is clearly a figment of his imagination. In fact, under the law of contract, which would have established Cox’s relationship with the University, by 2012 and much earlier, the University would have lost its claim on his debt due to the statutes of limitation.This case provides a good opportunity for investigative journalism, using primary sources, thus pulling the rug from under the feet of Cox or Alexander, whoever is the stranger to the truth. A lie detection test may also be helpful. On all fronts, I am game. Is Cox?Yours truly,Vincent Alexander
Dear Editor,As the coalition Government becomes progressively more unpopular, its political stooges like Freddie Kissoon and its principal mouthpiece, the Kaieteur News, are becoming more paranoid, desperate and vulgar in their lies and fabricated outpourings, in attempting to salvage a hopelessly incompetent and grossly corrupt regime.In recent times, Freddie Kissoon’s rantings have become, discernably, more inane if not more insane, than usual. His recent ramblings about the Berbice Bridge published on September 1, 2017, were drawn to our attention. Again, the inverse racist that he is has come to the fore. He accuses the PPP Administration of racism because of the location of the Berbice Bridge at D’Edward Village and Palmyra. Had this self-proclaimed academic done minimum research on the issue, he would have learnt that the location of the bridge was driven by a feasibility study recommended and financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) done by a French company, Louis Berger. It is this study, which recommended the current location of the bridge as the most feasible in terms of costs. Four other locations were considered, including Everton and New Amsterdam.The study took into account the cost of the infrastructure to build roads to the Everton location on both sides of the river and the cost of journey time to travel to the bridge at that location on both sides of the river. The issue of congestion caused by the bridge and the cost of acquisition of properties were also factors in the studyWe call upon the Government to make this feasibility study public or at least send a copy to Freddie Kissoon for his enlightenment. Hopefully, it may assist in helping him to stop stirring the racial pot, which he so enjoys doing.In the same article, Kissoon rambles on to spread misinformation about the cost of the Skeldon sugar factory. He parrots Kaieteur News’ fabrication that US0 million was invested when the facts are that less than US0 million was invested in that venture. This investment included the co-generation plant, which only recently Clive Thomas said, provides electricity for 90,000 households.We also note Kissoon’s wailings on the location of the proposed Demerara Harbour Bridge. Expectedly, he omits to raise the relevant issues and ask the relevant questions. For example: was there any public procurement done in selecting the company, which allegedly did a feasibility study? That no financier has yet expressed any interest in financing this venture and, therefore, where would the money come from to build this bridge? Was the 0 million taken from the Treasury to finance this feasibility study, another grand wastage of taxpayers’ money?Instead of asking these important questions, all this self-anointed academic is worried about is the traffic chaos.We predict that as this Government continues its downward spiral, the Freddie Kissoons of this world will become more and more maverick and berserk.Sincerely,People’s ProgressiveParty
Mahaicony backlands floodingBy Shemuel FanfairAfter weeks of flooding, farmers and residents in the backlands of Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, are slated to get relief asPumping floodwaters out of the farmlandsrehabilitation works on a breached dam in Strath Campbell along the Perth Canal are expected to commence shortly.This comes in light of a report recently carried in Guyana Times which highlighted that hundreds of acres of farmlands were flooded via the unrepaired breach during high tide.Information reaching this publication indicated that the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary Agricultural Developmental Authority (MMA-ADA) has secured equipment and will visit the area to begin rehabilitation by Thursday.MMA-ADA General Manager Aubrey Charles, when contacted on Tuesday, confirmed this and further explained that some months after the said dam was constructed, it settled and its height was as a consequence decreased.“After the settlement, the height of the dam was below the designed level,” Charles explained.Aubrey CharlesThe General Manager also said that the recent spring tide overflow caused soil erosion which facilitated the widening of breaches which were responsible for the heavy levels of flooding.“We also learnt that not too far from there, another section of the dam has eroded, so it’s two portions of the dam eroded,” Charles stated.According to the official, he visited the area some three weeks ago, but because of the “soft” terrain of the area, it is difficult to transport machines to rectify the problem. To this end, Charles pointed out that he could not give a specific date for when the works would be completed.One farmer with knowledge of the dam had told Guyana Times that indeed the current conditions would hinder the completion of the rehabilitation works. As the breached sections of the Perth Canal are currently unrepaired, farmers in the Branch Road Mahaicony backlands are still battling flooding even though the high tide has decreased.Farmers, who are still flooded, related that they were suffering as the dam now needed some amount of dry weather to be repaired. They expressed their frustration over the fact that the recent El Niño period was the ideal time to have done the repairs, but nothing was done to assist them. Now that the rainy season has started, they lamented the fact that they have to suffer losses.They stand to lose hundreds of acres and millions of dollars. To prevent a complete destruction of the rice crop, the farmers have the costly undertaking of pumping water from the fields every time the tide goes out.Meanwhile, while the floodwaters at Company Dam, New Providence have receded, residents fear that the next spring tide will again cause major flooding, which would destroy their plants and threaten the safety of the children who use outside toilets and traverse the area to get to and from school.
Duterte says he will appoint Gamboa as next PNP chief Comelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:25SEA Games: PH dancesport plucks 5 gold medals in standard events01:05SEA Games: Agatha Wong defends wushu title, scores 2nd gold for PH02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Despite early exit, Philippines shows it can compete against world’s best 3×3 teams Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ MANILA, Philippines—Filipino bet Merwin Tan took home the gold in the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships Saturday in Sarawak, Malaysia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsREAD: PH Youth bowl squad in World title huntThe 19-year-old Tan, a national team mainstay, ruled the Boy’s Singles event with a six-game total of 1,352 pinfalls in the opening day of the biennial meet. MOST READ ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. READ: Positive thinking pushes young Tan to boys crownWilliam Clark from Australia claimed the silver with 1,334 while Park Sang-hyeok of South Korea registered 1,326 to settle for bronze.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US View comments
Japan’s Naomi Osaka serves to Croatia’s Donna Vekic during their Porsche tennis Grand Prix match in Stuttgart, Germany, Friday April 26, 2019. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)STUTTGART, Germany — Top-ranked Naomi Osaka came from behind in the final set to beat Donna Vekic 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) on Friday and reach the semifinals of the Porsche Grand Prix.Osaka easily won the first set before Vekic looked to have seized control of the match by winning the second and building up a 5-1 lead in the third.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Comelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Third-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic came from behind to beat Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 and reach the semifinals for the third time.“It’s nice to be in the semifinal again. It’s still a lot of work to do,” Kvitova said. “I didn’t reach the final here yet, so hopefully this time will be better.”Kvitova will play Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, who beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber, a two-time champion in Stuttgart, 6-3, 6-4.___ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US LATEST STORIES But Osaka, who twice was two points from defeat, regrouped to win five straight games and force the tiebreaker, which she wrapped up after two early mini breaks. The win sends her into her first semifinal since winning the Australian Open in January.“It means a lot I think, especially since it’s clay,” Osaka said. “I spent a really long time after Miami just training on clay, trying to get comfortable with it, and I’m really happy that that paid off.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsOsaka will next face eighth-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estona, who moved on when Victoria Azarenka retired with an injury.Kontaveit led 3-0 in the third set when Azarenka was forced to quit with an injury that affected her service motion. Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu Duterte says he will appoint Gamboa as next PNP chief ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far View comments Mexico’s Estrada dethrones Thai champion Srisaket for super flyweight belt Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption