Narine confronts ‘Grey Boy’ in Police presence

Courtney Crum-Ewing

Courtney Crum-Ewing

Crum-Ewing’s killing

 

claims being set up in “political plot”

 

By Michael Younge

 

Ex bodyguard of former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) employee, one of the two men who have been arrested in connection with the murder of former soldier and political activist, Courtney Crum-Ewing has finally broken his silence to maintain his innocence.

Rajput Narine, speaking during snippets of an exclusive interview with the Evening News aired on Television Guyana Channel 28 on Wednesday evening, said that he never participated in the planning, organization or execution of Crum-Ewing who was cut down in a hail of bullets at Diamond, East Bank Demerara back in March this year. The main suspect, Regan Rodrigues, who has been arrested for Crum-Ewing’s murder after police conducted a raid at his home and apparently found a pistol which matched the one used to kill the activist, has recently alleged that Narine contracted him to do a “hit” on social and political activist Mark Benschop.

Self-confessed death squad member Sean Hinds

Self-confessed death squad member Sean Hinds

Rodrigues” aka “Grey Boy”, also told the investigators that a second hit, once the first was completed, would have been Crum-Ewing but he decided to share the information with Benschop after turning down a $3M dollar offer on that individual’s head. But Narine recounted a totally different story on Wednesday explaining that he never knew “Grey Boy” personally and was never part of any plot to assassinate Benschop or Crum-Ewing. “I am surprised at these allegations”, he stated before saying that he never participated in any criminal activity in his past as he “is not a person like that”.

Asked whether he knew Crum-Ewing before his death, Narine responded “I never knew him. I never saw him. I never met him before.” He maintained that the allegations made by “Grey Boy” were false and an attempt on the part of the known criminal to frame him and implicate him in the mix of things with the hope of securing some plea deal with the police and Government. Asked what his relations to “Grey Boy” were then, the ex-law enforcement officer then explained that they did not share a personal relationship or friendship. “I know of him. He lives like about 8 houses away from my in-laws them and while I am in and out…going to work (and) going about my business, they hang out in gangs…and while passing I does just raise my hand and go my way….no conversation…no, talking…no communications otherwise..” he remarked.

Pressed further as to why the known criminal would want to implicate an apparently unknown, law-abiding citizen in such a high profile crime, Narine opined that Rodrigues knew that he worked with Government and was also aware that he had “links” to persons associated with the former PPP/C Government. He went recounted that the main suspect in Crum-Eqing’s murder would have seen him in the company of some officials in the security sector in their neighbourhood and therefore could have concocted with others a plot to frame him and implicate him in what he insisted was a politically-driven situation. Narine said that since being arrested by police on Wednesday last, he was interrogated and questioned by different persons but maintained his innocence and lack of knowledge about Crum-Ewing’s murder and the claimed assassination plot on Mark Benschop.

He told the Guyana Times that he was profiled and had his fingerprints taken by the police after consultation with his lawyer Glenn Hanoman explaining too that the police have been dealing with the case in a professional manner. “I gave them all…full cooperation in terms of their investigation…”, the Government worker said. According to him, police arranged a confrontation between him and “Grey Boy” where the main Crum-Ewing suspect maintained that he was contacted by Narine to carry out a hit on the two political activists. He is expected to return to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) today upon the request of the lawmen as he has so far been unable to provide a statement about matters that he insists he has no knowledge about.

 

Nandlall connection

Meanwhile, Narine’s statements to this publication also backed up the account by former Attorney General Anil Nandall in relation to how the two came into contact following Crum-Ewing’s murder. While Nandlall was a Government Minister and became embroiled in a notorious telephone recording with a local journalist, which went viral Crum-Ewing had been protesting outside of his office calling for his resignation. Nandlall said that he hired Narine to be his bodyguard after Crum Ewing’s murder and never knew before. After just four days of service, he became dissatisfied with Narine’s service and terminated him.

“I never knew him. I never met him before..I knew that he is the Minister became everybody knows the names of the cabinet and govt ministers and they does see them on publication but personally I never knew him or met him before. I never spoke to him expect for when he came back from the US. My brother called me and tell me to support him in terms of providing security for him and that was the only time I met with him…to discuss the security aspect”, he said during the interview.

He was baffled at the allegations and connections that some are seeking to make explaining that he is not a political being.

“I know in time that people will find out that I am innocent. I am concerned that the lies told by Grey Boy and others have put my life in danger and that of my family. It has tainted my character and now the whole country…the whole world is looking at me…”, he said holding back tears from his eyes. Asked what message he wanted to send to those probing the case and the general public, Narine said, “I am not responsible for this gentleman’s assassination and I’m not responsible for any allegation made against me to plot to assassinate anyone. The allegations made against me are not true. I feel this allegations made against me is not just an allegation. This is a political motive and I am asking the relevant authorities to go do their investigations properly and to find the true killer of Mr Crum-Ewing…and try not to implicate ordinary people like that…This is damaging my character”.

 

NGO launches $42M Akawini community development project in support of Government’s developmental agenda – administration welcomes the initiative

Written by , Published in News, Georgetown, GINA, July 29, 2015, Source

 

Government’s overall drive to develop and enhance the lives of Guyana’s indigenous peoples was today boosted as Food For the Poor Guyana Inc. commissioned a $42M community development project in Akawini, Pomeroon River, Region Two. The project was a collaborative effort of Food For the Poor and the residents of the community.

 

Expressing Governments appreciation for the initiative was Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, who participated in the official inauguration and cutting of the ribbon.

The project which is the brainchild of the former Toshao of Akawini, Rudolph Wilson saw the construction of 27 houses, the provision of four cassava mills and two cargo/passenger boats complete with engines to further enhance the lives of the almost 900 residents.

 

In her presentation, Minister Lowe explained that it is not often that an indigenous community benefits from such a project. She commended the management of Food For the Poor for embarking on such an initiative and the Toshao and residents for making it possible.

 

“This is not the first time that Food For the Poor has assisted any community, they have assisted many communities across Guyana and the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs is grateful,” Minister Lowe said.

 

Minister Lowe expressed satisfaction on the level of cooperation between the Toshao and the residents adding that the leaders of the community are really working for the enhancement of the lives of the peoples. This she said has resulted in a very fruitful partnership between the community and Food For the Poor.

 

“You have strong leaders. I know the pride that flows through the veins of the peoples. I see it in the faces of all of you today, therefore I am confident that you will not take this opportunity for granted. Houses are a necessity, they will bring you comfort and keep your families safe. The boats and cassava mills are tools to make your lives better,” the Minister told the residents.

 

She explained that the project has given the residents the opportunity to be more self-sufficient urging them to take it to the next level by allowing the items to benefit all of the community.

 

The meeting was told that the Government does not see race, gender or class and it is of the firm belief that moving forward can only happen if all Guyanese work together for the common goal.

 

Meanwhile in her overview of the project, Senior Projects Manager of Food For the Poor, Andrea Benjamin explained that the needs assessment for the project was done in late 2013 into 2014 after a request was made by the former Toshao. Benjamin said that this project is seen as an investment in the community to enhance the lives of the peoples and as such, she is urging that efforts are made to sustain the project.

 

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Food For the Poor, Kent Vincent, his organization is happy that it has contributed to the improvement of the living standards of the community adding that his organization will continue to embark on similar initiatives in other communities.

 

He urged the residents to work, take care of the boats and effectively manage the operation of the cassava mills to get the maximum benefits.

Recently appointed Regional Chairman, Davenand Ramdatt also congratulated and expressed gratitude to the management of Food For the Poor for investing such resources into the Akawini community. He said that, “it is partnerships like these which have a direct impact on the lives of the peoples and communities and it fits firmly in the overall developmental thrust.”

 

The Regional Chairman further noted that development cannot or should not take place within communities without firstly consulting with the people to determine the immediate needs adding that, this is the approach of the Government and that of the Regional Democratic Council.

 

He committed to reaching out and to provide any further assistance needed in improving the lives of the men, women and children of the community.  

Recently appointed Toshao David Wilson in his remarks expressed deepest gratitude and appreciation to the management and staff of the NGO for making the dreams of many within the community a reality. He committed to oversee the effective management of the resources given to the community.

 

Food For the Poor began working in Guyana in 1991, delivering food and other basic items to under-privileged people in Guyana. It is now the leading non-governmental organization providing relief to the people of Guyana. In 2014, Food For the Poor shipped 196 containers of goods to Guyana. Shipments to Guyana include goods that serve basic needs, as well as food, medicine, health care items, and educational supplies.

 

=========================

 

1. Perhaps the world only speaks to those who are prepared to listen.

 

2. A man of courage never wants weapons.

 
Published on Jul 28 2015 // Caribbean, Featured, News, North America, Top Stories
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caribbean carnival

News Americas Now, Wednesday July 28, 2015-New York, New York: The West Indian American Carnival Association (WIADCA), the organization which hosts the annual Labor Day Parade in Brooklyn, is in turmoil. It faces strong accusations of alleged discrimination and irregularity. Sources say its President, Thomas Bailey, has tendered his resignation several times since the damaging accusations surfaced. However, the Board of Directors has rejected his attempt to jump ship.   

The organization is keeping up appearances. It launched its carnival two Fridays ago at Brooklyn Borough Hall with only Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Senator Jessie Hamilton present. The entire complement of Brooklyn Caribbean-American elected officials stayed away. This has darkened the cloud of uncertainty over the association. Sponsors have reportedly expressed unease over the controversy just two months before the grand parade.  

The accusations have come from the Brooklyn based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID). CGID has charged that WIADCA discriminates against Guyanese and other non-Trinidadians. The Institute has pointed out that WIADCA’s Board of Directors and general membership are almost one hundred percent Trinidadian, and that the organization is not inclusive. The allegations came after CGID President Rickford Burke, a Guyanese, applied for membership and was denied. Burke has been a volunteer with the association for over four years.

CGID has contended that some members of WIADCA have allegedly expressed anti-Guyanese sentiments. The Institute, along with two other Guyanese organizations; One Guyana USA and Guyana Unity Movement, filed a discrimination complaint with New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. They maintained that it is illegal for the association, which is a not-for-profit that accepts public funding, to discriminate based on national origin. 

WIADCA Chairman Eric Gibbs, reacting to the complaint, told the New York Daily News that Burke’s application for membership was denied “based on one’s character and one’s ability to assist the association moving forward.” He said that nationality was not a factor. Burke immediately fired back with a litany of initiatives with which he has helped the association during his four year term as a volunteer. He also asserted that it is laughable for WIADCA to hold itself out as the moral compass of the Caribbean-Community.       

Several leaders in the Jamaican, Antiguan and Haitian communities have now joined the Guyanese community in accusing WIDCA of prejudicial practices, deepening the controversy. However, the Association in a statement last week refuted these allegations, stating that “WIADCA prides itself on the inclusion and the celebration of the rich cultural contributions of all Caribbean nations to the world. Over the course of its almost 50 year existence, WIADCA has partnered with a diverse set of cultural organizations and individuals with origins from both within and outside of the Caribbean.”

The association claimed that its “Current leadership and volunteers who make substantial contributions to the organization on a regular basis have roots in countries such as Grenada, Guyana, St. Vincent, Italy, the United States, Anguilla, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica, Dominica, Barbados, Haiti and Panama amongst others. In fact, WIADCA always embraced persons from other nationalities in its Membership and Board of Directors. Persons from Guyana, Grenada, Italy, Jamaica and the US have been part of WIADCA for more than 35 years. The organization continues to seek out partners, members and volunteers with specialized expertise from a diverse set of cultural backgrounds.” 

Meanwhile, the politicians are not giving WIADCA any assists. Most are staying clear of the controversy. Others like Brooklyn Democratic Assembly, Nick Perry and former New York City Council Member Una Clarke, the mother of Congresswoman Yvette Clarke; both Jamaicans, have told the media that WIADCA must be more inclusive and that its membership should reflect the entire Caribbean-American Community, and not just one nationality.

Former Granada Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus, in an interview with NY Carib News, echoed similar sentiments. He added that diversity within WIADCA is long overdue. A Caribbean Diplomat, who requested anonymity, also told NY Carib News that the Caribbean Consular Corps has raised the issue of discrimination within WIADCA for years but the question went unanswered.   

WIADCA last week requested a meeting with CGID and Guyanese community leaders to address the controversy. However, multiple sources have indicated that an agreed upon covenant quickly unraveled because WIADCA officials appeared to immediately renege on the agreement. CGID last Friday, one week after the meeting, issued a statement confirming that the two sides met, but said that “Although this engagement was a step in the right direction, we are unaware of any action that WIADCA has taken to resolve the burning issues that were ventilated at the meeting by the Guyanese delegation. This is worrisome. We remain concerned about these matters and will continue our advocacy for a resolution.”

The four point plan submitted included:

(I)          Amend, as soon as possible, the association’s Bylaws to facilitate immediate acceptance of new members to reflect the composition of New York’s diverse Caribbean-American Community. 

(II)          Immediately appoint delegates from each Caricom nation to be liaisons between their respective communities and WIADCA.

(III)          Meet with representatives of each country with an interest in participating in WIADCA’s Labor Day Parade/Carnival; including Jamaicans, Haitians, Antiguans and others, to facilitate their orderly participation in said parade in accordance with extant rules.

(IV)          Develop and build partnerships with organizations, individuals, companies, etc., throughout the Caribbean-American community, to ensure inclusiveness and the full recognition, expression, celebration and enrichment of all West Indian cultures.

(V)          Upon the satisfactory and timely implementation of the above reforms, the Guyanese delegation agreed to fully embrace WIADCA and its endeavors.

The issue of inclusiveness has long dogged WIADCA. Critics have observed that WIADCA’s Bylaws by design inhibit new membership and inclusiveness. Article III, Section 3.01 of the Bylaws mandate that persons interested in membership must first register as a volunteer and serve for one year before becoming eligible to be nominated by two members for membership. The application is then subjected to approval of the Board. If approved, the new member has to wait six months to vote at meetings and five years to become eligible for nomination to be elected to the Board. Board members serve a term of ten years.  CGID has said that such rules perpetuate overt discrimination. A determination of this controversy will be made if the Attorney General decides to conduction an investigation of the association.

 

D_G, while you may quote rules of the forum, Ray simply asks that while you stick to the letter of the rules, you make a mess of the spirit of the rules. All he asks is not that you do not make esoteric, peripheral posts, but that you do so in a manner that they do not drown out the others. Lump it in some summary news feed form - but then again that would be clearly inimical to the aims of the forum.

 

Cobra, if I start a stupid thread then it will die a natural death. No one will view or respond to keep it alive. That's exactly what happened to my thread about D_G's inane posts. I admit that I got what I deserve. But take this as the natural self-censoring of the Board. So don't get worked up over what people post, except....and that's the segue to Nehru.

 

Nehru, cuss and name-call to your heart's content; but at least make some contribution to advance a dialog. All the "JACKASS, STUPID, and DUMB", etc. that you employ can be continued if it serves therapeutically value for you. But at least make your posts count. It's like thief and thief, but show progress for the rest -a lesson the previous stewards of the government chose to ignore.