Have faith, your cries will be answered

July 25, 2014 | By | Filed Under Dem Boys Seh, Features / Columnists, News 

You got to have faith to continue to live a normal life in Guyana. You might want to know wha dem boys talking about. Dem mek a road today and it bruck up tomorrow.
You build a stelling in de morning and by afternoon it float way; you build a bridge by morning and de next day it collapse. Dem building koker all across Guyana wheh dem don’t have canal or trench.
Dem putting down water pump that can’t pump water fuh full a glass. All these projects got dem spending 15 and in some cases 50 times de actual cost to build dem.
Dem go suh far fuh expand airport and spending money that can build ten airport in de region. That same airport got 69 toilet bowl and tank that cost $500,000 each. To justify that, Jagdeo and Benn seh that special people coming to Guyana and dem got to use de toilet because dem kaka special.  Jagdeo and Benn justify de spending pun de airport telling de nation that dem eyeing black people from Africa.
Dem boys seh that dem got some nerve, fuh sure is not balls, to tell this nation such crap, when dem can’t even bring dem own mattee black people, coolie people or buck from we neighbouring country.
Dem building fancy hotel pon taxpayers land wid de taxpayers money that will eventually end up landing in private man hand.  Is all dem things force people to have faith.
Dem boys know bout faith and strongly believe in it. Dem remember de story wid Abraham, and not Jagdeo close man who he knock off. This is de one from de Bible.
He was way too old to have a baby, but de Creatah promise him that he would have a son. Abraham had strong faith.” He get up every morning and said, “Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You that my baby is on its way.”
He kept thanking de Creatah and eventually, the promise came to pass.
De same way de Creatah promise Abraham to give him a baby is de same way he promise dem boys that he will see all de Bees including de man who look like de devil, Jagdeo, Irfaat and Rob de Earth, end up in pumpkin jumpsuit.
De Creatah tell Uncle Glenn and Uncle Adam, “What I started in your life I will finish.” The key is to follow Abraham’s example and praise God while you wait.
Talk half and wait. It’s only time.


Court rules new birth certificate requirement for passports null and void

July 24, 2014 | By | Filed Under News 

Chief Justice, Ian Chang, delivered a ruling yesterday quashing the decision of an immigration official which stipulates

Attorney- at-Law Saphier Husain-Subedar

Attorney- at-Law Saphier Husain-Subedar

that an applicant is required to produce a birth certificate issued within the last six months, before the application for an electronic machine readable passport could be processed and a passport is thereafter issued.
The applicant, Attorney- at-Law Saphier Husain-Subedar, had taken the Chief Immigration Officer/ Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud to court asking that the decision to refuse birth certificates older than six months be overturned.
Husain-Subedar, of Broom Hall, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, said that he has a birth certificate No.1 of Division/Centre 5, Mahaicony, and issued on January 22, 2004 in the name of Saphier Husain.
On March 8th, 2013, the lawyer said he adopted his grandfather’s name, “Subedar.”
Saphier Husain was admitted to practice in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in October 1986 and in Guyana in June 1987.
“I practiced with the name of Saphier Husain. In January 2013, I completed National Committee of Accreditation Exams in the Dominion of Canada and was awarded the N.C.A. Certificate in the name of Saphier Husain-Subedar.”
On June 18, Husain-Subedar said that he visited the Immigration Office in Camp Street, Georgetown with the required application form completed. He was in possession of a copy of the Deed Poll, a document showing his name change, his old Passport, issued on March 19, 2004 and all the other necessary requirements.
Husain-Subedar said that he presented the documents to Immigration Officer, Mr. Parris, “who rejected the application on the grounds that the birth certificate was not valid for said application, since it was issued in 2004/01/22 and not within the last six months.”
The lawyer said that he asked on what authority he was being rejected and the Immigration Officer replied that he was instructed by his senior officers to do so.
Husain-Subedar said that he decided to file the case after Immigration Officer, Mr. Parris refused to accept his birth certificate, as part of the new Passport application.
The Chief Justice granted an order directed at Commissioner Persaud, to show cause why a final court order should not be issued to quash the decision of the Immigration Officer.
Yesterday, Attorney- at- Law attached to the office of the Attorney General, Arianne Mc Lean made no objection to the order.
The ruling further commanded the Chief Immigration Officer, his agent, servant and subordinate officers and every one of them to accept the birth certificate No.1 of Division /Centre 5 Mahaicony, issued on January 22, 2004, and consider Husain’s application to issue an electronic machine readable passport to him.
It is further ordered that Chief Immigration Officer/ Commissioner of Police pay the applicant costs in the sum of $15,000.
In an invited comment, Husain-Subedar noted that the ruling clearly shows that the entire birth certificate requirement has no legal basis.
“It cannot be validated; there is nothing in the constitution to back it up.”

Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud

Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud

“I told the said Immigration Officer that his rejection is wrong in law, and that he violated my Constitutional right… to withhold freedom of movement as guaranteed under Article 148 of the Constitution of Guyana 1980 as amended i.e – the right to enter Guyana and the right to leave Guyana,” Husain-Subedar said.
He maintained that he was within the law given, that his birth certificate issued under the Registration of Births and Deaths Chapter 44:01 of the Laws of Guyana, cannot be invalidated except by law or an amendment of the constitution.
The new passport requirement came to the fore after the Ministry of Home Affairs outlined that for integrity purposes, it is now reinforcing its policy directive originally given to the Guyana Police Force. “This process is necessary to enable Guyana to comply with international best practices and prevent illegal use of travel documents.”
The Ministry had initially said that passport applicants must present a birth certificate which was issued within the last six months.
The Ministry thereafter, noted that there was an error in the original statement. As such “that with immediate effect applicants for passports and other travel documents will be required to present original birth certificates that were issued no less than two years prior to the date of submission of the applications, instead of six months.”
When contacted yesterday, an officer speaking on behalf of the Commissioner Seelall noted that “he could not comment at this point since he was not aware of the ruling.”


Granger’s performance has been found wanting

Posted By Staff Writer On July 25, 2014 @ 5:06 am In Letters | No Comments

Dear Editor,

Messrs Mark DaCosta and Tarron Khemraj’s letters (‘PNCR members can choose their leader wisely or foolishly’ and ‘Granger is the best leader to build a multi-ethnic coalition’ SN, July 22) epitomise the politics of window-dressing as against the politics of performance. The country has had too much of the former, while the latter presents the opportunity to rid this country of the deprivations that the gentlemen seek. There is no party leader in Guyana who has never been credited with the ability to attract multi-ethnic support – Mr Desmond Hoyte was even given the sobriquet Desmond Persaud.

Mr Khemraj informs us that Mr Granger is interested in constitutional reform, refashioning the role of president and prime minister and changing what he calls the “pernicious constitution.” What he fails to tell us is that Mr Granger is the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional Reform but for the past two years has done nothing to have this constitutional committee function, much less achieve reform. Likewise, Mr Granger is also credited for increasing votes in 2011. What has not been provided is the evidence to make credible the claims.

In major Amerindians location, Region 8 was won by the AFC and Region 9 retained by the PPP. The APNU recaptured Region 7 from the AFC, but made no inroads into the traditional PPP strongholds. In 2006 the PNCR1G lost a parliamentary seat to the AFC in Region 10 and recaptured it in 2011. Had Mr Khemraj looked at the numbers he would have seen the turnout of the PNCR’s base in south Georgetown was way below expectations.

Admittedly in 2006 the PNCR1G received 114,608 votes. Mr Khemraj failed to bring to his analysis some variables impacting on this election, such as, Robert Corbin’s initial position of ‘No verification, No election’; ACDA’s public appeal to African Guyanese not to vote given its concern about this group’s prospects in the extant political environment; the AFC’s decision to go to the poll impacting on the PNCR’s volte face, followed by the late Ms Sheila Holder’s public admission post-2006 that the AFC knew the electoral list was padded.

The 2011 elections was one for the opposition to lose given PPP misrule and abuse of the public purse and citizens. The political climate was made for the opposition, Granger and team. Closer analysis will note that in 2001 with a less favourable climate Hoyte won 166,090 votes. In those elections GAP/WPA won 9,519 and JFAP 2,824. If these numbers were at the minimum retained in 2011 and given the APNU partnership, it would have at least achieved 179, 433 votes. The APNU could have won the 2011 elections if it had worked to achieve what 4 parties together achieved in 2001! The PPP won the elections with 166,340 votes. APNU received 139,678 votes.

It is said Mr Granger’s “position on Linden demonstrates a dimension on his economic insights.” Given the reports of Mr Granger’s treatment of Linden, and Lindeners’ reaction to his (mis)treatment of them, what “economic insights” is Mr Khemraj talking about? Region 10 is considered a safe district for the PNCR and was recaptured in 2011 thanks to Aubrey Norton, Vanessa Kissoon, Sharma Solomon and team. But this region seems to get the brunt of Mr Granger’s resentment. Where is Granger’s economic plan for this region, and what has he done, using the opposition parliamentary majority, to make it real?

In fairness, inclusionary democracy is not a political aspiration of Mr Granger, but a component of governance required by the Guyana Constitution. Mr Granger could have helped the body politic had he practised this and meritocracy, another attribute ascribed to him. An analyst cited the WPA’s written concerns about his approach to governance (APNU and national) which exposes the inaccuracy of Mr Khemraj’s claim. Another example is the sidelining of Dr Faith Harding, a fellow presidential primary candidate, and exclusion of APNU’s hardest working MP, Mr Carl Greenidge from the PNCR Central Executive even though he has the power to co-opt members and campaigned on a platform that unity will guide his leadership of the party.

On democracy in the PNC that Mr DaCosta credits him for, Mr Granger inherited a structure in 2012. His management of this structure should be one reviewed with Congress this weekend, and there is already talk about his poor management of the party’s business, delegates and membership. The jury is still out. Have the stalwarts who left the PNCR returned or were they reached out to by Granger? Party membership under his leadership has declined. Disgruntlement among supporters and members is louder. Mr Granger ran on a platform promising a menu of measures in the party, and has only delivered on the publishing of the New Nation. In the meantime he has sold the party’s prized assets (GBTI shares and Sophia land).

On elections, in Region 8 where the AFC received the plurality of the vote, the party took the regional chairmanship and gave the APNU the vice-chairmanship. In Region 7 where the PNCR/APNU recaptured the plurality of the votes, it took both the chairmanship and vice-chairmanship. On Gecom, Hoyte had created a policy whereby the smaller parties were given a commissioner as part of the opposition’s allotment. When the opportunity came with the death of Mr Robert Williams, Mr Granger did not allow the AFC to fill the seat. The Justice For All Party (JFAP) has since quit the APNU, with Mr Jaipual Sharma saying the opposition did not give him support during his run-in with Ms Priya Manickchand.

On Mr Khemraj’s view that Mr Granger believes in the devolution of power to the people, he needs to explain APNU’s position on contesting the local government elections, which is an aspect of our governance structure that seeks to achieve the devolution of power. The PNCR under Hoyte allowed the communities to identify their leaders to run in the neighbourhood/village districts, and the party contested in the towns. Mr Granger’s approach seeks to centralise and control the people’s power in both villages and towns.

On meritocracy, in addition to being Leader of the PNCR and Opposition, and Chairman of the APNU and Committee on Constitutional Review, on the resignation of Ms Deborah Backer, Granger designated himself the Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs. Applying the principle of meritocracy, Aubrey Norton would have been the choice candidate given his expertise in the field. And even though Mr Granger holds this portfolio his policy position on Brazil, China, India and immigration remains unknown. Mr Granger wears five caps and has failed to perform adequately in any.

The examples Mr Khemraj cites as offering an insight into Granger’s economic philosophy evidently eludes critics, including the author of the claim who himself found it difficult to educate the readership. Mr Granger, to his credit, is associated with the phrase ‘A Good Life for all,’ which seems more like sloganeering than substantive economic philosophy, which is the source of critique.

Contrary to Mr Khemraj’s belief, there is no difference in the ethnic composition of protest led by Hoyte and Dr Walter Rodney. Both had similar characteristics, ie, they were urban based, predominantly African, but included other races. Therefore the fear of Hoyte-led protests and the need to replicate Rodney-led protests should pose no problem to Granger.

Mr Granger is no more multi-ethnic than any leader, present and past, with the only exception being Mr Ravi Devi’s ROAR, who made public his desire to only represent Indians and accommodated his leadership and strategy accordingly. On the matter of a party’s political base, every party knows the importance of its base. The base is a party’s bedrock. And in every base – because no base is monolithic – there are some who present embarrassing and difficult times for the leadership. This is not unique to the PNC, PPP or any political party, anywhere.

What seems to be unique is the desire of some to have the leaders (notably for the PNCR) abandon their base rather than persuade leaders in all political parties to educate their base to respect differences in the other, and share space and resources equitably. It is also instructive that Mr Granger is given credit for the Amaila Falls issue, and not Mr Greenidge who was the mastermind, but when APNU falters Granger is absolved from responsibility.

None of the persons (Barrington Braithwaite, Mike Persaud, Tarron Khemraj, Mark DaCosta) making a case for Mr Granger’s re-election as PNCR leader has been able to do so on his performance. And this is because they too know that he has fallen short. Likeability or association does not equal development; performance does. Those who desire the politics of performance, and have placed Granger’s performance under critical review and found deficiencies, have made them known. No spin can hide the facts.


Yours faithfully, 
Minette Bacchus

Privileges Committee ruling…
Attorney General Mr. Anil Nandlall

Privileges Committee ruling…


‘Constitutional compliance cannot be a violation of privilege’

ATTORNEY –General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Anil Nandlall yesterday responded to Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Raphael Trotman’s ruling that Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, should go before the Privileges Committee.And his contention is that the issue raised by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Shadow Finance Minister, Mr. Carl Greenidge’s Motion is a legal matter, rather than a question of privilege..
Said he: “I have reviewed the ruling of the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, dated 24th July 2014. In that ruling, the Speaker has found that the issue has raised sufficiently serious questions of privilege to be inquired into by the Committee of Privileges .
“While I am bound to be guided by the Speaker’s ruling, I do not consider myself restrained from expressing a view on the ruling, even a critical and outspoken one.
“The issue raised in this Motion is purely a legal one. It concerns the interpretation of several provisions of the Constitution, including Articles 217 and 218. Article 217 essentially provides when, and in what circumstances, monies can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund.”
He noted that Article 218 provides for monies to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund outside of the strictures imposed by Article 217.
The AG said, “In short, Article 218 is but an exception to Article 217. In other words, Article 217 sets out the general rule and Article 218, the exceptions to that rule. That is precisely why the wording of Article 218 succeeds the words of Article 217.

‘What has been referred to the Privileges Committee by the Honourable Speaker is hardly a matter of privilege’ – Attorney-General and Minster of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall

“These very two Articles were examined by the Honourable Chief Justice in the Budget Cut case and interpreted along the same vein that I have articulated above. The Chief Justice did so in both his interim as well as his final rulings.
“The Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and all the lawyers in the National Assembly for the Opposition participated in this case, either as parties or as attorneys at law. I presume therefore that they have read the two rulings. Indeed they have appealed.”
Nandlall stated too that, essentially, what has been referred to the Privileges Committee by the Honourable Speaker is hardly a matter of privilege.
He said, “Rather it is a matter of law and constitutional interpretation. The simple truth is, that, a Member of the House cannot act in conformity with the Constitution and at the same time violate a privilege.
“Constitutional supremacy, which is the cornerstone upon which our constitutional democracy rests, mandates that the glories of the common law , statute law , by laws , standing orders , rules and regulations and indeed administrative policies, must bend and bow to the provisions of the Constitution.
“Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court, and not the Privileges Committee of the National Assembly, or any other forum for that matter, is exclusively vested with the constitutional responsibility of interpreting and determining matters of law, whenever there is any controversy.”
To this end, the AG contends that the Speaker fell into error in determining that there was a serious question of privilege, and transmitting same to the Privileges Committee.
“The Privileges Committee is without jurisdiction to deal with the matter for several reasons,” he said.
Nandlall also pointed out that the persons who will constitute this Committee will come from the membership of political parties that have an interest to serve and have indeed said publicly that the Minister has violated the Constitution and the law; in short they have made up their minds.
“It will be impossible for the Minister to get a fair hearing at this Committee. The persons who will sit on this Committee are simply unqualified to determine the legal issues which will arise therein. Significantly, this very issue is sub-judice and is the subject of an appeal pending before the Guyana Court of Appeal and therefore ought not to be the subject of any consideration either in the National Assembly as a whole, or in any of its Committees,” he said.
Nandlall concluded that the Government, over the next few days, will be considering its options, a resort to a legal challenge of this ruling being one of them.






The recent CPL matches have brought to the surface a number of realities about our economic and social life. 

The first is that Guyanese love their cricket and they take their cricket seriously. All of the three matches played attracted huge turnouts, but it was the match against the Jamaican Tallawahs that generated the most excitement, no doubt because it is regarded as one of the more competitive teams in the tournament. Indeed, the Jamaican Tallawahs are the defending champions after edging out our own Amazon Warriors in the finals played about two years ago.

Beating the Tallawahs on home turf would have been sweet revenge but that was not to be. The Amazon Warriors lost the match in a nail biting finish even though many felt that the Warriors should have won that match given the relatively modest chasing target and the wickets in hand.

But that is cricket, a game of glorious uncertainties. In the end, it is the better team that wins and like it or not, we just have to accept the results and learn to live with it.

In this regard, Dr. Bobby Ramroop and his New GPC deserve to be commended for obtaining the franchise for the games under the Limacol brand which, apart from providing entertainment, would also boost tourist arrivals to the country.

The scent of victory is always sweet. I thought and reflected on this fact as I watched the agonizing loss of Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals and the defeat of Argentina in the finals. The World Cup moment clearly belonged to the victorious German team who received a tumultuous welcome home. Many of us in this part of the world were batting for Brazil, but Brazil failed to live up to our expectations and suffered a humiliating defeat in the semi-finals.

This is a bit of a departure from the main thrust of this article which has to do with the rising tide of prosperity in Guyana, and the manner in which such enhanced levels of spending is being manifested.

I have watched the CPL T20 in several venues, but I have not seen any that can match the turnout and crowd exuberance that I saw at the Providence Stadium. I am willing to concede that I could be biased, but I am still to be convinced that there is any other venue in the Caribbean that is as subscribed in terms of ticket sales and crowd support as our own Providence Stadium.

Indeed, because of the huge turnout at cricketing and other social activities at the Providence Stadium, an entire entertainment complex has sprouted in the immediate vicinity of the Stadium, which includes a modern hotel and several drinking spots which are doing good business, especially when the Stadium comes alive with mega activities.

The number of vehicles on our roads is another indication of prosperity. The per capita ownership of motor vehicles have increased exponentially, while our road networks have only been expanded in a linear manner which obviously is a huge challenge if not a nightmare to navigate, especially during peak hours.

The construction of four lane roads on the East and West Coast Demerara corridors will go a far way in terms of easing traffic congestion on these two major roadways to and from the capital city of Georgetown. I do feel, however, that the time is quickly approaching when we have to consider new bypass roads, especially on our main intersections.

As the economy grows and the productive capacity of the country expands, an increasing number of Guyanese will be in a position to own their own vehicles and other fixed assets, including their own homes. This process is further facilitated by easier credits and loans from the banking system which is now experiencing a problem of excess liquidity as a consequence of high savings. One manifestation of this phenomenon is the low interest rate on savings on the one hand, and a comparatively high rate of interest on borrowing.

One indicator of economic progress is the number of banks that a country has, even though it may not be a sufficient measure of economic progress. Some countries, such as the Cayman Islands, have scores of banks, but a sizeable number of these are off-shore banks that specialise in banking services.

Guyana’s banking system displays almost all the characteristics of a modern financial banking system, with easy credits and money transfers which are fuelling the rapid rise in property ownership. The PPP/C administration must be commended for putting in place the necessary policy measures to ensure financial stability and sustained economic growth which has had, over the years, an accelerator effect on the economic and social lives of the Guyanese people as a whole.

(By Hydar Ally)