STABROEK NEWS, NOVEMBER 22 --- The Trades Union Congress today said that the government must be held to account over the misery caused by ongoing flooding.

The TUC statement issued today follows.

The Guyana Trades Union Congress is fed-up with what is passing for governance and calls on the citizens/workers/electorate to register their disgust with the current management of the affairs of state. The continuous lost and inconvenience caused by floodwater incurred through rainfalls or high tides is a toll that carries deep psychological, health and economic casualties. The captured images of resignation, hopelessness and despair on the faces of those who have suffered and lost are heartrending. No people deserve to live under these arduous conditions, with seemingly no end in sight. Household possessions, farms, businesses, vehicles, houses, schools, persons, everything is once again affected.

The trading of blame, excuses, finger pointing, and continued absence of an effective plan to manage the numerous floods inundating this nation since 2005 is unacceptable. The citizens of this country, by and large, continue to honour their side of the social contract by obeying the laws, voting, paying their rates and taxes, yet they continue to be denied the corresponding benefits and protections. Enough is enough. It is said a people get the government they deserve. The people of this country deserve better and must demand better. Our votes must not only count at elections time but must be our reinforcing ticket to demand improved standard of living and proper stewardship of our country.
Guyana is below sea level. This nation inherited a complex and effective sea defence structure and irrigation system built by the Dutch. As an independent nation the only waterway development and irrigation this nation has seen are the construction of the Mahaica/Mahaicony Abary Development Scheme (MMA Scheme) and the Tapacuma Irrigation Projects (TIPs), both of which cry out for maintenance. There has been no further development in water management. Our sea defence structure also needs improvement. The hodge-podge approach to development continues to be to the people’s undoing.

The management of the people’s business by government officials, influenced by feelings and benefits they and their cohorts can derive, with no regard for sound technical/scientific input, has seen this nation’s waterways and drainage reduce to facilitate constructions. The effects of new designs and constructions currently taking place on the East Coast and East Bank roadways bring into question, whether such undertakings have factored in meeting the expansion in housing/buildings and agriculture simultaneously taking place, and planning for the future.
We have no control when the tides will rise, when it will rain or the amount of rainfall. We also live in a world confronted with climate change. What we have control of is putting systems in place to avoid or minimise the consequences of natural occurrences/disasters. In many instances the disasters from flooding in Guyana are man-made, the resulting effects of the government’s lack of maintenance, preparedness and defence.

There are persons who acquired their possessions through the dint of hard work, sacrifices, loans and hire purchases. The agonising pictures of possessions being salvaged or lost would not even stir this government’s conscience. The destruction of lives and properties caused by floods has increased and this is not fair. No government comprising of caring minds would be this persistently cruel to the citizenry. The Minister of Local Government, the representative face of the Ramotar administration, out there casting blame and pointing fingers must be told this government is heartless and its greatest strength is that they have no shame.
The government continues to refuse to accept that it shoulders a responsibility to avoid the fallout from the flood. And given that there were similar previous experiences, systems should have been put in place to avoid or minimise the causalities of recurrence. The citizens are hurting and our elected officials are called upon to stop the politics of incompetence. The time is long past to cultivate a Politics of Solutions. The government has a principal responsibility to the citizenry and must be called upon to account and deliver.

 
ban

it seems the admin can ban people whenever they wish,talking about dictatorship 

 

Nawaz Sharif asks Barack Obama to Raise Kashmir Issue During India Visit

 

Islamabad:  Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked US President Barack Obama to take up the Kashmir issue with the Narendra Modi government when he travels to India in January next year.

Mr Sharif made the request when President Obama telephoned him on Friday, informing him about his forthcoming India visit to attend the Republic Day celebrations as the Chief Guest.
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"The Prime Minister also urged President Obama to take up the cause of Kashmir with the Indian leadership, as its early resolution would bring enduring peace, stability and economic cooperation to Asia," said a statement from the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office on the discussions between the two leaders.

During the telephonic conversation, Mr Sharif recalled an invitation he extended to President Obama last year in Washington and conveyed the expectation of the people of Pakistan to welcome the US President to the country sometime in the future.

"The President also assured the Prime Minister that he would undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date, as soon as the situation normalises in the country," the statement said.


Mr Sharif also referred to his visit to India earlier this year - to attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi - to take relations forward. He alleged that New Delhi subsequently took "unfortunate steps, including cancellation of Foreign Secretary-level talks" and "firing across the LoC resulting in civilian casualties" which showed that "India was averse to normalisation of relations with Pakistan."

The Pakistani PM said his country "remains open to the resumption of bilateral dialogue, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment in this regard."

"President Obama expressed his understanding for our position," the statement added.

The two leaders also discussed the regional situation with Mr Sharif referring to the improvement of Pakistan's relations with Afghanistan as manifest in President Ashraf Ghani's recent visit to Islamabad.

President Obama appreciated Prime Minister Sharif's efforts in this regard and called it pivotal for the peace and stability in the region, the statement said.

Mr Sharif recalled his warm and friendly meeting with the US President in Washington in October last year and their subsequent interaction at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in March this year, it said.

Later, the White House also confirmed that President Obama had called Sharif on Friday. "I can confirm that the President did speak with PM (Prime Minister) Sharif," Mark Stroh, spokesman of the National Security Council, said.

 

Source - http://www.ndtv.com/article/in...g-india-visit-624272

 

After being slapped with fraud charges… Glenn Lall to re-appear in court on Monday

November 21, 2014, Source - Guyana Chronicle

 

After being slapped with fraud charges… Glenn Lall to re-appear in court on Monday
Glenn Lall

 

PUBLISHER of Kaieteur News, Mr. Mohan Lall, commonly referred to as Glenn Lall, yesterday was served a summon to re-appear in court on Monday to answer charges that relate to defrauding the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) of duties, before Magistrate Judy Latchman.

 

In mid-October, Lall and his wife Bhena were arraigned at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.


The filing of the charges followed the disclosure of details of an alleged duty-free scam which were made public by the Guyana Chronicle after a close examination of the Government of Guyana’s review of the Remigrant Scheme.


The couple, who reside at Nandy Park, East Bank Demerara, denied the charges that were read to them by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.


The defence was represented by high-profile lawyers, some of whom are also prominent politicians. The list of lawyers include: Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, Senior Counsels Rex McKay, Nigel Hughes, Christopher Ram, Joseph Harmon, Brendan Glasford, Bettina Glassford and Robin Hunte.

 

CHARGES READ
In their first appearance in court four charges were read to Lall and his wife. They state that:
1. The two parties were knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of import duties of Customs on vehicle, PRR 8398, contrary to Section 218(e) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.
2. The two parties were knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of import duties of Customs on vehicle, PRR 8399, contrary to Section 218(e) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.
3. Glenn Lall and Bhena Lall, knowingly dealt with goods with intent to defraud the revenue of duties thereon to wit one (1) Lexus LX 570 Motor Vehicle registration number PRR 8398 with engine capacity 5700 cc, Chassis No. JTJHY7AX6 D4094851, contrary to Section 218(d) of the Customs Act Chapter 82:01
4. Glenn Lall and Bhena Lall, knowingly dealt with goods with intent to defraud the revenue of duties thereon to wit one (1) Lexus LX 570 motor vehicle registration number PRR 8399 with engine capacity 5700 cc, Chassis No. JTJHY7AX6 D4094851, contrary to Section 218(d) of the Customs Act Chapter 82:01.

 

Defence counsel, Ramjattan requested that his clients be released on their own recognisance, which is self-bail and this was granted.


Representing the prosecution was attorney-at-law Mr. Mahendra Satram and Sandil Kissoon.


Additionally, the other two parties involved in the alleged duty-free scam, Narootandeo and Gharbassi Brijnanan, did not appear to answer the charges against them.


The charges against the two remigrants state that:
1. The two parties were knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of import duties of Customs on vehicle, PRR 8398, contrary to Section 218(e) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.
2. The two parties were knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of import duties of Customs on vehicle, PRR 8399, contrary to Section 218(e) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.
3. Narootandeo and Gharbassi Brijnanan did make and subscribe to a false declaration in a matter relating to the Customs, contrary to Section 217(1)(a) of the Customs Act Chapter 82:01, involving a vehicle PRR 8398
4. Narootandeo and Gharbassi Brijnanan did make and subscribe to a false declaration in a matter relating to the Customs, contrary to Section 217(1)(a) of the Customs Act Chapter 82:01, involving a vehicle PRR 8399.

 

The lawyers representing Glenn and Bhena Lall are expected to be the same group of lawyers representing the Brijnanans.


Altogether, six criminal charges were filed against Lall and the Brijnanans.

 

DETAILS DISCLOSED
Under the remigrant programme, Guyanese who would have resided overseas for more than five years and are returning home to reside are entitled to a number of benefits, among which are import duty-free waivers for vehicles, and tax exemption for household items, once the items at reference were owned for six months or more in the country where the remigrant was living.


In Lall’s case, husband and wife Narootandeo and Gharbassi Brijnanan were entitled to concessions as two separate individuals, although a joint application was submitted.


The Brijnanans, having decided to return to Guyana to live permanently, were entitled to certain tax breaks, so they imported two luxury vehicles. But the address they gave on the registration forms for both vehicles, Lot 8 Continental Park, East Bank Demerara, was that of their son, Navin Sankar, even though the Lalls are the primary users of the vehicles.


The vehicle, PRR 8398, for instance, is usually parked in front of the Kaieteur News head office on Saffon Street, Charlestown, while PRR 8399 is often seen on Regent Street, in the heart of the city, near Bhena’s Footwear, the shoe business operated by Lall’s wife.


The Brijnanans successfully obtained import duty concessions in the sum of $4,222,223.55 for each vehicle, totalling in excess of $8M. Meanwhile, this newspaper’s research into the source price for a Lexus L570 is about US$80,000. Import duty for such a vehicle would be a total of US$94,500, bringing the total value of the vehicle to US$174,500, or more than G$36M for each of the vehicles imported by the Brijnanans.


If the alleged violations are upheld, it would mean that the Government was cheated out of a total of US$189,000, or almost $40M in import duty for the two vehicles.


At the end of August, after an hours-long standoff between GRA officials and the Brijnanans’ son, Sankar, a high-ranking GRA employee, the vehicles were handed over to GRA and impounded at the authority’s warehouse.


An investigation was then launched to ensure that procedures and policy, as well as the provisions of the law, were adhered to. The criminal charges, this newspaper understands, stem from that investigation.

 

Source - http://guyanachronicle.com/aft...-in-court-on-monday/

 

WILL APNU RESPECT THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS?

November 22, 2014, By KNews, Filed Under Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom , Source - Kaieteur News

 

APNU has reportedly challenged the government to bring on elections. In other words it is saying that it is ready for general elections.


But while it may be ready for elections, the Guyana Elections Commission may not be as ready. No amount of fancy talk by GECOM is going to convince anyone that all systems are primed. GECOM is yet to offer either a comment or an explanation about the alleged foul-up of the Region Three results in the last elections and of the conduct of certain persons in making life difficult for some voters at some polling stations, including the polling station at which the President voted.


There is still a lot of suspicion over the electoral process. There is still a great deal of controversy over what happened in both 2006 and 2011. The political parties have all expressed some reservations, including reservations about the long time it takes for the results to be declared. One way of reducing the suspicions over the results of the elections would be to have a preliminary result declared, but this is point of contention amongst the parties involved.


There is clearly a need for some independent monitoring of the results. The Elections Affairs Bureau was intended to be this sort of body but it has not performed to expectations.


In 1992, when the PNC unleashed unrest in the city, the EAB abandoned ship. In 1997, it still was unable to obtain sufficient results from polling stations to make an early pronouncement on the results which would have avoided all the problems that followed. In 2001, it is not clear what happened to the EAB. In 2006 it depended on some political parties to supply it with results. It is not clear whether the EAB’s final report of the 2011 elections results have been published.


There is therefore a clear need for a more competent independent monitoring of Guyana’s electoral process and particularly the actual results at the respective polling stations. This would require whichever body does this to field observers at each polling station. This in turn would mean that GECOM would have to certify each one of these observers and to allow those who are eligible to vote to vote wherever they are stationed. This is obviously a lot of work for GECOM since it also has to facilitate international observer groups as well as party polling agents.


If the EAB is resuscitated, it should try to involve some of our secondary school children who are not eligible to vote. They will be honest. Utilizing them means that there will be no need for special arrangements to be put in place for them to vote wherever they are stationed. It will also be a good introduction to Guyana’s electoral system.


This brings us to the second and perhaps the most major problem facing Guyana’s electoral system. This is solely a problem for the PNCR to address because it is the PNCR that is at the heart of this problem. Election after election, the PNCR has a problem with accepting the results of the polls. Even in the 2011 polls where they did better than in 2006 and where the combined opposition narrowly got a majority in the National Assembly, the combined opposition took to the streets to protest the results. They did the same, but to most frightening levels in 1997, which they lost and ought to have known that they lost. In the process, they subjected this country’s electoral system to shame because when an international team went through each ballot box, they did not find any basis to overturn the final results. The PNCR has put this country through turmoil for no justifiable reason.


If the PNCR cannot accept its defeat at elections, it should not contest elections. People are getting tired of Guyana having to shut down for weeks in fear of what the PNCR will do during elections. It is time for some maturity on the part of the PNCR.


They have indicated that they are ready for elections. They must now indicate their readiness to accept the results of elections.


Guyana needs a respite from the post- election histrionics of the PNCR. If they are not prepared to accept the results of the polls, they should not contest the elections.

 

Source - http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....ts-of-the-elections/