Editorial

Make it happen

‘Make it happen’ is the theme under which International Women’s Day will be observed on Sunday .

Choosing the Commonwealth Secretary General

Despite periodic statements suggesting that the Commonwealth as an institution no longer has the relevance once attributed to it, clearly there is, in the Caribbean as elsewhere, still a fascination with obtaining the position of Secretary General on the part of Caribbean governments .

Political higher-ups and the perks of the state

There has been an understandable public preoccupation (to say nothing of bewilderment) over the recent disclosures regarding the expenditure of healthy sums of tax dollars to meet medical and dental bills for ministers of government and other public officials .

Police station deaths

On Tuesday evening, Zaharudeen Rozan was arrested for allegedly damaging his neighbour’s fence and taken by the police to the Parika lock-ups .

Medical expenses

Yesterday and on Friday this newspaper reported on the medical expenses of government officials paid for by the state during the period 2012-13 .

Nicaragua’s controversial canal

Questions about the secretly negotiated deal which approved plans for a transoceanic waterway three times as long and twice as deep as the Panama Canal stand at the centre of a heated political quarrel over government transparency in Nicaragua .

The attractive French model

There is, understandably, a lot of fuss surrounding the surprise selection by the PPP (independent of the Civic component) of Ambassador Elisabeth Harper as the prime ministerial running mate for President Donald Ramotar in the forthcoming elections .

Speak, Mrs Harper

Today marks six days since the former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mrs Elisabeth Harper was named as the People Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C) prime ministerial candidate in the forthcoming May 11 general elections .

Geopolitical changes around and within Caricom

The announcement by the United States and Cuba that they would seek to resume normal relations will in some measure be seen by some observers as an indication of a fulfilment of gradual, but persistent changes in Caribbean geopolitical relationships, some more prominent than others .

Confronting tyrants and bullies working as minibus crews

The death late last week of a commuter reportedly following an altercation with a minibus conductor over the decibel level of the music being played inside a bus would not have come as a complete shock to those who are familiar with the seamier side of the minibus ‘culture’ .

The selection of Mrs Harper

The selection by the PPP/C of Ambassador Elisabeth Harper as its prime ministerial candidate for the forthcoming general elections must rank as one of the biggest political surprises in the independence history of the country .

Political mysteries

It is not often that the political cognoscenti of this land are mystified; after all, that which is outrageous has become so commonplace in our little universe that the term ‘bizarre’ is fast losing its meaning .

The wretched of the earth

Last week the Guardian published a report on the use of child labour at brick-making factories in Nepal .

Change in St Kitts and Nevis

Following the St Kitts and Nevis general election on Monday, conducted in an atmosphere of calm, with a high voter turnout, Tuesday was a day of extreme post-electoral uncertainty and tension in the twin-island federation .

City traffic

The crazy bottleneck that constitutes Camp Street between Quamina and Middle Streets on both sides of the avenue from Monday to Friday, unless there’s a holiday, is as much a result of poor planning as it is the new city traffic culture .

Russia, the West and Ukraine

As countries essentially within what is sometimes referred to as the Western sphere of geopolitical influence, the Governments of Guyana and the other Caricom states must often ponder on the extent to which the world seems to have changed quite dramatically since the disintegration of the Soviet Union and its own post-1945 sphere of influence .

Mandela’s heirs

Are we in the throes of a power struggle amongst the heirs of Nelson Mandela that might one day threaten, perhaps even derail the formidable post-apartheid power base of the African National Congress (ANC) and with it the democracy that has won equally generous measures of global attention and acclaim? Political analysts both inside and outside are now wondering whether the ANC might not be on a path to frittering away the gains of South Africa’s liberation struggle .

The Cummingsburg Accord

The Cummingsburg Accord struck on Saturday by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) to contest the May 11 general elections on a joint slate will go down - win or lose - as the most significant coalition in opposition politics since independence, defying cynics who thought that it was impossible .

Power

Power is seductive, and its siren song has been responsible for many of our political travails .

Misrepresenting Iraq

In one of his memorable formulations, the great British historian and essayist Thomas Babington Macaulay observed (using the pronoun customary for unanswerable judgements) that “we know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodic fits of morality .

The Cuban Adjustment Act

Even as the process of rapprochement between Cuba and the United States of America continues, with a not unexpected ebb and flow in the negotiations and a certain political caution, there is one perhaps surprising point of convergence, albeit for different reasons, between Havana and the staunchly anti-Castro Cuban exile community in Miami: the need to reform or do away with the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) .

That 10% electricity tariff dip

Starting March 1 and continuing for at least the next 3 months, Guyanese will pay 10% less for the electricity they consume .

Trinidad’s pre-election rumblings

With elections due by May this year, Trinidad’s People’s Partnership coalition government seems to be experiencing a certain amount of turbulence .

We have failed our university

By last weekend the academic staff of the University of Guyana had not only thumbed their noses at Vice-Chancellor Jacob Opadeyi’s five per cent pay increase offer for 2015 but had decided to hold out on their demand for a sixty per cent increase .

Death at a rice mill

Seventeen-year-old Threeion Gittens died a horrible death on Thursday, crushed under the weight of a large amount of paddy at Caricom Rice Mills Limited (CRML) .

Government and torture

Exactly why the government will not condemn the promotion of two police officers who are known to have been guilty of the torture of a boy is extremely puzzling .

The Age of Distraction

The speed at which information technology advances, and the rate at which its growth drives online commerce, remains remarkable even in an age accustomed to digital wonders .

Pluralistic democracy

In their 2012 book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty – Guyanese would no doubt find this particular juxtaposition of three Ps somewhat intriguing and ironic, even if unintentional – the Turkish-American economist Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the British political scientist James A Robinson of Harvard University provide some fascinating ideas about economic development in both developing and developed countries .

Fixing things

To say that the physical environment at the University of Guyana (UG) is disgraceful would be to make a colossal understatement .

Energy: Caricom challenges

Contemporaneously with the drastic fall of oil prices, Caribbean states found themselves, towards the end of January, required to be in Washington to attend what was referred to as the First Caribbean Energy Security Summit, a multilateral meeting attended by the other major Western donors, Britain and Canada .

Realism and diplomacy: US-Guyana relations

In its issue of January 18, 2015, the Stabroek News published an article based on an interview with United States Chargé d’Affaires Bryan Hunt which dealt in the main with two issues that are on the front burner of relations between Georgetown and Washington .

What Minister Edghill said at Lusignan

On January 26, at an event organised by the Indian Arrival Committee to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the horrific slaying of 11 persons in the East Coast village of Lusignan, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Juan Edghill was reported by the Government Information Agency as saying “We still have issues of crime and security in our country but we must never mix and confuse the difference between regular crime and robbery as against what took place here in Lusignan” .

UG

There are some general truths about tertiary education that apply everywhere, the primary one being that you cannot get a decent university on the cheap .

Censorship in China, business as usual

China’s current crackdown on Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) – which allow uncensored use of the internet — may well prove to be a milestone in the country’s increasing restrictions on free expression .

‘Democratic institutionalism’

Oscar Arias, the former president of Costa Rica (1986-90 and 2006-10), won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the guerrilla wars ravaging Central America and for promoting peace and democracy in the isthmus .

A year of tough choices

Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark named 2015, the year of tough choices for world leaders .

Obama on the offensive

It seems to be the case that President Obama’s recent State of the Union message to the Congress took his prime audience, the Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, by surprise .



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