New GWI Chief Executive

Appointing international civil servant Dr Richard Van West-Charles as the new Chief Executive (CE) of the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) is another ill-advised decision by the APNU+AFC administration that immediately leads reasonable minds to question whether the coalition is truly wedded to separating itself from the debased culture of the former PPP/C government.

Ministers’ pay rise

Power does strange things to office-holders. When they are sitting on the opposition benches they see with great clarity the need for transparency and accountability; they promote the virtues of the meritocratic state, criticising nepotism and patronage, and promise value for money to taxpayers should they ever be voted into government.

Laureates who listen

The 2015 Nobel prizes indicate how much the landscapes of diplomacy and letters have shifted in recent years. The Swedish Academy praises this year’s laureates for building a pluralistic democracy and forging a “monument to suffering and courage” respectively.

The arrest of John Ashe

To say that the recent bombshell news of the arrest, in New York, of former Antigua and Barbuda ambassador to the United Nations and 2013-2014 UN General Assembly president Dr John Ashe, on charges of corruption and tax evasion, is deeply embarrassing to his country and Caricom as a whole would be a gross understatement.

Addressing the violence epidemic

If you work in an office where the number of women employed is at least 12, then according to the most recent statistics for the region, four of them would have been or will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex, verbally, mentally or emotionally abused.

The Syrian conflict globalised

In last week’s editorial on the continuing interchanges between the major powers, in particular the United States and Russia, we noted that both powers had come to realize that Syria’s civil war was forcing an increasingly direct diplomatic confrontation between them.

The problems of the Camp Street GRA complex

Among the issues raised by President of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) Mr Patrick Yarde in his opening address to the Union’s Twenty First Biennial Delegates Conference last week was the worrisome issue of the continued occupancy of the Camp Street complex by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the face of the revelation some weeks ago by GRA Board Chairman Mr Rawle Lucas that the physical conditions pose a threat to workers’ health and arrangements should be made for the relocation of the staff at the earliest possible time.

Diplomatic defence

The Venezuelans can’t have been very happy when they left New York last week; President David Granger stole the show, and commanded as much of the space in the margins of the General Assembly as it is possible for a small nation to do in such a brief space of time.

Debating reparations

Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent visit to Jamaica has vividly exposed how differently Europe and the Caribbean see the legacy of slavery and colonialism, especially when it touches on the question of compensation for historical injustices.

Luis Almagro steps out

Not content with its aggressive posture towards Guyana and provoking tensions with Colombia, its western neighbour, the government of the so-called Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has also trained its sights on the new Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro.

The big powers engage

The spectre of the major powers’ leaders finding themselves at the current 70th General Assembly meeting devoted, among its other preoccupations, to a focus on Sustainable Development will have drawn global attention.

The decimation of the public service

With the Commission of Enquiry into the operations of the Guyana Public Service having only just gotten underway, it is evident that the commission’s journey will be a long and interesting one and that the outcomes – many of them – will spark more political cat-sparring between the Granger administration and the opposition PPP/C.

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