Road, debt rescheduling may be on the Agenda
PRESIDENT of Brazil Jose Sarney arrived here yesterday on an official visit expected to deepen ties between the two countries.
He was scheduled to open official talks with President Desmond Hoyte yesterday afternoon and sources here said Brazil’s long standing interest in a road through Guyana to access the Caribbean was widely expected to be featured on the agenda.
Guidelines for bilateral co-operation were established here last September when the Brazilian Minister of External Relations Roberto De Abreu Sodre visited.
On that visit, the two countries signed the Working Programme of Georgetown which is now being implemented.
According to Brazilian sources, “important” steps have been taken in fields including health, energy, agriculture, mining and education.
Energy has also become a high priority area in bilateral cooperation and Brazilian experts are currently here examining the electricity situation to determine the most effective kind of co-operation Brazil could offer.
Officials in Sodre’s delegation last year disclosed that Brazil was prepared to reschedule Guyana’s then existing $15.4 m (US) debt and offer a new $10m (US) line of credit to this country.
The Brazilians have however, linked utilisation of the new credit line to restructuring of the current Guyana debts and some sources expect announcements on the debt rescheduling and credit line by the time the Sarney visit ends today.
Information from the Brazilians before the visit, expected it “will certainly contribute to further strengthen the ties of friendship, understanding and co-operation between the two countries.”
President Sarney was due to meet local businessmen at a working breakfast today and address the National Assembly.
He and Mr. Hoyte were also due to sign a joint communique this morning before departure this afternoon.
To mark the visit the internationally-acclaimed Brazilian ‘Trio tapajos’ musicians will perform at the Pegasus Hotel tonight and at the National Cultural Centre tomorrow afternoon.
The Brazilian Embassy here and the Department of Culture have also planned a kite-flying extravaganza featuring Brazilian kites from 5p.m. today and tomorrow on the Georgetown Seawall.
Fire Insurance Premiums To Go Up
Because of Poor State of Fire Fighting Equipment
THE deteriorating state of the Fire Service has been a burning issue between the Insurance Association of Guyana (IAG) and the fire service and the Ministry of Home Affairs authorities, a source has revealed.
According to the secretary/Treasurer of the IAG, as a result of the delay in resolving the matter the IAG will be increasing fire insurance rates soon since the fire service is in an emergency state.
He further stated that despite a meeting with the authorities held mid-last year about the matter, no progress has been made with rehabilitation plans to date.
“Authorities from the Home Affairs Ministry have claimed that due to the non-release of foreign exchange by the Bank of Guyana none of the equipment that stations need could have been purchased,” the IAG’s source said. Since late last year the fire department was expecting the importation of two new fire tenders, pumps and other essential equipment but the authorities say the Bank of Guyana did not release enough foreign exchange to ensure such purchases, the Secretary/treasurer noted.
He explained that IAG understood it would cost about G$300,000 to repair the present fire tenders which does not include the cost of other spares needed by the department. “We had even offered to assist with the rehabilitation of the department, but since the authorities have made no progress in obtaining the foreign exchange we had no choice but to consider an increase for the rates,” the Secretary/ Treasurer added.
Another source from the Colonial Fire and General Insurance Company (Colfire) disclosed that the company is very concerned about what he described as the alarming condition of the fire department.
The source confirmed that all fire insurance rates will be re-structured soon to take into account the fire service. He said the company will make variations on rates for heavy and light industrial establishments where it was previously between concrete and wooden structures.
He said that consideration will be granted if the fire department approaches the company for any assistance to rehabilitate the service.
Women In Theatre
TWO years ago Desiree Edghill was named BEST ACTRESS OF THE YEAR. This year, Desiree was named MOST VERSATILE ACTRESS. She is therefore no newcomer to the stage. A prolific performer, full of energy and now very versatile. Desiree started her work in theatre purely by accident. Wanting to find some way of occupying her mind, Desiree joined PEWITT which was a theatrical group of the workers at Guyana Stores Ltd., where Desiree is employed.
She surprised herself in these first performances in 1981 and later, after having joined the Theatre Guild, she was greatly encouraged by John Rollins to pursue more work in theatre. Desiree expresses deep gratitude for those early days at the Theatre Guild where she learnt all the basics in theatre. In spite of her involvement with groups outside of Theatre Guild Desiree has been faithful to the Guild and still performs with them.
Desiree who is working and has a family admits that a woman can only take part in theatre work, which is very demanding, if she is well organised and, of course, if she gets the full support of her man as she does. In spite of her active participation in theatre, she feels very strongly that the trend in Guyana to do more and more commercial theatre has had a negative effect on standards. Desiree would like to see a place established where people, really interested in learning theatre craft can go to learn it.
Desiree will next be seen on stage as LADY IN ORANGE in FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF by Ntozahe Shange at the National Cultural Centre on March 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.