Lost cornerstone

Last Saturday, the game of cricket, Test cricket (not its distant relative – one day cricket or its cheap impersonator – T20 cricket), quite appropriately returned to its rightful position, centre stage.

Moscow’s tall tale

Last Thursday’s claim emanating from a Russian Federation spokesperson that Guyana and the United Kingdom are jointly stoking the fires of an ongoing insurrection against the Maduro administration in Venezuela, using an unnamed island in the Essequibo river to train “sabotage and spy groups” for reentry into the country, amounts to a contrivance so far-fetched that it would merit no serious attention at all under different circumstances.

GECOM’s nonchalance

In the aftermath of the June 18, 2019  ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) throwing out the government’s challenge to the December 21, 2018 motion of no confidence and dismissing the appointment of GECOM Chairman Justice Patterson as unconstitutional, it is important to keep reminding those in power what has been ordained in relation to the holding of general elections so that they can either comply or continue to register their defiance for all to see.

Too many subjects?

Announcing the CSEC results on Wednesday, Minister of Education Nicolette Henry said that this year, 251 candidates had achieved Grade Ones in eight or more subjects of which 55 had gained 12 or more Grade Ones.

Hateful rhetoric and its consequences

The El Paso shooting, which claimed 22 lives earlier this month, is further evidence of how profoundly hateful and xenophobic rhetoric has altered public discourse in the United States.

CSEC results

Education Minister Nicolette Henry was in buoyant mood when she announced the results of the CSEC examinations at NCERD in Kingston on Wednesday.

English Premier League

It’s the month of August, which to the millions of football (or soccer, if you prefer) fans around the world, means only one thing; the start of another English Premier League (EPL) season.  

Mining and the environment: Confronting the anomalies

It is almost certainly the case that the recently reported illegal mining operation in the Kuyuwini River in Region Nine had been occurring long before the public disclosure that “at least three river dredges” were operating illegally in the area.

Constitutional imperatives

On July 29th in a statement welcoming the appointment of the new GECOM Chairman, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland QC also adverted to the larger issues that have arisen here in the aftermath of the successful December 21, 2018 motion of no-confidence against the APNU+AFC government.

Political speech

In a statement last week, the PPP/C inveighed against comments made by Attorney General Basil Williams during a panel discussion at the Marriott Hotel organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Guyana.

Darkness Visible – Toni Morrison’s legacy

Toni Morrison – the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize – died during a week marked by senseless gun violence and cringe-inducing vulgarity from a leader whose political career began with his implacable hatred of a black president.

Drug treatment court

While the horizon must seem unrelievedly grim to many citizens, once in a while a few specks of bright light appear to relieve the gloom.

Deadly addiction

On Monday last, NBC news in the United States carried a story of a Roman Catholic priest in Florida who had been arrested the previous Saturday night after a breathalyzer test allegedly showed that he was two times over the legal limit to drive.

Double standards

It is quite understandable that fans of international swimming are once again rather bemused and disgruntled following developments at the 18th World Aquatic Championships which were held from the 12th to 28th July in Gwangju, South Korea.

The National Park on Emancipation Day

Some uplifting things occurred in the course of the Emancipation Day festivities at the National Park last Thursday; and If ever we arrive at a point where considerations of race and ethnicity cease to be a barrier to the sense of nationhood to which we say we aspire, or at least if we can, somehow, manage to leave the historic toxicity of racial division behind, that may well be the result of the incremental effects of manifestations like those at the National Park on Thursday.  

Constitutional governance

In an affidavit filed by Deputy Solicitor-General Deborah Kumar in the challenge brought by Christopher Ram against the ongoing house-to-house registration exercise, Attorney General, Basil Williams SC has made another spurious excuse for the government not abiding with constitutional strictures imposed as a result of the passage of the December 21, 2018 motion of no confidence against the government.

Haitians

The matter of the number of Haitians entering Guyana has raised its head again.

The politics of the past

“The past is never dead,” wrote the American novelist William Faulkner, “It’s not even past.” Faulkner had in mind the troubled history of the American south, but his insight applies just as well to the resurgence of tribalism on both sides of the Atlantic.

Facial recognition technology

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, never a one for great reflection on our liberal values, was unsurprisingly in full rapturous mode at the launch of the Safe City surveillance system in Georgetown last week. 

Freedom

Today Guyana observes the 181st anniversary since African slaves who had been brought to this part of the world were freed from the abominable, dehumanising condition of captivity, which to date defies definition.

Fortnite World Cup

The 1975 sci-fi film Rollerball, directed and produced by the well known Canadian director Norman Jewison, projected what the sporting world was going to be in this century.  

Address to diplomats

On Thursday President David Granger invited members of civil society and the diplomatic community to listen to a presentation at separate engagements in the Baridi Benab.

Finally, a consensual GECOM Chairman

On July 26, President Granger and Opposition Leader Jagdeo were finally able to discharge their constitutional obligations in relation to a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Resisting the new normal

Six hours of testimony from special prosecutor Robert Mueller highlighted the dilemma facing the Democrats in the run-up to the 2020 US election.

Temporising

There can be no head of state since 1980 who has displayed more of a capacity for temporising than President David Granger.

Pollution solutions

Just recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cut two massive swathes in pollution problems that have been causing some amount of grief.

Fear

“The only thing that I fear is fear itself,” a Formula One driver once observed.

UNICEF’s take on fast foods and weight gain in schoolchildren

Even with the various other developmental challenges that are on its plate our   policy-makers, particularly those responsible for overseeing the child health regime in the  schools system, should take a serious look at the UNICEF 2019 “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report which, in its section on the global problem of overweight and obesity, makes a point of saying that the overarching concern over this particular health challenge extends to schoolchildren, worldwide. 

House-to-house registration

On Saturday, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) commenced house-to-house registration across the country for the purpose of creating a new National Register of Registrants from which a new preliminary voters list is to be extracted.

Abolishing the Grade Six Assessment

A week last Friday, addressing the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Director of Economics at the Caribbean Development Bank Dr Justin Ram recommended that Guyana abolish its Grade Six Assessment.

Filling the gaps

At the end of last month, this newspaper’s Sunday column “Women’s Chronicles” published a conversation with a 30-year-old mother of four who has been living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) for 13 years.

ICC World Cup Final

Last Sunday while France was busy celebrating La Fete Nationale (French National Day), often referred to as Bastille Day, the attention of the world’s sports fans was centred on their neighbour across the Channel, the United Kingdom.

Economic diplomacy

Shifts in Guyana’s development focus underscored by the realization of oil and gas as a factor therein have occasioned the enhanced importance of attracting foreign investors as well as the need to expand external markets for the country’s products and services.

Growing pains

A new UN report estimates that the world population – which currently hovers around  7.7 billion – will grow to 8.5 billion by 2030 and peak at around 11 billion early in the next century.

The CCJ has spoken

In its consequential orders yesterday, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) set out pithily that the Granger administration fell from office on December 21, 2018 and must now only function as a caretaker government for the purposes of holding general elections in three months from June 18 unless there is an enlargement of that period with the concurrence of the opposition.

Empty gesture

Two weeks ago the government announced that the Cabinet had decided to approve a proposal to remove custodial sentences for persons found with 30 grammes or less of marijuana.

Feeding the multitude

Last month, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division revised its estimate of the world’s population growth.

Real or deception?

In recent years, cricket and baseball fans have been entertained with significant increases in run scoring, propelled by a rush in the striking of sixes and home runs, in the respective sports.

GuyTIE II

With markedly less aplomb than its 2018 predecessor, the Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GuyTIE) 2020 was officially launched last Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, the comparatively low key nature of the event signalling, perhaps, a veiled official  concession that last year’s inaugural event staged at the Marriott Hotel had fallen well short of  its widely advertised objectives, not least of those being the growing of the global market for Guyanese products and the significant strengthening of linkages between the local and international business sectors.

Fastest growing economy

On June 28, an analysis on the Nasdaq stock exchange  website stated that based on a projected growth rate of 16.3% during the period 2018 to 2021, as sourced from the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects June 2019 data, Guyana had been identified as having the fastest growing economy in the world.

Grade Six Assessments

The results from the annual Grade Six Assessments were no less dismal than usual, with the qualification that in 2019 there was a slight increase in the number who passed Mathematics in comparison with the previous year.

Exhausting Liberalism

The recent G20 meeting in Osaka highlighted both the obstacles to and the need for genuine engagement between the world’s leading nations.

The Cuban connection

Georgetowners have been noticing the presence of Cubans for quite a while now, but in recent times they appear to be even more in evidence on our streets.

Alcohol warnings

There was welcome news last week that the members of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA) will be (hopefully soon) introducing alcohol labels, “that contain visual guides against drinking and driving, underage consumption and drinking during pregnancy, all areas of concern both for producers and for the health sector.” A press release from WIRSPA published by this newspaper, said the members will also be adopting a new code of practice for the advertisement and marketing of their products.