Serious Play

Eighty years ago, in a fascinating study of play in human culture, the Dutch historian Johann Huizinga noted that in many ways “there is no distinction whatever between marking out a space for sacred purpose and marking it out for purposes of sheer play.

Zimbabwe’s continuing crisis

It really was highly unlikely that President Robert Mugabe, having conducted himself in the way that he has been doing for so long – before, during and after the last elections in the Republic – would suddenly have turned the face of generosity to Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDCs).

Still at a standstill

Few security topics have been more discussed over the past decade than narcotics trafficking.

Death squads inquiry

It is becoming impossible for the government to plausibly resist a comprehensive, independent inquiry of the death squad phenomena and the violence that gripped the East Coast following the 2002 prison-break.

Sport

Some time ago a correspondent to this newspaper suggested a fund-raising campaign to provide Guyana with a world class track and stadium.

National policy

This week, the government through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security launched a National Policy on Domestic Violence, the purpose of which it says is to inform and guide future interventions for the prevention of domestic violence and the provision of services to survivors.

Mr Chavez’s about turn

Last Sunday, President Hugo Chávez urged the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to free all their hostages and end their decades old insurgency.

Calabashing Naipaul

Before his long harangue of VS Naipaul was read at the Calabash literary festival in Jamaica, Derek Walcott spoke at length about film, music and the state of West Indian literature.

US presidential elections: First stage over

With the conclusion of the Democratic primaries in the United States, and Hillary Clinton’s concession to Barak Obama, the first stage of the United States presidential elections has come to an end.

Not so fast

Departing from convention, police officers took the opportunity of their annual conference to congratulate the Traffic Officer and members of the traffic department on the “significant reduction” in road fatalities up to the end of April 2008, in comparison to the similar period in 2007.

The oxygen of embarrassment

When Mr Toby Mendel of the Article 19 group told members of Parliament at a seminar last month that it was an embarrassment for a country that presented itself as a democracy not to have a Freedom of Information (FOI) law he wasn’t saying anything that the MPs were unaware of.

Enlightenment

So now we know. The Office of the President is not in need of enlightenment – or more accurately “enlightenments” – from anyone outside the boundaries of the Co-operative Republic’s 83,000 square miles.

Food fight

The world, it seems, is down on its luck. As the global food crisis threatens to get worse and the price of oil soars almost daily, leaders haggled on Thursday over the wording of a document proposing actions to deal with hunger.

The OAS turns 60

The Organization of American States (OAS) is marking the 60th anniversary of the adoption of its founding Charter in Bogotá, Colombia.

Venezuela’s ‘spying’ law

Yesterday we carried a Reuters report about Venezuela’s new ‘spying’ law. It was issued by decree last Wednesday, and its main provisions concern the reorganization of the intelligence services.

The end of cheap food

One paradox at the heart of the present world food crisis is that the same market forces which threaten to starve millions in the developing world are the ones that have led to chronic overconsumption and an obesity epidemic in the west.

Weeping for Wakenaam

Last month’s rural rape-murders have again highlighted how low the level of human security is, particularly for women and girl children, in certain areas of this country.

Deals (2)

In the aftermath of the questions raised about the deal for the Sanata Complex the Privatisation Unit (PU) and the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) have made admirable efforts to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

Talking

It is perhaps a measure of how polarized the society has become that much of the language which is being bandied about in the political arena and by commentators is so immoderate.

Smoking kills

What legal consumer product can harm everyone exposed to it, kills half of the people who use it as intended, is the single most preventable cause of death in the world today and will kill more than five million people this year?

UNASUR

President Bharrat Jagdeo last week signed a treaty in Brasilia to establish the so-called Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

Rumblings in St Lucia

Around the Caribbean many will be surprised at the continuing protestations by factions within the Cabinet of the United Workers Party of St Lucia that threaten to lead to the removal of Prime Minister Stephenson King, or cause the collapse of the UWP government altogether, and a return to the polls.

Middleton Street

As we all await the returns from the reform of the police force and the expected greater feeling of security there is much to be concerned about.