Sad day at school

On the eve of the 52nd anniversary of our independence, one of the more prominent private schools in the capital city marked the occasion by celebrating culture day.

The Critchlow Labour College/ Kaizen oil and gas initiative

On Thursday and Friday of last week the Critchlow Labour College in collaboration with Kaizen Environmental Services, a Trinidad and Tobago company whose profile credits it with providing services that “balance environmental sensitivity with economic concerns,” executed a two-day Course titled “Introduction To Oil and Gas” comprising twelve modules.

Time for a decision on Chancellor, CJ

If the President and the Opposition Leader needed any further admonition about substantive appointments to the top two posts in the judiciary they heard it in a stinging rebuke from the incoming head of the CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders.

Map without Essequibo

On Friday, the management of the American Home and Beauty Centre on Robb and Wellington apologised for a Facebook advertisement of a sale which carried a map of Guyana sans its largest county, Essequibo.

Roth, Wolfe and the Billion-Footed Beast

May has been a cruel month for American letters. Two weeks ago, Tom Wolfe – a pioneer of New Journalism who penned one of most memorable novels of the Reagan era  – died at the age of 88.

Bipartisanship in Parliament

For far too long the Guyana Parliament has served almost only as a battleground for warring political parties – both those in government and those with their eyes set on becoming the government.

Expecting pumpkins from karila vines

Twelve days ago, the world observed Inter-national Nurses Day on May 12. In some countries, governments, in collaboration with nurses’ councils and associations, held activities over the period of a week, dubbing it ‘Nurses Week’.

Logging trucks

Logging trucks or timber trucks, as they are sometimes referred to, have been in the news again.

Criminal challenge to territorial integrity?

On those occasions when the issue of national security comes under serious official contemplation, the sanctity of our borders invariably becomes part of the discourse.

Mother’s Day at the NA Prison

In off the cuff remarks on Wednesday at State House about the third anniversary of his government in office, President Granger said  “Sometimes commentators tend to underestimate the difficulties we face in terms of our finance… international relations… crime and security but I think [a] sober analysis will see that we have made tremendous progress”.

Esso’s US$460m pre-contract claim

Given the structure of the 1999 and 2016  Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) between the government and ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), the extent of benefits to Guyana is significantly hinged on the allowable expenses.

Trumpworld vs Twitter

Donald Trump’s unfettered access to Twitter – a digital platform he has exploited with remarkable success  –  has long been a hallmark of his unusual presidency.

Fiddling while City Hall crumbles

The Georgetown City Hall has long been recognised as one of the more picturesque representations of Gothic Revival architecture in the city, and in Guyana as a whole.

The richest country in the world

Is any one country the richest in the world? The title is subjective, and it really depends on what one counts as riches.

Cricket Ombudsman

Followers of local cricket are shaking their heads in disbelief once again, as the local ruling body, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), has conjured yet another Machiavellian manoeuvre. 

The case of Deputy Superintendent Motie Dookie

The last thing that this editorial wants to be seen to be doing is making a judgement call on a sensitive administrative decision made by the Guyana Police Force in circumstances where we may not have in our possession all of the requisite rationale (beyond that which has been publicly stated by the Acting Commissioner of Police) for the action though, taking account of the context and what we know, we have opted to make use of our right to comment on the particular issue.

The Sussex St bond revisited

In its column in yesterday’s Sunday Stabroek, Transparency Institute Guyana Inc (TIGI) addressed the country’s ranking in the most recent report of Transparency International on corruption perceptions and considered the various factors which could have given rise to the improved score. 

COFCOR and Guyana’s move to the ICJ

Speaking on Monday at the opening of the 21st Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) in The Bahamas, CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque implored the ministers gathered to speak with one voice to maximize benefits for the region.

Abandoning diplomacy

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is a characteristic act of petulance and one that is inexplicable except as a rebuke to his predecessor.

Defective detention facilities

When Paul Arjune, a father of eight, appeared before a city magistrate charged with escaping from police custody his explanation was as simple as it was profound: “I escape out of frustration,” was his telling retort.

Too sweet

In April last year, South African scientist Professor Tim Noakes was found not guilty of misconduct, by the Health Professions Council of South Africa, following a hearing after a report made against him in 2014 by then president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing-Strydom for advising a mother on Twitter to wean her child onto low-carb, high-fat foods.

Worrisome development

In the sports section of last Sunday’s edition, this newspaper broke a story that the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) was asking Under-15 and Under-17 players to sign contracts with long term implications for their future earnings from the game of cricket.

Teachers

Few things can be more inspiring for our struggling education system than teachers, mostly females, (these days it appears that males run a proverbial mile to avoid teaching) fending off their less than appealing conditions of service, and presenting themselves, day after day, fully prepared to draw a line under the frustrations of the previous day and to simply soldier on. 

APNU and AFC meeting

Governing coalition partners, APNU and the AFC are scheduled to meet today to discuss a revision of their ground-breaking Cummingsburg Accord that seeded their win at the 2015 general elections.

Mayhem at sea

On April 27th, 2018 off the coast of Suriname, there was an attack by pirates on four fishing boats manned  by Guyanese most of whom were living in Suriname.

Trump vs Democracy?

In a memorable passage, Emerson observes that:  “An institution is the lengthened shadow of a man … and all history resolves itself very easily into the biography of a few stout and earnest persons.” That insight is a good starting point for a raft of books about the Trump era, most of which interpret the president’s  disruption of the status quo, and his proud ignorance of much of it, as a death knell for American democracy.

Waiting in lines

It would be a very useful study indeed to research the amount of time the average person in Guyana spends standing in line to access goods and services.

No clear division

On Monday last, residents of some villages along the lower East Coast Demerara were exhorted to reclaim their communities through the use of the ballot box at this year’s Local Government Elections.

Physical challenges

It is a long wait for fans of America’s National Football League (NFL) between the end of one season, the Super Bowl in early February, and the start of the next season at the beginning of September.

Sedition and cybercrime

Considering the bewildering array of criminal behaviour in cyberspace – in particular the purveying of child pornography and human trafficking –the advancing of a draft law on these matters and the compromising of computer systems is welcome.

Road culture

In November 2015, a few months after the present government took office, Road Safety Month was launched at which none other than the President of the Co-operative Republic gave the inaugural address.

Learning from Toronto

Six days after Alek Minassian used a rented van to kill 10 people seriously injuring 15 others, Toronto is returning to normal.

Occupational Safety and Health

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) marks April 28 globally as Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) day, promoting the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases.

Addressing plastic pollution

What about nature’s worth? It’s our planet’s womb… What about forest trails? Burnt despite our pleas… – Earth Song, Michael Jackson (1995) Humankind’s stewardship of the earth, for the most part, has been deficient.

Latest weapon

On Monday afternoon at about 1.30 pm, as the City of Toronto finally began to thaw out from a long winter – as recently as last Thursday it was two degrees Celsius with snow on the ground –  the warm spring day was disrupted with the shocking news that a van had struck several pedestrians at the busy intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, in the north end of the city.

Settling mercury issue quickly

Something would appear to have given over the past few days after the state entities that share responsibility for the administration of the various facets of the gold industry in Guyana – the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyana Geology & Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) ‒ had come under further public pressure over the issue of mercury emissions from gold processing by the GGB and its effects on the health of GGMC workers.

The charges

For the entire period of the APNU+AFC administration, it has been clear that the toxic relationship between the government and the opposition – and reflected in everyday encounters among their adherents at various levels far and wide –    would lead to increasingly intractable crises such as those that resulted in the unilateral appointment of the Chairman of GECOM and the continuing absence of substantive appointments to the top two posts of the judiciary.

Sugar heritage

Sugar has defined us. Barring those interludes when crops like cotton, coffee and cacao were grown here, sugar until recently was our primary crop, our primary employer and our primary export.

Us and them politics

A riveting sequence towards the end of Ava DuVernay’s 2016 documentary ‘13th’ intercuts scenes of racial violence from the 1960s with a recording of Donald Trump speaking at a rally – shortly after he has been heckled by an African American protester.

Youth projects

The millennial generation, that age group currently between 18 and 34, make up the single largest chunk of the Guyana population, approximately 45%, using data from the 2012 census.

Disrespecting professionals

At a recent hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), members learnt, or rather were officially informed, that Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) has a significant staff deficit and that the 204 vacancies included teachers, nurses and doctors.

Misplaced machismo

By now you must have experienced the roar. Chances are, once you leave your home you will hear it.

Mercury emissions at the Guyana Gold Board

It really ought not to have been this way. Successive political administrations, ignoring their own repetitive articulation of the virtue of safety and health at the workplace, inexplicably failed to practise what they continually preach resulting – by the admission of the present administration – in damage to the health of a still unknown number of workers at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to an extent that remains unclear.

The invested signing bonus

It now seems clear that the APNU+AFC government has no intention of placing the US$18m signing bonus in the Consolidated Fund as required by Article 216 of the constitution.

Indigenous democracy

That people don’t learn any lessons from the experience of others is perhaps understandable, but why they shouldn’t learn from their own experience – good as well as bad ‒ is more difficult to explain.

A time to pay attention

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow recently closed an episode of her show with this thought: “When politics goes right in a well-run country, citizens do not have to think much about their government and about the responsibilities of citizenship.” Pausing briefly, for effect, she continued: “The contrary is also true.

Corruption in law enforcement

Recently, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr Gregory Quinn had some harsh words to say against corruption in law enforcement, making a strong suggestion that corrupt officers must be jailed once found guilty.

Deterring youth crime

Data on the early ages at which children begin smoking cigarettes and using hard drugs surfaced once again during a national community policing organisation event on Sunday last, with Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan expressing amazement that some were as young as 11.

The longest Test continues

After the twenty-ninth inter-sessional meeting of the conference of the Caricom Heads of Government concluded on the 28th February, in Haiti, the communiqué issued, surprisingly, included the subject of West Indies cricket.