All eyes on the West Indies

The tension for West Indies cricket fans has been mounting very slowly since the International Cricket Conference World Cup qualifiers began in Zimbabwe last week.

Backing away from brinkmanship?

Even in a global community where the international relations agenda is teeming with other issues of pressing importance – the Syrian crisis and its related superpower confrontation; the resurfacing geo-political tensions in the Middle East; political instability linked to regime change in Africa; the protracted crisis confronting the Maduro administration in Venezuela; and Russia’s fast-eroding relationship with the West –  no current global development comes close to matching the recent dramatic turn of events than relations between the United States and North Korea.

Complaint by female football referees

In the Guyana Football Federation Inc (GFF) column in Saturday’s Guyana Chronicle in recognition of International Women’s Day,  GFF President, Wayne Forde set out what his organisation is doing for gender parity.

City Hall

One can just imagine the joy suffusing citizens’ faces when they read that Georgetown, following the example of villages, mining areas and towns in this green and verdant land of ours, is to have a ‘City Week’.

Learning from Venezuela

Over the last five years, Venezuela has suffered a greater economic contraction than America experienced during the Great Depression.

Standards

The announcement this February by Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Mr Trevor Benn, that the Commission was preparing a code of ethics intended to guide the work and conduct of land surveyors across the country, is another in a growing list of organisations that is seeking to upgrade or lay down standards by which they conduct their operations.

Women’s day

Today, Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing International Women’s Day.

Roger Bannister

Last Saturday, the eyes of the world of track and field were focused on the penultimate day of the 2018 International Associations of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships being held in Birmingham, England.

Minister Ramjattan’s apology to the media

There is a justifiable case for the Guyana Press Association (GPA) not being entirely satisfied with the apology tendered by Minister Khemraj Ramjattan arising out of his recent encounters with media operatives.

Sales of Wales Estate land

According to an advertisement in Friday’s Stabroek News by the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) set up under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) to oversee the privatization of sugar estates,  Lots numbered 1 to 12 and 14 to 31, parts of Plantation Wales along the eastern and western sides of the West Bank Public Road have been put up for sale.

Refugees in Guyana

There were three stories on a related topic in our edition yesterday: the first dealing with the pressure being put on Region One’s health services owing to illegal Venezuelans entering and seeking treatment, the second a general story about the numbers fleeing our western neighbour and their destinations on the continent, and the third the fining of a man in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court because he entered Guyana illegally through Eteringbang.

Thirty Million Words

Last week, a literacy initiative established by the actress and county music legend Dolly Parton donated its 100 millionth book to a child.

Guyana suicide reduction rate

For some years Guyana held the dubious distinction of being the suicide capital of the world by virtue of a staggering suicide rate of just about 44 persons per 100,000 in 2012.

The rhetoric and the reality

During last week, two government officials were reported speaking on fighting hunger and malnutrition in Guyana.

Flags of allegiance

Last Thursday evening, on the eve of Guyana’s forty-eighth anniversary of becoming a Co-operative Republic, the nation was served with a sharp reminder that it has a long way to go before we truly become One Nation, One People, One Destiny.

Whistling in the wind

There has been no official disclosure from the Ministry of Education beyond the initial report around two weeks ago regarding alleged drug (ecstasy) distribution in two named Georgetown secondary schools, and afterwards, the announcement that these occurrences were being probed by the police and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU).

Consolidating sugar

Disregard for one moment the breathtaking bumbling by the APNU+AFC government on the sugar industry and consider the plight of nearly 5,000 workers who have been made redundant since the Wales Factory shut its operations at the end of 2016.

Bank customer robberies

A senior Caricom official was the latest victim to be shot and robbed after withdrawing money from a bank.

How democracies live

In their recent book “How Democracies Die”, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, cite a telling remark from the campaign that brought Hugo Chávez – a political outsider who promised to humble a corrupt elite and deliver a more “authentic” democracy – into office.

Drugs in schools

Recently, the issue of drug use in schools in Guyana has made the headlines with the announcement by the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) that it had discovered a drug ring inside two Georgetown schools.

Providing humane health care

Not for the first time in Guyana, a large quantity of medical drugs has had to be discarded due to spoilage.

Swiss time

Last Friday, in the city of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, home of the largest sea port in Europe, another remarkable Swiss timekeeper, with the country’s worldwide accepted standard of clockwork precision excellence, once again docked at the number one ranking of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

That Ayanganna apology

It is still not too late for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to tender a dignified apology to those media operatives (and perhaps to the media fraternity as a whole) upon whom it visited some unacceptable discourtesies on Thursday January 25th after they had turned up at Ayanganna to cover President Granger’s address to the annual Army Officers’ Conference.

Oil agreement and the President

On February 14th, the third anniversary of the Cummingsburg Accord which masterminded the victory of the APNU+AFC coalition at the 2015 general elections, President Granger was asked whether the 2016 Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between his government and ExxonMobil subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEGPL) would be renegotiated.

Local power syndrome

The phenomenon of power syndrome is somewhat puzzling, but it is too common a complaint to be denied.

Another day, another tragedy

In the wake of the latest mass shooting, what more can be said about the unconscionable lack of gun control in America?

Mental health and the prison system

Recently, the violent arrest, by members of the City Constabulary, of a man said to be of unsound mind shocked many who read about it in the formal news media, or viewed it on social media and television.

Smallholder farmers need real solutions

On Friday last, Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder visited farming areas on the East Coast Demerara and listened to complaints from rice farmers about how cattle damage their crops and how long it takes before they can use the fields to replant, as well as the adversity they face in the form of poor drainage and irrigation, including blocked canals.

Valentine’s Day

Today, 14th February, is Valentine’s Day, the traditional day to commemorate romance and the enigma of love.

Zuma’s exit

In everything but title, Jacob Zuma is no longer President of South Africa.

‘The northern coast of South America’

As we reported in our edition yesterday, Brazilian Defence Minister Raul Jungman arrived here on an official visit and was told by President David Granger that Guyana, “would like to review the Joint Communiqué on defence to determine its applicability to present-day circumstances.” He went on to refer to the “present situation in the northern coast of South America.” Inevitably that “situation” was not spelt out for public purposes, but no one was in any doubt that it was a coded reference to Venezuela.

Infinite appetites for distraction

In 1958, Aldous Huxley published a series of reflections on the themes of Brave New World, his classic dystopian novel.

Dialogue and negotiation

In the affairs of every individual, corporation, or country, the two concepts of dialogue and negotiation play a key role in ensuring progress and betterment at various levels of their existence.

Sick

In 2016, more than 42,000 people died in the United States as a result of opioid overdoses, according to a study done last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Missing advisor

The Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit & Exhibition (GIPEX 2018) begins today at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, in Kingston, Georgetown.

Guyana and oil

Hardly a day passes without some kind of public reportage on the subject of oil.

The Lindo Creek probe

After having pledged for several years while in opposition and in government to investigate the deaths in the crime spree period from 2002, President Granger has finally acted.

ICJ

On Tuesday of last week United Nations Secretary General António Guterres selected the International Court of Justice as the means to a solution to the controversy which had arisen as a consequence of Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award was null and void.

America’s vanishing adults

A recent book by US senator Ben Sasse laments the decline of adult role models in American life.

Agricultural planning

Guyana’s agriculture sector has not shown any significant growth overall, or in its major subsectors for more than a decade.

It’s not that traditional

Locals of a certain age—the ‘baby boomers’ and even those referred to as ‘Generation X’—have vivid recall of sitting at their grandparents’ feet or close by during their childhood, especially on moonlit nights, and listening to stories, some true, some made-up, about granny and grandad’s lives.

Rally time

Last week Thursday, the West Indies selectors announced the team for the ICC World Cup Qualifiers to be held from 4th-25th March, in Zimbabwe.

What happened at Ayanganna

There was never any question of the media expecting that they would secure access to the ‘closed’ sessions of the proceedings that formed part of the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) Annual Officers Conference on Thursday and Friday at Base Camp Ayanganna.

Production Sharing Agreement with ExxonMobil subsidiary

When questioned about whether the much-criticised 2016 Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, EEPGL, would be renegotiated, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman on Thursday replied in the negative but left sufficient wiggle room.

Spending on military

Once in a while President Granger takes the populace off guard. He did so on Thursday, albeit not through the agency of the media, who were not the beneficiaries of the normal civilities traditionally accorded them by the Guyana Defence Force and who had walked out in remonstrance, but through a bland Ministry of the Presidency press release.

A warning from The Magic Mountain

Two days ago, much of the world’s financial and economic elite sat through a jeremiad from the billionaire George Soros.

Youth training programmes

Just this January, the National Cadet Corps Programme (NCCP) was launched at Hope Secondary School, the result of collaboration between the Ministry of Social Cohesion, through the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

King of the city

This week, some city councillors complained that Town Clerk Royston King was acting unilaterally and exposing the entire Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to unnecessary criticism and ridicule.

Dream season

When the 2017/2018 Cricket West Indies Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day Tournament concluded on the weekend, the Guyana Jaguars had retained its title, topping the table with 166.8 points, 52.4 ahead of the runners-up, the Barbados Pride.