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.

The public’s right to know

On February 16, the Stabroek News published a news story regarding the discovery of “a drug ring inside two Georgetown secondary schools” in which we attributed to “a source” information to the effect that “a group of students was involved in the peddling of the psychoactive drug ecstasy to peers” in the two named schools.

GPL’s US$110m requirement

GPL’s introduction to the media of its new Chief Executive Officer, Albert Gordon and his frank evaluation of the needs of the beleaguered utility is most welcome.

Round Two

In an act of singular perversity the City Council held a special meeting on Wednesday to approve the amended by-laws for parking meters.

The Sky’s Wild Noise

One of the enduring strengths of American politics is its willingness to hold a dialogue with earlier opinions; to review, for example, current political issues from the perspective of the Founding Fathers. 

Teachers’ salaries

Between 2015 and the present, the issue of a salary increase for teachers in the public school system has been simmering, occasionally threatening to boil over into controversy between the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) and the Ministry of Education (MoE).

Integrity in public life

If all goes according to plan, the office of the Integrity Commission, which will seek to hold public officials to standards consistent with the assurances they have given in their oaths to serve the Guyanese public, will be up and running very soon.

International cricket incident

Just when cricket fans around the world had had enough of the ‘ball tampering’ incident in the Third Test between Australia and South Africa, they are slowly coming to the conclusion that not everyone is prepared to accept, and/or play to, the same rules of conduct.

Drugs in schools

We now know, more or less for sure, that this newspaper’s disclosure about a month ago, of a drugs ring involving two secondary schools in the capital is a microcosm of a wider problem and that, more worryingly, it seems that, as it has done in various other instances of crisis in the system, the Ministry of Education has again assumed a more or less ‘hush- hush’ posture on the matter.

Keeping an eye on gov’t and ExxonMobil

On March 30th, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon announced that the US$18m signing bonus contracted with ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, EEPGL would be deposited into the Consolidated Fund before any disbursement is made.

Border security

It was an advertisement in this newspaper on Thursday which drew public attention to the situation facing Guyanese miners in the Cuyuni River.

Criminal justice

The criminal justice system has three major components: law enforcement (mainly the police), the courts or legal system and the penal system (the prisons).

Juvenile justice

Earlier this month, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan tabled in Parliament, a bill that is expected to see a change in how juveniles at odds with the law are treated.

Reverse swing

Worldwide cricket fans have had their appetites filled in the last week, whilst experiencing a roller coaster of emotions.

The agro- processing sector

There are signs that the agro-processing sub-sector of our manufacturing sector is beginning to creep closer to the realization of the long-held ambition of having our products such as sauces, condiments, beverages, snack foods and the like, make a mark on the local, regional and international markets.

Three deaths on the seawall

Considering all of the facts known at this point,  there is an unmistakably familiar incongruence in the police explanations for the deaths of three men on the seawall on March 15 and numerous outstanding questions.

Stamps

It was like a cheap magician’s trick on a Music Hall stage: now you see it, now you don’t.

Digital deceptions

Before Cambridge Analytica (CA) mined Facebook data from 50 million users for  “psychographic” profiles that could influence the US elections, it reportedly honed its methods in Trinidad.

Water, but not drinking water

“Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink,” is a line from the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,’ written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, detailing how a sailor on a becalmed ship is surrounded by undrinkable salt water.

Down the drain

Last month, the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) formally approached the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) seeking a rate increase, citing old and odd tariffs and the need for a means to subsidise maintenance/service costs.

Fading memories

Over the course of the last few weeks, between 17th February and 11th March, to be precise, a trio of Guyana’s sons, Dr Mohamed Shahabuddeen, Wilson Harris and Dr Harold Drayton were called to higher pastures.

Cheddi Jagan

To attempt the chronicling of the life and times of Cheddi Jagan within the inadequate confines of a single newspaper editorial, harnessed as it is by the constraint of brevity, is to court all sorts of risks.

Catfish exports

It is incomprehensible that the government here was given notification by the US government in November, 2015 of new regulations for Siluriformes (catfish) and failed to take all of the required steps to enable continued exports from Guyana.

Compromised election

It is no secret that the City Council cannot manage the city, but now we know that they cannot manage a democratic election either.

It can’t happen here

In Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here, Senator Berzelius ‘Buzz’ Windrip wins the US presidency with a jingoistic platform that promises every American family an extra $5,000 per year, radical political reforms, and a return to traditional values.

Forensics laboratory

Fighting crime in any country in the world is an ongoing battle for control and dominance – first by the criminals seeking to get away with actions that harm the society as a whole, and then, the society fighting back through the criminal justice system, in an attempt to curb the criminality, and to capture and punish the perpetrators as a form of redress for the victims and society, and as a deterrent to others.

Government myopia

There is a saying that change is the only constant in the world, but what about when nothing changes?

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.