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.

Maximising the potential of relations with Brazil

President David Granger’s official visit to Brazil in December, his second visit there since assuming office in May 2015, points the way, hopefully, to kick-starting a more meaningful relationship between Guyana and a country that is an undisputed hemispheric economic partner and a key strategic ally in Guyana’s quest to stave off Venezuela’s absurd territorial claim.

Gov’t and the sugar unions

Friday’s meeting on the future of the sugar industry between the government and the two unions, GAWU and NAACIE is a heartening development and must lead to substantive options for the thousands of dislocated workers and a viable plan for the remaining estates.

Good local governance

The pesky parking meters are back in the news again, although they are really symptomatic of a more profound problem where the city council is concerned.

Against loneliness

Henry David Thoreau famously lamented that the majority of us “lead lives of quiet desperation” and harbour unconscious despair “under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.”  Earlier this week a British Commission on Loneliness reported that loneliness annually costs the UK millions of lost working days, is more harmful than smoking or obesity and significantly increases the likelihood of an early death.

Managing the city

Issues surrounding the management of the City of Georgetown continue to grab the attention of the populace and make headlines in the media.

Water tank land

Children learn in Social Studies class that Guyana is an Amerindian word which means ‘Land of Many Waters’.

Parenting

As the digital world continues to evolve at exponential rate, the joys, demands and difficulties of modern day parents are also expanding rapidly, as they struggle to keep pace with the times and the rapid intellectual development of their offspring.

Garbage disposal 

If it seems as though public comment on the protracted failure of the Georgetown Municipality to competently manage the affairs of the capital bears the resemblance of a witch hunt, that is only because successive municipal administrations have, in myriad ways, proven themselves not nearly up to the task of capably managing the affairs of the capital.

Sugar severance

Aside from the injustice of payment in two stages, the controversy surrounding severance for thousands of sugar workers has crystallised yet again the incoherence in the APNU+AFC government on pivotal issues and the lack of decisive leadership.

Public v private

If President Donald Trump trumped himself last week, Guyana had its own lapse to deal with, albeit not of the same scale or character as that of the ‘Genius of Stability.’ It was the Director of Information Imran Khan who stepped outside his crease on Wednesday and posted on his personal Facebook page the question as to whether the Indian High Commission here was not interfering in this country’s internal affairs, and was not attempting to engage in the destabilization of the coalition government.

Re-imagined communities

In 1997 the ‘stress consultant’ Richard Carlson made the phrase ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ into a popular self-help mantra – his bestselling book of that name was cleverly subtitled ‘and it’s all small stuff’.

A domestic violence unit

On Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Justice Navindra Singh handed down a sentence of 16 years imprisonment to Sylvester Bristol, called ‘Rambo,’ for the killing of female taxi driver Savitri Gangadeen Parma, after Bristol pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter even though originally charged with the capital offence of murder.

No Planet B

Around October last year, marine and underwater photographer Caroline Power, who is  based in Honduras, published a series of photographs and videos on her Facebook page, of large swathes of garbage, mostly plastics, floating on the Caribbean Sea near Roatán, one of Honduras’s Caribbean Bay Islands.

Storm brewing

As of January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in the province of Ontario, Canada was raised from $11.60 per hour to $14.00, by the current provincial government.

Southern Africa: Beyond the promises of the liberation struggles

More than three decades after southern Africa put the travails of white minority rule behind it the liberation movements in the region continue to dominate the region’s politics, having transformed themselves into structured political parties and captured what they considered to be the ultimate reward for their military and political struggles ‒ the state.

Nomination for chancellorship

Towards the ending of December and in keeping with the constitutional requirement, President David Granger wrote to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo proposing Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin as the next Chancellor of the Judiciary. 

Garbage rates

When the city saw the inimitable Ms Carol Sooba off the scene following a change at the central government level, and local government elections brought in their wake the installation of a new council and Mayor, the citizens of Georgetown heaved a collective sigh of relief.

Trump’s fire and fury

Michael Wolff’s account of the Trump administration’s chaotic misrule will surprise no one who has read a newspaper during the last year, detailing as it does, the President’s profound unreadiness for his new role, his childish ignorance of world affairs, his obsequious and feuding advisers – who privately voice contempt for him – his fleeting attention span and tendency to repeat anecdotes every ten minutes.

Youth in politics

Many will argue that Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, the two foremost leaders in Guyanese history since Independence, have left an indelible mark on the political landscape of our country, and continue to affect the way we are governed.

One dutty never built a dam

Around mid-December of last year, the Inter-national Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection launched a report on a study conducted in Guyana on the skills required for green jobs, which highlighted the “policies, programmes and emerging opportunities” as Guyana sets it eyes on “transitioning into a green economy.” According to the report, which was launched at the Marriott Hotel and attended by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, the creation of more, better and green jobs is a target for this country “as laid out in the Guyana Green State Development Strategy.” Creating a ‘green state’ is premised on developing a skills-base for green jobs.

A page in history turns

Last Saturday, 30th December, one of Canada’s largest and most prestigious newspapers, the Montreal French-language publication La Presse, rolled out its final print weekend edition (Canadian weekend newspapers have traditionally been sold on Saturdays), in the 133 year history of the newspaper.

A new year

As the new year dawns, the APNU+AFC government must be commended for its decision, as announced by Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, that all contracts henceforth between the government and companies will be made public.

Border controversy

We will be waiting today for the big news from New York. At the time of writing not a whisper from the government citadel had escaped to give us advance notice as to what it would be.

Out of the ashes

On 19 April 1906, an apocalyptic fire engulfed San Francisco. One day earlier an earthquake had toppled buildings, uprooted utility poles, and disrupted the water supply.