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.

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.