Zimbabwe

With the Commonwealth having come to Guyana this week, it is perhaps a good time to reflect on the situation in Zimbabwe, which withdrew from the Commonwealth in December 2003.

Another own goal

As if his statements about the unlawful killing of Ms Donna Herod in Buxton last September were not damaging enough, Minister of Home Affairs Mr Clement Rohee seized the opportunity of the loss of human life within his portfolio to score another own goal.

Absent-minded security

Much of this country’s vast hinterland is veritable terra incognita to the administration.

Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize

Last Friday morning, when nobody from the Nobel committee rang to congratulate him, Al Gore realised that he hadn’t won the peace prize so many had thought was his due.

Ten deaths

The news that heart bypass surgery was successfully performed here for the first time on Saturday is a shining indicator of the progress that has been made on several fronts by the Ministry of Health and the public/private sector partnerships which will also see important developments in kidney health care and other areas.

GuyExpo

Last Sunday two letters were published in this newspaper about GuyExpo, one of which was from Dr Joyce Jonas.

America’s ever changing face

The history of the United States of America, as is the case with most of the countries around the world, is replete with stories of migration.

Doing a Putin

Amidst all the rumours, speculation, fears, hopes, fudging and hedging about whether President Bharrat Jagdeo is interested in a third term of office, people seem to be forgetting one key point: Mr Jagdeo has only just completed one year of his five-year term and is no lame duck.

Urban safety and security

The recently released UN-HABITAT publication – Enhancing Urban Safety and Security: Global Report on Human Settlements 2007 – should remind governments around the world of some inconvenient truths which they already know but would like to ignore.

The Morisetti initiative

It took British High Commissioner Mr Fraser Wheeler only a year after arriving here to discover that “Guyana has a lot of strategies” for dealing with its intractable security situation.

Lies in the fast lane

Pity Marion Jones. Now that she can no longer deny using steroids at the 2000 Olympics, the sprinter formerly known as the most successful female athlete in history has admitted cheating and announced her retirement from track and field-probably as part of a plea bargain in the ever-widening BALCO scandal.

NIS perils

On June 15 this year in a column in Stabroek Business, commentator Mr Christopher Ram reflected on the perils facing the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and emphasized the need for swift action.

Rumours

Guyana is full of rumours, some of which have greater resilience than others.

Sex offences law reform

Finally! The archaic laws governing sexual offences are set to be reformed with drastic changes proposed throughout the entire Criminal Law (Offences) Act Cap 8:01 and with some new offences and harsher penalties recommended.

Looking West

Let us pick up where our editorials of last Friday and Sunday left off in their discussion of the warm glow caused by the maritime award and the way forward with respect to our foreign policy in general and more specifically, the management of the border controversy with our western neighbour.

Youth clubs

According to the BBC the government in the UK recently unveiled a new 10-year youth strategy in order to tackle teenage delinquency.

The sofa warriors

The seemingly unsolvable security situation on the East Coast of Demerara needs more than arrests, detentions, interrogations, searches and joint police-military operations.

The military contract

Colonels in the Guyana Defence Force have had a hard year. The Director of Protocol in the Office of the President and former aide-de-camp to three presidents was the first to fall.

Perceptions

In his opening address at GuyExpo 2007 where he spoke feelingly about his vision for Guyana, President Jagdeo adverted to three areas in which he desired a partnership with business.

The callaloo connection

Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee recently told this newspaper that he had identified a connection between the escape of inmates from the Mazaruni Prison and a similar escape from the Lusignan Prison in 1999.

Rape is a four-letter word

Religious and political protestors last week must have been so consumed by the controversy over the coming of casino gambling and by complaints about the confusing introduction of the value added tax that few found of them time to contemplate the worsening plight of this country’s girl children.

Indecent haste

Considering the indecent haste with which it was bundled through Parliament, the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Act will leave critics shaking their heads in collective disbelief that the government has been so inconsiderate of well-founded concerns.

The double dividend

In her novel Dangerous to Know, English-born best selling writer Barbara Taylor Bradford describes a sixteenth century matriarch who had stipulated that her huge house should always be passed down to a female inheritor.

The Turkeyen tragedy

No one who is familiar with the faltering academic standards and squalid physical conditions at the University of Guyana’s central Turkeyen campus should have been surprised at the desperate tone of Vice-Chancellor Dr James Rose’s address to the 40th convocation congregation.

National security advisers

Does the President need a national security adviser to analyse the abundant amount of raw information that passes through his office and to coordinate the myriad security agencies and programmes in the country?

Casino licences: who will get them?

The moral protest by local religious organizations over the official introduction of casino gambling in Guyana has obscured a disturbing feature of this development.

Local government projects

Two revealing meetings were held over the last two weeks in relation to local government at which the subject minister Mr Kellawan Lall presided.

Sunday Editorial

The unanimity of the various faiths on the subject of casino gambling has clearly taken the government off guard.

Reality show?

Racial slurs targeted at famous Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty on the popular Channel 4 television show in Britain, Celebrity Big Brother, have been around the world and back and the issue has since taken on international proportions.

2004 report on Berbice bridge proposal ignored

A 2004 report, which criticised aspects of the Louis Berger feasibility study done on the Berbice bridge, has been ignored and government is moving to build the bridge using the Berger recommendations.

The president and the party

The recent controversy concerning the President’s appointment of ministers of the new Cabinet before they were declared elected as members of parliament has given rise to considerable speculation.

The Kindness of Strangers

The world grew a little colder, and larger, last July when the BBC revealed that “‘six degrees of separation’ may be the academic equivalent of an urban myth.” The phrase had come from a famous 1967 experiment in which the sociologist Stanley Milgram asked a random sample of people in Kansas and Nebraska to deliver a letter to a ‘target’ in Boston, using only people they knew on a first-name basis.

The Mazaruni menace

More of a quaint, 19th century, Victorian heritage site than a national maximum security penitentiary, the Mazaruni Prison has once again become the scene of an escape of some of its desperate inmates.

Another prison break

Friday afternoon’s escape of nine inmates from the Mazaruni penal facility and the shooting of four members of the joint services is just another manifestation of the precarious state of the nation’s security.

The Health Facilities Licensing Bill

Partly owing to the contretemps over the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Bill which seeks to legalize casinos, the Health Facilities Licensing Bill perhaps did not receive quite the same degree of publicity last week which it otherwise might have done.

Political correctness

Last year, the Amerindian People’s Association attempted to have the National Assembly alter the title of the Amerindian Act by using the term ‘Indigenous’ rather than ‘Amerindian.’ The African Cultural and Development Association similarly passed a resolution calling upon the authorities to use the term ‘African’ rather than ‘negro’ or ‘black.’ To some, these demands might seem frivolous but language is powerful and ought not to be used to cause offence, particularly to ethnic and cultural communities, to denigrate and disparage disadvantaged groups or to undermine the dignity of persons.

Good news doesn’t have to travel fast

Nobody yet knows how fast information will travel in the twenty-first century. Three months ago the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation established a new standard for data transfer by sending a message at a rate of 14 trillion bits per second.

Pirates of the Corentyne

Will Corentyne’s coastal and riverine fishermen ever be safe from the scourge of piracy or should they accept it as a permanent occupational hazard?

Virtual Communities

The current issue of Time magazine flatters its readers with the conceit that 2006 was the year of the Ordinary Person.

VAT

Having crossed into the new year and VAT land no one was expecting that the experience was going to be smooth.

RCTV

President Hugo Ch

A real tragedy

News that a newborn baby girl had been allegedly abducted from her mother was a talking point over the past week.

Citizen security

Responding to the surge in violent crime over the last six years, the Administration adopted a multi-dimensional approach that relies not solely on the Guyana Police Force but also on creating parallel schemes based on the greater involvement of citizens and their communities.

Latin American scorecard

Between 18th December 2005 and 3rd December 2006, there were eleven presidential elections in Latin America.

Saddam’s Execution

The execution of Saddam Hussein and the death of General Pinochet invite comparison.