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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Guyana-Suriname A.M.E. church conference opens
-Prime Minister attends


Georgetown, GINA Thursday, March 17, 2005

The congregation at the opening of the 82 nd session of the Guyana-Suriname annual conference at the St. Peter’s A.M.E. church was told that there is a need for religion as people ponder new questions in life and science and technology advance.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds made these comments while delivering remarks last evening at the conference which is the first of its kind to be presided over by a female Bishop. Reverend Carolyn Tyler Guidry of Suriname is also only the second female Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal church.

Prime Minister Hinds said that the Government of Guyana remains committed to freedom of religion since this integral to the development of a united society.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank the A.M.E. church in Guyana for their contribution, to the improvement of their community and the promotion of harmony.

Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Elizabeth Harper in her remarks said the work of faith-based organisations is critical to the development of a society.

She said that the church gives members of the society the opportunity to participate fully in the development of the country.

Ms. Harper also said that the A.M.E. church has shown great foresight in including women at the highest level in the work of the church, since the empowerment of women is the single most important factor for future development.

She noted that the A.M.E. church in Guyana has been working to fulfill its role in the society with outreach and school feeding programmes, the managing of a girl’s hostel and several programmes to improve the lives of the elderly.

Felicitations were also delivered by the Mayor of Georgetown Hamilton Green, PNC Member of Parliament Debra Backer, Vice-Chairman of the Guyana Council of Churches Gordon Hamlet and a representative of the United States Embassy.

The conference will end on March 20.


Martyr’sville’s problems addressed by Ministers Collymore, Baksh-as follow-up to President’s visit.


Georgetown, GINA, March 17, 2005

A number of problems affecting residents of Martyr’sville, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara were yesterday addressed by Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Clinton Collymore and Minister of Housing and Water Shaik Baksh during a meeting held in the area.

The meeting was a follow-up to one made by President Bharrat Jagdeo to Martyr’sville on Saturday last.

The issues the residents had raised with the President included the management of the Mon Repos/ La Reconnaissance Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), garbage and sanitation and infrastructure, including internal streets and the rehabilitation of the main road.

Speaking with the residents, Minister Baksh pointed out that the internal streets would be constructed under his Ministry, adding that the President had committed to the rehabilitation of the main road, which Minister Collymore noted had been rehabilitated several times but was never done properly.

Minister Collymore urged community members, several of whom had raised garbage and sanitation issues with the President to ensure that they practice proper waste disposal and desist from dumping garbage into the drains and trenches. He disclosed that the Ministry has been providing garbage bags to the NDC for distribution to residents and that recently, 5000 more were given to the NDC for distribution to residents. The residents were also urged to place the garbage bags, once full, on the location where they can be collected by the NDC.

Neighbourhood Democratic Councils on the East Coast Demerara were asked to identify temporary holding sites for garbage and the Minister said several of them identified various locations. However, he added that Government is also considering permanent sites to be used later. These would have to be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

He also explained the state-of-the-art waste disposal area at Eccles to come on stream with assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) once the Mandela Dumpsite is closed, adding that the IDB has given certain benchmarks as it relates to Waste Disposal sites.

Responding to a number of questions by the residents, Minister Baksh said that with the area listed under his Ministry, the Ministry will be handling the construction of roads and drainage facilities and that works will commence by June or July this year.

“All roads in Phase II will be done and the engineers are looking to connect Martyr’sville with Mon Repos,” Minister Baksh stated. He further said that with Martyr’sville being a new area, measures are being undertaken to have the area transferred from his Ministry to the NDC under the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. This means residents will have to pay their rates and taxes to the NDC and the NDC will be responsible for the collection of garbage and maintenance of drainage channels.

In response to this, the NDC Chairman, Richard Bactowar requested that the Ministry of housing completes its work programme in the area before transfer is made to the NDC, as it may cause some confusion as to who is responsible for such works if the area is transferred before works are completed.

A number of residents of Block 8 Mon Repos who also attended the meeting, raised concerns about their community being forgotten in terms of electricity. However, Minister Baksh contended that the area has not been left out and though, being a ‘green area’ it is not included in the Unserved Areas Electrification Programme (UAEP), under the perview of the Ministry, an alternative programme has been designed to supply electricity to the other areas not of the UAEP. He urged residents to cooperate, as when certain electrification plans are put in place through housing committees, residents do not come forward with their contributions to help their respective community.

Concluding the meeting, Minister Collymore collected names of persons who wished to be included in a committee to represent Martyr’sville. Another meeting will later be held in order for residents to vote-in the selected persons from the list that they wish to represent them.

Other matters discussed at the meeting included water supply, telephone service and education.


Health centres clean-up campaign on stream- Minister Ramsammy visits centres


Georgetown, GINA, March 17, 2005

Health centres in Georgetown and on the East Coast Demerara are being cleaned in an effort to bring back normality in the health sector.

Today, Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy visited seven health centres among the sixteen which are scheduled to be cleaned.

According to the Health Minister nine contracts have been awarded to clean the centres and were signed recently.

Three of these centres are located in West Demerara and thirteen are located on the East Coast Demerara and in Georgetown

The Health Minister first visited the Campbellville Health Centre in Georgetown where the cleanup campaign and reconstruction works are ongoing. The Minister noted that despite the Campbellville Health Centre was affected by the flood, health services were provided at the Camptown Football Club.

Minister Ramsammy said the Campbellville Health Centre is also one of the main Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) in Georgetown.

According to Minister Ramsammy all medical equipment which were damaged will be replaced with assistance from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

Minister Ramsammy then visited the Plaisance health Centre on the East Coast Demerara where similar cleaning up and reconstruction works are on stream.

Although the centres visited by the Minister are being cleaned medical personnel are still offering services to patients.

According to health Officials at the centres most of the equipment and records were damaged during the flood.

The Claudette Abrams Memorial Trust in Betterverwagting was the next stop for Minister Ramsammy. It was evident that the institution was in its recovery stage.

The Lusignan Health Centre was next inline for the Health Minister to visit. On arrival Minister Ramsammy met with the Medex and the nurse who were preparing to get work back to normal.

The Minister then visited that Enterprise Health centre where approximately 100 persons were awaiting to see the doctor. Minister Ramsammy told residents that the Centre will officially be opened from Monday, March 21.

Speaking with Health Officials at the centre Minister Ramsammy informed them that where there is shortage of staff the positions will be filled soon, since a Medex course in almost completed.

The Enmore Poly-Clinic and the Industry Health Centre were the two last institutions where the Minister stopped over.

The Minster promised the residents who were at the Industry Health Centre that an Opthamologist will be at the Centre at least once a month to offer eye care services.


Kidnapping Bill and what the public should know (Part One)


Georgetown , GINA, March 17, 2005

On June 5, 2003 the Kidnapping Bill was passed in Parliament. This was the result of the escalation in crime, with a high incidence of kidnapping.

Government recognised the need for deterrence against this form of criminal activity.

The Kidnapping Bill No. 15 of 2002, is part of a total package to deal with this phenomenon.

Minster of Home Affairs Ronald Gajraj, at the Second Reading, told the Assembly the legislation became necessary since wealthy persons and even those who are not so wealthy have been taken and held for ransom, sometimes involving millions of dollars.

The Kidnapping Law provides punishment for the offences of abduction, wrongful restraint and confinement for ransom, and other related offences, and may be cited as the Kidnapping Act 2003.

There are three 'key' words very crucial to the Act. These are abduction, wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement.

Abduction may be interpreted as the act by someone who by force or fear, compels, or by deceitful means, induces a person to go from one place to another.

Wrongful restraint is the act of someone unlawfully obstructing any person, so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed, and wrongfully restraining that person.

Whoever wrongfully restrains any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits, is wrongfully confining that person.

It is very important to note that the penalties for these offences are severe.

Someone charged with the offence of wrongful confinement faces a fine of up to $250,000. Likewise, someone charged with the offence of wrongful restraint can be fined up to $100,000.

And in the case of abduction, a fine of $750,000 and imprisonment of five years will be imposed on any person found guilty of the offence.


Much work done under Mahaica to Rosignol road project-Minister Xavier


Georgetown, GINA, March 17, 2005.

Minister of Public Works and Communication, Anthony Xavier has disclosed that works on the Craig sea defence are almost completed.

Permanent sea defence works started sometime late last year at Craig, East Bank Demerara. The permanent structure includes revetment with boulder slope.

Prior to this project, the Public Works Ministry had constructed 1,000 feet of earthen embankment and 150 feet of revetment at an estimated cost of $3.9M at Craig, East Bank Demerara.

Meanwhile, Minister Xavier said, “much is in progress at the Mahaica to Rosignol road project.” He added that works are approaching the Mahaica to Mahaicony bridges.

Substantial work has been completed, said Minister Xavier, adding that final overlaying process of the road is now in progress.

More so, the Minister also noted that lights have been installed at the Rosignol stelling.


Cricket World Cup Stadium construction to begin in May


Georgetown, GINA, March 17, 2005

President Bharrat Jagdeo today announced that the contract for the construction of the Cricket World Cup (CWC) stadium was concluded.

A copy of the contract was presented to the President at the Office of the President by Chief Executive Officer of the Construction Division of Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Limited, Mohandas Saini .

The construction of the 2007 CWC stadium at Providence on the East Bank Demerara is schedule to start within the next six weeks.

President Jagdeo said that he was satisfied that the signing of the contract was completed and work would now begin.

He said of the two Indian companies that submitted their bids for the construction of the CWC stadium Shapoorji Pallonji Ltd. submitted the lowest bid.

According to President Jagdeo the company chosen is an experienced company and has given all assurance that the stadium would be completed on time.

President Jagdeo expressed his appreciation to the Government of India, the Indian High Commissioner to Guyana Avinash Gupta, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Gail Teixeira, Minister of Public Works and Hydraulics Anthony Xavier among others.

The estimated cost of the stadium is US$25M. Of this amount a $6M grant was provided by the Government of India while a $19M soft loan was obtained from the Exim Bank of India.

The agreement for the construction of the modern facility has heightened cooperation between Guyana and India.

Mr. Saini has assured that the stadium will be of international standards and will be completed on schedule.

Guyana is one of eight Caribbean countries that won the bid to host Cricket World Cup 2007, for which every host country is required to have a modern stadium, to meet international standards.

The chances of hosting international test cricket in Guyana is secured for years to come, and the country would be able to boast of a facility of international standard, contributing towards the country’s development process.

Guyana being a host venue for Cricket World Cup 2007 requires a national effort.

The stadium will be located on a 60-acre plot of land at Providence on the East Bank Demerara.

It is expected to include a 25- foot radius pitch, with a 15,000 to 20,000 seating capacity, a residential village with approximately 400 houses, parking lots for some 4000 vehicles, a high security zone, cinema, conference hall, hotel, club and administrative office.

President Bharrat Jagdeo receives a copy of the contract for the construction of the Cricket World Cup (CWC) Stadium from Chief Executive Officer of the Construction Division of Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Limited, Mohandas Saini, today at the Office of the President.

President Bharrat Jagdeo (fourth from left), Chief Executive Officer of the Construction Division of Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Limited, Mohandas Saini, (third from left) High Commissioner of India Avinash Gupta (second from left), Minister of Public Works and Hydraulics Anthony Xavier (centre) and other officials associated with the construction of the Cricket World Cup (CWC) Stadium.


Volunteer groups call on President Jagdeo


Georgetown, GINA, March 17, 2005

Representatives of Humanity First, a Non-Governmental, non-profit, volunteer today paid a courtesy call on President Bharrat Jagdeo. The Head of State also received Peace Corps representatives and a Guyanese karate Grand Master at the Office of the President.

Humanity First has been assisting, especially in providing health are, for residents on the East Coast Demerara who were affected by the flood.

According to Dr. Ovid Isaacs, a Trustee of the Organisation, Humanity First had doctors assisting during the flood and after. He said the organization provided medical care and medication to some four thousand East Coast residents.

Dr. Dennis Odia, an Internist with the Franklin Care Hospital in Maryland said the Organisation works wherever there is a need. He said they have worked in Asia, Africa and Sudan among other countries

Dr. Davindra Jailall, who assisted in providing health care for the East Coast residents said it is now safe for persons to visit the East Coast. According to the doctor, there are persons with chronic illnesses who will require care, but the illnesses were not due to the flood.

Moulana A. Bashir Annan of the Ahmadiyya Muslims, to which the Organisation is affiliated, said more assistance will be forthcoming. He said two containers of supplies are expected from Europe and the United Satates.

Meanwhile, Peace Copre Country Director Mr. Kunnar Lalchavani and Regional Director Inter-American and Pacific Region Ms. Allene Zanger also called on President Jagdeo. They were accompanied by US Ambassador to Guyana Roland Bullen

And the second female Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Reverend Carolyn Tyler Guidry and representatives of the AME Church in Guyana and Suriname also called on the Head of state.

President Jagdeo also received a courtesy call for Guyanese Karate Grand Master Stephen Monasingh.


If we’re going to make progress as a nation, no person/ group could be left behind - says President Jagdeo as Amerindian Affairs new building commissioned


Georgetown , GINA, March 17, 2005

The new building to house the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs at Thomas and Quamina Streets was today commissioned by President Bharrat Jagdeo during a ceremony attended by former President, Janet Jagan, Ministers of Government, members of the diplomatic corps and other officials, Amerindians and other groups.

The ceremony to mark the opening of the new $44M building which will house the staff of the Ministry also included in its programme, greetings from Toshaos representing the ten Regions of the country. There were performances by the hinterland scholarship students and other Amerindian cultural groups as well.

Noting the progress Amerindians have made under the present administration, President Jagdeo said,” If we’re going to make progress as a nation, no person or group could be left behind.

He said that this will demean the nation as a people if any group, be it religious or other is left behind and that his party has this as one of its fundamental principles.

The Head of State said that though Government has achieved much in the area of Amerindian development, it has been a long struggle and Government still has a long way to go.

“Until now, because of the distance and with many of the communities being remote, we still have not achieved many of the things that we have set out to do,” the President observed.

President Jagdeo however, urged Amerindians to come to the Ministry whenever they are faced with problems and whenever they have issues with other Ministries.

He said Government would continue to work with Amerindian communities especially in the area of education.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues, addressing the gathering noted that the day was very significant and a historic one in the lives of the Amerindian people.

She said the structure symbolises many ideas, including the commitment of the Government to improve the lives of Amerindians.

The Minister assured the gathering that the Ministry would not waiver in its commitment to serve Amerindians and relocating to a new building could only compliment the services already provided by the Ministry.

She disclosed that the Ministry will be expanding its scholarship programme to cater for more hinterland students, adding that history will again be created for Amerindians when the new Amerindian Act is approved in the National Assembly later this year.

“ We are just about summarising the draft for submission to Cabinet”, Minister Rodrigues said.

She also pointed out that construction of the new building to house the Ministry is historical as well, as it is the first that a building has been constructed to house a Ministry, as all other Ministries’ were housed in separate buildings in the country.

She pointed out that it is the first Ministry constructed for Guyana’s first people- the indigenous people.



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