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Thursday, November 3, 2005

President gives ‘green light’ for importation of stones


Georgetown, GINA, November 3, 2005

Government has taken cognisance of the shortage of building materials and is moving to address the situation.

President Bharrat Jagdeo has given the ‘green light’ for the importation of stones to satisfy local demands and to facilitate the completion of ongoing infrastructural projects.

The President made these remarks during a recent media briefing at State House.

“I have said to the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Public Works that they should allow the importation of stone. I know this is a sensitive issue but we are not going to let our projects suffer,” he told the media.

The President said he hopes that Mazaruni granite could come back on stream to satisfy the demand.

“If the current supply situation persists we are not going to be able to complete our projects and the cost will escalate.”

As a result, the President indicated that if the specified stones can be sourced at a cheaper or at the same price then the importation should be explored.

A number of projects across the country have been delayed because of the shortage of materials.

Some major sea defence works failed to commence due to boulder shortage and or ‘crusher run’. The President noted that some 1, 000 tonnes of boulders, for which Parliament at its sitting last Thursday, approved funding, are required for some key sea defence works.

Some boulders had to be diverted from other projects for emergency situations, he noted, such as those caused by the spring tides last month.

He said, “we’re trying as quickly as possible to get more boulders so we can complete the works.”


Women’s leadership roles addressed at gender equity workshops


Georgetown , GINA, November 3, 2005

The Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute (GWLI), Cove and John, East Coast Demerara, which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, recently conducted two workshops under the theme: ‘Gender Equity and Local Governance’.

These workshops were part of a gender sensitisation campaign, which focused on gender issues in local governance, and building the capacity of women to enhance their participation at all levels of leadership and decision making.

The Region 4 (Demerara/Mahaica) workshop was held at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) office in Paradise, on Thursday, October 20, 2005. The target groups included RDC councillors, Amerindian village captains, community development committees and members of the Regional Women’s Affairs Committee of Region 9 (Upper Takutu/ Upper Essequibo).

These workshops were aimed at sensitising the regional representatives and their communities about gender roles, and their effects on the lives of their constituents.

Administrator (a.g.) of the Women’s Affairs Bureau (WAB), Hymawattie Lagan, indicated that in conducting these workshops, the GWLI supplemented the work of the WAB’s National Plan of Action for Women, by seeking “to transform the structure…of local governance. This is to foster gender equity and promote the advancement of women and men in the Guyanese society.”

The entire programme was funded by the Canadian/Caribbean Gender Equality Programme (CGEP).

The first gender workshop was held at the office of the RDC, Vreed-en-Hoop, Region 3 (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara) in October 2004. Workshops were subsequently held in Regions 2, 5 and 6, during 2004, and Regions 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 in 2005.


Guyana to receive technical assistance from CARICOM

- Preparatory consultations being undertaken for PM Owen Arthur’s visit

GINA, Georgetown, November 3, 2005


As countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) prepare for the December 2005 deadline for the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market, countries that face challenges in this respect are being offered technical assistance from the region.

Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Clement Rohee and key stakeholders from the public and private sector today met with a CSME technical team at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) building to undertake preparatory consultations for an upcoming visit by Barbados’ Prime Minister, Owen Arthur.

Minister Rohee who has lead responsibility for overseeing CSME implementation in Guyana said as the lead Minister in the region with responsibility of overseeing the realisation of the Single Market and Economy, Prime Minister Arthur is expected to engage in consultations with public and non-state stakeholders.

“We have been preparing for this engagement and have undertaken a number of consultations with both the private and public sector,” Minister Rohee said adding that,

“ there are still a number of concerns being expressed of Guyana’s CSME readiness.”

He said the consultation and PM Arthur’s visit would be able to give a true picture of the country’s CSME status and address a number of concerns identified.

Minister Rohee said Arthur’s visit is in keeping with a decision made by Heads of Government at their recent meeting in St. Lucia to follow up with member States on their CSME readiness and the implementation of the necessary supportive frameworks for the single market’s December deadline.

Secretary General of CARICOM, Edwin Carrington said, “The technical team’s consultations and assistance is critical at this juncture.”

Present also at the consultations were Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Yesu Persaud and President of the Caribbean Rice Association, Beni Sankar among other key private sector stakeholders.

The Secretary General said, “I am glad to see captains of industries and other key representatives of the private sector,” adding that the realisation of the CSME, “must be the product of a national effort.

Carrington commenting on Guyana, said while the country is not listed as part of the disadvantaged group there are some sectors that need special treatment.

He underscored the importance of Guyana in the realisation of the CSME. “We are at a crucial stage of development of the Community of which Guyana has played a central role.”

Leading the technical team is Dr. Compton Bourne, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). He said the team’s presence serves to assist member countries to pinpoint those areas where they have concerns and require assistance.

He said the team would also assess, “the short-term losses that might be incurred and how Guyana can be assisted to cope so there is no short term political problems.”

Both Minister Rohee and Dr. Bourne made references to President Bharrat Jagdeo’s concerns expressed at the recent Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Limited awards presentation dinner on the level of readiness of the private sector to embrace the facets of the CSME.

Discussed at the consultations were special and differential treatment for Guyana, the development fund, assured markets and possible special differential treatment for specific agricultural commodities.

A CARICOM Audit Team recently conducted an audit to determine Guyana’s state of readiness and compliance with the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for instituting the CSME.

Each CARICOM member state under the revised Treaty of Chagauramas has an obligation to be CSME compliant by the December 31 deadline.


Cabinet clears contracts for emergency sea defence work

Sea defence works ongoing at Stewartville, West Coast Demerara.

- Stewartville project almost completed


Georgetown , GINA, November 03, 2005.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing today at the Office of the President indicated that Cabinet has cleared contracts for emergency repairs to sea defences totalling $184,800,000M.

The first contract valued $102M will be spent for the execution of unprogrammed emergency works at Leonora and Stewartville, West Coast Demerara, Region Three, (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara) for works already in progress.

The second contract will fund similar works between De Endragt and Triumph, East Coast Demerara, Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica).

Emergency sea defence works at Stewartville, one of the areas battered by unusually high tides last month, will be completed tomorrow. The Stewartville project, which commenced on October 24, entailed supplying and laying boulders along the sea defence line.

Project Engineer of the Sea Defence Division within the Ministry of Public Works and Communication, Azaad Hussein has indicated that remedial works are currently ongoing at Leonora where, two contractors are working aggressively and are being assisted through the supply of boulders from Government. This project is being executed in phases.

The initial phase requires placement of 2000 tonnes of rocks and is scheduled for completion by November 6 while phase two, the laying of an additional 4000 tonnes of boulders, will commence soon after.

Procurement of boulders for the project at Leonora is part of the Eighth European Development Fund (EDF) undertaking.

Guyana is benefiting from a grant-agreement of 38.9 million EURO which is being used to fund projects in key areas of development including sea defences, transport and macro-economic support in housing and health.

On October 16 and 17 excessively high tides lashed the sea defences resulting in breaches on the West Coast and overtopping on the East Coast Demerara. Several families squatting on the sea defence reserves were affected by flooding. The Ministry of Housing has since stepped in and assisted with relocation.


Tax reform legislation for next sitting of National Assembly

  • CSME, Ministerial Sector issues for this Session of 8 th Parliament


Georgetown , GINA, November 3, 2005

High on the agenda of the next sitting of the National Assembly billed for Thursday, November 10, is legislation to further regulate the financial sector, particularly tax reform.

This is according to Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the President today.

“The PPP/Civic Administration during this session of the Eight Parliament will concentrate on select pieces of legislation and their enactment,” Dr. Luncheon said.

High on the list, he indicated, is the Financial Sector legislation particularly legislation addressing tax reform: the VAT Excise Act and the Regulations to be promulgated under those Acts. Additionally, CSME enabling legislation and several prioritised bills from selected Ministerial Sectors would also come up for Parliament’s attention.

Meanwhile, Dr. Luncheon commented on the last sitting of the National Assembly held last Thursday, which considered the Motion moved by the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic on the Needs Assessment Report of Parliament which was done by Parliamentary Expert from the Commonwealth Secretariat, Sir Michael Davies.

“Just as with the Amerindian Bill, Parliament concluded its consideration of the PPP/C Motion on the Needs Assessment Report of Parliament and agreed to send that report to another Special Select Committee. The decision was rather conventional and follows similar decisions by Parliament when it handled other reports such as the Disciplined Forces Commission, which was also sent to a Special Select Committee,” he said.


Two more contracts signed under UDP


Georgetown , GINA, November 03, 2005

As Phase Two of Government’s Urban Development Programme (UDP) accelerates, two more contracts were signed today under the programme’s ‘Civil Works’ component in the Boardroom of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.

The contracts will see repairs carried out on the Corriverton Market and the New Amsterdam Market and Town Hall in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne).

Signing the contract on behalf of the Ministry was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ganga Persaud, while the two other signatories were UDP Project Engineer, Robert Choo-Shee-Nam and Contractor Shazam Hussain.

Repairs to the Corriverton Market are valued at $28.1M while works on the New Amsterdam Town Hall will be carried out at a cost of $38.6M.

Both projects are slated to begin in another two weeks, with the New Amsterdam project expected to be completed in eight months and the Corriverton Market, six months.

The Permanent Secretary explained that repairs to the market would result in an enhanced environment for sellers and buyers, as well as persons visiting the market.

He noted too that Government hopes to provide a better working environment for persons to conduct business at the Town Hall, emphasising that the move is another step in ‘Government’s developmental thrust’.

Phase One of the UDP was recently completed and Minister in the Ministry, Clinton Collymore is presently in Berbice, inspecting some of the finished projects under that phase.

Phase Two commenced subsequently and comprises three components: Tax Reform, Institutional Strengthening and Civil Works.

The UDP is a Government of Guyana Programme in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).


Eid-Ul-Fitr a time of caring and sharing - CIOG President


Georgetown , GINA, November 3, 2005

Muslims will observe celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr, the day of celebration and festivities after 30 days of fasting and abstinence in the month of Ramadan.

"Ramadan is a month of blessings and mercy, which is signified by intensive fasting and praying and other charitable acts," President of the Central Islamic Organisation (CIOG) Fazeel Mohammed Feroze explained.

He said every Muslim reaching the age of puberty is expected to fast from dawn to sunset, except for those who are sick and travelling.

He explained that the significance of Ramadan is embedded in the revelation of the Holy Qu'ran to the Prophet Muhammad 'on whom be peace' through the agency of the angel Gabriel.

"Fasting has been prescribed so that Muslims can attain 'taqwa' - God consciousness or closeness to God. It is a time for spiritual, religious and physical purification," Feroze said.

"The end of Ramadan should not be witnessed as an end of extensive worship. We should continue our nightly prayers and we should fast voluntarily each month."

On the day of Eid, Muslims enjoy the blessings of abundance of food. "We should never forget those who have no food. We should constantly be thinking of meaningful ways to improve their situation and remember every moment to give shukr (thanks) to our Supreme Creator for the many blessings that were bestowed upon us," the CIOG said.

Muslims, believe in the duty of leading humanity in the highest form of moral excellence and upright conduct, with love for one another in Allah's name.

The CIOG is calling on all Muslims to return to the Qur'an, the Islam of love, tolerance, broad-mindedness, justice, integrity, egalitarianism, democracy, equal rights for all and freedom of expression.

"Let us learn to distinguish between the voice of the Supreme Creator and the voices of those who claim to speak on behalf of Him. If the distinction becomes distorted then we will have failed to discern between the Qur'anic and historic Islam."

Muslims look forward to this time with great anticipation and according to Tariq Khan of West Coast Demerara, "I look forward to giving 'zakat' that is 2.5 percent of what I have acquired for the year. I believe that Allah blesses me abundantly and so I eagerly share what I have with the poor. I also go to the Mosque where the brothers and sisters meet for a Muslim cultural presentation, and then we have prayers. The rest of the day is spent visiting friends and families and giving charity to those in need."

Roy Mohammed said that on the morning of Eid-Ul-Fitr, he gets up early. "I have a bath and put on my atar (perfume) then dress in my finest and go to the Mosque for prayers. After that the brothers and sisters greet each other and have snacks, made up of sweet meats." For him, the rest of the day is spent visiting family and friends too.

"I'll get up around 3:30 a.m. shower and put on my best clothes. Around 6 a.m. I will go to Mosque for Eid-Salah (prayers). I also give 'zakat', I have not calculated how much my 2.5 will be this year," Lisa Ishmael said.


Extensive programme planned for Critchlow Centenary celebrations

  • President to host reception at conclusion


Georgetown , GINA, November 3, 2005

An extensive month-long programme of activities has begun to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Trade Unionist, Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow.

November 28 marks 100 years since the ‘Father of Trade Unionism in Guyana’, Critchlow, started the local labour movement. Critchlow is particularly remembered for the landmark strike he led in 1905, which is said to have drastically changed the landscape of the labour movement in Guyana, as following this, workers became tremendously involved in the fight for better working conditions.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the President today indicated Government’s support for these activities, adding that the Administration is represented on the planning committee, which is being led by the Guyana Labour Union (GLU).

“The Government is a member of the broad-based body that is managing the centenary celebrations and has committed to support the committee in implementing the activities planned,” Dr. Luncheon said.

Planned activities include a domino, essay and debate competition, a wreath laying ceremony, a one-day seminar followed by a cocktail reception, a special Sitting of the National Assembly, and a national rally.

The essay competition was launched on October 16, and the domino competition will commence on November 16. The debate competition begins on November 14 and concludes on November 28.

The one-day seminar will be held at the Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel on November 29, and officials from several trade unions in Guyana and the Caribbean will be in attendance.

Minister of Labour, Human Services and Social Security Dale Bisnauth delivered the feature address at the Critchlow gravesite wreath laying ceremony earlier today. That ceremony was preceded by a procession and a march from the Square of the Revolution to the gravesite.

The centerpiece of the month-long celebration would be the public symposium planned for late November and the subsequent civic reception that will be hosted by President Bharrat Jagdeo. “The State sponsored reception will bring the month-long activities to an end,” Dr. Luncheon said.

Broad agreement has been reached on a Special Parliamentary Session to deal with the works, and times of Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow.

Critchlow was born in Georgetown on December 18, 1884 during a period when the international sugar market was glutted, and the local sugar industry was on a decline.


Minister Nokta for Region Two Amerindian communities


Georgetown , GINA, November 03, 2005

As part of various ministerial outreaches to several regions, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Harripersaud Nokta, will be visiting several Amerindian communities in Region Two (Pomeroon/ Supenaam) from Sunday November 6 to 8.

While in the villages, which will include Mashabo and Capoey, the Minister will conduct meetings with residents to update them on the Amerindian Bill as well as other matters pertaining to the development of their villages.

The Minister will also inspect various projects in the Region as well as sea defence works along the Coast.

Additionally, he will meet representatives of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to discuss the Region’s plans for 2006.


State media to increase PR on Continuous Registration

  • Government calls on eligible persons to register


Georgetown, GINA, November 3, 2005

Government would, through the state media, be increasing efforts to sensitise the public on the importance of continuous registration, particularly, the need to be registered during the exercise.

This announcement was made today by Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the President.

Dr. Luncheon said Cabinet recognised the importance of public mobilisation, as well as the need for eligible Guyanese to come forward and be registered.

“In that respect the State arms would be utilised to publicise the need for Continuous Registration and to urge Guyanese to participate in a timely way to complete this aspect of our electoral systems/procedures.

The responsibility of the process of Continuous Registration is vested in the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) under the National Registration Act: Chapter 19:08. The exercise began on October 17 last, a fact that Cabinet has taken note of, Dr. Luncheon said.

“Cabinet maintained its full support for GECOM’s access to the ranks of public servants and teachers needed to staff the Continuous Registration Centres where GECOM has actually begun to implement this current stage of Continuous Registration.”

The HPS said Cabinet has noted the heightened interest shown by all stakeholders in this registration process “and anticipates their continued involvement/commitment to support the registration activities.”

In accordance with the system of good governance, the Constitution provides for persons to be registered as the primary prerequisite for the production of electoral lists.

This facilitates the conduct of elections for the President, Members of the National Assembly, Members of Regional Democratic Councils and Members of Local Authorities.

The primary objectives of Continuous Registration are; to register all persons who will attain the age of 18 years on March 31, 2006 (or born on or before March 31, 1988), register persons already registered, but who have moved from one area to another since the last elections. In such instances, a pplications must be made for a transfer from one electoral division to another since the last elections 2001, to seek a transfer to the new place of residence, apply for any changes in a person’s name (especially those persons who would have married) or address and/or occupation.

The registration process provides the basis for ensuring that persons, who are eligible to vote at elections in accordance with the constitution, are allowed to vote.

Additionally, registering provides the framework for the issuance of a National Identification (ID) Card.

Persons eligible to register, who are not on the 2001 Official List of Electors (OLE), must visit the registration office in their respective areas. They can then apply to be registered using the appropriate registration form.

Registrants seeking to change their biographic data, such as their names, must also visit the relevant registration office to effect these changes.

A person desirous of registering must present a valid passport or birth certificate, issued by the Registrar General, to verify completely, their name and date of birth.

If the applicant is a naturalised Guyanese, proof in the form of a Naturalisation Certificate is required. A marriage certificate or deed poll is required, if the name given by the applicant differs from that stated on the passport or birth certificate.

GECOM has established at least one office in each Registration District. There are currently 23 such offices throughout the country and this number may be increased following the Commission’s assessment of the current registration process.


GDF’s 40th anniversary celebrations focus on veterans


Georgetown, GINA, November 3, 2005

The contributions of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) veterans will be acknowledged during a month of activities to mark its 40 th anniversary.

On November 10, the GDF will engage in a sod turning activity for a Veteran’s hospice at the Joint Services Housing Scheme, Lamaha Park, Georgetown. Construction for the structure will commence next year.

At a press conference today at Camp Ayanganna, Thomas Lands to update the media on the Army’s anniversary plans, Colonel Bruce Lovell, said the GDF has recognised the sterling contributions made by these veterans.

“We are where we are now because of the foundation they made. They were the backbone of the GDF.”

He added that the Chief-of-Staff, Edwards Collins had made the commitment at last year’s anniversary observances to honour the veterans and construct the hospice.

Later today, the Chief-of-Staff and other officers will be visiting several indigent veterans to distribute hampers.

A Veteran’s monument will also be unveiled on November 8, at Camp Ayanganna.

Other activities include a display of military skills, an exhibition and career day, dedication of training school at Camp Stephenson, Timehri and a day of sport.

This year’s observances which started on November 1, are held under the theme “Ready and relevant” reflective of the Army’s capabilities and readiness for any threat against Guyana.

The GDF came into existence on November 1, when training began under a team of instructors from the United Kingdom. Recruits for the new Force were drawn from the British Guiana Volunteer Force (BGVF), Special Service Unit (SSU), British Guiana Police Force (BGPF) and Civilian Volunteers.

The GDF plays an integral role in community tasks, national development and emergency missions whereby use is made of the resources and equipment that are at the GDF's disposal.


National Commission on Law and Order likely to set up this month - Minister Teixeira


Georgetown, GINA, November 3, 2005

The National Commission on Law and Order, a body which will examine existing security policies, and make recommendations to the Head of State, President Bharrat Jagdeo will most likely be established this month, according to Minister of Home Affairs Gail Teixeira.

“We sent out letters to key stakeholders, which included political representatives, religious organisations, members of the security sector and civil society. October 20 was the deadline,” Minister Teixeira said.

According to the Minster, responses have been positive, although there are a few entities which have not responded. Further contact will be made to remind them of the importance of such a Committee, she added .

“I want this Commission up and running soon. I will not give up,” Minister Teixeira stressed.

Cabinet approved the composition, terms of reference and reporting relationships of the Commission.

Minister Teixeira had led Cabinet through an examination of the existing models in other CARICOM countries and discussed a number of issues such as, Chairmanship by the Minister responsible, a reporting relationship by the Administration and an advisory role for the body.

The National Commission on Law and Order and other Commissions with similar responsibilities were necessitated according to the communiqué issued by CARICOM Heads of Governments in 2001.

Since then, many CARICOM countries including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and St. Lucia have addressed this motion by the Heads of Government to have the Commission installed.


Cabinet congratulates GDF on its 40th anniversary


Georgetown, GINA, November 3, 2005

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) saw its genesis on November 1, 1965 when training began under the auspices of United Kingdom trainers and over its 40 years of existence it has served Guyana well.

This recognition came from its Commander-in-Chief (of the Armed Force) President Bharrat Jagdeo and his Cabinet at its last meeting held on October 31.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the President today said the month-long observances of the GDF’s existence would include ceremonial parades and march passes, exhibitions, visits by overseas contingents of former Officers and Ranks and religious services.

“Over the time since then, the Military has, become an important national institution that has brought respect and honour to Guyana. The Officers and Ranks of the military have over the years provided an example worthy of note for all institutions in Guyana,” Dr. Luncheon, who is also Secretary to the Defence Board, said.

Dr. Luncheon indicated that the Commander-in-Chief will confer medals at the Medal Presentation Parade and unveil the National Veterans Monument at the Drill Square, Base Camp Ayanganna on November 8.

The Commander-in-Chief will take the salute at the 40th Anniversary Route March at the Square of the Revolution on Saturday, November 12, at 7:00 h.

“The Administration, the Cabinet offers the Guyana Defence Force its congratulations on achieving this very special milestone and urges the Military to continue to deliver, to contribute to the traditions that have been established by their past colleagues,” the Defence Board Secretary said.

In keeping with the motto of the GDF, "SERVICE ", this year’s observance is being held under the theme “Ready and relevant”.

The role of the GDF is to defend the territorial integrity of Guyana; assist the civil power in the maintenance of law and order when required to do so; and contribute to the economic development of Guyana.

At its conception, recruits for the GDF were drawn from the British Guiana Volunteer Force (BGVF), Special Service Unit (SSU), British Guiana Police Force (BGPF) and civilian volunteers.

The focus of the 40 th anniversary celebrations is on veterans and in their honour a hospice will be built next year for indigent veterans.

There would be a sod turning ceremony for the Hospice at the Joint Services Housing Scheme, Lamaha Park later this month.


Joint Services working to rid Buxton of fear: continue presence in village - Defence Board Secretary


Georgetown , GINA, November 03, 2005

The Joint Services is working on a series of interventions to rid Buxton, a village plagued by many criminal activities, of fear and criminal elements.

This disclosure was made today by Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Secretary to the Defence Board, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the President.

“I think the Joint Services are working with their collaborators, who are in intelligence information, to put together a long-term series of intervention and initiatives to bring to bear such pressures and to have that type of outcome – a community free from fear that minimally has seen the exclusion of ‘out and out’ armed criminal elements,” Dr. Luncheon said.

Commenting on the Joint Services’ continued presence in Buxton, Dr. Luncheon said that the objective is to ensure law and order is maintained in the village and that “there is some consistency in the removal and absence of these ‘out and out’ criminal elements in village.”

Dr. Luncheon acknowledged that it would take much man-power “both to continue the whole process of denial of abase and also the more significant process of restoring in the community, a sense of an environment that is law-abiding and one that is safe from fear, one that is secure and where normal activities of daily living can go on. The need is clear what it would take to do that,” he said, referring to the Joint Services’ collaboration on intelligence information.

The Joint Services launched operation Stilletto on October 24, which saw more that 350 houses being searched and more than 140 persons being detained. To date, only one person remains in custody.

Today, Dr. Luncheon indicated that the Joint Services would remain in the area for a while, but on a lesser scale than during the initial phase of operation Stilletto.

He noted that no time frame has been indicated by the Joint Services, as this is an operational issue, “but for the exercise or exercises that are ongoing, one can expect a formidable presence but not of a fixed nature in the communities; but a heightened presence, a presence that is much more than what is normally seen in communities that attracted this level of attention, but a presence that is not of the nature that we saw during the actual operation Stilletto.”

Dr. Luncheon did not disclose whether operation Stilletto has been concluded and another has started, or whether Stilletto is still ongoing.


South American integration talks commence

Prime Minister engages IIRSA team

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds with members of the IIRSA Team Bianca Alarcon and Carlos Tamayo


Georgetown, GINA November 3, 2005

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who is performing the duties of President today met a team from the Infrastructure Initiative for Integration of the South American Region (IIRAS) to commence discussions on Guyana’s role in the integration movement.

The team included Principal Executive Blanca Alarcon, Project Economist Carlos Tamayo and Peruvian representative Rosario Santa Gadea Duarte.

The IIRSA is a regional body, which seeks to promote the development of transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure from a regional viewpoint. It seeks to achieve the physical integration of the South American countries and the achievement of an equitable and sustainable territorial development pattern.

The visit is part of a regional consultation aimed at achieving feedback from various Governments to determine which approach will be of greatest symbiotic benefit.

The initiative was adopted in 2000, during a meeting of South American Presidents held in Brazil, at which regional leaders agreed to take joint action to promote social, political and economic integration.

While in Guyana, the team will also hold discussions with members of the private sector to determine ways in which they can assist in facilitating the integration movement through business initiatives.


Acting Head of State participates in GDF’s 40 th anniversary activities


Georgetown , GINA November 3, 2005

Acting President Samuel Hinds today attended a religious service marking the commencement of a week of activities celebrating the 40 th anniversary of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

The ceremony which was held at the National Cultural Centre, featured adulation from representatives of the Hindu, Muslim and Christian denominations.

Also in attendance were Commissioner of Police Winston Felix, Minister of Home Affairs Gail Teixeira, Minister of Public Service Jennifer Westford, Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce Manzoor Nadir, Former Chiefs-of-Staff Brigadier Joe Singh and Norman Mc Lean and several members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Ranks of the Force were charged by the religious leaders to recognise and acknowledge the role of their creator in the realisation of both spiritual and secular pursuits.

This year’s celebrations were held under the theme ‘Ready and relevant with discipline and tolerance, essential quality for defending and deepening democracy in Guyana.’

Other activities scheduled for the 40 th anniversary are exhibitions, parades, blood donation exercises, fitness competition and a medal presentation ceremony.

The GDF came into existence on November 1, 1965 when training began under a team of instructors from the United Kingdom. Recruits for the new Force were drawn from the British Guiana Volunteer Force (BGVF), Special Service Unit (SSU), British Guiana Police Force (BGPF) and civilian volunteers.


Acting President participates in Trade Union centennial celebrations


Georgetown , GINA November 3, 2005

Acting President Samuel Hinds today participated in celebrations organized by the Guyana Labour Union in observance of the 100 th Anniversary of the birth of Trade Unions in Guyana. He was also among several public officials who laid wreats on the tomb of the late trade union founder.

The event which included the laying of wreaths, musical accolades and oral presentations, paid special tribute to the founder of the trade union and labour movement in Guyana and the Caribbean, Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow.

Critchlow was credited with making a mammoth contribution to the lives of people of his country as well as successfully uniting urban and rural workers of all races and creeds under the banner of labour.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were former President Mrs. Janet Jagan, Opposition Leader Robert Corbin, Minister of Labour Human Services and Social Security Dale Bisnauth, People’s Progressive Party General Secretary Donald Ramotar and President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union and PPP/C MP, Komal Chand.

Speaking of Critchlow’s contribution to workers’ rights, Mrs Jagan noted that “the recognition he received during his lifetime was minimal and it is regrettable that he was not entirely appreciated for all he did in his lifetime.”

She added that “he instituted collective bargaining, longer working hours and general improvement of working conditions for workers.”

Komal Chand said, “When one is looking for a true national hero, the assessment and conclusion must include Critchlow’s contribution to nation building, personal sacrifice and selflessness.”

He stated that GAWU would always hold Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow as a great national hero.

Minister Bisnauth said even though Critchlow was born of very humble beginnings he has made an indelible impression in the lives of workers not just in Guyana but regionally. He described him as a true representative of the nation’s working class.

The year 1905 was described as a very important year in the history of the working class movement from which saw the birth of the trade union and labour movement.

Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow was born on December 18, 1884 to a working class family.

Following his father’s death he was forced to quit school and pursue several menial employment, which included cigarette-packing and bottle-washing.

He further assumed employment as a stevedore during which he ascended to heights in the defence of the rights of himself and fellow workers.

It was noted also that Critchlow called the region’s first major strike by stevedore workers.

The month long celebrations include debating, essay and dominoes competition and a day of sports. It will culminate with a special sitting of Parliament and a rally on the lawns of Parliament bBilding on November 30.



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