No legislation should deprive citizens of their constitutional rights

first_imgDear Editor,The working Peoples Alliance Overseas Associate adds its voice to those organisations and individuals who have spoken out in opposition to the draconian and archaic Article 18 of the Cybercrimes Bill, 2016.We accept that with new modes of communication that were not anticipated by laws presently enacted, many countries have gone beyond common law to enact legislation to deal with various forms of Cyber abuse, but this Article 18 seems geared for repression under the guise of combating sedition. We in Guyana have had our bad experiences at the hands of authoritarian regimes attempting to suppress political dissent, and must condemn any act under any guise that would take away our freedom to express ourselves. No legislation should be employed to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights of freedom of conscience, action, expression, the absolute right of legitimate dissent, and the right to remove a government not lawfully elected or a government lawfully elected that destroys the foundation of our democracy. The right to agitate for the removal of such governments should not be abridged. The Declaration of Independence of the United States established this point, which has since become universally accepted that: “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same objective evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government”. If a government governs fairly and justly, it should have no fear of sedition.The Working Peoples Alliance Overseas Alliance would continue to uphold its founding principle, and struggle against friend and foe to preserve the people’s freedom. Under the current formulation of Article 18, we will potentially stand guilty of sedition if we attempt to carry out this principle.Sincerely,Keith BranchPress Secretary,WPAOA.last_img read more

Charles Ramson will make a great President of Guyana, but not now

first_imgDear Editor,When I first saw the video of my friend and colleague, Charles Ramson Jr declaring his intention to contest for the PPP Presidential Candidate, I was very disappointed in the choice of words used to justify his candidacy. But it was his response to the Leader of the Opposition, that certainly gave credence to the idiom that too much education is just as dangerous as too little.Undoubtedly, Charles is young, ambitious, well-educated and has great potential. It is these very qualities that Bharrat Jagdeo recognized in him, that made him one of the youngest Members of the National Assembly. Without the support of Bharrat Jagdeo, he could not have made it on his own.So what has changed? Ramson has a bone to pick with Jagdeo, Anil Nandall and Irfaan Ali. He wanted time-off from Parliament for one year to pursue studies in the United Kingdom in Oil and Gas while retaining his MP status. This request was denied because the PPP could not afford to reduce its voting powers in the National Assembly at a time when the National Budget and vital pieces of legislation were upcoming. He was subsequently replaced by the young, dynamic Vickram Bharrat.In an email sent to me on May 21, 2018, Ramson wrote:“I know the feeling of giving your all in a team and others not pulling their weight and it’s being allowed to happen. Imagine how I felt when as an MP I gave my all to this and when I got a prestigious scholarship to study an area which we need for the country and will be beneficial to the team and asked for leave and so many “leaders” did not support the application. I had support from Luncheon and a couple others but Anil and BJ and Irfaan did not support. It’s disheartening and discouraging.”Every politically astute person in Guyana knows that former PPP Ministers Anil Nandlall and Irfaan Ali are among others likely to contest the Party’s Presidential candidacy for the 2020 elections, and so this presents Ramson an opportunity to deny them this nomination in much the same way they denied him. Isn’t this vindictiveness, tit for tat?In his recent response to Jagdeo, he mentioned having knowledge of persons making public announcements before going through a nomination process for the 2015 election, and disclosed, “But I would like to point out that far worse has happened like persons being involved in corruption and no press conference has ever been held about it or disrespectful and childish comparisons being made.”As a lawyer and upstanding citizen who wants to be President, did Ramson not feel it was his patriotic duty to report this “corruption” that he saw to the police or better yet, to SOCU?Now that Charles Ramson is writing for the Kaieteur News, it seems he has discovered the Freddie Kissoon syndrome: Criticize Jagdeo and get your face on the front page.In his declaration speech, Ramson said Guyana needs young, fresh leadership. “We need credible leadership—leadership with integrity, passion and vision; leadership that puts the people first.” While both Anil Nandall and Irfaan Ali and others in the party fit the aforementioned description, they both have tremendous success and a well-documented track record in the sectors they were responsible for as Ministers in the previous government. Where is Ramson’s? In the past three years, it was Anil Nandlall, aided sometimes by Priya Manickchand and Adrian Anamaya who defended cash-crop farmers and sugar workers and everyone whose constitutional rights were being violated by this APNU+AFC Administration.With his 10 years’ experience as a lawyer and party member, Ramson has never volunteered his expertise to assist Nandlall with one of these cases. Is this the kind of leadership that puts people first?Editor, behind that baby-face smile is a man who’s ego dangerously rivals that of our Prime Minister. In his letter in the Kaieteur News on June 29 captioned “Charles Ramson through the eyes of someone else”, Dr. Mark Devonish sums it up beautifully when he describes Ramson as “too arrogant, obnoxious and petty” to be President. He forgot to mention his bad attitude.Charles, I’m sure, was spoilt rotten as a child. And although he has grown now, he still wants to get his own way. I’m sure with time, Charles Ramson Jr will make a great President of Guyana, but not now, he has some maturing to do.Sincerely,Harry Gill,PPP Member of Parliamentlast_img read more

Mental Health Needs Serious Attention

first_imgMedical doctors and physicians in a lecture series on June 23 raised an alarm that mental illness has become an unrecognized emergency that needs the collective effort of every party to fight. It means as doctors are at the forefront by providing medication and counseling for affected people, so is the government to provide the resources and facilities that will create the enabling environment for addressing the problem.Not only that doctors and government will play these cardinal roles, parents or relatives of affected people need to also care for the affected person while people taking risk of doing or consuming things that may serve as conduits for mental illness need to stop.According to the vice president of the Liberia chapter for the West African College of Physicians (WACP), Rose Jallah Macauley, one major cause of mental illness in Liberia today is drug abuse. Although she did not provide any statistics regarding cases of mental illness resulting from drug abuse, it is no doubt that many young people have turned to be drug addicts as ‘ghettos’ are erected in most parts of the country, especially the city areas.The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the Liberia National Police and presidential task force have on many occasions arrested drug abusers and even traffickers of dangerous drugs into the country. It is sad to note that despite attempts to battle against the production, trafficking and sale of these drugs to prevent abuse by young people, the Drug Law of Liberia remains stuck in committee room at the National Legislature and there is no deterrent law at present.World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show that about 130,000 people in this country have severe mental illness, reinforcing the call by Dr. Jallah to have a rehabilitation center for mentally ill people to undergo counseling and receive treatment for their conditions.The country is faced with a few consequences resulting from mental illness that can be underscored here. Severe mental illness is seriously decreasing the human resource capacity of the country. Some of the affected people could have become teachers, physicians and doctors, nurses and other useful people that can deliver valuable services in the Liberian society. But as the case is now, instead of these people being useful to the society, they have become societal burdens that government is called upon to provide money to cater for.As cases of mental illness increase, so is the danger posed to the rest of the people who mix up with mentally ill people in the streets on a daily basis. Any of these mentally ill people could be agitated to injure or harm anyone at any time. Who will take responsibility for such actions by mentally ill people? Everyone needs security; either the mentally ill person or the ordinary person. It is therefore possible that if a mentally ill person causes anyone to sustain an injury, the person can also react against the perpetrator, and more problems will arise.This newspaper, the Daily Observer, is therefore urging the government to attach seriousness to the passage of the Drug Law to deter traffickers and abusers and reduce the risk of mental illness. During the Ebola epidemic of 2014, there were survivors and relatives of victims who developed trauma. There are also other social conditions that are affecting people thus causing them to develop mental illness. The WHO also says about 400,000 people are suffering from some form of mental illness. We call on the government to therefore provide facilities that will accommodate such people, where care and counseling will be given them to overcome the issues that cause mental stress.The Daily Observer could disregard this societal problem as anyone else, but let us learn from the story, “Town trap is not for rat alone” written by Professor Wilton Sankawulo in one of his publications, Marriage of Wisdom. The cows, sheep, goats and pigs felt that they were not rat eaters, and therefore could not loosen the trap to allow cat in to find rats. But as the trap caught the rattle snake and the snake in turn bit the King’s daughter and she died, there were no other livestock to kill during the feast but cows, goats and sheep.Let the government and other people learn from some of these stories to put proper facilities in place to prevent future problems. Mental illness is increasing and overcoming the population. Let us be aware of this pressing unrecognized national emergency to develop plans to tackle it so we can continue to have a society that is at peace with itself.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Sand trucks traversing Linden Highway major offenders of axle overload – survey finds

first_imgA recent axle load survey conducted of trucks which traverse the Soesdyke- Linden Highway has unearthed major axle overloading by heavy-duty trucks. The survey was conducted by a design and consultancy team attached to Beston/SRKN’gineering, which has been contracted by the Public Infrastructure Ministry to conduct feasibility studies and detailed designs for the major rehabilitation of the Highway.A team attached to the Public Infrastructure Ministry recently visited the office of the Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) along with a design team where various aspects of the project were presented to Regional Chairman Renis Morian and Councillors. These included an overview of the project, scope of work and initial activities and findings. Project Director and team leader attached to SRKN, Stuart Hughes, explained that one of the key aspects conducted was an axle load survey which was done on both sides of the highway – at Amelia’s Ward and Soesdyke. In presenting the initial findings, Hughes said 36 hours of continuous count was carried out with heavy-duty trucks which were weighed. It was observed that sand trucks were major defaulters.“With the assistance of the Guyana Police Force, we stopped the trucks and we directed them unto these weigh pads. And the weigh pads basically wirelessly measured the weight of these axles and transmitted it to the laptop. So we were able to get the actual load of each and every axle for each and every one of these trucks which we stopped at these two locations,” he noted.Hughes continued that a total of 1199 to 1200 trucks were weighed at the end of a 72-hour period, with a majority being sand trucks at the Soesdyke end. In explaining the relevance of the exercise, Hughes said in designing a road one has to assume a certain axle load, which is 8.2 tonnes. However, he noted that a sand truck at Soesdyke recorded the heaviest at 19 tonnes. These trucks, he pointed out, recorded higher than fuel and logging trucks. Hughes said the heaviest logging truck recorded was 16 tonnes axle load.“The heaviest truck that we recorded which was down at the Soesdyke end was actually 19 tonnes. Going into the Roads Act Chapter 51:02, the Regulation which I found… the actual legal limit as it stands is 7.2 tonnes… basically for every tonne that is actually heavier than the design limit… the damage that’s being done… A 16-tonne truck would be doing 22 times the actual damage. Nineteen tonnes you’re up to thirty something times the actual damage. So, we can design for this, but the question is we’ll end up with a very, very expensive pavement… It would be a very, very expensive undertaking,” he noted.Hughes explained that the company is not required to look at the legal implications of this, but rather it is a task for the Ministry. He added however that this gives an idea of what is happening on the roadway. The Project Director said when the company submits its pavement design report, it would have to seek guidance from the Ministry as to whether it should go ahead to design based on the findings, or whether it intends to put in place a much more active weight limit enforcement programme on the roadway.Implications/recommendationsIn explaining the implications, Hughes pointed out further that the company is required to make recommendations. He also called for more control mechanisms to be put in place in moving forward.“That also is part of what we have to do, we have to recommend a weight control programme to the Ministry…There clearly must be some control of these trucks that are traversing the highway. It has economic implications, because if it continues like this…you may have a situation where your pavement, your road does not actually last…”, he explained.Social and Gender Specialist Vanda Radzick who is working along with the team in giving her input made the recommendation for overloaded trucks to be upgraded, noting that this is safer and in keeping with policy.“One of the things at a policy level may be to encourage these single axle overloaded trucks to modernise and have a double axle to save the road and distribute the weight. And it’s safer and it’s more within the law. So, law and policy – the designer may make recommendations, but at the end of the day the engineers and designers, that’s not their jurisdiction. It still has to go back to enforcement, law and policy”, she outlined.Hughes said based on observations, there is a solid foundation to work with but the company just has to come up with a design solution to build on it. He noted that in his 25 plus year career as a civil engineer he has not seen such a fixed pavement as the one he’s seen on the highway.He said cracking was discovered on the asphalted concrete layer which will be dealt with. According to the Project Director, the company has also conducted a geotechnical investigation in order to propose a solution. He added that it has to conduct a technical and economic feasibility report and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment which will assist the Ministry in obtaining a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. (Utamu Belle)last_img read more

Wild Oats selling to Whole Foods

first_imgMackey said Wild Oats Chairman and interim CEO Gregory Mays told him, “What’s your price going to be?” He said the deal came together in a couple weeks. Shares of Wild Oats dipped 6 cents to $15.72 in regular trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market before the announcement. In late trading, they jumped $2.72 or 17.3 percent. Whole Foods shares followed a similar pattern. They fell 37 cents to $45.70 in regular Nasdaq trading but gained $2.39, or 5.2 percent, in extended trading. News of the sale apparently trumped Whole Foods’ announcement, also after stock markets closed, that its profit declined in the quarter ended Jan. 14. Whole Foods said it would pay $18.50 in cash per share for Wild Oats and assume the rival’s debt, reported to be $106 million as of Sept. 30. Austin-based Whole Foods said it would borrow to finance the deal. Wild Oats has annual sales of about $1.2 billion and operates 110 stores in 24 states and British Columbia, Canada. In October, the company’s chief executive stepped down and was replaced by Mays. The company’s CFO left in December to go back to his old job with a wholesale food distributor. The management changes prompted at least one Wall Street analyst to downgrade the company’s stock. Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats announced recently that it would close eight stores and take a charge of $25.5 million.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! DALLAS – Whole Foods Market Inc. said Wednesday it will pay $565 million for Wild Oats Markets Inc., a chain of natural and organic food markets in the United States and Canada. Shares of Wild Oats jumped 17 percent in extended trading after the deal was announced. Whole Foods executives said they approached Wild Oats because they sensed a “strategic gap” after the smaller company lost its chief executive and chief financial officer. “I called up their interim CEO,” said Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey. “I thought, gosh, maybe this would be a good time to approach Wild Oats.” last_img read more

Nigeria must improve before World Cup admits Mikel

first_img0Shares0000Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel impressed against England © AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 3 – Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel admits his side have to improve quickly if they are to make an impact at the World Cup.The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to England in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday. Nigeria were punished for a dismal first half display as goals from Gary Cahill and Harry Kane put England in control.Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi pulled one back for the visitors after the interval, but Nigeria couldn’t find an equaliser despite their improved second half performance.Mikel knows Nigeria have to sharpen up in Russia if they to get through a tough group featuring Argentina, Iceland and Croatia.“We are a very young team and we have to learn, it is good for this young team to have a taste of what we are going to face in Russia,” Mikel said.“We have to learn together as a team, we have to improve and that is why we played this game against such a quality side.“We can know where we are and now we go back to training and try and improve.”Coach Gernot Rohr agreed with Mikel’s assessment that Nigeria have much to work on.But the Nigeria boss blamed their slow start on fatigue caused by a difficult journey to England and rain that stopped them training the day before the match.“The first lesson is we are not ready yet. We have to work much more in the two weeks before our first game,” the German said.“We missed totally the first half but the preparation wasn’t good.“We couldn’t train on Friday because of rain, the pitch wasn’t good. We arrived after a 10 hour flight, with many stops.“In the first half our usual formation didn’t work. Some of our players weren’t fit and England put the pressure on us.“This bad beginning was an opportunity to change and play a bit more like England in the second half. It was much better.“Also we changed four players. Unfortunately we can’t change four players if there is a problem in the World Cup.”Meanwhile, former Chelsea midfielder Mikel saw enough from England to feel he can back Gareth Southgate’s team as potential World Cup winners.“I think they have a very good chance of going all the way because the youthfulness and energy in this team… you can feel it,” he said.“I think the pace in the team, you can feel it, and that is why we had some problems in the first half.“In the second half we corrected some mistakes and played a lot better. I think the England team have a good chance.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

MISSING DONEGAL WOMAN FOUND SAFE AND WELL

first_imgThe search for missing Letterkenny woman Siobhan McNulty has been called off after she was found safe and well.Siobhan McNulty – found safe and well.Gardai yesterday issued an appeal for the 44 year old after she had not been seen since August 12th.However the search was called off this morning after she was located. Gardai have thanked the puplic for their help in the matter.MISSING DONEGAL WOMAN FOUND SAFE AND WELL was last modified: August 15th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ELECTED (LETTERKENNY): JIMMY KAVANAGH (FG) TAKES SEAT

first_imgJimmy’s Winning ElectionsHARD-working Letterkenny town councillor Jimmy Kavanagh has just been elected to Donegal County Council on the 16th count.The popular Letterkenny man was pushed over the line and past the quota thanks to a huge transfer of votes from fellow Fine Gael man Noel McBride following his elimination.Family and friends are celebrating this morning. There will be another count – with Cllr Kavanagh’s surplus to be shared.The last seat remains a battle between Donal Cullen (Ind) and Mick Quinn (SF) with the Cullen camp conceding the veteran Sinn Fein politician is probably too far ahead to catch. ELECTED (LETTERKENNY): JIMMY KAVANAGH (FG) TAKES SEAT was last modified: May 26th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:electedFine GaelJimmy Kavanaghlast_img read more

Gardai investigate suspicious approach to teenage girl

first_imgGardaí are investigating an incident in which a young girl was approached in suspicious circumstances.The incident happened on Friday night last in Ardara.A teenage girl was approached by a man in a silver or grey van at about 10.30pm. The van was later spotted in the town.Gardai have appealed to people to be on the lookout for a similar van in the area.Members of the public have been warned not to approach the van.Instead people are asked to contact their nearest Garda station. Gardai investigate suspicious approach to teenage girl was last modified: October 26th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more