Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Rodgers again falls short of another Super Bowl stint LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The match pivoted around the marathon eighth game of the first set when Johnson was finally able to draw level on his sixth break point chance. He then began to serve more confidently, taking the ninth game with his sixth ace of the match and breaking Robert again to end the set in 51 minutes.Johnson’s serve was more influential in the second set – he gave up only one point in his first three service games and broke Robert in the sixth game to lead 4-2. But the Frenchman refused to give up, held for 5-3 and saved two points in the ninth game before Johnson closed out the set and match 6-3.Johnson sent down 11 aces to Robert’s three and Robert also paid for his six double faults to Johnson’s three.Czech Jiri Vesely, who won his only ATP title to date in Auckland in 2015, made his way to the second round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina while Robin Haase of the Netherlands beat New Zealand qualifier Finn Tearney 6-4, 7-5.ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ NBA: Rockets beat Raptors; Cavs down Suns Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite ‘Old school work ethic’ pays off for immaculate Federer Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Super Bowl a tossup at legal sports books SYDNEY — Seventh-seeded American Steve Johnson overcame an early struggle in a match of contrasting styles to beat Stephane Robert of France 6-4, 6-3 Monday in the opening round of the ASB Classic tennis tournament in Auckland.ADVERTISEMENT Johnson, ranked 33, struggled to bring his heavy serve to bear at the start of the match and quickly found himself a break down at 3-1 in the first set. He also took time to find his feet against Robert who troubled him with his softer groundstrokes, deft touches and his thread-the-needle passing shots.The contrast between the players was shown in the fact that while Johnson was bent on wielding his powerful forehand from the back of the court, Robert played more than 60 percent of points from inside the baseline. Johnson hit nine forehand winners to Robert’s seven but Robert had 10 backhand winners to Johnson’s four.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“At the start of the year you don’t have much momentum and you try to figure out your game again and how everything works,” Johnson said. “He came out and played a great game.“I was in a lot of games on his serve in the first so I just sort of hung around and then fortunately got a break in the second and held onto my serve.” 15-year-old Gauff stuns Venus anew in first round MOST READ View comments
Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town In the night’s other matches, John Cena won his 16th WWE Championship after hitting AJ Styles with a pair of Attitude Adjustments.It was Cena’s first win over Styles in a one-on-one match, which also allowed him to tie WWE legend Ric Flair’s world championship record.Kevin Owens remained as the WWE Universal Champion after Braun Strowman interfered and chokeslammed challenger Roman Reigns to the announce table and powerslammed him to another table.United States Champion Chris Jericho was locked inside a shark cage above the ring, but was still able to help The Prizefighter as he dropped a brass knuckle which Owens used to Superman Punch Reigns.Reigns, though, would push Owens to a pyramid of steel chairs before powerbombing him to the announce table. But just as the Big Dog was waiting for a Spear, Strowman interjected himself to the match and allowed Owens to score the pinfall.ADVERTISEMENT Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member View comments DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal LATEST STORIES Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Randy Orton. Photo by WWE.comIn one of the most intriguing Royal Rumble matches in recent history, Randy Orton came out of nowhere and won the 30-man battle royal Monday (Manila time) at Alamodome in San Antonio.The Viper reversed Roman Reigns’ Spear to an RKO and clotheslined him over the top rope. He now earned an opportunity to main event WrestleMania in April.ADVERTISEMENT Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely MOST READ Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Charlotte also retained her Raw Women’s Championship after dropping Bayley with a Natural Selection on the ring apron.Neville also proved that he was the true King of the Cruiserweights, submitting Rich Swann to the Rings of Saturn to capture the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.In the kickoff show, Nia Jax beat Sasha Banks after nailing her with a Pop-Up Samoan drop.Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson also claimed the Raw Tag Team Championship, topping Cesaro and Sheamus after Anderson rolled Cesaro up and held his tights to score the three-count.Naomi, Becky Lynch, and Nikki Bella defeated SmackDown Live Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya after Naomi pinned Bliss after a split-legged moonsault.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Orton entered at number 23 and worked for the majority of the match with his cohort Bray Wyatt as they got to the final three, along with Reigns, the 30th entrant in the match.It was Orton’s second Rumble victory after winning it in 2009.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnIt was an interesting Rumble match which featured Braun Strowman wreaking havoc early, Goldberg eliminating rival Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker dumping Goldberg, and Reigns sending the Deadman out.There was only one surprise entry in the match with NXT callup Tye Dillinger coming in at number 10. Nadal ‘not sad’ despite tough Aussie final loss to Federer
End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend New Queen: Hallasgo dethrones Tabal in Milo Marathon Paul could have signed a new deal with the Clippers at $34 million a year had he opted out, but can now sign a five-year, $205 million maximum extension with the Rockets under NBA salary cap rules.“When friends of mine are happy then I’m equally as happy for them. Congrats to my brother CP3 on choosing his own direction,” tweeted Chicago guard Dwyane Wade.Paul and Harden reportedly discussed the possibility of a partnership at length and hope to ignite the Rockets, who went 55-27 last season but lost to San Antonio in the second round of the NBA playoffs.The Rockets, who won NBA crowns in 1994 and 1995, have not suffered a losing season since 2005-06 but have reached the Western Conference final only once in 20 years, losing that to eventual champion Golden State in 2015.Paul, obtained by the Clippers in a 2011 trade with New Orleans, is a nine-time All-Star who spent six seasons with each club and has averaged 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 2.3 steals over 834 NBA games.ADVERTISEMENT 8 injured in foot bridge collapse in Negros Occidental While players and teams can begin free agency talks on Saturday, no deals can be signed until July 6. CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Magnitude 4.2 earthquake jolts Batangas Santos denies flopping ala Pennisi, insists Smith hit him above shoulder Los Angeles Clippers stars Chris Paul (left) and Blake Griffin. AFPFILE PHOTOLOS ANGELES, United States — Chris Paul was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in the first major NBA talent move of the off-season with free agency looming Saturday.The 32-year-old point guard, who helped the United States win Olympic gold in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 at London, joins shooting guard James Harden in what might be the NBA’s most dynamic backcourt next season.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Australian Open: A look at Serena, other things to know MOST READ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ View comments Marck Espejo shines in triumphant Thailand debut In exchange, the Rockets sent to the Clippers forward Sam Dekker, guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams plus a 2018 first-round NBA Draft pick, according to reports by the Houston Chronicle and ESPN.“It’s tough to say goodbye but I will always have great pride and love for the chance to be a part of Red Nation!” Beverley tweeted in confirming the deal.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Las Vegas oddsmakers trimmed the Rockets’ odds of winning next year’s NBA crown from 30-1 to 15-1 after the move was revealed while dropping the Clippers’ chances from 40-1 to 100-1.Paul agreed to opt in for the final year of his $24.2 million contract, allowing the Clippers to make a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets, Yahoo Sports reported. Paul faced a Wednesday deadline to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. will come out of retirement to meet UFC star Conor McGregor in an August 26 boxing match that will feature two of the top-selling fighters in the world. The two fighters both announced the fight Wednesday, after months of speculation about whether Mayweather would be lured back to the ring at the age of 40 to face a mixed martial arts fighter who has never had a pro boxing fight. Oddsmakers immediately made Mayweather the big favourite in a fight that will take place in a boxing ring and be governed by boxing rules. It will take place at 154 pounds. “It’s official,” Mayweather said on Instagram next to a video poster of both fighters. “THE FIGHT IS ON,” McGregor tweeted several minutes earlier, posting a picture of himself next to one of Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr. Mayweather, who retired in September 2015 after winning all 49 of his pro fights, will face the Irish UFC superstar at the T-Mobile arena on the Las Vegas Strip. He had tweeted a picture of himself sparring in recent days to show he was already getting ready for the bout.
As the countdown continues for the ‘Art of War’ deejay competition which is set for July 28, Guyana Times Entertainment will feature the deejays participating in the event. This week, we are pleased to feature Daren Jordon, also called “Turf Teacha”.He is 28 years old and hails from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).“Turf Teacha” started his musical career at the tender age of 15 and previously played with Big Life Sound. He currently plays for the Trinity Sound System.He has been in the sound business for 13 years. “Turf Teacha” has competed in three clashes and is still to win a trophy. His preferred musical weapon of choice is dub plates.His focus as a deejay is to entertain his fans and his strongest quality is his self-confidence. He is also a self-inspired individual.Jordon’s most memorable moment as a DJ was the impact he made at Art of War 2017.If you want to see the “Turf Teacha” in action, be sure to come out on July 28 at the Sports Hall tarmac.For more information on Art of War 2018, you can check the Facebook page “Empire Media Inc” or call telephone numbers 680-6720 or 862-233-0494.
A couple of weeks ago, there were self-righteous denunciation of Bharrat Jagdeo for highlighting ethnic discrimination against Indo-Guyanese by the APNU/AFC Government in a speech made in Queens, New York. David Granger, in his role of BLOVIATOR–IN-CHIEF, told Jagdeo to “mind his words” and implied that Jagdeo was being a racist. Not to be outdone, bloviating with spittle, Prime Minister Nagamootoo desperately joined Granger in scurrilously condemning Jagdeo.There were others that joined Granger and Nagamootoo in attacking the Leader of the Opposition. Even my good friend Ralph Ramkarran joined in the attack. But I know Ramkarran will not deny the facts – the fact that APNU/AFC has dismissed hundreds of public servants since May 2015 and that greater than 95 per cent of those dismissed are Indo-Guyanese and has acted with hostility to rice and sugar, economic areas dominated by the presence of Indo-Guyanese. There are Indo-Guyanese contractors that have been selectively marginalised and only those who fall in the category of political donors are favoured. Have we seen the make-up of State Boards and the political advisers who are paid salaries often in excess of $500,000 per month? These give the impression that Guyana is made up of a single race.Jagdeo was stating the facts and called on the Guyanese Diaspora to work together so that the present Government can be voted out of office in the next election. He pointedly asserted that APNU/AFC ignores the imperative of national unity, refuses to disavow discrimination of all sorts, and only talk the talk of social cohesion, but actively promotes ethnic non-cohesion. He insisted that we must be prepared to “throw them out” in the next election.Last week, MR BLOVIATOR, David Granger, addressed the need for his Government (APNU/AFC) to specifically heed the African-Guyanese interest in Guyana. To be fair, he also spoke of national unity. Dr Hinds and many other Afrocentric advocates insisted that African-Guyanese must hold the Government accountable and that Government must promote the interest of Afro-Guyanese since they overwhelmingly voted for APNU/AFC. These statements are by themselves not harmful and I expect that any government must address the special and particular vulnerabilities of all groups in a diverse country like Guyana. On Emancipation Day and in emancipation month, I accept the good intention of these statements.But I do question the insensitivity and insincerity of those who attack the messengers that highlight the rampant discrimination that Indo-Guyanese are subjected to and how many of our citizens are being made to feel as though they do not belong to our country or being made to feel like second-class citizens. I find it reprehensible when someone is attacked because he dares to highlight the efforts of APNU/AFC to downgrade and destroy the sugar and rice industries, with the only plausible explanation being that these are economic foci for Indo-Guyanese.In a diverse ethnic country like Guyana, it is admirable that there are groups like ACDA, IAC, APA and others that focus on the interest and benefits of specific ethnic groups and that advocate for greater resources of Government to be earmarked for development that will see the overall improvement in the lives of people and communities dominated by a particular race. This is not unlike Black Lives Matter in the USA. Where it becomes problematic is when we do so at the expense of national unity and social cohesion.The truth is that presently it is acceptable to APNU/AFC for advocacy on behalf of Afro-Guyanese. There is recognition of poverty and underdevelopment among Afro-Guyanese. But this Government is overly sensitive to rebuke when it comes to the treatment of Indo-Guyanese and anyone who dares to address poverty and under-development in Indo-Guyanese communities is seen as racist and inciter of hate. It is the reason why Jagdeo was viciously attacked for inciting hate when all he was doing is highlighting the vulgarity of discrimination against Guyanese because they happen to be Indo-Guyanese.For leaders like Nagamootoo and Ramjattan to acquiesce to those among them who see it as an imperative to advocate for Afro-Guyanese, while simultaneously attacking those who advocate for non-discrimination against Indo-Guyanese is not merely hypocrisy, it is abdicating their responsibility to speak out when obvious wrongs are perpetuated. Remember the words of Edmund Burke – the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to stay silent and do nothing. But people like Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are not just complicit with the ugliness of open discrimination against their Indo-Guyanese sisters and brothers, they promote the ethnic malfeasance by not their silence but by attacking the messengers. (Send comments to [email protected])
I vividly remember the scathing attacks by the People’s National Congress, the Working People’s Alliance and the Alliance For Change (AFC) on the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Bharrat Jagdeo for not creating more jobs for the people. Today, A Partnership for National Unity/AFC coalition lies that job creation is not the role of the Government.APNU/AFC governs not on any vision of a better Guyana, but on a mission to destroy the legacy of Jagdeo. Yet the harder they try to demolish the legacy of Jagdeo, the more his stock rises and the more APNU/AFC and its leaders are diminished. In fact, President David Granger is becoming more the Emperor of Spite, PM Nagamootoo the Witch of Spite and APNU/AFC the Spinner of Spite. If floods come tonight, as sure as day follows night, APNU/AFC and its leaders will find a way to blame it on Jagdeo.People ask why is it the APNU/AFC hates Jagdeo so much. It is simple. None of them – from Granger to anyone else in his Cabinet – can hold a candle up to Jagdeo. It is a miserable feeling getting up everyday knowing they cannot measure up to Jagdeo. They are furious that Jagdeo dares to go to Linden, a town that APNU/AFC thinks they own, and be mobbed with admiration. Jagdeo is smarter, has more common sense, more vision and is admired by those who support him and those who supported APNU/AFC in the last election. Granger and his band of incompetent and visionless Ministers rose to power and occupy their present positions riding the wings of derision of Jagdeo and the PPP. It is, therefore, infuriating that each passing day, Jagdeo is more admired and APNU/AFC faces intense derision.APNU/AFC has turned the business of governing into a competition among themselves to see who can tell and repeat the most egregious lies against Jagdeo. A few weeks ago, Ministers Patterson and Harmon announced that Jagdeo had given out all the licences for all oil blocks for oil exploration. It turns out that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission published a map proving that there are significant numbers of blocks still available. Not only was it a lie, it also turned out that during the 12-year terms of Jagdeo, he never issued a single licence. The licences issued so far were issued by Janet Jagan before Jagdeo became President in 1999, after 2011 by Donald Ramotar when Jagdeo demitted office and after May 2015 by APNU/AFC. This week, Minister Trotman admitted that Government is in the process of issuing more licences.The public is fed these lies on a daily basis, if not directly by a Minister, by a surrogate, including their surrogates in the media, like the Kaieteur News. People opened up the newspapers on Sunday to find a blaring headline in the Kaieteur News that Queens Atlantic, a company owned by Dr Bobby Ramroop, was given a six-acre plot of land at concessionary rate. The article was written in such a way to blame Jagdeo for Queens Atlantic being given the land. Turns out that was another lie. Dr Ramroop and Queens Atlantic bought the land from a private owner and the purchase had nothing to do with Jagdeo or the PPP.The litany of lies boggles the mind. APNU/AFC lied that Skeldon Factory was built at a cost of US0 million, when it was US5 million. They lied that there were numerous unpublished contracts, but they refuse to publish them when challenged. They lied that Jagdeo went to Texas to meet with ExxonMobil. Jagdeo never did. They lied that Jagdeo signed the feasibility study for the new Demerara River bridge. There was no such study under Jagdeo. The pre-feasibility study was done in 2014. They alleged Jagdeo amended the Petroleum Act in 1997 to include a non-disclosure clause. Jagdeo was not President and there was no such amendment in 1997. They lied that Jagdeo is delaying the appointment of the Guyana Elections Commission chair, when Jagdeo has sent three lists with 18 distinguished Guyanese and Granger has rejected two of the lists and after two months, has not responded to the third.I can fill this whole issue of Guyana Times with the lies APNU/AFC tells every day. The mounting heap of lies represents their obsession with Jagdeo and their infuriation with the outpouring of admiration across Guyana for Jagdeo. The PPP since 1992 rebuilt Guyana and began the process of modernisation. That is the legacy the APNU/AFC fears and wants destroyed.
– Contextualising the 4.5 percent estimated mid-year growth for 2018This article (which will be continued next week) seeks to contextualise the limitations of GDP as a measure of economic growth within a broader framework of economic growth versus economic development and the relationships on the outcomes of human development. The Mid-Year Economic Report was released and presented to the Parliament by the Finance Minister earlier last month. The report thus noted that Guyana recorded an estimated GDP growth rate of 4.5 percent for the period January to June 2018, which compared rather favourably with the 2.5 percent growth rate recorded for the first half of 2017.The report noted that the mid-year growth rate for this year was driven by more broad-based growth, compared to that of the previous year; with improved performances in agriculture, fishing and forestry of 3.4 percent; services of 8.2 percent, and construction of 13.4 percent.With regard to the external sector, the overall balance of payments recorded a deficit of US$139.8 million, compared with a deficit of US$46 million for the corresponding period in 2017. This represents a 204 percent widened deficit on the balance of payments accounts relative to that which was recorded one year ago; that is, June 2017.In the monetary sector, the money supply expanded by 7.6 percent to $372.6 billion, which was highlighted as the highest rate of expansion of the money supply in the last five years. Net domestic credit of the banking system grew by 24.5 percent to $236.8 billion, of which loans and advances to the private sector expanded by 4.1percent. Notably, the public sector (net) credit position with the banking system increased from $4.2 billion in June 2017 to $44.8 billion at the end of June 2018. In the fiscal sector, Central Government’s overall balance was a reduced surplus of $3.1 billion, compared to $8.3 billion for the corresponding period in 2017, owing to a dramatic increase in total expenditure by $14.6 billion, as well as reduction in grants of $2.6 billion.Having extrapolated the foregoing from the mid-year report for June 2018, and more so what actually inspired this article in particular is that when the GDP growth rate of 4.5 percent was reported, this analyst was of the view that this outturn of the GDP growth rate was driven largely by a dramatic increase in Government expenditure to achieve such attractive growth rate in an arguably dwindling economy, wherein most of the traditional sectors have been underperforming. It turned out that this analyst’s pre-conceived hypothesis was nothing far from being accurate, as will be proven shortly in the following sections.GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is the market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given time period. GDP measures the value of production, which also equals total expenditure, or final goods and total income. The equality of income and output shows the link between productivity and living standards.GDP can be measured in essentially two ways: (1) aggregate expenditure, and (2) aggregate income. Aggregate expenditure measures total expenditure on final goods and services, and equals the value of output of final goods and services, which is represented by the equation below:Total expenditure = C + I + G + (X-M), where C is Consumption (total expenditure by households), I is Investments, G is government spending/expenditure, and (X-M) is exports minus imports, which is net exports.In the second method, aggregate income measures the aggregate income earned from production of final goods, Y, which equals the total paid out for the use of resources, wages, interest, rent and profit. Firms pay out all their receipts from the sale of final goods, so income (Y) equals expenditure:Y = C + I + G + (X-M).Therefore, by studying the abovementioned equation which is used to compute GDP, one would observe that the Government cannot directly influence and/or control the outcomes of three components from the equation to achieve a higher or improved level of GDP growth rate. Those are: Consumption (household expenditure); Investments (I) in the economy by firms and FDI (foreign direct investment) and, net exports (X-M). But Governments can very well influence their own components from the equation, which is Government expenditure (G).So, from looking at total Government expenditure for the last three and one-half years’ period, for the period January to June 2016, total Government expenditure was recorded at $89.6 billion; from January to June 2017, it was recorded at $97.2 billion; and from January to June 2018, it was recorded at $111.8 billion. This therefore gives rise to increases in the levels of Government expenditure for the half year (HY) period 2016 – 2017 of $7.6 billion, and from 2017 (HY) to 2018 (HY), a difference or increase of $14.6 billion, thus doubling the level of increase of Government spending for the period January – June 2017 and 2018 when compared to the January – June 2016 and 2017 half-year periods. And hence this was how the GDP growth rate of 4.5 percent for 2018 half-year was skilfully achieved.
Dear Editor,The Indian Action Committee (IAC) has noted the response by Lincoln Lewis in other sections of the media on August 13, 2016 to the organisation’s letter to the editor regarding President Granger’s statement and the proposed establishment of the communal Lands Commission which is supposed “to rectify the anomalies and resolve the controversies which, up to now, surround thousands of hectares of communal lands which were purchased in the post-Emancipation village movement.”The IAC will not be intimidated by this type of baseless attack and will not dignify the false assertions made by Lincoln Lewis. It seems as if the IAC has no right to query and articulate the concerns of its constituents as the organisation attempts to seek clarification on the legality of this proposed communal Lands Commission.The IAC will not be silenced nor be intimidated.Yours Sincerely,Saira AlliSecretary,Indian ActionCommittee
Dear Editor,The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) wishes to refer to an article appearing in the media on April 26, 2017 under the title “Sugar, votes and cyclical poverty”, authored by the Director of Public Information, Mr Imran Khan.In his article, the director called attention to a statement by our union’s president, Mr Komal Chand, in response to the then planned European Union (EU) sugar price cut. The GAWU president quite correctly pointed to the obvious dangers that would come to bear if the EU had proceeded with its then plan. It was generally acknowledged by all those who knew about sugar that the EU cut, or ‘reform’, as it was styled, would present difficulties for the industry. This, as far as we know, was never shied away from or hidden. Mr Khan also seemingly goes on to put words in the GAWU president’s mouth, saying that Mr Chand was aware that the EU changes would make the industry unsustainable.Neither our union nor Mr Chand ever made such utterances. We find Mr Khan’s assertions baseless and without substance. The industry recognized challenges that would emerge, and crafted a plan to address the fallout. Mr Khan may also be interested to learn that the industry’s measures were, not so surprisingly, fully supported by persons who currently hold high-level positions in the said industry. Now those same individuals tell us those ideas no longer hold water. We find their somersaulting interesting. Is it a case of he who pays the piper calling the tune?We also wish to advise Mr Khan that Diamond Estate was closed in 1985, and the LBI factory in 2011. However, it was not until the latter half of 2016 that LBI Estate was closed, when certain operations were merged with their counterparts at Enmore. The union was until then made to understand by GuySuCo officials that the LBI Estate would not be closed. That ‘consolidation’, we understand, was intended to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Yet, a few weeks after, our union and the workers learnt on the last day of 2016 that the Administration was contemplating closing the same estate – Enmore Estate – and putting about 2,300 workers out of work.We are disheartened to read Mr Khan saying that a large number of workers live in an impoverished state. Indeed, this is inaccurate, and possibly speaks to Mr Khan’s disconnect from reality. Many sugar workers, through their incomes which were adjusted over time, have been able to live modest, humble lives. Some accomplished feats once thought were impossible, such as sending their children to university. We find the director’s assertion offensive to the hard-working workers. Or, maybe it is a case of Mr Khan having a crystal ball which advised him that workers would “…live in perpetual, punishing, cyclical poverty” should the Administration implement its dastardly plans for the industry?Mr Khan’s lack of knowledge is further exposed when he says “there was little effort to diversify…” There were moves in that direction, as evidenced by the Skeldon Co-Generation Plant and the Enmore and Blairmont Packaging Plants. Our union was advised that, in 2016, the operators of the Skeldon Co-Generation Plant collected no less than $9.45B from sales. In fact, for the director’s information, the Sugar Commission of Inquiry (CoI) advised that electricity production has great potential as a revenue earner for GuySuCo. Moreover, packaged sugar, the CoI said, offers the sugar corporation its highest prices.The ‘junior spin doctor’ may also be interested to know that, just a few weeks ago, a conference to discuss the Jamaican industry concluded that ventures into electricity production and refined white sugar, among other things, offered that industry good possibilities for viability. If Jamaica can do it, what stops Guyana — which has flat arable land, an adequate fresh water supply, inexpensive cane transportation, know-how, sufficient labour, factory capacity and other advantages — from doing the same, or even better?The erstwhile gentleman also points to the level of Government support since the Coalition assumed the reins of power. We wonder if he finds it odd that, given the large sum provided to GuySuCo, sugar production this year is estimated at around 198,000 tonnes. In view of the investment, production ought to have been much higher than the 231,000 tonnes production inherited in 2015.Mr Khan may want to ask whether we have the right captain at the helm of GuySuCo. On the debt, we urge the director to seek a disaggregation of the data, as it would be most enlightening for him.Mr Director, do get better acquainted and acquire a better understanding of the industry you want to write about.Sincerely,GAWU