Style finalists include wardrobe looks and fashion statements for Westbrook, Chicago’s Dwyane Wade and Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert.Dunk of the Year candidates include slams through the hoop by Minnesota’s Zach LaVine, Oklahoma City’s Victor Oladipo and Larry Nance Jnr of the Los Angeles Lakers.Block of the Year candidates are shots stuffed by Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard.Assist of the Year hopefuls are passes by Golden State’s Draymond Green to Stephen Curry and then along to Kevin Durant, a no-look effort from Denver’s Nikola Jokic and a wraparound toss from Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.Game Winner of the Year includes crucial baskets by Westbrook versus Denver, Phoenix’s Tyler Ulis against Boston and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving against Golden State.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Finalists were named for the new fan-voting awards, which include Best Style, Dunk of the Year, Block of the Year, Assist of the Year, Game Winner of the Year and Top Performance of the Year.Voting on social media can be done via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the NBA’s website.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 returnThe show will unite the announcements of such awards as the NBA Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year, Sportsmanship Award, Teammate of the Year plus announcement of the NBA All-Rookie and All-Defensive team rosters.Performance of the Year finalists include Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook with the most points of any triple double in NBA history with 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists against Orlando, Houston’s James Harden with a 53-point, 16-rebound, 17-assist triple double against New York, Golden State’s Klay Thompson scoring 60 points in three quarters against Indiana and Devin Booker netting 70 points for Phoenix against Boston. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Veteran guards out to make repeat bid tougher for Ahanmisi Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home A detail view of the game clock prior to Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz at Staples Center at Staples Center on April 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — NBA individual award trophies for the 2016-17 season, including those in six new fan-voted categories, will be unveiled together in the inaugural NBA Awards show June 26 in New York.The league announced Thursday that traditional season-end awards will be presented at the gala, to be hosted by singer-entertainer Drake, as well as new awards in which voting has already started.ADVERTISEMENT 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 town gears up for biggest cookie jar View comments
From left, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and French center Rudy Gobert of Utah were among five players named Monday to the NBA All-Defensive Team. AFPNEW YORK, United States — Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and French center Rudy Gobert of Utah were among five players named Monday to the NBA All-Defensive Team.Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley were also selected to the honor squad by a 100-member global media panel.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. A dream fulfilled for Christian For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Horn wants to do a Marquez Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working 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 End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend LATEST STORIES Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ MOST READ 7 NPA members surrender in Isabela province Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Read Next View comments Green, who helped the Warriors take their second NBA crown in three seasons, was a near unanimous pick with 99 first-team votes. Gobert was named on 97 first-team ballots and Leonard on 93. Paul collected 61 first-team votes and Beverley 38.Paul was named to the team for the sixth consecutive season and seventh time overall while Beverley made it for the first time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnGreen led the NBA with 2.03 steals a game and became the first player in Warriors history with at least 150 steals and 100 blocked shots in the same season.Green and Leonard made the NBA All-Defensive first team for the third consecutive season while Gobert was namd for the first time after leading the NBA with 2.64 blocked shots a game. The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consisted of four Americans — Memphis guard Tony Allen, San Antonio guard Danny Green, New Orleans center Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City forward Andre Roberson — plus Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee. CBB
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Marck Espejo shines in triumphant Thailand debut 8 injured in foot bridge collapse in Negros Occidental 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 LATEST STORIES View comments Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet Magnitude 4.2 earthquake jolts Batangas Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Australian Open: A look at Serena, other things to know So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.“It was just pure instinct,” Tumpane said . “You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, ‘not on my watch, please.’ We were just hanging on.”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’And saving a life.Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another — Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays — clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call emergency line 911. Major league umpire John Tumpane consoles a woman he had seen hop over a railing along the Roberto Clemente Bridge over the Allegheny River, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)PITTSBURGH—John Tumpane can’t explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.ADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Clippers coach Rivers on Chris Paul trade: ‘I hate the way it ended’ New Queen: Hallasgo dethrones Tabal in Milo Marathon “I just happened to be there,” he said. “I think I’ve been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out.”The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.“Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody’s life,” he said. “A really special moment.”One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.“It’s also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been,” he said. “Glad it was this way.”Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He’s spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?“I happened to be in the right spot at the right time,” he said. “Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.“I couldn’t tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place,” Tumpane said. ‘Obviously another power comes into be when you’re hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you.”Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.“Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side,” Tumpane said. “After that I went up to her, she said, ‘You’ll just forget me after this’ and I said, ‘No, I’ll never forget you.’ This was an unbelievable day and I’m glad to say she can have another day with us …”Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he’s no hero.ADVERTISEMENT
“The referee did not give any explanation,” Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said through a translator. “It’s a foul, fair enough, but both players had their legs high up to reach the ball. I don’t understand why only my player received a red card.” Germany extended its lead two minutes after the red card, courtesy of a diving header from Timo Werner. There were flickers of a comeback by Cameroon when Vincent Aboubakar’s flicked header slipped through Marc-Andre Ter Stegen’s raised hands. But Werner netted again in the 81st minute to secure a 100th victory for Joachim Loew in his 150th match in charge of Germany. By securing top spot in Group B of the World Cup warm-up tournament, the inexperienced Germany squad ,playing without many of its 2014 World Cup winners, will now stay in the Black Sea resort of Sochi and play Mexico on Thursday. The other semi-final on Wednesday sees Portugal play Chile, which finished second in Group B after drawing 1-1 with Australia in Sunday’s other game. “Some of my players have no experience and were nervous because one mistake could have eliminated us,” Loew said through a translator. “It’s good to see how we were able to … up the ante.” Cameroon leaves Russia early and might not be back next year, given its struggles in qualifying. “We are one of the best teams in Africa, but there is still a difference between us and modern football,” Broos said. “We see the proof of that, that there’s a lot still to be done.” Chile 1-1 Australia Germany 3-1 Cameroon OCHI, Russia (AP): World champion Germany reached the Confederations Cup semi-finals yesterday with a 3-1 victory over a Cameroon side reduced to ten men after further confusion with experimental video replays. Germany was leading through Kerem Demirbay’s 48th-minute strike, when a case of mistaken identity halfway through the second half that replays were meant to eradicate, left the African champions bemused and irritated. Sebastien Siani was dismissed for a foul challenge on Emre Can after referee Wilmar Roldan inspected a pitch-side monitor. It took furious protests from the Cameroon players, including Siani sarcastically applauding Roldan, for the Colombian to check the monitor again and discover he had sent off the wrong player. Siani was called back on and Ernest Mabouka was correctly sent off. Yesterday’s results: NO EXPLANATION
NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – West Indies, replying to England’s 187, reached 30 without loss in their first innings at the close on the opening day of the second Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground here Thursday. SCORES: England 187 (Moeen Ali 60, Jonny Bairstow 52, Ben Foakes 35; Kemar Roach 4-30, Shannon Gabriel 3-45, Alzarri Joseph 2-38). West Indies 30 without loss.
Satiricus was down in the dumps. He felt like the fella in one of the oldies his dad used to listen to — “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”. He was a man with a broken heart. As he headed down to the Back Street Bar, he knew he wasn’t going to get much sympathy from the fellas. But then he figured he’d explore why everyone claimed “misery loves company”. “Eh! Eh! How come yuh mout’ suh laang?” Bungi asked the moment Satiricus arrived at the table where he and Hari had already put away a few.“Like the wife didn’t give you your frek, or what?” chimed in Hari with a sly grin, as he signalled the waitress for a beer for Satiricus.“Nah…,”Satiricus said distractedly. “I just came back from party headquarters.”“Suh wha’ goin’ aan wid dem KFC bais?” asked Bungi, as he clinked his bottle with Satiricus’s.“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” confessed Satiricus. “You remember the Accord we signed with the Pee-an-See to get our fair share??”“The Pre-nuptial agreement signed on Valentine Day?” Hari grinned. “I thought that was soooo sweet!! Like a real wedding, not a coalition!!”“Wha’ happen?” demanded Bungi impatiently. “A’yuh get blow??”“Well,” started out Satiricus, “I wouldn’t put it that way. But Nagga Man said he wanted a new agreement.”“And what Rum Jhaat said?” asked Hari while he polished off his beer to hide his smile.“We haven’t seen Rum Jhaat since he was seen drinking with some British spy at the Desert Lagoon,” answered Satiricus with a worried frown. “I wonder if he was reconditioned.”“Suh wha’ wraang if Nagga Man want wan new agreement if he and Rum Jhaat a get blow?” Bungi wanted to know.“The man want us to picket the KFC office,” said Satiricus, shaking his head. “So he can tell GrainJa he’s getting pressure.”“Me tell yuh ‘e lose ‘e balls afta he get larwah!” chuckled Bungi, slapping the table.
INSPIRING A NEW GENERATION OF ASPIRING CHEFSAs a young boy growing up, Kester Robinson always knew he wanted to become a professional chef. Even though it was not very common at that time to have male chefs, Kester simply knew that was his dream and he loved doing it.Now Chef Kester hopes to share his skills and knowledge in the culinary industry to create inspiration and advance the skills of young aspiring chefs. Feeling the need to give back to society, Kester is giving free cooking classes to children who want to have a career as a professional chef or love the culinary arts.Kester said that the cooking classes, for him, is about sharing what the industry is about. It is about inspiring the children so that they know that being a chef is more about cooking. Most of the children who signed up for his classes are mostly interested in cooking and want to become chefs.He said that this is a great step, in terms of showing them how it is done professionally and giving them the experience where they can learn a variety of techniques, knife skills, plating and everything that’s going to better equip them for the working world as young aspiring professionals. The whole idea of the cooking classes is to advance their skills while learning as well, and giving them a change in their approach to cooking.Kester thinks that he is being called to Guyana for some reason and he feels that this is a time where he needs to make a contribution. He said, “Being a chef for so many years is a love and art for me and giving back is always something that I’ve always done throughout the years. So at this time, it’s no different time from any other time I would’ve contributed towards the local culinary industry but this time I’m taking an approach with the younger kids and moulding those minds”.Chef Kester revealed that he has always had a passion for cooking. Ever since he was a young boy, he always wanted to become a chef and from that, he continued to grow and was pushed to the right areas and worked hard. “Today I’m a pretty much a good chef, I would say.”“When I was a child, back in those days, a male being a chef was not something very common and I remember some persons were like, ‘Chef? Why you want to do girl work?’ and it could have demotivate you, discourage you, kind of, in those times, but it’s something that I had really loved and something that is inside of me so it changed nothing, I still wanted to be a chef.”At the age of fifteen, Kester started his first venture in baking and cake decorating. He did a course with the late cake decorating pioneer Debbie Mentore, where he acquired his techniques and skills which motivated him and began his baking career in high school.In the culinary world, Kester gets his inspiration from dedicated, hardworking chefs that are willing to make changes and deal with molecular gastronomy, which is the science of cooking. Kester’s favourite part in the culinary world is the reaction from the guests after serving something amazing. He enjoys baking and his favourite thing to bake is anything with chocolate, stating that it does wonders.His ultimate goal is to mould the minds of young aspiring chefs and change the perception of people that “being a chef is about being an early school leaver or you don’t really have that brain capacity so you just pick up something to cook”. He wants to change that perception in Guyana from “a hustler’s venture or a survival skill” and educate persons that chefs are actually educated and there are degree programmes that are available in cooking. He wants to achieve this goal by starting from the new generation of chefs, moulding them that it is a profession. “You can become a chef and you can love what you do and it doesn’t have to be a survival skill.”“You must love it [cooking]. It must be a passion and a burning desire to join the industry. It’s a very challenging industry at points but very rewarding and if you don’t love it, you’re gonna quit but if you love it, you’re gonna stay. The rewards are wonderful and once you put your passion and your art and your mind, body and soul towards it, trust me it’s going to reward you.”You can catch Chef Kester at Des Patisseries & The Pergola Smokehouse and Lounge located in the Courtyard Mall on Robb Street where there is always something special for you.
As Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing Child Protection Week under the theme “Children’s Safety and Security, Our Priority”, the haunting incidents of rape and sexual assault against women and girls continue to trouble this nation. The sad reality of this recently unfolded when a 21-year-old mother of one died following a sexual attack by a minibus driver. So severe were her injuries that a child is now left motherless. In 2015, there were over 230 reports of rape, but only 36 persons were charged. Compounding this actuality is also the fact that there is a stark court backlog on tackling cases of sexual violence.A recent United States Department report on human rights outlined that in Guyana, a high number of rape and sexual assaults are unreported to authorities, citing that this was most likely as a result of fear of stigma, a lack of confidence in authorities, retribution, or further violence.As with any form of violence, sexual violence tears at the fabric of a country’s well-being. However, when the agency responsible for helping victims of rape describes this horrendous crime as mere “deflowering”, the sad unravelled truth of our country’s approach to this crime is evident. “Deflowering” means to deprive (a woman) of her virginity, but is that what rape is? Mere deflowering? The Social Protection Ministry, in its statement on Guyana’s observances for Child Protection Week, stated that “incest and underage sexual activity in childhood (are) also of grave concern to the Childcare & Protection Agency (CPA), an arm of the Ministry. This deflowering of our children must stop.”It is frighteningly obvious that the Social Protection Ministry needs a trained psychologist to educate its staff about the true meaning of rape, particularly child rape, which is not simply “deflowering” even if the victim was virginal. Rape is more than “deflowering”; rape is sexual abuse, a lifelong scar. The Ministry needs to also be enlightened that rape and other forms of sexual assault have traumatic psychological, emotional, physical, social, interpersonal, and financial impact on victims. According to a study conducted by Rape Victims Advocates (RVA), each survivor reacts to sexual assault in their own unique way. Personal style, culture, and context of the survivor’s life may affect these reactions. Some victims may tell others right away what happened, others will wait weeks, months, or even years before discussing the assault, if they ever choose to do so.Earlier this year, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence came in for much criticism after she made some unfortunate remarks and had a casual approach in defence of a man, who was charged for sexual molestation. The Minister, in defence of the man, was quoted by another section of the media as saying, “This is a family issue that has been going on and on and on and on for whatever reason, I can’t tell you, because if I had a brother, even if there was an accusation, this is not how I would go about helping him.”What was rather disappointing is that the alleged molester’s sister further alleged that she told the Minister that her brother needed to be jailed for his involvement, but Lawrence asked her not to pursue such actions.Less than six months later, there is a statement issued by the Ministry the same Minister heads defining rape of children as simply “deflowering”.The Social Protection Ministry is where victims of such a dreadful crime seek refuge not only for their physical well-being but also for justice. As such, if rape/sexual assault victims’ tragedy is seen as mere “deflowering” by this ministry, then where can they truly seek help? This time around, President David Granger needs to do much more than modestly ask the Minister for an explanation.
…on changing the worldWell, your Eyewitness saw the obligatory genuflection to Gandhi at the Promenade Gardens – just as it was done since it’s unveiling back on Oct 2, 1969. The reminder of the prophet of non-violence was probably erected to encourage us to stay off the path of going at each other with hammer and tongs – since that’s what we’d done earlier in the decade in a virtual civil war. Cheddi had said he was a Gandhian, but it hadn’t helped.Interestingly, that technique found more fertile ground in the American South with Martin Luther King, who presented a different option to Malcolm X’s “Burn baby, Burn” tactic to bring attention to America’s seething race problem. It’s a pity the FBI and the CIA didn’t learn anything from King – since his deployment of Satyagraha preceded our 1960’s riots. And we know the FBI kept a careful surveillance on him!!But if our local politicians – who’d gone along and executed the CIA-instigated riots – learnt anything, it wasn’t about “truth force” or suchlike. No sir. After the ‘60’s riots’, “choke and rob” was unleashed in Georgetown in the 1970’s to keep the opposition in line. Gandhi’s message of turning the other cheek didn’t cut much ice with those fellas. By the 80’s we’d moved on to “kick down the door bandits” who’d upped the ante in the infliction of gratuitous violence. More lessons to Opposition supporters even as the speeches on Gandhi’s greatness continued unabated.With the change of government in 1992, extreme, violent hate speeches became the norm and finally it all exploded on Jan 12, 1998, when hundreds of Indian Guyanese were beaten and violated in the streets of Georgetown. The Gandhian message still hadn’t taken hold – but the speechifying didn’t let up. “An eye for an eye will leave everyone blind!” we were told.The violence went to even greater heights (or lows??) in the new millennium. Buxton became an armed state within a state that took on the Guyanese state. Policemen lives were snuffed out like flies and bodies of suspected “bandits” started to litter the roadsides. Gandhi’s philosophy was isolated. That extended violent period – the longest in Guyana’s history didn’t end until a full decade later – in 2008, after the last of the leaders, Fineman Rawlins and his gang, were gunned down. But not until three massacres had sent the nation into shock.It’s been eight years since Fineman’s demise. Can we hope that finally those who have grouses might want to settle them peacefully?Has Gandhi’s “eye for an eye” warning kicked in?…for Colombian guerrilla warBut if we Guyanese bemoan the lack of receptivity to the Gandhian path of settling disputes peacefully here – think about what just happened in Colombia. There, leftist guerrillas under their organisation FARC, have been fighting the government for over FIFTY-TWO YEARS!! Where over 260,000 persons have been killed. Now you’d think Colombia was ripe for peace, no? The world thought so!But no! After a peace deal was brokered and signed by the government and FARC, it was taken to the people to be ratified in a referendum. And guess what vox populi said… NO PEACE! CONTINUE THE WAR!! Now what’s going on here? “Vengeance” is going on… that’s what. While the vote was very close – just a 0.25 per cent difference between the two sides.The decision gives a whole new meaning to the word “winner” since more people will die unless some face saving way out is brokered. U2’s Bono and Beatles’ Ringo Starr failed to stay the victory of the “Yes to war!”Maybe we could send our statue of Gandhi to drum up support for “his way”??…on natural disastersWith Hurricane Matthew approaching Jamaica and Haiti… your Eyewitness is reminded of the retort by the Guyanese who was complimented for having no natural disasters in Guyana.“We had Burnham!” It shut up his WI friend.
2018 is coming to a close, and most of us, in our reflections, would accept that it has been one fraught with many challenges, as well as some positive developments. This year will go down as yet another year when Guyana experienced some of the most horrific road accidents, resulting in the loss of lives and injuries to countless others. The three most recent accidents involved teens who were killed in accidents that could have been avoid had caution be taken on the roadway.On Friday last, Police Commissioner Leslie James, in giving a breakdown of some crime and accident statistics for 2018, said there has been an overall spike in the number of fatal accidents recorded when compared to the same period last year.He used his platform to make some requests, which can affect how the GPF can function in a positive manner. Those include provisions for a traffic advisory board, training board and promotion board. At present, consultations have been convened to determine whether these panels should be reinstated. As a matter of fact, the Commissioner is quoted as saying, “There is need for the traffic advisory board. There is need for a training board and, of course, a promotion board. We have strongly recommended the resuscitation of those boards. If we are an organisation that can be recognised as a prudent organisation, those boards ought to be in place.”Guyana has been ranked in top countries in the world that have not undertaken sufficient efforts to reduce accidents, in keeping with the UN strategy. Guyana must therefore step up its efforts in order to catch up with the other countries, and be on track towards achieving the goal set out in the UN agreement.Almost every week, there is some news that someone has been killed on our roadways, and despite actions on several fronts, including enacting the relevant legislation and increasing the number of ‘campaigns’, we do not seem to be winning the battle in significantly reducing the number of road deaths.Even though there is legislation in place to ensure that persons use the roads in a responsible manner, there are still major lapses in the system which need to be addressed. To begin with, we stress the need for greater enforcement of the traffic laws. This has been the call from almost every stakeholder in the country. There is legislation in place in relation to driving under the influence, loud music in vehicles, overloading, speeding, etc; but if the laws are not adequately implemented, they become useless.It would be interesting to find out how many of the drivers/conductors who are actually stopped for breaking a traffic law are actually charged and sent to court. While we do not intend to paint the entire Police Force with the same brush, as there are many professional and honest officers within the Force, we are convinced that unless what is perceived as the endemic corruption in the organisation — and the Traffic Section in particular — is addressed in a systematic way, we will be unsuccessful in dealing with the issue.Further, collecting reliable data is also essential to improving road safety and reducing risks for pedestrians. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), data systems in most countries remain poor.Along with the measures being undertaken by the law enforcement authorities to reduce the number of road fatalities, there is need for all Guyanese to move away from the culture of disregard and irresponsibility in relation to using the roadways. The Education Ministry and other relevant stakeholders should examine the possibility of strengthening the school’s curriculum with the aim of increasing knowledge, skills and understanding among children and young people about the responsible use of our roadways. Similar efforts should also be made targeting the adult population, as they, too, are sometimes found to be irresponsible when using our roadways.Even though some progress has been made, our hope is that 2019 will see a drastic reduction in road fatalities here.
Analysts have always expressed a profound sense of disappointment whenever Guyana and Singapore are discussed in the context of development. Both countries attained independence within nine months of each other; with Singapore first in August 1965. Its meteoric developmental path is exemplary. Today, with its magnetic tourism pull, thousands visit every year while for others, such a journey remains a dream to be fulfilled.When compared to Guyana, Singapore is behind on available natural resources; however, it found ways to initiate and sustain development strategies in the interest of its people and to grow its international stature. Here, Guyana, within a similar time frame, is still waiting to fulfil its vast potential even though it is blessed with a plethora of natural resources.Much has been said and written about the developmental disparity between the two countries and one seemingly agreed attributing factor for Guyana’s lag, is its politics in general.A brief overview would unmistakably reveal the casualty of the dictatorial period of governance by the People’s National Congress (PNC) between 1964 and 1992. Failure, as a result of mismanagement and extravagance, led to rampant oppression and poverty. Many Guyanese, including skilled professionals, were forced to flee in a massive brain-drain.Such a disabling environment could not have engineered the much needed visionary developmental strategies to capitalise on the diversity of its natural resources. At the end of that regime in 1992, the country was bankrupt and classified as a highly indebted poor one despite towering over Singapore in geographical size. That tyrannical rule also led to a tarnishing of its international image with redounding humiliation to Guyanese.From 1992, a rebuilding process began and in 2015, Guyana was the fastest growing country in the Caribbean with years of sustained economic growth and expansion up to that point.Within that 23-year period, there was unprecedented development, aided by the creation of enabling environments, leading to the positive transformation through modernisation of its physical and social infrastructures. Lives were similarly transformed as poverty gradually reduced.Significant was the re-classification of the country from heavily indebted poor to a developing one. Its international image was restored and not only was the stigma removed from travelling Guyanese, but the country became a tourist destination. What did not happen in the 28 years of a dictatorship, was realised in much lesser time from 1992-2015, in a democracy, putting the country on a sustained development trajectory.During that said period, despite the overwhelming evidence of transformation through modernisation, there was a major setback. The results of the 1997 General Elections were not accepted by the then PNC Opposition. Instability swiftly crept in as properties were set ablaze and many beaten in the ensuing violence believably by Opposition thugs. Business ground to a halt while fear and uncertainty prevailed as the PNC ramped up its destabilising efforts.In the end, an election audit was conducted through an intervention by Caricom and the then People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government forced to give up two years of its constitutional term of five. That period of instability punctuated by electoral violence, was not only an assault on democracy, but brought shame on the country internationally and set its then budding economic development path back by years. Fresh elections were held in 2001 and that path to prosperity gathered pace leading to what obtained up to 2015.To put into context, Guyana could face a major constitutional crisis after March 21 when the constitutionally mandated period of 90 days to hold elections, following the successful passage of the No-confidence Motion, expires and no parliamentary extension, by a two-thirds majority, is granted. While economic progress slowed noticeably since the May 2015 elections, Guyanese want to see the country progress irrespective of the Government of the day.They want to see a continuation of the gains made before that election so that their lives will continually improve. Those who are 27 years and younger would have been born into a democratic, developing, hopeful and economically prosperous Guyana. That is what they know and their lives and expectations vastly different from those who grew up during the oppressive and despondent period. Like all others, they would not want to be deprived and see any semblance of regression that could be realised by a constitutional crisis.In such scenarios, not only can development be put on hold, but all would expect and demand prudent leadership in their best interest and that of the country. Common would be the desire for the country to be placed above partisan pride and self-interest and not just for a few to disregard the rule of law for seemingly personal gratification and power.This is where the President must rise to the occasion and demonstrates unselfishly his oath and respect for the Constitution. The buck stops with him.One indispensable factor for the country to prosper is adherence to the Constitution which allows for democracy to flourish. The longer he takes to abide and ongoing actions convince of grabbing on to power, the country and its people will unfortunately suffer in times of uncertainty. Such situations will ensure that Guyana becoming a Singapore will remain a figment of its people’s imagination.
Dear Editor,In an earlier article, we had posited that the nature of the present APNU/AFC regime is one of bureaucratic capitalist elite. It was noted that such a regime uses the state apparatus to enrich itself. This is a throwback to the PNC days in power from 1964 to 1992.During this period, the PNC practised similar methods. Super salaries and allowances, coupled with huge corruption scandals like Global Agri, Greenland Crop and others were the order of the day. Eventually, their greed became so great that under the guise of building socialism, the regime “nationalised” 80 per cent of the country’s economy.They did that to further enrich themselves and to control the livelihood of the vast majority of people in the country. This allowed them to lord it over the people. One had to join the PNC to get a job and when the economy deteriorated, they had to join the PNC for basic items, including toilet paper.They even practiced forced labour at Hope Estate. They forced public servants and employees of public corporations to give free labour on weekends.The PNC regime used those same workers and the army to break strikes, which they branded as political.Such a regime, by nature, suppresses criticism. They do not like transparency and accountability. Those methods of management go against their intentions. They want to run the state as if it was their private property, not caring about the welfare of the people.In a word, by its nature, such a regime is considered to be anti-democratic.Of course, defenders of this regime would argue that that was a long time ago and much has changed. Some would even say that it is impossible for them to return to such practices. It is true that a lot has changed. What has not changed is the nature of the regime. That is the constant.It means that they would continue their practice in these new conditions. They work systematically to undermine the democratic gains we have made since 1992 and eventually will take us back to a dictatorship – a la PNC.It is apposite to recall that the PNC took from 1964 to 1973 to complete their strangle on power and to really earn the title as a dictatorship. This shows that the establishment of a dictatorship by the bureaucratic clan is a process.An examination of this PNC-led APNU/AFC regime would show that the contours of such a regime are already distinguishable. This trend is bound to continue.Already, we see that the Parliament is being undermined. Many complaints are being made by the Opposition on how the Speaker is conducting the business of the Assembly. He is not using his authority to facilitate deliberation and debates. Instead his conduct puts him as a partisan operator mainly concerned with defending and protecting government MPs.Already questions begging to be answered are piling up in the National Assembly.Since the regime took power we have noticed the trend – settling of cases, including tax cases. These settlements have cost the economy billions of dollars. The BK International case is one such disturbing matter. This matter did not even reach the court, but settlement of more than a billion dollars was done.In all of these cases, one is hard pressed not to believe that some persons may be getting kickbacks.This is after they have given themselves huge increases in salaries and allowances. This is after they have given their friends super salaries in many public entities. They have also overloaded the system with advisors.The drug bond fiasco is the latest case to show that they are setting up companies to do business with the Government. Minister Norton, in the case of the bond fiasco, is just the fall guy. This stench goes high up in the administration.Many established contractors are already complaining that they are not getting jobs, they have become sub-contractors to persons who were given projects but have no equipment.Already, we have seen the disregard for the tender process and the use of sole sourcing. This is the beginning of the undermining of transparency and accountability.The most worrying factor of this Granger regime is the process of militarisation of the State. Some glimpses of these actions are of great concern.The taking over of the Walter Roth Museum to house the growing bureaucracy is a case in point. Reports have it that army personnel just turned up and told the staff that they will have to move, to start packing.This is an ominous sign of things to come. While we may have some dismissals, as we have seen at GWI, this situation will not get better, it will further deteriorate. This is because of the nature of the regime.The democratic forces in our society must come out and oppose this trend, tomorrow may be too late.Sincerely,Donald Ramotar,Former President
Dear Editor,In regard to an article in the independent media captioned “Guyanese need to practice more ‘conscious’ consumption – Business Minister”, I must say leadership is much more than making statements.Leadership is about coping with change and after almost two years in the driver seat at the Business Ministry, one would expect Minister Gaskin at this point in time, not only talking about the consumption patterns in Guyana but would have been rolling out some concrete plans to level the trade field for the local Private Sector. But clearly, his team at the Business Ministry has not effectively unpacked the issue and is clueless on the critical changes needed to deliver on his wish for more conscious consumption in Guyana.There is nothing proud about a tin of pigeon peas imported from Trinidad, on the shelves of the Guyanese supermarket at a cheaper price that the real, fresh Guyanese stuff on the Boards Mall. This is one of the many national shames that will continue to destroy the state of the economy. But my gravest disappointment remains; the Ministers in the Granger Government, save and except for a few like Raphael Trotman, continue to hold themselves distant from the responsibility for charting the course to influence the change needed to advance Guyana’s development. If you listen to Minister Gaskin’s speech, you would believe that he is working for a lobbyist who is trying to influence his Government to make changes. But the sad truth he is the policymaker and it is his job to make the changes but if he is unclear as to his role, then “HOUSTON, we got a problem”.If one read his statements on this issue, he said “the business community has to become more productive and that productivity has to be supported by citizens’ habits of consumption” But what has he as the Minister of Business done to date to have personally influenced the changes needed? BINGO – Very little!This is like a parent telling the children that sweets are bad for their health but continue to buy sweets every week. Minister Gaskin sits in a position of power to charter a course on what we import and at what price. He has an armoury of tools to do the job such as import regulation, trade tariffs, licencing regulations, health and safety standards, domestic subsidies and so on. All of these can be used in different doses to alter the terms of trade with the world. But instead, he is still stuck on lecturing the business sector and the Guyanese nation rather than getting the job done.Mind you, I think Dominic is an honest straight up bloke and I wish him well, but the situation demands more than another speech; it demands timely decisions to remedy this trade imbalance that the Granger Government fosters and its predecessors in the Ramotar Government fostered. Free trade has never helped small and weak economies like Guyana and continues to be a major deterrent to the local Private Sector being incentivised to expand production and enhance productivity. With free trade, the local Private Sector is already at a disadvantage to countries like Trinidad that already had a 20 years head start on the journey to greater production and productivity.It is time Minister Gaskin IMPLEMENT (not talk) some concrete actions to make FREE TRADE into FAIR TRADE when it comes to the Guyanese business community and the population in general. When will he announce plans for a packaging plant that will be canning all of the fresh foods that are so easily grown in Guyana? When will I see on the supermarket shelves of Guyana a tin of pigeon peas, MADE in Guyana?Regards,Sase Singh
Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Nets bolster playoff hopes with win against Bucks Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ Comelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart MOST READ ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart A law enforcement official told The Associated Press a 26-year-old man was in custody and facing criminal charges. The official was not authorized to discuss to the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.Several shocked onlookers posted footage of the incident online.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe induction event resumed after the fan was taken into custody. Photo from WWE.comNEW YORK — Bret “The Hitman” Hart is OK after the famous wrestler was tackled by a spectator while he was giving a speech during the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at Barclays Center.The man was promptly subdued by several people who came to Hart’s defense on Saturday night.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college
Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals? PLAY LIST 01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu View comments Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN MOST READ Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila card Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast Detroit won back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990 and nobody considers that era of Pistons basketball a dynasty. Same goes for the Houston Rockets, champions in 1994 and 1995. San Antonio won five times in the Tim Duncan era, yet none of those came back-to-back even. Miami went to four straight finals from 2011 through 2014, winning in the middle two years, but didn’t get the elusive threepeat.The Warriors are playing for history.A third straight title, that’s the stuff dynasties are made of. And if they get that one, then maybe the band stays together one more year to chase No. 4, something Michael Jordan never got, something no team in history other than Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics got in a run that ended half a century ago.The Raptors won’t be easy.But the Warriors are playing for something that, unlike rosters, will last forever.Warriors in six.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next They have been strangely steeled by this lingering sense of doubt all season. They dealt with injuries; Cousins was out most of the year as he continued recovering from Achilles surgery, Stephen Curry dealt with a groin strain, Draymond Green had toe issues. They dealt with strife; a very popular narrative early in the season was that Durant and Green were warring Warriors. They looked really bored at times.And the postseason hasn’t been a cakewalk. The Los Angeles Clippers tested them in the first round, winning twice on the Warriors’ home floor at Oracle Arena. The second round against Houston was 2-2 after four games. Durant got hurt in Game 5 of that series with the outcome hanging in the balance.Go figure. The Warriors pulled out the win that night and haven’t lost since.For this series against the Toronto Raptors, they’re going to get Cousins back. They’ll probably get Durant back at some point, as well. Thompson tends to play well when he’s angry and he’s got a right to be angry after not being picked for the All-NBA team. And Curry, although individual honors aren’t why he plays the game, will probably be driven on some level to win NBA Finals MVP for the first time.More than anything, they’re playing for something dynastic.ADVERTISEMENT “It’s not going to last forever,” Kerr said on Sept. 24, as training camp was beginning.Fast forward to now. There are two or three weeks left in the season and then a most uncertain summer begins. Kevin Durant may leave. DeMarcus Cousins may leave. Klay Thompson may leave. Andre Iguodala may leave. The Warriors know, and have known, that their roster next season may look a whole lot different than it does now.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsIf this run is going to end, it’ll be on their terms.The Warriors are going to win another NBA championship. Analysis: Why the Raptors will win the NBA Finals The Golden State Warriors players pose with the Western Conference Championship trophy after Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers Monday, May 20, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Warriors won 119-117 in overtime. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)TORONTO — Golden State coach Steve Kerr dropped the hint eight months ago that this season may be the end of the Warriors, at least as the team is currently configured.He was speaking of the Warriors’ run atop the NBA, with three titles in four years.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf delivered a wide-ranging address to the nation last Wednesday, pointing to a number of plans her government envisages toward post-Ebola recovery. She rightly included improvement in the healthcare delivery system, as well as education, agriculture and Liberian participation in business.But she spoke in generalities and presented no specific outline of what she intends in each of these areas.The Address could be described as essentially lackluster (bland), primarily because she spoke in generalities, gave us no bold prescription of how she and her government intend to jumpstart the economy, and most especially the revitalization of the healthcare delivery system.She herself and many other partners have stressed that the Ebola epidemic was allowed to wreak its deadly havoc and do it so rapidly because of the weak healthcare system in all three countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.This is what led the People’s Republic of China, through its Ambassador, Zhang Yue, to announce last October his government’s pledge “to work with other international partners to help [rebuild] and modernize Liberia’s health sector in the post-Ebola period. Similar pledges followed from the Americans and the European Union. This newspaper has been pleading with the government to seize this golden opportunity and devise a comprehensive and detailed plan for the revitalization of healthcare in Liberia. But we have yet to see one. The Ministry of Health (MOH) reacted verbally to our last Monday Editorial on this subject, saying that indeed a plan had been devised. But the plan is not that impressive.In her address, the President mentioned a ten-year program for the training of healthcare professionals, improving and expanding services at primary and secondary healthcare centers, upgrading county hospitals and establishing three regional hospitals. She further spoke of what she called “the repositioning of John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) to meet its envisioned role as a national referral center.”There were, however, no specifics. Which healthcare professionals does she intend to train—are they nurses, paramedics or medical doctors—or all three? How does she intend to do that? Both the Tubman National Institute for Medical Arts (TNIMA) and most especially the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine are crying for help. We recently reported that the College’s students’ allowances, like the salaries of faculty and staff of the university itself, are eight months in arrears. Does the President know this? What plans are in the offing to fix that, then move on to the larger question of reequipping and expanding the college? George Fahnbulleh, a top commentator on the Observer web site, wrote that “with a 3% net population growth rate, Liberia will have an estimated population of 6.74 million in 2030 and will need . . . approximately 1,752 doctors to meet [the] average.” According to him, we need to produce 105 new doctors every year for the next 15 years? This, it seems to us, underscores the urgency of immediately addressing the needs of the Medical College.What intervention plans has the government for the West African Post Graduate Medical College? The college needs its own campus, with well equipped buildings and a topnotch teaching staff to train medical specialists. Are there any plans for that?Where exactly upcountry does the President intend to place the three referral hospitals? And which healthcare centers are targeted for improvement and expansion? What are JFK’s own plans for revitalization? Recent statistics show that our maternal death rate is rising. That is a sign that infant mortality is not far behind. Yet there is only one Liberian gynecologist at the JFK—the Chief Medical Officer himself, Dr. Billy Johnson; and only one pediatrician, Dr. Sia Camonor. Numerous other specialists are lacking at the nation’s leading referral hospital. What are the JFK’s own plans for training specialists or reengaging Liberian medical specialists in the Diaspora?Herein lay the urgent need to build the West African Post Graduate College of Medicine. We pray that the President and her Health Ministry team, in collaboration with the partners, especially the Chinese, Americans and EU, will as soon as possible devise the plan, so that we may begin the urgent task of rebuilding our healthcare sector and turn Liberia into one truly healthy nation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)