National senior men’s team assistant coach, Jerome’ Waite, blamed the high altitude in Peru for the Reggae Boyz’s below par performance against the home team on Tuesday. Jamaica went down 3-1 to the hosts in the friendly international. “It was definitely difficult for the players. The high altitude in Peru wasn’t easy and affected the performance of the players,” Waite told The Gleaner on arrival yesterday at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. “As a result, it took a toll on the players and their concentration level went to pieces,” he added. “The players were spitting blood on the field because of the high altitude,” Waite, who is also coach of local Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions Arnett Gardens, said. Shamar Nicholson, who started upfront and played for 54 minutes before he was substituted, backed his coach. “We found it hard to play because of the high altitude and were chasing the game. The Peru players were comfortable on the ball. I found it difficult to breathe,” the 20-year-old Boys’ Town striker said. Lima, Peru, where the match was played, is 5,080 feet above sea level. Jamaica were outplayed by the Peruvians, who led 3-0 early in the second half before veteran attacker Jermaine Johnson came off the bench and converted a penalty following a foul on Owayne Gordon late in the game. CARIB CUP FINALS With that game over, the Reggae Boyz will turn their attention to the Caribbean Cup Finals in Martinique, where they play against French Guiana on June 22. They will also travel to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States of America from July 9-26. The six-time Caribbean Cup winners will depart on June 19 in quest of the nation’s seventh title. “The Caribbean Cup will be used to select the final 23-man squad for the upcoming Gold Cup. It will be another test for the players,” Waite explained.
Jamaica would support changes to the zero-tolerance false start rule.That’s the position of Dr Warren Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association. Blake says the rule unfairly penalises sprinters. Asked recently if Jamaica would lobby for changes in the rule, the president firmly said, “We would.” “I think it unfairly penalises sprinters, and that was the reason why we didn’t support it and why we still have a major difficulty with it,” he extended. Making a comparison to distance racing, he said, “it’s very difficult to false start from a standing start.” While he advocates change to the current rule where no false starts are allowed, he foresees a tough road for amendments. “It’s going to be difficult because it came about as a result of media pressure,” he noted. “You’re selling airtime and advertisement around a 7 o’clock start. You don’t want that start to go off at 7.05 because what used to happen is that people used to take their turn in false starting,” he recalled. In the 1996 Olympic 100-metre final, the race was delayed by false starts by the 1992 winner Linford Christie of Great Britain, Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago, and by Christie, who refused to accede to disqualification after his second false start. The JAAA president offered a solution. “I think they could make some middle road where one or two false starts (are allowed), then whoever goes after that is out.” That is a modification of the rule that was in force during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In that case, disqualifications begin with the second false start regardless of which sprinter committed the first error. One common suggestion is a return to this rule but with ejection of the sprinter who committed the first false start. This provision is seen as a protection against deliberate, tactical false starts designed to throw off the opposition.
PLAY KEY ROLE LONDON, England: Novlene Williams-Mills will today compete in her last individual race at the IAAF World Championships in the final of the 400 metres inside the London Stadium. Williams-Mills, 35, who will run from lane two, is competing in her seventh World Championships and says she wants to be remembered in the sport as a strong competitor and as someone who always gave her all, regardless of the challenges in front of her. The quarter-mile stalwart has been a constant on Jamaican teams at international championships since the 2004 Olympics in Athens, when she made it to the 400m semi-finals and helped Jamaica to a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay. She has represented the country at every Olympic Games and World Championships since then, with stellar participation also coming at other international competitions such as the Commonwealth Games and World Indoor Championships. Heading into tonight’s final, which gets under way at 9:50 p.m. (3:50 p.m. Jamaica time), Williams-Mills boasts a World Championships gold medal, three Olympic silver and one bronze, four World Championships silver plus a bronze, as well as Commonwealth Games gold, silver and bronze. “I want to be remembered as a fierce competitor, the one who does not back down regardless of what she goes through in life,” said Williams-Mills, who famously competed at the 2012 Olympic Games and helping Jamaica to a 4x400m silver, shortly after learning that she had breast cancer. “The one thing that people really associate me with is being a breast cancer survivor, but I am more than that and I know I have been a great competitor over the past couple of years,” she said. Williams-Mills placed third in her heat and semi-final at the London 2017 World Championships with times of 51.00 and 50.67 seconds. She is not among the favourites for a medal here, but will play a key role as Jamaica look to defend the relay gold they won in Beijing two years ago on the back of a monster anchor leg from the veteran athlete. That remains among her fondest memories on the track. “There are a lot of great memories, but I always tell people that everything after 2012 are things I hold dear to my heart and 2015 was one of them, for that 4x400m gold that we won,” Williams-Mills said. “Just to watch and go back to that race and the reaction on my teammates’ faces was priceless, and that’s something I will hold dear to my heart.” On competitors, the Jamaican had an extensive list of those she enjoyed competing against. “Over the years, there have always been several persons, but there are a couple of them I know I can’t take for granted at any point. Christine Ohuruogu from Great Britain, she has been a fierce competitor; Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson (Felix) and now Shaunea Miller (Uibo) as well as Shericka Jackson, who has stepped up to the plate; and Jamaica always have some great runners. Shericka Williams was one of them, so it’s not just one or two persons,” she noted. Felix, Miller-Uibo and Jackson will join her in the final and whatever the outcome, Williams-Mills is comfortable in knowing that she will sign off like she started – by giving her best.
Richarlison reunites with Silva at Everton Cavaliers sign Love to 4-year, US$120m extension CLEVELAND (AP): Kevin Love isn’t leaving Cleveland anytime soon. The All-Star forward signed a new four-year, US$120 million contract with the Cavaliers, who are beginning anew following LeBron James’ departure. Love signed the extension yesterday and immediately posted a photo on Instagram showing himself surrounded by construction workers inside Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavaliers’ downtown home, which is undergoing a renovation similar to the one taking place with the four-time defending Eastern Conference champions. “When I first came to Cleveland, I came with a long-term mindset,” said Love, who joined the team in 2014 after six seasons in Minnesota. “I came here to win. We developed a culture here that reflects that. I’m super excited and I couldn’t be happier.” Love, 29, will make US$24.1 million next season before the extension begins, making the whole package worth $145 million over five years. Love waived his option for 2019-20 and there are no other options or trade clauses within the new deal. LIVERPOOL, England (AP): Brazilian forward Richarlison has joined Everton from Watford and reunited with manager Marco Silva. Richarlison signed a five-year deal believed to be worth US$52.6 million, Britain’s Press Association Sport said. Everton announced the move on Tuesday evening. The 21-year-old Richarlison praised Toffees manager Silva, under whom he worked at Watford last season. “I think it is going to be important for me here to be with Marco Silva again,” Richarlison told evertontv. “Everton have put their faith in me and I intend to honour this shirt and demonstrate on the pitch why I came here.”
Track: Good Weather : Fine Race 1 800 M (S) (Purse $950,000) NB&IMP2-Y-O RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE II(NW2&MDN) *1. #7 MOMS TREASURE DDawkins* 50.0 $80.00 $50.00 2. #3 ACTION RUN RHalledeen 56.0 1-1/2L $50.00 3. #5 FREE ADDI LMiller 51.5 5-1/2L $50.00 4. #6 PINE NUT OnBeckford2 51.0 2-1/4L Final Time : 0:48.1 Splits : 23.1 Winner : 2yo filly – NUCLEAR WAYNE – MOM RULES Trainer : GARY A SUBRATIE Owner : THE SUCCESS FARM Bred by BASKARAN BASSAWH & TREVOR R. JAMES Ex : (7-3) $163.00 Tri : (7-3-5) $191.00 Race 2 1000 M (S) (Purse $660,000) 3-Y-O & UP CLM($250,0-$210,0)/NB5YO(NW2)&6YO&UP(NW4) 1. #4 PIZARRO AntThomas2 52.0 $114.00 2. #7 GAGA LADY PHolder 52.0 2L 3. #6 SURE STEP PParchment 55.0 3-1/2L *4. #5 VALDERRAMA LSteadman* 56.0 3/4L Late scratch : #1 MILAGRO Final Time : 1:01.0 Splits : 23.2, 46.2 Winner : 6yo ch gelding- MARKET RALLY – METE-ORITE Trainer : LAWRENCE FREEMANTLE Owner : DEELUX RACING STABLE Bred by CLOVIS METCALFE Ex : (4-7) $3,187.00 D/E: $347.00 (7-1) $59.00 Tri: $1,868.00 Race 3 800 M (S) (Purse $690,000) 3-Y-O & UP CLM($350,0-$300,0)/NB5YO&UP(NW3) *1. #8 JOLLY D AntThomas2 54.0 $63.00 $53.00 2. #7 BULLET RAJ OnBeckford2 52.0 Neck $72.00 3. #6 PRINCE SAMMO PParchment 55.0 Neck $74.00 4. #1 JON MARSHALL OScott2 54.0 4-3/4L Late scratch : #2 DINNER BY SEVEN Final Time : 0:47.4 Splits : 23.0 Winner : 4yo ch,c- TRADITIONAL – LIL’ COUNTRY GIRL Trainer : ANTHONY FERGUSON Owner : EWART BROWN Bred by TREVOR DUNKLEY (JR.) Qu: $129.00 Ex: $165.00 D/E: $123.00 (4-2) $69.00 Tri: $161.00 Superfecta: $721.00 Rolling Triple: $645.00 Race 4 1300 M (Purse $870,000) NB 3-Y-O MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT 1. #5 LORD ASHTON OMullings 54.0 $133.00 $68.00 2. #6 ANWAR BebHarvey* 54.0 2-1/4L $135.00 3. #3 KALAHARI DCardenas 54.0 1-1/2L $140.00 4. #8 ISOTOPE SEllis 54.0 5L Final Time : 1:22.2 Splits : 24.2, 48.2, 1:14.4 Winner : 3yo ch gelding – TRADITIONAL – HOLY PRINCESS Trainer : SPENCER CHUNG Owner : WINSTON G. CRICHTON & FREDRICK F. FOOTE & KENT D. LYN Bred by GLANVILLE ASHTON Qu: $357.00 Ex: $515.00 D/E: $142.00 Tri: $816.00 Superfecta: $4,220.00 Rolling Triple: $854.00 Race 5 1600 M (Purse $600,000) NB 4-Y-O & UP MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT 1. #1 RICQUALIA CBudhai 54.0 $462.00 2. #2 SWEETIE GIRL DAThomas 53.0 9L 3. #7 GENERAL MUBARAAK BebHarvey* 55.0 5L *4. #5 MOVIESTAR PParchment 55.0 1/2L Late scratch : #3 THUNDER PIN Final Time : 1:47.2 Splits : 25.3, 50.0, 1:16.1 Winner : 4yo ch filly – DODGEM – CARIBBEAN QUEEN Trainer : RAYMOND I TOWNSEND Owner : RENFORD SIMPSON & DONOVAN O. WILLIAMS Bred by MORRIS VILLAS & ROHAN ROBINSON Qu: $1,597.00 Ex: $5,414.00 D/E: $1,083.00 Tri: $3,549.00 Rolling Triple: $2,126.00 Race 6 1300 M (Purse $900,000) NB3YO(NW2)/IMP 3YO&UP(MDN)-REST.ALL.II 1. #4 ANNA LISA OScott2 51.5 $995.00 $201.00 2. #8 CHEROKEE WAY AChatrie 51.5 3-1/2L $86.00 3. #11 GRAYDON VNajair 56.0 1/2L $85.00 *4. #12 REGGAE ROAD OnBeckford2 52.0 *6/5 Neck 5. #9 APOLLO BAY DCardenas 53.0 1/2L Final Time : 1:21.3 Splits : 23.1, 47.0, 1:14.2 Winner : 3yo b filly – ADORE THE GOLD – ANNA Trainer : GARY SUBRATIE Owner : S.A.S. SYNDICATE Bred by STAFFORD SUBRATIE Qu: $2,008.00 Ex: $6,859.00 D/E: $4,265.00 Tri: $12,187.00 Superfecta: $56,481.00 Hi-5: $56,434.00 Rolling Triple: $47,400.00 Pick-4: $41,666.00 (4/4) Pick-5: $83,333.00 (5/5) Super-6: $127,263.00 (6/6) Race 7 1100 M (Purse $620,000) NB 5-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE V(NW2) *1. #8 LADY CARMEN AntThomas2 51.0 $109.00 $50.00 2. #7 CAT’S RIGGER GRichards 56.0 7L $50.00 3. #6 FREEDOM FOR EDS PParchment 55.0 2-3/4L $50.00 4. #1 SERIOUSMANIPULATOR HPottinger* 53.0 Neck Late scratch : #3 LOLA GREY Final Time : 1:10.3 Splits : 24.0, 48.3 Winner : 5yo b mare – BLUE PEPSI LODGE – PRINCESS TALIA Trainer : ERROL A WAUGH Owner : HOWARD W MANNING Bred by STAFFORD A. SUBRATIE Qu: $156.00 Ex: $232.00 D/E: $3,273.00 Tri: $99.00 Superfecta: $241.00 Rolling Triple: $13,731.00 Race 8 1100 M (Purse $600,000) 3-Y-O & UP CLM($180,0)/NB6YO&UP(NW3) *1. #2 ROYAL GIRL DAThomas 55.0 $95.00 $52.00 2. #7 SONADOR EXPRESS NBerger3 48.0 2-1/4L $65.00 3. #4 TRUE WHISPER AntThomas2 51.0 2-1/2L $51.00 4. #6 LAZZA OnBeckford2 52.0 3-1/2L 5. #1 INDY ARAZI DDawkins* 55.0 2L DNF #9 RUNNER RUNNER ADancel 55.0 Final Time : 1:10.3 Splits : 24.1, 49.0 Winner : 7yo b mare – MARKET RALLY – ROYAL EMPRESS Trainer : JOHNNY WILMOT Owner : CARLTON WATSON Bred by DAMIAN CHIN-YOU & LAURENCE HEFFES Qu: $615.00 Ex: $536.00 D/E: $200.00 Tri: $465.00 Superfecta: $2,267.00 Hi-5: $5,347.00 Rolling Triple: $7,209.00 Pick-5: $62,500.00 Race 9 1000 M (S) (Purse $1,000,000) 3-Y-O & UP OVERNIGHT ALLOWANCE (NW OF AN OV LIFETIME) 1. #4 SARAH LEE AChatrie 57.0 $197.00 $59.00 *2. #8 DANCING QUEEN AntThomas2 52.5 3-1/2L $53.00 3. #6 CAPTUREMYSHIP DDawkins* 53.5 1-1/4L $59.00 4. #7 LUCKY STROKE OnBeckford2 53.5 1-3/4L Final Time : 0:59.1 Splits : 22.3, 45.4 Winner : 4yo b filly – TAQARUB – SARAH BARRACUDA Trainer : GARY SUBRATIE Owner : MICHROS Bred by MICHAEL BERNARD Qu: $186.00 Ex: $491.00 D/E: $394.00 Tri: $577.00 Superfecta: $8,532.00 Rolling Triple : $1,521.00 Pick-4: $13,350.00 (4/4) Single Winner Bonus: $865,649.85 Placepot-8: $79,116.00 (8/8) Single Winner Bonus: $79,115.85 Race 10 1000 M (S) (Purse $620,000) NB4-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE V(NW2) *1. #15 PYTHAGORAS THEOREM MWard3 50.5 $113.00 $73.00 2. #5 UNCLE WAL AntThomas2 54.0 2-3/4L $96.00 3. #14 BOSS IZZY DDawkins* 54.0 2-1/4L $173.00 4. #6 TWILIGHT STORM SEllis 54.0 1-1/4L 5. #13 TRANSFUSION CBudhai 54.0 9/2 Sh.Head Late scratch : #3 SILVER ROCKET, #4 PAPER CHASER Final Time : 0:59.1 Splits : 23.0, 45.3 Winner : 4yo b filly – STORM CRAFT – REEL NICE LADY Trainer : RYAN WILLIAMS Owner : YEHERT MILLER Bred by RICHARD LAKE Qu: $424.00 Ex: $557.00 D/E: $573.00 Tri: $2,901.00 Superfecta: $10,402.00 Hi-5: $15,964.00 Rolling Triple: $1,370.00 Super-6: $167,432.00 Pick-9: $470,468.05 (9/9) Single Winner Bonus: $306,444.06
EXCITING POTENTIAL Mark Shields, the managing director of Shields Crime & Security, is the main organiser of the event. He believes the race will eventually become very popular in the Caribbean. “So many Caribbean islands have held famed sailboat racing events around their islands, and Jamaica will join that list. Jamaica is perfectly located to attract international competitors so we are excited about building on the success of our first race in 2016. This year, we have the pleasure of announcing Info Exchange Limited as our principal sponsor,” Shields said. In a release announcing the event, the organisers said “the race continues to grow, attracting local and international interest from the sailing community as well as advertising the outstanding Jamaica coastline. We are looking forward to a large turnout when the boats start the race at Morgan’s Harbour.” Other sponsors of the event include Toyota Jamaica, Shields Crime & Security, Hidden Technology Systems International, Pure National Ice and Gibson Trading Automotive (GTA). The second staging of the biennial Info Exchange Round Jamaica Yacht Race (RJYR) will take place on November 30. Five sailboats will be on the start line at noon. The race will commence from the Grand Port Royal Hotel, Morgan’s Harbour and the boats will make their way around Jamaica and back to Morgan’s Harbour. The RJYR will be started by Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen. The inaugural race was in January 2016 with six entries, all from Jamaica. The star of the show was expected to be the veteran Ron Holland 86-footer, but she was dogged by gear failure and the eventual winner was a Beneteau First 35s5. Both boats are entered again. Also entered for the race are Gunboat 60 from the Montego Bay Yacht Club, as well as a First 47.7 from neighbouring Cayman Islands and another local boat, a Lightwave Express 37. The conditions in Jamaica at this time of the year are generally lighter than in summer but are much more variable. While boats are expected to finish the following Sunday, if it’s a quick, record setting pace, they may arrive at the finish line on Saturday. The progress of the fleet can be seen on the website of the organisers as each sailboat will be fitted with a Hidden Technology Systems International GPS tracker. Interested fans may also follow blogs and vlogs from the onboard camera wielders.
…for Code of Conduct?There’s still some idealism in Guyana. The GHRA’s evidently disappointed the PNC-led APNU/AFC coalition hasn’t come out with the Code of Conduct it promised within 100 days of getting into office. Well, it’s now coming on to 700 days, and all the Guyanese people’s been getting is “ole talk” and “mamaguy”!Early in the day, Raphael Trotman, who was then running the “governance” portfolio, announced some supposed parameters of the Code. However, they were pitched at such a high level of generality, they might as well been lifted wholesale from some UN declaration on bringing peace on earth and goodwill among men! Folks were requested to make recommendations – and the GHRA actually did so with the expectation of them being incorporated!Like we said, idealism isn’t dead! But what Trotman actually did was to hand his anodyne proposals to PM Moses Nagamootoo – who they suddenly discovered – was supposed to be in charge of “governance” and chair the Cabinet towards this purpose. Well…Nagamootoo never got to chair the Cabinet – and now we can see, he wasn’t allowed to do anything substantive with the Code – even if he were so inclined!What Nagamootoo did, was to indicate he’d “integrate” Trotman’s “draft code” within the PPP’s integrity legislation that was already on the books. Now this was the same legislation he and the rest of the Opposition refused to comply with for over a decade to submit details of their income and assets to the Commission. But now Nagamootoo informed the nation, the matter of coming up with a Code of Conduct rested with the drafting department of Parliament! And there it’s since remained in hibernation.In the meantime, of course, the country’s been reeling from one corruption scandal to the next from Ministers and members of the Government. Do we really need to count the ways and byways of these corrupt acts? Jubilee Park? Pharma Warehouse? Pharma emergency contract? Ahhhh…lists are so tedious!Anyhow, back to the idealists in the GHRA who still expect something to come out of this exercise in misdirection. They’re now complaining that the recommendations – which we’d criticised two years ago as pitched to such a high level of abstraction as to have absolutely no connection on earth, much less Guyana – are too “bland”.That’s right – the GHRA actually said “bland”! In addition to being idealistic, they’re obviously so polite they won’t call out the entire exercise for what it is: sticking it to the Guyanese people!For a PNC-led government to issue a meaningful Code of Conduct is like having City Hall negotiate a parking meter contract!! We’ll get it in the end!…for decolonisationWith the world observing International Day for the Day of Racial Discrimination today, we’re so far ahead of the pack, we can all strike that Usain Bolt pose! And why is that, you ask, Dear Reader? Well, last Friday night, if you weren’t one of those homebodies locked away, wondering if Ramjattan’s ACTUALLY gonna close bars at 12 midnight, you’d have known most of the bars in Georgetown had sponsored St Patrick’s bashes!That’s right…here it is – with nary a single Irish but possibly Sean O’ Grady in sight and we’re drinking green beer and all! Isn’t it wonderful? So what’s the connection with “racial discrimination”? Well, back in the days of slavery and indentureship, the British imported a whole slew of Irish (and Scottish) overseers.And after taking out their frustrations on our forefathers in the beds of the fields in the day, they took out their lust with our foremothers in their beds at night!And now we’ve even painted OP green!!…for the war?Last year, our fighting men practised the Lizard Crawl in GT when they suspected the Venezuelans were coming.So do the 500 body bags GPHC ordered for an “emergency” mean our intel’s predicting an imminent strike by Maduro’s hordes??
…and land rightsYour Eyewitness is enjoying these Land CoI hearings. It’s our closest equivalent to those American reality shows that prove real life is always stranger than fiction. Are we going to have our own dashing Kardashians?!And the claims!! From what he’s hearing, your Eyewitness is now certain this land of ours is actually the “Holy Land”.The language stirs Sunday school memories of the promise God made to His people in unequivocal language: “for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.” And just because He knows the human eye can’t see very far because of the curvature of the Earth and all that, God offered some even more explicit instructions on the right to land: “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.”But evidently to hedge their bets against those who may not have heard the booming voice from on high, it would appear some of the claimants to land are using Karl Marx’s “labour theory of value”. Meaning those who provide labour to produce something should actually own those things. So one fella said if Africans cleared and “made ready” 15,000 square miles of Guyana, they automatically own that much land. Sweat equity?Now your Eyewitness can just hear those whites from up north say what about all their capital and managerial expertise; and marketing and such-like was also labour. How much of Guyana should they claim? But on the application of the labour theory of value approach, your eyewitness has some questions on some of the figures thrown out. Like the “2,176 miles of sea and river defence” claimed to’ve been constructed.Isn’t this stretching matters a tad? After all, even though he didn’t pay too much attention to all that knowledge doled out in primary school, isn’t the entire Atlantic Coast – from Charity to, say, 64 Village, where the Corentyne begins, around 200 miles? So were there then almost 2000 MILES of RIVER defences? And here your Eyewitness thought the Dutch originally established their sugar plantations up river because the land there was already high and not in need of “defences”, as with the mangroved coast.Your Eyewitness is also wondering about that figure of 473,000 Africans dying to clear 15,000 sq. miles of bush so that all of us could live the good life we’re enjoying presently. He understands this is the number arrived at when the 100,000 slaves at Emancipation is subtracted from total slaves shipped in.But wouldn’t they have died in any case – albeit not so quickly?…with health careOur Ministers are obviously working themselves to the bone and it’s taking a terrible toll on them. But they aren’t ones to give up, are they? Not our worthies!! You remember they took a tremendous cut in salary when they chose to get into public service – and that AFTER their 100% salary increase – don’t you?Those heavily tinted new SUVs, outriders to clear their way through traffic, gardeners, $500,000 monthly rentals, haven’t been able to lessen the toll of frequently being forced to jet off in first class to Texas, or Europe etc. But some bellyachers refuse to appreciate the sacrifices made by our stalwarts in Government. Take this ex-Minister Ramsammy, who balked at some Minister jetting off to Ireland to get medical treatment!Where else but Ireland – which had a decade of stress induced by their murderous IRA – could a stressed out Guyanese Minister be treated? GHPC? Ha!! No Valium there!!And, of course, the Ministers are paying a portion of their new health insurance like the rest of us!!…for female security guards?Did your Eyewitness hear right? No more geriatrics for “guard” service? No more females for night service? Increase the princely minimum wage of $2040/daily?Who do these guards think they are? Ministers?
Guyana is just two years away from the commencement of commercial oil production in 2020. Hence, in the coming weeks, this column will be dedicating a series of articles on a proposed framework for a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) for the extractive sector. The Government of Guyana (GoG) has assured that a SWF will be in place well in advance of the production of oil in 2020. However, this should not be treated lightly given the slothful pace at which things are being done sometimes, if not at all time – for it will call for a lot of work on the part of the Government to establish.Over the last two years or so (2016/2017), there has been much public discussions and/or debates on the model of the SWF that Guyana should adopt. As a contribution to the discussions, this newspaper carried a beautiful piece in one of its Editorials on June 22, 2017, with the caption – “Guyana’s Sovereign Wealth Fund”. The editorial highlighted that the Opposition Leader suggested that Guyana should adopt the Norway model instead of Trinidad and Tobago’s. Indeed, the Norway model is among one of the bests in the world as compared to Trinidad and Tobago.But surprisingly, in the last press release on the subject of a SWF sometime in December 2017, the Finance Minister implied that the Government has crafted a preliminary legislation by looking closely at Uganda’s legislation, and which has been reviewed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Commonwealth, United States and the United Kingdom.Despite it has been (hopefully & truthfully) submitted for review by these international institutions, according to the Minister; this column is not convinced and/or impressed with this development – chiefly the mirroring of Uganda’s model. The Finance Minister sought to justify this approach by stating that Uganda is at a similar stage of development of its petroleum sector to that where Guyana is currently or will be (I stand corrected). This justification (if its indeed true) is in itself an unjustifiable and unfathomable justification, simply because – if Uganda is at the same stage as Guyana, then they are still at the trial and error phase and it is thus logically a weak framework, or certainly not the best.One may naturally have the proclivity to wonder, why such a harsh assertion as stated above. Uganda is an oil producing country in East Africa, but the problem with Uganda is that it is known to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In fact, this is not just an universal perception, it is a factual ideology supported by an 11-page report which was published on the “Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Uganda,” by Transparency International (www.transparency.org).Also, recently there was a video on YouTube – which went viral on the Internet – showing a huge ‘brawl’ in Uganda’s Parliament. The video was circulated just around the same time on social media, when our own Parliament went into a moment of chaos, paralleling the exact drama in Uganda’s Parliament; but the only differences were, (1) the Police did not intervene in Uganda’s Parliament and, (2) the politicians were seen, literally and physically assaulting one another.For a developing country like Guyana, the least you want to do is to adopt a weak framework, susceptible to corrupt tendencies by politicians. The wisest and brilliant thing to do is to adopt one of those frameworks that were proven to be successful and yield the best results for the country and its people, by the much more advanced economies.Norway, on the other hand, is one of the most peaceful and clean countries and it ranks among the least corrupt countries in the world (http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/norway), noting that according to the 2016 Corruptions Perception Index reported by the Transparency International, Norway is the 6th least corrupt nation out of 175 countries. In further citing the report, “Corruption Rank in Norway averaged 8.09 from 1995 – 2016, reaching an all-time high of 14 in 2008 and a record low of five in 2013. In the same report, Uganda was ranked 151 least corrupt out of 175, ranking on average 112 from 1996-2016, reaching an all-time high of 151 in 2016 and a record low of 43 in 1996 – while Guyana was ranked 108 least corrupt out of 175 nations, averaging 123.58 from 2005 – 2016, reaching an all-time high of 136 in 2013 and a record-low of 108 in 2016.In closing for today, should we not try to emulate a country like Norway that has done remarkably well in these key areas? Why do we want to emulate a globally perceived corrupt country that is even worse off in that regard than our own country? What does this tell you about where we are heading and the kind of framework that the Administration wishes to set up?*The Author is the holder of a MSc. Degree in Business Management, with concentration in Global Finance, Financial Markets, Institutions & Banking from a UK university of international standing.
By Ryhaan ShahWe tend to use the terms “multiculturalism” and “pluralism”, and now the politically favoured “social cohesion” interchangeably, as if they all mean the same thing; i.e., respect and regard for each other’s race and culture. But do they?With the re-establishment of the Ethnic Relations Commission, it is important that we all understand how the unity we are striving for can best be defined and achieved. The “oneness” wherein everyone is expected to subscribe, in Guyana’s case to African Guyanese culture – a minority culture – is an enforced assimilation that flies in the face of the UN Human Rights Charter and our very own Constitution. Yet the idea persists, and delivers prejudiced action. The recent donation of steel pans to the University of Guyana by no other than the Minister of Social Cohesion reaffirms that prejudice and exposes this Ministry’s very name as a fraud.This past week, African Guyanese celebrated their annual homage to their roots and culture on Emancipation Day. And so they should. What marred the celebration was the state funding it to the tune of $17 million given to African Guyanese groups when Indian Guyanese – comprising the largest of the minority groups — received no such funding for our Indian Arrival Day commemoration. The prejudice that favours African Guyanese is open and persistent.The two major political parties create and encourage confusion on the issue of ethnic and cultural unity on campaign platforms that present it as a done deal with much music and dance, these always presented in an African Guyanese fashion. This, then, is the status quo, the desired ideal when the unity we purport to seek is best reflected by the words “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “From many one”. This motto is stamped on every US dollar bill, and acknowledges that American cultural values are built on pluralism. America is not a melting pot as many assume, but is more of a salad bowl, where every group – minority and majority – maintain their independent cultural traditions and identity, with no one group imposing its views and values on any other.Whereas multiculturalism does revolve around a dominant culture, it is usually one that respects the minorities in its midst, and withholds any demand or suggestion that the minority groups must assimilate into the dominant culture. What we have in Guyana, however, is a perverse form of multiculturalism, where the dominant group is actually a minority that is elevated to a dominant position and presented by the state as the accepted status quo.Successive Governments in Guyana have endorsed this particular multiculturalism, which regards African Guyanese culture, interchangeably, as Guyanese culture. On every state occasion, it is the Euro-Afrocentric trappings of music, dance, and art forms that take centre stage, with some token appearances by Indians, Chinese, First Nations, etc. Mashramani solidifies this prejudiced cultural policy, and the social cohesion message continues to be perverted by the discriminatory actions of the Granger Government.The very idea of tolerance that multiculturalism espouses for minorities endorses the dominance of the favoured group, with the lesser groups being dependent on the largesse and goodwill of the dominant culture for their very existence. This is the truth about Guyana’s ethnic/cultural situation.Unable or unwilling to deal with the urgent issue of race and ethnicity, politicians continue to mouth the simplistic inanities that a mixed-race population, cultural assimilation, or “douglaisation” would be the perfect solution to healing the divide, without ever considering the emotional charge that results from such cultural loss among those targeted for disappearance, or how much poorer the world would be without their unique cultural contributions.No one denies that we have all evolved and continue to evolve in order to succeed in new environments, but whereas the First Nations’ languages and culture are protected by international laws, and African Guyanese hold sway as the dominant culture, Indian Guyanese continue to be viewed as outsiders, whose options are to either assimilate or accept the discrimination that comes with being a marginalised society.Indian Guyanese emigrate and live peacefully in their own communities in New York, Toronto and Miami. It is true that there, too, they are minorities. However, there they are free to honour their heritage, and do so free from fear of inferred assimilation policies, and ethnic crimes against them that in Guyana are politically motivated and justified.Practising cultural marginalisation is unconstitutional, but is hardly seen as a crime. However, when taken within the whole of the prejudices that feed and justify criminal activities against any group of people, that marginalisation cannot be divorced from its context.