Storires on Page 1, 9, 19 and 21
I ndo- Caribb ean
Vol 2. No 2 February 2008 Tel: 416-289-3898 email@example.com
Sadness and anger at slaughter of 11 ethnic Indians in Guyana
Tragedy brings memories of Wismar massacre to Indo-Caribbeans in Canada
black criminal gangs. The background to all these events is the contest for political power between the majority Indian community and the slightly smaller African community. As in Triidad, all politics is essentially racial politics. look more like the continuation of an unofficial insurrection, or guerrilla war against the PPP and its supporters than bandit attacks for money. The PNC and other black groups have been trying since 1992 to overthrow the elected PPP government by violent street protests and political pressure, supported by relentless criminal attacks focusing on Indians. Failing consistently to beat the PPP in elections, the PNC has been trying to topple the government or applying pressure to force the PPP to share government by “executive power sharing” Attacks on PPP supporters make the point that the PPP is in office but is powerless to defend its supporters or deliver law and order. The PNC solution is a government of national unity and power sharing to gain the influence it cannot obtain through elections. Police fail to respond (again)
ndo-Caribbeans in Canada have reacted with shock and anger at the January 26 massacre by mysterious gunmen of 11 poor Lusignan villagers, including five children, There's also considerable bewilderment at why such an event happened and what it means. Indo-Caribbean Times presents a special report on the background to the murders in Lusignan, and their impact on events in Guyana. See page 19 and 21 for a report on the massacre. The first thing to understand is that the slaughtered villagers were all Indians from an East Coast Demerara village known to support the ruling Peoples Progressive Party, which has as its political base the majority of Indo-Guyanese. The estimated two dozen attackers all appeared to be African, though neither the police nor the media would say so. The second is that Lusignan is not an entirely unusual horror, but is one of a long series of brutal attacks by Afro-Guyanese on Indo-Guyanese going back over 40 years to the 1960's The list includes the street riots of 1964 which led to the African based People's National Congress took political power,and the Wismar massacre of the same year, when 9 Indians were killed and 1600 driven out of their homes by huge African mobs, plus more street riots and banditry since the PPP's control of government since 1992. From 1964-1992 the majority of IndoGuyanese fled the country to escape racial and political discrimination, and attacks by Victims Indian, killers African
The sight of Indian children, men and women from the East Coast Demerara village of Lusignan slaughtered in their beds has brought back terrible memories of the 1964 Wismar massacre and several other coordinated onslaughts over the past 40 years that have caused hundreds of thousands of Indo-Guyanese to migrate to safer countries.
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The massacre was not an act of banditry and robbery, but a deliberately chosen and well executed execution by a commando type gang armed with military assault rifles like AK-47's. Several of the victims were shot sleeping in their beds and little attempt was made to rob the five homes attacked. Lusignan is a very poor village. Witnesses reported hearing gunmen giving orders to kill the villagers. Robbers do not usually kill children: There's no money in that. This shooting was not an isolated event but part of a military type campaign. Earlier the same group attacked police headquarters at Eve Leary , shooting two policemen on guard. They are also believed to be the same group who stage a fierce firefight with the Guyanese army outside the black village of Buxton, killing one soldier. Neither of these two other actions brought any money to the gang. A reason given by the suspected gang leader “Fineman” that he wanted his girlfriend released by the police, makes no sense. Police did not arrest his pregnant girlfriend, who has since turned up safely with her newborn child. Shooting at soldiers and police and killing innocent villagers is not a reasonable response to a missing girlfriend. The events of the last week of January
Not just bandits
self and told him he was useless. An Indian woman attempted to hand Jagdeo a woman's panty to wear, and another woman tried to put a mala with the pictures of the 11 victims around his neck. Protesters openly called for the return of former government minister Gajraj and Roger Khan, both believed to have organized death squads that killed black criminals. There was also heavy criticism of the PPP in forums organized in New York which has an enormous Indo-Guyanese community. Protesters brutalized
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A gross and unforgivable failure of three police stations to respond to calls for help from desperate Lusignan villagers is absolutely normal in Guyana. It confirmed once again that Guyana's largely black police cannot or will not deliver security to the Indian community. President Bharrat Jagdeo’s government has been weakened by another proof his police and army cannot guarantee law and order. The armed forces will not work for him as they did for governments formed by the PNC in the past. This time there was an unprecedented level of anger directed at the PPP government after Lusignan. PPP officials were roughed up and jeered during spontaneous street protests. People insulted Jagdeo him-
In its turn, President Jadgeo's government was strangely brutal in putting down spontaneous demonstrations after the Lusignan massacre. Police were allowed to beat protesters and break up demonstrations. Other protesters were tear gassed, and some were shot by police using buckshot. Police denied permission for grieving villagers to make peaceful public marches. This contrasts sharply with the normally tolerant behaviour of police towards black protesters, even when blacks were blocking roads or marching without permission. Jagdeo can make the police brutalize Indian protesters but cannot get them to respond promptly to routine calls for help from Indian victims of crime. The failure of Guyana police to arrest suspected gang leader Fineman for five long years has more to do with unwillingness to arrest him than anything else.
(CONT’D ON PAGE 19 )
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CANADA & COMMUNITY NEWS Indo-Caribbean Times FEBRUARY 2008 Page 3 Time for alternative to Guyana to recognize Quotes from the Toronto to set son who became B.C. Lord’s Prayers, says Toronto Star up Africentric governor in 1858 Premier McGuinty
Trustees at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) have narrowly approved a proposal to set up at least one Africentric Alternative School in Toronto in September 2009. They will also set up a pilot program in three existing schools that would integrate the "histories, cultures, experiences and contributions of people of African descent and other racialized groups" into the curriculum. The main reasons given for the move was that black students have a high drop out rate of around 40%, and some say they are disconnected and alienated from their culture in existing schools. Black parents and community members who supported the proposal say that a black focused school will help with the self esteem and motivation of black students. They believe it will reduce the drop out rate and improve the low levels of academic achievement of many black students. The black focuses school is opposed by a large section of the black community, and the majority of non blacks in Toronto. They say the black focused school is a return to segregaation, and that isolating black students from the multicultural and multi ethnic reality of Toronto will do more harm than good. There is no indication where the money to set up the school will come from. The TDSB is facing a large budget deficit, and Premier Dalton McGuinty says the Province of Ontario will not pay for the school.
school in 2009
Reciting the Lord's Prayer to begin daily proceedings at the Ontario legislature is a dated practice that doesn't reflect the province's modern-day cultural diversity, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday as he proposed an all-party committee to look for alternatives. It is time for a more inclusive approach that reflects 21st-century Ontario, where more that one-third of the population was born outside Canada, McGuinty said before his Liberal government's weekly cabinet meeting. "I think it's time for us to ensure that we have a prayer that better reflects our diversity," he said.
McGuinty denied the proposed change in prayer was an attempt to counter some of the religious feelings and rhetoric stirred up during last year's Ontario election campaign by the fierce debate over funding for faithbased schools. "No, I think it's a reflection of the times," he said.
"I've asked for a parliamentary committee, with representation from each of the parties and the Speaker's involvement as well, to take a look at how we can move beyond the Lord's Prayer to a broader approach that is more inclusive in nature."
Petro-Can makes big finds gas find in TT
Petro-Canada has made a natural gas discovery in Block 22 offshore T&T that could contain between 0.6 - 1.3 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. The well was drilled in 430 metres of water to a depth of 1,712 metres below sea leve. It well flowed natural gas at a rate of 23 million cubic feet per day, indicating that it could contain between 0.6 - 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas. After this another well will ne drilled 4.6 kilometres to the south, followed by two or three other prospects in as part of a 5-well drilling program.
"We're much more than just Protestants and Catholics today. We have all the world's faiths represented here. If they're represented outside the legislature, I think we ought to find a way to ensure that diversity is reflected inside the legislature as well."
Celebrate 2008 Centenary of Arrival of IndoCaribbeans in Canada
Guyana born man who became the first governor of the province of British Columbia is likely to be given formal recognition in Guyana this year.. Sir James Douglas, who was born in Belmont, Mahaica in 1803, to a mother who was a slave and a father who was a wealthy Scottish sugar merchant, is one of the earliest Guyanese to come to Canada and one of its highest achievers. Guyanese immigrant Clyde Duncan, President of the Canadian Cultural Association of British Columbia, is spearheading efforts to recognize the contribution of Sir James. Duncan recently held discussions in Guyana with Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and other officials, together with Canadian High Commissioner Charles Court, and the Belmont, Mahaica Neighbourhood Democratic Council among others to discuss a proposal made to celebrate the life and work of Sir James. In 1812 James left what then British Guiana with his family for Scotland where he was educated. At 16 he went to Canada to work for the Hudson Bay Company, and moved up to the top levels in the British Columbia area. He became governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1851and in 1858 was also made governor of the Colony of British Columbia. Douglas is considered to be the “Father of British Columbia.” He died in 1877.
Ontario is the child poverty centre of the country with 345,000 poor kids. According to a recent United Way report, 30 per cent of Toronto families are living in poverty, compared to 16 per cent in 1990.
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School board stealing ESL funding for swimming pools
John Campbell, Toronto District School Board chair , Toronto Star Feb. 6, 2008
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Stock markets around the world lost a record $5.2 trillion dollars in January thanks to the fallout from the US subprime crisis and fears of a global economic slowdown, Standard & Poor's said last week. That is almost double the $2.8 billion total budget of the US, the largest economy in the world. Canada’s budget for 2007 is $39 billion. The independent credit ratings' provider said emerging markets fell 12.44 percent and developed markets lost 7.83 percent to register one of the worst starts to a new year. "There were few safe havens in January as 50 of the 52 global equity markets ended the month in negative territory, with 25 of them posting double-digit losses," said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&Ps. All 26 developed equity markets posted negative returns in January, with 16 losing at least 10 percent of their value. In Paris, the stock exchange lost 12.27 percent over the course of January, in London it was down 8.85 percent in January, down 16.54 percent for the past three months. The US fell 6.07 percent in January, Japan dropped 4.47 percent in January, Germany fell 13.72 percent in January, Equity markets in emerging countries also suffered heavy losses in January, with Turkey falling 22.70 percent, China by 21.40 percent, Russia by 16.12 percent and India at 16 percent.
World stock markets take $5 trillion beating
St Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, has been cleared of accusations of rape made by a former member of his security detail. A 36-year-old policewoman made the shocking allegation against Gonsalves, who Trinidadians also know as being a close friend of Prime Minister, Patrick Manning and frequent visitor to this island. In an interview Gonsalves said the allegations of rape and indecent assault were politically motivated. "It is an outrageous allegation," Gonsalves said, "Both allegations are false and malicious." "What is really strange is that these complaints were made after the lawyers for this lady had written to the Commissioner on the 26th (January). And it came to the attention of the Commissioner and the Commissioner wrote in the following terms, among other things: "'I had the matter investigated and those investigations did not reveal any evidence of wrongdoing by the Prime Minister'."
St Vincent PM freed on rape charges
It costs the (Toronto School) board $17 million a year to keep the ( 78 swimming) pools open. The board already gets $5 million from the city, which runs parks and recreation programs in 35 pools. For years, the board has been covering the remaining costs by short-changing new immigrants students by using their ESL funding to pay for pools, he said.
Brampton kidney kidnap doctor arrested in Nepal
The Brampton doctor being hunted internationally because of his alleged involvement in selling kidneys harvested from unsuspecting people, has been arrested in Nepal. The man known as “Dr Horror” is a one-time actor in C-grade Bollywood films and a "very Casanova type of character" with as many as six aliases, police and journalists in his native India say. He was found with over $1 million and several travel documents. Dr. Amit Kumar is wanted there for performing some 500 illegal transplants over the past eight or nine years, with kidneys that were in some case removed from people held at gunpoint and sold to wealthy clients locally and from overseas. The hunt spread to a quiet neighbourhood in Brampton after it was discovered he had bought a home there last year. A woman believed to be his wife and two young children live there now, according to neighbours.
Indo-Caribbean Times is published monthly in Toronto by Indo-Caribbean Times Ltd. Editor/Publisher: Ram Jagessar
From the editor’s desk
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Files can be very embarassing things, especially when they reveal documents like this 1977 pamphlet on the issue of security for Indians Ram Jagessar in Trinidad. It was released by a small group in St Augustine of which I was a member. As a reminder of opportunities not taken, I am releasing it as it was printed over 30 years ago. There may still be something for IndoTrinidadians to learn from it now.
THE DEFENCE OF INDIANS (1977)
erally useless and helpless to stop this racial robbery. Sometimes they seem to be helping people like the drug pushers. Some policemen do not seem to be interested in cracking down on crooks making a living by robbing Indians. The result is that we are living in jails. We can't leave our homes and be sure to return and find them safe. Some Indians are afraid to go out to the cinema or a show, and are looking to migrate to other lands. But that will not do at all. It is not an answer. We have to understand what is happening. Then we have to act, and do something to protect ourselves. A people who cannot protect themselves from attack are not sure to survive. Some Indians have already started, happy to say. They are getting ready to defend their selves, homes, villages, vehicles, animals and crops. In St. Helena, for instance, after a nasty robbery the villagers have set up their vigilante squad. But a lot of us are not really thinking of self defence. We do not have to wait until we are personally attacked. When we see our neighbour's house on fire, we should take out our hose and start wetting ours. THE GUYANA PATTERN
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A copy of this newspaper is posted on the internet in as a pdf ﬁle immediately after publication, and the entire contents can be read online by anyone with a computer and an internet connection. Past and current issues of the ICTimes can be found at http://www.esnips.com/web/Indo -CaribbeanTimes Readers are also invited to look at the website www.indocaribbeanheritage.com which contains abundant information on Indo-Caribbeans in Canada and our Caribbean heritage and history.
Over the years we Indians have had to defend ourselves from all kinds of attacks. Others have attacked our religion, culture, political parties, our place in the economy, and have all failed in their efforts. Today it is time to prepare ourselves for another kind of attack, and to organise our own defence. This time we are facing physical, criminal attack from members of another racial group. It is plain racial robbery and terrorism, with Indians being attacked mostly by non-Indians. All of us know about it. Every day it gets worse. They are stealing our cars, robbing our business places without mercy. They are mugging us on the streets, hijacking our taxis and cars or stealing them in broad daylight. They are burglarising our empty homes or committing armed robberies on our homes when we are present. They are raping our women. They are stealing our animals and our crops in the fields. COMING INTO OUR HOMES
THE DEFENCE OF INDIANS
Entertainment writer Peter Blood says that steelband is not popular in its homeland, and it may need its own radio station. “ Try as I may, scanning our three dozen radio frequencies, there is a drought of “pan music” on the airwaves. “Last weekend, at zonal Panorama eliminations nationwide, with the exception of the retro selections, few of the pieces performed by participating steelbands seemed familiar to the public, given the many queries I answered.. “ Gone are the days of Kitchener and Sparrow, when our two radio stations played all the selections bands would perform at Panorama. Back then, not only did the radio stations show respect and appreciation for the music, but the artistes themselves actually sang the selections in the few calypso tents in operation.
Steelband music not doing well in Trinidad
Crooks and bandits are openly coming into our areas, scouting for places to rob. They are selling cocaine and ganja at our street corners, sometimes with help from Indians. Sometimes they poison our dogs before coming to rob our homes. What it means is that these people are terrorizing us where we live and daring us to do something. A few of them are openly saying that we Indians nave the money and we have to mind them now. They are saying they must steal from us because they have no jobs. Many incidents are taking place. Businessmen are sometimes robbed every week. Houses are broken into again and again. Everybody in Trinidad knows of some examples. We see too that the Police are gen-
“The bottom line to most things in today’s scheme of things is dollars and cents, and more than 30-something-plus radio stations, not to mention most of corporate T&T, really don’t give one rat’s arse about pan music, the national instrument or Panorama. “Which brings me to wonder just how many so-called “pan lovers” actually love pan or Panorama. I contend that the majority of the thousands corralled within the high priced Northern Greens on Sunday at the Queen’s Park Savannah listened to not one solitary performance in its entirety. “For most it was just another opportunity to have fun, drink too much, gallery, get on bad and cuss, and make noise.
First we have to ask some simple questions. Why should we work to defend ourselves if we have the Police to do that job? The answer is that for the most part the Police are not doing the job and there is no likelihood they will start soon. They are mostly of the same group as the criminals anyway and neither side considers robbing Indians to be specially bad. Can this pattern of racial robbery get worse? Yes, it definitely can. Has it happened anywhere else? Yes, right in nearby Guyana, and that is the pattern we can expect to get here very soon. In Guyana we have had armed gangs of nonIndians from the towns going into the country areas and kicking down the doors of Indian homes, robbing, killing, raping as if they were in Uganda . Sometimes they use army and Police vehicles, and some of the bandits are in fact soldiers and police. They have terrorized the Guyanese Indians and made them like a bunch of helpless sheep. We cannot let that happen in Trinidad. The Trini Indian is a different creature altogether. We did not sweat and sacrifice to build this nation for a bunch of crooks and thieves to take away the rewards from us. We have education, we have some money, we have numbers. We must drive the wolves back into their caves and scatter the corbeaux from our dinner table. We have to start now. It doesn't take much to start on the road to self defence and safety of Indians. We start by opening our eyes to what is happening around us, in our own areas and elsewhere in the country. What is the trend, the pattern? Be sure it will reach you sooner or later. Next, we look at the culprits. Exactly who are the people doing the crimes? Make a little investigation in your area, set up a little group to find out. Get the descriptions, and if possible the names, addresses and method of operation of the bandits. Sometimes they are making no attempt to hide, as if nobody can do anything to them. Then THE PROCEDURE
we can organise to show them different. Then we decide what weapons we need to deal with these bloodsuckers, and what kind or insecticide we have to apply. They have declared war on us, and since we cannot surrender, we have to fight them. It's as simple as that. Some other things follow from this line of thinking. First, each Indian must look to making his home safe from attack from burglars, kick down door bandits, rapists etc. Do we need steel doors, bars, dogs, burglar proofing? Should we put up fences? Should we open the door for strangers without seeing who they are first? Should we keep a weapon handy in the house? What should it be, a club, cutlass, speargun, or something else? How do we alert neighbours of a problem? What do we do to protect our cars or our crops in the fields? These are serious questions which require answers. Do not assume you are safe because you live in a country area or because you nave not been hit before. We have to move beyond just defending our homes and business places. We must .look to the defence of our area as a zone. That means co-operating with neighbours, neighbourhood watch, a telephone alert system, alarms, roadblocks, vehicle patrols, weapons. If there are known offenders in the area they have to be dealt with, very firmly. We have to protect women and children, especially women alone at home in the day or walking home at night. SELF DEFENCE GROUPS Various such self defence groups may have to get together to confront well known robber roosts, to pressure the Police or the political parties on a national basis. We are talking about making Trinidad a safe place for Indians to live and work, and nobody is going to do that job for us. We must do it ourselves, and take whatever steps necessary. Even on a personal level, we have to look to our safety. We Indians have to start thinking of our safety, now and in the future. We must start learning karate, judo and other self defence systems. We have to get legal weapons to protect ourselves when we move around. We must understand that corbeaux will start eating us if we lie still and dead in appearance. Corbeaux fly away when they see an animal alive and kicking, especially when they see the kicking. Understand the nature of the enemy attacklng us, and we will drive him away. This is deadly serious business. What we do decides how, where and in what condition we Indians live in Trinidad. To conclude: Let us observe the problem of non Indians attacking us on a widespread and growing scale. Let us look at the trends. Let us look at solutions, plans for defending ourselves and dealing with our attackers. The position is serious. It calls for serious thought and serious action NOW, not in 1991 or 1995. Racial crime against Indians is a reality today. Let us put it on our agenda TODAY. The End Indian Defence Unit, St Augustine
Crime expert: gang attacks could be political 83% of gangs are Afro-Trinidadian, 13% Indos
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO NEWS
Indo-Caribbean Times FEBRUARY 2008 Page 5
he increasing spate of deadly attacks by criminal gangs on citizens throughout T&T could be a subversive plot to create political instability says criminologist Ramesh Deosaran. Also an independent senator, Deosaran suggested gangs could be the mastermind of elements who wanted to create public panic. “I have a feeling gang violence might be swinging in that direction. ButI would leave that so for now,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Guardian. The professor said recent research shows the existence of 95 gangs in Trinidad, most of them coming from the East/West Corridor and with gang members who were over 80% Afro-Trinidadian.
National Security, given itsknowledge of the number of gangs, to track their movements and attacks. He said backing up Katz's research that 83 per cent of the country's gang members are Afro-Trinidadian and 13 per cent IndoTrinidadian, hedid a study titled African Youth in Danger on the East/West Corridor in 2006. He found most of the gangs come from this area. Deosaran said while in some parts of the world, fear was being instilled through terrorism and in other places through assassinations, in the Caribbean, it was through mass murders by gangs.
Gov't should have paid ransom for kidnapped Zalina
Deosaran commented that Lusignan type attacks are happening in Trinidad. He was speaking in the context of the massacre of 11 people, including five children, in the coastal village of Lusignan, Guyana two Saturdays ago by an armed gang. He said such killings were already happening in T&T “in lesser proportions.” He cited the recent attacks on the rural villages of Flanagin Town, Tabaquite, Talparo, Las Lomas and Cumuto by armed gangs in which people were killed, raped and robbed in the attacks. “So it's very easy to do here what happened in Guyana,” he said. In the Senate last Tuesday, Deosaran warned that criminal gangs would increase in number over the next few years and will penetrate almost every part of T&T. Noting that “T&T is into an unprecedented era of fear” as a result of violent attacks by gangs, he claimed there were more criminal gangs operating in the country than the 86 cited by National Security Minister Martin Joseph in the Senate. Deosaran said research done by Charles Katz, a member of a team hired by Government revealed that 95 gangs were operating in T&T and that over 80 per cent of themembers are Afro-Trinidadian. “Katz gave the number of gangs back then as 95 and said there was a total of 1,269 members. Deosaran also questioned the inability of Growth of gangs
Sen. Ramesh Deosaran
Panday: $67m spent on mostly useless blimps
Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday is calling for a public enquiry into Government's acquisition of its first national security blimp, which cost $12.6 million but was not suitable for the country's weather conditions. "Who recommended it? You can't come now and tell us the atmosphere was bad. What happen? Somebody change the wind?" Panday said. He said there should be a public enquiry to investigate the Government's acquisition of the other blimp ,which along with the first have cost the State $67.1 million over the past three years. "There was a massive corruption and bribery in the purchase of those blimps and we must demand a public enquiry," Panday said. National Security Minister Martin Joseph admitted in Parliament recently that the first blimp bought in 2004 for $12.6 million was not suitable for the country's weather conditions. A further $7,056,000 was spent to maintain and repair this non functioning blimp-Aeros 40B SkyDragon. It had to be sold for its purchase price. Government then leased a Skyship 600 blimp in 2005 for $4.7 million for seven months, and later bought it for $15 million. It is still working, but has cost $1.4 million a month to repair and maintain. To date over $26 million has been spent on the blimp, or close to twice its purchase price.
After the kidnapping of Central businesswoman Zalina Mohammed earlier this month, deputy mayor of Chaguanas Orlando Nagessar demanded that government pay her ransom. Zalina has since been released after payment of part of the $1m ransom. The businesswoman, who was kidnapped from her wholesale liquor store at Main Road, Orange Valley by two armed men posing as customers. Zalina ran a small liquor store out of her home, with help from her family. Basdeo Panday, Member of Parliament for the area, along with Allan Seepersad, local government representative for the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation; and Orlando Nagessar, chairman of the Couva North Constituency and Deputy Mayor of Chaguanas, visited members of Mohammed’s family on Friday. Nagessar, meanwhile, invited Prime Minister Patrick Manning and National Security Minister Martin Joseph to visit the home of kidnap victim Mohammed and feel for themselves the pain and agony of the members of the family. “Members of the Government are concerned more about talking about dog rice and airport scandals in the Parliament, instead of finding a solution to the crime problem,” Nagessar said. “It is time residents get a vigilante group going to secure themselves, like the people of Macaulay. I am calling on the Government to pay the ransom (for Mohammed) because the Government has failed to secure the people.” It is not known who paid the ransom for Zalina or what part of the ransom was paid. Government sources have not replied to Nagessar’s request for payment of the ransom. Zalina was said to be shaken but not physically injured by the ordeal. Police have not issued any description or artist’s sketch of the kidnappers.
Former chief justice Satnarine Sharma says he stood up for what was right when he resisted two attempts to remove him from office during the last three years of his tenure. "What would have been the impression if I had not stood up and resigned? What would have the people found out if I had not stood up and withstood this assault?" Sharma said on his last day in office. He was commenting about the legal efforts to have him removed from office that arose out the allegations of misconduct against him in the trial of former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday in 2006, as well as that of vascular surgeon Prof Vijay Naraynsingh in 2005. Sharma had refused to resign when Prime Minister Patrick Manning had suggested he do so. Last December, the tribunal that investigated the allegations against Sharma found there was not enough evidence to impeach him.
CJ Sharma: I stood up for what was right
Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday has ordered United National Congress Alliance (UNC-A) members to prepare to fight political "enemies" other than the ruling party in the Local Government elections. Panday said a "mafia" helped to ensure the ruling People's National Movement (PNM) gained its victory in the last General Election by keeping Congress of the People (COP) political leader Winston Dookeran from holding any unity talks with the UNC-A. "Do you know that one of the reasons why Dookeran was not allowed to even meet to talk unity with the UNC was because two top officials of the CORPSE were receiving huge kick-backs from the advertising agencies on the millions being spent by the mafia on advertising," Panday said in an address at Rienzi Complex. in Couva. Panday did not identify who exactly comprised the mafia he spoke of or the two COP officials he claimed had received bribes to keep Dookeran from holding unity talks with the UNC. "We all know that the PNM is the known and traditional enemy but I suspect that the mafia will again intervene in these local Government elections to use the CORPSE to try to bring about a PNM victory," Panday said.
Panday: Mafia helped PNM win elections
Several families have abandoned their Picton Road, Laventille, homes because they did not want to be caught up in an on-going gang war in the area that seems hell-bent on dragging them in. The move came after two homes, housing two families, were torched . Gang members attempted to torch a third house and another was shot at several times. Two of the houses, one which had a family of seven and the other a family of three were attacked around 8 a.m. Within minutes after the Molotov cocktail was thrown both houses went up in flames. Both houses and everything in them were destroyed. Earlier , at around 5 a.m., gunmen shot at another house nearby. No one was injured in that attack. A woman from Picton who requested anonymity said, "where people going to stay now? We kept calling the police and they not coming. We need something. We need an apartment or something. Nobody come and talk to us. We may have to go on the promenade and sleep." She said she and some members of her family were fortunate to find a place away from the, "war zone ....but not everybody that lucky and neighbours fear for their lives. Some people leave everything behind for the gangsters, their televisions, fridges everything.
Gang war causes exodus from Laventille area
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Indo-Caribbean Times FEBRUARY 2008
Opposition parties talk security
DEPUTY Political Leader of the UNC Alliance Jack Warner yesterday held security talks with Chief Security Officer of Congress of the People (COP), Captain Gary Griffith, Security Chief of SWAT, Aaron Henry, and Mayor of Chaguanas Dr Suruj Rambachan to discuss ways and means of improving the security of the business community and constituents of Chaguanas Earlier this year Warner and Tabaquite Member of Parliament Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj launched a community security operation in Macaulay, which like Chaguanas, has seen anincrease in robberies of businesses and street hold-ups. Police response has been generally slow. At the meeting Griffith presented an intervention plan that would lock-down Chaguanas as well as make use of up-to date technology to detect crime and catch the criminals. Armed guards will soon be posted to Chaguanas to carry out patrols and a mobile unit, purchased by Warner will also be placed in the Borough.
State witness to pujari’s murder killed beside his new murti
Trinidad was the destination of a ship carrying starving refugees from Africa , that was found adrift off the coast of Brazil . They were being lured by Trinidad 's booming economy and the promise of jobs. A barge carrying 13 people was found earlier this month drifting in the Atlantic Ocean . The refugees, who were showing signs or malnutrition and dehydration, had spent 17 days at sea making a trip across the Atlantic Ocean of almost 2,000 miles to get to Trinidad . Trinidad immigration officers said the refugees were arriving in growing numbers along Trinidad 's unsecured south coast, brought in by smugglers coming from Guyana and Venezuela . A Ghanian man was held in Moruga in a police roadblock and charged with illegally entering Trinidad . Three other men believed to be from Ghana , and who arrived by fishing boat in Moruga, are being sought by police, who said that many of the Africans trying to get to Trinidad were from Sierra Leone , Nigeria . Last month, six Vietnamese nationals were held in South Trinidad , and held for deportation. A source in Trinidad ’s the Immigration Department said that emigrants were coming to work in construction jobs, knowing their ethnicity would make them anonymous. There is no visa requirement to land in Brazil . With refugees coming in at Erin , Quinam, Moruga and Point Fortin, there are only three police investigators attached to the south Immigration Department to prosecute cases. It is believed that the immigrants leave Brazil secretly and are transported by fishing boats to Trinidad, where they try to merge into the population and find employment.
Now its illegal immigrants from Africa!
Griffith challenges Dookeran leadership
Trinidad's biggest woman is trying to lose some weight, 400 lbs in all, or about the weight of three average sized Trinis. Six foot tall, 600 lb Bernadine Graham of Guapo, wants to walk out of the house she hasn't left for three years. The forty one year old was already 426 lbs when she became pregnant four years ago, and started putting on weight. During the birth of ther second child Malaika at the San Fernando General Hospital she suffered a stroke, wasn’t able to move around and has been confined to her home. She went on a food binge and got even heavier. Now she is trying to lose a few pounds, “ for my children's sake," she said.
Bernadine wants to drop 400 of 600 lbs
Frontline COP member Gary Griffith has challenged the leadership of Congress of the People (COP) political leader Winston Dookera. Griffith, a Port of Spain North/St Ann's West candidate in the last general election, wrote a letter to Dookeran that strongly criticised the COP political leader's leadership style about two weeks ago. "Winston Dookeran has become a law unto himself," Griffith said in a recent interview. ""Our political leader was selected rather than elected and we need to have some electoral process to have the full support of the 148,000. I don't think we can get an extra vote with Winston Dookeran as the political leader," Griffith also said. He said the party's constitution only provided for an interim executive until the holding of its internal elections which are done sometime in the middle of this year. Griffith said that Dookeran, as the COP political leader, has set up several parallel groups that are taking their instructions from him without any input from the executive Dokeran said while he would not comment on any specific aspect of Griffith's claims, all of the COP's members were moving forward towards the goal of attaining a victory in Local Government elections due by July of this year.
January worst for murders with 41 killed
killings in Trinidad history, with 41 people murdered, three more than the previous record of 28 for January 2007. The last victim in January, Akeem James, was shot 22 times by four gunmen in Morvant on January 30. "Somebody have to dead tonight," was allegedly the phrase used by gunmen before they shot and killed James, who lived in Second Caledonia, Morvant. The current murder count in Trinidad is now 54, with 13 homicides coming in the first 13 days of February. January was the bloodiest month for
Foreign used car dealers in Trinidad are protesting the decision by government to suspend the importation of foreign used cars while they review of the quota system introduced in December 2006. The Pre-Owned Motor Vehicle Dealers Association, which represents the 352 registered foreign used car dealers, has accused the ministry of a conspiracy to shut down the industry. A local group GOPIOtt has said that used car dealers are predominantly East IndianTrinidadians, and has called for assurances that there is no clandestine move by theGovernment of Trinidad and Tobago to shut down the industry. ”GOPIOtt find alarming that this IndoTrinidadian dominated industry isbeing targeted and victimized by a ministry whose line minister in anotherportfolio drew the same complaint. GOPIOtt cannot help but recall thatMinister Rowley as Minister of Housing drew similar outrage and criticismfrom the Indo-Trinidadian community in the distribution of governmenthousing.GOPIOtt also note that the established new car automobile industrydominated by other ethnic groups who are traditionally supporters of thePNM have escaped hardships of government imposed bureaucracy that theirIndo-Trinidadian counterparts have experienced.,’ said the group’s president Devant Maharajin a press release. Government has denied the charges and said that as of January 23, it had issued 2,900 licences to foreign used car dealers. Fforeign used cars have become very popular in Trinidad over the last few years, with better quality than locally assembled vehicles.
Conspiracy to shut industry, say foreign used car dealers
Youths prefer Hindu camp at Carnival
temple leader has been executed next to the murti is Lord Hanuman he had just painted on his wall. A 53 year old grandfather of ten, Balraj Harripersad ran next door last August 3to help his brother, Punjari Kamal Harripersad, who was being attacked by a gang of men with knives and cutlasses. Kamal Harripersad, the leader of the Shri Maha Lakshmi Temple, was chopped to death in front of his three children. The killers had also beaten and chopped Balraj and his son, Raj during their reign of terror. Balraj helped the police in their investigations which led to the arrest of two men, and he promised to go to court next week to testify in the murder case. He was threatened by the gang, and never saw regular police patrols to guarantee his safety. Last Monday night, the killers returned to his home at St John's Trace, Orange Field Road, Carapichaima. Two men wearing masks broke into Harripersad's home that was once a temple, while he sat in the living room with his wife at around 8.45 p.m. He was made to kneel, then shot in the head next to the mural of Lord Hanuman, which symbolises courage and which he had painted on his front wall. Harripersad wanted to ensure justice was done for his brother, he told his sons. The case against the accused killers will now likely collapse, police said. Police close to the case said Harripersad had been offered State witness protection but chose to stay at his home.
A star witness to the murder of a Hindu
While many Trinis were jumping up for Carnival or escaping to the beaches, dozens of Hindu gladly chose the annual Hindu Heritage Camp organized by the Hindu Swayamsevek Sangh at the Chinmaya Ashram in Couva. Theme for the camp was Hindus and the Environment.and the aim was to show the youths that “Hinduism teaches respect and care for the ground that we walk and live on (Darthi mata) the air we breathe (prana, breath of life) and the water we drink ( Ganga mata).” Young Hindus followed a daily program that included devotion, Ramayan and Gita study, educational lectures, group discussions, art and craft, sports and games with a Hindu message, and vegetarian meals. The Swayamsevak Sangh has been holding camps like these for over 20 years. For more information contact Priya Teemal 868-663-2955 or Lalchan Dookie at 868644-1034.
It pays to advertise in the Indo-Caribbean Times
ver 2,000people born in Trinidad and Tobago have deported back home from the United States and other foreign countries in the last five years. Last year alone 350 were sent back to T&T. and 156 of this number were arrested for criminal offences.. The highest total in recent times has been 427 deportations in 2005 National Security Minister Martin Joseph gave these startling figures in the Senate while replying to a question from the Oposition. According to immigration information, Joseph said the arrivals each year were: 2002 — 220 deportees 2003 — 287 deportees 2004 — 356 deportees 2005 – 427 deportees 2006 — 360 deportees 2007 — 350 deportees The number of deportees arrested for criminal offences grew from eight in 2002 to 51 and 46 in 2006 and 2007 respectively, Joseph noted. The Minister also stated that 104 people were killed by the police and Defence Force in the line of duty between 2002 and 2007. .
Over 2,000 deported to TT in last five years
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Indo-Caribbean Times FEBRUARY 2008
Shalana missing Man caught for seven weeks selling cocaine sweets in busy Chaguanas
Most TT state agencies not properly audited
The emerging recession in the US could have a serious impact on Trinidad’s trading sector says Central Bank governor Ewart Williams. He said it is not clear if the recession will result in the softening of record-high international oil prices, this would affect government revenues and public sector investment and government expenditure. “If there’s a slowdown in the US economy, it is likely to affect the economies of the region and the US$1 billion in exports that does not come from oil, but comes from exports to Caricom,” Williams noted. Williams said T&T could also suffer trading losses if the recession curtails vacation travel to the Caribbean by American citizens. “If Caricom is affected by a slowdown in tourism then our non-energy export industries will also be affected,” said Williams.
US slowdown could hurt TT
Shalana Sabrina Moonoo, 16, has been missing for seven weeks. Moonoo, a pupil of the Charlieville ASJA Girls College, spent the night with her grand-mother on December 7. Around 8 a.m. the following day, she left the grandmother's home at Lennard Street, Bank Village, Carapichaima, to go to her parent's home, a couple blocks away. Moonoo never reached home, her mother Sharon Ramjattan said.: "I checked with all her friends and relatives, but nobody saw her." When she disappeared, Moonoo was wearing a cream coloured skirt and top and carrying a black bag on her back. She is around 5 feet four inches tall and has shoulder length hair. Moonoo did not take any personal items with her. Ramjattan said although she has had to talk to her daughter sternly before, there were no quarrels or disagreement when she disappeared. "She has lots of friends, boys and girls, but she did not have any special romantic relationship. I just hope and pray that she is not in danger. I just want her to return home," Ramjattan said.
The most brass faced drug dealers has been arrested for selling “cocaine sweetie” in full public view along the busy Chaguanas Main Road. A vendor selling cigarettes and sweets, has turned out to be a drug-dealing kidnap accused selling cocaine rocks wrapped in chocolates and mints. Central Division police officers were shocked to find the man brazenly selling his goods in public, with cocaine rocks hidden in 25 cents sweetie paper selling for $10 and $20 TT. He is one of 21 suspect charged with the 2005 kidnapping of Sangre Grande businessmen Richard and Ronald Nath. Several years ago, a drug dealer in Princes Town made a small fortune selling cocaine rocks with his salted nuts at High Street, until his arrest and prosecution.
A number of State-run agencies are operating without adequate internal audit functions, reported director of Central Audit Committee Kesraj Seegobin. He was presenting the findings of a survey evaluating the status and capabilities of internal audit functions of State agencies at Ministry of Finance Investments Division "Principles of Corporate Governance," held at the new Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Port of Spain. Seegobin reported that they had received replies from 57 per cent of the42 State-run companies, and of the companies surveyed 20 of them did not have internal audit functions. Other findings included: - 17 did not have internal audit committees - 11 were independently positioned with in the organisation
Business paid $6500 for police protection: MP
Crime watch grabs car thieves
An El Socorro businesswoman, on her way home from a popular Carnival show, was shot and killed while dropping a friend home. Police reports are that Fareeza Mohammed, 54, was at O'Meara Road, Arima, to drop off a friend after attending the Spektakula Promotions' "Battle of the Sexes" soca show at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo. Around 3 a.m., the mother of three stopped for the friend to get out the vehicle and she was accosted by a gunman. She tried to drive off and a shot was fired. Mohammed was hit in the right side of her chest. The friend is said to have run in the opposite direction. Mohammed's maroon-coloured Almera vehicle was discovered crashed further along O'Meara Road. Her lifeless body was found slumped over the car's steering wheel. Police believe attempted robbery is the motive behind Mohammed's murder.
Fareeza killed after soca show
Three persons were held for motor vehicle larceny by members of the Macaulay village community watch group in conjunction with officers of the SWAT security services recently. .The community watch group, reinforced by armed security officers, was recently constituted by Tabaquite MP Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj and Chag-uanas MP Austin Jack Warner, to combat rising crime in the community including the recent murder of a 67-old grandmother from Claxton Bay. A member of the watch group said St Margaret police praised the group for their role in apprehending the men. He said the group was on patrol along the Macaulay Trace Road when they noticed three strange men emerging from an abandoned house in the area. He said the patrol stopped and asked the men where they were going to which they replied that they were just visiting family members up the street and pointed to a parked maxi-taxi a few houses away. The patrol then left the men and drove to the house pointed out by the men and asked the occupants of the house whether they were related to the three men.. They were not and the watch group held and called the police. At the station, the men were identified by an individual whose car had been recently stolen and was at the station making a report.
Small business owners had to pay up to $6,500 a month to the National Security Ministry for additional police protection during the Christmas season, Opposition MP Harry Partap says. In making the assertion, Partap said it was equal to the kind of protection money that criminals extort from the business owners to keep them from being kidnapped. "That is protection money no matter how you look at it. The criminals are doing it illegally and the Government doing it legally. What have we descended to?" Partap said. Many wealthy Trinidadians have been paying protection money, popularly called “coward tax”, to prevent family members from being kidnapped. .Amounts are said to be as high as $10,000 a month for a family or down to $1,000 a month for a single child. Money is also extorted under the guise of contributions to charitable organizations.
Industrial Unit for Sub-Lease
Lowest rates in the area Mixed office & workplace (at Queensway) 2000 square feet
- 67 per cent of the internal audit departments surveyed had access constraints including to the board of directors, the CEO, company records and assets. He reported that 12 of the agencies had internal audit departments that were above satisfactory. Minister in the Ministry of Finance Mariano Browne, speaking to members of the media following the conference, explained that 14 of the 42 companies were dormant and in exit mode, leaving 28 fully operational. He explained that a number of companies were in start-up mode, at various stages of "maturity" and there was room for im provement in internal audit area. Browne noted that of the 42 companies wholly State-owned employed 17,000 people and had $62 billion in assets. He explained that of the $62 billion approximately $39 billion were from the energy sector and the Finance Ministry was comfortable with the accounting of these companies. He added that the survey was given at short notice and the results were only preliminary.
2395 Cawthra Road, Mississuga
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GUYANA NEWS COMMUNITY
More Berbice floods
Several villages in East and West Berbice are now under water following three days of intense rainfall and residents who have suffered major losses are calling for proper drainage system s to be put in place. A Corentyne rice farmer said he was preparing to harvest his crop worth over $500,000 when the heavy showers came and "duck everything out." The man is now wondering how he is going to repay his loan. Many other rice, cash crop and poultry farmers suffered similar losses, and complained that poor drainage and the deplorable condition of access dams had contributed significantly to the situation.
Shaneeza Majeed and her husband, Sunil Ravindranauth in their yard
AIDS epidemic under control
Some 92 Amerindian communities now own 14 per cent of the country's landmass after additional land titles were recently approved by the Guyana government. Amerindian land now spreads over 30,099 square kilometres, or roughly six and a half times as large as the whole of Trinidad. Guyana has a total of 214,999 square kilometres, The communities of Rupanau; Katoka and Parikwarunawa, all in Region Nine were granted land titles, while the Massara and Yakarinta communities, also in Region Nine, received extension of titled lands.
N atives own 14% of Guyana land
The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and the World Bank have agreed to spend GY$1.2 billion (US $12 million) to improve water quality in several communities over the next 18 months. The work to be done by General Earth Movers UEM Incorporated of Trinidad and Tobago will include the design and construction of three iron removal plants that will facilitate the flow of treated water to more than 50,000 people. The project will benefit residents in Lima, on the Essequibo Coast; Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo, and at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice. Conservationist
$1 billion for better water
Arjoon gets 'Caribbean Nobel'
The The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been stablizing in Guyana because of the government's aggressive policies and a goal of having no child born with HIV. Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy said all Guyanese should be proud of the country’s effort in fighting HIV, which includes comprehensive care, treatment, and support for all people living with HIV. The first case of AIDS in Guyana was diagnosed in 1987. In 1989, the National AIDS Programme (NAP), under the Ministry of Health, was launched and resulted in the Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic, the National Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS). In 1992, the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) was established and charged with the role of setting up the national response to the HIV epidemic. The result has been a decrease in not only the number of persons being infected but also a reduction in the prevalence rate of HIV in the different cross sections of society. In 2002, 9.5 percent of all deaths were attributed to HIV/AIDS. This number has reduced significantly to 6.4 percent in 2007 and is expected to be further reduced to 5.6 percent by 2011.
resident Bharrat Jagdeo has announced a wide-ranging probe to determine how many weapons were issued to government departments under the late Forbes Burnham-led administration by the security forces and have not been returned. And he revealed that based upon records provided by the Guyana Defence Force, between 1976 and 1979, the military issued 236 weapons including General Purpose Machines Guns and other guns of various calibre to the Ministry of National Development. Jagdeo could not say how many of those weapons have been returned and he assured that the investigation which he will commission would hopefully unearth this. He gave no time frame as to when the inquiry will commence, neither did he say what form it would take. Jagdeo's announcement came following the recovery of two weapons - a M-72 rifle and a beretta 9mm submachine gun that were issued to the Ministry of National Development under the People's National Congress government from criminals last week during a gun battle at Mahaicony. Jagdeo said the investigation would go back as far as the 1950s to present, noting that it now worries his administration that guns that were issued to the government back then have now landed in the criminals' hands. "The question to be asked is how these weapons ended up in criminals' hands," Jagdeo commented at his press conference yesterday afternoon. He said that his administration has decided early that it wanted a full investigation, noting that the matter was a serious one. Among the weapons that were issued to the national development ministry were: seven Smith and Wesson Pistols, Four HK 11 Light Machine Guns, eight G-3 rifles, four General Purpose Machine Guns, 20 beretta Submachine Guns, 15 Self Loading rifles, 50 M-10 Pistols, six .22 rifles, six .30 Carbines, six .303 rifles, 15 Self Loading rifles, six G-3 rifles, 50 M-10 pistols, 20 beretta Submachine Guns, 15 M-70 rifles and five M-72 rifles.
Probe to check weapons issued by PNC governments P AFC/ GAP
call for new security plan
The opposition AFC and GAP are demanding that President Bharrat Jagdeo and the government roll out a new security plan for the country. The parties took out a full page newspaper asking Mr Jagdeo to formally request international assistance from the United Kingdom, United States, CARICOM and Brazil to arrest the decline into anarchy. They also wand government to hold a national conference of stakeholders on governance and the transformation of the state by March 1, 2008. The advertisement called on all Guyanese to support the demands to force the changes in the system of governance and the organisation of the state, or for the government to resign.
No talks with Corbin on security unless..
Working on sea defences at Ogle
Well known conservationist Annette Arjoon has been awared the The Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence (ANSCAFE), considered to be the Caribbean Nobel prize. Arjoon, who is project coordinator and secretary to the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society (GMTCS), shares the TT$500,000 cash prize.with Jamaican Claudette Pious. Another Guyanese, Professor David Dabydeen, was also recognised for arts and letters while Barbadian James Husbands copped an award for science and technology. Arjoon has been instrumental in protecting Shell Beach, a 1,000-mileecosystem in the North West Region, where four species of marine turtle nest. She is also the managing director of the Shell Beach Adventures Company.
Bill to defer local gov't polls passed
Work on a $180M sea defence between Turkeyen and Ogle on the Rupert Craig Highway could be completed by September this year. Contracting firm Falcon Transportation is now creating 1.1 kilometres of "rip rap" sea defence which was not done when sea wall repairs took place several years ago. Presently the area between the ocean and the old sea wall which is very close to the road is being cleared and filled. The plan is to construct a rock slope and a rock crest to control the tides.
Local government elections in Guyana, due since 1997, will be held by December this year.The Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) bill was unanimously approved by the National Assembly , paving the way for municipal and local government elections to be held by December 1, 2008. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall opened the debate on the bill which saw lively exchanges before it was given the full support of the House. The parties involved blamed each other for the yearly postponements since 1994. Lall, however, gave the assurance that all the machinery was in place for elections to be held on or before December 1 next year. This eleven year period is one of the longest that Guyana has gone without local government elections. Several parties including the ruling PPP will take part.
Responding to a letter from leader of the People's National CongressReform, Robert Corbin on the mowing down of farmlands aback of Buxton,the Office of the President has said that President Bharrat Jagdeo remained unprepared to engage with Corbin unless his stated concerns are addressed properly. Corbin wrote to Jagdeo outlining a number of concerns following moves by the administration to clear dense vegetation aback of Buxton and several other East Coast Demerara villages. Jagdeo had publicly stated that he would not discuss security matters with Corbin unless the Opposition Leader acknowledges that criminals were hiding out in Buxton. Corbin has said that it was unacceptable that the Lusignan tragedy was being used as an excuse for a brutal assault on people and wanton and unprovoked destruction of their property in Buxton and neighbouring communities. On the President's ultimatum that the Opposition Leader must publicly acknowledge that Buxton was a safe haven for criminals before there were further engagements, Corbin said that he saw this as yet another attempt by Jagdeo to play childish and divisive politics with the "serious security situation in Guyana." He said that the party had always been ready to meet unconditionally to discuss the security situation and to chart a workable way forward. With regard to the acknowledgement, Corbin said that criminals were in every community of Guyana. Corbin also addressed the non-response of the Vigilance police when the gunmen went into Lusignan, saying that even President Jagdeo should know that the police at that station lacked the capacity to deal with the situation, and that it was the head of state who should be blamed for not establishing a SWAT team. A proposal to establish a militia has been around for years but no definitive action has been taken to get it started.
The Plight of Indians in Guyana
By Roop Misir, PhD
Background This Article was written in 2002 to highlight the plight of Indians in Guyana. Although there have been changes, people may argue that improvements in the economic life of the country and its people have essentially been put on hold. To some extent this is a consequence of the high emigration rate and consequent loss of skilled workers. However, an underlying factor is the apparent breakdown of law and order as marauding gangs rob people and kill other. For its part, the government claims that these attacks affect all citizens, not necessarily Indian.. On January 26, 2008 in the Indian dominated village of Lusignan East Coast Demerara, eleven more innocent people were massacred in cold blood in the wee hours of the morning while sleeping. From all accounts, robbery was not the motive. To no one surprise, the victims were of Indian descent. Below is a revised version of the 2002 Article: Indians Replaced Slavery in British Guiana
As time progressed, their descendants actively participated in every facet of the country’s economic life. Today, they constitute the largest ethnic group in a politically independent country of Guyana. However, events in recent times have caused a lot of uneasiness. For one thing, all Guyanese had to endure nearly three decades of a black dictatorship from the mid-1960’s to the early 1990’s. Over the years, government corruption, political nepotism and overt racial discrimination led to declining opportunities—especially for Indians. A weak, corrupt and incompetent national government was unable to maintain law and order. Thus, highly skilled and educated Guyanese, were forced to immigrate to any country that were willing to take them, but mainly to affluent countries (EU, USA and Canada). Social Problems facing Indians
Indians suffered under various regimes
Success usually depends on how well we can address and solve problems that confront us in our daily lives. Like other citizens in the South American country of Guyana, the Indian population is fully integrated into the mainstream milieu. Their ancestors were taken to the colony of British Guiana to work on the sugar plantations following the abolition of African slavery in 1838. In addition to saving the sugar industry from certain collapse, our ancestors single-handedly built the rice industry. By the time Indian immigration ended in 1917, nearly a quarter million Indians were taken from India to this colony.
Five heavily-armed gunmen invaded the home of a Stanleytown, West Bank Demerara businessman Gladwyn Lall, robbing him of over $1.5M in cash while threatening to kill him and his family. The gunmen, who arrived at the man's home via the Demerara River, around 6:40 pm, and held up the family and a worker. They ransacked the house and found around $1.5M in cash and jewellery before escaping by boat. Armed bandits have routinely used the river as a getaway route after committing robberies and other crimes along the East Bank and also West Bank Demerara. Some recent events where bandits used the rivert include: December 11 last year at Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara, a gang armed with guns, robbed Basdeo Sahadar of $5.7 million and 355 ounces of raw gold valued at $55 million. In September last year staff at the Digicel outlet at Grove Public Road, EBD, were
River bandits strike again at Stanleytown
CRIME: River bandits, kidnapping on Regent Street, threats to ministers’ children
attacked and robbed by three men all armed with handguns. In April also last year nine bandits invaded the Demerara Oxygen Company Limited headquarters at Eccles, East Bank Demerara and carted off some $5M. In June 2006 a gang of seven masked men carted off $30M from Muneshwer's Hardware Ltd., Water Street, They held up the five unarmed security guards on duty at the time, and used welding torches to cut open the safe. The police have been criticized for lacking boats and other resources to adequately patrol the rivers and track down bandits.
Although Indians are in the majority, their numbers are actually dwindling due to emigration. Strange as it may seem, President Bharrat Jagdeo and members of his government may be ethnically Indian, but their efforts are directed to retaining power at all cost. Out of necessity, therefore, they must cater to the needs of opposition and their mainly non-Indian supporters. In the meantime ALL Guyanese suffer, but the brunt of the hardships are borne by Indian people who have supported the ruling political party in every national election since 1953. Below are examples daily social problems that citizens have to endure under various governments. Alcoholism—There is no shortage of alcoholic beverages. Rum is one of the cheapest and most readily available beverages. It can be bought illegally at any time of the day in every corner store or “cake shop”. Anyone regardless of age can enjoy a drink at any time and place. Prostitution—Poor and destitute girls are forced into the world’s oldest profession at a young age. As a visitor returning to home after many years, I recall being accosted by girls younger than my own daughters. Of course, I dismissed these advances. But I vividly recall one particular
instance. Here a helpless soul proposed that for $5 (US), I could have her services for one full day. And for $50 (US), she will be at my call for one entire week! Crime—Criminals wishing to get “easy money” pose as police or army personnel, and prey on unsuspecting overseas visitors/ returnees. Also, bandits armed with hi-tech weaponry attack private homes of Indians. In many of these encounters, not only are money and jewelry taken, but also victim who resisted sometimes lose their lives! Suicide—it is true that the helpless usually flock to houses of God to get (at least temporary) solace. However, many Indians have lost hope completely. A friend of mind recently narrated a very tragic tale of a young Indian woman who committed suicide to escape the daily beatings of her unemployed and constantly drunk husband. After the funeral, friends of the husband accused him of being responsible for his wife’s death. And because this was too for the husband to take, he did what many young Indian Guyanese find expedient to do--he took his own life! Euphoria then Exodus
beastly monsters took turns and forced her to perform oral sex —in broad daylight and in full view of the public. Did this incident show us who is in charge here? This latest pogrom against Indians has provoked even conservative elements in the Guyanese society to speak out. Up to this time, people were silent. For the first time, they are now coming out openly and admitting the truth. In fact, they are saying that it was Indians who were targeted for the mindless racial violence in Guyana. This has always been the official position of the ROAR Party. Now, ROAR has renewed its call for a UN Peacekeeping Mission—a call that first went unheeded when it was first issued in 1998. Isn’t it about time that the world wake up to the plight of Indians in Guyana, and take decisive action before it’s too late? Guyana is blessed with abundant fertile agricultural lands where almost any crops can grow year round. On its vast savannahs are some of the largest cattle ranches. Its thriving mining industries (gold, diamonds and bauxite) are generating much revenue. Recently discovered offshore reserves of oil and gas can some day transform this struggling country into an energy powerhouse. Yet, things are not all roses these days. Our country remains blighted. Of course, there are always beneficiaries following tragedies the recent massacre at Lusignan and other areas in Guyana. Years of confrontation, conflict and crime by marauding gangs accelerate the exodus of Guyanese to countries faced with declining populations and a shortage of skilled and talented people. Would this reality help explain why overseas countries like Canada, the USA and the EU choose to turn a blind eye as Guyana faces an uncertain future, bordering on the brink of collapse? Guyana Blessed but Blighted Guyanese Speak Out
There was much euphoria following the restoration of democracy in 1992 with the election of Dr. Cheddi Bharat Jagan as the President. But all this soon evaporated for various reasons. Perhaps, there was no Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate wrong doings committed by the previous black dictatorship. Even though Dr. Jagan publicly declares that he heads a national government, the main thrust of his policies is geared to appeasing black supporters and the opposition. The question is: Like other Indian leaders, was Dr. Jagan afflicted with a uniquely Indian disease—appeasing others while taking his own supporters for granted? An incident (July 03 2002) may exemplify the present plight of Indian people. During an illegal procession to the presidential palace, the pro-Indian ROAR Party claims that hundreds of Indians were mercilessly beaten up, sexually molested, abused, robbed and several businesses torched. In one particularly gruesome incident, a gang of African men grabbed a young Indian girl off the street. Then these
[Dr. Roop Misir is an Indo-Guyanese Canadian Teacher with the Toronto District School Board. Readers may wish to contact him at email@example.com]
Child found with concussion grenade
Motorcycle bandits have struck in the city of Georgetown, robbing the Regent Street internet cafe Mathave's Internet Cafeof an undisclosed sum of cash before escaping. The bandits, one of whom was armed with a handgun, grabbed the day's takings at . They also grabbed an employee's cellular phone and robbed two male customers.
Now its motorbike bandits
Armed men kidnap man in Regent Street
Security forces recently found a small boy in possession of a concussion grenade in the Friendship, ECD, area, which led to the arrest of a male and a female relative. According to a police press release the child was later sent away in the custody of his mother and the female relative was released on bail. The search operations was part of Operation Restore Order.
Threats to ministers' children at schools
and tried to seek help, but he was grabbed there by the men, and taken away in a waiting car.
The kidnapings have started up again. Two armed men last week forced a man into their vehicle in an apparent kidnapping after first chasing him from King Street to Regent Street. The man had been about to leave in his car but instead jumped out and started running away with two armed men in pursuit. He ran into a Regent Street store
Terrifying calls to Georgetown schools days threatening to harm the children of government ministers have been described by Education Minister Shaik Baksh as callous and cowardly. A call was received at Queen's College stating that the ministers' children attending that school would be abducted. Calls were reported to have been received at St Roses and St Agnes schools conveying similar threats. In addition, a call was received at the ministry that a bomb had been planted at St Joseph's High, while a call was made to St Winefride's informing them that gunmen were on their way to the school. This led to classes at these schools being disrupted. Mobile patrols have been allocated around schools.
Using an RRSP for a Down Payment
Supercharge Canadians hold Canadian house your wealth record debt building, price Canadians are juggling record debt loads creation strategy averaging $80,000 per household, says the rises set to slow
Most people rely on an investment strategy as one of the keys to achieving financial freedom one day. But for many people, ‘one day’ is in the distant future. Some investors who wish to bring financial freedom a bit closer are looking to less traditional investment strategies that allow their savings to work harder for them. That’s why I want to share a new twist on an old adage: The best things in life aren’t always free, they’re borrowed. Borrowing money to invest is a strategy that can help to accelerate your investment growth, compared to a traditional wealth creation strategy. A borrow to invest strategy is exactly as it sounds. You borrow money, buy investments, pay the applicable interest and taxes, and keep what’s left over after the loan is repaid. What makes this strategy so attractive? Two things: 1.Compound Returns. An investment loan allows you to make a large lump-sum investment today. This allows a larger amount to work for you for a much longer period of time. For example, assuming a 9% long-term rate of return, a $10,000 lump sum deposit would grow to $23,674 in 10 years. However, an investment of $1,000 at the start of each year for 10 years would grow to only $16,560 in the same 10 years. This is the power of compound returns. 2.Interest Deductibility. In most cases, the interest you pay on an investment loan is tax deductible, which can significantly reduce the rate of return your investment needs to earn to make this strategy profitable. In general the ‘break even’ rate of return you need to achieve on your investment (the rate of return at which you’re better off borrowing to invest), is lower than the interest rate you’re paying on the loan! Does this sound too good to be true? It isn’t! If this concept sounds intriguing, I’d like to explain to you how an investment loan can improve your long-term investment growth potential. It’s an exciting opportunity and I encourage you to ask many questions. If you find this information too intriguing to wait, please call my office immediately and we’ll meet at your earliest convenience to discuss the suitability of this strategy for your own situation. Remember: The best things in life aren’t always free, they’re borrowed. P.S. In our meeting I will stress that borrowing to invest is not for everyone. It is only recommended if you are willing to take on some additional risk and are financially able to meet your loan payment obligations and pay taxes on any gains. Using borrowed money to finance the purchase of securities involves greater risk than a purchase using cash resources only. If you borrow money to purchase securities, your responsibility to repay the loan and pay interest as required by its terms remains the same even if the value of the securities purchases declines. Vic Sarju is an Investment Advisor with Berkshire Securities Inc. Member CIPF. Vic can be reached at Tel: 416-686-6127; Toll Free: 1 888 686-6127. The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily be those of Berkshire Securities Inc. By Vic Sarju author of a new report who warns job losses would push many families over a fiscal cliff. "If we do have a recession, we wouldn't be as badly off as the U.S.," says Roger Sauve, a consultant who wrote "The Current State of Canadian Family Finances" released Monday. "But a lot of households couldn't keep up." The report describes a perfect storm of flat earnings, increased spending and plummeting savings. It comes as an economic slow-down in the U.S. spurs concern over a full-blown American recession and possible fallout north of the border. Total accumulated debt was 131 per cent of Canadian household income last year after income tax and transfers such as child benefits. That's up from 91 per cent in 1990, Sauve says. Many consumers borrowed cash at lower interest rates to buy more expensive homes as real estate prices steadily rise. But many Canadians, especially those earning net middle incomes of about $60,000 a year, have racked up credit-card debt that's almost doubled since 1990 to $22,500 from $12,000 on average, Sauve says. "They've continued spending with more debt and less savings." Most households socked away $1,000 in savings last year, compared to an average of $7,500 in 1990, says the report.
For more information contact Rudy Locha, President and Broker for Anava Financing Inc. He can be reached directly at 416-410- 7501 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
tirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the purpose of buying a home increases, I am surprised at the number of people in the mortgage industry that still do not understand the basics of how this program works. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Canada Customs & Revenue Agency (CCRA - formerly Revenue Canada) calls this program the Home Buyer’s Plan. Generally speaking, the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) is a program where each individual going on the title of the home can withdraw up to $20,000 from their RRSP to buy or build a qualifying home. (Don’t get too caught up on the ‘qualifying’ idea; nearly every typical type of residence is included). This means that three people buying together can withdraw up to $60,000 (3 x $20,000) collectively. Withdrawals that meet all of the CCRA HBP conditions are not included in income in the year of withdrawal. This program is also generally restricted to first time home buyers, or those individuals who have not owned a home for the required qualification period. For those interested in determining eligibility there is a simple test that can be followed on CCRA’s website. The total amount withdrawn for the home purchase has to be withdrawn completely in the same calendar year. In order for the amount to be eligible for withdrawal it must have been in your RRSP for a minimum of 90 days. Through the program you have the ability to withdraw the amount all at once, or through a series of withdrawals not to exceed $20,000 per individual. After you have withdrawn this amount, you then have up to 15 years to repay it to your RRSP. You are required to start your repayments the second year following the year you made your withdrawals. Normally you are required each year to repay an amount that is equal to 1/15 of the total amount you withdrew. There is no tax liability personally incurred when you make this minimum payment back to your RRSP (at least not from the HBP). Since your earnings normally increase as the years go by, it is important to try and pay back the amount you borrowed as quickly as possible. This gives you the potential to get a higher tax deduction for your RRSP contributions in your higher earning years, as well as allowing for more years of tax sheltered growth while the money is in your RRSP. For those interested, a more in-depth review of the program can be found by visiting CCRA’s website at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca, or by calling 1-800-267-1267
As the popularity of using Registered Re-
Plan to curb US housing foreclosures
Housing starts will fall by about seven per cent this year but will remain strong as 2008 should be the seventh straight year with starts above 200,000 units, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has predicted.. The federal housing agency said it expects 211,700 housing starts this year, off from 228,343 in 2007. "Despite some global financial instability with regards to the U.S. housing market, Canada continues to experience robust employment levels, ongoing income gains and low mortgage rates," Bob Dugan, chief economist for CMHC, said in a statement. This has strongly supported Canada's housing markets, he said. "However, housing starts are expected to decrease in 2008 mainly due to recent increases in house prices, which will push mortgage carrying costs higher for home buyers." Existing home sales, as measured by the Multiple Listing Service, are expected to fall by 3.9 per cent to 499,650 units in 2008, while 2009 will see an additional decrease to 488,300. Last year, such sales increased by 7.6 per cent over 2006 to about 520,000 units. As most resale markets move toward more balanced conditions, growth in the average MLS price is forecast to slow to 5.2 per cent in 2008 and 3.8 per cent in 2009.
The United States is trying to limit the effort of the housing crisis by a plan for lenders to help homeowners by temporarily suspending foreclosures for people facing the imminent loss of a home.
The Bush admininistration proposal is aimed at delinquent homeowners whose mortgages are 90 days or more past due. Called Project Lifeline, it will will allow overdue homeowners to suspend foreclosures for 30 days while they try to work out more affordable terms with lenders. The plan initially will involve six of the largest mortgage lenders -- Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Countrywide Financial Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Washington Mutual Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. The plan builds on progress begun by the administration's Hope Now Alliance, which involves freezing the interest rates of borrowers with adjustable rate mortgages.
The program announced last week it had helped about 545,000 subprime borrowers and 324,000 prime borrowers in the second half of 2007.
OTTAWA–After coming under heavy criticism, the Harper government now is promising immediate help for struggling one-industry towns. Federal sources say the Tories will table a motion today calling on Parliament to fast-track approval of the $1-billion community development fund they announced last month. The government previously said the fund would only go forward if the opposition passed the federal budget. The promise to help struggling communities only if the budget passed was criticized as heavy-handed. Provincial premiers not only blasted the political tactic, but also called the promised sum insufficient. The motion will be tabled this and will require the unanimous consent of all parties to go forward. The NDP promptly offered its support. If the motion passes, the government would quickly table a bill authorizing $1 billion in spending – even before the federal budget.
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More pictures we never wanted to see: Two of the five youths killed, a young girl and a young man lie dead after being cut down in their beds at Lusignan, Guyana.
Trinidad Chutney Soca Monarch Rooplal Girdharrie belts out his song accompanied by elaborately dressed dancers, on the way to taking the $200, 000 top prize again.
Rolling tassa drums from the Caribbean liven up the air at the United States Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
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Toronto based Gulcharan Mohabir (left) visits with Swami Ashkarananda during a recent visit to Guyana. He is one of a group of Caribbean Canadians supporting the Saraswati Vidya Niketan Hindu School at Cornelia Ida, West Coast Guyana.
Members of the Trinidad & Tobago Students Federation at York University had a ball at the Multicultural Week Parade on Carnival Monday and won the club award too. The vibrant group has a membership of over 200 students with Trinidadian connections.
Pundit Mani Ramoutar offers Hindu prayers at the Multi-Faith Prayer Service and Tribute in Memory of the Victims of the Lusignan mMassacre held in Toronto on February 10 at the Radisson Hotel . A large multi ethnic crowd of Caribbean and Canadian sympathisers turned up for the forum organized by the Association of Concerned Guyanese, including representatives of several religions faiths. and Guyana Consul General in Toronto Danny Doobay. Over 40 Canadian organizations supported the tribute, including the Guyana Current Newspaper, Peel Guyanese Association, Indo-Caribbean Golden Age Association, Guyana Canada Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Caribbean Business Council, Chandi Singh Secondary School Alumni Association, Bush Lot Secondary School Alumni Association, Canadian Hindu Federation, Guyana Christian Charities , International Muslim Organization, Ram Mandir, Shabnam Radio, Pranav Hindu Mandir, Enterprise Support Group, Guyanese Canadian Cultural Association, West Demerera Association, Enmore Association, Annandale Secondary School Alumni, Dulha-Dulhan Expo, University of Guyana Guild of Graduates, Guyana Berbice Association, and several others.
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North American Muslim Federation,a non profit organization based in Toronto, is calling on Ontarians to enjoy the Family Day holiday, on Monday, Feb 18th 2008, with quality time devoted to their families. NAMF has organized a Family Fair on that day, open to all and free of charge so families who wish to enjoy themselves indoors and closer to home may do so with love and respect. The family is being affected more these days with the growing demands on parents’ time. Attractions at the Fair includes International Food, an Islamic Art Exhibition, Fashion show, clothing, toys, books, jewellery, henna and face painting, and a full day of fun and activities for the whole family. . The Honourable Bas Balkissoon, MP, is slated to visit during the day as well the Honourable Councillor Chin Lee. The event will be held at 4140 Finch Ave E Scarborough, ON, M1S 3T9. It begins at 11.00 a.m. and continues until 9.00 p.m. Admission is free. “Families need a break from the winter blues, inasmuch they need a nearby activity where they can all participate at an affordable cost”, says the Executive Director of this newly expanded organization, Farooq Khan “Respect of each others culture is crucial when entertainment and family are concerned”, says Habeeb Alli, Communications Coordinator of this federally incorporated body. “We call upon all agencies and families to support this initiative and I hope you really do have a good time”, he added. Call Habeeb Alli, at Tel: 416 823 1738 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNITY NEWS Family Fair
Island Grove Restaurant holds its Valentine Dance February 16 starting at 8.00 p.m, at 4525 Ebenezer Road, Unit 8, Brampton (Gore Plaza). The event includes a buffet dinner and a special DJ. Call 905-913-1200 for info.
Indo-Caribbean Times Valentine Dinner & Dance
Northern Tropics Restaurant holds four days of romantic Valentine Week dances on Thursday February . 14, Friday February 15, Saturday February 16, Sunday February 17, and possibly Monday February 18 (dependent on weather) at 880 Ellesmere Road, Unit 202 in Scarborough, starting at 8.00 pm each evening. Caribbean and Canadian cuisine are availabe and a fully stocked bar. For info call 416-754-8767 or 416-839-9275. BHAGVAD GITA FOR EACH HOME Bulk distribution centres. The Gita can be available in bulk at the following contacts: Donations are expected to fund further copies; any individual or organization wishing to assist in this project can contact us.
Valentine Week Dances
Moustache cost him his job
This Indian airline steward loved his elaborate family tradition moustache, but not his employer. He was dismissed for keeping the soup strainer because airline management felt it was not presentable. He is appealing.
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Massive clearance sale continues in the factory outlet (same location) Fill your barrels to send back home
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Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors. To overcome the multiple nutritional efficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.
How to avoid cancer
HEALTH AND FASHION
Cancer Update from John Hopkins:
growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water- best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Florescence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFA's etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apostasies, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, unforgive-ness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit . Learn to relax and enjoy life. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the next Spice Girls reunion. Geri Halliwell, a.k.a. Ginger Spice, said a second outing "probably won't happen ever again." The quintet's Return of the Spice Girls World Tour wraps February 26 in Toronto. "This is the last time you will ever get to see this Girl Power, the five Spices on the stage as one," said Halliwell, who left the group in May 1998 but was a chief proponent of the current reunion. That said, Halliwell told Billboard.com that she would not entirely shut the door on a bit more Spice if fans really, really want it.
No more Spice Girls reunions
FEBRUARY 2008 RECIPE
Deviled eggs - hot
Cooking time Oven temperature 30 minutes 350 degrees F. INGREDIENTS: 1 medium onion 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard 1 teaspoon curry powder Seasoning 8 hard-cooked eggs.
SAUCE: 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 - l teaspoon curry powder 1 1/4 cups milk few drops Worcestershire sauce Seasoning.
Halliwell said the reunion was "an experience of a lifetime," and denied reports that it was coming to a premature end because of infighting among the five Spices.
"What this reunion taught me is you can never say never," she said. "If you had asked me 10 years ago whether there'd ever be a Spice Girls reunion concert, I'd have gone, 'No way!"'
TOPPING: 2/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs 2 tablespoons butter or margarine.
For a Safe, Green & Friendly Community
Chop the onion very finely, then saute in the hot butter or margarine, stir in the mustard, curry powder, and seasoning. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks, chop, and blend with the onion mixture, pack into whites, put cut side downward in a long shallow ovenproof dish. Make a sauce of the butter, flour blended with the curry powder, milk, and Worcestershire sauce, taste and season well. Pour over the eggs do this carefully so they are not disturbed in the dish. Top with the crumbs and butter or margarine - in tiny pieces - and bake for approximately 15 - 20 minutes in a preheated 350°F. oven until the top is crisp and brown, or if preferred put under a hot broiler. Serves 4.
Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like Nutra Sweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg's amino or sea salt. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment . A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance
Cancer cells feed on:
1. No plastic containers in micro. 2. No water bottles in freezer. 3. No plastic wrap in microwave. Dioxin chemicals causes cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly pois- onous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. We should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain in fat. The combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead use glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. A while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons. Plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous us toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.
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MEMORIES OF LUNCH AT BUSH LOT BERBICE Hindi gets a
Indo-Caribbean Times FEBRUARY 2008
here are at least three villages in Guyana named Bush Lot. I am sure that they all have thick tropical vegetation to fit the description. However I doubt whether the former or the current President of the USA owned any of them. This article refers to the Bush Lot located at on the West Coast of Berbice, located just over 50 miles from Georgetown. I was visiting Guyana when Saraswati Vidya Niketan, the secondary Hindu School at Cornelia Ida, W.C.D.was being constructed and in need of funds. The visionary Swami Aksharananda was also showing me parts of the country inhabited mostly by Hindus. It was an exceptional learning experience even for someone who was born in this land of many waters, and religions. We were on our way to D’Edward village to visit Kumkarran Rampersaud (Rudy) and his wife Nirwattie, a particularly special couple. We had traveled that way before and always had the best of hospitality: a bedroom for each of us, any amount of vegetable dishes and spice mangoes that probably originated from Kerela, India. Rudy was badly in need of a kidney and his life partner was donating one of hers in order to give him a new lease of life. The operation however had to take place at NU Hospital in Bangalore, India. We went to see them off with all their good Karma accompanying them on their first trip to BHARAT, the land of their ancestors. We stopped at Bush Lot on the way as Swami wanted to expose me to an example of BHAKTI. She was in her late sixties lived alone in a house that she and late husband struggled to build. Her children and grandchildren were living in USA but she confessed that she cannot live in a country where ice falls from the sky, hassa (cascadura to my Trinidadian bhais) and chicken comes out of a fridge; where people in the same house hardly talk to each other and do not even know the neighbours. She liked to attend the mandir that was built about 40 years ago and replaced the original wooden structure of the early part of 1900. She wanted to talk to her neighbours at the bottom of her house daily, die where she was born and have her body cremated with real fire. The fence that separated her yard from the public road was covered with thick green foliage Since I became a Bengali vegetarian I developed a keen eye for vegetables and one of my favorites was ban kariela (tiny bitter melons) My body language and my futile attempt to count the karielas must have exposed my need for sustenance. Will you and your Canadian friend stay for lunch she asked Swami? We were back within an hour. Dhal and kariela was hot and ready but she waited for us to arrive to complete the last dish, Paratha roti. As Swami discussed with her the challenges facing Hindus in the country and particularly in Berbice I observed the tools of her trade: CHULHA, POOKNEY, BELNA, CHIMTA, TAWAH, and SIFTA, all neatly stored under the zinc extension at the bottom of house. A shower had soaked portions of the ground next to the fireside but the smoke did not stop her from performing her duty to her two guests. My greatest concern was that while she was talking to Swami, she was also watching at him and not at the roti. She was throwing it up in the air as if she did not care whether
By Ram Sahadeo
boost in TT Hindu schools
it came down back or not and my heart missed a beat each time the rote almost reached her clapping hands. If it fell on the muddy ground she would have to start all over again and my stomach was already making some noises and carrying on its own conversation. I recalled my cricket days when I was a slip fielder and contemplated using my diving skills if that roti slipped past her hand. My anxiety was ill founded. With her years of practice her hands seemed to have eyes W were eating in minutes. Lunch was fresh, tasty, nourishing, pleasant, digestible and best of all we did not have to kill any animals or upset the balance of nature just to have our fill. Dessert was a fresh large juicy watermelon given to us by another devotee along the way. Pizza, hamburger and fast food lovers eat your heart out. These trips had convinced me of at least one axiom. Once I was with Swami I will never starve, or have to rent a hotel room. This kind of hospitality was part of a culture that arrived in Guyana since May 5, 1838 when indentured Servants landed aboard the Whitby and the Hesperus. My own view however is that times have changed and that Hindus, as a whole did not pay keen attention to formal religious education in a classroom of the kind experienced when the late Swami Purnanandaji established Cove and John College. A Canadian Chapter, of the BUSH LOT SANATAN DHARMA VISHNU MANDIR is trying to raise funds to complete a VEDANTA ACADEMY on the premises. This is an indication that Hindus are beginning to realize that in order to preserve their culture, their language, history, music, philosophy must all be taught in Private Institutions in order to correct the emphasis that the national curriculum had placed on Western values. Secondly, the standards of the public educational system have dropped significantly compared to the sixties and there are too many of Hindu parentage with literacy problems and who know little or nothing about the world’s first great religion. Teaching can no longer be done by word of mouth at bottom houses . Hopefully those who reside outside Guyana can occasionally pool their resources to initiate construction and operation of other Hindu Learning Centers. Minds must first be developed if the young are going to be successful and independent. They can then set higher standards and contribute to the progress of the nation as a whole. Many who have helped the schools they attended, as children are not hesitating to assist for they know the value of a wellrounded education. Bath Settlement native Trevor Subryan already donated 600 Gitas and these will hopefully be distributed around Bush Lot during Holi .Other Hindu stalwarts like Omesh Sharma from far away as Leguan, and Roy Singh, can always be counted upon once the residents from Bush Lot provide the initiative and accountabil-
Saraswati Vidya Niketan Hindu school at Cornelia Ida, West Coast Guyana
ity. The energy, cooperation and organization evident at their meetings inspire even the cynical. Some have recognized that knowledge is an appropriate gift for any occasion from birthdays, weddings, to funerals and have donated Gitas so that each person who attends the fundraising dinner on March 15, at 6.00 pm at Malton Community Center 905 615 4640 will get one free. Attendees will also learn some history of the village. For tickets call Dave 416 663 4037; Ramraj 416 292 5650 Roy 905 487 0940. WARNING: SEATING IS LIMITED SO GET YOUR TICKETS AND COME EARLY. Visit www.bushlotmandir.com to find out how you can support the cause and for information on this and some of the other Private Hindu learning centers in Guyana Want GITAS for distribution: In Canada contact email@example.com. In Guyana contact firstname.lastname@example.orgA
Yogi breaks own record for ice immersion
A man who calls himself a "tantric master" has broken his own world record by standing in ice for 72 minutes. The 48-year-old Wim Hof stood on a Manhattan street in a clear container filled with ice for an hour and 12 minutes jon January 26. He set the world record for full body ice contact endurance in 2004, when he immersed himself in ice for one hour and eight minutes. Hof says he survives by controlling his body temperature with the tantric practice of tumo.
Hindi is getting a fillip in Trinidad and Tobago, where around 23 per cent of the million population is of Indian extraction but only about five per cent of them speak the language fluently. Satnarayan Maharaj, secretary general of Trinidad and Tobago's Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), a major Hindu organisation, has announced that his organisation has developed a Hindi curriculum to be used in its 60 primary and secondary institutions. "We have also developed Hindi cards in order to give the boost that Hindi needs in Trinidad and Tobago," he said at the annual World Hindi Day celebrations here. Maharaj said the SDMS would put all its resources into enhancing the teaching of Hindi. Maharaj pointed out that in its 175 'mandirs' or temples scattered across the country, Hindi is used in all its prayers with interpretations. "Every morning, there is a half-an-hour prayer service in Hindi, which is another method used to propagate the learning of Hindi in Trinidad and Tobago and the most convenient channel is through the schools," Maharaj noted. Hindi was brought into the Caribbean in 1838 when the first batch of indentured labourers, principally from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, came here to work on the sugar plantations following the freedom of African slaves. Hindi is not too commonly used since the older Indian generation has died, and the younger generation seeks refuge in English. Even the sacred religious Hindu texts, like the Ramayana, Gita, Upanishads, Mahabharata among several others, are now available in English. Most Hindu prayers or religious services are conducted in English, with some references in Hindi.
YOUTH Africentric schools aim at wrong target
I have the feeling that all this debate about Africentric schools to solve black student problems is shooting at the wrong target. From my many years teaching in Toronto I find that the problems and the solutions have little to do with African culture.or with African students. The problem students are mostly Afro-Caribbean blacks, especially Jamaican. I notice too that most of those arguing for or against the Africentric schools were also Afro-Caribbean blacks. I believe the problems with the Caribbean black students are mainly home problems and attitude problems, not school problems. Too many of them are not motivated to study, have poor learning attitudes and they give up too easily when facing challenges. They tend to be poor at problem solving and don't put out the necessary effort. I don't know how putting them in an Africentric school will help with those problems. Students have to bring learning attitudes and motivation to school with them. We teachers are not there to teach them learning attitudes and motivation.but maths and science and English. In comparison, I find that Indo-Caribbean students don't generally have the same problems in school as the Caribbean black students. Chinese Caribbean students and white Caribbean students don't share the same school problems as the black Caribbean students either. Somebody in the school board should investigate this situation before we spend more time and money throwing an Africentric school at a problem that may not be a school related problem at all. J. Rohit Toronto Dear Editor,
How did the cow get into the car?
Thieves in Malaysia stole a cow, squeezed it into the back seat of a car and drove off with it but abandoned the animal when the getaway vehicle crashed into a tree. The cow ws injured in the crash and had to be put down. It's not clear how they did it, but the thieves managed to push the cow into the back of a mid-sized sedan and drove off. They were spotted by villagers who gave chase, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a tree. The thieves escaped.
The Trinidad and Tobago Federation at Yorkt University in Toronto was very busy last week taking part in every activity available. The 200 member group, headed by Natasha Nankissoor (extreme right in picture above), won the DJ Battle and got an award for most outstanding club for the Multicultural Week DJ World Cup. They also participated in The Multicultural Week Parade and Fashion show, which took place on Carnival Monday., with appropriate Carnival with costumes. And they were part of the Food Fair, DJ Battle, Global Village and Stage Performances.
Scores of children - some from very poor families - across Western Jamaica are being lured out of school to work in ganja fields, helping with the mass production of the narcotic drug for export. The increase in ganja production over the past six years has kept Jamaica on the United States' 'blacklist' as one of the major drug-producing countries. "We have seen evidence to suggest that children are helping in the cultivation of the drug," head of the Narcotics Division, Senior Superintendent Carlton Wilson said to local media.
Jamaican kids skip school for pot farming
The average drop out rate in Toronto schools is 30%, which applies to groups like South Asians and Chinese. If their drop out rate draws closer to 40%, will they become special cases needing special schools too?
Are we making a case that black students as a group are disadvantaged or learning disabled? Are they to be considered a special case like natives students or intellectually handicapped students?
Who will come up with the estimated $800,000 to set up the Africentric school? The school board has a deficit and the province says they will not pay.
School Board have a drop out rate of 40%, that means 12,000 of them are at risk. How many of the 12,000 will one school be able to serve?
Some questions on the Protesters call for Afro-Centric school tough action on If the 30,000 black students in the Toronto Lusignan killers
There’s no doubt about what this young man and his protesting group wanted after Lusignan. Many called for rough justice for the killers, and demanded Roger Khan and former government minister Gajraj, both of whom are credited with keeping criminals in check by vigilante justice. Even President Jagdeo was heard telling protesters to reactivate their community policing watches to defend themselves.
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Where is the research showing that AfroCentric type schools achieve targets like improving academic levels in reading, writing and mathematics? Isn’t this another case of throwing money at the problem when black people complain?
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INDIANS IN THE CARIBBEAN
He is suspected to have a hand in the assassination two years ago of serving government minister Sat Sawh. Like the Lusignan massacre, Sawh's murder was a deliberate challenge to the PPP government. The government did not solve the Sawh murder, and has appeared to be weak on crime. This time it is not likely that Indo-Guyanese will accept a long period of failure to apprehend the killers. Even in this short time it's obvious that that the Lusignan killers have achieved some of their probably aims- weakening the position of the PPP government. Jagdeo now looks more and more like a man who can win elections but cannot government effectively when it comes to security. The Lusignan murders will have an immediate effect of slowing down the return of foreign based Indo-Guyanese to rebuild the country. They may also speed up the the departure of Guyana Indians to safer countries abroad. Any reduction of the Indian population plays into the game of the PNC to regain power by any means possible. There are only 20,000 more Indian voters than black voters in Guyana. Reduction of Indian numbers could bring the PNC closer to a point where they have the numerical superiority the PPP now enjoys, and can win the government by means of e a fair election. The PPP does not have many options open to them. Instead of calling for peace they should be calling for justice for the murdered Lusignan villagers and others attacked by black criminals. They are unwilling or unable to get their security forces to hunt down people like the Lusignan killers. They have not moved to balance the armed forces with large numbers of Indians or to create a security force composed of people who will be willing to hunt down the black criminal gangs. They cannot negotiate with people who are killing PPP supporters. They do not want to share power with the PNC who can presumably control the black criminal gangs. There is also a possibility that the Lusignan killers are rogue criminals gone berserk, who cannot be controlled by anybody. Jagdeo may have no other choice than to appeal for international help to hunt down and destroy the Lusignan killers and other similar gangs in Guyana. He turned down such help after the death of his minister Sawh, and said Guyana security forces could handle the matters. Clearly they didn't do that. Nothing is wrong with admitting inability to handle a problem and calling for help. Fineman and his gang have thrown down a direct challenge to President Jagdeo by attacking the army, police and his Indian supporters. They are daring him to make his move and show that he has power. He cannot afford to do nothing as happened after the Sawh assassination. Lusignan could well be a “last straw” for Indians in Guyana, prompting another exodus from the country. Or it may create Indian vigilantes who will take the law into their own hands to guarantee their own security, which seems to be happening in nearby Trinidad.
Lusignan attacks threaten stability in Guyana LUSIGNAN MASSACRE Bharath blames No negotiation Continued from Page 1 Buxton for with criminals, Fineman can move about freely and get woman pregnant in the last year yet police Lusignan murder say they cannot located him in such a small says gov’t A January 26 rampage by several gunsociety.
men in the East Coast village of Lusignan 6, which left 11 persons dead, had security forces looking for the country’s most wanted man, while at the same time battling angry residents whose protests ground the East Coast corridor to a standstill. Police initially have made a $30M offer (later raised to $50 million) for information leading to arrest of the country’s most wanted man - Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins, while not saying directly that he was connected to the slayings .Rawlins is believed to be behind the attack on Police headquarters at Eve Leary, which left two junior Police officers wounded. Apart from numerous murders, he is also wanted for the assassination of Minister of Agriculture Satyadeow Sawh, who was slain with two of his siblings in April, 2006. President Jagdeo declared at a press briefing that the criminals who stormed the Lusignan homes came from Buxton, long believed to be a safe haven for armed, dangerous criminals.The incident is being described as the worst mass slaying in Guyana’s recent history, and as news spread, it occupied the main headlines of the world’s leading news agencies. The gunmen took control of “Track A” Lusignan, some 10 miles east of the capital Georgetown, at about 2:00 am, and maintained rapid gunfire for about 20 minutes during which they stormed five homes and killed 11 persons, including five children. Dead are: Claren Thomas, 48; Vanessa Thomas 12; Ron Thomas, 11; Mohandan Goordat, 32; Seegopaul Harilall, 10; Seegobin Harilall,4; Dhanwajie Ramsingh,52; Seecharran Rooplall, 56; Raywattie Ramsingh, 11; Shazam Mohammed, 22; Shaleem Baksh, 52. Protests started immediately. From Mon Repos, just a mile off Lusignan, residents offloaded a truckload of sand at the railway embankment, and tires were set alight, preventing traffic from flowing either way. On the main road, residents placed pile upon pile of debris and set it alight, forcing those who desperately wanted to pass to use the rail of the bridge. Thick black smoked engulfed communities further down, as similar acts of protest rippled through. Markets at Annandale and Mon Repos, which usually draw hundreds on Saturdays, were deserted .In the afternoon, stores in Georgetown closed early as the incident spread fear across the country.
Police tear gas Lusignan marchers
Government has no intention of engaging s in any dialogue with criminals, as suggested by Jesuit priest Fr Malcolm Rodrigues, the AFC political party, political activist Eusi Kwayana and others. That’s the view from Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon. He added that professionals and others with social status were trying to make the issue one of social discontent by referring to discrimination and marginalisation as being the root cause and politicising what were purely criminal intentions. Political activist Eusi Kwayana, a Buxtonian now residing in the USA, has supported the Fr Rodrigues’ proposal for talking to the criminals or their representatives, those labelled criminals, was "right on". Oliver Hinckson, a former soldier recently pardoned by President Jagdeo for treason, has offered to negotiate with the gunmen. AFC MP David Patterson has said the AFC would support a dialogue with the criminals as the current approach was not succeeding as it should; people continued to lose their lives and livelihood. He said the problems of discrimination and marginalisation were being aired openly in and around 1997/1998 in Buxton, now described by the administration as a haven for criminals, and nothing concrete was done to alleviate the grievances of the people there. He believes that government failed to nip the problem in the bud and the situation was now bordering on insurgency in a community which has been affected on account of being stigmatised. The AFC, he said, has maintained that the root cause of the violence must be addressed even if it means talking to the criminals to get to the bottom of it and to stop future attacks to save innocent lives. "No ideas should be excluded," said Patterson, even if it meant asking the criminals why they became criminals in the first instance. Dr Luncheon rejected those arguments and said if the dialogue was to tell the criminals to surrender and face the law that would be appropriate. But if it was to engage in philosophical approaches to crime and defence and counter defence for criminal events and actions, the proposal would have to be seen in what would be parallels. In this instance, he said there was no parallel. Dr Luncheon felt that those advocating the dialogue were taking the issue and putting it on par with what was taking place with hostages and rebels in Colombia and in other parts of the world, and this did not apply to Guyana.
East Coast Demerara residents who tried to make a peaceful walk in single file from Lusignan to Georgetown the Friday morning after the massacre had an unpleasant shock. Police advised them that it was illegal since no permission for the march was sought.Some of the residents, among them women, then decided to board mini buses to travel to the city, but this move was thwarted by the police who stopped the vehicles and reportedly removed several protestors with placards.This did not deter the protestors, who continued to proceed to the city. They were, however, met at Triumph by a contingent of police ranks with riot gear who blocked their path to the city and informed them that the march was illegal. They refused to disperse as ordered by the police and after 30 minutes police fired tear smoke canisters into the crowd. Several persons collapsed as a result of inhaling the fumes. At least four persons were treated at the hospital, while some were arrested.
Bibi Zalika Baksh, whose husband, Shalem, was killed, said that at around 02:00 hours they heard the shooting which, she said, started at a house two doors away. The woman said that the family was downstairs in the two-flat house, and by the time they ran upstairs and secured themselves under a bed, the bandits, who she said appeared to be all over the place, began breaking down doors. According to Baksh, the men ordered the family to open their door, but the family was too terrified to make another move. Within seconds, their front louvre windows were shattered and some of the men entered.“They pull out me husband from under the bed and tell him, 'Give we de money and de jewellery',” Mrs. Baksh recalled.She said that her husband begged the men to spare his life but they shot him in cold blood. Baksh said that she and her daughter were also under the bed from which her husband was pulled, but the bandits, in their haste, did not see them.She explained that, before her husband was shot, she attempted to come out from her hiding place to hand over whatever valuables the family had with the hope of saving their lives.But her indecision probably saved her life and her 14-year-old daughter's. She said that the gunmen went downstairs looking for the rest of the family, but eventually left when they did not find them.
Zalika Baksh: How my husband died at Lusignan
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
tival is billed for April this year at the Theatre Guild Playhouse which is now undergoing extensive renovations. According to a press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) the event is open to all secondary schools, including those from the private sector and will present an opportunity for students to showcase their talents at Guyana's hosting of CARIFESTA X in August. The festival is held every two years under the aegis of the Ministry of Education. The festival over the years has helped many youths to realise their talent in the allied arts. According to the Administrator of the Unit of Allied Arts of the ministry, Desiree Wyles-Ogle, this year's event will include performances based on myths, legends, storytelling and social issues in society. She noted that myths and legends associated with Guyanese culture will play a focal part in the performances, since the winners are expected to take part in CARIFESTA X. Minister within the Ministry of Education, Dr. Desrey Fox has already spoken to a number of secondary schools across the country. She explained that the Playhouse, which is at present being restored to its original glory, is an ideal venue for the event since it is an arena which supports performances in schools and boosts academic learning. Dramatic Performances has been added to the Caribbean Secondary Education Council's (CSEC) curriculum with the Berbice Multilateral School being the first beneficiary, performing well at the CSEC. The fifth drama festival was held in 2006 with North Georgetown Secon-dary emerging the winner.
Guyana Schools Girdharrie wins Drama Festival Chutney Soca comes in April title and $1/4 The sixth Secondary Schools Drama Fes- million in prizes
In memory of the victims of the Lusignan Massacre
On behalf of the Guyanese living in Canada and the many friends of Guyana here, I would like to express profound sadness on hearing of the deaths of the 11 innocent victims at Lusignan. The authorities in Guyana must deliver stern and immediate justice for these crimes and set up a new system that will guarantee the security that all Guyanese deserve but do not possess today. This incident must not go unpunished and the security faults it exposed must not go unrepaired.
(Gulcharan Mohabir is a chartered accountant licensed to practice in Canada and Guyana.)
.If you're a man in the Banda district of India who beats your wife, demands more dowry, or otherwise mistreats women, you'd better watch out. A posse of vigilante women clad in pink saris may soon come after you, and it's going to be ugly. The "Gulabi Gang" (Pink Gang) uses sticks (lathis) and cricket bats to "teach erring men a lesson." In one instance, they chased a woman's abusive, alcoholic husband into a sugarcane field and sorely thrashed him. They also go after corrupt government officials. Last year, they stormed a police station after cops refused to register the case of a low-caste man simply because of his social standing. This area of India, in the state of Uttar Pradesh (the same state from which the late "bandit queen" Phoolan Devi hailed), is notorious for its ill-treatment of women and people of lower castes. Only 24 percent of women can read (compared with 50 percent of men), domestic violence is rampant, and there are just 846 females per 1,000 males (compared with the state's average of 879). Bonded labor (a.k.a. slavery) is common, lower-caste children face open discrimination at school, and government officials are corrupt.
India’s Pink posse delivers justice for oppressed women
Given these circumstances, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Gulabi Gang founder Sampat Pal Devi, who was married off at age 9 and had her first child at 13, says:Nobody comes to our help in these parts. The officials and police are corrupt and anti-poor. So sometimes we have to take the law into our own hands. At other times, we prefer to shame the wrongdoers. But we're not a gang in the usual sense of the term. We're a gang for justice.Until the rule of law can be established, it looks like justice will be have to administered via grrrl power. Canadian scientists studying whether electrodes implanted in the brain could help suppress appetite have instead stumbled across a potential treatment for people in the early stages of memory loss. an attempt to use deep brain stimulation as an experimental obesity therapy triggered vivid autobiographical memories in the 50-year-old man being treated.
hutney star and police officer Rooplal Girdharrie made it a hat trick with his third consecutive Chutney Soca Monarch title at a San Fernando show just before Carnival. He also took home a cool quarter million TT dollars, which included the $200,000 top prize, a brand new Lancer car and $50,000 first prize in Groovy Chutney category of the contest. This is the fifth time that he has won the competition in its 13year history . Rooplal beat out another five times winner Rikki Jai (Samraj Jaimungal), who took the second prize in the contest which had total prizes of $1 million. Soca Elvis placed third, followed by Arti Butkoon,one of two female finalists, former chutney champion Adesh Samaroo, former winner Heeralal Rampartap, Neeshad Sultan, Rajin Dhanraj, Shelleika Hazel, Rick Ramoutar and Kenneth Seupersad. Girdharrie, of Esperance Village, San Fernando sang "Crazy for you" and "Ayee sanjana pyaar" while Rikki Jai sang "Ley we go" and "Baharie". Rampartap sang "Aisay Waisay" and "Itioo ayee wo yo yo." Organiser of the competition, Southex Promotions’ George Singh said contestants were not spending enough time on their melody and lyrics. He said, "Something will have to be done to assist Chutney soca artistes in composing songs and putting them to melody." The Groovy Chutney category was introduced for the first time this year. It features a slower beat to the chutney soca songs.
Second placed Ricki Jai gave his best
Gulcharan Mohabir, Toronto
24 Hr. Pager
Memory trigger found
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New York , Feb 3:- For the second consecutive Sunday, Guyanese New Yorkers got together for a public forum to discuss the Lusignan massacre. Last week’s forum was held at the Jama Masjid in Richmond Hill . This time the venue was open air at the Cheddi Jagan Square on Liberty Avenue where hundreds showed up and vented anger at the ruling PPP administration for its failure to curb violent crime against Indians. The gathering also registered its disapproval of the ill-treatment meted out to protesters on the East Coast following the massacre. The crowd was very angry so much so that when supporters of the PPP tried to defend the government, their voices were drowned out by overwhelming boos and heckling from the gathering. Some of them were called soup lickers by hecklers. On the other hand, speeches criticizing the government received loud applause. Although the gathering was not anti-PPP, people felt frustrated at the unwillingness of the government to adopt tough policies against criminals who have been targeting Indians. The forum was organized by several religious organizations. During several times during the forum, organizers had to appeal to the crowd to show decorum and civility and respect for religious figures who were also booed and heckled. After a short march on Liberty Avenue , facilitated by the police, people congregated at the Dr. Jagan Square where a host of speakers addressed the issue of crime and the Lusignan massacre. People from amongst the crowd were also invited to come on stage to express their view of the massacre and the government’s response to it. Former High School Principal Robert Mahase read a poem about crime in Guyana . He was followed by Tanuja Raghoo, a TV personality of programs on ITV, who called for an end to killings in Guyana . She appealed to the Guyana government to listen to the voices of overseas Guyanese in solving the nation’s problems. Haji Zakir, one of the organizers of this and last week’s forum, and spiritual leader of Jama Masjid, appealed to the government “not to let bandits take over the country”. Zakir complained that President Jagdeo failed to honor a promise for a call in on his radio program on Sunday morning. He said Presidential Secretary Roger Luncheon had assured him that the President would address New York Guyanese on the air through his radio program. Zakir condemned the tear gassing and beating of protesters saying it is the peoples democratic right to protest. He urged the government to seek foreign help to get the Lusignan killers. “Get foreign commandoes to do the job”. Zakir also called on the government to listen to the voice of overseas Guyanese to solve the crime problem. Dhanpaul Narine, President of Trimurthi Mandir, called on the government to clean up the police force charging that “some elements of the police work in collusion with criminals”. Attorney at law Albert Baldeo, who is seeking political representation for Richmond Hill residents in Albany , called on the government to bring the criminals to
NY Guyanese Vent Anger at PPP Gov’t
By Vishnu Bisram
Lusignan residents denounce police
justice. “Guyanese will never have a good life unless these animals are brought to justice”. Raj Singh, Chair of the Association of Concerned Guyanese, PPP support group in N.Y, said “people have a right to be angry”. Amidst heckling, Singh said: “We, in the ACG, are as concerned as you are and we will send your message to the party”. Hecklers called for the return of Roger Khan and Ronald Gajraj to deal with the killers and for President Jagdeo and Minister Clement Rohee to step down. “They can’t do the job. Let them go”, hecklers shouted. But other speakers did not feel the President should resign. Roy Singh, one of the officials of the Phagwah Parade, said “We can’t call for Jagdeo to resign until we have a replacement. Give him one more chance. He is good at economics but has no idea of security. He needs help and I hope he seek foreign help”. When a spiritual leader tried to defend President Jagdeo saying he was doing a great job, he was booed. The organizers appealed for respect and discipline to allow the speakers to air their views. Tony Shafiek, another TV personality, said “the government needs a military solution to the problem to set an example to criminals”. A woman, by the name of Tara, a former market vendor in Guyana , said the President has a to be a tough leader who can’t appear weak and who must project force and power. “Me na get much education but me get common sense and me get mo sense than Jagdeo. He must use a lathi. He must command the army and police. If don’t know how to use power, then he don’t deserve to be in government”. Vishnu Bandhu, the one time leader of the now defunct United Republican Party, asked: “How long can we live in fear. Bharrats come to NY and only concern himself with a few people. He should meet all the groups in America and hear their views not just a few selected friends”. Victor Moonsammy, an executive of an area hospital, said the people should stop giving money to the PPP when the President comes to New York until he shows he can clean up Guyana of the criminals who are terrorizing Indians. Other speakers were also critical of the PPP. The organizers thanked the crowd and speakers for coming out to air their views on the situation in Guyana and to express their sympathy and offer condolences to the families of the massacre.
Residents were upset at the slow police response. They said that the police refused to answer several telephone calls even as the massacre was in progress.This was brought to the attention of Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene, who visited the area early and promised a full investigation into the conduct of his ranks. Many residents expressed horror that the children were not spared.“Dem nah come fuh rob. Look how dem kill dem pickney while dem sleeping,” was one of the frequent comments. “Dis government gat fuh resign; dem can't protect we,” was another.
Residents from the normally quiet community of Lusignan burned tyres and blocked the major thoroughfare, as well as streets, to vent their rage at the slaughter of 11 of their own, including five children. By sunrise, residents rang bells and sounded gongs along the East Coast Demerara Public Road, while others of various ages, with tears flowing, pounded on a barrel. “We want Roger Khan, Gajraj and guns!” and “Jagdeo and Rohee must go!” were their constant chants as they gave vent to their anger and frustration. Government ministers and members of the armed forces, who attempted to restore order, were forced to endure the taunts of residents, who repeatedly accused officials of failing to protect them, despite having ample warning that such attacks could occur. Some were even slapped about the head, had the wheels of their vehicles punctured, and were pelted with plastic bottles. At least one minister was pelted with an egg. Even President Bharrat Jagdeo was not spared; some residents called on him to resign. Some Government officials were also manhandled, and there were reports that Minister of Works Robeson Benn was struck on the head with a piece of wood. In one instance, some residents attempted to topple a Ministry of Works tractor and trailer as well as Minister Shaik Baksh’s vehicle into a ditch. The chaos continued up to late yesterday afternoon.Residents had begun milling in the streets by daybreak, as they got wind of the massacre.By 7:30 hrs, several young men, unable to contain their anger, began dumping tyres, scrap metal, sand and other refuse on the East Coast Demerara Highway, the Railway Embankment and other roadways, eventually blocking all streets and bridges between Beterverwagting and Lusignan.They then soaked the tyres with petrol and set them alight, sending flames and plumes of black smoke into the air. Every conceivable piece of debris was used to block the road, and by noon both symbols of the leading party (two large drums fashioned into cups) were pulled down and set ablaze. “Them children ain’t do nobody nutten; we ain’t want politics, we want guns to protect we self. The army and police is a waste of time.” During their tour of the village, government ministers offered their condolences to those residents whose loved ones had been slaughtered, but most went unaccepted.. “Ya’ll stop or ya’ll gon get hurt,” warned Minister Priya Manickchand, but the villagers responded, “Hurt? De hurt already at the mortuary. Condolence can’t bring dem back. Wah ya’ll come fah?” Minister Shaik Baksh did not escape the wrath of the villagers. As he tried to console the residents, he was dealt a slap to the back of his head minutes after he was booed and taunted. He slowly walked to safety with an angry mob behind, lobbing plastic bottles at him and shouting, “Get out! We does got to get numbers to see you. Where you number deh now?” Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee also was not spared the insults. While entering the village his vehicle was pelted with an egg, and as he walked through, shouts of “Rohee must go! Bring back de big guts man now,” permeated the air.
Anger spills over How they killed at government Gaumattie’s and Bibi’s families officials, police Gaumattie Thomas, whose husband and
two children were killed, recalled that she did not see what happened but was listening keenly from her hiding place in her house. According to Thomas, her husband tried to push in the door even as the killers were trying to enter the house. However, the gunmen overpowered him and forced their way into the house, shooting the 52-year-old Clarence Thomas dead in the process. His body was left lying on the stairs.“I was just hiding in the corner. Ow! Ah couldn't talk, ah couldn't do nothing. They did not see me. Then they say, 'Watch two more deh on de bed. Kill dem! Kill dem',” Mrs. Thomas told a local paper. She said that the men shot her sleeping son, Ron, and they then snatched her daughter, Vanessa, from her bed, and although she screamed and begged for her life, she, too, was cold bloodedly gunned down. Another son, Howard, received a bullet and fell off his bed, a move that certainly saved his life. She said that maybe if the men had discovered the switch for the light in the house, the entire family would have been slaughtered. She said that the gunmen asked for nothing. “All me hear is shoot… kill everybody and the shots start.” When the men left, her husband Clarence, and her two children; Vanessa aged 12 and Ron aged 11 were dead. Her two other children Howard, 19, and Roberto were injured. “Me hear them say them go come back. Me can’t live here no more. At the home of Shazam Mohamed, his mother, Bibi Khan, told Kaieteur News that five of them were in the house when the bandits attacked. She said that the men kicked and shot out their front door to gain entry into the house.“Dem shoot, shoot. Awe nah open fuh dead. Me tell dem (family) fuh hide, sit down easy and hide, nah come out,” she recalled. She said that she later heard her husband, Nadir Mohamed, groaning and came out from her hiding place, only to see her son, Shazam, lying badly wounded in a pool of blood.“He call out, 'Ow, mammy, give me some water fuh drink and throw some pon me skin',” Khan recalled.
Doreen lost son Shazam
There was no dry eye at Lot 26 Lusignan as Doreen Khan recounted the ordeal. Her grief could not be contained as she has lost her 22-year-old son, Shazam Mohamed, an accountant at the Nauth Construction firm died. “Five ah we been sleeping and then we hear the gunshots.” She recalled that there were orders for the family to open the door. “Them say open the door but me son say, ‘Daddy don’t open the door and they start to shoot at the building and then me hear me husband say he get shoot.” She said too that seconds later the alarm for her son’s car went off and he got up to turn off the alarm and as she was standing he was hit. The woman as well as her daughter Shazila Khan and her son Shazad are unharmed but her husband Nadir Mohammed, 48, is hospitalised.
A new-look Pakistan, without a handful of senior players, drove Zimbabwe into the ground with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in the final one-dayer in Sheikhupura to clean sweep the Mobilink Cup 5-0. The overcast and bitterly cold conditions didn't faze debutant Khurram Manzoor and Younis Khan as they chased down a meagre target of 182 with 19 overs to spare. The win was set up by Pakistan's sprightly young bunch - which included four debutants - who showed exemplary commitment in the field to keep Zimbabwe in check for much of their innings. The overcast conditions were tailor-made, it seemed, even for Pakistan's untested seambowling attack, and Hamilton Masakadza's decision to bat first was perplexing. After a top order wobble, Zimbabwe were lifted by a rearguard from Elton Chigumbura and Brendan Taylor, but couldn't sustain the momentum as Pakistan quickly clawed back to shoot them out for a woefully inadequate score.
Cricket whitewashes by Pakistan, South Africa
Up until that moment he had made 10 runs from 23 balls, but two consecutive fours off Powell got his feet moving before he laid into Dwayne Bravo, lofting him over longoff for a huge six and flaying another past point. In five overs, South Africa mowed 66 runs and West Indies were falling apart. Their bowling was ill-disciplined and nervy; their fielding, at times, a shambles, especially Runako Morton, who twice let the ball through his legs for fours. These are the factors which have ultimately cost them the series. Quite by contrast, West Indies' batting has steadily improved with each match and today's effort was particularly impressive, tinged with end-of-term frolicking. Devon Smith fell nine short of his maiden one-day hundred and batted fearlessly throughout, cracking 10 fours and lofting three huge sixes. When he and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were together, West Indies had every hope of setting South Africa a total well in excess of 300. West Indies' 100 was brought up in the 16th over, as Chanderpaul busied himself rather anonymously in contrast to Smith, with a selection of nudges and well judged singles. And as the pair's hundred partnership was brought up from just 87 balls, West Indies were in control. With distinct inevitability, it didn't last. Eyeing his maiden one-day hundred, Smith edged Charl Langeveldt to Boucher for a bristling 91. And two overs later, Langeveldt trapped Chanderpaul leg-before with a fine, inswinging delivery to leave West Indies' frail middle-order with work to do. South Africa - a bowler short when
Toronto FC battled Danish club Odense Boldklub to a 0-0 draw Monday in Major League Soccer pre-season action from Bradenton, Fla. Toronto is now 0-2-0 in exhibition play this season — the club played to a 1-1 draw against Eastern Conference foes D.C. United in a 60-minute game last week in Bradenton.
Herschelle Gibbs' bristling 102 and a classy 74 from Jacques Kallis took South Africa to their fifth win of the series, whitewashing West Indies who were soundly beaten by eight wickets in Johannesburg. With 26 runs needed from 34 balls, out marched Shaun Pollock to carry his side home for the last time and, with a flay past point for two, the fairytale was complete. Initially set 296 before two rain interruptions, South Africa found the going tough in their first five overs. In dank conditions, the ball nibbled around for Daren Powell and his opening partner, Ravi Rampaul, and Graeme Smith, for the umpteenth time, edged one onto his stumps as he played across the line. Gibbs continued to look out of sorts, as he has done all series, scratching around unconvincingly to the disciplined lines of West Indies' opening attack. And then the rains came. After an hour's break, the players resumed for six balls before a more sustained torrent forced them off for longer, while also reducing South Africa's target to 211 from 31 overs. Out came the sun, and in the next five overs Gibbs took the attack to West Indies in a breathtaking display of power-hitting.
West Indies go under to South Africa
"I thought it was a very workmanlike team," Johnston said of Monday's draw against the Danes. "I felt they were very organized, got behind the ball and we created a lot of chances. We pressed when we needed to; we defended when we needed to. It's not easy playing against European teams and it was a good exercise." Midfielders Maurice Edu and Carl Robinson played in the first half, making their pre-season debuts for Toronto. Toronto and Odense meet again Thursday in Florida.
Toronto head coach John Carver said he was "delighted" with the overall effort of his players against Odense. Carver took over as Toronto coach on Feb. 1, replacing Mo Johnston, who became the team's manager and director of soccer. Continue Article Click to learn more...
Roger Goodell didn't exactly give Toronto's aspirations for a full-time NFL franchise a ringing endorsement Friday. The NFL commissioner confirmed during his state-of-the-union address in Arizona the league has approved a proposal from the Bills to play eight games over the next five years in Toronto. Buffalo would stage a regular-season contest at Rogers Centre each season, starting in 2008, and also play three exhibition games every other year. However, Goodell stopped well short of saying it's the first step in the Bills relocating to Toronto, something many believe would not only spell the end of the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats but the CFL as a whole. "That's not our focus right now," Goodell said. "Our focus right now is trying to make sure the games we have committed to, which is one game over the next five years, are done successfully and do
Bills to play Toronto
2008 Canadian Domino King is Rasfa Richie.
The 2008 Canadian Domino Championship was held on Saturday, February 02, 2008 in Toronto. City TV was there to cover this truly national event. Please watch Caribbean Beat at Rogers Cable 10 this Saturday at 12.00 Noon for highlights. The Runner-up to the King is Churaman Lall. The 2008 Canadian Team Champions are Karamchand Persaud, Percy Mangra and Rohan Singh.
Sania to boycott Indian tournaments
Toronto will kick off the MLS regular season on March 29 on the road against the Columbus Crew. The team's first home game is April 19 against Real Salt Lake.
The MLS club also said Canadian national goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar is now working out with the team on trial.
Players of all skill levels (beginners to advanced) are invited to participate. Tournaments held every month during the winter.
CHESS, DRAUGHT AND DOMINO TOURNAMENTS
See schedule at www.horizoncricketclub.com or phone 905-794-5423. Also, adult and kids CHESS LESSONS (beginners to advance). Learn to play the world’s best board game. Registration information at www.horizoncricketclub.com
Sania Mirza will boycott all Indian tournaments, including next month's WTA Bangalore Open, after being dragged into a series of controversies at home in the last two months. The 21-year-old Asian number one said she had been advised by her manager and mixed doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi to skip the tournament starting on March 3. "At this moment, I have been advised by my manager not to play," she told reporters on Monday in her hometown of Hyderabad. Mirza, who emerged a youth icon since becoming the first Indian to win a WTA tour event in 2005, would have been the big draw alongside American sisters Serena and Venus Williams. But in the face of mounting criticism, she said she had thought about ending her playing career. The world number 29 has been summoned by a court in the central city of Bhopal after allegedly showing disrespect to the Indian flag, punishable by a jail sentence if proved, during the Hopman Cup in Perth last month. She was also forced to apologise to mosque officials in her hometown for shooting an advert on its premises in December after a complaint of trespass was filed against her to the police.
Geoff Miller, England's newly-installed chief selector, has hinted that any England player who signs up for the rebel Indian Cricket League could go the same way as New Zealand's Shane Bond, who last month had his national contract terminated and now faces being cast into the international wilderness. So far only four England players - Chris Read, Vikram Solanki, Darren Maddy and Paul Nixon - have taken the lucrative offer from the ICL and, of those, only Read had realistic prospects of resuming his international career. But Miller, in New Zealand with the one-day squad, suggested that the ECB would be making an example of them to prevent others from following the same path. Contracts for the ICL are worth between £200,000 and £500,000, but the tournament is not sanctioned by the ICC - unlike the forthcoming Indian Premier League, which takes place in April. Miller stopped short of saying that legal issues were behind his comments, but instead questioned the motivation of players who sign for the ICL. "A lot has been happening in the last few months, everytime I have played in India there has been some kind of problem so we just thought it was better not to play at this point," said Mirza, who reached the Australian Open women's singles third round and the mixed doubles final with Bhupathi. "I don't think it was an extreme reaction at all," Mirza told the NDTV channel. "There is something or the other happening. It is not easy to be dealing with stuff like that. I felt great lows in the last few weeks." Bhupathi defended her decision to skip the event. "The way things have panned out in the last few months is very unfortunate," he told NDTV. "In the wake of two controversies back-to-back it's probably the right thing for her." Chief tournament organiser Sundar Raju said he heard Mirza's comments only after being told by the national federation she would play.
UK cricketers warned about rebel Indian league
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