Guyana Resource Center
Set like a gem in the crown of South America, nestled on the North-Eastern shoulder, defying the raging Atlantic Ocean, Guyana's many waterways reflect the source of it's name "The Land of Many Waters"
Image hosting by Photobucket Image hosting by PhotobucketKaieteur Falls, the world's highest single drop waterfall (741 feet).Image hosting by Photobucket Image hosting by Photobucket
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Guyana launches international appeal to help flooded communities

by Gordon French
Caribbean Net News Guyana Correspondent

GEORGETOWN, Guyana : The Guyana Government on Saturday declared Guyana's Administrative Regions 5, Mahaica/Berbice, and 2, Pomeroon/Supenaam disaster areas after weeks of intense rainfall caused severe flooding in these districts.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon said, "Guyana is currently experiencing unusually high seasonal rainfall which has, in the declared areas, caused widespread inundation, overwhelming flood control mechanisms in those areas and leading to the suffering of thousands of residents and profound disruption of their livelihood."

Heavy rains began in mid-December 2005 and since then many of the communities, which rely heavily on agriculture have been inundated. Officials estimated that the situation will prevail as more rains are expected.

This has prompted the Guyana Government to launch an international appeal for assistance.

"The aim is to secure urgent support and assistance with the implementation of the emergency disaster mitigation and prevention programme, which includes the repair of vital drainage structures and the dredging of the four rivers that drains into the sea: Pomeroon, Mahaica, Mahaicony and the Abary rivers," Luncheon said.

Officials said that the appeal targets both domestic and international support, with the emphasis being placed on the latter group, non-governmental organisations and bilateral partners.

The Guyana Government and non-governmental organisations have been sending relief to flooded communities in the form of food and water. When Caribbean Net News visited the Mahaica/Berbice area Saturday, residents complained that the relief effort was inadequate.

Former Miss Guyana Odessa Phillips...


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Guyana Govt. Declares “Disaster Areas” In Two Regions

Flood victims in Mahaicony, Guyana standing in waters outside a shelter. (GINA Image)

Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mon. Jan, 30, 2006: The Guyana Peoples Progressive Party/Civic government has declared the Mahaica/Berbice areas in region 5, as well as the Pomeroon River catchment area in Region 2, as disaster areas.

The announcement came from Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon on Saturday January 28 at the Office of the President.

Heavy rainfall began in mid-December 2005 and since then many of the riverain areas have been inundated. The impact has remained sustained and there is currently no improvement and we anticipate on the basis of the continuous rainfall that the situation might endure a lot longer.

President Bharat Jagdeo yesterday visited the shelters at Mortice, Gordon Table and Esau and Jacob along the Mahaicony Creek and the shelter established at the Little Biaboo Government School along the Mahaica Creek and outside of the creeks, including the Burma Housing Scheme, Strath Campbell, Champagne, and the vicinity of the Mahaica stelling, Supply, Mahaica.

But he told residents that there is no indication that the water would recede soon, since the heavy rainfall continues in the highlands. Farmers who borrowed to finance their crops, called on government to intervene on their behalf at the level of the commercial banks to solicit deferment of their loan installments, which the President said government has already been working on.

At Mahaica, the river could be seen overtopping at several parts, while at Mahaicony, the water is about one foot high on parts of the branch road, according to GINA reports. “Residents could be seen placing sandbags along the road at Mahaica to avoid further flooding because of overtopping,” the report added.

The flood is causing major destruction to the main access roads and President Jagdeo assured residents that after the flood, these would be fixed.

The disaster declaration was followed by the launching of an international appeal for assistance, financial and otherwise, for these areas.

President Jagdeo has also requested financial assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank for the dredging of the Mahaica, Mahaicony and Abary Creeks, as well as the Pomeroon River. –

Guyana Flood Update...
Flooded residential area at Nabacalis, E.C.D., Guyana. (GINA Image)

Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: The level of the Mahaica and Mahaicony creeks in Guyana remain extremely high, resulting in continued flooding in nearby communities. And there is no indication that the water would recede soon.

So said President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday as government continued to battle with the weeks old flooding here. Supply, Mahaica is one of the villages threatened by the high level of the river, which is overtopping in several areas as residents clamor to place sandbags to prevent flooding in other residential areas.

Jagdeo said the continued heavy rainfall in the highlands is adding to the sustained flooding. Last night, residents in low lying areas on the East and West Banks and West Coast Demerara were advised to take precautionary measures against possible overtopping due to unusually high tides expected over the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, in Region One, (Barima/Waini), Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues, said an on-site assessment of the flooding situation there revealed that most of the crops lost in areas like Waini River-Kwebenna, Warapoka and Moruca are residents’ staple diet.

Excessively heavy rainfall recently has resulted in flooding in a number of areas across the country and government has since declared Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) and catchment areas of the Pomeroon ‘disaster areas.’

In region two, reports indicate flood waters remain high in the lakes, as well as the Pomeroon River with the waters at Charity Housing Scheme receding only minimally while in region three, the Clay Brick area and Canal Number Two Polder residents remain flooded. –
Ulita Anthony passes on
Veteran broadcaster Ulita Anthony died yesterday morning at her home. She was 59.

Anthony, a former assistant programme director of the former Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) was known for hosting various children's programmes on radio. She was also an excellent actress and a member of the Woodside and the Korokwa choirs.

Anthony is reported to have died around 10:00 hrs yesterday at her Crown Street, Queenstown home.

Anthony's best friend, Janice Simmons, said she was in a state of shock. Simmons, who not only stood as a friend to Anthony but also like a sister said that she had spoken to Anthony earlier yesterday morning. According to Simmons, Anthony complained of not feeling well so she (Simmons) made some calls and was returning a call to Anthony to tell her that she was going to pick her up to go to the hospital but the telephone rang out. Anthony's maid, who subsequently reported for work found her dead in the house.

Simmons described Anthony as a very pleasant and jovial person. Anthony was suffering from a stomach problem; she recently travelled to the USA to undergo surgery.

Margaret Lawrence, another former veteran broadcaster, told Stabroek News that the news of Anthony's death came as a shock to her as she had spoken to her last Thursday. Lawrence describ-ed Anthony as a "stickler" and one who did not cause undue worry to anyone.

Anthony was Lawrence's senior in the Theatre Guild where they both acted. Lawrence also stated that Anthony loved music and children.

Marlyn Dewar, Anthony's colleague in the Woodside choir said she was also shocked. She said Anthony was very quiet and never said much, "but when she did say something, she said something with meaning."

Dewar said Anthony had been part of the choir for about eight to ten years.

Another friend, Billy Pilgrim, told Stabroek News that Anthony was the stage manager in the first show that Guyana ever put off back in May 1976. The show was called 'A Span of Time' and it spoke about the history of Guyana. He felt that Anthony did a very good job and expressed herself very firmly.

"She was a very valuable member of the alto section of the Woodside Choir," said Pilgrim.

Magda Pollard remembered Anthony as a charming person in the Woodside Choir; also someone who was very reliable and one who served for a long time as a librarian in the choir. Anthony attended her last concert for the Woodside choir on December 29.

Anthony, whose voice charmed thousands of Guya-nese children on 'Sunshine Corner', began her career at the Radio station in 1953.

(Stabroek News)

Top Guyanese Media Workers Dead

Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: The Guyana media fraternity has reportedly lost two well-known media workers in one day; one felled by multiple bullets last night, according to news reaching HBN late last night.

Dead are HBTV channel-9 talk show host Ronald Waddell, who was shot to death late last night infront of his home in Georgetown after reportedly returning from exercising, and veteran radio personality, Ulita Anthony.

Anthony, 59, a former announcer at the Guyana Broadcasting Service and the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation was reportedly found dead at her home in Guyana on Monday. She made popular the show, ‘Sunshine Corner.’

Waddell has been a controversial figure on the airwaves of Channel 9 television, often coming under criticism by government who has claimed in the past that his show promotes racial incitement and violence. He was recently taken off the air. The Guyana Stabroek Newspaper last night quoted witnesses as saying they saw two gunmen in a "colored car" unleash a barrage of bullets into Waddell's car. The journalist reportedly died before reaching the hospital. He was apparently hit 13 times and according to the paper, "Three bullets made gaping holes on his back." Waddell was married to Working Peoples Alliance member, Bonita Harris. He is also survived by several children. Stay tuned for more on this developing story. –

Monday, January 30, 2006
Dear Guyanese,

The American University of Peace Studies is pleased to announce this training offer which presently exist throughout Linden, Essequibo, Berbice and Georgetown.

Interested persons are asked to make urgent contact with the Administratiive office to secure your registration into this Internationally Recognized Conflict Program.

The present Conflict program begins on Wednesday 8th February 2006 and we look foward to your participation in this six (8) weeks program. You can also join the second entry program that begins on 15th February 2006.

Seeing you at our first workshop, which will be a ground breaking session is essential.

Also, be sure to visit the AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PEACE STUDIES website.


172 Sheriff Street, Campbellville, Georgetown, Guyana
Tel: 592-231-1284 OR 592-333-6851

Best regards,



The Mandate of the American University of Peace studies is to promote peace and conflict studies and research to provide support for peacemaking efforts globally.

We engage in public education with individuals, community groups, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations and Governments. Our activities include peace and conflict studies, professional counseling course, workshops, seminars, public lectures and peace publications, with the aim of promoting peace among individuals, groups, nations and equally important inner peace.

In today’s social, political and economic uncertainties many people find themselves facing financial difficulties, as well as having to deal with increased stress, depression, anxiety, anger, fear, emotional insecurity and unhappiness.

More and more people are turning to destructive behaviors as a means of escape. Alcohol abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, racial tension, HIV/AIDS and lack of moral values are all on the increase.

As peace becomes the standard by which we live our lives these tensions and difficulties will naturally be resolved.

The Board of Directors is committed to ensuring that peace studies are easily accessible and effective in the process of changing results of our personal , relational and structural systems of operation.

The American University of Peace Studies which has three locations in Guyana, strategically located in South American, the peace university will have a positive impact on the Caribbean and South American as the world evolves, peace must become accessible in every sphere of the world.

We Must be the change we wish to see.

Genealogy Request

I am looking for any information on my great grandfather Mr. John De La Para who was apparently the first Chairman of the County Authority in Christianburg which was established in 1926. He was married to Ruth/Amelia Richards and I believe that both remained buried at the Anglican Church Cemetery in Bagotsville. In addition, I believe that my great grandfather came from the Island of Madeira but have yet to find accurate information which confirms this. I also believe that there is a connection between his family and the De La Parra family in Suriname. From what little I have gathered from old records and the fading memories of elderly family members, the De La Para family settled in Nismes originally and then moved on to the Christianburg/Wismar area.

Any help or advice from anyone would be most appreciated.


Mr. Jonathan Bratt
Guyanese to deh bone nuh ...
Only a true Guyanese will understand what we're talking about here. We are a special kind of people ... we are Guyanese to de bone.

Someone has really been preserving our (culture). Enjoy! A toast to all Guyanese.

You are Guyanese when:
1. De back of ya remote got scotch tape.

2. Ya know bout pluggin' out ya TV to turn it off.

3. Ya know bout keepin' rain water fo drink.

4. Shopping bags from de grocery store is also garbage bags.

5. Uncle George and Aunty Pam and half de other people ya call uncle
and aunt are not really related to you!

6. Space in de living room is unacceptable and must be occupied by
something you don't actually need.

7. You know what a plate clat and floor clat is.

8. You recycle oil.

9. It's cool to have fairy lights all year long.

10. Bun bun is food.

11. A ole bicycle tire is a toy.

12. De dishwasher is also known as ur lil sister or lil brother.

13. Powder milk and sugar is a snack.

14. Your Grandma call a wife beater a singlit.

15. Jumping up and down could give you narra.

16. A mistress is known as a "sweetwoman."

17. A blackout is normal.

18. Bugs are bugs; a ca-ca-roach is something totally different.

19. Ghosts are known as Jumbies and Bacoos.

20. All footwear is known as boots.

21. You get a cold, you drink bush tea.

22. All barrels from farrin includes Cadbury chocolate...with almond.

23. You know bout brushin ya teeth with salt and water.

24. You straighten ya hair, not perm it!

25. A frog is called a Cropo; and throwin' salt pun it back will kill

26. Christmas means pepperpot and sorrel, not eggnog!

27. A bottle is called a "bokle" and it's cap is a "cark" and they
come in cases, not six packs.

28. Soda, juice and anything other than water is "drink."

29. Dog food is always leftovers.

30. Deodorant is roll-on.!

31. You've used your towel as a shower curtain at least once in your

32. Straws, plastic spoons and forks can all be converted into a

33. Gossip is ah "seh seh."

34. You call your alcoholic uncle ah "Sa-gi-wang."

35. "Bamba laytee bam bam" means ur in trouble.

36. Your ten year old is a bottle of rum.

37. You go to college, your family feel you know everyting.

38. Crush up news papers was once a substitute for toilet paper.

39. Having a dog or cat on the bed, or anywhere in the house for that
matter, is NOT normal to you.

40. You have home clothes, church clothes, sleeping clothes, wuk
clothes and "good" clothes.

41. Your childhood games were "Gam," "Hap Scatch," "Dog and de bone"
and "Catcha!"

42. Ya hood had "Chinee" restaurants.

43. You've heard "Don't tek ya eye and pass me!" at least once in
your life.

44. You reply with "Me and you eye neva went fo a race!"

45. Ya know bout throwin' a bucket ah water in de toilet bowl to
flush it.

46. You have at least one family member that'll tell you "I know u
since ya small suh!"

47. Nicknames are based on physical attributes. eg: Blackie, Tall
man, Smiley and fine gurl.

48. Gum is chico.

49. Ya hear de name "Sharma" and you automatically start laughin'.

50. Ya know what it is to collect "Prags."

51. Beginning a question with "When last" is normal to you!

52. New Years Eve is "Old Years Night."

53. Your vocabulary contains words like"Pattacake," "Pokey" and
"Banna"! (Shoulda been #1!)

54. You know what "Schupidy" mean!

Formal Launch Today For CARICOM Single Market
Hardbeatnews, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mon. Jan. 30, 2006: The much-touted Caribbean Single Market is set to be formalized in the Gold Room at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica today.

The inauguration ceremony will feature addresses by Prime Minister PJ Patterson of Jamaica, Chairman of CARICOM, Patrick Manning, Lead Head of Government with responsibility for the CSME, Barbados PM, Owen Arthur and an OECS representative head of government.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington has described the launch of the single market as an historic and unprecedented step in the regional integration process and a new dimension that will change the way the people of the region live and work, according to JIS News.

Several top regional prime ministers will gather for the launch, including heads of state of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean states, who are expected to join by the end of the first quarter of this year. Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer, will lead a four-member delegation from his country to the inauguration.

He along with his other OECS colleagues will be signing a declaration of intent on the participation of their countries in the CARICOM Single Market.

On January 1, 2006, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago became the first CARICOM countries to enter into the Single Market.

Also attending the event are three regional opposition leaders, including Leader of the Guyana People’s National Congress Reform, Robert Corbin and Bruce Golding, Opposition Leader of Jamaica.

Key elements of the single market include free movement of goods and services; free movement of skilled labor; permits for Caricom nationals to own and set up businesses in any member state without restrictions and a common external tariff. –

Sunday, January 29, 2006
Another insighful piece recommended by Cousin Owen...
The arrogance of ethnic insecurity is a hindrance to development
Saturday, January 28, 2006
World War One - Guyanese killed in action
Here is a list of the British Guiana Contingency Soldiers of the British West Indies Regiment who were killed in action:

ABBOTT, Adolphus Sandon Sydney - Demerara
BOWHILL, James Sholto - British Guiana
BYNOE, Cecil Vere - Georgetown
FIELD, William Hooton - Demerara
HUNTE, Thomas William - Georgetown
MAYERS, Briggs - Demerara
MOORE, Theophilis Alexandra - Demerara
RICKFORD, Walter - Demerara
SHANKLAND, Charles Raymond - Essequibo
SHERINGTON, Robert Arthur - Georgetown
THORNHILL, John Oswald - Georgetown

Special Thanks to John

Skin cancer teen in T&T for treatment

Stabroek News
Saturday, January 28th 2006

Skin cancer teen, Lynear Johnson, and her mother, Vanessa Bellamy arrived in Trinidad on Thursday and she is expected to commence treatment shortly at the St Claire's Hospital.

Valerie Sharp, Chairper-son of the Regional Welfare Committee of Region 10, said she received a call from Bellamy on Thursday saying that they arrived safely.

She said Bellamy had to pay an additional US$700 as the hospital told her that all expenses had not been included in the US$6,500 estimate they had given to the Ministry of Health. The government contributed US$5,000 and it was through support from Guyanese here and overseas that Johnson was able to raise the US$1500 for treatment and other monies for air ticket, accommodation and transportation. Sharp was relieved that the committee had given the mother and daughter enough to travel with which enabled them to pay the additional cost.

She is appealing for persons to continue to place money in the National Bank of Industry and Commerce account No.516-773-9 as the two would need money to be sent to them to offset any additional expenses such as accommodation, food and transportation. It is not clear how long Johnson's treatment would last. Up to Wednesday afternoon the bank account had $1.2 million, including monies from a telethon that was held in Linden on Monday evening, but some of that would have been withdrawn for them to take to Trinidad.

Johnson is an albino, which means her skin has no protection from the sun, hence the cancer. She has been suffering for the last 18 months.

Her story was published in last week Tuesday's edition of this newspaper which triggered responses from many people. Up until then, Bellamy had been awaiting a response from the Ministry of Health, which she had approached since last February. But the very next day the ministry gave the cost for the treatment and announced government's contribution.

Persons can contact Sharp on telephone numbers 444-6058 and 444-3048 for any information on Lynear and her treatment.
Hardy quits Third Force -Ramsaroop wants poll delay for reforms

The Guyana Action Party (GAP) headed by Paul Hardy has walked away from the Guyana Third Force (GTF) Platform after differences with other leaders while the section of it headed by businessman Peter Ramsaroop wants general elections put off until constitutional and electoral reforms are undertaken.

Hardy says while he has pulled out of the platform he still supports the Third Force concept. There is now speculation that he could team up with the AFC headed by Raphael Trotman and Khemraj Ramjattan. GAP has one seat in parliament following the 2001 coalescence with the Working People's Alliance (WPA). That alliance has now been dissolved.

According to Hardy the platform members had all agreed to some core values and whether the platform members go as a unit was still to be seen. He said it would have been nice if they had all stuck to the core values but it came to a point where GAP does not agree with the current discussions as to whether the platform should go with "Party A or Party B or as a Third Force." GAP, he said, would not link up with either the PPP/C or the PNCR before the elections and while that discussion was going on within the GTF platform, he saw no reason why GAP should be part of it. This has been a major sticking point in the GTF and ROAR was also said to be uncomfortable with the prospect of allying with the PNCR.

GAP Executive Member Everall Franklin, who was also present during an interview with Stabroek News yesterday, said that there were members of the GTF platform who were interested in linking up with either of the two major political parties prior to the elections.

Franklin said "there was really no need for linking up with either of the two if you want to promote the Third Force and a newness. There is no need to do that before the elections or it would be defeating the purpose of the newness. There is no crisis for that to become essential for the survival of the country." After the elections, he said it would be essential for the PPP/C, the PNCR and other political parties to sit down and work together.

In his interview with Stabroek News, Ramsaroop said that the platform or coalition was definitely a diverse group with a common agenda. At their Thursday meeting, the first for the year under the Chairmanship of ROAR Leader Ravi Dev, Ramsaroop said they still have a common understanding of what Guyana needs. This newspaper was unable to make contact with Dev yesterday despite repeated attempts.

Ramsaroop said that he respected Hardy's resignation from the platform contending he (Hardy) "has a constituency to represent, which is the Amerindian constituency and he feels that any talks with any of the current forces, would not be appropriate. Lots of us believe that we have to have a national government of unity to move Guyana forward as no single party alone could do it."

Hardy, too, was of the view that Guyana needs a national government, which means involvement of all political parties, players and organisations in Guyana. GAP believes that the only way that that could be obtained was if a new element forces it. "They may say that they want a national government. What we are saying to them is that we like you saying (that you want a national government) but we want to be in a position to force you into that situation because Guyana does not belong only to either of them."

Hardy reiterated that as political parties, their duty was the betterment of Guyana and having a coalition with either one of them before the elections does not make sense. "By having a coalition before the elections defeats the purpose of a Third Force coalition. After the elections we could sit down and discuss and hopefully we would be in a position of power to bring the forces together. There is no need for the discussion as to whether we want Party A or Party B. It is not about being part of a winning party. It is about being part of a winning country."

Ramsaroop said too that Hardy in a meeting said he was not going into the elections on the platform unless the Alliance For Change (AFC) was a part of it. Basically, he feels that the AFC has not committed itself to a broad coalition and maybe that was the reason for the other disagreement between Hardy and the coalition.

On this issue Hardy said he was sure that Ramsaroop has made a mistake. He has always said that the AFC was part of the Third Force as distinct from the platform as no one owns the concept of the Third Force and even the Justice For All Party was a part of the Third Force even though not a member of the platform.

Ramsaroop said that the platform has a broad agenda, which was not just about running for presidency or running for parliamentary seats but it was also getting the process fixed.

He said that since the Herdmanston Accord was signed and in the run up to the 2001 elections, former president, Desmond Hoyte made a lot of compromises to go to the elections even though all requirements were not in place. Once again, in 2006, he said that things that are needed to have free and fair elections which all people could be a part of have not been done.

Unless a miracle happens, he said that Guyana was not ready for elections and he supports the African Cultural Development Association's (ACDA's) statement to Guyanese of African origin to boycott the upcoming elections unless the elections are fixed in keeping with the 1998 Herdmanston Accord. He said that Guyanese should not legitimise a system that does not give everyone a right to have a voice.

He believed there was some form of consensus at Thursday's meeting noting that Dr Rupert Roopnaraine of the WPA has been an advocate for constitutional re-form for decades and for a government of national unity and he believes that the system should be fixed before the elections. He believes in the need to work with everyone including the PNCR and the PPP/C. Stabroek News was unable to secure an interview with Dr Roopnaraine yesterday.

On the other hand, Ramsaroop said that Dr Joey Jagan of the Unity Party - also in the GTF - was ready to campaign for the elections. Dr Jagan was not available for an interview yesterday though an appointment had been scheduled.

Ramsaroop said that in the platform meetings over the months in which they have talked about the election mode, he has come to believe that elections should not be held as constitutionally due. "Right now the Guyana Elections Commission was not doing the things necessary that we have asked for. The biometrics issue has not been solved, the delays in the registration process ... the technical aspects."

He said that Guyana needs breathing space. "We need a year or two to fix the constitution and things. We need a breathing space. That means that on August 4, we need some form of caretaker government. I believe that personally. I don't believe that the PPP/C should be allowed to continue after August 4. They cannot force an election on the people," he said.

He commended PNCR Leader Robert Corbin for being consistent in his message "that the system must be fixed before free and fair elections could be held again."

Asked whether elections should be held as due, Hardy said that GAP believes that elections should be held. He said there was the school of thought out there that because things are not in place elections should not be held. He still believes that having elections now even though it would not be perfect was better than not having elections at all.

He said five years since the last elections was enough time to put things in place and it was obvious to many that the two major parties were not interested in pushing the reforms through.

GAP does not see the major parties shifting their position on the reforms and therefore there was need for the elections to shake that status quo, he said, adding that if there was going to be a caretaker government it should be done after the next elections because then you would have the new element of the Third Force as a major player in it.

He said that if a caretaker government was put in place before the elections there would be the coming together of the two parties that caused the situation that the country is now mired in. They may want to not to have the elections now to deny the Third Force movement but they cannot deny the people making a choice, he said.

Asked about GAP's direction outside of the GTF platform, Hardy said that the party was consolidating its base and working in areas that were not touched in the last elections.

Stabroek News

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Please support Alliance For Change
Mr. Raphael G. C. Trotman

Born in 1966 in New Amsterdam in Region #6 into a family of lawyers, is himself a family man, married to Nicola Denise Trotman, he is the father of four.

His contribution to influence the landscape of Guyana’s civil society, its politics and national development, commenced over a decade ago, when he was first elected a member of the Mayor and Councilors of the capital City of Georgetown (1994) and an elected a Member of Parliament since 1998.

Over the ensuing years, Mr. Trotman has gained significant experience in city and political government. He has been Chairman of the Legal Affairs and Security Committee of the City Council, and a member of several Parliamentary Select Committees from 1999-2001, including from 2001-2005, a member of the Foreign Relations and the Constitution Reform and Standing Order Committees of Parliament. He has participated as a member of a Study Mission to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to observe the “Good Friday” Peace Agreement and process, in 1998.

This son of the soil has also benefited from post graduate training at the National Defense University in Washington DC and from Harvard University – School of law. He has attended a British Government sponsored Workshop for Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians in 2000 in the United Kingdom, and a World Bank Seminar on Parliament, Good Governance and Poverty Reduction in Helsinki, Finland, in 2003.
During 2005 Mr. Trotman was invited to participate in:

  • The European Union Visitor Programme at EU headquarters in Belgium and Luxembourg in January, 2005.
  • The United States Department of Defense sponsored Advanced Policy Making Seminar on: “Transformation, Defense and Security Challenges in the Caribbean”, Nassau, Bahamas, February, 2005.
  • The United Kingdom Government sponsored visit to Houses of Commons and Lords and meetings with senior government officials in March, 2005.
  • The United States International Visitor Leadership Program, April, 2005 which consisted of meetings with Senior Government and State officials in Washington, D.C., Lincoln, Nebraska, and Sacramento, California.
    Proficient in Spanish, Mr. Trotman has two notable publications to his credit
    • The Wars of the West Indies and the Threat of State Disintegration in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.
    • International Dispute Resolution: The Guyana/Suriname Boundary Dispute Revisited.

Please support Alliance For Change

Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan

Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan LLB. (UWI) LEC. (UWI) was born on October 12, 1960 at No. 48 Village, Corentyne, Berbice. He is an eminent attorney-at-law, a fearless and objective politician, and volunteer youth organizer. His profession as an attorney-at-law and as a politician brings him in contact with people from all over Guyana –the Essequibo/Demerara/Berbice. He is married to Sita Ramjattan and is the father of two children.

“Prakash”, or “Prak” as he is fondly known was born into and grew up in a grassroot, humble political family on the Corentyne. He served as the former Chairman of the Progressive Youth Organization (PYO - 1988 - 1995) and as a member of the Central Committee 1997 – 2004 of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP/C).

This former State Counsel in the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, a former President of the Guyana Bar Association 2003 –2005, has been a Member of Parliament since October 1992, and was Member of Public Accounts Committee of National Assembly 2001 – 2004. He has fearlessly and objectively represented his views on numerous issues, some highly politically sensitive, all in his quest for a better Guyana.

Mr. Ramjattan has participated in many national and international workshops and seminars; and contributed to numerous discussions and public debates on issues of mal-administration, good governance, undue political interference by the state, unprofessional and unethical behaviour, among other topics. He is Editor of the Guyana Bar Review. An ardent cricketer, but a little too old for the National team; so he is satisfied being President of the Gandhi Youth Cricket Club.

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Ms. Sheila Holder

Ms. Sheila Holder MP. homemaker, civil society activist, consumer advocate and politician, who has been married to Noel Holder, agriculturist and CEO of i-net Communications Inc. for the last 36 years and has two sons and a daughter from the union.

Ms. Holder served as a member of the Trustee Board of the NGO Forum, as a Director of Guyana Stores Ltd, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards and the Bauxite Industry Development Company Ltd. In 1995, and she was chairperson for the Environmental chapter of the Guyana National Development Strategy.

Within the region, she was elected a member of the CARICOM recognized Caribbean Consumers Consultative Committee (CCCC), precursor to the Caribbean Consumers Council, and internationally, as a member of the Global Policy & Campaigns Committee (GPCC) of Consumers International (CI) as the representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. She represented the Regional group at meetings such as the CARICOM “Forward Together Conference” with Heads of Governments; the Seventh CARICOM Council Meeting for Human & Social Development; the 23rd Meeting of Ministers and ACP-EU Economic & Social Interests Groups, in Brussels.

In 2002, she was recognized by the St. Lucia Ministry of Commerce, Tourism, Investment & Consumer Affairs and The St. Lucia Consumer Association for her contribution to the advancement of the Consumer Movement in St. Lucia, West Indies.

Ms. Holder entered the National Assembly in 2001 on a GAP-WPA ticket and is a member of the Parliamentary Management Committee, the Committee for the appointment of members of Constitutional Commissions and the Standing Orders Committee.
Along with Mr. Raphael Trotman and Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, she participated in the World Bank Seminar on Parliament, Good Governance and Poverty Reduction in Helsinki, Finland, in 2003. It was during this time that she was contracted by the OAS to prepare a study on “Political Party Campaign Financing” in Guyana.

During 2004 Ms. Holder was a part of the Commonwealth Expert Team of Five mandated by the Commonwealth Secretary General to report on the Cameroon registration process for presidential elections. She returned subsequently as a member of the 45th Commonwealth Elections Observer Group to the Cameroon Presidential Elections under the chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada.

Ms. Holder has presented several papers at international conferences including the presentation on “Privatisation of Telecommunications – the Guyana Experience” at the Consumers International Fourth Regional Conference for Latin America & the Caribbean held in Santiago Chile, and has contributed articles to regional and international publications.

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ERC meets youths in continuing outreach campaign

THE Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), in its continuing quest to promote ethnic peace and security in Guyana, yesterday met youths and representatives of their organisations.

It was the second such meeting with a representative group at the UmanaYana in Kingston, Georgetown, this week, following one with women on Monday.

ERC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Christine King said the gathering was a follow-up to one with youth constituencies about two years ago and about 40 groups accepted the invitation for discussions yesterday.

The ERC has already visited all the 10 Administrative Regions and received a total of 126 complaints, 83 during those outreach visits and 33 from people who called at its Queenstown office, also in the city.

Fifty-six of the complaints, related to non-ethnic problems, were referred to other agencies and 46 require additional information.

However, the Chairman, Bishop Juan Edghill told the forum yesterday that the main focus of the ERC is on youths and their development.

He said 80 per cent of the concerns previously raised affect young people, the job market and the criteria for gaining employment other than with qualifications, educational and economic opportunities centred on scholarships, the way youths are treated at commercial banks and there is an indication of racial conflict in access to land ownership.

ERC Commissioner, Ms Cheryl Sampson, who represents women on the statutory body, said the interaction with youths was important because they are the ones who will become future leaders and, as far as the outreach went countrywide, they were told youths do not have problems.

But it was found that racial issues with their parents, especially mothers, prevent them from taking friends home.

Commissioner Dr Frank Anthony, the Youth Delegate on the ERC, explained that its voting members are drawn from Christian, Hindu and Muslim religions and youth, women, trade unions and private sector representatives.

According to him, the ERC functions mainly in the areas of conflict resolution, education, research, public awareness and investigations.

Anthony said the ERC has embarked on several activities, such as sensitisation and examination of employment practices in almost all the government ministries and quite a number of companies in the private sector.

Printed promotional material has also been distributed, including pens, calendars, handbills/flyers and press conferences, panel discussions and television shows were organised as part of the public awareness campaign, he stated.

For yesterday’s purpose, the youths in attendance were divided into discussion groups after Anthony reviewed other work done last year, which included conflict transformation and multi-stakeholders fora, religious roundtables and workshops on preventing pre and post-election violence. (Guyana Chronicle)

Friday, January 27, 2006
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Presently the population of Saxacalli is approximately 250 persons living at Saxacalli – 40 families with approximately 75 women and 80 men. The administrative structure of the village is a simple one with a Community Development Council comprising a Chairman and six Councillors. There is also the presence of a trained Headteacher and a Community Health Worker who play an integral role in the affairs of the village.

The village infrastructure consists of two schools, one newly constructed by the Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP), a Presbyterian church, and a visitor’s hut.

The community also posses a boat which was built by the village and an engine donated by a generous businessman. There are no police stations in the village and in the event of incidents the nearest help is from the military outpost at Makouria, approximately 5 miles upriver.

Subsistence and Economic Activities

Most of the economic activity at Saxakalli is centred on logging which is done in the backlands of the village, up the creeks and on grants owned by coastlanders and outsiders. Over the years there has been almost wanton cutting by villagers to the extent that they now have to go further and further into the forest. The village does not have grants or lease over areas for logging. Persons, if they are not working for grant owners would be allowed to cut on the grant lands but have to pay royalties to the GFC as well as land sharing to the lease/grant holder. The main harvest species are crabwood, silverballi (furniture wood), purple heart wallaba (posts and staves) and simarupa. Greenheart is sometimes cut but it is hard to locate. Once the wood is cut it is then floated down to Parika.

ishing is done on a subsistence scale using line or seine. These can be found in the vicinity of the village and alongside nearby creeks. Main species caught are Pacu, Basha, Cumma cumma, Haimara , Cartaback. It has been reported that in recent times the seines are getting smaller and smaller and as such even the young ones are being caught. It is apparent that it is more difficult to fish. Farming is done on a subsistence scale within the village though some persons have individual farms in the creeks, mainly Tiger Creek planting ground provisions.

The soil is very good especially for citrus and some cash-crops but there is a severe threat posed by the Acoushi ants and difficulties in ready access to markets. Some members of the community do hunt for subsistence purposes targeting mainly labba, deer, bush-cow and wild hog. Over the years it has become increasingly challenging due to inland migration and reduced populations of target species. It is reported that land mining was taking place in the nearby Groete creek where at one stage over 10 operations were noted. Some of this is legitimate with claims issued while others were illegal. Presently there is distinct discoloration of the water in Groete creek.

Guyana Takes Leadership Of Rio Group

By Odeen Ishmael
Special To HBN

Hardbeatnews, CARACAS, Venezuela, Fri. Jan. 27, 2006: Guyana formally took over the chairmanship of the Rio Group from Argentina on January 20. This is the first time a Caricom member will chair the 20-member Latin American body since its formation two decades years ago.

Guyana has, since 1998, represented the Caricom group of countries, which holds a block membership on the Rio Group. Significantly, this new leadership position can help strengthen links between Caricom and the rest of Latin America.

As a result of this new responsibility, Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry will house the secretariat of the Group until next year when it hands over the chairmanship to the Dominican Republic. A summit of Presidents of the Rio Group will also be hosted by Guyana later this year and will be preceded by a meeting of foreign ministers.

It is imperative that Guyana leads the Rio Group in the continued consolidation of democracy, the promotion of economic and social development within the region and the strengthening of multilateralism as the basis of international relations. No doubt, it will receive the support of all the member-states, which have reiterated their support for this agenda during the past three Rio Group summits.

The Permanent Mechanism of Political Consultation and Coordination – popularised as the Rio Group – was created in 1986 in Rio de Janeiro to bring together the Contadora Group (Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama) and the Support Group (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Peru), which had met before to analyse and propose solutions to the Central American political crises of that period. Other Latin American countries (Cuba expected) joined the Group in which Central America and Caricom enrolled as regional groups, each represented by a single member. However, in 2000, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua became full and individual members. Belize was accepted as a full member in 2005.

The major objectives of this organisation, stated in Declaration of Rio de Janeiro in 1986, include expanding political cooperation among the member states; examining and coordinating common positions on international issues; and promoting more efficient operation and coordination of Latin American cooperation and integration organizations. In addition, the objectives aim at finding solutions to regional problems and conflicts and to explore jointly new fields of cooperation, which enhance economic, social, scientific and technological development.

The Veracruz Act of 1999 added more details to these principles, specifically pointing to the advancement of democracy, the promotion and protection of human rights, peace, security and disarmament, and actions against terrorism, corruption and the drug problem. This Act also urged the strengthening of multilateralism, trade relations within the framework of the WTO, regional integration, financial flows and investments, overcoming poverty, sustainable development, and scientific, technological and educational cooperation.

All of these objectives were re-emphasised and further fleshed out in the Cuzco Consensus signed by the Presidents of the Rio Group at their May 2003 summit in Peru.

By assuming this responsibility, Guyana will coordinate and represent the Group's interests and activities and will speak on its behalf at meetings of the various UN bodies and other international organisations. It will also lead regular discussions with other regional groupings, notably the European Union.

These activities, as well as the representational tasks in international and regional bodies, will certainly involve the use expanded material and available human resources.

Judging from the work of previous chairs, Guyana will no doubt be involved in numerous bilateral meeting with Rio Group states having varying positions on regional and international issues on the agenda. Guyana, therefore, will have to play a vibrant diplomatic hand in this process.

During this period, one of the first meetings is expected to be the Guyana-Venezuela High Level Bilateral Commission, which will include a visit of the Venezuelan Foreign Minister to Georgetown. Venezuela itself has some strong views on Latin American and international issues, notably on hemispheric free trade, and it is likely that these will surface during bilateral discussions.

As chair of the group, the country must seize the opportunity to promote initiatives beneficial to Caricom by pushing them to the top of the agenda. As such, on-going discussions on social-economic matters between Caricom and the European Union can be given added momentum when the Group meets with the EU. The revitalisation of US-Latin America relations should also receive crucial attention during this period.

The group also has a special interest in Haiti, particularly with the involvement of Brazil and Chile in United Nations’ Stabilisation Mission in Haiti. Undoubtedly, it will have to pay serious attention to the situation there, since current developments in that Caricom member-state negatively affect political stability in the Caribbean region.

Altogether it will be an interesting year as Guyana takes centre stage in the leadership of the Latin American community. It is certainly not the first time the country has taken on such responsibility. In the past decade it has twice chaired the larger Organisation of American States. Surely, the experience acquired there can also be applied to this new role.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer is Guyana’s Ambassador to Venezuela.-

Guyana’s Alliance For Change Has Not Presented An Alternative Vision

By David Hinds
Special To HBN

Hardbeatnews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Jan. 27, 2006: Except for a brief letter during the early frenzy surrounding the birth of the Alliance For Change, I have refrained from commenting publicly on the advent of this new political entity. Any new political party needs to be given a chance to show in what direction it is going.

Further, I think the advent of the AFC is the culmination of the work that many of us have done since 1997 in advancing what my colleague, Andaiye, calls “an alternative pole.”

Unfortunately, the AFC has presented little or nothing by way of vision. A thorough understanding of the challenges that Guyana faces or a clear statement of how it intends to approach these does not buttress its rhetoric of “change”. For example, there is no clear statement on how the AFC intends to deal with the question of Race, Governance and Shared Nationhood, the country’s principal problem.

However, a few things seem clear about the AFC’s thinking. First, it thinks it can do very well in the upcoming elections. Second, it intends to participate in the upcoming elections under any conditions. Third, it seems more concerned about the AFC’s survival rather than a notional solution. Fourth, it thinks the goodwill from sections of the population is the result of the party’s leadership. Fifth, its interest in a real Third Force is based on AFC’s terms and under AFC leadership. I have arrived at these conclusions from my reading of the AFC’s political moves, but more importantly by a lack of any clear statements to the contrary.

Lets zero in on a critical issue. The AFC and Guyana Third Force have said that they would have nothing to do with the Peoples National Congress and the Peoples Progressive Party. In a normal situation this may probably make sense, as those two parties individually and in tandem have been most responsible for the political decay that has been visited on Guyana these last five decades. It is also suicidal for those who present themselves as new leaders to align themselves with one of these parties or the other - that is tantamount to ganging up with one race or the other. But if the objective is not simply to replace the PNC and the PPP but to replace the present mechanism by which government is arrived at then you have to have the PPP and the PNC at the table.

Only people who hold a narrow view of the country’s future can ignore these two parties at this particular juncture. If the objective is to lay the groundwork for the realization of the hitherto elusive national community based on racial unity, then it is foolish to ignore the PPP and the PNC. We have to start from where we are and not where we want to be. Does anyone think that there can be a political solution in Guyana without the PPP and the PNC? If the AFC and GTF were to create a minor miracle by winning a majority of the vote do they think they can govern Guyana with the PPP and the PNC in opposition?

Supporters of the AFC, in particular, seem to be making an elementary mistake: they are trying to fight the PPP and the PNC on their own turf. They are making elections the cornerstone of their program. They are going around the country shaking hands and sharing out gifts, but doing very little to educate people and organize them to begin to solve their problems.

Like the traditional parties, the AFC’s promise to the people seems to be “Put us in power and we will solve the problems.” Can they beat the PNC and PPP in that arena?

History is a great lesson. The party that came closest to effectively undermining the PPP and the PNC was the pre-1992 WPA. It was able to do so largely because it presented to the public something radically different from the PPP and the PNC agendas. In effect it presented a clear, present and future alternative to those two parties.

But most importantly, the WPA moved the arena of contestation from the ballot box to the highways and villages and workplaces, because it was clear that the ballot box was not the immediate answer.

As I said above, the AFC is yet to present an alternative vision. It seems as if sections of the party are falling for the simplistic notion that Guyana’s problems can be solved by “bright” and “independent” young men changing parties. Guyana has been held back by a combination of historical and global factors.

There is little that can be done about the global factors, but visionary leadership can lead to a solution of the historical factors. The AFC, or any political entity has to confront the racial problem not with showmanship but with ideas and the will to fight for them.

Every now and then, even in the toughest situations, political openings emerge. These openings do not come overnight. They require constant work. While two of the principal leaders of the AFC were in the two big parties trying to do the impossible of bringing about change from the inside, others stayed outside and did the possible--fight for an alternative approach.

It is that pressure, largely at the level of political discourse that kept political space open for forces other than the PNC and the PPP. The two AFC leaders did not have to fight for political space - they walked out of their parties and found that space ready. It is the CN Sharmas, Freddy Kissoons, Tacauma Ogunseyes, Sherwood Lowes, Ravi Devs, Rupert Roopnarines, CY Thomas’, Andaiyes, Clarence Ellis’, Eusi Kwayanas, some of the Talk Show hosts and newspaper columnists, the Stabroek News and Kaieteur News, WPA, GAP ROAR, Red Thread, ACDA, the Amerindian Associations and others who have created this space.

Now the AFC is behaving as though it owns that space and in the process is wasting it. These leaders seem to be listening to the king- makers rather than to the country’s living history. One of the leaders was reported in the press as calling on others to join “their movement”. What movement? The anti-PPP/PNC movement in this country did not start when these two lawyers left their parties. The AFC leaders must recognize this reality or they will add precious little to the country’s forward movement.

There is only one plausible short-term road to a political solution in Guyana at this juncture: the realization of Government of National Unity. This is what history holds up before us and what Guyana has been putting off since 1961. The WPA has long arrived at that position. ROAR has arrived there. The PNC, even as it boasts of electoral virility, has expressed its preference for this approach. The PPP, despite its post-1992 folly, does have a history of favoring power sharing. Joey Jagan has spoken pointedly about his preference for coalition politics. Where is the AFC on this question?

EDITOR’S NOTE: David Hinds is a Guyanese-born, U.S.-based professor and political commentator and runs the website: -