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Bacoo - A spirit of small stature that pelts stones at houses and moves objects within a house. He is supposed to live on banana and milk. Stories abound of the existence of bacoos in Georgetown and other areas in Guyana. Could have come from Surinam and are said to be trapped in a corked bottle unless released. Active mainly at night, it is said that a satisfied bakkoo will answer the wishes of its owner. 'Baku' in many West African languages means 'little brother' or 'short man'. It also is related to the word the word 'bacucu' meaning 'banana'. In West Africa, the short races (such as the pygmies) were believed to have magical powers. This seemed to have been brought to Guyana, where the short races, or 'bakus', were still regarded as having magical powers. (Courtesy Wayne's Guyana Outpost)
Ole Higue - The story is that the ole higue, the Guyanese form of a human vampire, capable of discarding her skin takes the form of an old woman living in a community. At night she transforms herself into a ball of fire, flies from her own house up into the sky and then lands on the roof of another house where there is a baby in a cradle underneath a sheet whose blood she will suck dry and then go home. The suspicions of the community are soon aroused and the school children cry "ole higue" at her; they make chalk marks, on the bridge to her house, the door, the jalousie window. But the legend goes that she crosses these marks bravely. Then the community sets a trap. When the ole higue flies abroad another night she finds that the baby in the cradle is clothed in a blue night gown. There is a heap of rice grains near to the cot and the smell of asfoetida. These cast a spell on the ole higue who has to count the grains of rice, and if she loses her way, she has to start counting again. The light of morning comes and the ole higue still has not finished counting the grains of rice. People burst into the room pick up cabbage broom and begin to belabour the ole higue. They beat her to death, with great emotion "You gwine pay for your sins before you die" they say. The Old Higue waits until the early hours of the morning and when everyone is asleep; then the Old Higue sheds its human skin; then the Old Higue travels in a ball of fire searching for victims; then the Old Higue slips through the keyhole of the house of its chosen victim; then the Old Higue sucks the blood of a child dry, dry, dry! Oh, the deep fear of it is enough to cause a child to remain awake all night, every night. (Courtesy Wayne's Guyana Outpost)
Creole Chips (1937)
Corentyne Thunder (1941)
A Morning at the Office (1950)
Shadows Move Among Them (1951)
Children of Kaywana (1952)
The Weather in Middenshot (1952)
The Life and Death of Sylvia (1953)
Kaywana Stock: The Harrowing of Hubertus (1954)
The Adding Machine (a short fable) (1954)
My Bones and My Flute (1955)
Of Trees and the Sea (1956)
A Tale of Three Places (1957)
Kaywana Blood (1958)
The Weather Family (1958)
A Tinkling in the Twilight (1959)
Latticed Echoes (1960)
The Mad MacMullochs (1961)
Thunder Returning (1961)
The Piling of Clouds (1961)
The Wounded and the Worried (1962)
Uncle Paul (1963)
A Swarthy Boy (autiobiography) (1963)
The Aloneness of Mrs. Chatham (1965)
The Jilkington Drama (1965)
With a Carib Eye (travel)(1965)
On behalf of the Mittelholzer family and for my own research purposes I am looking to acquire anything regarding Edgar Mittelholzer and older books about Guyana. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A man with dreams and vision came
To fight âgainst Colonial powers, for Guyanaâs name
A titanic great and strong
Who toiled and toiled so long â
Yet with fortitude and poetic speed
âGainst those who conspired, he succeed.
A minute to give is not enough
He fathered the Nation
A minute to give is not enough.
Your dreams enfold the clouds beyond Guyanaâs land
The illustrious President Cheddi Jagan
Gone to the Caribbean, the whole world to see
The poet to say, âThe dreamerâs dreams enlightened meâ
An epitaph to Cheddi
âA stalwart of humanityâ
A minute to give is not enough
He fathered the Nation
A minute to give is not enough.
Poem by: James C. Richmond
To teach some history about Guyana, in poetry and prose
To tell about the 1200âs, when Waraus, Arawaks and Caribs settled and rove
And alas, Columbus came and sighted Guyanaâs shores
Then came Sir Walter Raleigh to explore
He entered Orinocco River in search of El Dorado, the City of Gold
Essequibo the Dutch did stole
And in 1640 the African Soldiers, to Guyanaâs land as slaves
Then the Dutch settled on Pomeroon Riverâs enclave
Only to war âgainst England and crave
Settlements were established in Essequibo and Berbice in 1743
In â63, CUFFY tried to set the captive free, to set the captive free
The British captured Demerara for fame
Then the French and Dutch tried the same game
In Demerara and Berbice the Dutch reigned supreme
Only to see Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice fall to the British scheme
In 1822 New Amsterdam became
Then the East Coast Demerara uprising
In 1835 the arrival of the Portuguese
Then 1838 the East Indians relieved
The Germans succumbed to diseases
Then came the Chinese
1966, the Independence date
And in 1960 a Republic State
Now and forever, Guyana awaits.
Poem by: James C. Richmond
To order James' CD entitled, 'Emerging Sound' which contains 49 poems and costs only $10.00 please contact him at email@example.com and help support one of the most talented artists and creative voices that Guyana has to offer...
A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.
A GUYANESE FREND CAUSE DE DAM TEARS IN DE FUST PLACE
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.
A GUYANESE FREND KNOW WHEA DEY LIVIN, WAT DEM COOKIN', ON WAT DAY, AN WILL SHOW UP AT THEY DOORSTEPS TO EAT IT
A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and clean.
A GUYANESE FREN COME LATE, BRING A BUNCH UH PEOPLE AND DEN EAT ALL DE FOOD AND DRINK ALL DE RUM
A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
AH GUYANESE FREN SCREENIN DE CALL AN DONT ANSA WEN IS YOU
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about their problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A GUYANESE FREND WILL LISTEN TO YUH PROBLEMS AN CRY WID YUH, EVEN OFFA TO HELP YUH, DEN TELL EVERYBODY, AN ADD A LIL JUICE TO IT
(Courtesy of Asif De Rebel)
Walter Rodney was born in Georgetown, Guyana on March 23, 1942. His was a working class family-his father was a tailor and his mother a seamstress. After attending primary school, he won an open exhibition scholarship to attend Queens College as one of the early working-class beneficiaries of concessions made in the filed of education by the ruling class in Guyana to the new nationalism that gripped the country in the early 1950s. While at Queens College young Rodney excelled academically, as well as in the fields of athletics and debating. In 1960, he won an open scholarship to further his studies at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He graduated with a first-class honors degree in history in 1963 and. he won an open scholarship to the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In 1966, at the age of 24 he was awarded a Ph.D. with honors in African History. His doctoral research on slavery on the Upper Guinea Coast was the result of long meticulous work on the records of Portuguese merchants both in England and in Portugal. In the process he learned Portuguese and Spanish which along with the French he had learned at Queens College made him somewhat of a linguist. In 1970, his Ph.D dissertation was published by Oxford University Press under the title, A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545-1800. This work was to set a trend for Rodney in both challenging the assumptions of western historians about African history and setting new standards for looking at the history of oppressed peoples. According to Horace Campbell "This work was path-breaking in the way in which it analyzed the impact of slavery on the communities and the interrelationship between societies of the region and on the ecology of the region." Walter took up his first teaching appointment in Tanzania before returning to his alma mater, the University of the West Indies, in 1968. This was a period of great political activity in the Caribbean as the countries begun their post colonial journey. But it was the Black Power Movement that caught Walter's imagination. Some new voices had begun to question the direction of the post-independence governments, in particular their attitude to the plight of the downpressed. The issue of empowerment for the black and brown poor of the region was being debated among the progressive intellectuals. Rodney, who from very early on had rejected the authoritarian role of the middle class political elite in the Caribbean, was central to this debate. He, however, did not confine his activities to the university campus. He took his message of Black Liberation to the gullies of Jamaica. In particular he shared his knowledge of African history with one of the most rejected section of the Jamaican society-the Rastafarians. Walter had shown an interest in political activism ever since he was a student in Jamaica and England. Horace Campbell reports that while at UWI Walter "was active in student politics and campaigned extensively in 1961 in the Jamaica Referendum on the West Indian Federation." While studying in London, Walter participated in discussion circles, spoke at the famous Hyde Park and, participated in a symposium on Guyana in 1965. It was during this period that Walter came into contact with the legendary CLR James and was one of his most devoted students. By the summer of 1968 Rodney's "groundings with the working poor of Jamaica had begun to attract the attention of the government. So, when he attended a Black Writers' Conference in Montreal, Canada, in October 1968, the Hugh Shearer-led Jamaican Labor Party Government banned him from re-entering the country. This action sparked widespread riots and revolts in Kingston in which several people were killed and injured by the police and security forces, and millions of dollars worth of property destroyed.. Rodney's encounters with the Rastafarians were published in a pamphlet entitled "Grounding with My Brothers," that became a bible for the Caribbean Black Power Movement. Having been expelled from Jamaica, Walter returned to Tanzania after a short stay in Cuba.. There he lectured from 1968 to 1974 and continued his groundings in Tanzania and other parts of Africa. This was the period of the African liberation struggles and Walter, who fervently believed that the intellectual should make his or her skills available for the struggles and emancipation of the people, became deeply involved.. It was from partly from these activities that his second major work, and his best known --How Europe Underdeveloped Africa - emerged. It was published by Bogle-L'Ouverture, in London, in conjunction with Tanzanian Publishing House in 1972. This Tanzanian period was perhaps the most important in the formation of Rodney's ideas. According to Horace Campbell "Here he was at the forefront of establishing an intellectual tradition which still today makes Dar es Salaam one of the centers of discussion of African politics and history. Out of he dialogue, discussions and study groups he deepened the Marxist tradition with respect to African politics, class struggle, the race question, African history and the role of the exploited in social change. It was within the context of these discussions that the book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa was written." Campbell also reports that " In he same period, he wrote the critical articles on Tanzanian Ujamaa, imperialism, on underdevelopment, and the problems of state and class formation in Africa. Many of his articles which were written in Tanzania appeared in Maji Maji, the discussion journal of the TANU Youth League at the University. He worked in the Tanzanian archives on the question of forced labor, the policing of the countryside and the colonial economy. This work-- " World War II and the Tanzanian Economy"-- was later published as a monograph by Cornell University in 1976". Rodney also developed a reputation as a Pan-Africanist theoretician and spokes person. Campbell says that "In Tanzania he developed close political relationships with those who were struggling to change the external control of Africa He was very close to some of the leaders of liberation movements in Africa and also to political leaders of popular organizations of independent territories. Together with other Pan-Africanists he participated in discussing leading up to the Sixth Pan-African Congress, held in Tanzania, 1974. Before the Congress he wrote a piece: "Towards the Sixth Pan-African Congress: Aspects of the International Class Struggle in Africa, the Caribbean and America." In 1974, Walter returned to Guyana to take up an appointment as Professor of History at the University of Guyana, but the government rescinded the appointment. But Rodney remained in Guyana, joined the newly formed political group, the Working People's Alliance. Between 1974 and his assassination in 1980, he emerged as the leading figure in the resistance movement against the increasingly authoritarian PNC government. He give public and private talks all over the country that served to engender a new political consciousness in the country. During this period he developed his ideas on the self emancipation of the working people, People's Power, and multiracial democracy. On July 11, 1979, Walter, together with seven others, was arrested following the burning down of two government offices. He, along with Drs Rupert Roopnarine and Omawale, was later charged with arson. From that period up to the time of his murder, he was constantly persecuted and harassed and at least on one occasion, an attempt was made to kill him. Finally, on the evening of June 13, 1980, he was assassinated by a bomb in the middle of Georgetown.. Walter was married to Dr Patricia Rodney and the union bore three children- Shaka, Kanini and Asha.
(Courtesy of http://rodney25.org/)
Fellow Guyanese, genealogists, historians, and interested persons who are attempting to unpuzzle the footssteps of their ancestors. The Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society is a diverse group of dedicated volunteer genealogists. The members of the society are connected via World Wide Web. They attempt to access, to obtain, and to present genealogical, biographical and historical information concerning Guyanese, and others connected to Guyana. The society endeavours to associate itself with those who are interested in the related, social sciences. At the moment, the Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society is seeking your input, articles of the history of your family, and links to genealogical interests to Guyanese. By this common sharing we hope preserve the peoples history of this great country.
Thus, you are asked to do the following;
Guyanese Genealogical Society
and visit the regularly updated web site.
2. Offer your suggestions
3. Write and send articles which will be published in the Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society newsletter. Send articles, including the history of your family, history of your community, local heroes, village leaders, schoolteachers, postmasters, farmers, digitls of your schools, places of worship, commnities, newspaper clippings Announcements, births, deaths, marriages, anniversaies, cards, contents of your scrapbook; include the sources of information.
4. To read web logs of genealogical interests http://guygenbiosociety.blogspot.com
5. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Please add a link to the Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society at your site.
7. Please forward to Guyanese institutions in Guyana, and Scholars especially the historians including those who contribute articles to your publications.
This is also a membership drive - Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society is always seeking to increase its membership - which with meaningful participation would improve the flow of data, and the archiving of information.
Membership is free.
It is obtained by subscribing to the yahoo group forum at
Jon, Sharon, and M'lilwana
On the behalf of Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society.
This group grew out of the need for Indians and People of Indian Origin to Post, Search, and exchange data about their family's history, genealogy, and accomplishments.
The discussions are open and all are welcome to contribute. This is the best place to obtain info on the indentureship of Indians in the Caribbean Basin.
Sancho of Nabaclis
son of Muriel, brother of Mariette Campbell, Sancho, Young, Martin & Ross.
Please visit:Guyana-Gyal's Blog
That is the sound of a thousand and one expressions without you speaking a single word.
Is the wordless sound of vexation. But depending on the context, with amusement on you lips, it can mean, âAhh man, you joking, who you think you fooling?â
With one long âstchuuuuupâ and you eyes looking thin and mean, you can cut a big man down to liâl boy size.
With a short âstchupâ and a snicker, you can tell a rival gyal that she is nothing.
âStchuuuupâ is the âsuck teethâ sound. Some does call it âstew teeth.â
Yesterday the whole day I suck my teeth.
We had a powercut, on and off, yesterday. But that ainât why I suck my teeth.
Yesterday I sew and embroider to replace them five handmade things that the ex-cleaning lady disappear with. I suck me teeth with every jab oâ that needle into the cloth.
Meaning: âHope she fall in mud and swallow a mouthful.â
Meaning: âI design, cut, bleed when the needle jook meâ¦and all this time she just skulking in the sidelines, waiting to reap what I sew...sowâ¦â
See? Suck teeth can convey anything. And some folks can take this form of expression to âartâ level. Like me Auntie A. now living in the U.SA. When she vex and suck she teeth, the sound unreel and fly out and wrap around the whole area. In it, you hear things you granny shouldnât hear. But remember! Auntie A. ainât say a word, so if you granny hear, that is okay too.
For years I use to wonder where suck teeth come from. Then one night I watching local tv [when we had a tv].
I been watching a African movie âbout some village women, they had a liâl argument. One oâ them get really vex. She release a potent suck teeth. In it, I hear every cuss word that I know and donât know. It did long and winding. Only Auntie A. coulda match that.
Aha, so that is where it come from, I think. I dunno, I just think so âcause I see it in that movie.
Anyway, in Guyana now, whether you ancestors born in Africa, China, India, Portugal or England or here, suck teeth is the cross-culture language without words. Liâl children do it; old people with only gums suck they teeth too; aunties, uncles, mothers, fathers and all the rest, do it.
To suck you teeth, you got to pout you lips in a liâl pout, clench you top and bottom teeth close, close. Push the tip oâ you tongue against you teeth. Suck in air. Stchuuuuuâ¦.when you want to finish close you lipsâ¦uuup.
When you become expert, you can even do a side-of-you-mouth suck teeth. This you do when you joking with you friends and one oâ them say something nutty.
What is that sound?
Suck teeth around Blogland.
If you're homesick [and there's no one more homesick dan all you Goyanese living in Foreign]...here's what's been cooking up in our home by de sea:
This week's menu:
Kathar curry cooked in cokenut milk.
Boiled and fried breadfruit wth mackerel.
Dhal an' rice an fish choka.
Bhagee and dhal and roti.
And don't forget the bird peppa. Or marawiriwee peppa sauce. Wid de lime achar.
Oh...a lil dessert...home-made sour sop ice cream.
Now folks, if you come back home, don't think you can cut 'awkcent' on we here anymore. The latest way to speak in Georgetown is with a 'merican twang. 'Specially wit dem radio or tv announcers.
[If you listen you will hear, from the corner of your ear: "Foofa fuffa fafafa GOTTA faffaf YOU GUYS fuffa faaafa GONNA." At least the 'merican-speak of dem announcers comes through loud and clear.]
Well...I gotta go. There's a cacophony of neighbours' dogs...barking, yipping...I wonder if the Suriname Princess across the road is back with her galloping hoot of a hound...she sneaks him over to our trees to do his # 1 and # 2. No laws to protect people here from un-princess behaviour.
The dawg almost attacked my cousin last night at our gate. And the Princess stood by, watching.
More on others t'ings lay-der.
Hear this one now.
One night, my mother talking to L., one oâ my friends brothers, on the phone.
They gyaffing, gyaffing.
I hear she talking plenty about arthritis and cod liver oil with Omega 3.
Suddenly my mother says in this amused, exasperated tone:
"Man L., look! Haul you ears! Who tell you that?â
So I bat me ears.
âLâ¦you ever hear âbout a thing name osmosis?â
[Later she tell me that he ask:
âWhat name so?â]
She explain...was one lecture about osmosis she give L, about the body absorbing harmful chemicals.
After she hang up, I ask she what happened.
âThe other day L. meet a lady who have arthritis. He tell the lady to drink cod liver oil. He tell she that it very good for arthritis, that his sister friend mother does use it, and it really help.
But the lady tell L. no, she have something better than cold liver oil with Omega 3!
She does spray CRC on the arthritis foot.â
I laugh so til I nearly...!
âCRC? CRC? That is like WD 40. People does put it on metal to get rid of rust.â
âExactly,â my mother say.
âBut after the lady tell L. how she does use it, and she tell he how it help she, he decide he got to convince me to spray CRC on me arthritis. That is when I tell he to haul he ears.â
But you think L. stop?
Nah. He ain't stop there at all.
He continue telling my mother [and let me tell you, L. does talk s-l-o-w slowwwww] how plenty people tell he âbout the CRC.
"That thing does really work for true, mums, it does work. Is everywhere I go people tellinâ me about it.â
âSo L., tell me, you would use it?â
Whenever L. donât want to say ânoâ he does say:
He tell my mother:
âWell mums, y'know...â
It had to happen one day.
One of our words...actuallyâ¦itâs quite West Indianâ¦is âofficialâ.
To poke, to jab, to stab.
It jook its way into the English dictionary. I think the English Oxford Dictionary. Thatâs the rumour. If anyone finds it, lemme know.
[Jook is what Comebackee did to her niece at a family gathering. She jook she, and jook she in she ribs with a long, bony finger. âYou, you,â she said angrily, and emphasised each âyouâ with a not quite pleasant jook.]
[Comebackee, incidentally, is a fictitious character in the making. If you do have one such person in your lifeâ¦thenâ¦
There is also the unofficial âchookââ¦a gentle jook.
[Down Under a âchookâ is an old fowl, an old gal. Iâm not sure at what age a gal moves from being a chick to a chook.]
Well, jook has been on the scene for a long time, and itâs a good word. But even in olâ Guyana weâve been busy cooking up new words for new things. Language, you see, never freezesâ¦unless itâs Latin.
Remember the good olâ fireside mud stove? Then we got hot about the kero stove, then the gas stove? One or two folks here even burn their pepperpot on an electric stove.
Well, hehâ¦most people now, no matter how them poor, them have, along with the stove, them have the new one.
They will saveâ¦
and saveâ¦and buy on credit, the michaelwave.
To âhot upâ food!
Some innovative people have found another use for the michaelwave.
It can make the sada roti swell.
But anyway, a lot of folks who want more than just a michaelwave in their life will do anything to backtrack.
Donât even bother to think this means to go back, to reverse, to back up.
To backtrack means to go forward.
To move ahead in life.
To leave Guyana and live in the USA, Canada, England, to any big country. illegally.
Conversations can go like this:
âHow auntie Merle?â
âYou no know? She gone away, she living in âmerica.â
âWhen she go?â
âLonnnng time now.â
âShe son send for she?â
âYyyes, he help sheâ¦she backtrack.â
[Some folks will legally get a visa, go on vacation abroad and stay and hide. That is not backtracking.]
Backtracking has a system of its own. If you ask around, âhow do you backtrack?â most folks will say, âMe no know, me no really know.â Then they say they think you must find a man who will get you a passport. The passport must have a photo of someone who looks like you. To get this passport you must sell your cows, your house, your mother.
The man will train you, grill you. When you land in the country of your choice you will know what to tell the immigration people.
[How the man obtains these passports is beyond my imagination. Many, Iâve heard, are stolen. Or folks with legit passports and permanent visas rent theirs.]
After you backtrack to the country of your choice, you spend your entire life working to buy back your cows, your house and your mother.
Then you have those folks who went abroad very legally.
Over the years they get homesick. They dream of retiring here. They save forever. Then they come back.
They are the comebackees.
Ay yai yai.
A mosquito just bite me foot bottom. You ever notice if you have a mosquito bite on your foot bottom, and if it swell up and get hard and red, and if you jook it, not just scratch itâ¦jook itâ¦how it does feel niiiiiice?
Aunt in the USA wrote:
"Well Missy, I ain't know where you did living.
I have a Collins English dictionary (1983 ed.) that have that same, same word 'jook'.
It on page 789.
'jook' or 'chook' Caribbean informal 1. -vb. to poke or puncture the skin 2. n. a jab or the resulting wound. Who say we ain't in the dictionary? We even on the internet all over."
Thank you, aunt. I will google it lay-der to checkid oud. [See? I speak American too.]
Please visit:Guyana-Gyal's Blog
Please visit:Martin Carter Blog
Martin Carter's earliest poetry was shaped by the turbulent days of anti-colonial radicalism and protest in Guyana (British Guiana) during the 1950s. During the thirty years since then, especially since the publication of his hallmark Poems of Resistance ( 1954), his has been the voice of radicalism in Anglophone Caribbean poetry. This preeminence as the poet of revolution has generally tended to be emphasized by the fact that revolutionary rhetoric in general, and revolutionary literature in particular, has been a rarity in the English-language Caribbean (with all due respect to the ethnic intensities that have become de rigueur in the literature during the last twenty years). Indeed, this very uniqueness probably accounts for the fact that Martin Carter's preeminence as the poet of revolution has not been seriously eroded by the muting of his revolutionary voice over the twenty years since Guyanese independence.
This silence, or near silence, may be linked to the profound disillusionment which has engulfed so much of the Third World intelligentsia, including that of the Caribbean, since the achievement of (nominal) independence. In Guyana that disillusionment has been especially intense in the wake of racial violence between Blacks and East Indians, political stagnation and repression, and the economic as well as social malaise which has undermined the experiment in cooperative republicanism. In this period the Guyanese government has been accused of seizing and maintaining its power by means of a fraudulent electoral system gerrymandered in cooperation with the British and the Americans; and more recently, the government has been accused of complicity in the violent death of one of its most vocal and popular critics, historian/activist Walter Rodney (1980). Against such a background Carter's relative silence as revolutionary poet may be interpreted either as prudence or complete disillusionment--or both. But that silence is relative: Carter's days of overt revolutionism and rebellion may be past, as have been the days of active political involvement and direct participation in government; but he has continued to write and publish his poetry-poetry which sometimes manages to convey a special intensity of feeling and purpose by the very manner in which it studiously avoids a certain directness of statement. The voice itself may have been muted, but the fiery sense of engagement which has made that voice all but unique in Anglophone Caribbean poetry still burns.
Carter was born in 1927 and received his secondary school education at Queen's College. During his early twenties he joined the turbulent political movement for national independence, quickly becoming a leading spokesman for the more radical forces of the movement. This prominence inevitably led to his arrest and imprisonment by the British colonial administration in 1953. At the time of his detention Carter had already launched his career as a poet, having contributed works to A. J. Seymour literary magazine, Kyk-over-al, and to Seymour "Miniature Poet" series of poetry pamphlets ( Hill of Fire Glows Red). But it was during his imprisonment that he composed his most important collection, Poems of Resistance, which was eventually published in London, in 1954.
After his release from prison Carter remained active in the independence movement and in 1965 was a member of the colony's delegation to the Guyana Constitutional Conference in London, the final hurdle before the formal achievement of nationhood. Thereafter he served for two years ( 1966-67) as a member of Guyana's delegation to the United Nations. He has also served in the Guyanese government at home, most notably as minister of information and culture, finally leaving the government in 1971. Throughout this entire period he has maintained the dual roles of poet and activist, an appropriate choice in one whose most important writings have passionately advocated involvement and commitment. Consequently the years of political activity and government service also saw the appearance of the first half of his published output, followed by works ranging from the last of his outspoken collections, Poems of Shape and Motion ( 1955), to the cryptic reticence of Poems of Affinity: 1978-1980 ( 1980).
MAJOR WORKS AND THEMES
From as early as his first significant publications Martin Carter's distinctive voice of protest and rebellion is unmistakably clear. Unlike so many early collections, especially in the Caribbean, The Hill of Fire Glows Red avoids the neoRomantic idealization of landscape. Instead of the familiar pastoral clichÃ©s, the young Carter's landscape vibrates with historical memories, which, in turn, inspire an urgent demand for change. In "Listening to the Land" the poet hears a "tongueless whispering," the possible voice of a buried slave who embodies the past. The response to the landscape is activist rather than escapist, and when the young poet dreams, his are dreams of social change ( "Looking at Your Hands"). In earlier works like these it is fairly easy to grasp the dominant features of Carter's poetic personality. It is a personality in which the imagination of activist and artist is indivisible, and in some respects these poems are about the imagination and its transforming powers--it transforms the land itself into an insistent voice of history and, simultaneously, responds to the voices of history by envisioning change, including revolutionary change, as the desirable and inevitable consequences of that history. And, finally, the poet's own persona as the embodiment of the transforming imagination incarnates the vision of change. Accordingly, the revolutionary idealist envisions change as a creative process which produces vital forms (social and political structures) out of the chaos of colonial inequities, in much the same way that the poetic imagination creates living forms in art ( "The Kind Eagle").
In a sense the poems of The Kind Eagle ( 1952) suggest an interesting paradox: chaos and repression are reprehensible on the one hand; but on the other hand, they emerge as indispensable factors. In political terms the liabilities of history have inspired the kind of intellectual and political ferment which fuel an (apparently) inevitable process of fundamental change. Prison, both as literal experience and as colonial symbol, therefore inspires a fierce ecstacy in the title poem of the collection: "I Dance on the Wall of Prison!" ( Poems of Succession, 1977, p. 19; hereafter cited as POS). And by a similar token, the poetic imagination thrives on political adversity and on the reminders of historical injustices: it carves monuments out of the poet's "time," from the "jagged block of convict years" ( POS, p. 19). Moreover, the consistent integration of imagination and historical memory imparts a powerfully suggestive sense of inevitability to Carter's ethics of change. The envisioned changes, even if unrealized, are as much a part of a distinctive historical pattern, as is the past which made the present itself inevitable. And this pervasive sense of inevitability inspires recurrent images and themes of movement to the poems of The Kind Eagle--movement as history, history as change, change as the collective, irresistible pilgrimage undertaken by a special breed of visionaries: the universe of history moves, "revolves / like a circling star," and "Only men of fire will survive" ( "The Discovery of Companion," POS, p. 24).
Altogether, these early collections reflect a tightly knit dialectic, with its closely integrated poetic forms, which are to define a good part of Carter's poetry for much of the next fifteen years. The ethos of change is both political ideal and the creative principle of imagination. The patterns of history are mirrored in the imaginative patterns of the poet's art, and since both patterns have been shaped by the same social forces, then the poetic imagination must, perforce, be politically involved. Or in the words of the poet himself, "Like a web / is spun the pattern / all are involved" ( Poems of Resistance, p. 18).
That assertion is the climactic statement of "You Are Involved," a work which is one of the most typical, in tone and feeling, of the celebrated collection, Poems of Resistance. This is the collection in which the twenty-seven-year-old Carter fuses the characteristic themes and forms of the preceding works into the compact designs of his best, and most famous works--"Till I Collect,""Cartman of Dayclean,""I Come from the Nigger Yard," and "University of Hunger." It is characteristic of Carter's writings at this stage of his development that these successful poems owe much to the turbulent times and frankly repressive circumstances in which they were written. They were composed, for the most part, while he was in political detention--in "the dark time," in "the season of oppression," the "carnival of misery" ( This Is the Dark Time My Love, POS, p. 42). While it is less celebrated than its companion pieces, few poems in the collection surpass "I Clench My Fist" in this regard. The very intensity of feeling and statement owes its very essence to the forces of repression and exploitation against which the poet rebels. British colonialism represents social chaos in the immediate, Guyanese context, and in the broader, global context, the fragmentation of humanity between the oppressor and the powerless, the haves and the have-nots. The confrontation between colonizer and colonial rebel is therefore an allegory of a divided universe, the microcosm of historical patterns of chaos and conflict. Conversely, the poet's reaction, as artist-activist,to this chaos amounts to a harmonizing, creative power, the transforming power of the imagination. The defiant act of clenching the fist in the face of British weapons and political power suggests a compact wholeness as well as creative energy which contrasts with the prevailing chaos, and it is synonymous with the harmonizing patterns of poetic art itself ( "I sing my song of FREEDOM!" [ "I Clench My Fist," Poems of Resistance, p. 41]). Finally, the thematic progression within the poem itself, from images of fragmentation and conflict to the vision of a powerful, harmonizing energy, is in itself a structural or formal emphasis on that sense of movement--historical progression or inevitability--which is always so integral to Carter's revolutionist vision.
On the whole, works like "I Clench My Fist" exemplify Carter's protest poetry at its best. The underlying dialectic is compact, limpid, and consistent. The dialectic statement is tightly controlled through a disciplined, highly economic use of language and sense of form; and as a result, the poetic form itself becomes the imaginative microcosm of that moral wholeness and social unity which the poetry envisions. Given this tightly integrated schema, it becomes clear that "poems of resistance" are not simply poems about political resistance: they are acts of resistance. This implies an aesthetic that has been rather rare in the generally conservative context of Anglophone Caribbean literature. It was not to be aired in any significant sense, in any Caribbean language area, until the successful Cuban revolution began to define its own revolutionary aestheticsduring the 1960s: the only valid revolutionary art is that which is committed to, and a part of, the revolution; writing about the revolution is not enough, the writer must be an active participant in the revolution. Or to phrase this ideal in Carter's poetic language, the poet must not simply write about resistance, he himself and his poetry must be directly involved in resistance.
However, notwithstanding this kind of analogy, and notwithstanding the power of Carter's own rhetoric of change, it is important to recognize the substantial limitations of his revolutionism. These limitations are both external and internal. Externally, Carter has lived and written in a political and social context in which the idea of change has always been sharply delineated in nonrevolutionist terms. The rhetoric of rebellion or "revolution" in the English-language Caribbean of the 1950s and 1960s seldom encompassed fundamental (i.e., genuinely revolutionary) changes in the social fabric. "Resistance" as such was conceived and fashioned in relation to the British colonial order and its associated bureaucracy. In other words, resistance was the movement of a bourgeois nationalism, which would replace the colonial overlord with nationalist leaders and political structures, which would leave the social and economic order relatively unchanged. Neither has radical revolutionism demonstrated significant grass-roots appeal in the English Caribbean--a fact which needs to be borne in mind when one is tempted to blame the failures of the Guyanese promise on the demonstrable and alleged sins of the Forbes Burnham regime. The electoral rejection of "democratic socialism" in Jamaica during the early 1980s is another example of this limitation, especially when one remembers the definite, built-in limitations of Michael Manley's democratic socialism as a revolutionist principle. And in retrospect, the recent collapse of the New Jewel Movement in Grenada, even before the inevitable U.S. intervention, suggests that beyond the personal popularity of Maurice Bishop the New Jewel Movement, as revolutionary ideology, was less deeply rooted than its most ardent supporters seemed to have imagined.
It is necessary to emphasize this historical and social context because these are the broader circumstances which go beyond Guyana's immediate boundaries and which explain, in part, the long-term sense of futility that now envelops Carter's revolutionist poetry, especially in retrospect. The limited impact and relevance of his revolutionary themes reflect the limited capacities of his society for the idea of fundamental change. This, in turn, leads to the internal limits of Carter's revolutionism itself. Poems like "University of Hunger," "Cartman of Dayclean," and "I Come from the Nigger Yard" reverberate with the passions, even violent potential, of the dispossessed. But there is really no substantial evidence, even in these works, of a revolutionary vision that goes beyond the immediate anti-colonial nationalism of "I Clench My Fist." The ferocity with which the poet assaults an entrenched (colonial) status quo undoubtedly continues to exert a powerful appeal to present readers who dream of "resistance" to the neocolonial establishment which succeeded the British colonizers. But this ought not to obscure the clearly limited implications of Carter's original vision.
While the scope of the revolutionary vision is circumscribed, so is the poet's realism. The poet's passionate commitment to change of sorts is not really counterbalanced by a realistic awareness of the substantial barriers to significant change. In these earlier poems of "resistance," from the first collection to Poems of Shape and Motion ( 1955), technical polish and thematic coherence go hand in hand with what, on the whole, is a relatively limited emotional range or appeal--limited, that is, by an absence of complex self-awareness vis-a-vis the limits of his own vision and of his society's capacity for change. It is not surprising that, when those social limitations were made painfully manifest in subsequent years, Carter's poetry seems to have retreated into a state of shock from which it has never really recovered.
On the whole, the assessment of Carter's overtly "revolutionary" or "committed" poems leads to a historically significant, albeit unintended, irony: his real achievement as a poet of resistance is, in the final analysis, an exclusively aesthetic one, rather than the effective political-aesthetic synthesis that is envisaged and structurally symbolized by his poetry. That is, we can always admire the consistent coherence of thematic statement, the telling integration of formal structure and theme, the striking tension between intense feeling and the spare, tightly disciplined language; and throughout all of this we can admire the skill with which the poet weaves his complex patterns of imagistic and structural variations on the fundamental theme of change-as-creation. But that theme is often less profound or far-reaching than it may sometimes sound.
The poems since Guyana's independence are, collectively, an implicit admission of the earlier limitations. A somber silence broods over the post-independence poems first published in Poems of Succession. Silence as speechlessness and paralysis is the dominant motif here, in contrast to the defiant energies and perpetual movement in the earlier works. Here silence and inactivity suggest that history moves, not toward inevitable change and creation, but in repetitive, predictable cycles. Indeed, this kind of silence is the main topic of poems like "A Mouth Is Always Muzzled," "Even As the Ants Are," "In the When Time," and "Fragment of Memory." These works also demonstrate that despite the changes in mood and historical circumstances, the older Carter still commands the talents for striking, arresting poetry. The brooding silence of these poems is not the silence of a lost idealism, or of a crippled imagination. Far from it, he manages to develop his themes of silence and futility through "confessional" modes of private experience, or even through abstract statements, communicating a powerful sense of repression and stasis in his society while avoiding explicit political protest. Both the explicit theme of silence and the suggestive absence of overt protest in themselves become rhetorical symptoms of his real, but implied, subject. As in his earlier works, the better poems in this later collection demonstrate his characteristic ability to develop form as statement.
This highly suggestive silence continues in his most recent collection, Poems of Affinity: 1978-1980. The disillusionment with "history" is more pronounced, and we are left with only a quiet despair in the face of history's relentless repetitiveness. It is the image of death, not creation, that dominates "PlayingMilitia" Militia" where the uniform sleeves droop "like the wet feathers of a crow's wing / over secret carrion" [ Poems of Affinity, p. 17]). And in "For Cesar Vallejo ii" the decay is everywhere. Clearly, he still remains the poet of passionate commitment. Where that commitment will lead his future poetry depends as much upon Carter's world as it does on himself.
Edward Brathwaite "Resistance Poems: The Voice of Martin Carter" ( 1977) is one of the more comprehensive studies of Martin Carter's poetry thus far. The critic examines all the major publications up to the mid-1970s, with special emphasis on Carter as the voice of revolutionary change. Briefer, more general comments also appear in Brown, West Indian Poetry ( 1977), and Herdeck, Caribbean Writers ( 1979).
Hill of Fire Glows Red. Miniature Poet Series. Georgetown: Mater Printer, 1951.
To a Dead Slave. Georgetown: Author, 1951.
The Hidden Man. Georgetown: Author, 1952.
The Kind Eagle. Georgetown: Author, 1952.
Returning. Georgetown: Author, 1953.
Poems of Resistance. London: Lawrence, Wishart, 1954; Georgetown: Guyana Release, 1979.
Poems of Shape and Motion. Georgetown: Author, 1955.
Conversations. Georgetown: Author, 1961.
Jail Me Quickly. Georgetown: Author, 1963.
Poems of Succession. London: New Beacon Books, 1977.
Poems of Affinity: 1978-1980. Georgetown: Release, 1980.
LLOYD W. BROWN
Sir Lionel Luckhoo, the flamboyant Guyanese barrister who has died aged 83, was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most successful advocate, with 245 consecutive successful defenses in murder cases.
Known as the "Perry Mason of the Caribbean", Luckhoo was also a highly respected High Commissioner in London for both Guyana and Barbados, a candidate for prime minister, and later in life a globe-trotting evangelical preacher, founder of the Luckhoo Mission in Dallas, Texas.
Lionel Alfred Luckhoo was born at New Amsterdam, British Guiana, on March 2 1914, the second of three sons. His Indian grandfather, Lokhooa, had been "recruited" to work on a sugar plantation in British Guiana while sightseeing as a boy with his two brothers at Lucknow, in 1859. The recruiter painted a bright picture of the prospects in a strange land called "Damra Tapu" (Demerara, a province in British Guiana), where in five years they could make a fortune, before returning home.
Lokhooa and his brothers, aged 13, 11 and seven, crossed the Indian and Pacific oceans aboard the Victor Emanuel, and were assigned to a sugar plantation as indentured labor. Lokhooa converted to Christianity, thereafter calling himself Moses Luckhoo. When, after years of hard work, he had saved enough to buy his way out of his indentures, he qualified as an interpreter. He went on to open several provision stores, eventually becoming one of New Amsterdam's richest merchants.
Lionel's father, Edward Alfred, one of Mosesâ six sons, became the first East Indian solicitor in the colony in 1899, and later Mayor of New Amsterdam.
Young Lionel was educated at Queen's College, Georgetown, before coming to London to study Medicine at St Thomas's Hospital. Realizing that he could not stand the sight of blood, he switched to Law, and was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1940. He left for home on the day of Dunkirk, to set up in legal practice with his brother as Luckhoo & Luckhoo, in Georgetown.
As his record suggests, Lionel Luckhoo was extraordinarily persuasive with juries. He was incisive in cross-examination, and got straight to the nub of a case. Between 1940 and 1985, when he finally retired, almost all his clients were acquitted at trial. The few that were not had their convictions overturned on appeal to the Privy Council.
One such case, Noor Mohamed v R (1949), remains an authority on so-called similar fact evidence. The defendant, a goldsmith, was accused of murdering the woman he lived with by causing her to take cyanide, a substance, which he used for his trade. There was no direct evidence that he had caused her to take cyanide, and some evidence that she had committed suicide.
At the trial, the prosecution led evidence that the goldsmith had previously killed his wife with cyanide on pretence that it was a cure for toothache. On appeal, Luckhoo successfully argued that the prejudicial effect of this evidence outweighed its probative value, so it had been wrongly admitted.
After independence, Luckhoo argued for keeping appeals to the Privy Council, feeling that its legitimacy could not be easily replicated in the Caribbean. He took Silk in 1954, and was appointed CBE in 1962.
During the early 1960s, Luckhoo acted for the maverick cult leader Jim Jones on a child custody case. Jones held sway over a great many Guyanese, duped by his fake healing ceremonies and seduced into adopting his free-love lifestyle. In 1978, Jones orchestrated the mass suicide of some 900 people in his commune known as Jonestown. Luckhoo later admitted that dissuading the deeply unstable Jones from committing suicide on an earlier occasion was one of his greatest regrets.
In the meantime, Luckhoo had served as a member of the State Council, 1952-53, and as Minister without Portfolio, 1954-57. He was Mayor of Georgetown in 1954, 1955, 1960 and 1961.
In the late 1950s, he stood for prime minister against the coalition led by Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham. Cheddi Jagan's Progressive People's Party appeared so pro-communist in 1953 that Britain suspended the constitution for four years and dispatched troops.
As well as being a staunch Anglophile, Luckhoo was fiercely anti-communist, but his National Labour Front expounded conservative ideas for which the country was not yet ready, and he failed to garner enough grass roots support.
When his country gained independence as Guyana in 1966, Luckhoo became its first High Commissioner in London. That autumn he also became Barbados's first High Commissioner (he was friendly with the Barbadian prime minister, Errol Barrow), thereby pioneering the cost-saving system of joint representation that has since been adopted by many small countries. His motorcar carried two flags, and not infrequently two places were laid for him at official banquets.
From 1967 to 1970, Luckhoo also represented Guyana and Barbados as ambassador in Paris, Bonn and The Hague. He was knighted in 1966, and appointed KCMG in 1969. But he gave up his diplomatic career in 1970 and entered chambers in the Temple, returning to Guyana in 1974, after the failure of his first marriage. Until retiring in 1980, he concentrated on appeal work.
Luckhoo was very attached to the Turf. The first horse that he and his brothers owned was called First Luck; it went on to win 33 races in Guyana and Trinidad, financing a string of 10 horses. He later had several in training in England with the late Sam Hall, one of which, Philodendron, won the Liverpool Summer Cup in 1960. He was a regular attender of Royal Ascot, and in 1960 published The Fitzluck Theory of Breeding Racehorses in the American Blood Horse magazine.
Luckhoo was always immaculately attired, and had a short, sharp step and gait. Everything was done in a slightly hurried way. He was a brilliant off-the-cuff speaker, and an accomplished magician, joining the Magic Circle.
He had always been a Christian, but in later years he became, as he put it, "an ambassador for Jesus". He founded his mission in 1980, preached around the world, and wrote pamphlets with such titles as Dear Atheist and God is Love.
Luckhoo married, first (dissolved 1972), Sheila Chamberlin; they had two sons and three daughters, who survive him, with his second wife, Jeannie.
(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana)
15 December 1997
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The monthly magazine Guyana Review published by Mr David Granger continues to publish interesting and useful articles on a variety of topics. In the May issue there is an article on The Guyanese diaspora which comes up with the estimate, using census figures from those countries, that the total number of Guyanese (i.e. born in Guyana) now in the US, Canada and the UK is at least 315,600 and if illegal immigrants are added who may not be caught by the censuses the figure could be between 350,000 to 400,000. If one adds to that emigrants in Suriname, Venezuela, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados (the article reports that the authorities there cite a figure of 5,302 Guyanese legally resident and estimate a further 2,000 to 3,000 illegal immigrants) Guyanese emigrants may well exceed 500,000. As the article notes, these figures do not include people born abroad of one or more Guyanese parents who may consider themselves Guyanese. If those children are added, the popular saying that there are now as many Guyanese overseas as there are in Guyana may have some truth in it.
Starting with the report of our 2002 census which gave the population as 751,223 persons the article notes that this is only an increase of 3.8 per cent on the 1991 census, or .34 per cent a year and is less than the figure of 759,567 in 1980. Our population has fallen slightly over 20 years, which is of course due to the very high levels of emigration during that period. The census shows that from 1991 to 2002 the population in East Berbice/Corentyne (Region 6) fell by 15 per cent and in the city of Georgetown by 30 per cent, from 48,842 to 34,179. The first statistic confirms that a lot of Indians in Berbice have been leaving. The second, on Georgetown, is more complex and requires more detailed analysis. Why has the population of the city fallen so much, have people been leaving the city (because of crime) to live in other parts of the country, where the population is stable or has increased slightly?
Using the latest US census figures the article provides some more interesting information:
"Nearly 84 per cent (176,460) of the people born in Guyana declared themselves as belonging to "One race". Of this group, 90,580 or over 51 per cent identified themselves as 'Black American;' 46,755 or over 26 per cent as 'Asian' and 31,065 or 18 per cent as 'Some other race;' this suggests Indo-Guyanese migrants were unsure whether to identify themselves as `Asians' or 'Some other race.'
Another 4,305 (over 2 per cent) identified themselves as 'White' and 3,370 (nearly 2 per cent) identified themselves as 'American Indian and Alaska Native' - that is to say, Amerindians or Indigenous Peoples. The 2002 Census of Guyana gives the Amerindian population as 68,8l9; so this suggests that nearly 5 per cent of the Indigenous population of Guyana is living in the US."
There is some more interesting census information:
"The educational attainment of the Guyana-born population was slightly below that of the US population as a whole: of the 171,995 people over 25, 120,345 (70 per cent) were high school graduates and 28,505 (nearly 17 per cent) had a Bachelor's or higher degree. In the US, 80 per cent of the over-25s had graduated from high school and 24 per cent had a Bachelor's or higher degree.
In terms of employment, 135,615 (68 per cent) of the over 16s were in the labour force, of whom 125,495 (93 per cent) were employed, 1,085 (0.8 per cent) were in the armed forces and 9,040 (nearly 7 per cent) were un-employed. In terms of occupation, most of the Guyana-born people who were employed worked in "sales and office occupations" - 37,685 or 30 per cent, "management, professional and related occupations" - 33,545 or 27 per cent, and in "service occupations" - 26,650 or 21 per cent. The median household income was US $45,470. Of the 84,665 households headed by people born in Guyana, 12,390 (nearly 15 per cent) had annual incomes of less than US $15,000, while 38,360 (45 per cent) had an annual income of US $50,000 or more, 10,610 (13 per cent) of them having an annual income of US $100,000 or over (US Census Bureau 2005: Table FBP-l and FBP-2)."
The real 'overseas vote' has been the vote by hundreds of thousands of Guyanese in the last few decades to emigrate. Many left although they had jobs because they could no longer put up with the unstable politics or the crime or the falling educational standards which presented them with a problem for their children. As the US census figures show some have failed to get employment but the vast majority have and some have done well. Some of those in the diaspora have continued to help those at home either by remittances to families or by providing medical or other assistance and more recently by investing. Government should address the possibility of establishing a closer connection with this large diaspora which possesses a variety of skills and experiences, perhaps by means of a special website, which could seek to list some of the skills available in the diaspora through a process of voluntary registration, and could also list opportunities for investment.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
by Dawne Bennett
Caribbean Net News Barbados Correspondent
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: More details are emerging about the circumstances surrounding the death of 11 people whose bodies were found on a boat off the coast of Barbados last month.
It now appears they were part of an original group of 52 who set out from Senegal last December. Interpol believes the unmarked, 20-foot-long motorised yacht they were found on had set sail from Cape Verde, off Mauritania, for the Canary Islands - a gateway into mainland Europe.
Farewell notes found in the craft, have been released. "I'm from Senegal but have been living in Cape Verde for a year. Things are bad. I don't think I will come out of this alive" one note read. Another said, "I would like to send to my family a sum of money. Please excuse me and goodbye. This is the end of my life in this big Moroccan sea."
Reports in the international press have indicated the men began their trip after paying a Spaniard about US$1,600 each for the trip to the Canary Islands. However, the boat ran into trouble somewhere near the Mauritanian port of Nouadhibou.
A boat was sent to its aid, but at some stage, the line was severed and the refugees who had no food or water, eventually starved to death.
Up to 40 other asylum seekers - from Bissau, Senegal and Gambia - may have been lost overboard in the storm-tossed Atlantic. It is assumed they were tossed or washed overboard as they died.
Police are hunting an unknown Spaniard believed to have demanded the money from the desperate refugees. The tragedy has sparked concern over the plight of refugees who have taken to the high seas and are still unaccounted for.http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/ Link
Roger Khan will not surrender under Felix
Embattled businessman Roger Khan will not turn himself over to local police for questioning, nor will he present himself to American authorities to face conspiracy to import cocaine charges in that country.
This was communicated to this newspaper yesterday by attorney for Khan, Glenn Hanoman.
Hanoman told Kaieteur News that his client has indicated that he has no confidence in the local police force as it is presently constituted with Winston Felix as the Commissioner.
“He has no faith in him (Commissioner Felix), and he has no faith in the force,” Hanoman said.
The response comes in the wake of the release of a taped conversation in which a voice believed to be that of Police Commissioner Winston Felix alluded to the planting of drugs on a woman, who it was alleged had stolen money from the office of a political party in Guyana .
Khan is wanted by police for questioning in the ongoing investigations into missing weapons from the GDF Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna .
He has also been indicted by a United States of America grand jury for conspiracy to import cocaine into that country.
The businessman had earlier indicated through his lawyer that he is willing to go to court to prove his innocence.
According to a source, Khan believes that it is the Commissioner who helped to initiate and “trump up charges”. “He believes that Felix is the key player in the move to indict him,” the source said.
According to Attorney-at-Law Hanoman, his client has indicated that tapes of the conversations between the person believed to be the Commissioner and others were taken to a meeting Khan claimed he had with American officials in March this year.
“My client has informed me that he took the tapes, including the recent one, to the Americans. Why are the Americans unwilling to authenticate the tapes?” Hanoman asked.
Khan had claimed that he had met with deputy US Ambassador Michael Thomas among others at the Ocean View International Hotel.
He had also indicated that he was in constant contact with senior officers of the Guyana Defence Force, and had provided them with information on the missing weapons.
The United States Embassy in Georgetown has insisted that Khan did not meet with Deputy Ambassador Thomas. They said the persons at the meeting were in fact agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The local army had also confirmed that some of their officers were in contact with Khan, but this was part of their mandate to investigate the disappearance of the 33 AK-47 assault rifles and five handguns.Kaieteur News
The elections commission yesterday decided to obtain a legal opinion on whether it is obliged to carry out a full house-to-house verification of the 2001 voters' list and the two remaining opposition-nominated members refused to continue participation without a positive commitment on the issue.
Lloyd Joseph and Robert Williams walked out of a statutory commission meeting yesterday, saying that they were unwilling to participate in more meetings unless they were assured of a commitment that there would be a verification of the 2001 OLE.
The two commissioners took action after weeks of wrangling over the contentious issue which has split the commission between the opposition-nominated members and their counterparts nominated by the governing party. Opposition-nominated member Haslyn Parris withdrew his participation from the commission last week, dissociating himself from a process he felt was irretrievable. However, Joseph and Williams stayed on in hopes of reaching a compromise on verification, which has been demanded by the combined opposition parties.
A statement yesterday by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) said that the commission decided to get an independent legal opinion on the question of its obligation to do verification based on a submission made by an opposition- nominated member. The statement referred to a proposal on verification submitted by Joseph at a statutory commission meeting last week, which argued that by virtue of Section 2 (f) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act No. 36 of 1991, GECOM is legally obliged to conduct a full house-to-house verification of the 2001 list.
The GECOM statement noted that the decision to get an independent opinion on the commission's obligations was suggested by a government-nominated member of the panel. The commissioner, the statement said, felt that it would be unwise for GECOM to decide on whether it would move towards conducting house-to-house verification based on a submission by the opposition-nominated member. Joseph and Williams indicated that Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally could avail them of the opinion on the issue and they would decide whether they would resume their participation. However, the statement made it clear that they wanted a positive assurance on the issue. It added that Dr Surujbally did entreat them to remain at yesterday's meeting since there were other important issues on the agenda to be discussed.
"They declined on the grounds that the matter of house-to-house verification was of primary concern," the statement said. The commission is scheduled to meet again tomorrow.
Joseph submitted a proposal last Thursday on verification based on a request by PPP-nominated members of the commission, Dr Keshav Mangal, Mohamood Shaw and Moen McDoom, who wanted a methodology for a verification exercise in order to decide whether or not the commission should revisit the issue. Previously, the commission, without the support of the opposition-nominated members, decided against verification. Parris had originally submitted the verification proposal before his withdrawal but it was never discussed. All three opposition-nominated members had withdrawn at the start of April, citing the handling of verification, among other issues. Their return to the commission was on the condition that the issue would have been swiftly resolved.
The verification proposal envisages an exercise being conducted in Regions 3,4,5,6 and 10, within a time frame to ensure general elections before the end of 2006. The proposal uses the discrepancies revealed by a comparison of the projected population 17 years and older (at the end of March) and the voting population on the 2001 voters list, broken down by region. Although the proposal does not carry a timeframe, it is expected that a field verification exercise could be conducted in less than 42 days, which is the period that the GECOM Secretariat had allocated for a verification of the entire country. The proposal would also see an extension of claims and objections to permit better scrutiny of the voters' list, while political parties would be free to conduct their own investigations in the regions not included in the limited exercise. The extended claims period is expected to allow GECOM to evaluate the results of the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) fingerprinting project, which is aimed at detecting possible multiple registrants listed on the preliminary list.
The EOJ project has so far seen the scanning of the fingerprints for over 500,000 registrants (from the 2001 list and new registrants from the 2005/2006 registration cycle) and these have been sent for analysis in Jamaica with results expected tomorrow.
Additionally, one of the contentious points in the impasse between the government and opposition on the verification issue has been what would be done with registrants who are not found during a field exercise. It has been argued that to remove such persons from the list could open up the commission to liability for disenfranchising legitimate voters. But the proposal is said to argue that there was no change in law or apparent conflict when the methodology was employed for dealing with persons who did not appear to be photographed in 2001. This was accomplished by an amendment, which is still law and it is suggested that this would enable GECOM to devise a method where no elector can be disenfranchised.
Last week, PPP General Secretary Donald Ramotar signalled that the ruling party was unwilling to countenance the latest verification proposal, since while it seeks an exercise limited to only half the country's regions, it would still cover more than 90% of the population
Leader of the main opposition PNCR, Robert Corbin is calling on all those persons who lost loved ones at the hands of a death squad to come forward as they mount a legal team to file private criminal charges against businessman Roger Khan who has acknowledged that he helped fight crime during the escapee-led rampage in 2002-3
A source close to Khan, who has been indicted in the US for conspiring to import cocaine into that country, has disclosed that Khan employed members of the then Police Target Special Squad (TSS) and armed ex-convicts who worked as informants for him. It is believed that it was this gang of men which carried out murders of young men some of whom were suspected to be criminals.
Speaking at a public rally in Linden on Sunday, Corbin said when George Bacchus had disclosed that a death squad was responsible for the slaying of countless young men during 2003-4 President Bharrat Jagdeo was reluctant to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate it. Bacchus had alleged among other things that the death squad targeted persons perceived to be involved in criminal activities as well as ex-convicts. Bacchus himself admitted that he had worked for the squad as an informant but he later broke away. He started to make certain revelations when his brother, cattle farmer, Shafeek Bacchus was gunned down not too far from his Princes Street residence. George Bacchus himself was killed a few months later. A Presidential inquiry was later set up but it cleared Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj of any involvement in a death squad.
In his address to the gathering of around 800 people in Linden, Corbin said every day he opened the newspapers he is confronted with the image of the 'real' president of Guyana 'Roger Khan'. According to the opposition leader, Khan has since said that he was responsible for curbing crime during the crime wave in 2002-3 and that he worked closely with the TSS and other branches of the police force. "He said that and so I want all those mothers and wives of those people who have been killed to come forward, it is time we get the facts." "We have to file private criminal actions against him (Khan)," Corbin declared, adding that the embattled businessman has admitted that he was responsible for putting together the gang.
"It is time all of those mothers and wives who lost loved ones come together and we have to mount a proper legal team to prosecute him in the courts". Corbin said citizens should not wait until the US tries Khan, but added that he could be prosecuted right here.
Corbin said that for the businessman to think that while he is on a charge for drugs he can say he is the 'saviour' of the people of Guyana was a slap in the face of Guyanese.
Sources close to Khan told Stabroek News last week that a network of ex-convicts and members of the TSS was what the businessman used to combat crime and assist the police force during the escapee-led violence in 2002-3.
The source who had asked not to be named said that Khan never got involved in actual operations and does not have a private 'army' as some may think.
Rather, the source said, he has his own bodyguards and a network of armed informants (the phantom squad) made up of mainly ex-convicts and ex-policemen.
The source made these disclosures when asked by this newspaper to clarify Khan's claim that he had worked closely with the crime-fighting section of the Guyana Police Force during the crime spree in 2002 and provided them with assistance and information at his own expense.
Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon has denied that the security services ever engaged Khan to help it fight crime, although the embattled businessman has said that he is perceived by persons in the USA, the police force, the army and the PNCR as someone who has the will and capacity to fight crime and to protect the people of Guyana against a coup d'etat. Khan has been indicted by a US Grand Jury for conspiring to import cocaine into that country between January 2001 and March 2006. Since the indictment was unsealed he has been making several statements about meetings he said he had with US officials and other law enforcement officers locally.
His statements, according to observers, seem to be aimed at mobilising public support and avoiding being handed over to the US authorities.
According to the source close to Khan the businessman used his own intelligence and resources. "He worked directly with the Target Squad and provided its members with information on criminals and leads and they used that information and got to some of the criminals," the source said. "Khan never picked up a gun as far as I know and hunted down any criminal, his role was basically to show the way," the source said. Khan, Sean Belfield, who was then a serving member of the TSS and Haroon Yahya were intercepted at Good Hope by an army patrol in December 2002. The vehicle they were travelling in had a cache of high-powered weapons and electronic equipment capable of intercepting telephone calls. The trio was charged and went before the courts, but the case was later dismissed. Asked about the so-called "Phantom Squad", the source said, the ex-convict network, which Khan employed as his informants, could be viewed as that but other persons were carrying out most of the killings.
"So when we were hearing and seeing bodies being picked up around the country on a daily basis, some of those killings were actually done" by other persons.
-- serious epidemics in urban areas
By Neil Marks
A NEW global report on HIV/AIDS has painted an even grimmer picture of the epidemic here, pointing to the need for a better response in fighting the disease which is already the leading cause of death among the crucial 25-44 age group.
“High HIV infection levels among men and women seeking treatment for other sexually transmitted diseases and the rising trend in officially reported HIV infections underscore the need to improve Guyana’s AIDS response,” the 2006 UNAIDS report on the global epidemic stated.
The report added that in Guyana “serious epidemics have been observed in urban areas.”
It stated that while expanded counselling and testing services, along with the provision of antiretroviral regimens have reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV in some countries, like the Bahamas, evidence of similar progress is not yet visible in Guyana.
AIDS has become the number one cause of death in Guyana among people aged 25–44 years, and national HIV prevalence stands at an estimated at 2.4 per cent, the report stated.
At the launching of the Public/Private Sector Partnership Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS yesterday, Secretary to the Presidential Commission on HIV/AIDS Dr Frank Anthony stated that some 18,000 persons live with HIV/AIDS in Guyana.
It is the second leading cause of death in the country, he added.
He said very few of those infected with the disease may not know, and estimates suggest that some 3,600-4,000 may need treatment but only 1,200 are on the recommended medication.
The 2006 UNAIDS report notes that only half of the men and women known to have HIV/AIDS are on the requisite Anti Retroviral (ARV) treatment.
Guyana ranks as the country with the second highest HIV/AIDS population in the Caribbean, second to Haiti.
The report noted that a total of 330,000 people are living with HIV in the Caribbean, 22,000 of them being children younger than 15 years.
It shows that an estimated 37,000 people became infected with HIV in 2005.
It points out that the Caribbean’s epidemics and countries’ AIDS responses vary considerably in extent and intensity.
Young Haitians are becoming sexually active at earlier ages and condom use among 15–24- year-olds has become less frequent.
In Barbados and the Bahamas, expanded access to antiretroviral treatment appears to be reducing AIDS deaths, the report stated.
However, such progress has not been enough to undo the Caribbean’s status as the second-most affected region in the world, the report stated.
Stella Ramsaroop Column
There is only one way to encourage
development in Guyana
There are so many factors that have contributed to Guyana 's ongoing development struggle. Inept governments, corrupt leaders, international economic crises, the severe lack of an effective national economic strategy – as well as so many other attributes, that were present from the first day of the nation's independence, until now.
If we wanted to point fingers and place blame, there would be fingers pointing in every possible direction. However there is one factor that supersedes all other factors that has not only contributed to Guyana 's ongoing development struggle, but also constantly feeds all other factors that prevent substantial progress.
That one omnipresent factor is the racial divide.
This issue was present before the British left and has incessantly plagued the nation in every single aspect of life. If an Indo-Guyanese wrote this article, it is possible that a large portion of the Afro-Guyanese would dismiss the content as biased and partial. Likewise, if I were Afro-Guyanese, it would be likely that a large portion of the Indo-Guyanese would mark this article off as being insincere.
In fact, there have been a healthy number of mavericks from both sides of the racial divide who have attempted to bridge the gap between the two major races in Guyana , but have made little or no advancement on the issue. However, I am neither of these races and hope my words will somehow persuade some Guyanese to understand how important it is to unify as a people.
Although an outside force created this problem long before Guyana received its independence, there is no point in beating a dead horse by cursing an influence that has long been absent from the country's social framework. Though the British are the ones who initially created the racial conflict, it is the Guyanese who keep the discord alive.
The ever-present undercurrent of this contempt for the other race, which often seems to be initiated within the political sphere, has so permeated society that it is highly probable that if one race-based governing party calls a piece of paper green, the other race's party will then insist that it is red and the two parties will subsequently waste enormous amounts of time, energy and money just to argue this point.
If this world were about nothing more than choosing one side of an argument and debating that stance until infinity, then perhaps Guyana 's ongoing racial division would not have such dire consequences. Instead, as the rest of world progresses at lightning speed, Guyana stands still in time while the people are consumed with bickering and arguing with each other.
However, in daily life, most Guyanese live harmoniously regardless of race. My husband told me he didn't even know there was a difference between the races until at seven years old he told his father he wanted a hair cut like an Afro-Guyanese. How is it that this same type of harmony is locked out of the political arena?
While the nation's infrastructure crumbles, the educational system fails, the economy continues to decline and crime overtakes the streets, Guyana 's politicians cannot agree on even simple matters that would enhance the nation and help the people. One party cannot let the other party have even a small victory because that would mean the other race might have just a little bit of intelligence.
This constant racial strife and bickering has been the ultimate downfall of Guyana . If as a Guyanese you want to know what happened to the beautiful streets you once had, they were lost to racism. If you want to know why Guyana cannot seem to ever find a way out of poverty, it is because of racism. If you want to know how the drug lords were able to take over the nation so easily, it is because of racism.
Every bad thing that has ever happened to Guyana is because of this racial divide. Likewise, every good thing that has been withheld from Guyana is because of this despicable situation.
If you do not believe what I am saying, all you need to do is examine the political and social incidents of just the last year and you will see the how the race issue has been the underlying factor every time development has been stymied.
If the World Cup does not come to Guyana next year, we can blame it on the crime and on the lack of resources, but the ultimate reason will be because the racially appointed political parties could not work together long enough or hold each other accountable enough to make the event a success.
In other words, Guyana will only continue its decline until the Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese find a way to join together as one force of good.
This predicament is not like a marriage where the two parties can choose to go their separate ways if they cannot find a means by which to resolve their problems. Therefore, there is one and only one solution; the opposing races must find a way to unite for their own good.
There is absolutely no way Guyana will ever see significant development until her two major races unite as one people. When the people of Guyana begin to cast their votes based on real issues such as economic development instead of race, that is when the political parties will start focusing on bettering the country.
The people will continue to establish the direction of this situation. If they continue to focus on race, their politicians will continue to follow their lead. Likewise, if they demand unity, their leaders will again follow suit – and those who do not will find themselves on the losing end of the polls.In short, Guyana 's future – or the lack thereof - is in the hands of the people.
Hopefully no one was holding their breath waiting for the government to take decisive and judicious action on crime. A full month following the heinous murder of Minister Satyadeow Sawh and three others there is no sign that the government has a plan or is even marshalling one. As we expected there was a lot of palaver: the gunmen were from Buxton, we know who they are, there will be major changes in the security services if there are no results and we have written to the western governments for help.
To date, nothing tangible has emerged from any of these statements. Buxton has been further demonized and the army has encamped there but not a single suspect in the Sawh case has been apprehended. The government now says that the intellectual authors of the murders are being searched for. When last has the police force been able to construct a case ensnaring the remote intellectual author of a crime let alone successfully prosecute it? This will be one to see. Thus far the army's presence in Buxton can only be described as showmanship and a dangerous one at that as there can be all types of clandestine activity playing out that it is in not in touch with. The longer it stays there without producing the gunmen from the backdam the closer its mission will verge on failure. So if this was a major pillar of the government's response to the Sawh killing then it has not worked.
In terms of police investigative action there is no progress. The police have been silent on this case since the first few days after the crime. Stunning. A minister of the government, two of his siblings and a security guard are gunned down mercilessly and it is all as if this horrible episode must be consigned to memory banks to be recited with a partisan twist in decades to come but never to be solved. Certainly by now since there are no results to show the government would have been expected to lift its effort to some other level.
This is where that other expectation raised should have kicked in quickly: external help. The government has written to Washington, London and Ottawa seeking assistance. Perhaps it is all hush-hush but surely the populace could at least be told what was asked for or envisaged. Is it police advisors, commander-level policemen, forensics help or detectives? Whatever it was it is already late and the trail that was to be followed has been covered over.
The lack of action and the elections mode that the country finds itself in would lead cynics to question whether this wasn't the type of situation that the government could milk for all its worth for electoral gain. Sadly, the reality of this situation is while the government and the security forces have no results to show for a whole series of horrendous crimes, citizens live in a state of fear, many continue to leave for good or plan to do so and a great uncertainty shrouds the country and its prospects from the interest of investors, tourists and others.
No one is expecting the government to direct a crime response on the scale of a Cecil B. DeMille epic. What they expect though is an urgent common sense response that is cognizant of the shortcomings of the police force and sets time bound tasks. When these fail then plans B and C must kick in whatever these are. And there are many other areas and interstices where a thinking, throbbing government can act: the ease of availability of guns of all sizes and calibre continues to fuel this bloody assault on law order. What about a limited amnesty or a buy-back? Nothing has been done on this front except for mumblings from the government on how difficult it is to patrol the country's borders. That is true but it doesn't mean that one must simply throw one's hands up in the air in resignation.
The thriving illegal licence plate business is another area as in many others where the government and the police have failed to act. The government is now without law making fiat since the dissolution of Parliament, hobbling any new effort to fight crime. All the more disconcerting as new and toothy anti-money laundering legislation was to have been presented for passage so that inroads could be made into this business and that of drug trafficking; another glaring failure of this government.
It is just not acceptable for the government to sit and sit and allow murders and other reprehensible crimes to go unsolved. Here is a sample of the more shocking ones that remain unsolved from recent months: Jack Rambarran, August 2005; Daniel Thompson, December 2005; Ronald Waddell, January 2006; the murder of eight persons at Agricola, February 26, 2006; the disappearance of the AK-47s, February 27, 2006; the murder of Minister Sawh and three others, March 22, 06. When will the government act?
IN a country that is well known for its political disunity across racial lines, it was pleasing to see everyone come together on Friday, May 26, the day of Guyanas Independence, to celebrate this day as a people and not a party.
What fell through as an annual event and has now made a resurgence, the Guyanese Association of Barbados Incorporated (GABI) Independence Dinner and Show enjoyed a diverse audience on Friday night at the George Street Auditorium. According to president of GABI, Patrick Thompson the mixture of Afro and Indo Guyanese persons was a pleasing sight and one, which he believes, should be promoted to all Guyanese people.
With good Guyanese food and the presence of several well-known Guyanese personalities (musical and otherwise), which included internationally renowned artist, Stanley Greaves (who is preparing for an exhibition at Zemicon galleries in the near future), well-known jazz musician Aubrey Cummins, and the Guyanese High Commissioner to Barbados, Norman Faria, the evening was certainly not lacking for good music and intense discussion.
Indeed, Commissioner Faria who was pleased with the concept of a Guyanese Association that is independent of the consulate, did stress that he hoped that the consulate could be included in the future in events such as these, thus promoting an even more unified presentation, which could reach out to more Guyanese persons in Barbados and perhaps even the Barbadian community themselves.
Adding to what was a truly Guyanese night, patrons enjoyed indo-guyanese singing, and the highlight for the evening, which evoked much singing and peals of laughter, a folk music session with Monica Baptiste, whose rendition of, Onward, upward Mary had a goat& truly set a relaxed vibe for the rest of the evening.
Camera-trapping photos have shown that globally endangered species of animals live in a 313 square-mile conservation concession in the Upper Essequibo.
Conservation International Guyana (CIG) manages the site, which is a little larger than Barbados. CIG is a branch of Conservation International (CI) an international non-profit organisation.
Among the photos taken by the infrared sensitive cameras mounted on tree trunks are those of a giant armadillo, giant anteater, and a jaguar all endangered species.
Manager of the concession, Eustace Alexander, in an interview with Stabroek News on Wednesday, said there were "giant" animals (largest in their species). "So you have a giant cat, a giant lizard, a giant turtle." He said from his personal observation the giant river otter and giant river turtle, two more endangered species, lived in the concession too. There are other pictures, which are still to be developed.
The pictures indicated, Alexander said, that the eco-system of the site, the relationship between living things and their environment, was healthy, and they also highlighted the bio-diversity and conservation value of the site.
He noted that one of the goals of conservation concessions was to save a site from developmental and commercial pressures. It was no coincidence, Alexander said, that CIG's concession was located in Guyana's forestry zone.
Apart from never being able to replace a lost species, nothing existed in isolation, Alexander said, and there were both economic and eco-system negative spin-offs from losing a species forever.
In searching for an example of a spin-off, Alexander used the greenheart tree, which he noted was almost limited to Guyana except for some in Suriname. But were it to be logged without any conservation plan, Guyana would eventually be deprived of any economic benefit it would otherwise continue to get from the tree.
The greenheart's extensive use for the building of wharves and `palling off' work would also be gone.
The greenheart seed was also food for the agouti, Alexander said, while the agouti in turn was food for larger prey like the jaguar. Other pressures like commercial hunting and fishing greatly affected species and eco-system balance. "If, to use an example, you have an area with plenty jaguars and you go hunting, not for jaguars, but for labbas [a rodent] then the jaguar may have to move soon."
The value of paying attention to the environment has been highlighted on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) website thus: "the dollar value for services provided by eco-systems throughout the world is estimated at US$33 trillion per year."
In contrast, the value of human produced goods and services, WWF said, was about US$18 trillion per year.
More than forty crops produced in the USA valued at US$30B per year, the site said, depended on insect pollination. Bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other creatures pollinated 75% of the world's staple crops and 90% of all flowering plants and the sale of prescription drugs with ingredients extracted from plants amounted to US$15B per year.
While the goal of the conservation concession was to save the site from developmental and commercial pressures, the concept was to show that government and by extension a country's people, could benefit from it. CIG's Upper Essequibo concession was acquired under a Timber Sales Agreement and the company pays government all the required fees as if the concession were being logged though it is not, Alexander said.
"This shows a way where a country could market its resources without destroying them," CIG's Communication Manager, Ajay Baksh had told Stabroek News when the newspaper visited the site in December last year. "We hope this could generate interest for others to invest in conservation."
Carbon offsets was another way conservation concessions could be promoted. "Let's say a company like Ford may want to invest in intact land to off-set any carbon pollution it contributes into the atmosphere," Baksh said.
According to the BBC Science and Nature web site, about half of the earth's forests are now gone.
Because the area will not be logged except as traditionally done by Amerindians, "(to build) a canoe or so," which pressure, Alexander said, was negligible, this meant that the area contributed to the capture of greenhouse gases, responsible for global warming with potentially devastating natural consequences.
It also makes Guyana eligible for carbon credits under the Kyoto agreement, Alexander said.
Under this agreement, industrialised nations are to reward countries, particularly developing countries, for preserving their forests.
Other benefits from having the concession in the Upper Essequibo include preservation of its watershed, tourism, carbon sequestration and scientific values, and conservation of the area for traditional Amerindian use. Amerindians depend on the natural environment for their overall livelihood, Alexander noted. "They don't have supermarkets."
Because it's in the Upper Essequibo it means it's important for the water flowing down to communities to be kept pristine.
The nearest Amerindian community to the concession, Apoteri, is 50 miles away. The furthest, Crash Water is 100 miles from it while Rewa is 70 miles away.
Under CIG's Social Impact Assessment for having the concession a Voluntary Community Investment Fund (VCIF) of US$10,000 per year is made available to these communities.
It helps enhance existing enterprises in the communities, Alexander said, and promote any new ones suggested by the residents. These projects are known as Conservation Based Enterprises (CBE).
Rewa seems to have had the most economic benefit from the CBEs so far. According to reports he received, Alexander said, the community pulled in a whopping $1M just recently while supporting an expedition group.
The community opted for the establishment of three eco lodges as its enterprise. These are benabs to house tourists or expedition groups.
In the case of Apoteri the community was a national breeding station for the black belly sheep, which was popular along with the balata business in the 60s, Alexander said. However, with the collapse of the balata business the rearing and breeding of sheep also went downhill.
While Alexander could not say offhand how many head of sheep there were now in Apoteri, he said when he did the baseline study in 2003 there were 66. He said the community has received requests for sheep from other communities to start their own stock. "However, I don't know if they could afford to lose stock now."
The CBE in Crash Water is soon to be inaugurated, Alexander said. That community has requested a sewing project. There were already persons in the area who could sew but they needed the capacity like machines and a building.
The North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) to which 16 Amerindian communities are affiliated is administering the fund. Executive Director, Rodney Davis, told Stabroek News in December last year that the help was something the communities always wanted.
He noted that with projects like eco tourism, balata craft, the rearing of bees for honey production, sustainable and aquarium fishing, among others, the communities aspired to become self-sufficient. "We don't want to always be looking forward to the donors," he said.
The ultimate goal of CIG's conservation concession is for it to be incorporated as a National Protected Area within a National Protected Areas System, Alexander said.
He noted that while there was an absence of national protected areas legislation in Guyana, Parliament had passed independent Acts for the Kaieteur National Park and the Iwokrama Forest. Government has also established a Protected Areas Secretariat and has earmarked three priority sites in addition to Kaieteur and Iwokrama.
|Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo (GINA Image)|
Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. May 30, 2006: The Secretariat of the Guyana Elections Commission is proposing a further delay in the holding of general elections in this South American nation. GECOM officials in a statement yesterday proposed that the election be held on September 12 instead of August 31 citing the recent extension of the Claims and Objections process aimed at further sanitizing the 2006 Preliminary List of Electors. GECOM Commissioners are set to make a final decision on this proposal when the commission holds its statutory meeting today. The ruling Peoples Progressive Party/Civic is, however, pushing for an August 31 deadline to be maintained saying that it did not request an extension of the claims and objections process and noting that the elections can be held even before the August 31 target. –Hardbeatnews.com
Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. May 30, 2006: The Secretariat of the Guyana Elections Commission is proposing a further delay in the holding of general elections in this South American nation.
GECOM officials in a statement yesterday proposed that the election be held on September 12 instead of August 31 citing the recent extension of the Claims and Objections process aimed at further sanitizing the 2006 Preliminary List of Electors. GECOM Commissioners are set to make a final decision on this proposal when the commission holds its statutory meeting today.
The ruling Peoples Progressive Party/Civic is, however, pushing for an August 31 deadline to be maintained saying that it did not request an extension of the claims and objections process and noting that the elections can be held even before the August 31 target. –Hardbeatnews.com
Bureaucracy a deterrent to investment – report
…but foreigners find climate more attractive
The World Bank's 2006 Index of Economic Freedom has reported that some sectors of the Guyana economy, such as utilities and other State-owned industries, are highly regulated, and the bureaucracy is extensive.
It referred to a US Department of Commerce report which stated: “Bureaucratic procedures are cumbersome and time-consuming.
“Decision-making is centralised and businesspersons, both Guyanese and foreigners, say it is often difficult to know who the decision-makers are on a given issue or what the rationale was for decisions made. One of the biggest obstacles in establishing a business is navigating land deeds and title registries. Getting clear title to land is one of the most frequent administrative difficulties for prospective businesses.”
In addition, businessmen complain that “Government officials have solicited bribes as a prerequisite for the granting of licenses and permits needed to operate their businesses.”
The report said Guyana 's fiscal burden of government score is 0.3 point worse in 2006 on a scale of one to five which, as a result, has made the country's overall score to be 0.03 point worse this year.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the ruling PPP/C and main opposition PNCR remain suspicious of each other and have been unable to reach compromise even on minor issues.
The country still depends heavily on foreign aid, the report said.
It was noted that the government has implemented some structural reforms in the fiscal and procurement process under an agreement with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and plans to use more aid funds on infrastructure and social spending aimed at alleviating poverty.
Severe flooding of coastal areas in 2005 led to extensive crop losses and major infrastructure damage and is also bound to have a profound impact on fiscal restraint, the report said.
Guyana 's trade policy score is rated at 4.0 by the Index of Economic Freedom.
The World Trade Organisation reports that “ Guyana applies import licensing requirements on a relatively large number of products [including] some important products of national industries, such as rice and cane sugar, and some of the most significant imports.”
The US Department of Commerce reports delays and accusations of corruption in customs. Based on the revised trade factor methodology, Guyana 's trade policy score is unchanged.
Guyana 's foreign investment policy garnered a score of 3.0 on the scale of one to five.
The report said that although Guyana 's investment regime can be bureaucratic, non-transparent, and slow, it is becoming more attractive to foreign investors.
According to the US Department of Commerce, although Guyana has been moving toward a more welcoming environment for foreign investors, the government remains cautious about approving new foreign investment and encourages joint ventures with the government.
The IMF reports that both residents involved in exporting activities and non-residents may hold foreign exchange accounts. Payments and transfers are not restricted.
The IMF reports that, while most capital transactions are unrestricted, all credit operations are controlled.
Guyana 's Constitution guarantees the right of foreigners to own property or land.
Banking and finance received a score of 2.0.
The report said Guyana 's banking system is becoming more competitive but remains underdeveloped and hindered by few sound lending opportunities.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, non-performing loans have fallen sharply as a percent of total lending, from 37 per cent in 2002 to 18 percent in 2004.
However, the improvement is largely due to debt write-offs and some banks remain burdened by bad debt.
The IMF reports that banks must obtain approval from the Ministry of Finance before lending to non-resident enterprises.
The report stated that Guyana 's judicial system is often slow, inefficient, and subject to corruption.
Quoting from the US Department of State, it stated: “The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, but law enforcement officials and prominent lawyers questioned the independence of the judiciary and accused the government of intervening in certain cases.”
In addition: “Delays in judicial proceedings are caused by shortages of trained court personnel and magistrates, inadequate resources…occasional alleged acts of bribery, poor tracking of cases, and slowness of police preparing cases for trial.”
The Index of Economic Freedom stated that Guyana has a large informal market.
It was noted that the US Department of State's International Narcotics Control Strategy report indicated that the informal economy, driven largely by drug proceeds, could be equivalent to from 50 per cent to 60 per cent of formal sector economic activity.
My stepfather used me as his wife
The harrowing tale of a nine-year-old
“Up in the air and over the wall till I can see so bright. Rivers and trees and castles and all over the countryside”
“Till I look down on the garden green, down on the roof so brown, up in the air I go flying again up in the air and down”.
Nine-year-old Sean had retreated to his safe place; a place where no one could hurt him, where pain did not exist, only lush green grass, on which stood tall swings and trees bearing hosts of ripe red and yellow fruits, where children who were loved came to play.
As Sean pushed the swings to the maximum he felt the swish of the cool breeze against his face. As wave after wave of pain soared through his body, he pretended that he was one with the birds free, happy and carefree.
The sound of his stepfather's voice tore through the silence like sharp knife.
‘Go and bathe yuh skin and then get in yuh bed,” he said pulling up his pants as he left the room
Wincing in pain, Sean slowly adjusted his own pants and, as he watched his stepfather leave the room, he felt a sense of small triumph. No longer could his stepfather force him to concentrate on the ordeal he was putting him through, Sean had crafted a solution that took some of his power from him.
The child dragged himself from the bed and walked slowly to the mirror that hung on the wall of his bedroom.
“Only a little time more, Sean. It would soon end,” he consoled the tear-streaked face that stared back at him.
Yes, he had a plan. For the longest while he had been saving any extra money that he was given. It was never much but unbeknownst to his mother, he had been walking to school quite a lot lately to save the bus fare. At the last count, he had enough for him to make the getaway trip he had been dreaming about for months, but he knew that he needed to take his younger brother with him.
He knew it was just a matter of time, before his stepfather would begin to do the same thing to little Brian and he could not even bear the thought of that. He was confident that his aunt in Essequibo would rescue them. After all, she was his father's sister and once she learnt what had been happening, she would be sympathetic.
Once before, he had asked his mother to go and live there and she had replied that his aunt, Shirley, would not want to be bothered with him, but he did not believe her. His aunt would take them in. She had to, she was their only hope.
So he had to wait a little longer and save a little more money. “Just a few days more,” Sean repeated staring into the mirror.
As he was crossing the passage way to the bathroom, he heard his mother's voice from the kitchen raised in shrill laughter. Without even peering downstairs, he knew what was happening. This was his stepfather's normal routine. After he'd had his way with him, he would go down stairs and poke fun with Sean's mother and make her laugh.
Sean had witnessed this a couple of times and it made him sick to his stomach.
He was amazed that Ray felt confident enough to perform these acts while his mother was right downstairs.
But his mother, Debra, seemed happy with life. And there wasn't a day that she failed to remind Sean of how happy and comfortable her new partner was making her.
It was as if he could hear her now. “Sean, have you cleaned the yard like Ray asked you to? Don't let him have to come home from work and find it not cleaned. He's done so much for us and we need to be grateful to him. Do you remember what it was like before he came into our lives?”
Sean would never answer her, and he sometimes felt like that made her angry .After repeating the question a few more times without any response, she would continue, “Well anyhow, go and clean the yard,” and that would be that until the next day when the same routine would be repeated about a different chore.
Sean knew he could not answer his mother since the answer would not be what she was looking for. He knew that she wanted to hear that Ray had delivered them from their uncomfortable past, but the truth was that not a day passed that he did not wish that his mother had never met Ray or that they had remained where they lived before.
Sean remembered the first time he saw his stepfather. At the time, they were living on the East Coast of Demerara. The place was small and cramped and housed a large number of his extended family but he was happy and, unlike his mother, was not looking for a means of escape.
Things had been financially rough for his mother since he and his brother's father had walked out on her and on numerous occasions she explained that the boys would have to forego something or the other because ‘money simply wasn't there.'
The crochet that she did mostly only paid off at Christmas time when people wanted chair covers made and so most of the time his grandmother would sponsor the meals in the home for his family.
Ray was first introduced to Sean by his mother almost two years ago as a ‘godsend.' At the time, he did not know the meaning of the word, but because of the context in which it was used he interrupted it to mean that he had been sent by God.
“He was an important official in the joint forces and made a lot of money,” Sean was told. “He had enough to rescue them out of their impoverished situation.” And sure enough, he did. Within a few months, they had moved to live with him in the city.
It was a nice house, and for the first time in his life Sean had a bedroom all to himself. Food, other necessities and even a few luxuries were no longer a problem. And most importantly, his mother seemed like she was finally happy. Ray made her laugh and he seemed genuinely nice at first.
Ray was an easygoing man with a sunny personality and didn't impose too many rules on the boys, much to Sean's delight. His mother was not really strict and one of Sean's greatest fears was that his stepfather would be staunch disciplinarian. But this was not the case.
They played games together as a family and went for drives and Sean was actually beginning to like his new life. Sometimes he even showed Sean his gun and let him touch it .Sean was bit awed by it but pretended otherwise.
Occasionally, Sean got a glimpse of another side of his stepfather's personality when he drank. It wasn't often, but whenever he did, it was like he turned into a completely different person. He would say mean things to the boy's mother and shout and swear a lot, and Sean would hastily retreat to his bed at such times.
It was on one such occasion that the first incident occurred. It was a Friday night, just a few months after they had moved into their new home. Ray had come home late in a drunken state. His swearing was especially loud that night, as he accused his mother of not cooking what he wanted, the house not being clean enough and other trifling matters.
From his bed, Sean tried to keep his ears attuned to what was going on downstairs, because he was always fearful that Ray would hit his mother during one of his outbursts.
However, he must have fallen asleep. At first, it was part of a nightmare; the hands that tore at his clothing, turning him over. But when the unbearable pain began to surge through his body, he woke up screaming. However, the sound was stifled by the large hand that was clamped over his mouth.
As he tried to comprehend what was happening, he made an effort to turn his face around to see who could be unleashing such an atrocity on his body. The unbearable stench of alcohol greeted his nostrils and in the darkness of his room, he made out the silhouette of his stepfather.
So terribly painful was the ordeal, that Sean remembers praying to die.
“Every time he pushed himself into me, the pain was so much I thought I would die, and when I realized that I wasn't, I prayed to be,” Sean related.
When it was over, his stepfather reminded him that he owned a gun and threatened that if he told anyone, he would kill them all. He also let Sean know that no one would believe him, if he tried to complain on him because of his status at his job.
“I believed that he would kill us because I had seen him in a rage, and I know he could do it'
So Sean kept what he had endured to himself and went so far as to even clean the blood off the sheets, so that his mother would be none the wiser.
Unable to walk properly for the next few days, Sean stayed in bed with the excuse that he had the flu. Checking in on him, Sean's mother believed his story since he was running a high fever; however it was not from the flu.
He also became constipated since he could not have regular bowel movements because of the pain.
“My tummy hurt so much I think I blacked out a few times during those days I was in bed. I just cried, slept, woke up and cried again”.
He eventually got better and went back to school, but he lived in constant fear that the ordeal would be repeated. Sure enough it was a few weeks later, and then a few weeks after that.
Soon the awful nightly visits became the routine whenever Ray drank and even sometimes when he didn't.
In order to better endure the crippling pain of each encounter, Sean soon established a make believe place in his mind to where he would retreat.
Sean's mother found out about her son's ordeal one night after she bounded into his room, following many unanswered calls to him.
She explained that she was awestruck, angry and really disappointed about her partner's cruel actions towards her son.
This was communicated to him in a fit of rage and according to the boy's mother, the man was genuinely apologetic about his actions, and promised not to do it again.
She told Kaieteur News that she has decided to send Sean to live with his aunt, since she refused to continue to place him at risk of more abuse.
The woman insisted that that she is not an uncaring mother. She also requested anonymity as a prerequisite for the interview. “People just wouldn't understand.”
She explained that the main reason for her decision was the fact that she felt incapable of financially maintaining herself and children without Ray.
“It's easy for people to judge me, but if I am to leave Ray where would I go? I cannot go back to where I came from and, besides, I have moved my son out the house. It's not as if I have him continuing to live in the same house. This way everybody is happy. Sean can no longer be hurt and my family is still together.”
When it was put to her about the possibility that her younger son may now be at risk, the woman responded, “Everyone makes mistakes and she is giving Ray the benefit of the doubt that he will not repeat the offence.”
Asked why she was not intent on seeing Ray pay for such a serious criminal offence committed on her son, which has the capacity to permanently scar him emotionally and physically, she responded that she does not think that she would be able to face the publicity that would stem from such case.
“It's better this way,” she added, “better for everyone.”
Commenting on his mother's decision, Sean, with tears streaming down his face, related to this newspaper that while he would have liked to remain with his family. He is just happy to be getting away from the ordeal.
According to a senior official of the Welfare section of the Human Services Ministry, the position that Sean's mother has taken is not unique. She related that many women opt to stay with the abusers of their children for economic reasons.
A recent study commissioned by the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security and UNICEF estimates that between eight and ten per cent of girls and two and five per cent boys in Guyana have been sexually abused. However since sexual abuse is highly under-reported, the survey noted that these figures do not present an accurate picture of the magnitude of the problem.
The surveys found that the most common perpetrators of sexual violence are fathers and stepfathers. In some areas, teenaged girls are being trafficked to work under exploitative conditions, often as prostitutes.
Girls are sometimes pushed by social or economic pressures into sexually exploitative relationships or prostitution.
The most common perpetrators of physical violence against children in the home are mothers. Of the children who reported being physically hurt, 16 per cent had been hurt by their mothers, seven per cent by their fathers, two per cent by both parents, five per cent by related caregivers ( aunts, uncles, grandparents) and three per cent by step parents.
The study also found that as a result of domestic violence, children are exposed to emotional, sexual and physical violence in the home. The primary causes of domestic violence were reported to be alcohol abuse, financial pressures and infidelity.
Last year, a special Child Protection Monitoring Database (CPMD) Unit was established in the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security with the aim of monitoring all cases of child abuse.
This unit arose from an agreement, which was signed in September, 2004, between the government and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the establishment of the database.
Officials from the unit explained that since its establishment, it has been progressing smoothly in monitoring all cases of abuse and other problems which affect vulnerable children.
The CPMD is aimed at protecting children and adolescents from violence through monitoring and surveillance, and since its establishment has benefited from technical support from the Bureau of Statistics.
The CPMD is the first to be set-up in Guyana and the Caribbean , and will serve as a model for other countries.
It will serve as a basis for monitoring children's issues, and help to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Noting that most cases of child abuse are not reported, the official called on members of the public to report all incidents of child molestation, so these may be followed up in a child-friendly and timely manner.
The government and other child protection agencies have also recognized the need to review and strengthen the child protection services in Guyana .
Each year Child Protection Awareness Week is observed in September and serves to bring awareness to the many problems affecting children, as well as educate on issues related to the protection of children.
“The Ministry has been working assiduously on implementing additional programmes to protect the welfare of children,” the official noted. “We are very concerned about the apparent child abuse and we seriously want to tackle it.”
The Human Services Ministry has also embarked on a massive public awareness campaign, to sensitize the Guyanese people on child abuse.
“We want to get the public at large to make them aware that they have a responsibility to protect children,” the official said.
With support from UNICEF, the Ministry has also established a five-year implementation plan with a two-year start-up and pilot phase. The project costs more than $9m, and will run between two to five years.
The project will address government's concern about the increasing reports of children being victims; and the perpetrators of the violence.
By Peter R. Ramsaroop, MBA
Last week, we once against witnessed the lack of leadership by the President when he said he would restructure the Army and Police Force upon a PPP/C victory in the upcoming elections. Many in the Government have publicly said there is no need for an Army. Some have even gone as far as bringing the race element into play.
These statements along with the many hours of racial insensitivities being broadcast daily on NCN should become a national warning of what is in store for our nation, if this party gets back into power. We have seen recent attempts to discredit the chiefs of both of the forces, as the first indication of what the definition of the President's promised restructuring would mean.
Most likely, wholesale firing of those who are not aligned to the party politics will occur.
There have been so many free societies throughout history that have succumbed, oft times willingly, to the dictatorship of one man. We have all studied such historical events because it never makes sense as to why an entire country of intelligent and capable people would voluntarily lay their down their rights as citizens, and put themselves at the mercy of a single individual.
This is a phenomenon that should be thoroughly explored by all Guyanese, since we are at a crucial juncture of exactly this type of occasion in our own country.
The situation in our nation is that there is still no peace, justice or prosperity. We have no reason to feel indebted to this would-be-king, who has brought no reprieve from crime, poverty or racial division.
In fact, our country is presently in a state of confusion and on the brink of chaos.
Removing those who do not wholly support a particular party from positions of influence and instilling fear into the people are commonly used methods to sneak a dictatorship into a free country. Saddam Hussein is a modern day example of this method, where fear is used to goad the people into submission to the dictatorial rule. This is a ruthless technique that silences opposition in any fashion deemed necessary and governs with a strong hand. This type of dictator also tends to be more concerned with selfish ambitions like attaining power and money than with the citizens of the country.
One wonders if the President feels that crime will be solved by restructuring the forces. Why then wait until after elections? Is the current crime situation a benefit to the PPP/C so that the President and NCN can continue to blame the entire town of Buxton? Why is the Ethnic Relations Commission allowing the President to make racially charged insensitive remarks, especially to his constituents? Is that commission under the dictatorial control too?
These are methods of dictatorship that are tiptoeing their way into Guyana. Fear is rampant and the people crave peace, justice and prosperity. Our country is weak, beaten down from years of lack and lawlessness, and seeking a saviour from our incessant despair. I beg you, fellow countrymen, do not turn to dictatorship for help.
This is not the answer for our woes; it will just bring even more anguish into our already pathetic existence.
Some may say the political watchdogs of our country are just being oversensitive, but that is the same approach taken by the naïve citizens of Rome before they lost their freedoms forever. In fact, let us examine this subject, based on recent events, to see if one can actually draw a correlation with past dictatorships and what is now occurring in Guyana.
What are some steps taken by a latent dictator? One of the very first measures taken is to squelch the citizens' freedom of speech. But a good dictator will go much farther than that. The outlets for this freedom, such as television stations and newspapers, will be targeted. These outlets will be shut down or intimidated into submission to the controlling despot.
Have we seen this sort of behaviour in Guyana recently? Overwhelmingly, yes! A television station was shut down for speaking out against the government and a newspaper suffered the same fate. Citizens themselves are being sued for voicing their opinions about the administration. We have even seen persons seemingly killed for being anti-government on television stations. I think we can safely say this step has been marked off the list for impending dictatorship.
Another step on the road to domination is to control the educational institutions. It is vital to attain the loyalty of the minds you want to dominate – especially if these minds are independent thinkers who buck the notions of tyranny. If these freethinking minds cannot be acquired, then they must be eliminated.
Another pungent modern example of this step to domination was in 1989, when the government of China , in an attempt to silence about 100,000 protesting students in Tiananmen Square , sent in the military to take care of the situation. What were the students protesting? Inequality and government corruption. They simply wanted a return to the socialist values of equality and the communist government just wanted them to shut up. The result was a death toll numbering in the thousands.
Can we see the controlling hand of a tyrant in Guyana? As a matter of a fact, last year we say where the government chose to step in and impose a Vice-Chancellor of its own liking on UG against the protests of the University of Guyana's wishes.
Certainly, there can be no doubt in anyone's mind that the current administration is attempting to control the minds of the academics of Guyana with the end goal of national domination. Anyone who comes to any other conclusion is just as naïve as the Romans who forfeited their freedoms out of gratefulness – not fear.
However, there may be a portion of the population who can actually see this creeping dictatorship and view it as an opportunity to advance monetarily or to further gain political/social power. These people need to realise that a dictatorship is loyal to no one, as is evident in tyrants like Saddam Hussein, who killed even those who were closest to him if he had the slightest inclination of disloyalty.
These are strong correlations that can be drawn from the last few months to prove that Guyana, unless she fights tooth and nail against the looming storm, is in fact on its way to another era of dictatorship under the current administration.
What can be done to save her? We must speak out. Students, speak out! Mothers, speak out! Fellow countrymen, speak out! Do not allow Guyana to fall prey to the hungry eyes of tyranny. Guyana, free and liberated Guyana, awaits our reply. BEWARE !
Basil Fitzherbert Butcher (born September 3, 1933, Port Mourant, British Guiana (now Guyana)) is a former West Indian cricketer who played in 44 Tests from 1958 to 1969. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1970.
A supple, wristy, resolute batsman, Basil Butcher became a consistently reliable performer at No. 4 or 5 in the West Indies order. In his first Test series, against India in 1958-59, he made 486 runs at 69.42, but had a chequered career thereafter, until the 1963 tour of England, when he made 383 runs in eight completed innings, including 133 out of 229 in the memorable draw at Lord's. During an interval in that match he opened a letter which advised him that (against a background of civil war) his wife had had a miscarriage back home in Guyana. Very upset, Butcher continued to play a solid and masterly innings which saved his side. Two fine series against Australia led Richie Benaud to consider him the most difficult of all West Indians to get out. An occasional legspinner himself, the only Test wickets Butcher took were all in one innings - 5 for 34 (four coming in three overs) against England at Port-of-Spain in 1967-68.(Cricinfo)
Roy Clifton Fredericks (born 11 November 1942, Blairmont, British Guiana, died 5 September 2000, New York, USA) was a West Indian cricketer who played from 1968 to 1977. He was an opening batsman for the West Indies in both Test cricket and one day cricket, and made 4334 in a career spanning only nine years. ODI's were not very popular in Fredericks time, and subsequently he only appeared in 12 matches, making 311 runs.
At the county level, he represented Glamorgan in English domestic cricket and, at the national level, British Guiana and Guyana. He also represented the West Indies. He emerged as a batsman who solved the West Indian selectors dilemma about a reliable opening partnership that was settled by himself and Gordon Greenidge in the mid-1970s. He was an aggressive batsman who liked to counterattack fast bowlers, but also was capable as a traditional accumulator of runs also. His highest innings score was 169 against Australia. Fredericks was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1974.(Wikipedia)
Lancelot Richard Gibbs (born 29 September 1934 in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) was a West Indies cricketer, one of the most successful spin bowlers in Test cricket history. He took 309 Test wickets, only the second player (after Fred Trueman) to pass 300, the first spinner to pass that milestone, and had an exceptional economy rate of under two runs per over. He was, however, a very poor batsman, who never made a half-century in first-class cricket.
Gibbs made his first-class debut in 1953-54, playing for British Guiana against MCC at his home ground of Bourda. In MCC's first (and indeed only) innings, he bowled Denis Compton for 18 to leave the tourists precariously poised at 51/3. Gibbs also took the wicket of Tom Graveney - but by then a mammoth fourth-wicket partnership of 402 between Graveney and Willie Watson had propelled MCC towards an innings victory, so Gibbs did not get a second chance to bowl.
Gibbs played a few more first-class games for British Guiana over the next few years, and some good performances (including 4-68 in the final of the Quadrangular Tournament against Barbados in 1956-57) gained him selection for the West Indies side to host Pakistan the following season. He made his debut in the second Test at Port-of-Spain, taking four wickets in the match, and retained his place for the rest of the five-match series, his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket coming when he claimed 5-80 in the fourth Test at Bourda.
He went on the tour to India in 1957-58, but played in only one Test, in which he went wicketless. The tour of Pakistan that immediately followed was a little more fruitful, with eight wickets in three games. However, it was the 1960-61 tour of Australia that was to prove a turning point in Gibbs' international career: he played only in the last three Tests, but took 19 wickets at 20.78: eight at Sydney, five at Adelaide (including a hat-trick) and six at Melbourne.
The early 1960s were Gibbs' most productive period in Test cricket, and his greatest achievements came in the 1961-62 home series against India. Over the course of five Tests he picked up 24 wickets at just 20.41 apiece, including one of the game's greatest spells of bowling at Bridgetown, where he single-handedly reduced the Indians from 149/2 to 187 all out with eight wickets in 15.3 overs at a total cost of just six runs; Gibbs' final innings return of 8-38 was his best in a Test match.
In 1963 West Indies toured England, and Gibbs had another highly successful series, taking 26 wickets at 21.30 including 5-59 and 6-98 in a ten-wicket triumph at Manchester. Further successful series followed: indeed, in eight successive series topped and tailed by the 1960-61 and 1968-69 tours to Australia, Gibbs never took fewer than 18 Test wickets and took five or more wickets in an innings on 12 occasions.
In 1967 Gibbs played for Warwickshire in the English County Championship, for whom he would continue to appear each season until 1973, although his appearances in 1969 and 1973 were reduced because of his commitments with West Indies' tours of England. In 1970, after a winter spent with South Australia, he took a career-best 8-37 against Glamorgan, but by far his most successful season in England was 1971 in which Gibbs claimed 131 first-class wickets at only 18.89, with nine five-wicket hauls. This exceptional performance gained Gibbs a Wisden Cricketer of the Year award in the following year's Almanack.
In 1973, at the age of almost 39, Gibbs made his One-Day International debut against England at Leeds as part of the Prudential Trophy tournament, taking the wicket of England captain Mike Denness. He played only two further ODIs: the first again being against England two days later at the Oval (11-4-12-1 and the wicket of John Jameson), and a single outing against Sri Lanka at Manchester in the 1975 World Cup, in which he bowled just four overs without success.
Gibbs' last Test matches were played on the tour of Australia in 1975-76. Although he played in all six Tests, and took 5-102 in the first innings of the first Test at Brisbane, his 16 wickets came at an average of over 40, the worst of his five series against these opponents. He passed the milestone of 300 Test victims at Perth by dismissing Gary Gilmour. His last Test match, and indeed his last appearance in senior cricket of any description, was at Melbourne, his 309th and final Test wicket being that - again - of Gilmour.
After his retirement from the game, Gibbs emigrated to the United States, but returned to prominence briefly in 1991 when he managed West Indies' tour to England.
Gibbs is the cousin of another great West Indies cricketer, Clive Lloyd, with whom he appeared for West Indies on a number of occasions.(Wikipedia)
Born December 15, 1966, Georgetown, Demerara, Guyana
It was March 31, 1995, West Indies v Australia, Bridgetown: the first morning of the first Test. Australia, off to a flyer, had taken three wickets for six when Cool Carl walked to the crease. Immediately Shane Warne was brought into the attack to bowl the 10th over of the series. He went round the wicket. The first ball was met yards down the pitch and deposited in the air to the long-on boundary. Down the pitch to the second, Hooper inside-edged to fine leg for four more. The third received the same treatment as the first: 12 from the first three balls. By lunch, Hooper and Brian Lara, in a memorable counter-attack, had put on precisely 100 together. That was Hooper's potential. His second Test innings brought a century in Calcutta, but all too often he failed to deliver. A mid-thirties average is a dereliction of duty for a batsman of his exquisite charms and ability. The captaincy, which he took on after a prolonged absence from the side, briefly brought out the best in him, and for two years he averaged nearer 50. But, following a disappointing World Cup in 2003, he was replaced by Lara and once more reverted to semi-retirement.(Cricinfo)
Alvin Isaac Kallicharran (born March 21, 1949) was a West Indian batsman who played from 1972 to 1981. His elegant, watchful batting style produced some substantial innings for a West Indian team very much in its formative years in the seventies. He was Wisden's Cricketer of the Year for 1973.
Kallicharran was born in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana). Though he was a talented batsman like many of his peers, Kallicharran only managed 4473 runs, but at an average of 44.43 in 66 matches, he demonstrated his capability. He was part of the 1979 team that won the Cricket World Cup. His highest innings was a score of 187 against England in the 1974 tour.
A small man, he had poise, balance, orthodoxy, and a full repertoire of strokes off either foot. He was at his best away from soft, seaming pitches, despite his successes with Warwickshire in English County cricket. Probably his finest innings, a superb knock of 158 against England, was shrouded in controversy when he was run out by Tony Greig towards the end of the first day. He attempted to join World Series Cricket, but failed, and was appointed captain of the West Indies in 1977-1978 when Clive Lloyd resigned over the Packer issue.(Wikipedia)
Rohan Bholalall Kanhai (born December 26, 1935 in Port Mourant, Berbice, British Guiana) was a West Indian batsman in the late fifties, sixties and early seventies. He is considered a cricketing legend. Kanhai featured in several great West Indian teams, which included such talent as Sir Garfield Sobers, Roy Fredericks, Lance Gibbs, and Alvin Kallicharran.
He sparkled as a specialist batsman and hit 6227 runs in only 79 matches at a robust average of 47.53. His best innings was in Calcutta, India. He scored 256 off of the Indian bowlers. He was famous for his unorthodox shots, most notably the "falling hook" shot, in which he finished his follow through lying on his back. In his county cricket career for Warwickshire, he also starred alongside Kallicharran, as well as John Jameson, and Dennis Amiss. The great Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar named his son Rohan after Kanhai, and wrote of Kanhai, "To say that he is the greatest batsman I have ever seen so far is to put it mildly."(Wikipedia)
Clive Hubert Lloyd, born 31 August 1944 in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana), is a former West Indies cricketer. He captained the West Indies between 1974 and 1985 and oversaw their rise to become the dominant Test-playing nation, a position that was only relinquished in the latter half of the 1990s. He is still one of the most successful Test captains of all time: during his captaincy the side had a run of 27 matches without defeat, which included 11 wins in succession (Viv Richards acted as captain for one of the 27 matches, against Australia at Port of Spain in 1983-84). He was the first West Indian player to earn 100 international caps.
Lloyd was a tall, powerful middle-order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler. He scored over 7500 runs at Test level, at an average of 46.67. His scholarly appearance and slight stoop masked his obvious talent as a batsman. He wore his famous glasses due to a fight when he was young at school, which damaged his eyes. He hit 77 sixes in his Test career, which is the sixth highest number of any player. He played for his home nation of Guyana in West Indies domestic cricket, and for Lancashire (he was made captain in 1981) in England. His Test match debut came in 1966. In 1971 he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year. He is a cousin of spin bowler Lance Gibbs.
Since retiring as a player, Lloyd has remained heavily involved in cricket, managing the West Indies in the late 1990s, and coaching and commentating. He is currently an ICC match referee.
In 2005, Lloyd offered his patronage to Major League Cricket for their inaugural Interstate Cricket Cup in the United States, to be named the Sir Clive Lloyd Cup.(Wikipedia)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (born August 18, 1974 in Unity Village, Mahaica, Guyana) is West Indian cricketer of Indo-Guyanese ethnicity, the left-handed Chanderpaul is known for his doggedness and ability to stick on the wicket for long hours. His very unorthodox stance while batting is also highly recognised as one of the "crabbiest" techniques in international cricket, with his body almost directly facing the square leg umpire.
Chanderpaul's first notable impact on Test cricket was as being the last batting partner of Brian Lara when Lara broke the 365-not out record set by Gary Sobers in the fifth and final Test against England in 1993-94. Lara went on to make 375 before he was caught off Andrew Caddick's bowling, sharing a 219-run stand with Chanderpaul, who was left not out on 75.
Chanderpaul made his first Test century in his 19th Test match - after having scored 15 half-centuries in the preceding 18 matches. In the third of a five-Test series against India in 1996-97, he made 137 not out at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. He also featured with his Guyanese counterpart, Ramnaresh Sarwan, making 104 in chasing a world record 418 to win in the fourth innings of the final Test match versus Australia in 2002-03.
Chanderpaul's best first class score is 303 not out versus Jamaica for Guyana, and, despite his reputation as a dogged batsman, he has also made the third fastest century in Test cricket, scoring three figures in just 67 balls at the GCC Ground Bourda, Guyana, also in the 2002-03 series against Australia.
He was named captain of the West Indies in the first Test versus South Africa in March 2005 in Guyana, after seven senior players including captain Brian Lara were dropped in a sponsorship row. Making an unbeaten 200 and a sporting declaration in the first Test, it was announced that although Lara was returning to the team for the second Test, Chanderpaul would retain the captaincy for the rest of the series. He was named to the squad of 20 for the World XI to face Australia in the Super Test in October 2005, but when the squad was cut to 14 names in August his name was not mentioned.
From humble beginnings, Chanderpaul remains one of the most recognisable faces in all of the West Indies, particularly his native Guyana, and he has come a long way from his first 50 in his first Test versus England in 1993-94 at Bourda to his current status as West Indian batting star and captain.
In 1999, while sitting in his car with a young girlfriend at Georgetown's Sea Wall, he was disturbed by a policeman. Mistaking him for a mugger, Chanderpaul shot the policeman in the hand. No charges were brought.(Wikipedia)
Ramnaresh Ronnie Sarwan (born June 23, 1980, Guyana) is a West Indian cricketer. He has been a member of the West Indian cricket team since his Test debut against Pakistan at Barbados in May 2000 when he remained unbeaten in both innings scoring 84 in the first innings. He missed out on scoring his maiden Test century against South Africa in March 2001 when he was run out for 91. His score of 78 in the 2nd Test against India at Chennai in October 2002 was his 4th innings of 75+ that couldn't be converted into a century. His maiden Test century came in his next Test series against Bangladesh at Dhaka. His next Test century came against Australia at St. John's in May 2003. His best innings (261 not out) came against Bangladesh in June 2004. He has played 50 Test matches scoring at an average of 40 runs per innings with 6 centuries and 21 fifties. He is also a part-time bowler having taken 20 wickets with best bowling figures of 4/37.
During the most recent controversy involving the bowling action of Sri Lanka great Muttiah Muralitharan, which led to an International Cricket Council investigation of most of the world's international-class bowlers, Sarwan was found to be the only bowler tested who did not transgress the Laws of Cricket regarding the straightening of the arm during delivery.(Wikipedia)
Celebrating our creative personalities
Scots, British Guiana and Andrew Watson
By Dr Vibert C. Cambridge
Sunday, September 11th 2005
The story of Andrew Watson brings us one step closer to knowing a little bit about these invisible women in Guyanese history. Andrew Watson is recognized as "the world's first black international football player" and the "world's first black football administrator."
Andrew Watson was born in Demerara, British Guiana in May 1857. His father was "a wealthy Scottish sugar planter Peter Millar and [his mother a] local girl Rose Watson." At the age of 14, he was a student at the exclusive King's College, London. Here he excelled in sport, especially football (soccer).
At the age of 19, he was a student of philosophy, mathematics, and engineering at the University of Glasgow.
The University of Glasgow's records indicate that during the period 1859-1888 there were 14 British Guianese at the university. These included John L Alexander (Medicine) and Joseph Martin Jansen (Arts) who were from Berbice. There were several medical students from Demerara and these included, John P. Watt, Hector C. Cameron, Donald Fraser, Charles Gibbon, David Elliott, Thomas Patterson and George Thorpe. Other students from British Guiana were studying Arts, Greek, and Law. These records tell us much about the fathers of the students. Many of them were medical doctors, planters, builders, merchants, and owners of estates.
The records are silent on the mothers. Inquires to the university's archives revealed that those records were not routinely kept. However, it was clear from other sources that Watson's mother was a woman of African descent.
Watson continued to excel as a footballer at the University of Glasgow. As a result he made a name for himself and established a number of unassailable records.
He played for Scotland's premier team, Queen's Park Football Club, and led the team to several Scottish Cup wins. As a result, he is recognized as the first black player to win a major football competition.
Watson represented Scotland on three occasions. In 1881, he led Scotland's team to a 6-1 victory over England. For this he is recognized as the world's first black international football captain.
Watson later joined The Corinthians. Jonathan Coates considers this to have been a "remarkable coup." He noted, "The Corinthians were regarded as one of the most exclusive gentlemen's clubs in the world, with only 50 members, yet here they were admitting a Scot of Pan-American heritage."
The story of British Guianaese-born Andrew Watson fired the imagination of football circles in the United Kingdom during the early years of the 21st century. The BBC produced a special Andrew Watson: Scotland's Lost Captain.
In concluding his article on Andrew Wastson, Coates noted, "Andrew Watson, Glaswegian aristocrat, gentleman, pioneer of amateur football and scourge of the English. And a black man to boot. How on earth were we ignorant of him for so long?"
Let us extend that remark and ask why have we been ignorant for so long about the black women who have mothered so many of Guyana's influential families.
There is virtually no record of Watson's life after football. It is known that he emigrated to Australia and that he died in Sydney.
There are many stories associated with music in Guyanese history
University of Hunger
is the university of hunger the wide waste.
is the pilgrimage of man the wide march.
The print of hunger wanders in the land.
The green tree bends above the long forgotten.
The plains of life rise up and fall in spasms.
The huts of men are fused in misery.
They come treading in the hoofmarks of the mule
passing the ancient bridge
the grave of pride
the sudden flight
the terror and the time.
They come from the distant village of the flood
passing from middle air to middle earth
in the common hours of nakedness.
Twin bars of hunger mark their metal brows
twin seasons mock them
parching drought and flood.
is the dark ones
the half sunken in the land.
is they who had no voice in the emptiness
in the unbelievable
in the shadowless.
They come treading on the mud floor of the year
mingling with dark heavy waters
and the sea sound of the eyeless flitting bat.
O long is the march of men and long is the life
and wide is the span.
is the air dust and the long distance of memory
is the hour of rain when sleepless toads are silent
is broken chimneys smokeless in the wind
is brown trash huts and jagged mounds of iron
The come in long lines toward the broad city
is the golden moon like a big coin in the sky
is the floor of bone beneath the floor of flesh
is the beak of sickness breaking on the stone
O long is the march of men, and long is the life
and wide is the span
O cold is the cruel wind blowing.
O cold is the hoe in the ground.
They come like sea birds
flapping in the wake of a boat
is the torture of sunset in purple bandages
is the powder of the fire spread like dust in the twilight
is the water melodies of white foam on wrinkled sand.
The long streets of night move up and down
baring the thighs of a woman.
and the cavern of generation.
The beating drum returns and dies away.
The bearded men fall down and go to sleep.
The cocks of dawn stand up and crow like bugles.
is they who rose early in the morning
watching the moon die in the dawn.
is they who heard the shell blow and the iron clang.
is they who had no voice in the emptiness
in the unbelievable
in the shadowless.
O long is the march of men and long is the life
and wide is the span.
(Martin Carter in Poems of Resistance,1954)
For more of Martin Carter's poetry, please visit http://martincarter.blogspot.com
(Collage courtesy of David Mozer, Ibike Cultural Tours)
Like amazon rain I dance
For the African drum becomes my soul
My tropical frame I now behold!
Jubilant and enchanted, revisiting time and times of old...
I dance the dance of an old African.
I dance the dance of an old African.
Like lightning in the rain I dance
For the Indian drum becomes my dream
And rose like a mystical streak, a vision unseen!
A vision of light, with ghungrus and sari...
I dance the dance of an old Indian.
I dance the dance of an old Indian.
Like clouds of fire I dance
For the cumfa drum speaks to me
Spiritual flames across the floor; resurrected and free!
I dance the dance of cumfa.
I dance the dance of cumfa.
Like Amazon rain - lightning and clouds of fire I dance
For the masquerade drums awake my soul
My tropical spirit, like flickering lights unfold!
I dance the dance of Guyana.
I dance the dance of Guyana.
James C. Richmond
To order James' CD entitled, 'Emerging Sound' which contains 49 poems and costs only $10.00 please contact him at email@example.com and help support one of the most talented artists and creative voices that Guyana has to offer...
Yvonne Cho-Yee (my mom !!)
Des Glasford & The Combo 7
Francis Quamina Farrier
Dave Martins & The Tradewinds
Sister Noel Menezes
Bill "Bhagee" Rogers
Olga Lopes Seales
Raj Kumari Singh
Shurland "King Fighter" Wilson
Online Caribbean/Guyanese Arts Journal
Always accepting submissions !!
1. All cassava get same skin but all nah taste same way. Though people may look alike because of their mode of dress, they are different in their ways.
2. Baby who ah cry ah house and ah door ah same thing. The same manner in which you treats your child, you should treat another's.
3. Belly full behind drunk. After you have eaten and drunken much you tend to become lazy.
4. Big tree fall down, goat bite he leaf. When a great man falls, he is no longer feared and respected.
5. Bush get ears and dutty get tongue. Sometimes you think that what you do or say nobody sees or hears, but yet your secrets are known.
6. Cat foot soft but he ah scratch bad. Some people may seem friendly and understanding but to your surprise it is not really so.
7. Cuss when yuh ah guh, nah wheh yuh ah come out. You must not curse the place that you have come from, because sometime in the future you may have to return there.
8. Contrary breeze ah mek crow and eagle light on one line. When there is trouble, enemies are sometimes forced to get together to solve problems.
9. Cow deh a pasture he nah remember seh dog and butcher deh till he see am. Sometimes when you think you are safe, danger is lurking nearby.
10. Cat a ketch rat, but he a teef he massa fish. Good and evil come from the same source.
11. Clath ah easy fuh dutty but hard fuh wash. Having achieved a goal, it is difficult to retain it.
12. Dah mouth dat man tek fuh court woman, ah de same mouth he ah tek an put she ah door. When a man is courting a woman, he is very concerned, kind and considerate, but when the novelty of the relationship is over, he finds faults and is unkind.
13. Don't mind how bird vex, it can't vex with tree. It does not matter if you are annoyed with conditions at work, you have to return to your job. Similarly, although you may be frustrated with the situation in your homeland, you may still have to return to it.
14. Dog buy rum, cow drink am, hog in sty get drunk. A matter may not concern someone, yet he or she gets involved.
15. Every rope gat two ends. Every story has two sides.
16. Every fowl feed pon he own craw. Everybody has to learn and find out what is good for himself or herself.
17. Every best friend get a next best friend. Your secrets are spread from best friend to best friend to best friend.
18. Every bush a man night time. Things seem worse than they really are when we are afraid.
19. Fish ah deh ah watah but nah ah dam tap. There are places where you can play an important part, but here are other places where you can be insignificant.
20. Fish ah play ah sea, he nah know watah ah boil fuh am. Sometimes when you are enjoying yourself, unknown to you, trouble is brewing in the background.
21. Fish and cast-net nah friend. In life it is difficult for you to relate to someone who may be unfriendly or hostile.
22. Good gubby nah ah float ah tap. Good things do not come easily.
23. Hungry nah know bam-by. If you have a need, you grasp at everything that fulfills it.
24. If yuh finger get sore, nah tek am and throw way. A member of your family may turn delinquent but that does not mean that you must disown him or refuse to help him.
25. If yuh eye nah see, yuh mouth nah must talk. You must see for yourself before you talk.
26. If cow-man pass wild meat whah mek me must pick up am. You should not go against the decision or choice of a person you feel is qualified to make the right choice.
27. It nah good to shove yuh foot in every stocking. You should not try to position yourself everywhere or in everything.
28. If me bin know always deh behind de door. We are quick to use ignorance as an excuse for our mistakes.
29. If yuh nah get wing, nah ah guh a bird sport. If you feel that you do not belong somewhere you should not go there. Also, if you are unable to do something, you should not do it.
30. If dutty ah deh ah roof tap, yuh barrel ah catch am. Children learn bad habits from their parents.
31. If oil ah float watah deh ah battam. A little evidence can tell the whole story.
32. If yuh plant plantain yuh can't reap cassava. You reap what you sow.
33. If trousers say massah teef, yuh can't doubt am. If someone close to you says something about you it is most likely true.
34. Lil finger point to de big thumb and sey nah guh. Those who are leading can see the danger ahead and are in a position to give advice.
35. Lil boy nah climb ladder to turn big man. Only time can make you what you will be.
36. Lil ah sick, big a get better. When you are small you are insignificant, but when you become big you are strong and important.
37. Man strength deh ah he hand, woman strength deh a she mouth. It is assumed that a woman talks very much, but a man talks less and quickly resorts to violence.
38. Mouth cut trousers nah ah fit Massa. What you boast about yourself may not necessarily be true.
39. Macaw ask parrot if mango ripe, he say one, one. You should not tell everything. Room should be left to others to find out some things for themselves.
40. Moon ah run till daylight ketch am. You may think that you are getting away with your misdeeds, but one day you will be caught.
41. Nah all who guh a church house ah guh fuh pray. It is not everything you must take at face value.
42. Nah tek yuh mattie eye fuh see. See for yourself and form your own conclusions instead of relying on the reports of others.
43. Nah one time a fire mek peas boil. Some things take a long time to be completed.
44. Nah because dog ah play with yuh he nah bite yuh. Some people talk kindly to you but they are capable of hurting you.
45. Nah every crab hole get crab. Things do not always turn out to be what you expect them to be.
46. Nah every big head get sense. If a person's head is big it is not necessarily brainy.
47. Nah mind how pumpkin vine run, he must dry up one day. Every life comes to an end sooner or later.
48. Nah put all two foot in river if yuh want see how he deep. Do not jump into a venture before you make sure that it is worthy.
49. Nah everything scholar know he learn from teacher. In life you learn from everybody and everything in the environment in which you find yourself.
50. Never guh a store ah night fuh buy black cloth. You must attempt something only when all aspects seem clear.
51. No good carpenter does get good wuk bench. When you are good at a job you are expected to perform just as well without the necessary tools and support.
52. Nobody want dutty powder. People will not respect you if you have a bad reputation.
53. One man money mek too much man cry. Sometimes when a person dies others will cry not so much in sorrow but in joy for the expected inheritance.
54. One kiss nah done lips. A source of enjoyment is always available where it was once found.
55. Orange yellow but yuh nah know if he sweet. You cannot judge everything from the outside.
56. Only knife ah know whah in pumpkin belly. Only after experiencing trials and crises in life can a person's true self be known.
57. Rain ah fall ah roof yuh put barrel fuh ketch am. There is an opportunity for everyone and you must try to grasp it.
58. Shame face ah feel like cent ice. When you are made to feel ashamed, you wish you could disappear from the public's eye.
59. Some pork-knockers does only clear track fuh monkey run race. Some people do all the hard work but others benefit in the end.
60. Seven years nah too much fuh wash speck off ah bird neck. Some people will never change their ways and attitude.
61. Slow fire ah boil hard cow-heel. If you persevere you can make great accomplishments.
62. Tongue nah gat teeth but he ah bite fuh true. You can hurt a person by what you say as if you literally bite him.
63. Turtle can't walk if he nah push he head outa he shell. In life you cannot make any kind of progress if you do not take risks. Also, the first steps must be made.
64. Turtle nah want trouble mek he walk with he house pon he back. You should be always prepared for disappointment or trouble.
65. Too much sit down ah bruck trousers. Lazy people wear out their pants and get nothing done.
66. The looks ah de pudding is not de taste. You should not always take things by their looks.
67. Vice nah hurt but conscience ah hurt yuh. Although you tend to be ignored for the wrong things you do, you still have your conscience to deal with.
68. Vex nah gat plaster fuh passion. Vexation will cure a problematic situation.
69. Wasteful man money ah guh like butter in de sun. If you waste your money it would be finished very quickly.
70. When man mek heself sugar he mattie ah suck am. Sometimes when you make yourself too kind your friends and associates will take advantage.
71. When yuh buy ah dutty calico yuh gat fuh wear am till it tear. When you make a decision you must be prepared to abide with the consequences.
72. When yuh play out all yuh trump cards yuh gat to lose till game done. Giving up your advantages places you in a losing position.
73. When yuh dead yuh nah sabee, and when yuh sabee yuh dead. You spend a lifetime trying to acquire knowledge and understanding, and when it seems that all has been grasped, life ends.
74. When man done suck cane he dash peeling pan ground. Some people make use of things and people and then carelessly discard them.
75. When Mumma dead family done. When a mother is around, she keeps the family together, but when she dies the members of the family tend to scatter.
76. When dog hungry he ah nyam calabash. To fill a need you make do with anything at hand.
77. When gaulding see fish he forget seh gun deh. Sometimes when you are enjoying yourself, unknown to you, trouble is brewing in the background.
78. When yuh deh in bad luck wet paper self ah cut yuh. A spell of misfortune causes our whole outlook to be bleak. The smallest incident can cause us to feel hurt.
79. When water throw away ah ground yuh can't pick am up. It is no use crying over a mishap.
80. When coconut fall from tree he can't fasten back. Some happenings cannot be changed or reversed.
81. When two big bottle deh ah table lil one nah business deh. When two powerful people meet to discuss business, everybody else must know his place.
82. Whah hurt eye does mek nose run water. When one member of the family is hurt all others feel it.
83. When you want fuh swim river yuh gat fuh plunge inside fuss. You have to take risks when you attempt new ventures.
84. Yuh tel tara and tara tell tara. When you tell a friend a secret soon everyone knows because your friend will tell another friend.
85. Youth nah ah weary but he ah fall down. When you are young you carry much burden, but as you get old you can take on only little responsibility.
86. Yuh can't chew bone with gum. If you do not have the necessary expertise or tools for a job, it is better not to bother with it.
87. Yuh can't fatten cow fuh another man butcher. When you work hard and achieve something in life, you are not happy if it is taken away by others.
88. Yuh can't drink mauby and belch beer. If you put little effort in a task you can expect very little success.
89. Yuh can't suck cane and blow whistle. Do not try to carry out two tasks at the same time.
90. Yuh gat fuh blow yuh nose where yuh stump yuh toe. Some people take out their anger on those who are nearby but have nothing to do with it.
91. One, one dutty build dam. Every little bit adds up.
92. Dance a battam watch a tap While enjoying yourself look out for things that can threaten you.
93. Never cuss bridge that you cross Be grateful for favors from anyone because someday you may need another.
94. Monkey dress e pickney till he spoil. Don't try to over do something, keep it simple.
Date of Birth (DOB): 2/23/47
Best Known for: Miss Guyana, Model, Wife of Micheal Caine
Bio: Born the eldest of four children in a Muslim East-Indian family in Guyana, Shakiraâs father died when she was only 5 years old. After graduating from high School, Shakira, influenced by her mothers talent as a dressmaker was inspired to become a fashion designer. She said in an interview with Ruby Spolia âshe made all our clothes, including the elaborate evening gowns I wore for the Miss World Contest. She had an extraordinary talent for creating exquisite designs and I would loved to have done the same." She put aside her aspirations and went to work as a secretary, her boss encouraged her to enter the Miss Guyana contest, and went as far as to mail her application and photos in. She won Miss Guyana and placed third in the 1967 Miss World competition in London at the age of 19. After her appearance in the Miss World contest worked for four years as a professional model in advertisements for Maxwell House coffee, and other companies. .She has been married to actor Michael Caine since 1973 they have a daughter, Natasha. She appeared in the film "The Man Who Would Be King," with her husband and Sean Connery and then choose to give up her showbiz career to raise her family. Today, Shakira designs exotic and runs a restaurant called 'The Canteen' at Chelsea Harbour.
(Courtesy of Caribbean Hall of Fame)
Guyana rests in a unicameral National Assembly, with 53 members chosen on the basis of proportional representation from national lists named by the political parties. An additional 12 members are elected by regional councils at the same time as the National Assembly. The elections system was revised for the 2001 elections. The president may dissolve the assembly and call new elections at any time, but no later than 5 years from its first sitting.
Executive authority is exercised by the president, who appoints and supervises the prime minister and other ministers. The president is not directly elected; each party presenting a slate of candidates for the assembly must designate in advance a leader who will become president if that party receives the largest number of votes. Any dissolution of the assembly and election of a new assembly can lead to a change in the assembly majority and consequently a change in the presidency. Only the prime minister is required to be a member of the assembly. In practice, most other ministers also are members. Those who are not serve as nonelected members, which permits them to debate but not to vote.
The highest judicial body is the Court of Appeal, headed by a chancellor of the judiciary. The second level is the High Court (Guyana), presided over by a chief justice. The chancellor and the chief justice are appointed by the president.
For administrative purposes, Guyana is divided into 10 regions, each headed by a chairman who presides over a regional democratic council. Local communities are administered by village or city councils.
Race and ideology have been the dominant political influences in Guyana. Since the split of the multiracial PPP in 1955, politics has been based more on ethnicity than on ideology. From 1964 to 1992, the PNC dominated Guyana's politics. The PNC draws its support primarily from urban Blacks, and for many years declared itself a socialist party whose purpose was to make Guyana a nonaligned socialist state, in which the party, as in communist countries, was above all other institutions.
The overwhelming majority of Guyanese of East Indian extraction traditionally have backed the People's Progressive Party, headed by the Jagans. Rice farmers and sugar workers in the rural areas form the bulk of PPP's support, but Indo-Guyanese who dominate the country's urban business community also have provided important support.
Following independence, and with the help of substantial foreign aid, social benefits were provided to a broader section of the population, specifically in health, education, housing, road and bridge building, agriculture, and rural development. However, during Forbes Burnham's last years, the government's attempts to build a socialist society caused a massive emigration of skilled workers, and, along with other economic factors, led to a significant decline in the overall quality of life in Guyana.
After Burnham's death in 1985, President Hoyte took steps to stem the economic decline, including strengthening financial controls over the parastatal corporations and supporting the private sector. In August 1987, at a PNC Congress, Hoyte announced that the PNC rejected orthodox communism and the one-party state.
As the elections scheduled for 1990 approached, Hoyte, under increasing pressure from inside and outside Guyana, gradually opened the political system. After a visit to Guyana by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1990, Hoyte made changes in the electoral rules, appointed a new chairman of the Elections Commission, and endorsed putting together new voters' lists, thus delaying the election. The elections, which finally took place in 1992, were witnessed by 100 international observers, including a group headed by Mr. Carter and another from the commonwealth of nations. Both groups issued reports saying that the elections had been free and fair, despite violent attacks on the Elections Commission building on election day and other irregularities.
Cheddi Jagan served as Premier (1957-1964) and then minority leader in Parliament until his election as President in 1992. One of the Caribbean's most charismatic and famous leaders, Jagan was a founder of the PPP which led Guyana's struggle for independence. Over the years, he moderated his Marxist-Leninist ideology. After his election as President, Jagan demonstrated a commitment to democracy, followed a pro-Western foreign policy, adopted free market policies, and pursued sustainable development for Guyana's environment. Nonetheless, he continued to press for debt relief and a new global human order in which developed countries would increase assistance to less developed nations. Jagan died on 6 March 1997, and was succeeded by Samuel A. Hinds, whom he had appointed Prime Minister. President Hinds then appointed Janet Jagan, widow of the late President, to serve as Prime Minister.
In national elections on 15 December 1997, Janet Jagan was elected President, and her PPP party won a 55% majority of seats in Parliament. She was sworn in on 19 December. Mrs. Jagan is a founding member of the PPP and was very active in party politics. She was Guyana's first female prime minister and vice president, two roles she performed concurrently before being elected to the presidency. She was also unique in being white, Jewish and a naturalized citizen (born in the United States.)
The PNC, which won just under 40% of the vote, disputed the results of the 1997 elections, alleging electoral fraud. Public demonstrations and some violence followed, until a CARICOM team came to Georgetown to broker an accord between the two parties, calling for an international audit of the election results, a redrafting of the constitution, and elections under the constitution within 3 years. Elections took place on 19 March 2001. Over 150 international observers representing six international missions witnessed the polling. The observers pronounced the elections fair and open although marred by some administrative problems.
Bharrat Jagdeo 1999 - Present
Janet Jagan 1997 - 1999
Samuel Hinds March 6, 1996 - December 19 1997
Desmond Hoyte 1985 - 1992
Forbes Burnham 1966 - 1985
Cheddi Jagan 1957 - 1964, 1992 - 1997
(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Why they came
In 1834, the slaves who had been taken from Africa to the colonies of Britain were set free. In British Guiana a significant proportion of the freedmen chose to live off the fertile land and sought paid employment on an irregular basis. The resulting reduction in the labour force caused the sugar plantation owners to search for replacement workers. They obtained large numbers of labourers from Madeira (Portugal), India and China each bound by a contract of indenture. The Chinese were the smallest group of these indentured workers.
When they came
The first batch of Chinese landed in Georgetown, British Guiana in 1853, and for the next few years all were men, most being taken forcibly. To curb the excesses of this trade in human cargo the British and Chinese authorities in Canton agreed to a formal supervised recruitment process and families were encouraged to emigrate. Chinese women began arriving in 1860, but in small numbers. The period from 1860 to 1866 saw a relatively large influx of immigrants, bringing the local Chinese population to a peak of 10,022 in 1866. Subsequently only two boats arrived with Chinese immigrants, one in 1874 and the other in 1879. After this Chinese immigrants came of their own free will and at their own expense.
How they came
The 39 ships that brought the Chinese labourers were chartered by recruiting agents based in Canton, China, with the cost of shipping shared between the colony's Immigration Fund and the plantation owners. The ships travelled by way of Singapore and Cape Town, arriving at Georgetown after a journey of between 70 and 177 days.
Where they went
The distribution of Chinese labourers to the sugar plantations in the three counties of Berbice, Demerara, and Essequebo was made by the Immigration Agent-General who based his decision on the quotas submitted by the plantation owners several months previously. Families were kept together in the distribution.
Passenger lists were maintained by the Immigration Office in Georgetown and an ongoing search is in progress to locate these and other relevant documents that give the names of the Chinese immigrants. The names of some indivduals are presented in this compilation and further names will be added as they become known.
By 1900 the Chinese population in British Guiana had dwindled to 2,919 since the majority of Chinese at that time preferred to marry people from their own country but there were too few Chinese women available. Many also left the colony to seek their destiny in other countries, particularly French Guiana, Surinam and Trinidad.
(Chinese Association before the fire)
(Chinese Association Rebuilt)
(Courtesy of Trev Sue-A-Quan)
In the 1830s and into the 1850s Portugal was undergoing a series of crises - recurring civil wars between the Constitutionalists and the Absolutists, the repercussions of which were felt in Madeira. Many young men jumped at the opportunity to get out of Madeira at any cost and thus evade compulsory military service which was necessary, as Madeira was considered part of metropolitan Portugal. Also, more and more, poverty was becoming a harsh reality of life on the thirty-four mile long, fourteen mile wide island of 100,000 inhabitants. During the first decade of the nineteenth century life for the peasant, the colono who worked the land for the lord of the manor, had become even harder.
Madeira had been discovered in 1419 by Joao Goncalves Zarco under the auspices of Prince Henry, the Navigator, and by 1425 it had been settled. Prince Henry, son of Joao 1 of Portugal and patron of exploration, an unusually far-seeing and intellectual prince of his age and of many centuries beyond, was responsible for the introduction of the sugar-cane from Sicily to Madeira. By 1456 the first shipment of sugar was sent to England, and by the end of the century the burgeoning sugar industry was helping Madeira to play a prominent role in the commerce of the period. Bentley Duncan claims:
(The Madeiran capital of Funchal)
"By 1500, when Madeira had reached only its seventy-fifth year of settlement the island had become the world's greatest producer of sugar, and with its complex European and African connections, was also an important centre for shipping and navigation."
After 1570 the sugar trade began to decline as it faced competition from the cheaper and better-refined Brazilian product. Also the industry had been bedevilled by soil exhaustion, soil erosion, expensive irrigation measures, destruction by rats and insects, and ravaging by plant diseases.
As sugar declined in international trade the wine trade took precedence. Here again Madeira owed its name as a famous wine-producing country to the enterprises of Prince Henry who introduced the vine from Cyprus and Crete. The 'Madeira' of Madeira took its place with the port of Oporto on the tables of the world. It was soon discovered that the rolling of the ship added to the rich quality of the wine, and in the 17th and 18th centuries no ship left the island without a large consignment of pipes of Madeira for the West Indies and England, the largest consumers. In the 19th century wine was being shipped from Madeira to the United States, England, the West Indies, the East Indies, France, Portugal, Denmark, Cuba, Gibraltar, Newfoundland, Brazil, Africa and Russia. By the late 19th century St Petersburg, Russia, vied with London in its consumption of Madeira. But as with the sugar industry so too with the viniculture. The vines were often demolished by diseases. In 1948 the oidium ravaged the plants, and by 1853 vine cultivation was almost totally abandoned. Twenty years later, the phylloxera, which also nearly ruined the French wine industry, crippled the vines.
(Portuguese family, circa 1920s)
The Madeiran peasant, in particular, owed his existence and that of his family to his job as a sugar-worker, a vine-tender or a borracheiro (transporter of wines in skins). No wonder when catastrophe continuously hit those crops, "the peasant, descending from the sierra with his bundle of beech sticks for the beans, and occasionally stopping to rest at the turns in the paths, casts his glance at the sea horizon and, in spite of himself, begins to feel the winged impulse to disimprison himself in search of lands where life would be less harsh." (de Gouveia)
Thus the Portuguese emigrant who came to British Guiana was the inheritor of a more than 300 year legacy of sugar production and viniculture. He was also a "thrifty husbandman of no small merit" (Koebel) utilising every inch of available space of the terraced hillsides to grow peas, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, spinach, pumpkin, onion and a vast variety of fruits. Thus it is surprising to read in Dalton's history that agriculture was not the forte of the Portuguese! What is even more surprising is the somewhat grudging concession made to the commercial enterprise of the emigrants. Significant among the reasons given for their meteoric rise to prominence in the retail, and later the wholesale trade in British Guiana, is the over-emphasis on the "preferential treatment" accorded them by the government of the day. It was "the patronage of the European elite [which] was the spark that ignited Portuguese initiative and secured ultimate success" (Wagner). To continue this train of thought -- the government and planters regarded the Portuguese as allies against the Creoles. Yet it seemed that this European patronage boomeranged as later one is told that as the commercial power of the Portuguese grew they "became a threat to European elite's dominion."
(Portuguese shop at Parika, circa 1920s)
One is left to conjecture whether the Portuguese in British Guiana would ever have risen in the mercantile trade had not the government and planters paved the way for them. Yet an investigation of Portuguese-Madeiran history indicates a long familiarity with trade and the tricks of trade. The Madeirans were heirs to a dynamic trade system that had its roots in 14th century Portugal when Lisbon was the important Atlantic seaport carrying on a vigorous trade with the Orient and Europe. Nineteenth century sources reveal an incidence of shopkeepers on the island with writers commenting caustically on those "wily creatures" (shopkeepers) imbued with the spirit of swindling. One observer on the island wrote: "They can work like horses when they see their interest in it, but they are cunning enough to understand the grand principle of commerce, to give as little, and receive as much as possible." A plethora of shops on the island, some of which date back to earlier centuries, attests to the fact that the Madeirans were no novices in business.
The British presence in trade and industry was ubiquitous but by the eighteenth century native jealousy had become very overt. By 1826 Madeirans were strongly objecting to "the almost monopoly of trade of the island in the hands of British merchants." (Koebel) Possibly then the Madeiran merchant in British Guiana might have argued that the British merchants there owed him patronage in return for the privileges their counterparts had been receiving in Madeira for over two centuries!
The Madeiran emigrant then, did not arrive in British Guiana devoid of everything but his conical blue cloth cap, coarse jacket, short trousers and his rajao (banjo). As did all other immigrants he brought with him a background history in agriculture, a flair for business, as well as the culture and mores of his island home, a replica of the mother country, Portugal. He brought with him, not only his family, but in many cases his criado (servant), his deep faith, his love of festivals, his taste in food, the well-known pumpkin and cabbage soup, the celebrated moorish dish, cus-cus, the bacelhau (salted fish), cebolas (onions) and alho (garlic). These tastes and many other customs became incorporated into the life of the Guianese. Very early the Catholic faith was carried throughout the country and wherever the Portuguese settled churches were built; the major feast days were celebrated, as they were and still are in Madeira, with fireworks and processions. As the Register of Ships notes, throughout the nineteenth century ships plied between Madeira and British Guiana, ships chartered by the Portuguese themselves, bringing in their holds cargoes of bacelhau, cus-cus, cebolas, alho and wine, as well as new emigrants.
The success and prosperity of the Portuguese within a short span of time and out of proportion to their numbers (in a total population d 278,328 in 1891 they numbered only 12,166 or 4.3 per cent), whether due to "preferential treatment" or not, brought in its train economic jealousy among the Creole population, erupting in violence within fifteen years of their arrival in the colony. Later, when the Portuguese began to oust the European merchant in the wholesale trade, they felt the brunt of European envy which manifested itself in many subtle and overt ways.
(Portuguese businessmen, circa 1920s)
Though the whites, grudgingly acknowledged the economic supremacy of the Portuguese, at no time did they accord them social supremacy or draw them into their privileged group. This attitude undoubtedly hurt and embittered the Portuguese who considered themselves Europeans. But this did not hamper them or cripple their expectations or ambitions. Although from the very outset the local authorities, both Church and State in Madeira, tried to dissuade their countrymen from leaving the island, the emigre returning with
his earnings, on the other hand, encouraged his brethren to cross the Atlantic and find their E1 Dorado in Demerara.
Today it seems that "the winged impulse" has again overtaken the Portuguese, and many have crossed the ocean in search of another E1 Dorado - in the north. Maybe it is the resurgence of the spirit of the early Portuguese explorers who lived to the hilt the motto of their Prince: "Go farther."
(All photos published courtesy of M.N. Menezes, RSM)
by Sr M. Noel Menezes, R.S.M - Stabroek May 7th. 2000
(Reprinted courtesy of Kyk-Over-Al, December 1984)