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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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
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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Businessman Roger Khan was last night on US soil facing a drug charge after dramatic events in Paramaribo yesterday led to his handing over to American agents and his lawyers charging that he had been drugged and spirited out of Suriname via extraordinary rendition.
Khan had been centre stage of a riveting four-month drama that crisscrossed Guyana, Suriname and the US and ensnared the joint services here.
Justice Minister of Suriname Chrandrikapersad Santokhi confirmed to Suriname journalists last night that Khan was deported and put on a flight to Trinidad and Tobago by Suriname police. He was then handed over to immigration authorities upon arrival in Port Spain who then handed him over to US officials.
Khan was flown out of Johann Pengel International Airport, Paramaribo on a Suriname Airways flight heavily guarded by police escorts three of whom accompanied him to Trinidad. American authorities in Trinidad and Tobago declined to comment on the matter when contacted by this newspaper yesterday.
The deportation of the businessman came days after a Suriname court had granted an extension of his detention in Suriname and also on the eve of the hearing of motion which was filed by his Surinamese attorney, Irwnis Khanai seeking to block his extradition to the USA.
Paramaribo was adamant yesterday that the Guyanese businessman was not extradited, but rather deported from the country after he was no longer a suspect on allegations of drug trafficking, firearms possession and being part of a criminal gang. There was no statement from Washington up to press time last night. Meanwhile, Khan was up to last night in federal custody in New York, his attorney, Glenn Hanoman told Stabroek News. He arrived in the USA around 4 pm yesterday.
The Surinamese declaration that Khan was no longer a suspect in a recent drug bust came as a surprise as Santokhi and other officials had issued strong statements linking Khan to drugs, crime gangs and plots to assassinate Surinamese officials. The officials had also said that Khan would most likely be prosecuted in Suriname.
Observers say the turn of events probably represents a deal between the US and Paramaribo for Khan to be put in the hands of American authorities for his prosecution in New York. Guyana had already indicated it was not pursuing extradition of Khan at this point as it appeared that the charges in Suriname would be more serious. There was no statement yesterday from the Guyana Government on the latest developments. Observers noted that if Khan was to be deported it would have to be to Guyana since he crossed illegally from here and the best route to send him back would be across the Corentyne River on the ferry.
Thomas Walsh, spokesperson for the US Embassy in Paramaribo told a local journalist when contacted on the matter that he could only confirm that the US government had made a request for the provisional arrest of Khan to Suriname for extradition. He said also that there was an international arrest warrant out for Khan whose name was mentioned in a US State Department drug report this year. With regard to Khan's deportation, Walsh said that was a different matter but he hoped that the businessman could be captured by the US on the basis of the international arrest warrant.
John Jones, Suriname Police spokesman told Stabroek News when contacted that as far as he was aware Khan was set free by the Surinamese authorities after they found that he was no longer a suspect on the allegations they were holding him for. Jones said the only charge they had against Khan was that of being in the country illegally and as such he was deported. According to Jones the businessman was put on a plane around 6 am Suriname time yesterday and flown to Trinidad en route to Georgetown.
The policeman said he could not say whether Khan was picked up by US officials and he did not know whether flying Khan to the US was in the original plan when the Guyanese was deported. Jones said as far as he knew Khan was deported to his homeland Guyana, adding that from what he was told Surinamese police escorted Khan to the airport and ensured he boarded an aircraft. "All I know is that he was deported to Guyana, they released him from jail, put him on a plane and got him out of the country," Jones said.
He could not say whether US law enforcement officials facilitated Khan's deportation and was adamant that the Guyanese businessman was not extradited, but rather deported.
On the issue of the three other Guyanese, Sean Belfield, Lloyd Roberts and Paul Rodrigues, Jones said they along with the other Surinamese who were arrested on the day of the drug bust are still in custody. He said investigations are ongoing and once there is a case against them they would be charged. Khan had appeared in a Suriname court charged with violating the country's narcotics and firearms laws as well as being part of a criminal gang. Jones said all of these charges were dropped and when asked why, he directed this newspaper to the Prosecutor General or the Justice Minister.
According to Hanoman, shortly after midday yesterday Khan made contact with his relatives in Miami after being afforded a telephone call. He told his relatives that he was on his way to New York. Hanoman said Khan departed Suriname on a Suriname Airways flight to Trinidad and Tobago. He was then placed into a private jet which flew to Miami where it made another stop.
Meanwhile, in a strongly worded statement, Hanoman said that the decision of the Surinamese authorities to send Khan by airplane to Trinidad and Tobago was obviously not done to facilitate his deportation to Guyana. According to the lawyer he was advised that around 11 pm on Wednesday, American operatives were allowed into the Santo Boma Prison, where Khan was being held in Suriname. He was then injected with a substance that rendered him unconscious after which he was lifted out of his cell with a hood over his head and flown to Trinidad and Tobago where a private jet awaited him. In addition, Hanoman said his client was shackled with chains and then flown to Miami.
"It is abundantly clear that Surinamese officials aided and abetted this extraordinary rendition of a citizen of a sister Caricom state. It is to be hoped that Caricom, the Guyana government, the international community and other organizations condemn in the strongest possible terms this 'Cowboy" behaviour displayed by both the Suriname and American governments and even possibly the Trinidad and Tobago government," the lawyer remarked. He said by their actions these governments have indicated that they have no respect for the rule of law, for due process, for human rights or sovereignty. Hanoman said Khan had at least three pending matters that he has instituted in the courts in Suriname, including an action to prevent his extradition to the USA, which was scheduled to be heard today. The lawyer said by this latest move, Khan has been effectively prevented from pursuing his legal remedies. "It reflects poorly," the lawyer remarked "on the executive in Suriname and shows the extent that they are prepared to go to usurp judicial and democratic processes."
Further, Hanoman said he was made to understand that in the first place there was no evidence for which Khan could have been charged in Suriname, which just goes to show that Guyanese in Suriname who have not committed any offence may be subjected to all kinds of treatment. The lawyer said it was shocking that Jones has stated that the other three Guyanese will be kept in custody for investigations to continue into the same allegations Khan was subjected to. "If the alleged ringleader was not charged surely it is malicious to keep the other three on the same facts," Hanoman remarked.
Meanwhile, an attorney for Khan yesterday filed a motion in the United States District court requesting the dismissal of a Grand Jury indictment which alleges that the businessman conspired to import cocaine into that country.
Khan was captured along with three of his cohorts two weeks ago in Suriname during a huge drug bust, which netted some 213 kilos of cocaine.
The seven-page motion filed by US attorney-at-law, John E Bergendahl, outlined among other things Khan's previous clashes with the US law as well as his local crime fighting claims.
According to the motion, on or about April 13, 2006 a Federal Grand Jury sitting in the Eastern District of New York, returned a one-count indictment purporting to charge Khan with conspiracy to import five or more kilos of cocaine into the United States between January 2001 and March 2006 in violation of Title 21 United States Code 963 960 and 906.
According to the motion, on or about May 3, 2006 the US government filed an application requesting that that the indictment be unsealed and an order granting the government's application was also entered the same day. The lawyer argues that the US government requested that the indictment be unsealed despite the fact that Khan was not in custody, noting that on the date the indictment was unsealed Khan was residing in his native country Guyana. According to the attorney despite the fact that the indictment has now been unsealed, no request for Khan's extradition has ever been sent to the government of Guyana. He added in his motion that on June 15 Khan was taken into custody by law enforcement officials in Suriname and was held under deplorable conditions violative of his legal and human rights. The attorney said that on June 21, the US government sent a letter through official diplomatic channels to the government of Suriname indicating its intention to seek the extradition and return of Khan to the US to face trial on the indictment.
Possession of firearm
Giving a background of Khan's past brushes with US law, the lawyer said in his motion that during the late 1980's and early 1990's the businessman was living in the USA and attended the Norwich University in Vermont. On or about November 29, 1993 Khan was arrested on a federal criminal complaint and on December 16 of the same year he was charged in a one-count indictment with possession of firearms by a convicted felon in violation of Title 18 United States Code 922. Khan was released on US$1000 cash bond following his initial appearance held on November 30, 1993.
The lawyer noted that following Khan's release on bond he departed to Guyana and never returned to the USA. On March 30, 1994, the lawyer said the US District Court for the district of Vermont issued an arrest warrant for Khan and on October 28, 1994 Khan's bond was ordered forfeited.
The lawyer said that following Khan's return to Guyana in 1993 or early 1994 he became an enterprising, innovative entrepreneur. He founded and operated a number of successful businesses including, but not limited to, a housing development and Construction Company, a carpet cleaning service, a nightclub and a timber mill.
Over the next decade, the lawyer said Khan prospered and became a well known publicly recognized figure in Georgetown. "On February 23,2002 a number of violent and dangerous convicts escaped from the Camp Street prison in Georgetown. These individuals went on a crime spree of unrivalled proportions and neither government nor the Guyana Police Force was adequately equipped to deal with the crisis," the motion declared. The lawyer noted that during the same period Steve Lesniak, a member of the US diplomatic corps was kidnapped and held hostage and Khan responded to the crisis and the kidnapping by providing financial and logistical support to the government.
"The support Mr Khan provided was invaluable in assisting the authorities in suppressing the crime wave and securing the safe return of Mr Lesniak," the motion noted.
It added that earlier this year Khan consulted with representatives of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) on a regular basis in an effort to assist them in investigating the disappearance of a number of AK-47 rifles from a military facility. Khan also in March, the motion said met with American officials at a meeting at Ocean View International Hotel to address ongoing crime and security concerns in Guyana. The US Embassy in Georgetown had admitted that a meeting was indeed held between Khan and officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as part of the ongoing investigation into Khan's alleged ties with the criminal underworld.
Khan released tapes
The motion further stated that in order to expose, identify and curb corruption and incompetence within the GPF, Khan released a number of tape recorded conversations between various PNCR and Police Commis-sioner, Winston Felix.
The motion said that in retaliation on March 19, 2006 members of the joint services raided a number of businesses owned or operated by Khan and subsequently Felix issued wanted bulletins for Khan and some of his associates even though they were not charged with any crimes. This move by the police had led to Khan's attorneys lodging an application in the High Court of Guyana seeking an order nisi quashing the bulletins.
Additionally, the motion noted that the indictment of Khan generated a substantial amount of publicity in Guyana and the businessman responded to the indictment by making a number of well publicized statements saying that he was not guilty of the charges and suggesting that the charges were not only unfounded, but were merely being used as a vehicle to attempt to destroy and discredit an individual who was strong enough to help prevent the overthrow of the Guyana government, which now has leftist leanings and would not serve the United States' best interest in South America.
The motion went on to state that following Khan's detention in Suriname he was beaten and physically abused by law enforcement officers. He said too that he was denied medical attention and visits by his attorneys.
Calling for the indictment to be dismissed Bergendahl said that the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that 'No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury." To this end the lawyer said the indictment should be dismissed as it is void of any of the constitutional guarantees afforded Khan by the United States Constitution and decision authority from the United States Supreme Court. He argued that the indictment did not say specifically what Khan was charged for.
Khan, 35, who the U.S. has branded as a drug trafficker, yesterday made another appearance before an examining magistrate who granted the authorities request to continue detaining him until that time, to allow for a continuation of the investigations surrounding his arrest, according to attorney-at-law Glen Hanoman.
And according to Hanoman, the fact that after 14 days the Suriname authorities have been unable to institute charges means there is no real hard evidence against his client.
Hanoman who refuted previous reports in the media here claiming that Khan had been charged, has confirmed that an earlier order which prevented two Surinamese lawyers, Irwinis Khanai and G. R. Shewcharran, contracted to represent Khan in that country, from seeing him, was lifted Friday last.
As a result, Khan was seen by Khanai that day, and Shewcharran visited him yesterday.
Meanwhile, hearing of a motion filed by the lawyers seeking to usurp any extradition request by the U.S. authorities on the grounds that the indictment proffered has no legal basis, will be heard on Friday, Hanoman added.
As for the move by the U.S. to have the Surinamese extradite Khan to that country on the basis of an indictment which accuses him of conspiring to ship cocaine into the U.S. this year, Hanoman is adamant that no treaty exists between Suriname and the U.S. to extradite him on such an indictment.
Noting that the two countries are seeking to use an 1887 treaty inherited from the Netherlands, Hanoman further pointed out that Article I of the treaty categorically states that the accused to whom the indictment relates must be physically present in the United States at the time the offence was committed.
Additionally, he said, narcotics was not listed under the 1887 treaty and although Suriname ratified the 1988 Vienna Convention on narcotics, it still cannot stand as a basis.
“A convention cannot stand as a basis for an extradition, it has to be done by a bilateral arrangement,” Hanoman posited.
He told the Chronicle too, that in order for Suriname to explore the possibility of extraditing Khan to the U.S., the embassy there must lodge a copy of the indictment, the treaty which exists between the two countries, and a summary of the evidence against Khan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Suriname, but as far as he is aware, this has not been done.
Khan was nabbed along with 11 other suspects, including three other Guyanese, Sean Belfield, Paul Rodrigues and Lloyd Roberts, in what police there said was the biggest cocaine haul in that country this year.
The operation netted 213 kilograms of cocaine, police said.
Asked about the status of the other three Guyanese, Hanoman said matters relating to them will be raised in court on Friday as well.
Public Diplomacy Officer in the U.S. embassy in Suriname, Thomas Walsh, in a telephone interview with the Guyana Chronicle on Monday, had said subsequent to the arrest of Khan who was charged with cocaine trafficking by a New York court earlier this year, and an arrest warrant issued for him, the U.S. filed two requests - a provisional arrest for the purpose of extradition and for his physical extradition.
He said so far the request for provisional arrest has been satisfied, in that the U.S. is aware that Khan is being kept in custody, and the U.S. now awaits the extradition process to continue.
Asked how soon the U.S. expects a response to the second request, Walsh said while he could not say, the U.S. is aware that Suriname will have to conduct its own internal judicial process.
“They (Suriname) know of the U.S. interest, and we have to await an answer,” Walsh added.
During Khan’s first arraignment, the office of the examining magistrate was guarded by members of the Suriname Police SWAT team, armed with high-powered weapons.
The Guyana Government last week told Suriname that it would not “at this time” seek to have Khan and the three other Guyanese held in Suriname extradited to this country to face prosecution here.
The decision was communicated by Home Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira to her Suriname counterpart, Justice Minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
Before his weekly Cabinet meeting Wednesday last, Santokhi told Suriname journalists of the discussion he had with Ms. Teixeira and the decision taken by the Guyana Government which gives Suriname more leeway to consider the formal U.S. request for Khan to be extradited to face drugs charges there.
Teixeira told Santokhi that although Guyanese police are investigating alleged crimes Khan might have committed, it is up to Suriname to prosecute him and his cohorts for offences they might have committed in the Dutch-speaking country.
Khan was believed to have been hiding out in Suriname after the Police here put him on a wanted list in connection with the theft of 30 AK-47 rifles and five pistols from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) headquarters in Georgetown.
The U.S. Government earlier this year named Khan among drug traffickers it claimed were gaining a significant foothold in Guyana’s timber industry.
“In 2005, the Guyana Forestry Commission granted a State Forest Exploratory Permit for a large tract of land in Guyana’s interior to Aurelius Inc., a company controlled by known drug trafficker Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan,” the U.S. 2006 International Narcotics Control Strategy report stated.
“Such concessions in the remote interior may allow drug traffickers to establish autonomous outposts beyond the reach of Guyanese law enforcement,” the report added.
Local Police on March 29 put out a wanted bulletin for Khan, shortly after his business places in and around Georgetown were raided in joint operations by the Police Force and the GDF.
Police in a press release said Khan, of 133 Rotunda Place, D’Aguiar’s Park, Houston, was wanted in connection with investigations into the discovery of firearms, ammunition, drugs and other illegal items found during the Joint Services operation.
During their operations, GDF troops and police ranks targeted all of Khan’s known businesses in Georgetown – Dreamworks Housing Development in Garnette Street; the Reef Club at 60, Station Street, Kitty, and the Master’s Touch Carpet Cleaners at 2nd Street, Bel Air Village.
They also searched his D’Aguiar’s Park home and deployed a team to Kaow Island in the Essequibo River, where he also owns a sawmilling operation.
Khan in statements issued in the press claimed that the U.S. indictment and anything flowing from it had been motivated by political considerations.
A SURINAME government minister yesterday linked fugitive Guyanese businessman Shaheed `Roger’ Khan to plots to assassinate key government and judicial officials in the neighbouring country.
Suriname Minister of Justice, Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, told ‘de Ware Tijd’ newspaper the plots were uncovered in the probe by Suriname police into Khan’s prior activities.
He said the planned executions were part of Khan’s business in that country.
The dramatic arrest of Khan, 35, in a sting operation in Suriname Thursday, ended a two-year close watch on a man deemed a threat to the national security of the neighbouring countries, Santokhi said Saturday.
Sources also told `de Ware Tijd’ that among the names on the uncovered `hit list’ was that of Santokhi.
The newspaper said it has also learnt that another of the plots was against a police unit that was involved in the search for ammunition and grenades stolen from a Suriname army base.
The unit had been conducting searches for the missing ammunition and grenades in the Nickerie area, in the border region with Guyana.
According to the newspaper, Suriname Prosecutor-General Subhas Punwasi had informed a news conference after it was discovered that the ammo and grenades had disappeared, that Police teams were assisting in the search to recover them.
Santokhi also said that the United States, which has named him as a drug lord they want, is seeking his extradition to the U.S. and a formal request is to be put to the Suriname authorities this week.
He said the U.S. Embassy in Suriname has been in touch with the authorities in that country on flying Khan to the U.S. which claims he conspired to import drugs there between January 2001 and March 2006.
Santokhi told the newspaper Saturday that Khan has been placed under “maximum security” because officials there fear his network may try to break him out of custody.
According to the minister, Khan had wide criminal influence from his drug operations and was posing a national security threat not only to Guyana but to Suriname.
He said the “criminal activities” of the detained man extended beyond the two neighbouring countries and the Caribbean and international agencies, including those in the U.S., had been looking for him.
Suriname authorities, the minister said, had been following Khan’s moves for two years after they received information about his operations here and in the former Dutch colony.
Santokhi told ‘de Ware Tijd’, anti-drugs and other agencies in Suriname did not have enough to move against Khan until Thursday when they swooped and netted him in the biggest cocaine bust this year in that country.
Khan and three other Guyanese were among 12 people arrested in the operation which netted 213 kilos of cocaine.
The arrests by a joint Police SWAT-team and units of the Narcotics Brigade took place at two locations just outside downtown Paramaribo.
Suriname Prosecutor-General Subhas Punwasi confirmed Friday that Khan was among those arrested.
“From at least one of the other three Guyanese suspects I can confirm that he is an ex-policeman. The two others we believe are either in active police service or in the Guyanese intelligence agencies”, Punwasi told ‘de Ware Tijd’.
According to sources, Paul Rodrigues and Sean Belfield, two ex-Guyanese cops, are among the detainees. The identity of the fourth Guyanese detained is still under investigation since he didn’t have identification papers and allegedly entered Suriname illegally.
Punwasi also confirmed that the swoop Thursday was against a Guyana-Suriname gang which was trafficking cocaine from Guyana to Suriname.
“This is a big case and we are still following some leads. We want to catch all the persons who are involved in this gang”, said Commissioner Mathoera-Hussainali, Head of the Judicial Department of the Suriname Police Force.
The suspects did not resist arrest and more arrests were not ruled out, she said.
Khan was not in hiding in Suriname nor was he there on business, legal or illegal, his attorney, Mr. Vic Puran said Saturday night.
Puran told the Guyana Chronicle the purpose of Khan’s visit to the neighbouring country would be disclosed at a later time, because “if it is now stated it could be misconstrued in view of his current difficulties in Suriname.”
He said Khan’s other attorney, Mr. Glen Hanoman, who travelled to Suriname after his client was arrested Thursday, in the biggest cocaine bust in that country, retained a Surinamese lawyer who had a “supervised conversation” with Khan yesterday.
According to Puran, Khan said he has severely beaten by a dumb bell bar wrapped in wadding and has serious bruises on his ribs and other parts of his body.
Hanoman was denied access to Khan who has not seen a doctor, Puran said.
He added that the other three Guyanese held in the cocaine bust have also been beaten by Surinamese authorities and the four are being kept in separate places.
Puran said Khan told the Surinamese lawyer that he was being beaten in custody because the authorities want to extract a confession to link him to the 213 kilos of cocaine found in the operation.
The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, unsealed an indictment on May 3 last, which charges that Khan conspired to import cocaine into the U.S. between January 2001 and March 2006.
Police made the arrests and the drug find Thursday at two different locations in the capital Paramaribo.
At the first house in a residential area a few minutes drive from downtown Paramaribo, 109 kilos of cocaine were seized by the police squads. Another 104 kilos of cocaine and an automatic gun were found when the police raided a house in Franchepane Straat, Zorg-en-Hoop, also in Paramaribo.
Initially, six Surinamese nationals and one Guyanese were arrested and the other five were held as the investigation progressed.
Police in Guyana issued wanted bulletins for Khan and Rodrigues and were looking for Khan in connection with the theft of 30 AK-47 rifles from the Guyana Defence Force Camp Ayanganna headquarters in Georgetown earlier this year.
Since then Khan and several other persons connected to him were on the run and rumours were that they went into hiding in Suriname.
The U.S. Government earlier this year named Khan among drug traffickers it claimed were gaining a significant foothold in Guyana’s timber industry.
“In 2005, the Guyana Forestry Commission granted a State Forest Exploratory Permit for a large tract of land in Guyana’s interior to Aurelius Inc., a company controlled by known drug trafficker Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan,” the U.S. 2006 International Narcotics Control Strategy report stated.
“Such concessions in the remote interior may allow drug traffickers to establish autonomous outposts beyond the reach of Guyanese law enforcement,” the report added.
The U.S. had indicated it was moving to request the extradition of Khan to face charges that he conspired to ship cocaine into the U.S. this year.
“We expect that that will be submitted in due course,” U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Roland Bullen said on May 25.
Attorney for Khan, Mr. Vic Puran had said his client was prepared to face the local courts and to “deal” with an extradition request from the U.S.
Revelations by Khan caused the U.S. to move away from protocol and to divulge interactions its agents had with the businessman.
An official at the U.S. embassy here said the embassy chose to speak of meetings Khan held with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) only “because Khan is of active law enforcement interest.”
Local Police on March 29 put out a wanted bulletin for Khan, shortly after his business places, in and around Georgetown, were raided in joint operations by the Police Force and the GDF.
Police in a press release said Khan, of 133 Rotunda Place, D’Aguiar’s Park, Houston, is wanted in connection with investigations into the discovery of firearms, ammunition, drugs and other illegal items found during the Joint Services operation.
During their operations, GDF troops and police ranks targeted all of Khan’s known businesses in Georgetown – Dreamworks Housing Development in Garnette Street; the Reef Club at 60, Station Street, Kitty, and the Master’s Touch Carpet Cleaners at 2nd Street, Bel Air Village.
They also searched his D’Aguiar’s Park home and deployed a team to Kaow Island in the Essequibo River, where he also owns a sawmilling operation.
Khan in statements issued in the press claimed that the grand jury indictment and anything flowing from it had been motivated by political considerations.
He said he is perceived by persons in the U.S., the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force and the main opposition People’s National Congress Reform as someone “who has the will and a capacity to fight crime and to protect the people of Guyana.”
At the Guyana 40th Independence anniversary event in Toronto last month, Home Affairs Minister Gail Teixiera told a gathering, “The Americans have called for the extradition of one of the biggest drug lords in our country and as a government we will do everything possible to make sure that narcotics and weapons are removed from infiltrating our society, our communities, our young people.”
In the wake of the largest drug bust there this year, Suriname yesterday declared it would try fugitive businessman Roger Khan and others if it was found that they had broken laws.
Sources in Georgetown yesterday said that the United States is also keen to prosecute Khan following his indictment in New York this year on a charge of conspiring to import drugs.
In Thursday's operation in Paramaribo, Khan and three other Guyanese: Paul Rodrigues, Sean Belfield and Lloyd Roberts, and eight Surinamese were held. The police also confiscated 213 kilos of cocaine.
In an interview with the Surinamese newspaper de Ware Tijd (DWT) yesterday, Suriname's Prosecutor-General Subhas Punwasi said "From at least one of the other three Guyanese suspects I can confirm that he is an ex-policeman. The two others we believe are either in active police service or in the Guyanese intelligence agencies". Sources in Georgetown said this is because when the Guyanese men were arrested in Paramaribo, two of them were passed off as if they were still active in Guyana's security and intelligence services.
According to DWT, the Prosecutor-General categorically ruled out an extradition of the Guyanese suspects to either Guyana or the United States if the men had committed offences on Surinamese soil. Wanted bulletins had been issued by the Guyanese police for Khan and Rodrigues.
"If Mr Khan and the other Guyanese detainees have violated Surinamese laws they will be prosecuted by a Surinamese court", said the prosecutor.
DWT said that at this stage it is also unclear if the US will seek extradition from Suriname. Tom Walsh, Charge d'Affaires at the US embassy speaking through Public Relations officer Cliff Djamin said, that formally the embassy wasn't notified yet of Khan's arrest. "So we can't comment whether the United States will seek an extradition or not", said Djamin.
DWT, as reported in yesterday's Stabroek News said the police made the arrest and the drug find at two different locations in the capital Paramaribo. At the first house in a residential area a few minutes drive from downtown, 109 kilos of cocaine were seized by the police. At the second spot that was raided police confiscated 104 kilos cocaine and an automatic weapon. Initially six Surinamese and one Guyanese were apprehended. As the investigation progressed the other five suspects were apprehended. If found guilty the suspects face a jail term of up to 18 years. "This is a major case and we will go for the highest sentence", Punwasi told DWT.
Commissioner Mathoera-Hussainali, Head of the Judicial Department of the Suriname Police Force told DWT that the suspects didn't resist arrest. More arrests were not ruled out, she said. "This is a big case and we are still following some leads. We want to catch all the persons who are involved in this gang", she told DWT. Prosecutor-General Punwasi said a Guyana-Suriname gang was suspected of trafficking cocaine from Guyana to Suriname and those apprehended were believed to be a part of this. He further told DWT that the authorities were following the moves of this organisation for some time "and when the time was right we have hit them". A small quantity of crack-cocaine was also found, Commissioner Mathoera-Hussainali told DWT.
Commissioner Mathoera-Hussainali and the Prosecutor General told DWT that the police were not looking for Khan in particular, but just acted on information the police force had received about drug related activities.
"When we made the bust at the first place, information has led us to the second address. It was at this place that we have arrested Mr Khan and the other Guyanese", said the Prosecutor-General.
Meanwhile a US embassy official here who asked not to be named told Stabroek News yesterday that because Khan was arrested in another jurisdiction, the US Embassy in Georgetown would not have much to say on the matter. He however indicated that the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Washington has been in contact with its officers in Suriname on the matter.
The official said the US would no doubt allow the Surinamese authorities to carry out their investigations before any move is made to have Khan extradited to the US.
It is not clear whether local authorities have any keen interest in Khan returning here and up to yesterday officials would only say that they are allowing their Dutch counterparts to carry out their investigations.
Local police had published wanted bulletins for Khan, Rodrigues and two others in March following the discovery of illegal items on their properties during a series of joint services raids. The men had challenged the wanted bulletins through their lawyers. The matter is before the courts.
Noting that the arrest of Khan, Rodrigues and the others was a well-coordinated operation, the embassy official indicated that the US DEA in Suriname might have had a hand in advising the Surinamese authorities on how to move. The official said too that the capture of Khan is as a result of good intelligence gathering and co-ordination, something, which he said was lacking in Guyana.
Meanwhile, a police source in Paramaribo confirmed to Stabroek News that among the persons arrested in the raids was a Surinamese who heads a criminal organisation there. Asked what would be the next step for the men in custody, the source said that authorities will investigate to ascertain whether all four Guyanese are connected to the drugs and weapon find. He said if they are, then they would be prosecuted by Suriname authorities but if not they will be deported to Guyana. The source added that Khan is on Interpol's wanted list.
Contacted for a comment, one of Khan's lawyers, Vic Puran said that he had not been brought up to date with the matter. According to the attorney, his colleague, Glenn Hanoman had travelled to Suriname early yesterday morning, but he had not made contact with him as yet.
Khan, 35, fled from the US in the late 90's after he was fingered in a gun case. Since 2002 when he was held near a large cache of weapons at Good Hope, Khan has gained notoriety. He recently admitted that he used his own resources to fight crime in 2002-3 and worked closely with the crime fighting section of the police force. Additionally, Khan said that he had employed a network of ex-convicts and members of the disbanded Police Target Special Squad to work as informants and bodyguards for him. Since he was indicted by a US Grand Jury for conspiring to import cocaine into the USA, Khan has been releasing statements apparently to muster public support and to stave off any attempt to hand him over to the US authorities. He has so far criticized the US government, the main opposition, PNCR and the police force and the army. He is also thought to be behind the releasing of taped conversations allegedly between Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix and other persons.
Belfield was a police constable back in 2002 when he Khan and Haroon Yahya were found with the cache of weapons at Good Hope. All three were acquitted in the magistrate's court. Soon after, Belfield was dismissed from the police force, but from all appearances he maintained close ties with key members of the now disbanded Target Special Squad of which he was a key member. Back in February this year he had reported that his five-year-old daughter Tiffany Belfield was kidnapped from the Kingston Nursery School. Commis-sioner of Police, Felix later told reporters that the child's abduction was staged. Since then much has not been said about Belfield but many knew that he was connected with Khan.
Rodrigues, a well known detective during his days in the police force has been affiliated with Khan for a number of years. He was absent from duties for a number of months when police swooped on a house in Bel Air and arrested him and other men with a cache of arms and ammunition. That matter was also taken to the court but the men were all set free. On March 29, the police issued an arrest warrant for him, Khan, Ricardo Rodrigues and Gerald Perreira after raids on their properties unearthed a number of illegal items.
In the mist of all the news about the burgeoning criminal industry, the most heinous crime of rape is being committed too often on women in
While an indicted and fugitive drug lord and his illegally obtained tapes get weeks of media attention, the rape and murder of 16 year old Roshni Partabsingh received one article mention in the various media centers. Is it because this promising 16 year old girl and her suffering family are not as rich as this fugitive, that her brutal rape and murder by the hands of those monsters have not received the same media attention? Is it possible if weeks of media attention were given to her rape and murder, our politicians and citizens would take notice and act?
For the year an estimated 100 cases of rape have been committed on young women in
Reported cases of rape increased from 117 in 2000 to 154 in 2004 according to the GHRA study. There have already been in excess of a hundred cases of reported rape for the first haft of this year, and these numbers do not account for the unreported cases which usually are twice the amount in societies where victims feel they have no protection in the administration of justice. In addition, statutory rape, incest and sodomy are on the increase. Young women are molested with impunity in the mini buses, in the bars and wherever and whenever these malicious men feel necessary.
If perpetrators of rape in
There is urgent need for legal reform to deal with rape cases and the perpetrators. Too often the onus is put on women to demonstrate virtue as a requisite to them proving allegations of rape. The focus must be put on the rapist and the culture that produces them. No woman can invite rape upon herself no matter how short the skirt she may wear, and her sexual history.
I urge all Guyanese to take action. The fact that it has not happened to your daughters should not prevent you from being outraged. Women, it is your responsibility to organize yourselves for action. Men these victims can be your sisters, mothers and daughters. I urge overseas based Guyanese support groups to put this issue on their agendas for discussion and action. Women groups in
-- outgoing British High Commissioner
BRITISH High Commissioner Mr. Stephen Hiscock believes the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is capable of and can deliver elections in Guyana, as commissions have successfully done in the past.
“I firmly believe that GECOM can deliver these elections. They have the capability and have the support of a number of international advisers with wide experience of elections in other countries,” Hiscock stressed.
“GECOM have done this before, and despite the logistical nightmare of holding elections in some of the most inaccessible and far-flung corners of the country, they have run them (elections) successfully,” the outgoing British envoy noted Wednesday night.
He yesterday repeated that he is satisfied that GECOM preparations for the upcoming general elections are on course.
During a farewell call on Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Ralph Ramkarran, the diplomat also expressed optimism that the voting will go ahead as planned.
Hiscock told the Guyana Chronicle that information received from the Joint International Technical Assessors (JITA) indicates that GECOM is moving ahead according to its schedule.
Addressing a gala reception in Georgetown on Wednesday night to celebrate the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, he hoped for an elections campaign where issues of real importance can be discussed.
“I hope that the country can get down to an election campaign where issues of real importance can be discussed, leading to an election day which, in the presence of international and local independent observers, will be regarded as free and fair by all,” he said.
Hiscock also assured that the British government remains fully committed to assisting GECOM in order to help keep the election process firmly on track and to ensure that it is credible to the electorate.
According to him, it is the “credibility of the electoral process that is key” to the successful holding of free, fair and transparent elections.
The British High Commissioner, who retires from the diplomatic service this year after having completed more than 40 years of service and whose tenure as High Commissioner to Guyana ended yesterday, said he is disappointed that he will not be here for the elections.
“The elections will soon be upon us (and) I am disappointed that I will not be here for them but the date of my birthday and retirement meant that that was not to be. Wherever I am, however, I will be following events very closely,” he told President Bharrat Jagdeo and others at the Queen’s birthday party.
He noted that 2006 is indeed a special year for Her Majesty, who turned 80 on April 21 and has now reigned for more than half a century. She is the second longest serving head of state in the world today and is one of the most travelled heads of state in history.
Hiscock also indicated that 2006 is somewhat of a special year for him as he retires from the diplomatic service. He recalled having joined the Foreign Office in 1965 at the time when the Constitutional Conference was being held in London to lay the groundwork for the independence of Guyana.
Since then he has served in Malaysia, Zambia, Pakistan, Korea, and Australia. 𠇋ut it is Guyana that has a special place in my heart,” the British High Commissioner said
“Most of you will know that this is the second time that Dee (wife) and I have served here. We have grown to love the people of this country and very much like Her Majesty and Prince Philip, we have been touched by the kindness and warmth of welcome of the Guyanese people.”
“It is our greatest wish that this country and its people should have the peace and prosperity they so richly deserve,” he told the gathering.
Hiscock said the nine years that he served here have been “full of wonderful and unforgettable memories”. 𠇏rom the very first time that I stood spell-bound watching the Potaro River descend from the Pakaraima mountains in a single fall of over 700 feet at Kaieteur Falls, to the breathtaking beauty as the forest gives way to savannah in the Rupununi. From the expectation and excitement at the swearing in of Dr. Cheddi Jagan in 1992 to the misery and discomfort brought to so many people by the flooding in 2005. All these moments will live in my memory alongside those from the 40 years I have been in the Diplomatic Service.”
Noting that Guyana too is celebrating 40 years since it achieved independence from the United Kingdom, Hiscock told the gathering many have coined the phrase “life begins at 40”, but there is a thoughtful quote from Benjamin Franklin which says that “At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgement”.
“I call on all Guyanese to use that judgement based on forty years of experience in the weeks and months to come – not to judge on the basis of race, but on the basis of what an individual can do for the benefit of the people of Guyana as a whole, and on the basis of policies that can really make a difference to the future development of this wonderful country,” he said.
The British envoy, however, indicated that he is leaving Guyana with a sense of a job not quite finished.
“As I said earlier I would have preferred to remain here at least until the elections had been held and maybe longer to see, amongst other things, the implementation of the constitutional reforms which will be so necessary to build on the democratic foundations which have been established in this country.”
In a dramatic turn of events, Suriname police yesterday afternoon arrested fugitive businessman, Shaheed 'Roger' Khan and three ex-policemen, one of whom is wanted by local authorities, as part of a huge drug bust that netted more than 200 kilos of cocaine.
Khan's lawyer, Glenn Hanoman confirmed to Stabroek News last night that the businessman along with, ex-policemen, Paul Rodrigues and Sean Belfield had been held. Stabroek News understands, too, that another man who identified himself as Lloyd was also arrested in the house raid.
According to reports, Suriname police held Khan, Rodrigues, Belfield and another Guyanese who is said to be an ex-policeman in a house with a semi-automatic weapon. Hanoman said in addition to that report he also heard too that the men were held in a drug bust but he could not confirm this himself. Hanoman was not prepared to make any other statement on the arrest of the men.
Local police had issued wanted bulletins for Khan, Rodrigues, Ricardo Rodrigues and Gerald Perreira after raids on their properties had unearthed illegal items.
The men through their lawyers had challenged the bulletins and this is now a subject of court proceedings. A US Grand Jury sitting in Brooklyn, New York recently indicted Khan on the charge of conspiring to import cocaine into the US.
Ever since the bulletins were issued, Khan and the others went into hiding and there was speculation that he had fled to Suriname or Venezuela. He has also been making numerous statements through his lawyers since then claiming that he helped fight crime during the escapee-led crime wave in 2002-3 and was also capable of preventing a coup against the government. These statements appeared to be intended to whip up public support and to stave off any attempt to hand him over to the US authorities. Many also believe that he is behind the releasing of taped conversations allegedly between Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix and other persons. He has also been taking on the joint services, the main opposition, the PNCR and the US government.
Stabroek News was told that the fourth man who gave his name as Lloyd had no travel documents and also identified himself to Surinamese police as Persaud, a spokesperson for the Suriname Police Corps, John Jones told Stabroek News last night from Paramaribo. Jones said that the bust was made in the afternoon and as a result investigators were unable to find out more about the man. He said that by today the suspects would be fully identified.
The de Ware Tijd (DWT) newspaper of Suriname last night also confirmed to Stabroek News that seven persons, including the Guyanese, were arrested and 213 kilos of cocaine were found after police raided two houses in central Paramaribo. DWT said that the raids were conducted after a long period of surveillance. The houses are located in a residential area. The first raid was carried out at 10:30 am, and 109 kilos of cocaine were recovered. Two hours later, police raided another location not too far away and 104 kilos were recovered.
Khan and several other men connected to him have been on the run since the joint service stepped up searches for the missing AK-47 rifles stolen from the Guyana Defence Force storage bond late in February. It was suspected that some of the men had fled to neighbouring Suriname in an effort to avoid being captured.
The US although issuing an arrest warrant for Khan has not made any request for extradition for him to face trial in the US. It is expected that once he is processed in Suriname and extradited to Guyana the US would want to have him turned over to them.
Rodrigues and Belfield, both ex-policemen, have been controversial figures ever since they were dismissed from the force. Belfield back in 2002 was apprehended along with Khan and Haroon Yahya at Good Hope with a cache of high-powered arms and ammunition. They were taken to court, but the matter was dismissed. Rodrigues was also arrested following an arms find and his case was also dismissed in the magistrate's court.
Up to late last night local law enforcers were still to be officially advised of the arrest of the Guyanese quartet.
|Mayor Brian U. Stratton|
Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Thurs. June 15, 2006: Schenectady Mayor Brian U. Stratton is continuing a campaign started by his predecessor to get Guyanese migrants to move from New York City to his upstate town.
Stratton came to New York City last weekend to try to sell more Guyanese on the advantages of moving to Schenectady. At the Kaieteur Restaurant in Richmond Hill, Queens, Stratton shared his vision of the future of the area with about 35 Guyanese nationals.
Many have already bought into the push from his predecessor, Mayor Albert Jurczynski and moved to the area, taking advantage of lower property costs.
But Stratton, according to the Times Union, says there are more houses to be bought, as property prices are about 80 percent cheaper than in New York City.
Schenectady recently achieved a financial milestone after returning to an investment-grade credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service. Two years ago, Schenectady held the single lowest credit rating of any municipality in New York.
Stratton became mayor in 2004 and said his administration inherited what could only be described as a fiscal train wreck. He said Schenectady’s cumulative deficit was projected at more than $10 million, its credit rating was at rock bottom, and the state comptroller was predicting the city would run out of money in a matter of months.
But he said in 24 months, the projected $10.2 million deficit has been eliminated and they finished 2005 with a combined funds surplus of nearly $5 million.
And he says now its time to court more property owners and residents to the area, no doubt a political and economic move aimed at increasing the city’s property tax rolls. – Hardbeatnews.com
In the last article the accession of Guyanese women to decision-making positions in the hierarchy of political parties, as Members of Parliament and ministers of Government since political independence was examined. The figures reveal that the numbers of women in all of the above mentioned areas have fluctuated over the period and are not in keeping with Guyana's international, regional and national commitments.
Among the reasons which have constrained more Guyanese women, like women worldwide, from achieving or even aspiring to positions of power and decision-making are the continued dichotomy of women's role: perceived as being in the private arena and men's in the public, lingering vestiges of patriarchy and cultural and religions attitudes. These are compounded by the negative impacts of globalization and structural adjustments on women, the double burden of work exacerbated by lack of relevant training, lack of funds for financing electoral campaigns and lack of support from other women.
In this article women in the local government system, the trade unions, the public service, and on public boards and commissions will be discussed.
Another source from which Members of Parliament are drawn is the local government system.
In 1980, when the regional system was introduced none of the ten regional chairmen was a woman. In 1985, 2 of eight were women; 1992-93, one of 10 was a woman. Since 1998 none of the 10 chairpersons of the Regional Democratic Council have been women. In respect of the Neighourhood Councils in 1998, 3 of 65 chairpersons were women; 1999-2000, 2 of 65; and 2001/2002 4 of 65 were women.
Before 1980, there were two women mayors of the municipality of Georgetown.
After the introduction of the regional system and the increase in municipalities two of five mayors have been women; 1985, 1 of 5; 1992-1998, 1 of 6. Since then
no woman has held the position of Mayor anywhere. There is a clear gender imbalance at all levels of the decision-making process.
Women also have a minor presence in the higher echelons of the Trade Union movement.
Olga Byrne served as President of the Guyana Teachers Union from 1961 to 1963 and 1968 to 1970 while Jean Persico was President from 1980 to 1986. In 1967, frustrated by the continued discrimination in the movement, a group of women Trade Unionists passed a resolution requesting that women be selected in equal numbers as men to attend Education Seminars and that the Women's Advisory Committee (WAC) be represented on the committee of the Critchlow Labour College.
Indeed the WAC, whose first leader was Ms. Vivienne Surrey was not given status as one of the standing committees of the TUC until 1969.
Three decades after that famous resolution a survey was conducted among 18 Trade Unions which showed that there were more men than women in seven of the Trade Unions, while women outnumbered men in 9 of the unions.
However, only 27% of them had women as presidents and in one union no woman had ever served in its hierarchy even though it was then almost fifty years old.
55% of them had women General-Secretaries, while 22% had a woman treasurer. Today women make up the majority in 16 trade unions.
One of these is the Public Service Union. No doubt because of its strength in the public sector which still dominates over 60% of the economy, its leadership continues to be dominated by men. However, a woman has been acting General Secretary for several years, but the appointment smacks more of tokenism than a serious attempt to include representative numbers of women in the union's hierarchy. It is ironic that the GTU with its 66% female membership briefly had a woman as president who has been replaced by a man. On the other hand, the change in certain sections of the work force, like that of the Post Office, from being predominantly men to predominantly women has led to two successive terms for women, as president of the GPTW union. Perhaps part of the reason for the insignificant penetration by women into the hierarchy of the Trade Union movement is that our potential women Trade Union leaders and women members are sending mixed messages. In the aforementioned survey, many of the factors listed at the beginning of this article were cited including the active hostility of men for women who competed for key positions in Trade Unions, and women themselves being less supportive of their female counterparts who competed for positions of leadership. There was also the inference that Guyanese women seem content to sit back and allow men to provide leadership for the Trade Union Movement. The Guyana Teachers Union is certainly going through a period of extreme militancy with constant confrontations with government. Did the 66% female membership of that union recently revert to a man as president because they believe or have been led to believe that only a man can lead them in this period of crisis?
The trends and figures from our public service predict how slim are the chances of many Guyanese women achieving high decision-making positions in government through a career in the civil service. At independence, the discriminatory practices with women not being permitted to enter the service as clerks but only as secretarial staff and women having to leave the service when they married were abolished.
However, thirty years after independence the trends indicated (1996-2000) that men outnumbered women 3:1 in the highest two salary bands. They also outnumbered women in the lowest salary bands.
But in the two highest bands where managers have decision-making power and are better remunerated the trend continues to move away from women i.e. from 1:3 in favour of men in 1996 to 1:5 in 2000. However, women are gaining parity with men in the lowest band. The most important civil servant in any ministry is the Permanent Secretary followed by the Deputy Permanent Secretary.
In Guyana's 2000 CEDAW report it is stated that in 1998/1999, 3 of 11 Permanent Secretaries were women, in 2000, 4 of 15 were women and 2001 to the present 4 of 18 are women. In the case of Deputy Permanent Secretaries between 1998-2000 2 of 14 were women and from 2001 to the present, 3 of 18 are women. Hence, despite the "feminization" of the civil service women might never reach the goal of 50%, much more dominate its highest levels of decision-making.
The composition of Committees and Commissions demonstrate both the continuing trend of male dominance in decision-making positions and female penetration of the hierarchy. The National Awards Committee was set up about the mid 1970's to make recommendations to government as to potential beneficiaries of national awards.
In 2002, only one of the seven members was a woman. At that time both the lone female member and the male secretary to the committee lamented the fact that so few women nominated women for national awards.
Guyanese women are therefore not even utilizing the limited opportunities to showcase influential Guyanese women and so promote them as potential decision-makers.
The Police and Teaching Service Commissions are constitutional bodies set up for hiring, promoting, disciplining, terminating and retiring persons in those professions.
In the Public and Teaching Service female employees are in the majority. Women also make up a significant minority in the police. Since 1998, there has been no woman on either the police or public service commission. Encouragingly, since 1998 the National Commission on the Rights of the Child has had up to 75% female membership. However, it must be remembered that while the decision makers in respect of activities and initiatives might be women, the all important financial resources needed to implement the initiatives rest firmly in the hands of men in the Ministry of Finance who tend to put on the back burner such initiatives unless they are donor sponsored and driven. The Teaching Service Commission since 1998 has had from 40% to 50% female membership but its president is invariably a man.
It is hoped that despite this the women can bring a proper gender perspective to bear on its deliberations. In keeping with its pledge while in opposition to reform the 1980 People's Constitution that it felt had been imposed by an illegitimate government, a Constitution Reform Com-mission (CRC) of 20 persons was set up by the present administration after its second victory at the polls in 1997. It included different stakeholders in the society, the four major political parties PPP/C (5 persons) the PNC (3 persons), The United Force and Working People's Alliance one person each.
Despite the pledges made by both major parties about ending discrimination against women, neither party saw fit to name a woman as a representative.
The only two women originally in the CRC were the representatives of the indigenous population and women's organizations. The two were later joined by one other from the ruling PPP/C after a male member withdrew. The Oversight Committee tasked with converting the submissions into constitutional amendments had no woman.
The conclusion to be drawn is that clearly there seems to be a lack of will on the part of the male-dominated decision-making hierarchy to implement changes which would increase women's numbers in the halls of power, and decision-making which may seriously threaten the bastions of male dominance.
Home Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira last night condemned Top Cop Winston Felix's move to the courts to block questions by Prime Minister Sam Hinds on controversial tape recordings as "reckless" and undermining his professionalism.
She also excoriated Felix's charge that the government and embattled businessman Roger Khan appear to be on the same wavelength in trying to expel him from office. "I would like to disclose to the Commissioner of Police how erroneous his conclusions are and the height of recklessness he has publicly displayed in making those unworthy claims", Teixeira said in the statement issued at 9 pm.
It was the latest high-voltage contretemps to flow from tape recordings circulated by persons close to drug-accused businessman Khan. The recordings have unleashed a storm of controversy enmeshing Khan, Felix, the PM, Teixeira, the US embassy and the PNCR among others. Teixeira's statement came on the same day she, Felix and other top security officials made a rare visit to the crime-besieged village of Buxton. (See other story on page 11.)
On Tuesday, Felix approached the High Court and sought orders seeking to quash Prime Minister Hinds' decision to send a letter to him on June 2 setting out a host of allegations derived from the tapes and asking him to respond urgently. Lawyers for Felix are also seeking an order prohibiting the PM from proceeding with any investigation for the purpose of whether to advise President Bharrat Jagdeo to appoint a tribunal to investigate his possible removal as Commissioner of Police. (See other story on page 12.)
In his affidavit in support of the motion, Felix made a number of controversial statements including that it "â€¦appears to me that the Government of Guyana has adopted Mr Khan's stated objectives and has purportedly commenced invocation of the constitutional provisions to effect my removal from office". He also alleged that the PM had abdicated his constitutional responsibility through being influenced by unnamed third parties.
Teixeira fired back last night. In a five-page statement she noted that it was only on June 9 when asked by the media for her opinion on Felix she had said that he was a professional and had given her support in her functions as the Minister of Home Affairs. Referring to his pleadings in court which were reported in yesterday's Stabroek News, Teixeira said "if the Commissioner of Police has nothing to hide and the disclosures on the tapes are all forgeries, surely in the face of mounting public concern he would see merit in not opposing an investigation as laid out in the constitution".
She said many Guyanese have been shocked and affronted by the revelations on the tapes. "So serious were those disclosures such as, shielding criminals, conspiring to divert attention from criminals, aiding and abetting unlawful actions and planting drugs on innocent people, that no one questioned the government's responsible action in seeking external technical and professional advice on the matter".
She declared that what Felix appeared to be overlooking in his court pleadings was that since the release of the first tape in March - allegedly of him and PNCR Vice-Chairman, Basil Williams - "neither by commission or omission has the government sought to constrain the Commissioner of Police and the Joint Services from discharging their statutory functions with regards to law enforcement interventions".
Teixeira added that the joint operations which began after the disappearance of 30 AK-47s from the army's headquarters led to "raids on the properties of persons allegedly involved in narcotics as well as those known to the public and internationally in the narco-trade on March 19. The Commissioner cannot allege or accuse the government of any attempt to interfere in this process".
The government has also not tampered in any way with the joint services battle against armed bandits, hijackers, fuel smugglers and gun runners in their search for the weapons missing from the army or the capturing of the members of the Buxton or other armed gangs, Teixeira contended.
The Home Affairs Minister who also delivered the statement last night on NCN TV argued "in fact, what the Commissioner is fully aware of has been the government's timely and heightened moral, financial and logistical support for him and the Joint Services, in their response to criminal activities".
Moreover, since the release of the tapes, the loss of the GDF weapons and the murder of Minister Satyadeow Sawh and others, the government has funnelled a further $20M to the joint services for intelligence gathering, authorized the deploying of the army in the crime fight and mobilized international aid for the crime investigations, Teixeira said.
Citing his now famous refrain to `hold me accountable' when he was sworn in as Police Commissioner, Teixeira said "Many hard working policemen and women are facing the loss of credibility of their organization, the Guyana Police Force, It is that context that the Commissioner is ignoring".
Upping the pressure on Felix, she noted that the commissioner had not yet responded to Khan's public statements that he (Khan) shared a once "cozy relationship" with the Top Cop.
"On the surface, it seems that the Commissioner has embarked on an unprofessional course of action, seeking to discredit the Prime Minister and the administration while using the courts and other technicalities to stave off an investigation into his conduct".
Teixeira, who replaced the now High Commissioner to India, Ronald Gajraj as Home Affairs Minister around a year ago, posited that by inference and words Felix had "unprofessionally and (precipitately)" petitioned the courts, thereby prejudging the actions of the PM and the President.
"Most unacceptably, he went further to accuse the Prime Minister of abdicating his constitutional responsibilities and taking actions governed by partisan political interests", Teixeira argued.
Without identifying anyone, she said the commissioner's apparent preoccupation with a battle with Khan had nurtured an opportunity "for those who have unmistakable partisan political agendas to lead him to this confrontational and unmitigated attack on the government. He has cast his lot with a partisan political outlook".
The emergence of the tapes has posed two dilemmas for the government which are still unresolved. Are the tapes authentic and can it be proven who the speakers are? And who is behind the tapes, what risks this poses to national security and whether this is not an attempt to discredit the Commissioner and thereby ease the pressure from underworld figures. The first tape was released after several establishments belonging to Khan were raided by the police/army in search of the weapons. In turn, these raids came after Khan had played several of these tapes for officials of the US DEA to hear at the Ocean View Hotel. That meeting had followed the indictment of Khan on a drug charge by a New York Grand Jury. Observers said the Ocean View meet was a bid by Khan to counter any attempt by the Americans to pursue proceedings against him and he therefore decided to play the Felix tapes. The police had also issued wanted bulletins for Khan and three others which are being challenged in court.
There are also credible reports that tapes from the same source exist of Teixeira and Felix and that these could be released at some point.
Felix for his part has maintained that there is no proof that the recordings are authentic and he has said that a key, possibly incriminating segment was spliced to produce the desired result. That conversation is contained on the second tape and makes it seem that there would be an attempt to plant drugs on a theft suspect. It was from that point onwards that the furore mushroomed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)