Democracy under threat – former President

first_imgSOCU charges…says Govt out to get JagdeoAhead of Guyana celebrating 52 years as an independent nation, former Head of State Donald Ramotar has noted with great concern that “the very heart” of the Guyanese democracy may be under threat following the recent arrests of several officials under the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government. He shared these sentiments in an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday where he concurred with former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, that the charges pursed by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is aimed to prosecute his predecessor, Bharrat Jagdeo who served as Finance Minister before his presidential reign.“It is very clear that the real target is Jagdeo and that the regime is out to try to find some way to get him and that is why they’re breaking all laws and precedents going back all of these years to try to see if they find any nonsense of what they may describe as misconduct in office. I think the Guyanese people are on to this military-type Government,” Ramotar expressed.Commenting on the dangers such actions could place of the democratic process, he indicated that the country’s economy and independence of various constitutional bodies and agencies could be infringed.“It goes to the heart of our democracy and I think it will have some very serious consequences on our country as a whole because many banks and business people will be afraid to do business with the Government because they are going all these years to charge people. They are vicious and vindictive in their actions [which are] very discouraging to business people who would like to do business with the Government,” he added, references the concern operatives within the Private Sector have raised.Following the high-profile arrests and $6 million bail each granted to former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and former National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Head Winston Brassington, former Finance Minister Sasenarine Kowlessar was recently arrested and questioned by SOCU. He served as Jagdeo’s Finance Minister from 1999 to 2006. In Ramotar’s view, the coalition Government is using Executive powers to “pressure” its opponents.“[The Government] is undermining our democracy – the very fact that you are charging officials of the former Government. It’s very clear that the APNU/AFC regime is undermining all our institutions and the Judiciary is not totally excluded from some the pressures that the Executive is putting in trying to undermine the constitutional bodies in our society including the Parliament and the Police. When one looks at some the decisions in the Judiciary, one wonders if some members are bowing and breaking to pressure to the Executive,” he claimed.It was earlier this week that Nandlall expressed that the arrest of Kowlessar came as no surprise to members of the Opposition as they have always felt that the motive has been clear from day one. “It is clear beyond any doubt that these investigations are driven by a political and vindictive motive.”Nandlall had said, ultimately, this strategy is designed to get to the period when Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was the Finance Minister. Jagdeo served as senior Finance Minister in May 1995 under Dr Cheddi Jagan. In December 1997, he was appointed as second Vice President.While noting that constitutional immunities prevent them from charging Jagdeo while he was President, Nandlall is of the opinion that the coalition Government will go as far as it take even if it meant returning to two decades ago to persecute him for transactions done while he was Finance Minister. Nandlall concluded that it is unfortunate that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) does not see it as part of its constitutional mandate to protect the citizenry from these types of investigations, which are widely regarded as abusive and oppressive, but rather is part of the design that is promoting it. “If this is not the use of the criminal legal process to persecute political opponents, then I do not know what it is,” he told this newspaper.last_img read more

MMA-ADA threatens dozens with repossession of land

first_img– says it’s owed over $50M in rent, D&I feesA number of landowners are facing the repossession of hundreds of acres of farmland after the Mahaica Maichony Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) issued a notice naming a number of landholders whose land it would repossess.The MMA-ADA has had a rocky relationship with some landowners in BerbiceSome of the landowners subject to the noticeAccording to the notice, MMA-ADA claims that the landowners have collectively racked up over $50 million in outstanding payments for drainage and irrigation and land rent, towards the agency.Listing the names, acreages and addresses of these debtors, who number over 60, MMA-ADA urged that “the following persons who control State lands in the MMA-ADA Project Area 2 are requested to treat urgently their outstanding debts to the MMA for land rent and drainage and irrigation services provided”.In the case of one group of landowners, who were described as the “heirs of Dindyal Roopnarine” by the MMA-ADA in its notice, they were alleged to owe $1.578 million. This includes $940,705 in land rent owed up to June 2019 and drainage and irrigation fees owed up to that same period which amounted to $638,254.Kenneth Sealey, of Farm Maichony, was cited by the MMA-ADA for allegedly owing $1.928 million. There were even some allegedly owing as much as $4.990 million, as was the case with a Mohamed Rafooeedeen, of Bath Settlement.The MMA-ADA has had a rocky time when it comes to collecting land rental and D&I fees, while aggrieved homeowners have also had cause to take the agency to court over the repossession of their land. In fact, claims have been made that the agency has been reallocating repossessed lands to supporters of the Government.There was the case of a co-op society calling for the repossession of lands at Trafalgar, West Coast Berbice (WCB), which were leased by the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary – Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) back in 2006, after which permission was inexplicably given for persons close to the coalition party to operate on the land, even though the previous lease was still valid.Head of the co-op society and Councillor of the Region Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Lloyda Angus had explained back in April that the lease was granted for persons to utilise three plots of land after registering with the Friendly Society Organisation. Shares were sold and 30 persons obtained a spot to conduct economic and agricultural activities. The lease was valid for some 50 years.However, in 2015 the office was visited by a group of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) supporters, who demanded that she hand over the key to the building, indicating that they would be the new occupants. Angus said she was also told to relinquish the lease documents.In May, five rice farmers represented by former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, who had sued the State over the cancellation of their leases by the Mahaica Maichony Abary-Agriculture Development Authority (MMA/ADA) won their case before the High Court.In 2015, another set of farmers – Phillip Johnson, Rupert Blackman and Rawle Miller – had filed legal action against the MMA-ADA, challenging the cancellation of State Land Leases in Rear of Seafield, West Coast Berbice.The farmers had claimed that the leases were granted by former President Donald Ramotar and only the Head of State has the right to make such a cancellation. After months of hearing, former Chief Justice Ian Chang in February of 2016 quashed the cancellation of the leases in favour of the farmers.However, the farmers said they were subsequently informed by General Manager of MMA-ADA Aubrey Charles that President Granger has cancelled their leases. Besides their leases being revoked, farmers have also had to deal with land rental fee increases.last_img read more

Posta’s Pamzo distraught with Matasi exit

first_img“Losing a player such as Matasi is a huge blow for me. He has been one of the core figures in the team and it is quite hurting to see him go. Of course we wish him the best because as a coach you have to accept that a player has to look for a new challenge,” Omollo told Capital Sport.“I know I can’t get such quality like his in this transfer window, but we will have to continue with the ones we have because they are also good keepers,” the coach opined.The goalkeeper’s absence was visible when he was out with the national team earlier this month and an even bigger testament of his influence was last Tuesday when they suffered a massive 5-0 loss at the hands of Gor Mahia in Kisumu.In that particular game, another pillar of the team Jockins Atudo suffered an early red card.Posta Rangers head coach Sammy Omollo stands pensive on the touchline during a past Kenyan Premier League match at the Camp Toyoyo Ground. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluPosta have managed to acquire the services of former Muhoroni Youth, City Stars and Gor Mahia keeper Gradus Ochieng who will deputize Boniface Barasa. Martin Musalia has chosen to leave the club.Omollo has pointed out that it has been difficult to hold on to some of the best players due to the club’s weak financial muscle. They were destined to sign keeper David Okello, an almost similar replacement to Matasi, but the custodian preferred a move to Mathare.They were also set to sign Edwin Lavatsa from Tusker, but the striker preferred a move elsewhere, joining Wazito FC.“We had an agreement with both of them (Okello and Lavatsa) and I knew that we would be signing them. However, there is some financial issue that came up and it proved difficult when someone else stepped in and gave them what they wanted,”“But hopefully we get to sort out ourselves soon because football is about money. Without it, it is difficult to compete,” Omollo further added.Posta Rangers midfielder Jerry Santo vies for the ball with Kariobangi Sharks’ Eric Juma during their Kenyan Premier League clash at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on June 17, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluPosta will be at home against Zoo Kericho on Sunday at the Camp Toyoyo ground and without both Matasi and Atudo, Omollo hopes his charges can pick up from the ruins of two successive losses.“Zoo is a tough team and we need to be at our best and ensure we get a good result. We have not performed well over the past few games and our positioning on the log is also not good,” Omollo admitted.Only three points separate the two sides at 11th and 13th in the standings, Zoo keen to pick maximum points and drag themselves off the snare of relegation.Zoo won the first leg 1-0 away in Kericho and the mailmen will be thirsty for revenge when they play in the blazing Toyoyo turf.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000New Tusker FC goalkeeper Patrick Matasi enjoys a training session at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on June 29, 2018. PHOTO/Tusker FCNAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29- Approximately 350km away from the capital city, Harambee Stars goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was laughing and kicking the travel bugs away as his new employers Tusker FC trained at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu ahead of Saturday’s league assignment against Vihiga United in Mumias.Back at the city, Matasi’s former coach at Posta Rangers Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo is a man struggling to come to terms with the exit of the shot-stopper who has won the golden glove twice playing for the mailmen and has been a pillar of their performance.last_img read more

ST EUNAN’S RESPONDS TO BOUNDARY DISPUTE DECISION

first_imgTHE St Eunan’s GAA club has responded to a decision on the boundary dispute with Letterkenny Gaels.The Gaels club has not responded yet.In a statement the county champions said: St. Eunan’s GAA Club welcome the decision of the DRA to dismiss the appeal brought by Letterkenny Gaels against the decision of the Ulster Hearings Committee. “The effect of this decision is to confirm that a shared catchment area exists for both St. Eunan’s and Letterkenny Gaels, which has been the situation since Letterkenny Gaels were affiliated in 1996. This means that anyone living within our shared catchment area is free to apply to join either club.“We hope that this matter can now be put behind us and we look forward to working with all GAA people in our shared catchment area to advance the aims of the Association. We will be making no further comment.” ST EUNAN’S RESPONDS TO BOUNDARY DISPUTE DECISION was last modified: March 27th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

REVEALED: CROKE PARK SEASON TICKET HOLDERS FROM DONEGAL TREBLE AFTER ALL-IRELAND WIN

first_imgTHE NUMBER of Croke Park Sean Ticket Holders from Donegal has trebled after the county’s incredible All-Ireland win last September, Donegal Daily can reveal.There were just 220 ‘members’ last year – but that has increased to 770 this year already, with even more expected to join the scheme in the next few weeks.Becoming a club member entitles fans who attend 60% of games to an ticket to a priceless All-Ireland Final. Meanwhile Croke Park Season Ticket Holders are being advised to get to the game today in time to get their passes scanned.County Board rep Grace Boyle explained that today’s match against Down is a case in point.“Throw-in in today’s National League game against Down is at 7pm and Croke Park Season Ticket Holders need to have their cards scanned before that time,” said Grace.Grace added: “Please get there on time, there’s no point in arriving late.”  REVEALED: CROKE PARK SEASON TICKET HOLDERS FROM DONEGAL TREBLE AFTER ALL-IRELAND WIN was last modified: February 9th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:REVEALED: CLUB DONEGAL MEMBERS TREBLE AFTER ALL-IRELAND WINlast_img read more

GARDAI ISSUE FRESH APPEAL A YEAR AFTER DISGUSTING ATTACK THAT SHOCKED THE NATION

first_imgGardaí are renewing their appeal in relation to an aggravated burglary in Raphoe which shocked the nation.Isa Arthur is still terrified a year after the gang attacked her and her late sister Suzy in their home.The attack, which took place exactly one year ago today, left one pensioner dead and another terrified after their ordeal.The burglary took place at the farmhouse of sisters Susan and Isobel Arthur at Feddyglass. The gang terrorised the two women, aged 89 and 91 years, assaulted them before ransacking their home looking for cash.Ms Susan Arthur, 89, was knocked to the ground during the raid and was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital.She never returned home and died as a result of her ordeal a few weeks later on October 11th last.Now, on the first anniversary of the disgusting attack, Gardai are making a fresh appeal to catch those responsible. Gardai have made this direct appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have noticed anything suspicious.“It is now a year since the Aggravated Burglary occurred and Gardaí are hoping people will come forward with information which may progress the investigation, in particular anyone who was in the area of Feddyglass, Raphoe, Co Donegal (the main Letterkenny – Lifford road the N14) at the time of the Aggravated Burglary and may have seen unusual or suspicious behaviour or anyone who may have information concerning the Aggravated Burglary.“On Monday 1st July 2013 at approximately 5pm, two men entered the home of the Arthur sisters Isobel aged 91 and Susan aged 89 at Feddyglass, Raphoe, Co Donegal. Miss Susan Arthur was knocked to the ground during the course of the incident, she was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital and remained in hospital until her death on 11/10/2013.“About an hour prior to the men entering the home of the Arthur sisters, three men called to the Arthurs home in a small silver car asking if the sisters wanted any painting carried out, the offer was declined and the men left.“Two of these men were the men that carried out the aggravated burglary. Miss Arthur never returned home following the incident due to her injuries. ”Anyone who may have any information in relation to the aggravated burglary is asked to contact Gardaí in Letterkenny on 074-9167100, the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.”GARDAI ISSUE FRESH APPEAL A YEAR AFTER DISGUSTING ATTACK THAT SHOCKED THE NATION was last modified: July 1st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:attackdonegalFEDDYGLASSGardaiISOBEL ARTHURSRaphoeSUZY ARTHURSlast_img read more

Donegal-Sligo road closed following fatal collision

first_imgA 53-year-old male has been killed after being struck by a car on the main Sligo-Donegal road last night.Gardaí in Sligo are investigating the fatal road traffic collision which occurred on the N15 in the townland of Lisalurg at approximately 11.05pm.A 53-year-old male pedestrian was struck by a car and was removed to Sligo University Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.The local coroner has been notified. The road remains closed and diversions are in place.Investigations are ongoing and Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Sligo Garda Station 071-915 7000, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.Donegal-Sligo road closed following fatal collision was last modified: April 5th, 2018 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Paradise basketball teams receive warm welcome from Warriors

first_imgOAKLAND — Tori MacKay walked through the tunnel and was overcome with shock, disbelief and nearly on the brink of tears.MacKay and the Paradise High girls and boys basketball teams were invited by the Golden State Warriors to attend Wednesday’s night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Oracle Arena.However, the teams were surprised with courtside seats to watch the pregame shoot around, a gift bag and were recognized on the court during halftime. When shown on the video board, the arena …last_img read more

South Africa makes strides in medical research

first_imgJanine Erasmus The Technology Innovation Agency hasjoined the patent pool with the goal ofboosting its research into tuberculosis drugs.(Image: USAid)   MEDIA CONTACTS Nhlanhla NyideCommunications, Dept of Science and Technology+27 12 843 6793 or +27 82 871 6767 RELATED ARTICLES • African TB nurses lauded • HIV in SA improving slowly • Malaria cases halved in SA • Research into tropical diseases  South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency has become the world’s first governmental body to join the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases, established in 2009 by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).Originally known as the GSK and Alnylam Intellectual Property Pool, the initiative facilitates access to intellectual property, knowledge, technologies, and products for companies – wherever they are in the world – that work on combating tropical diseases.Soon after the pool’s launch, it underwent a name change to encourage other pharmaceutical companies, which might be deterred by the close tie to GSK, to join and contribute.Now the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), which was set up to boost scientific innovation in South Africa and is managed according to the TIA Act of 2008, has decided to become a member of the pool.This move is expected to boost the agency’s own plans to stimulate tropical disease research in South Africa.Local researchers will instantly gain access to over 2 300 current drug patents, and will also benefit from the shared knowledge of their international colleagues in significant diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.As a pioneering member, the TIA’s move was recently matched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which became the first university to join the pool.TIA health portfolio manager Dr Carl Montague said that his company is available to help other South African companies implement plans based on information they get from the pool.“We have to ensure that the pool can be meaningfully exploited,” he said.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has one of the highest tuberculosis burdens in the world. The disease is also an opportunistic killer that often targets people living with HIV/Aids, and has been confirmed as the leading cause of death among these patients.Working togetherThe patent pool is administered independently by biotechnology development NGO Bio Ventures for Global Health, based in Washington DC.Based on the Food and Drug Administration’s identification of the neglected tropical diseases it is targeting in its own initiative, 16 diseases have come under the spotlight. They are tuberculosis; malaria; blinding trachoma; buruli ulcer; cholera; dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever; dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease); fascioliasis; human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); leishmaniasis; leprosy; lymphatic filariasis; onchocerciasis; schistosomiasis (bilharzia); soil transmitted helminthiasis; and yaws.It is hoped that, with greater access to intellectual property, the patent pool will lead to new developments in the control of these diseases. GSK has also said it will release some of its drug patents and manufacturing processes, making them available to others without asking for royalties.Membership of the pool, which is voluntary, has been slow to gather momentum, but with the TIA and the world-renowned Massachusetts research university endorsing the initiative by joining, hopes are high that more companies will take the same step.GSK announced earlier in 2010 that it would partner with iThemba Pharmaceuticals, a new Gauteng-based company funded by the Department of Science and Technology, to conduct research into a tuberculosis drug, using technology garnered from the pool and that was submitted by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.This US-based company was the first to release its patents into the pool, adding around 1 500 in 2009. The Alnylam patents focus on RNA interference techniques, which allows the selective shutting off and tuning on of genes in living cells.The two researchers who developed the technique shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2006, and the drugs based on this technique of gene silencing are known as RNAi therapeutics.More such initiatives are expected to flourish as the patent pool’s member base grows in size.Targeting diseaseThe improved control of neglected tropical diseases is a priority of the WHO, which in 2007 called for more funding for research and development into treatment and management strategies.These bacterial and parasitic diseases affect over 1.4-billion people around the world, mostly in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.They are both a cause and a symptom of poverty, proliferating in conditions of poor sanitation, inadequate housing and ineffective insect control. They trap people in a cycle of unemployment and social isolation, leaving them unable to care for their families or themselves.The word “neglected” is used to describe them because major diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and Aids tend to get more funding and support from policy makers and organisations, while lower-profile diseases, although their eradication also presents an opportunity to lift people out of poverty, fall by the wayside.According to the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, the worldwide burden of these illnesses is equal to at least half the total burden of HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined.last_img read more