The re-toppling of Guyana’s democracy: The choice ahead

first_imgDear Editor,The split decision by the Court of Appeal overturning two previous rulings affirming the December 21, 2018, No-confidence Motion is a grotesque upending of justice, dressed up in pig-lipstick.All the pseudointellectual talk of Simple v Absolute in this straightforward majority situation in which every Member of Parliament was present, is just that: pretentious gobbledegook. It is: I stick my finger in the eye of the common people and dare them to say the emperor has no clothes – because only smart people can see the fine robes that his lordship has spun and their ladyships have blessed. In Guyanese style, humour one of our man-on-the-street countrymen asked tongue in cheek, “If 33:32 was not majority passage in Parliament, can you tell me if the 2:1 court ruling on this highly important matter is really a majority ruling?”You can put lipstick on a pig; but it’s still a pig. Nothing can cover that up. Some may split hairs on how much direct architect or object of tribute Granger was in this one. However, the end result is the same; it is egregious and portends badly.The court challenge was one in a string of Granger Administration’s manoeuvres designed to keep delaying elections and buy time. Time which, in the manner of his military stratagem training, has been used in the past to stealthily deploy an increasing preponderance of physical and material advantage at key decisive points such as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Local Government, the Judiciary and security forces – all of which have influential roles and are potential levers to lean on.Keeping his party in power, regardless of whether they have the support and confidence of a majority of Guyanese, has been his solitary goal in Government – all be it that his years in power have been a disaster for the management of the country as a whole; he has no cohesive plan for the well-being of everyday-people and has vacated himself from these duties. He has, however, been silently executing on his singular goal, while the clatter and noise occur above.By design on his part and omission on our part, the clatter and noise is what has caught most of the attention of critical review. His party’s many blunders, their scandals, their economic incompetence, and their ridiculous half-person argument, have crowded out the nefarious manoeuvres occurring below. We have failed to paint the complete big picture of these consequential moves to undermine democracy that have been engineered into place at almost subsurface level; the various pieces of which individually are worrisome and combined reveal a war gaming strategy focused on a foreboding ultimate goal.The result was that if the exact 2016 vote was replicated in 2018, the PPP/C would lose 29 seats while APNU/AFC would remain unchangedFor example, concurrent with their offensive campaign of compromising and infiltrating primary targets, his Administration has continuously deployed other military inspired stratagems to keep the Opposition off balance and consume its resources in attending to fires (SOCU); diversions; feints (duplicitous acceptance of NCM then reversal) and psychological and economic warfare.In some cases, multiple objectives are achieved at the same time. The attack on the Opposition’s morale, economic warfare, and consumption of Opposition resources and attention were simultaneously achieved by the raising of taxes on agricultural equipment. This was then repeated with even greater effect with the closure of the sugar estates. These stratagems could all have been directly lifted out of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.Similarly, his delaying tactics and duplicity throughout the three-month ordeal following the passage of the NCM is a prime demonstration of Sun Tzu’s maxim: all warfare is based on deception.Verifiable evidence of the Administration’s efforts to subvert democracy is in plain sight in their altering of the geography of the Opposition’s support and on the ground representation in fourteen Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 2018. It was a consequential foray but lightly reported on.To put it simply, they gerrymandered the LGAs using Crack and Pack and Hatch-a-Seat operations. Large People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) constituencies were combined thereby reducing the number of area seats, while small A Partnership for National Unity constituencies were split creating more area seats. The adjacent charts give a quick visual of this.The result was that if the exact 2016 vote were replicated in 2018 the PPP/C would lose 29 seats while APNU/Alliance For Change would remain unchanged.As is known, the PPP/C won sweeping victories in the 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) because of dissatisfaction with the Administration. But in those fourteen LGAs the number of PPP/C affiliated Councillors declined by 14 per cent.Their actions combined show an administration intent on holding office whether or not they achieve that through free and fair elections. The gerrymandering of LGE, though significant in its own rights, may have been just a dry run for bigger operations.Also, the presence in the country of Cambridge Analytica still remains an open question. All parties deny working with them. The company provided psych ops strategy to governments and military organisations worldwide. It was forced to discontinue operations in 2018 when its involvement in the Facebook data breach scandal was uncovered and its dirty tricks in other countries began to be revealed.This is not the first time that Guyana has started down this road. The last time it did so the main party in the APNU coalition also formed Government; to the misfortune of the country. The hallmarks of that administration have resurfaced in the Granger Administration: the subversion of democracy and bad economic management. These sent the country into a tail-spin that ended up with Guyana being the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It also became one of the most indebted nations in the world under Finance Minister Carl Greenidge now Foreign Affairs Minister. There was a mass exodus of Guyanese to other countries, which now almost like in a dark comedy, manifests itself politically as the dual-citizenship issue.Before the downward spiral, Guyana was seen as having all it takes, and on the cusp of becoming a prosperous nation. There was sunshine, abundant land and water, gold, bauxite, sugar, rice, diamonds and timber. The people were capable and spoke English.Now that promise has again come to the fore with newly discovered off-shore oil. We all hope it is fulfilled. The danger is that this Administration’s history indicates not only a bent towards autocracy and mismanagement, but that any benefit would accrue to just a small elite, while the majority outside the chain are relegated to abject poverty. Case in point Nigeria, with rich oil reserves and other parallels with Guyana. To take a quote from a description of the situation in the book A Swamp Full of Dollars: The more widely better communications, the possibility of travel and ostentatious consumer goods have become available in the Niger Delta, …the more the villagers who live above the oilfields have noticed the difference between their circumstances and those of the people who exploit their natural riches.Nigeria is ranked as having the 11th largest proven oil reserves in the world. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world. A top world producer of groundnuts, palm oil and other agricultural products before the discovery of oil, the country was lured away from the long-term agriculture by the promise of instant oil rewards. Closer to home, another example of the misfortune that can befall even oil-rich countries is Venezuela. They have the largest proven oil reserves in the world, yet Venezuelan citizens are seeking refuge on Guyana’s muddy shores.The management of any economy is a complex business. Throw in the vagaries of the oil industry and you have exponential challenges. This Administration has shown that that they are neither equipped nor willing to deal with those challenges. In addition, the country is again at risk of being railroaded down an undemocratic path.We have seen what the Granger Administration has done with the time they’ve had. Further delay of the election and the benefit of incumbency provides more opportunity for less free and fair elections. Hopefully the international attention that their actions have attracted will contain the situation to some extent.People will have to choose and they will have to make their voices heard.Sincerely,Ron Cheonglast_img read more

Vendor chopped to head during home invasion

first_imgA market vendor was on Monday evening chopped to his head after three armed men invaded his Zeelugt, West Coast Demerara (WCD) property. Injured is 40-year-old Dennis Emmanuel of Lot 487 Zeelugt.The car used by the banditsReports are Emmanuel was in his yard when he was confronted by three armed men – one of whom was armed with a handgun. He was held at gunpoint and escorted into the house to join his wife and daughter.The armed men then took the trio into a bedroom where they demanded cash and other valuables. At this time, Emmanuel, who is a vendor at Leonora Market, told the bandits that he did not have any money at home, but one of the men picked up a chopper and dealt him one blow to the head.Emmanuel then began to scream, and the bandits panicked and ran out of the house. They boarded a waiting motor car and it sped off. The Police were contacted and responded promptly, resulting in a high-speed chase.When contacted, Police D Division Commander Rishi Das told Guyana Times that the silver-grey Toyota Allion – bearing licence plates PNN 5369 – in which the bandits escaped was found abandoned in the vicinity of the Zeelugt, WCD sea dam.The paintball gun that was found in the carIt is believed that after the car got stuck, the perpetrators exited the vehicle and escaped on foot.A search was conducted on the vehicle and a paintball gun – suspected to be the weapon used to hold Emmanuel and his family hostage – was found along with a mobile phone and a motor vehicle registration. The registration bears the name of someone resident at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara.The commander told this newspaper that the investigators are now making attempts to verify whether the vehicle used in the attempted robbery was stolen. Investigations are continuing.last_img read more

Law enforcement agencies to raise money for special olympics

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER — Law enforcement officials rely on tips from the public on a daily basis in their crime-fighting efforts. Later this week, they’ll need them to help a local charity. Officials from three agencies — the Sheriff’s department, Highway Patrol and the state Department of Corrections — will raise money for the Antelope Valley chapter of the Special Olympics serving food at a Lancaster eatery. All tip money raised during lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m to 9 p.m.) hours on Wednesday and Thursday at Marie Callender’s will benefit local athletes with disabilities. About 500 such athletes will compete June 9 in the 2007 High Desert Special Olympic Games at Antelope Valley College. “It’s fantastic,” Antelope Valley Special Olympics fundraising coordinator Dawn Brooks said. “It’s a show of support from the community that’s not just the family members. That they’re giving their time for the kids that they don’t have to. “It’s good P.R. for us and for them.” Brooks said her 11-year-old daughter Kaylin, who suffers from Down syndrome, will compete in the Special Olympics for a fourth year. She said in past years, Kaylin has given any medals she’s won to law enforcement officials in appreciation of their help putting on the games. Athletes ages 8 to 80 will compete in 10 different sports at the event, Dawn Brooks said. “Kids love them,” Brooks said. “When a police officer walks up to them and talks to them, their faces just light up.” Sheriff’s deputies will serve on Wednesday. CHP and Corrections officers will serve on Thursday. “Anytime we can help children, it’s always going to be a worthy cause,” CHP officer Henry Ross said. “I think it’s good for the children and it’s good for the community.” — Gideon Rubin (661) 267-7802gideon.rubin@dailynews.comlast_img read more

IT’S COUNTRY MONDAY AT THE BREWERY – HONKY TONK HEROES LIVE TONIGHT

first_imgENTERTAINMENT: The weekend is over, but the entertainment never stops at Letterkenny’s No.1 bar The Brewery! We had another cracking weekend, and the place was hopping from last Thursday. One feature of an entertainment line-up that is gathering momentum weekly, is our Country Monday’s!We’ve got some of the best and brightest talents in Country Music playing LIVE every Monday, and tonight is no different.HONKY TONK HEROES are LIVE tonight from 10pm and the five-piece band are one the best live acts in the North-West.The sun is shining on this glorious day, so might not drop in to The Brewery, have a pint enjoy our Country Monday’s night. IT’S COUNTRY MONDAY AT THE BREWERY – HONKY TONK HEROES LIVE TONIGHT was last modified: May 9th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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:EntertainmentFeaturesnewsThe Brewerylast_img read more

GAA NEWS: TIR CHONAILL GAELS EARN SUPERB WIN OVER NEASDAN IN CONWAY CUP CLASH

first_imgTir Chonaill Gaels GAA News:SeniorsThe seniors overcame Neasdan last Thursday evening in Greenford by two points in the Conway Cup after a tight tussle. In a game packed with incidents, there were several sending offs for both teams. Next up for the seniors is the Conway cup semi-final this Tuesday 30th June at 7.30pm in Ruislip.JuniorsThe juniors beat McCurtains on Sunday evening in Ruislip to advance to the semi-final. They went into the break at half-time a goal up against the breeze. McCurtains leveled matters ten minutes into the 2nd half but the Gaels showed great character to pull away for a convincing win. Good performances for Killian Butler, Aidan McGarvey, Gavin McEvoy and Tommy Moriarty.Next up is St. Clarets on Sunday 5th July in Greenford at 1.30pmLadiesOur ladies went down in the final of the junior championship on Sunday morning. After a poor first half performance the ladies were 3-10 to 1-0 behind. The team scored two goals and a couple of points early in the second half to rattle the McCurtains. Both teams then traded goals before McCuratins killed the game with their final goal. It was a spirited fightback from the girls who will be left to rue their first half performance. With the ladies club finding its feet, we hope they can push on next year and well done to all involved for a successful season.Lottery ResultsNumbers drawn 2, 9, 15 & 22Jackpot £1,150 – No winner£25 Lucky Dip WinnersVince Keating, c/o Tom O’ConnorTom Stokes, c/o The Three WishesTom Donoghue, c/o Tom O’ConnorWally, c/o The Three WishesNext draw Thursday, 2nd July at the ClubhouseJackpot £1,150Play online at www.tirchonaillgaels.com GAA NEWS: TIR CHONAILL GAELS EARN SUPERB WIN OVER NEASDAN IN CONWAY CUP CLASH was last modified: June 29th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAANoticesSportTir Chonaill Gaelslast_img read more

Donegal athletes do superbly well at 2016 Surf-Lifesaving World Championships

first_imgA number of Donegal athletes have recorded super results from Einhoven in Holland at the 2016 Surf-Lifesaving World Championships.Competing for the Hibernian Masters, Letterkenny woman Triona McMenamin picked up three silver and two gold medals.Next up was fellow Letetrkenny woman Lisa Anderson, from Hawthorn Heights, who picked up two silver medals. Paddy Bond from Ramelton, also competing for the Hibernian Masters, was just outside medals in both the pool events and the beach events. However Paddy set two new Irish records in the pool in two masters relays.Up next for these lifesavers are the national championships in Tramore, Waterford at the end of the month.Donegal athletes do superbly well at 2016 Surf-Lifesaving World Championships was last modified: September 6th, 2016 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)last_img read more

COMMUNITY ALERT: GANG TARGETS HOMES – PLEASE CHECK ON ELDERLY NEIGHBOURS

first_imgBREAKING NEWS: A criminal gang has been operating in the Termon, Kilmacrennan and Trentnagh areas of Co Donegal today, offering to do odd jobs for residents as they check out homes.The tactic – used by criminals to attack the Arthur sisters last summer – later led to the death of 89-year-old Suzy.The gang operating today may well have travelled to other areas. They are driving a silver Northern registered pick-up with three men inside. They may be accompanied by others in a second vehicle.They are offering residents services including painting, drive-cleaning and several other services.However we understand they are actually checking homes and may return later having established who lives there.Anyone who sees anything suspicious should report it immediately to Gardaí. Officers have already been informed about the gang operating today.People are being urged to check on elderly neighbours. COMMUNITY ALERT: GANG TARGETS HOMES – PLEASE CHECK ON ELDERLY NEIGHBOURS was last modified: July 19th, 2014 by John2Share 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:burglarscommunity alertkilmacrennanTermonthievesTrentnaghlast_img read more

Gardai hunt man wearing cowboy hat who rammed patrol car

Gardai in Co Donegal are hunting a man wearing a cowboy hat who rammed and damaged a patrol car.Gardai had a lucky escape after they were rammed while investigating incidents of dangerous driving during the incident on Saturday night.At approximately 9pm a 5 Series Silver BMW with a northern registration collided with the Milford patrol car at Maherdrummond, Milford – better known as ‘Mc Adoos Corner’. Gardaí were responding to numerous reports of dangerous driving by the occupants of this car between Newtoncunningham, Letterkenny, Ramelton and Milford.The Silver BMW was travelling from Ramelton towards Milford when it intentionally collided with the Milford patrol car.It failed to remain at the scene.Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan said they are anxious to hear from anybody who may have witnessed the incident or knows where the car is. She said “Enquiries carried out suggest the car had northern plates with possibly a partial registration number ‘VEZ…’. At least two men were on board and it is believed the driver wore what looked like a cowboy hat.“This car engaged in serious incidents of dangerous driving and Gardaí are appealing for the public’s assistance in identifying the vehicle and/or the occupants. There may be damage caused to the driver’s side of the BMW.“Gardaí in Milford appreciate the assistance they have received to date from the public and are appealing to others who may have information to come forward.”Milford Gardaí can be contacted on the landline 0749153048 or the public can contact An Garda Siochana on the Confidential Line – 1800 666111.Gardai hunt man wearing cowboy hat who rammed patrol car was last modified: August 15th, 2017 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:carcowboy hatGardairammed read more

Exclusive: An Bord Pleanala refuse planning for Supermacs in Letterkenny

first_imgAn Bord Pleanala has refused planning permission for a new Supermacs takeaway in the heart of Letterkenny.An application on behalf of parent company Atlantic Enterprises had originally been made to Donegal County Council in December 2017.However, there had been a number of objections to the restaurant. In January last another application was refused but an appeal to the decision had been lodged by the fast-food giant.The two-storey outlet with 25 car parking spaces and a drive-thru facility had been planned for the Port Road close to the entrance to the Letterkenny Shopping Centre.Now An Bord Pleanala has refused planning permission for the site this week.Any appeal to this latest refusal has yet to be made. Exclusive: An Bord Pleanala refuse planning for Supermacs in Letterkenny was last modified: July 15th, 2019 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:letterkennyplanningrefusalSUpermacslast_img read more

Pablo Sandoval arrives to spring training ready for anything (even pitching)

first_imgSCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–Every spring they’ve shared together, Bruce Bochy and Pablo Sandoval have the same conversation.Sandoval arrives with an assortment of gloves and mitts and tells Bochy he’s ready to play all over the diamond. Bochy tells Sandoval he wouldn’t dare put him in the outfield, but he would like to send him behind the plate to catch a few bullpens.This year’s discussion offered a twist. Sandoval again offered to play everywhere, but after a successful debut on the mound in 2018, he …last_img read more