Punishing Poor People Continuously
NOVEMBER 21, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Since knowing ourselves, Guyana has always been a country in political turmoil, the struggle for independence, the struggle for free and fair elections and today the struggle for good governance and against a system that rewards corruption and penalizes those who want to play by the rules.
Throughout our history all these experiences have taught us that life for the poor and the working class remains almost unbearable. Even the small business and peasant class “catching fire” under this Jagdeo/Ramotar regime.
If one is to observe the comments coming out of Berbice on the issue of blackout under this PPP regime it is a clear that day to day life in Guyana remains painful and no amount of PPP propaganda can erase the burning in the belly of the people.
Sukhai, a farmer said in Stabroek News What the people Say Column, “This blackout is very terrible because when the current goes on and off… our appliances get burn and damage ….. and we do not receive any refund from GPL.” Sukhai further stated as a poultry farmer, “…. when the current goes off these chicken suffer.”
But stay with us and listen to Sukhai. Sukhai revealed a reality that the ordinary people in PPP Guyana face every day when he said “…while there is blackout during the day and the pipe is running it (the water) cuts off. We do not have water to use and this is really bad for the people in Berbice.”
Thank you Mr. Sukhai for speaking your truth and for exposed several cases of irrational underdevelopment because of poor governance and corruption under the PPP namely:
1. The PPP executes capital (fund) punishment on this farmer by damaging his appliances resulting in him spending what he does not have, on new appliances. This is the PPP formula to keep Sukhai in perpetual poverty. He did not damage his TV; GPL and by extension the PPP did but they refuse to refund him for his loss of wealth.
2. As his chicken dies as a result of poor electricity supply, his ability to multiply his wealth is put at risk by the PPP. Thus his return on his investment reduces with every chicken that dies as a result of blackouts. Under the PPP this farmer is not guaranteed a fixed rate of return for his investment and labour.
However this same PPP has guaranteed the rate of return for all the mega-investors in Guyana (the Marriot Hotel investors, the Berbice Bridge investors, the Amaila Fall project investors and even Buddy Shivraj when he invested in the Princess Hotel). No risk for the rich friends, family and business buddies of the ruling Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal. This is the PPP brand of working class party for you!
3. Water is life; at least that is what the United Nations tells us. However, under the PPP, potable water remains a luxury that is not easily accessible in the land of many water. Water is a critical element for every family and if you do not have reliable access to water, then you cannot run a poultry farmer properly; much less manage a family satisfactorily. The risk posed by denying this farmer water in times of Blackout has to be responded to by the majority in Parliament.
A motion must be passed demanding a full, independent and transparent investigation of the operations of GPL.
It is time the leadership from all political forces including the back benchers in the PPP, rise up and demand justice for the people of Berbice. Mr. Zulfikar Mustapha and his side-kick Mr. Jafarally, who like to flounce on Berbice TV to sing the praises of the PPP should wake up from their slumber and stop telling the people Alice in Wonderland stories. All is not well in Berbice.
They’re living in a world of their own and they’re trying to reduce the rest of us to the same condition of losing touch with reality. We call on the AFC to highlight the real suffering of the Berbicians to all of Guyana, especially in those areas that the PPP thinks they got tribal rights.
Let us bring the nation back to its centre of gravity where the people more actively resist non-violently the oppressors in the current regime, just like how they resisted the colonialist and the Burnham dictatorship.
Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh
Robeson Benn son accused of being a chronic woman beater was stabbed after one of his victims have had enough, the victim reached out to the Minister Priya Manickchand who continues to be a lame duck when it comes to protecting women being abused by PPP/C officials and their cronies. As usual state media NCN, Guyana Times and Chronicle will not print these incidents, and it seems the private media houses are scared the government will penalize them.
Is it any surprise Guyana government is welcoming woman beater Bobby Brown to entertain them?
Guyanese continue to complain about high airfare, still haven’t learnt their lesson about being cheap
A flight from Trinidad to Caracas or a flight to Suriname cost the same or more than a flight from Trinidad to Guyana, but for some strange reason Guyanese think they are special and should pay less.
Caribbean Airlines should come out and explain that the Trinidad government subsidize the Trinidad to JFK leg.
Guyana government should come out and explain why a flight from Ogle to Mabaruma cost as much as a flight from Guyana to Trinidad.
Guyanese should stop being complainers and continue to support EzJet because that is the kind of service they want to pay for.
The EZjet saga
NOVEMBER 15, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER EDITORIAL
The grounding of EZjet has raised more questions than answers. One major question is whether the deposit demanded by the Guyana government is enough to compensate passengers affected by any situation that may force the airline to be grounded.
The deposit demanded by the Guyana Government is US$200,000, a sum that is meaningless when one considers that airlines sell tickets in advance of flights. Sometimes, as in the case of EZjet, tickets are sold months in advance. This is because airlines announce cheaper rates. They all claim that the further ahead one buys a ticket the cheaper is that ticket.
More recently, EZjet announced a promotion that appeared to be more stupid than sound. It was selling tickets for less than US$1,000 that would allow the passenger repeated travel to destinations in the United States, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada. Given Guyana’s population, assuming that everyone would have travelled then many people might have been stranded.
Each flight would have taken out two hundred people. So if two thousand people had jumped at the offer the airline would have had to make ten flights to move them to a destination. It would then have had to make ten flights to return them. Each would have flown once but many would not have been able to secure a seat on future flights to capitalize on the virtually free travel.
This was a smart promotion since it would have guaranteed full flights in and out of Guyana for the month. In reality there would have been no free travel.
Assuming that the airline had sold two tickets on the promotion then with the collapse the deposit would not have been enough to cover the cost of refund. A mere two hundred passengers would have been refunded. And this is the plight of many who recently booked to travel on EZjet.
Money is a scarce commodity and people who would have forked out their money would have descended on the ticket offices for their refund. And this is what is happening now. However, the airline seems not to have money to effect the refund. Needless to say, this is angering those affected by the collapse.
Those who are most angered are those who were sold tickets by the airline even after the airline had its licence suspended by the United States Department of Transportation and the Guyana Government. Minister of Works, Robeson Benn, when he announced the Guyana position, said that this step was intended to ensure that no more tickets were sold. This was definitely not the case.
The Minister also said that his government has long been seeking low cost carriers to operate out of Guyana. However, every attempt has failed; none of those that came as low cost carriers survived for longer than a year.
The question is whether Guyana does adequate feasibility study.
We know that operating out of New York or any North American port would entail a due diligence by the United States Department of Transportation. Minister Benn said that Guyana simply accepted the findings of the US authorities.
What we saw was that all the airlines that came simply did not have a large reservoir of funds hence they were operating on a shoe string. Any ripple would lead to their collapse and there have always been ripples sparked by their indebtedness to the leasing carrier.
The big question, then, is whether there could ever be a low cost carrier operating between Georgetown and North America.
We do know that the money charged by the other operators is excessively high. Indeed, the government has had to call in these carriers to discuss the fares and from time to time and actually got lower fares but such drop has been temporary.
In one case, Guyanese travelling through Trinidad to New York found that half of the ticket cost was for the leg to Trinidad.
This could not be the case; Guyanese are fleeced but this will always be the case until there is a national airline.
Priya Manickchand is useless, to make matters worse she covers up the abuse against women by PPP and their cronies.
Stabbing leaves Minister’s son hospitalised
NOVEMBER 12, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
The son of a government Minister is currently a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) nursing two stab wounds, one to his chest and another to his abdomen.
The Minister’s son, who has a history of violent behaviour, was stabbed late Saturday night at the Georgetown sea wall. Up to press time yesterday he was a patient of the hospital’s High Dependency Unit (HDU) after undergoing surgery on Saturday night.
This newspaper understands that he was scheduled to be transferred to a private hospital.
There are reports that he had an altercation with a female friend at the sea wall during which the woman stabbed him.
It is suspected that the same female posted a comment of her facebook page yesterday, condemning violence against women.
The comment stated “Violence against women should be stopped, i’m not the first u’ve severely beaten over n over and i may not be the last but i hope and pray no other innocent person falls in your hands and u do the same again. i stayed in this relationship hoping u’d change but that’s not possible and being afraid of justice because of your affiliations made it worst but the time has come to speak out and for me to be brave and stand up for myself and my fellow women who are your victims and who would unknowingly be. To the extent of frequent hospitalization; CT Scans, ultrasounds are not worth it.Stop Violence Against Women.”
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand was also tagged in the comment.
Kaieteur News tried to contact the stab victim’s father but his phone was turned off.
Auditor General’s findings on Region One just the tip of the iceberg
NOVEMBER 11, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
I am not surprised at the findings of the Auditor General with regards to the Contracts in Region 1. I am sorry but what has been disclosed is only the tip of the iceberg. Corruption in Region 1 is so rife. To get to the fishy deals, one has to travel up into the riverain areas where some buildings the size of fowl pens are called schools and teachers’ quarters. Yet the contract prices are astronomical. One only has to check the amounts paid for materials for building/repairing roads. Where are the roads?
There is a fuel depot at Morawhanna and yet the Administration purchases fuel from middle men. Morawhanna is across the pond from the Mabaruma Compound.
How is it that one previous REO collected accounts from some business people and some time after, turned up with cash to pay them. Has the Sub Treasury become mobile?
Like I mentioned, the Auditor’s report is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a huge chunk below surface, the likes of what ripped the Titanic open and caused it to sink.
US Department of Transport has advised that it has suspended EZjet flights, Guyana govt reluctantly does same
EzJet flights suspended
The United States Department of Transport has advised that it has suspended the operations EZjet Air Services Inc and as a result the Government of Guyana through the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has followed suit.
Transport Minister Robeson Benn made the announcement this afternoon at a news conference, where he also blamed the media and, in particular, Kaieteur News for negatively reporting on the issues surrounding the airline and contributing to the creation of a public frenzy.
Benn said that the GCAA has suspended the airline’s routes—Georgetown to New York; Georgetown to Toronto and Georgetown to Trinidad and Tobago—as a result of the company’s issues with carrier Swift Air, whose planes EZjet wet leases, with respect to payments.
“We are seeking further details on this issue and the public will be advised shortly,” Benn said.
Benn said that acting Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Irfaan Ali, after a meeting he had with President Donald Ramotar, has been instructed to undertake swift action to assist the affected passengers.
“We are disappointed and unhappy that our efforts to bring low cost operations [to create] a more competitive environment. It has not turned out as expected,” he said. He added that the government had hoped that the low cost travel would have benefited tourism and led to lowering of fares.
The minister said that the calculations are ongoing to see how many passengers would be affected but he confirmed that ticket sales for the airline has ceased.
Two weeks ago, this newspaper reported that Sonny Ramdeo, the CEO of EZjet, had been sued in the United States by a former employer for allegedly embezzling monies entrusted to him.
He is facing a civil suit in the United States that his former employers filed, accusing him of devising a “sophisticated scheme of fraud and deception” to embezzle some US$5.4 million from them. Following the news of his being sued, Ramdeo stepped down from his post as Chief Executive Officer.
Reports out of the US state that Promise Healthcare and 11 of its hospitals brought the suit against Ramdeo, their former payroll manager who they hired eight years ago to manage the payroll for 3,500 employees in hospitals nationwide.
Named along with Ramdeo as plaintiffs in the suit are EZjet GT and PayServ Tax, a company that Ramdeo allegedly set up to commit the fraud. Shortly afterwards, acting CEO of the airline Rosalinda Rasul gave all assurances that the company had not owed any of its goods and service providers and that the court matter is a private one not expected to affect the operations of the airline.
EZjet today issued the following press release asking for patience and saying its looking for new investors:
EZjet Air Services has temporarily suspended its operations due to financial hardship created by its vendors and agents owing EZjet as well as some mismanagement.
The suspension of services comes after EZjet direct carrier Swift Air took off from Port of Spain, Trinidad on November 7th leaving passengers stranded. Swift Air’s CEO, Jeff Conry used a maintenance issue to deplane all the passengers after filling up with fuel paid for by EZjet and taking off to Buffalo, NY with no advance notification to EZjet of Swift’s intent to not to operate the flight or return the passengers.
Swift Air also forced EZjet to cancel its flight scheduled for 2nd & 3rd of November due to the fact that they abandoned passengers at the JFK airport and took another job flying for the
Boston Celtics while inconveniencing EZjet’s passengers.
While Swift Air claims it has not been paid, EZjet believes Swift Air owes EZjet over US$800,000+ relating to various charges including using substitute aircraft when theirs was damaged, ground services, hotel stays for passengers, food and other amenities during delays cause by them.
While EZjet has invoiced Swift Air for reimbursement of these charges, Swift Air has not paid any of EZjet’s invoices.
Swift Air replaced Dynamic Airways after Dynamic suspended its operations owing EZjet over US$1.5 million dollars which includes an US$800,000 cash security deposit. EZjet is in the process of seeking legal action against Dynamic Airways for recovery of the sums owing.
These outstanding balances coupled with the poor collection of ticket sales from the travel agencies has left EZjet in a financial strain. Our CEO states EZjet will of course do the right thing and refund our passengers monies paid unused portion of their tickets.
We apologize to our customers.
We ask the passengers to be patient with our staff and bear with us as we process the refunds.
EZjet is in the process of seeking new investors with the hopes of restarting its Guyana services.
The Opposition allows this universe of corruption in Guyana to grow and expand
NOVEMBER 4, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
I am replying to one of the East Indian extremists, Vassan Ramracha that lives in New York that shamelessly supports the PPP’s autocracy and tyranny in Guyana (see “Kissoon’s social contract and the blame game,” KN, Nov 2).
People like Ramracha can boast about the corrupt rule of the PPP (which this newspaper should win a UN medal for exposing corruption in this country) because the opposition beginning with the advent of Robert Corbin’s leadership and also including the pre-2011 AFC plus a dead civil society structure allowed this tyranny and corruption to grow and take over Guyana
Hopefully, it looks like Linden will put a stop to this autocracy as it relates to Linden. In five successive national elections, the opposition has won the constitutional administration of REGION FOUR but has not been given its constitutional right to administer this region.
As someone trained in history and political philosophy, I say most unambiguously, this would never happen in any other country anywhere in the world that is plural in nature and driven by a huge ethnic divide where the contending ethnic communities are equal in importance and numbers. I repeat, this has not occurred elsewhere and the leadership of the oppressed constituencies would not accept to be shifted from areas of control in the particular country where it won legitimate votes to govern
People like Ramracha in their zeal to publicly support the PPP are so silly that every time they open their mouths, they offer critics of the PPP golden opportunities to expose the fascist underpinnings of the PPP’s misrule. The most convenient example of this in Ramracha’s letter is the following statement; “Contrast Mr. Kissoon now living a privileged life of luxury with a big house in a gated community.” How stupid one can be. But this is the type of people the PPP attracts.
I am sixty years of age and only owned a home in 2007 after working for more than twenty years in an institution, the University of Guyana that pays what al of Guyana knows is a miserable salary. I drive a duty car that I bought since 1999. I live in an ordinary lower middle class house without any wealthy interior decoration. My home does not have a self-contained bedroom. The family used the same bathroom.
If Ramracha is looking for luxuries and luxury home, he should visit the mansions of Cheddi Jagan’s protégés. Ramracha has to be the most imbecilic supporter of the PPP. He doesn’t pay attention to what Donald Ramotar writes. Six years ago in these letter pages of this same newspaper. Ramotar wrote to say that he knows some businessmen helped me to build my home. Of course he is right. I didn’t have the wealth the PPP boys and girls got after they acquired power in 1992. In my column today I acknowledge I had received help in erecting my dwelling house.
I do not live in a mainstream gated community but in an area where GUYSUCIO gave almost free house lots (because of the almost next to nothing price) to its wealthy Indian hierarchy who had no uses for them because they already had their mansions. These lots were in turn sold far, far, far above market rates. The seller of my land was extremely generous not to be greedy. He did the moral and honorable thing. Two of the plots were possessed by the son-in-law of an infamous minister. Two of them are currently owned by a certain minister. There is only one reason for describing it as gated because it has one road in and one road out
Contrast my age and the meager resources of mine with little boys and girls who are the children and relatives of the PPP dynasty, who in 1992 when the PPP came to power were literally little boys and girls. Today these grown up boys and girls are owners of assets that match the resources of the traditional rich classes in Guyana. In my research for which Bharrat Jagdeo sued me, I documented who these people are. Some are young men who haven’t reached forty years as yet.
A certain Minister has put up his/her house for sale in Pradoville 2. An inquirer that I know told me the price is $US 1.2M (just above 200 million Guyana dollars). That Minister is not forty five years as yet and had no claims to previous resources. We know about a mansion and swimming pool of a Minister in REGION 3. We know of a Minister up the East Coast whose swimming poll is one of the most resplendent in the world with a lighting system that you find in the pools of American billionaires
Amidst these graphic facts, fools like Ramracha can point to someone like me with his idiotic claims of me living in luxury.
But Guyanese are glad to see these asininities from people like Ramracha because it gives some of us the space to further expose the moral and criminal bankruptcy of a party that the daughter of its founder, Nadira Jagan has boldly chastised for the decadent, wealthy lifestyle of its leaders. Imagine Ramracha talking about me living in luxury and Nadira Jagan and Ralph Ramkarran have written about corruption in the PPP administration, Yes, the PPP that Nadira Jagan’s father founded and that Ralph Rakarran helped to build. Let Ramracha write more so we can reply and show the rural folks what type of monsters control their country