In Guyana the violence against women is only getting worse, rape and murder is everyday story. The police does nothing about it, the government turn a blind eye and go as far as covering up rape when one of their own is the perpetrator.
Women like Priya Manikchand, Shalimar Ali-Hack, Gail Teixeira, Bibi Shadick should be ashamed of themselves. Only the other day Shalimar Ali-Hack’s husband and head of CIOG Shaikh Moen-ul-Hack basically said Guyanese girls are directly responsible for being raped. This is the husband of the lady that is responsible for laying charges against perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Is it any surprise why there is no justice for rape victims?
Pick any article in the news today about the brutal rape of the young lady in India, and you can easily substitute Guyana for India in it, except for the part where people are protesting.
The PPP and their friends are allowed to do anything they like to women, and the average man on the road see this and do the same.
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?
Ten months after the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime promised to end corruption and create jobs, we are left to wonder what the regime has done so far. Not only they have not reduced corruption and created jobs but they seem incapable of easing the burden on the poor and the working class. With unemployment on the rise, the PPP regime has been shown to be devoid of a feel for the economic reality in the country. Mr. Ramotar’s most recent statement that he will modernize Guyana is nothing more than a propaganda exploit. After 20 years of PPP rule, Guyana remains a semi-primitive society where people have to wait for extremely long hours in lines for service from every government department/agency, the traffic lights are in a mess, public hospitals are in shambles, and despite Priya Manickchand’s saying that all is well, public schools and UG are collapsing. In addition, constant power outages and the lack of potable water have become the norm, Georgetown is now the garbage/stink city instead of the Garden City, crimes have spiralled out of control and corruption has reached new heights never seen before in Guyana. But the fact that the cabal says the country is developing shows that the PPP regime is in denial.
President Ramotar’s refusal to change course is truly a nightmare. He has failed in his most important duty as President to correct the failed and corrupt policies of the previous regime. In office for almost a year, Mr. Ramotar did little more than play night watchman over the policies he inherited from Jagdeo. He did not even bother to give any of his predecessor’s policies a little tweak to convince the nation that he is making the necessary changes to ease the burden on the poor and the working class. This type of behaviour is difficult to explain to the average Guyanese except for the fact that coming from the corridors of Freedom House; it is a normal course of action.
We had hoped that having experienced the consequences of Jagdeo’s unpreparedness to deal with crime, corruption, and the trafficking of narcotics, President Ramotar would have been better prepared to address them. By now, his government should have had plans to restructure the country’s fiscal, monetary and trade policies to increase economic output and provide greater economic opportunity for the people while at the same time tackle corruption, crime, and the illegal trafficking of drugs. But this PPP regime seemed to have come to office with nothing more than dreams of ending corruption and the delusionary idea that employment can be created without an economic development plan.
Apart from that, the 2011 elections proved to be an act of providence for the combined parliamentary opposition parties—AFC and APNU. The opposition’s unique perspective of being the architect of a majority in Parliament gave them a better-than-average chance of developing strategies that could begin the process of correcting past mistakes and charting a new course towards real economic development. For the opposition to be taken seriously by the people, it has to pressure the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime to reduce VAT, create jobs, provide tangible increases in wages for civil/public servants, and establish the Procurement Commission and an Anti-Corruption Agency.
But the AFC and APNU have squandered this rare privilege and instead spent their time engaged in squabbling over inconsequential issues unrelated to the reality of the country’s economic and social dilemma and the urgent need to radically change the parlous state of the poor and the working class. This is clearly revealed by the fact that the list of issues the majority opposition have dealt with in Parliament is hardly recognizable in anything that would improve the lives of the poor and the working class.
That there has been no real progress by the majority opposition is not surprising. We have pointed out in previous letters that the PPP regime is lacking in substance but are we to believe that the combined opposition is no better prepared to tackle and improve the country‘s economic and social problems?
For more than a decade, Guyana’s finances have been grossly mismanaged by the Jagdeo regime. Today CLICO is bankrupt; the NIS is in dire financial straits and NICIL cannot account for millions of taxpayers’ dollars. The depth of the country’s financial crisis cannot be denied. Yet the PPP regime is in denial of this reality. They do not seem to grasp the urgency of the situation. What is required are honesty and a set of realistic goals to weed out corruption, create jobs and chart a pragmatic course that will improve the lives of the poor and the working class.
Because the PPP cabal controls the purse strings, it has been very easy for them to influence the electorate with baseless promises and illusory goals. The poor and the working class has for too long been the victim of this kind of crooked leadership. The PPP’s politics over the years has been nourished by racial voting which they have used to make a section of the population gullible. Its leaders have always said that “the people are their greatest asset.” Yet they have been selling them a pie in the sky at election time rather than telling them the truth. Wake up people!
Dr. Asquith Rose
and Harish S. Singh
The PPP on trial
OCTOBER 8, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Some in the PPP like to claim how effective the government is, even when little or no evidence of such exists. Moreover, when challenged to provide proof, they create the context, and in some instances turn to propaganda and distortions to justify their self-assessed effectiveness with a view to persuade the masses about how hard they have been toiling on their behalf.
And even when the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime is drowning in their own manufactured hogwash, they become so immune to it that they are not bothered or shaken by the views of the opposition or by the sentiments and perceptions of the people.
This kind of stubbornness and narcissistic behaviour by the PPP regime is bordering on being insensitive to the needs of the youths and the poor and the working class.
The Jagdeo/Ramotar PPP regime is on trial because they have displayed a sense of heartlessness toward the youths and the poor and the working class in Guyana. Based on their actions, we are convinced that the PPP cabal is completely removed from the reality that exists beyond the glass casing that separates them from the masses they pretend to serve.
The truth is that even on their best days their pretence is so obnoxious that they drive away their own supporters in droves. It is indisputable that this type of behaviour by the Jagdeo/ Ramotar regime is predictable and reactive as if they are at a Grand Opera.
The PPP regime has shown total contempt for Parliament and the combined opposition in that the Attorney General Anil Nadalall has not only challenged the no-confidence motion against the Minister of Home Affairs Mr. Rohee in the courts but he and the PPP cabal have also distorted the decision of the Chief Justice Ian Chang in the budget case to mislead the public.
The opposition is aware of this but they have done nothing to prevent the Minister of Finance Ashni Singh from using the Contingency Funds to pay the contract workers at the Office of the President.
The majority opposition must end their lackadaisical posture and stand up and represent the people as Sharma Solomon and Vanessa Kissoon did at Linden. We believe that if the people of Linden had waited for APNU to represent them in the manner Solomon and Kissoon did, they would have waited in vain because it was the leaders of APNU who in April cut backroom deals with the PPP to increase the electricity rates at Linden that led to the protest and the subsequent murders of three unarmed young men.
For one reason, the opposition parties need plenipotentiaries to coordinate their policies and to maintain the same or similar line of argument/criticism against the PPP. For another, both the AFC and APNU should start the process of developing a shadow budget in order to have an estimated amount of the cost of next year’s budget.
It is our understanding that the PPP intends to bloat the budget in excess of $40 billion with the expectation that the opposition will cut part of that amount and still leave them with the required amount needed for fiscal year 2013. And the leader of the Parliamentary opposition who prides himself as a security Czar is yet to present a security plan/bill to Parliament.
The minority PPP-led government has had enough time to improve the standard of living in Guyana but they have failed to demonstrate to the masses that they are the stewards who are worthy of their trust. The regime has had enough time to formulate an economic development plan to create employment for the youths and those willing to work, a crime prevention program, an Anti-Corruption Agency to reduce corruption, and an educational curriculum to shrink the failures at examinations. But so far, the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime has not even come close of achieving any of the above. In fact, the Minister of Education Priya Manickchand should stop masquerading over inconsequential issues such as the flogging of students and focus on the bigger issue of reducing failures to a minimum.
It may appear to Mr. Ramotar and his government that things are hunky-dory, but nothing could be further from the truth—times are extremely hard for the youths and the poor and the working class who are at their wits end to put food on the table. The Jagdeo/Ramotar regime should know by now that the clock is ticking, the tension is building and the poor and the working class are about to explode under the enormous pressure.
These are tough times. Crime and violence, narcotics trafficking and corruption are on the upswing, unemployment continues to rise to new heights, real wages have declined, frustration and misery are peaking, and yet the government seems clueless as to the seriousness and extensiveness of the plight of the poor and the working class. Still, some in the PPP and their wealthy friends appear to live so comfortable that one wonders which country they live in.
In conclusion, for those who continue to harbour doubts about which political party we support, one thing remains clear: we are not beholden to any party. We shall always be guided by truth and honesty. And while we do not aspire to assume any meaningful role, we remain grounded in our conviction and steadfast love for Guyana, sufficient to declare that any criticisms of the opposition are not that we love them less, but that we love Guyana and Guyanese more. Our conscious is our guide.
Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh
Henry Greene forced out after rape allegations
Embattled Commissioner of Police Henry Greene’s resignation has been finalized;
ending months of speculation over his continued tenure as the country’s Top Cop in the face of rape allegations made by a 34-year-old mother of two.
While senior government officials have declined to confirm Greene’s departure, Greene was offering ‘no comment’ to queries from various sections of the media.
The latest call for his ouster came from former Minister of Human Services and Social Security Priya Manickchand, who was responsible for piloting the new Sexual Offences Act of 2010.
Manickchand, who is now Minister of Education, is the highest ranking government official so far to call for Greene to step down.
Yesterday, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee refused to confirm reports of Greene’s resignation, advising that the administration was likely to issue an official statement on the matter.
He also advised this newspaper to contact Greene himself.
Two days ago Rohee said that the jury was still out on Greene’s return to the top police post.
Acting Commissioner Leroy Brumell also declined to comment when approached by this newspaper.
Greene, who is over the age of retirement, had been on administrative leave since December 17, last year, to facilitate the investigation into the allegation made against him.
In what eventually turned out to be the scandal of the year, the 34-year-old woman alleged that she was raped by the Commissioner of Police at a city hotel.
The woman alleged that she was forced to have sex with Greene after she was induced with cash and a promise to assist her in a matter that is presently engaging the attention of the police.
Greene had dismissed the woman’s claims as mere allegations and had declared that god will be his judge, although he later admitted to having consensual sex with her.
Following weeks of investigations by a team of detectives from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, under the supervision of Crime Chief Seelall Persaud, the Director of Public Prosecution advised that Greene be charged with rape.
However, Greene successfully got the High Court to overturn the DPP’s advice with Chief Justice Ian Chang ruling that the decision to charge Greene was irrational.
Greene’s admission to having consensual sex with the woman was another major bone of contention, since it is being argued that he used his office in an improper manner.
The first to call for his resignation was his predecessor Winston Felix, who had told the media that it would have been the most honourable thing to do.
Felix’s call was followed by others from the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers and other women’s groups, and the main opposition political parties, the Alliance For Change and A Partnership for National Unity.
In December last year, AFC leaders Raphael Trotman and Khemraj Ramjattan called for Greene’s immediate removal from office.
“As a matter of fact, based on what we have heard, we feel that he ought to tender his resignation or the President ought to dismiss him….but at the very least at this stage… an interdiction,” Ramjattan had stated.
Trotman, commenting on the issue had declared that the matter was the first real test for newly elected Head of State Donald Ramotar.
The Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) had also condemned Greene’s actions and had called on the administration to remove him as the Commissioner of Police.
“It is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Greene has in fact lost the moral authority to lead the Guyana Police Force and should therefore no longer be required to so do,” the GAWL said.
APNU had this to say: “In renewing our call we wish to remind the Guyanese public that having passed the age of retirement Mr. Greene is no longer the constitutional holder of the office of Commissioner of Police rather he is an employee/servant of the Government and as such he can be removed forthwith.”
This is not the first time that Greene’s name has been embroiled in a controversial issue which has threatened his tenure as the country’s chief lawman
In fact, his first day on the job, six years ago, was greeted with the announcement that the United States of America had revoked his visa to that country.
The Bharrat Jagdeo Government did not budge and retained him even in the face of severe criticism from several sections of the society.
They later argued that the decision to appoint Greene as Commissioner of Police was justified when, at the helm of the force, he presided over the demise of the infamous Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins and his criminal gang.
Greene’s tenure as the Commissioner of Police was extended after he had reached the age of retirement three years ago.
An luxury at the taxpayers’ expense
MARCH 1, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Everyone is aware that Mr Shaik Baksh is no longer a Minister of Government nor is he serving the Government in an Advisory capacity and still has two state vehicles in his possession. These vehicles are being maintained at the expense of the taxpayers of this country.
Mr Baksh drives an open back pick-up PLL 9043 while his son drives a grey Prado PKK 7000. It is instructive to note that the current Minister of Education is without a State vehicle as is the custom and practice.
The good lady has to use a vehicle from her Ministry’s pool while Baksh is having fun. Can the Head of the Presidential Secretariat cause this situation to be put right. Shame on you Baksh, you have had enough from us Tax Payers.
Teddy L Ross
The Ministers of Education and Human Services should say what they are doing about the sexual abuse of students by teachers
Help & Shelter invites the Ministers of Education and Human Services to inform the Guyanese people what they are doing and propose to do about the rape, sexual abuse and sexual harassment of students by teachers, including those at private religious institutions.
The Sexual Offence Act is very clear on this matter, defining abuse of trust as when the “the accused looks after persons who are receiving education at an educational institution (whether in the role of teacher or in another role)” and “the accused is a social worker, probation officer, coach, instructor, minister of religion, babysitter, child-minder or has a welfare position in relation to the complainant, and has regular unsupervised contact with the complainant.”
It is clear that investigation, background checks and oversight of teachers and others who are in positions of trust in relation to children are non-existent or inadequate, resulting in children, especially those who are vulnerable and at risk, being subjected to sexual abuse including rape.
Section 35 of the Protection of Children Act provides that “The Director of the Childcare & Protection Agency is to compile a list and the Minister of Human Services is to keep a list of persons who are considered unsuitable to work with children upon receipt of confirmation of that person’s conviction for an offence against a child.”
We call upon the Director of the CPA and Minister of Human Services to take immediate steps to ensure that this list is compiled, kept updated and made publicly available to ensure that pedophiles and other sexual offenders are prevented from having contact with children, particularly in situations where they are in a position of trust.
The alleged abuse of children at the Turkeyen Masjid makes it imperative that a full investigation be conducted at this institution, which should include students, teachers and other caregivers. Guyanese society looks to its religious institutions for spiritual and moral guidance and to religious leaders as role models.
Rape and other forms of child abuse must never be condoned or hidden under a cloak of religious immunity or privilege. We at Help & Shelter have viewed with alarm the persistent attempts for bail to be granted to accused Nezaam Ali.
Research has clearly established that children seldom lie or make up stories about sexual abuse. Pedophiles are serial offenders and leave in their wake a large number of physically and psychologically damaged children. We support the call for a review and overhaul of the present system of child protection. Our children must be better cared for and protected.
All Help & Shelter
Crisis Service Personnel
For Help & Shelter