The Great Controversy, when the ‘miracle man’ won’t play for Lone Star

first_imgIndeed, many of those who knew him were shocked at his incredible ability to talk non-stop for many hours.On Lone Star’s trip to Mauritania to honor an African Nations’ Cup encounter, many of the players, and this was confirmed by Photo-journalist, Mozart Dennis, he spoke non-stop till it was announced that the plane was readying to land at Nouakchott International Airport.Radio Moscow was his nickname, and as a coach he felt he needed a strong arm to control and manage the players.If you guess it, and your mind settled on Coach Walter Pelham, you are right.During his playing days, the lanky defender was a no-nonsense attacker. His fondest memories were the matches he played against the Black Stars of Ghana and even the then Flying Eagles, now Super Eagles of Nigeria.So as President Samuel Kanyon Doe took over the Liberia Football Association as its undisputed chairman, it was national coach Walter Pelham, having assumed the post from ex-Coach, Cameroonian Anthony Kuoh, and assisted by Wilfred Kijani Lardner, who handled the Stars.It was a period of unexpected soccer politics, and Invincible Eleven and Mighty Barrolle’s officials played it to the hilt.We recall the final encounter of the Africa Zone 111 Finals, and with two of Liberia’s super stars in the persons of James Salinsa Debbah and George Oppong Weah in the midst of their soccer revolution, it became clear that they were unbeatable and made for great things.Not forgetting the support from colleagues like midfielder Mark Gibson, striker Dominic Brapoh, (Lucky Shango), Patrick Saar, Pati Rossi, Pietor Kromah, among others, with the clever goalkeeping of Pewou Bestman, the Nation’s Best, Anthony Tokpa and others, the Stars were ready to rumble against the Black Stars of Ghana.Liberian soccer fans knew good soccer when they saw one. Like the former national coach, Josiah N. Johnson would always say, it was in such moments that soccer could speak the language of the turf. However, being as wise as he is, he always reminded himself that the art of soccer is like breaking a piece of biscuit.It normally never breaks where it is not intended, and therefore he always reserved room for disappointment. Now the finals of Zone 111 Tournament were here, and Liberia could not let the trophy slip out of her hands.Team preparation involved many aspects of the game. At some point some players would insist that they need “their thing” to rob on themselves. With soccer’s incredible surprises, there is no wonder that players have always wanted some “divine” help.But then we are confronted with what many knowledgeable supporters of the game describe as “Scientific football.” For where is the scientific part of it when a player would insist he would rob his “thing?”With everything said and done, the time for the finals ticked by the minute and the hour, and it came out that there was a problem with the Lone Star team. The report was not encouraging, for the nation’s celebrated soccer star, James Salinsa Debbah, had announced that he was unfit to play the finals.The report shocked the entire Liberian nation, and team doctors, the best there ever was, got themselves busy, examining the particular leg that the “Miracle Man” had declared was unfit to defend the country’s honor against the raging Black Stars of Ghana. The Black Stars had the indomitable left winger Opoku Nti as its skipper.The president of the Barrolle Sports Association Mr. Alhaji G. V. Kromah, in his fatherly role as President of Barrolle, sympathized with the “Miracle Man,” and Salinsa entrenched his unwillingness to play against the Black Stars. Lo and behold, after careful examination by the best team doctor that ever was, it was announced that James Debbah was as fit as a fiddle, and he had nothing to worry.The relief by that announcement was short lived, but the entire Barrolle leadership could not see eye to eye with the opinion of Lone Star’s team doctor and Coach Pelham.Coach Walter E. Pelham was in a quandary of losing the finals, if the Miracle Man held on to his decision, since the BSA officials were not helping the situation in any case.Walter Pelham saw the emerging development as the end of his career, for he had worked harder with the technical team to reach the finals of the Zone 111, for the first time in the history of Liberian soccer, and sadly everything seemed to burst asunder.As the dew upon the roses warms and melts the morning light, Walter saw his dream of holding on to the trophy, and presenting it to the chief executive fading and escaping, and he knew he would awake to the tears of Liberians who had thronged the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, cheering and hoping for eventual victory.With a heavy heart, George Weah led his friends, minus the Miracle Man, onto the field, with thousands stunned in silence. In the end the Ghanaians made victory certain, and the trophy returned to Accra the city that had held it since the competition was organized.Like wasted hours of youth, Walter E. Pelham never recovered from what he saw as the greatest betrayal of his life. Though he held on as a coach, and won several matches, Pelham was done with the Lone Star. Finally when he left the Lone Star, the mantle fell on the shoulders of Wilfred Lardner and his deputy, Manneh Peters.The two men, with the support from George Weah, Jonathan Sogbie (Boye Charles), and other professionals, managed, in 1996, to qualify Liberia for her first participation in the African Cup of Nations. Though Pelham was still active and was an executive member of the Liberia Football Association, the fire that burned in his heart for Liberian football had been dimmed.Salinsa’s lack of cooperation angered Mr. Willis D. Knuckles, the former vice chairman of the LFA, that he was forced to pen a scathing response, demanding that, “Salinsa should either shape in or shape out,” of the national team. But like everything James Debbah, many Liberians agreed that he was “bitter sweet,” and sports officials could not swallow him whole, neither could they condone his sometimes erratic behavior, for he was a man gifted with soccer sense that his team mates always needed for the final countdown to victory.As fate would have it, Walter E. Pelham became a casualty of the tragedy that befell then Police Director, Joe Tate, in a plane crash that smothered their remains beyond recognition in 1998.The sad thing was that the new coaches, Lardner and Peters eventually succumbed to their deaths several years later.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Paying Off All Private School Loans: Mills Jones Has Done It Again

first_imgHe is truly an A student with a difference.  For there are many like him who sailed through school with top academic   honors but are missing in action in life.  Not Joseph Mills Jones, who topped his classes from the time he entered school and sailed through Cuttington in three years;                    worked briefly at Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs; and got a fellowship to study  Economics and Econometrics (the Mathematics of Economics).  He returned   home the very next day after receiving his Doctorate—didn’t spend a day more in America doing other people’s business.  He wanted to serve his country, so returned to Planning.  Later he opted for broader international experience and got employed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he rose to the position of Senior Advisor to the Managing Director.  Dr. Jones then moved on to another senior post at the World Bank.  It was from there that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf tapped him to head the Central Bank of Liberia.After turning the Bank’s reserves from a meager US$5 million in 2006 to over US$300 million a few years later, Dr. Jones started reaching out to small business people, including marketers, savings and loans associations, credit unions and various cooperatives, empowering the small people throughout the country to improve their businesses and develop a better stake in the money economy.Now he has done it again.  In a speech last Tuesday, he made two major announcements: first, that the Bank’s Board of Governors, in response to the Ebola crisis that has turned the Liberian economy upside down, had decided to work with Rural Community Finance Institutions to take steps “to revitalize the rural economy.”   To do this, he announced four key measures: first, a six-month grace period to beneficiaries under the CBL microfinance program; second, recapitalization of some beneficiary institutions to restart and enhance economic activities of group members; third, the extension of new loans “to impact rural businesses;” and four, to withdraw the remaining funds from a bank he did not name and channel those funds through microfinance institutions—why?  This bank, like several others, was too slow in reaching out to the small business people in need, even though the money was CBL’s, not the bank’s.Governor Jones did two big things more in his speech: he declared that the Central Bank would offer a major “financial sector stimulus” in which the Bank would “reduce interest rates on existing stimuli with banks for Liberian businesses.”  Second, this visionary banker and his Board of Governors came up with another highly significant move that no one, not even the beneficiaries, were thinking about: the Bank would pay off “the outstanding loan obligations of all private schools, from kindergarten through high school.”  The Governor was not treading in the dark.  He said, “The commercial banks have already provided the CBL with the list of schools and the amounts involved.”The aim here, said Governor Jones, was to help out not only the schools, all of which have been closed due to the Ebola crisis and have consequently lost money, but also banks, which would have been under great strain servicing these bad loans.  The other, probably most important group at which this stimulus package is aimed is the parents.  The pressure of the schools on parents because the schools owed the banks so much will now be considerably reduced, giving   parents ample time to raise school fees.  Because of the CBL’s intervention, the schools themselves would be under far less pressure to increase fees at least for the coming semester.The CBL deserves high commendation and thanks for these timely moves, and most especially for what it has done to help the schools, the parents and the students. We hope that the private primary and secondary institutions in the country, in response to the CBL’s largesse, will refrain from increasing tuition and do everything they can to ease the pressure on the parents and students. The Ebola crisis has placed a great strain on every citizen and resident and we are all under tremendous pressure.  What a wonderful thing for CBL to reach out to where it matters most—the struggling private schools and the parents and students they impact.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cape Mount Ex-Lawmaker Enters Senatorial Race

first_imgFor the second time in his political career, the former Grand Cape Mount County District #2 Representative has once again, officially declared his intention to contest the ensuing 2014 Mid-Term Senatorial Election.During a meeting with a cross session of citizens in M’baloma Town, Gola Konneh District, over the weekend, former representative, Matthew V.Z. Darblo, cautioned Cape Mountainians to give him a second chance, as he makes a bid to represent them in the Liberian Senate.Mr. Darblo told the gathering that he can better represent the county in the Senate than any other of the 12 candidates vying for lone senatorial seat.“I have decided to contest the county’s lone senatorial seat to promote development by increasing access to several of the pending projects,” Mr. Darblo assured the citizens. He believes that the county needs leaders who are developmental-oriented that will foster unity amongst its citizens.Mr. Darblo further urged residents of the county, especially the youths, to be wise, and give their support to politicians who have their interest at heart and will care for them at the national level. While representing the county Electoral District #2 in the 52nd National Legislature, Mr. Dablo, served as chairman of the Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment. He was a member on the  Public Accounts Committee and Expenditure as well as Education, and Public Administration. Prior to becoming a lawmaker in 2005, Mr. Darblo had served within the education circle and has  vast experience in Information Technology (IT). As an educator, he  served as Teaching Assistant (TA) in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Liberia; Computer Science instructor at Computer Services Incorporated; principal/administrator and instructor of Mathematics at the C. H. Dewey Central High School. He previously served as data analyst and computer operator at the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization, Resettlement, and Reintegration (NCDDRR).Meanwhile, those vying for the senatorial seat in Cape Mount are the incumbent,  Senator Abel Massaley, Simeon Taylor, James Momoh, Matthew Darblo,  Dr. Fodee Kromah and the ruling Unity Party chairman, Cllr. Varney Sherman. Others include, Henrietta Kandakai, Jesse Segbo, Mohammed Ware, Siafa James, Mohammed Dao GoGo Fahnbulleh, and Roland Perry, former reporter of the Informer Newspaper.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Recognizing Psychological Manipulation

first_imgManipulation is a form of abuse that may go unrecognized.  Abuse, whether it is emotional, sexual or physical, is a traumatic experience. This type of abuse is linked to gender based violence.There is an increased level of gender based violence in Liberia is likely to result to marital rape, suffering to women, deprivation of liberty, threats of violence – leading to physical harm such as battering, psychological harm and gender inequality.These risk factors may be a tough pill to swallow, however it must be made known.We Liberians have the tendency to overlook issues in our society. Somehow we think the problem will solve itself, or we say, “It is the next man’s problem”.  If we do not take a stand now, the next generation will ultimately fall prey to abuse or continue the cycle of abuse. It is within our power to address the matter, to render support and advice to our neighbors – to educate both women and men within our communities.The purpose of this article is to recognize the signs of abuse, what it involves, how to safely move on, how to manage the situation and key ways to handle a manipulative person.After conducting research on the subject matter, I discovered that most abusers gain power and control over their victims by using various manipulative tactics.Psychological manipulation is an attempt to indirectly influence the behavior and actions of someone else through mental distortion and emotional exploitation and to seize power, control, benefits and privileges of a victim. The manipulator can do so by detecting a weakness and consequently using that weakness against their victim.CHARACTERISTICS OF A MANIPULATOR* The manipulator will exploit your weaknesses and make you feel inadequate. You may blame yourself for not meeting their needs. Being manipulated to feel bad about yourself, will lead you to eventually surrender your power and rights.* Manipulators may be charismatic and often have a hypnotic hold over others.* Some manipulators go from being highly polite to one individual and completely rude to another – or totally helpless one moment and aggressive the next. The manipulator will frequently play the victim.* A psychological manipulator is also a bully and will try to intimidate, verbally abuse and humiliate their victim.* Manipulative people use guilt, shame, lies and trickery to get what they want. They can never admit to being in the wrong.HANDLING A MANIPULATIVE PERSON* Prioritise your work and social life* Keep your distance and create a healthy lifestyle* You have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty. Psychological manipulators will make requests or outrageous demands to make you go out of your way to meet their needs. Use time to your advantage by saying, “I will think about it”.  Some may demand immediately action or response. Remember you have a right to be respected. Say NO.* When dealing with verbal abuse, confront the abuser with a friend or relative. Create your boundary, be confident in your response to the abuse and down play their insults.* Express your feelings, opinions and wants.LEAVING AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP* Talk to a trusted person about the violence. * Change your daily routine, contact number and work route or hours (if possible).* Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting the dates, events and threats made.* Identify a safe place to stay.* Set money aside. Ask a friend or family member to keep hold of the money.* Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with INSIGHT and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are accumulated along the way.“We become each and every piece within the game called life!”  – Allan RufusLiberian women have a natural ability to endure trying circumstances. We also possess great inner strength to overcome challenges.Knowledge along with awareness is a powerful tool; it is most useful in the handling of potential abusers and manipulative individuals. It promotes social change and will effectively decrease the number of cases being reported.Educating women on the main categories of abuse will encourage them to seek help; they will gain strength and courage in the process; it will empower them to help other women living with abuse .Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

2 SEGAL Security Guards Charged for ‘Stealing Fuel Oil’

first_imgTwo guards of SEGAL Security, a private security firm, have been accused of stealing three containers of fuel oil valued at over L$6,000.  They have been charged and turned over to the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice for prosecution.Anthony Appleton and Peter N. Lemeh were charged with theft of property by the Liberia National Police (LNP).The incident allegedly took place on November 27, in the 15th Street community.The security guards were arrested following an internal investigation conducted by Segal’s own chief investigator, Amos S. Kumeh.Kumeh’s investigation followed a tip off from one Jacob Dossen about their guards’ involvement in the disappearance of three containers of fuel oil, at their 15th Street assigned area, according to police records.  Dossen, who is one of the caretakers of the compound, alleged that the fuel got missing when he left the area to buy a scratch card, so that he could phone his boss lady.He did not mention the name of his boss lady when he was interrogated by the police.The two accused men, who worked together at the 15th Street compound, denied the allegation when they appeared before SEGAL’s investigation and that of the police.It is not clear whether the defendants have been suspended.Interestingly, during the preliminary investigation, police quoted defendant Lemeh as saying “while I was getting out of the generator room, where I had gone to dry my clothes, I met the caretaker, Dossen.”He was further quoted as saying, “I heard him saying, I will make sure you get to jail.”Police also quoted Appleton saying, “Before the incident, I was assigned at the front of the compound, there I managed to see Dossen entering and he went directly into the generator room that is situated at the back of the compound.”“That was when I heard noise about missing fuel oil, “Appleton explained.Surprisingly, police claimed that since no burglary took place at the compound, they did not have any alternative but to charge the defendants with the crime.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chronicle’s Editor took political directives (Part 1)

first_imgDear Editor,The Guyana Chronicle Board has now endorsed the decision by the Editor-in-Chief to stop the columns written by me and Lincoln Lewis. I am not surprised at the decision by some Board members. Not many people in high places in Guyana have the courage these days to stand up for principle, especially when it involves decisions sanctioned by the political overlords. Maybe some day those members would come to the realisation that principle is bigger that political expediency and other such considerations. My heart goes out to them.I have become known for both my strong support for the present Government and my criticism when I feel it has not acted properly. That kind of independence is not tolerated in our elite political culture which demands uncritical loyalty from supporters. As such, some Government leaders have privately and not so privately expressed discomfort and outrage at my criticisms. They have been particularly outraged that my critical comments are carried in the State-owned newspaper, which they view as a medium for only the views of Government members and supporters.I am aware that there has always been lots of pressure on the Editor from higher-up to stop the column and that feeble attempts in this direction have been made in the past. I suppose they have now decided to make a definitive move. I strongly believe that the Editor of the Chronicle would not make such a decision on his own – it is a political decision and he would have to get such directive from above. That much I am convinced of until evidence is produced to the contrary. I understand the situation that the Editor finds himself in and he has my sympathy. That is why I think those who gave him the directive should come out into the open and let the public know that they are the real authors of the move.I have no personal stake in this matter. Doing this column was not my bread and butter job, but it was part of my political activism – my giving back to my country in the form of public education and advocacy. I have no entitlement to a column in the Chronicle or any other newspaper. But I feel very strongly that a State-owned entity should not summarily deny me or any other citizen the right to express our views solely because of our partisan political views. That amounts to a clear human rights violation of a sacred civil liberty.There is no evidence that Lewis and I have exposed the newspaper to libel, have undermined the country’s sovereignty, have ridiculed anyone personally or brought the paper into disrepute. They say the columns are discontinued to facilitate the rebranding of the paper but have not shown how the columns will hinder this rebranding. The major rebranding that needs to happen at the Chronicle is the freeing up of the paper from the partisan control of the Government. The paper should stop being an uncritical propaganda sheet of the Government and become a normal newspaper that reflects the face and dignity of Guyana and the variety of political and other views that reside in our country.Yours truly,David Hindslast_img read more

A tribute to a great Guyanese: Harold Drayton

first_imgDear Editor,It was with deep sadness that I learnt of the passing of Dr Harold Drayton. His role in the creation of the University of Guyana was indeed significant. Yet it is not widely known.Harold Drayton, like many young professionals of his day, was captured by the vision of Cheddi Jagan and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) for building a free, independent and progressive country based on the principles of peace, equality and social justice.He became acquainted with Cheddi Jagan while still a student at the University of the West Indies. He shared most of Cheddi’s views.After the 1961 General Elections, Cheddi Jagan began taking steps to prepare the country for independence. He began working to create the institutions that would be important to build the human and physical infrastructure of an independent nation. Cheddi’s concept of independence and sovereignty was not limited to merely a declaration of independence.To defend that independence, he had to think about making the economy strong, viable and competitive.He simultaneously needed to build the human capital for such a project.It was then that he turned to Harold Drayton, who by then, was an accomplished academic. At that time he was teaching in Ghana.It was not accidental that Drayton chose Ghana to persue his work. Ghana was one of the leading countries in the National Liberation Movement; led by one of the most progressive intellectuals, Dr Nkuma. It was the first country in Africa to break the chains of colonialism. Ghana became independent in 1957 and Drayton went there to assist to build a free Ghana.Cheedi Jagan realised that he needed a knowledgeable person, a person who understands all the ramifications of establishing a university. His mind turned to Drayton whom he felt was the man for the job. He was not wrong.Harold Drayton took up the challenge and returned home to get the job done.It was a herculean task.It was the first time in history that a colony was moving towards and eventually did establish a university. The University of Guyana (UG) has that distinction of being the only university ever established in a colony.Moreover, the atmosphere at the time was extremely difficult. There was great opposition to the university’s formation from inside and outside Guyana.Locally, the main Opposition party, the People’s National Congress (PNC), was greatly opposed to it. Indeed, the then leader of the party labelled the UG, derogatorily as ‘Jagan Nigh School’.He did so because Jagan saw the urgency of beginning UG and was not prepared to wait until new buildings were built. UG started its work at Queens College in October 1963.In the meantime, a search was made to identity where the university would be established.Consideration was given to many sites, including the National Park.However, it was felt that the park was too small and eventually settled on the Turkeyen area.Harold Drayton was the leading person implementing the decisions of the committee to establish UG, set up by Cheddi Jagan and CV Nunes.The PNC even threatened to close UG if they were elected to office. That party eventually came to its senses when it recognised the political costs of doing so.There were also opposition from the Region. Eric Williams, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, came to the then British Guiana to dissuade Cheddi Jagan from establishing UG. Needless to say he did not succeed.At the same time there were politically instigated riots in the country. Just like in the last three years of the PPP/Civic Government, the then Opposition tried everything to sabotage developmental projects. At that time, the PNC and the United Force became tools of outside forces and fomented racism and division of our people.Drayton stood strong to see the UG project through. It was he who introduced Cheddi Jagan to professor Hogbury, the world renounced mathematician. The Professor became the first Vice Chancellor of the university. After the establishment of UG, Drayton took on added responsibilities and lectured in that institution.Harold Drayton’s works now stands as a monument to him. He was part of a heroic group that stood by Cheddi Jagan in difficult times. Whenever we reflect on UG, the names Cheddi Jagan, CV Nunes and Harold Drayton must always be remembered.I extend deepest sympathies to his survivors.Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img read more

Training is the main root of development in the Guyana Police Force

first_imgDear Editor,Training is the main root of development in the Guyana Police Force. Other sectors, even though very important, are just the branches of the tree. Cut the main root and the tree dies. Recently, the media reported on a two-week anti-corruption training funded by the United Kingdom.The Police and other members of some investigative agencies participated. Information received is that apart from training to be conducted by the Felix Austin Police College, The Richard Fikal Police College and the Felix Austin Police College ‘B’ Division, numerous other training programmes would be done by overseas facilitators. It is imperative that the Police be adequately trained to efficiently and effectively execute their mandate as set out under Section 3 (2) of the Police Act, Chapter 16:01. What society expects from their protectors are: to cater for ‘first oil’; securing our western border, and being able to handle emerging security issues and concerns.However, the Police paradigm has shifted towards their being more community-oriented. They are now required to not only solve crimes, but problems in the various communities they serve. Hence the community-oriented policing and problem solving (COPPS) approach.His Excellency President Brig. David A. Granger, in his address to the Annual Police Officers’ Conference 2017, put the role of the Police succinctly, “But we must go beyond and find the causes of crime. Why is there piracy? Why is there suicide? Why is there murder? Why is there rape? Why is there trafficking in my division? What are the causes? So stop boasting about how many cases you made, find out how many cause you are able to discover, and let us stamp out the causes, then you stamp out the crime. If you do not know the cause of crimes, then the crime will continue to repeat over and over again…..“So that is what we have to embark on, a new programme of building partnerships. We have to work with community. We have to know what people in the community need and think, so that they can become partners and not our opponents. The Police Force has to be friends with the people, so you must be friend with the people, and build a partnership between the Police and the communities, and this will help you to get information and to build intelligence network.”To be effective the Police must develop excellent people skills, and display good interpersonal relations with the various stakeholders. They are required to interact with their peers, superiors, and subordinates; members of the public; their friends and family. Hence the need for them to develop effective people skills.Technical competence — the knowledge of law, Police practice and procedure is critical for the Police to be effective, but that is not enough. According to Bennett and Hess (2002), “Technical competence used to be most important.Now and the years ahead, people skills are most important.” Woodward and Buchholz (1987) explain, “One way to visualize this tactical, people-oriented approach is with a bicycle. The two wheels of a bicycle have different purposes. The back wheel powers the bike, the front wheel steers it. Extending this analogy to an organisation, ‘back-wheel skills’ are technical and organizational skills needed for the organization to function. ‘Front-wheel skills’ are interpersonal, ‘people management’ skills. Corporations tend to rely on their back-wheel; that is, their technical skills.Typically, however, when change comes, the response of the organization is primarily back-wheel response: do what we know best. But the real need is for front-wheel skills. That is helping people understand and adapt to the changing environment.”Strategic Management is about change. Reform is about change. Change is inevitable. No person or organisation can stop it. View it as opportunity. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is. Managers must pay attention to change in their environment, and adapt or perish.The boiled frog phenomenon is very instructive. A classic experiment was done. A frog was dropped in a pan of boiling water, and immediately jumped out, saving its life. Next a frog was placed in a pan of room-temperature water that was gradually heated to boiling point. Because the temperature rise was so gradual, the frog did not notice it, and sat contently in the bottom of the pan. The gradual rising temperature initially made the frog comfortable, but eventually sapped its energy. As the water became too hot, the frog has no strength to jump out. It boiled to death.The boiled frog phenomenon suggests that leaders must pay attention to change in their environment, and adapt or perish. I do not know what the Strategic Management Unit of the Guyana Police Force and the Reform Process have in place to deal with change. The former has been quietly doing some excellent work, but not sharing it with the stakeholders, while the latter went into labour recently.We expect an excellent delivery. Their plans appear to be top secret. I may be jumping the gun, but I have been on the starting block for some time now, and am a bit nervous. Many reform projects fail because a heavy emphasis is placed on the agents of change, while the victims of change are neglected.Organisational change takes centre stage while little or no attention is paid to personal change. I hope that the movers and shakers of the GPF would ensure that those who would be affected by the imminent change would be given the necessary coping skills to grapple with the situation. Inculcating people skills in the minds of the Police is a sine qua non.Yours faithfully,Clinton ConwayAssistantCommissioner of Police(Retd)last_img read more

Ball is in Government’s court

first_imgDear Editor,Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has suggested that better parenting, schooling, and religious and community involvement are important to tackle domestic violence. The Hon. Minister must know that political will, more than anything else, can ensure the needed mechanisms:1) Parent/Teachers Associations hold monthly parenting training for members.2) Government supports umbrella religious bodies to organize regular parenting sessions at mandirs, churches and mosques. Perhaps a representative coordinating body can be set up?3) Sensitivity training for all Police officers to address Police disregard for abuse complaints, and bribery in return for doing nothing or engaging in personal attempts at mediation and monitoring bodies to prevent same, among other issues.4) The Gatekeepers’ Program to ensure first responders in every community. The Caribbean Voice plans to implement this programme next year, and we welcome the Ministry’s collaboration. We promise we won’t ask for money.5) Ministry of Education directives for all educators to be mandatory reporters, once abuse is suspected, identified or reported, as is the case in many nations.6) A national survey to determine the root causes of domestic violence, perhaps spearheaded by the University of Guyana, which already has the required skills and capacity. In effect, the ball is totally in the Government’s court, which, to date, has played nothing shots.7) For example: In February 2015, The Caribbean Voice and other stakeholders met with the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB), at which it was agreed that the PTCCB would unveil an adaptation of the Shri Lankan model of Hazard Reduction, which had reduced pesticide suicide in that nation by 50% in about a decade. Nothing has since been heard about that proposed unveiling.8) After our August 2015 National Stakeholders’ Conference on Suicide and Related Issues, Minister Ramjattan informed TCV that President Granger had directed him and the Prime Minister to provide all necessary help to TCV. We’re still waiting for any form of assistance.9) Last year, when a special sitting of Parliament was held to discuss suicide prevention, The Caribbean Voice was one of two NGOs invited to make a presentation. However, our invitation did not come from Government, but from the local office of an international organization.10) Since we launched our Youth & Student Workshop in 2016, continuous efforts to obtain Government’s permission (just permission, nothing else) to take it to public schools have met with no success, even though many schools have requested the workshop.11) Since 2015, continuous efforts to obtain Government’s (non-material) support for a National Youth & Suicide Essay Contest on suicide with US$5,000 in prizes have met with no success.12) Last year the Government voted against a bill to decriminalize attempted suicide, to prevent the Opposition from getting credit for it.13) Last year, when we planned a weekend intervention in Region Two, our request for our team to be accommodated overnight at the government guesthouse was rejected because TCV was “a PPP organization”, an assertion that has no basis in reality.14) Last year also, a request for a meeting with the then Police Commissioner was rejected with an unfounded assertion that TCV had supposedly campaigned at the 2015 elections. Incidentally, Minister Ramjattan had set up such a meeting in 2015, but a few days prior, we were informed that the meeting was postponed, as the Commissioner had an urgent matter to attend to. Subsequent communication to have the meeting reset went unacknowledged.15) Last month, at a meeting with Minister Ramjattan’s personal assistant, a broad range of issues was raised. A response sent to us on April 17 ignored all the items discussed, but stated that “the Ministry of Public Security Budget cannot accommodate additional budget lines to its existing work programmes.” Yet we merely requested $50,000 to print flyers for the National Anti-Violence Candlelight Vigil held on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10. Since its inception by Voices Against Violence, (an umbrella of almost 100 entities across Guyana), two years ago, 800-plus vigils have been held across Guyana. Incidentally, we reached out to the Minister based on his offer of support in a recent Kaieteur News interview.There is much more, but the above make the case.Sincerely,The Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

Incomplete, under-renovation smaller airport

first_imgDear EditorOur ancestors, many moons ago, voyaged across the Atlantic on the likes of the Elisabeth, Louisa Baillie, Whitby, Hesperus and Glentanner among other vessels. With the advent of technology, we now have air travel, allowing us to access distant lands in a matter of hours.The Cheddi Jagan International Airport previously known as the Timehri International airport is well known to all Guyanese. Editor this facility was opened to commercial traffic since 1946. Over the years changes and developmental works were done to modernise this airport. The PPP/C, with a vision for the future of Guyana with new and developing sectors such as tourism and hospitality with our specific brand of eco-tourism; oil and gas; Guyana being a gateway to South America and the bridge that connects South America to the Caribbean understood the necessity for this transformational project. This was not a stand-alone project, it was accompanied by investments in an international brand hotel like the Marriot; the provision of cheap electricity with the Amalia hydro-electric scheme which with the significant reduction in the cost of electricity would have stimulated agro-processing and manufacturing; the need to accommodate larger aircraft to lower the cost of freight and to have access to wider markets for our many non-traditional exports. This interconnected group of projects was totally misunderstood and incompetently handled by the APNU/AFC Administration when they came to office in May 2015. This has left us as a country with a situation where we are getting less and paying more. This design and build fixed-priced contract had envisioned eight boarding gates (air bridges), a significantly extended runaway, new terminal buildings, state of the art check-in and communication facilities, adequate conveyor belts to accommodate simultaneous multi arrivals and concession areas to facilitate transit and other global travellers.This incompetent group renegotiated the contract, giving us two air bridges and has now found extra money from the national purse to buy another two at a higher price, in a most questionable manner. The PPP/C has already indicated that we intend to call for a “value for money” audit on this project. Are the Guyanese people getting the right value for their monies spent?Regardless of all these questions, the biggest question I have today, Editor, is the real completion date. On the Public Infrastructure Ministry’s website, they have a lovely description of the project and I quote; “The Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion Project will be a behemoth in infrastructural development. With a new scheduled completion timeline of December 2018…”The shock of December 21 may still be upon Minister Patterson and he may not have changed his calendar, but we are in 2019 now sir. The project, as of December 31, 2017 had spent US $111.79 million (81 per cent) of the US$150 million allocated to the total project cost. When is the project really expected to be completed since another deadline has been missed? What will be the final price? Will they be attempting to appropriate further funding? These are all questions the already burdened taxpayers of this country need answers to, someone please help.Editor, I call on the people of Guyana to pay close attention to this cabal during their lame duck period of governance. Where their caretaker status must be emphasised. This must not be a case of taking a transformational project and turning it into a cash cow to facilitate campaign funding. At the time of the PPP/C Government, they said the project was overpriced and unnecessary. The APNU/AFC, with their visionless approach, took it over and the world is now a witness to their mal-administration and incompetence. We have an incomplete, under-renovation smaller airport with fewer facilities at the time of penning this letter.Yours truly,Bishop Juan A Edghilllast_img read more