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

FEATURES The Miss Donegal 2016 finalists have bee

first_imgFEATURES: The Miss Donegal 2016 finalists have been announced, and four Derry participants will be hoping they can land the coveted crown. The glitzy event is being held in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny this Friday 13th May! The final has 30 girls competing for the prestigious title, which shall be judged by a panel of six Judges.The lucky girl who is chosen to represent Donegal shall go on to the Miss Ireland final being held in Dublin in late August.Miss Donegal will have a host of prizes including: Aoibheann Walsh owner of the award winning salon G&G located on the Church Lane, Letterkenny, has kindly offered Miss Donegal 2016 unlimited Hair and Makeup for all Promotional events associated with Miss Donegal and Miss Ireland 2016.Plus Unlimited membership to Fit Hub Ireland Ltd, Letterkenny and one to one nutrition with Neil Barrett MSc. The Sequin Cinderella Boutique, Buncrana shall also sponsor dresses for the Miss Ireland event.The Tipsy Nail Bar, Letterkenny has sponsored the girl with deluxe gel nail extensions, plus a deluxe pedicure.Starlashes & Brows Ramelton, have sponsored a set of mink eyelash extensions.The Miss Donegal event should be a fun night as live entertainment is being provided by Jacqui Sharkey, whose genre consists of Acoustic/Americana/New Country/Celtic music.Also Nerissa Moore, of ‘The Voice’ fame, and Maria McCormick whose genre is Country music.There is also a raffle on the night with a prize of an autumn break for 2 Adults for 2 nights to Prague, kindly sponsored by Liberty Travel, Riverside Retail Park, Letterkenny.There are also an array of other prizes available on the night.A prize for most ‘Glamourous attendee’, and ‘Most promising teen’ selected from those attending the event.Judges on the night are: Jay Doherty, award winning photographer.Local Politician Tim Jackson.Nicola McLaughlin ‘The Sequin Cinderella’.Emma Murray ‘The Fashion Chair’.Donegal Daily’s resident blogger Mairead Gallagher.Blogger and xpose regular Zara McDaid.Tickets are priced at €25 and are available at The Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny.Doors open at 7:00 pm.DERRY GIRLS HOPING TO WIN MISS DONEGAL 2016 was last modified: May 11th, 2016 by stephenstephen Tags: ShareTweet DerryFeaturesfinaljudgesMiss Donegal 2016Newslast_img read more