National senior men’s football team assistant coach Jerome Waite has backed the Reggae Boyz to bounce back from their defeat in the Scotiabank CFU Caribbean Cup final to CuraÁao, with a better performance in next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. Jamaica lost 2-1 after seeing defender Rosario Harriott’s equaliser cancelled out, within a minute of him scoring, by Elson Hooi, who got both of Curaco’s goals at the Stade Pierre-Aliker in Fort-De-France, Martinique. Waite instructed the team in the absence of head coach Theodore Whitmore, who was serving a touchline ban after his dismissal for arguing with officials in the previous game. Waite said that the result would have probably been different had the Reggae Boyz played with a different approach. “It was very disappointing to lose a final,” he said. ” Any final is hard to lose. I feel that we need to play the ball more on the ground and not always go direct.” Waite said that patience is needed as he believes a better showing will come from the team during the Gold Cup. “I am sure that for the Gold Cup we can improve, so we can expect greater things then from the team,” Waite said. Harriott agrees with Waite, but went further to say that the team has many new players, who are still adjusting to playing with each other. “Despite having a young team with a lot of new faces, I feel that we are starting to gel,” he said. “Hopefully, by the time the Gold Cup comes around, we will be able to get some positive results back on track.” A WONDERFUL MOMENT The Harbour View FC man, who came into the game as a substitute for the injured Shaun Francis, described scoring in the final as a “wonderful moment. “It’s always a joy coming on and playing for your country. When I saw the injury to Shaun Francis, I reacted quickly and was mentally prepared for this moment. I felt that (scoring) would give us back the momentum we needed to get back into the game and win the title, but it did not turn out that way at all. It is disappointing not to win, because we certainly have the quality in the team.” The Reggae Boyz will now start preparations for their opening Gold Cup game which, incidentally, sees them meeting Curcao a second time in as many weeks in San Diego on July 9. [email protected]
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC): Captain Brad Barnes slammed an attractive hundred as Jamaica made a spirited response to the Windward Islands on the second day of their second-round contest here yesterday. Replying to a challenging first-innings total of 338 made by the Windwards, Jamaica ended on 304 for eight only 34 runs short of the lead in the Regional Under-19 clash at Verchilds. The innings was driven by Barnes’ fluent 106, while opener Darren Small missed out on triple figures with 87. Shalome Parnell got 24. Needing a strong batting display to overhaul their target, the Jamaicans found impetus through Barnes and Small, both of whom anchored a number of partnerships to keep the innings going. Small put on 55 for the first wicket with Shavar Christie (16) before adding a further 43 for the second with Andre McCarty (16). Barnes then joined Small to post an enterprising 85 for the third wicket as Jamaica cruised to 183 for two at one stage. All told, Barnes struck 10 fours and five sixes in an innings spanning 134 balls and just under 21/2 hours. Small, meanwhile, faced 132 deliveries in 158 minutes and counted 13 fours. When two wickets fell for 19 runs, to leave Jamaica on 202 for four, Barnes combined with Raewin Senior (17) in a 50-run, fifth-wicket stand to further energise the innings. Lee Louisy was the best bowler with three for 90, while Daneal Dupigny (2-16) and Shermill Lewis (2-37) supported with two wickets apiece. The Windwards had earlier lost their last four wickets for 21 runs after resuming on 317 for six, with McCarty picking up four for 27 and Kishawn Graham, three for 55.
However, it wasn’t until Francis, his brother, Paul, the late David Noel and Bruce James formed the MVP and with the consent of the professor of speed, Dennis Johnson, formed an alliance with the University of Technology that has changed the face and the fortunes of Jamaican track and field. Athletes trained by Stephen have set world records and won 56 World Championships and 28 Olympic medals but his contribution is to be measured in more than just medals. On one hand, world records by Asafa Powell and gold medals won by Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Melaine Walker and Brigitte Foster-Hylton have made all Jamaicans proud. On the other, the MVP/UTech model has been copied as well as admired by other ambitious local clubs and institutions. Now, thanks in large part to the example provided by the MVP and UTech, there is a productive Jamaican alternative for those who want to combine athletics with academics. Stephen Francis can be blunt, but those close to him speak as much about his genius as his compassion and his playful sense of humour. At one memorable training session at the National Stadium East field, the coach had the entire training group rolling in laughter. On another, he cracked jokes like a stand-up comic as the group did exercises on the all purpose court in front of the Alfred Sangster Auditorium at the University of Technology. Few will see that side of him but thanks to the National Awards event earlier this week, they can look admiringly at his body of work and say, well done Stephen Francis. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980. It’s a sign of how important success in track and field is to Jamaica that the sport’s operatives often get national awards. Just days ago, volunteer official Ian Forbes and coaches Stephen Francis and Maurice Wilson stood in the spotlight on National Heroes Day alongside hundreds who have served the country with distinction. All three deserve to stand in such company. Forbes has continued his family’s record of service in sport. His father, Headley, is a giant, and Ian has carried on brilliantly. In addition to his work at Jamaica College, he has served as a meet official, director of the JC Invitational and manager of national teams at the youth and senior level. Ian and Ray Harvey were especially good as they led the wonderful meet-management team that did Jamaica proud when it staged the 2002 World Junior Championship. Wilson has not only distinguished himself by coaching Holmwood Technical to 10 wins at Girls’ Championships but also by serving as technical leader to Jamaica’s most successful Olympic and World Championship teams and by teaching the next generation of fitness and sport practitioners at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education and Sport. Now, his Sprintec Track Club has produced a 2017 World Championships medal winner in 400-metre hurdler Ristananna Tracey and a 2014 Commonwealth champion in Rasheed Dwyer. His work, both as teacher and coach, will continue to bear fruit. Before Francis arrived with his MVP Track Club family in 1999, 99.9 per cent of our champions were nurtured abroad. Patrick Robinson made the 1964 Olympic team while a student at the University of the West Indies. Generations later, the Jamalco Track Club guided Michael McDonald to world class in the 400 metres. Successful alliance
Jamaica Scorpions assistant coach Andrew Richardson believes that though largely inexperienced at the moment, the team has what it takes to surprise three-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars in Guyana in the opening round of the Digicel Regional Four-day Championship, beginning on Thursday. Jamaica, who finished fourth last season after leading at the mid-way mark of the 10-round tournament, are without regular captain Nikita Miller, who is out injured, as well as wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton, batsmen John Campbell and AndrÈ McCarthy, and fast bowlers Reynard Leveridge and Oshane Thomas. The big-hitting Walton, recently departed for the Bangladesh Premier League, while Campbell, McCarthy, Leveridge, and Thomas are with the West Indies “A” team, who are currently facing Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series in Trelawny and Kingston. “The squad that has been selected is young but has enough quality to come away with a positive result,” said Richardson, who, along with head coach Robert Samuels and team, departed the country yesterday. “Our batting will be led by our new overseas player West Indies batsman Assad Fudadin, who played key roles for Guyana in their victories over the past three seasons, and include rising players such as Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Paul Palmer, and Trevon Griffiths. “Meanwhile, as it relates to our bowling, we have Jason Dawes, who has represented the West Indies “A” before leading our pace attack, and left-arm wrist spinner Dennis Bulli and off-spinner Damani Sewell, our spin department.” Jamaica Scorpions squad -Trevon Griffith, Garth Garvey, Paul Palmer, Brandon King, Assad Fudadin, Fabian Allen, Dennis Bulli, Damani Sewell, Romaine Morris, Jason Dawes, Keno Wallace, Derval Green, and Paul Harrison.
The MMP Foundation for Excellence continues to make tangible donations to organisation as part of its social mandate.The Foundation through its founder, Mohabir M Persaud, has donated two electronic tables to the New Amsterdam Special Needs School as prizes for the institution’s pageant.Treasure of the MMP Foundation, David Brigbhukan handing over the electronic tablets to a teacher of New Amsterdam Special Needs SchoolThe pageant is slated for Wednesday, March 21 at the school’s auditorium located at Vrymens Erven, New Amsterdam.The pageant will see six boys and six girls competing for the title of Mr and Miss New Amsterdam Special Needs. Presently, the contestants are being trained by beauties out of the “I’m a big Deal Pageant” and the children are all excited.The children participating in the pageant will be introducing themselves by way of sign language. They will also be competing in evening wear among other segments. The pageant is set for 16:00h on Wednesday and the public is encouraged to support.The MMP Foundation for Excellence is a non-profit organisation that was officially launched at the JC Chandisingh Secondary School located in Rose Hall, Corentyne, Berbice where its first scholarship was presented and 10 students were given a certificate of commitment to receive financial assistance for their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.Now the Foundation has extended its assistance to students of Corentyne Comprehensive High, Lower Corentyne Secondary and Port Mourant Secondary. The Foundation is in the process of planning its first major fund-raising activity in the form of a T-20 cricket competition on April 28 at the Albion Community Centre Ground.
In a recent conversation I had with a Guyanese I met at a medical office (we were both there because the doctor himself was Guyanese), I was told that Guyana has seen a lot of developments since May 2015. I further asked my newfound fellow citizen, eager to talk about Guyana, as to what exactly he meant by “developments”. I was curious as to the response for two reasons. One, my friend was African Guyanese. I was wondering if his perspective of development was influenced by the fact that an African-dominated Government was in power, or whether his concept of “development” was derived from an objective assessment of the structural and systemic changes that took place and whether these changes impacted the quality of life of Guyanese. Two, most Indians I spoke to were sceptical about any positive developments since May 2015, but, to be fair, their reactions were heavily influenced by the fact that the balance of power was in the hands of Africans, and some Indians were uncomfortable with this reality. It is no secret that racial perspectives were at play.Let’s go back to my friend in the medical office. His response to what was considered development was relegated to “a clean Georgetown”, “less corruption” and “a visible sign of happiness”. Except for a visible clean city, the other assessments could very well be considered as subjective. I should mention that when our discussion turned to national unity and social cohesion, my friend displayed a visible level of annoyance and uncomfortableness. It was as if he wanted to say to me “Indians had their chance, Granger deserves a chance now”.This perspective represents the tragedy of what is Guyana today. After 50 years, the country remains divided and racial perspectives deeply impact our nationality. It is not that Indians or Africans or their leaders are solely to be blamed, but sociologists and political scientists can point to a multitude of factors that explain our predicament.The coalition Government (if we can still call it a coalition) came to power by gaining a substantial number of votes from Indians who traditionally supported the PPP. Presumably, it was this newfound transitional vote that gave the coalition the assumption that it represented a government of national unity and it would proceed from this base to cultivate greater national unity by promoting social cohesion. A ministry with this name was created and headed by a PNC loyalist. One would think that Amna Ally would have possess the necessary intellectual credentials and worthwhile experience to be able to take on this task and show some level of success. So far, we have not seen much gain or actions that would lead us to believe that age-old racial attitudes held by Guyanese about each other are disappearing. Perhaps, it is too soon for this to happen. One can point to the jubilee celebrations inside and outside of Guyana and the flag-raising ceremony to remind ourselves about the racial chasm that exists and the lack of social cohesion. The outgoing US Chargé d’Affaires reminded us about our racial dilemma.It is ironic to note that prior to the elections, power sharing (executive and legislative) has been the clarion call by many who felt excluded from political power. The tables have turned and power-sharing seems to have disappeared. The reality is that Indians and Amerindians are still excluded from holding meaningful political power. The majority Indians and Amerindians remain poor, and the Disciplined Forces and the Civil Service do not reflect the population of the country.Repeating the mantra that the Government supports social cohesion will not get us there. Guyanese have to be more honest and open in their discussions about national unity. In the past, we have called for an ethnic impact statement which can serve as an evaluative tool to ensure that all Guyanese benefit equally from public policy and Government actions. Sherwood Lowe, to his credit, has proposed a similar approach as a substantial action towards measuring how various groups benefit from the largess of the state and Government actions. This would be a small but important step in transforming our racial perspective, and hopefully move us closer towards a more cohesive society.
Mybelief that indigenous peoples are currently the most neglected among Guyanese under this regime is still intact. During the 39th Sitting of Parliament last Thursday, this belief was again vindicated by disregard for Amerindian development, displayed by the Government of Guyana.The responsibility to seek approval for a contingency sum of over $48 million for the Ministry of the Presidency and State House fell on the shoulders of the subject Minister, Joseph Harmon. Harmon defended that the massive sum covered installation of furniture and equipment for both State House and the Ministry, and included 6000 solar systems. Interestingly, these 6000 solar systems were part of a plan under the former PPP/C Government, to increase accessibility to electricity to Amerindians residing in the Hinterland.Further scrutiny by the Opposition PPP/C revealed that the solar systems have already been acquired by the coalition Government and according to Harmon, installation has already begun. As if to reassure himself of the legitimacy of such an extravagance, the Minister added that the initiative is intended to render “State House totally green”. When a breakdown of the $48 million was requested by the Opposition, Minister Harmon indicated that he could not provide the information but that “the bulk of the money had to do with the purchase of these solar systems”. Minister Harmon knows nothing of the details of this luxury – a burden borne by a Guyanese population taxed to the marrow.When asked by the Opposition if he was aware that the 6000 panels were part of a programme under the PPP/C Government since 2013, to develop the Hinterland and Amerindian homes, Harmon indicated he knew nothing of it. Instead, he audaciously and shamelessly defended that “this wasn’t the case as of May 2016”. Yet, he was a big wig of the PNC Opposition barely over a year ago, and witnessed his party gut the Amerindian budget of 2013 and 2014, deliberately stymieing Hinterland development.Then, the Minister was asked to provide specifics on the type of solar systems which were procured by his Government, in an attempt to determine whether they were the same which were scheduled for procurement under the former administration. Harmon indicated that he knew nothing of such details.When asked what was so urgent and unforeseen about these panels that they necessitated a contingency plan, especially since the subject Ministry and State House are equipped with fossil fuel back-up generators, Harmon, visibly harassed by the plethora of questions aimed at rendering the Government accountable to the Amerindian peoples of this country, finally had an answer.He retorted that the acquisition of 6000 solar systems just for the President’s residence and the Ministry of the Presidency “had to do with the quality of the building, the quality of the facilities which we [the coalition] found in those places”. This was his way of saying that unlike the Presidents before him, President Granger cannot live in a humble abode, even if that humble abode was State House. Evidently, his answer fell short of a reasonable explanation which suggested that again, the Minister knows nothing of contingency plans.Harmon was then asked to clarify whether or not there was a plan to convert all Guyanese homes to solar electricity and if so, when would the implementation phase commence. He responded with a generality, claiming that “It’s not just about putting a solar panel on every house. It involves more than [a] solar panel, it is an entire solar system that we’re talking about here.” However, he adamantly refused any further explanations as to when Guyanese can look forward to the benefits of renewable energies, presumably because he knows that there is no such policy or he knows nothing.This scenario can be described as nothing less than theft from the Amerindian peoples of this country, where tax dollars are being used to sustain the gluttony and avarice of a Government which has done nothing but trampled on the rights of farmers, Amerindians and the working poor while killing the economy. It is theft when tax dollars fund the continuous beautification of Georgetown, multimillion sporting and massive increases in Government salaries and travel expenses while there is no proportionate redistribution of wealth.But perhaps the true abomination of this theft lies in the silence of the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, powerless at the detriment of his people.
…from TrumpYour Eyewitness is enjoying the consternation in some camps at Trump’s victory. In the US, he saw this demonstration – which the Stabber gave front page prominence – screaming “Trump – NOT MY PRESIDENT”!! So are they planning to migrate out of the US? Cause if they don’t, they’re stuck with Trump at least for the next four years and will have to deal with his initiatives and their consequences!But your Eyewitness has a question to those folks. What happened to “democracy” which American’s been teaching us benighted natives since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823? Didn’t the US fight two world wars – and who knows how many other skirmishes: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq etc etc – to make the world safe for democracy? Don’t they want America to be democratic?Trump’s victory is a victory for democracy just as Jimmy Carter’s or Obama’s or any other US Presidents. But like with Britain and Brexit, there are some folks who insist that democracy isn’t to be placed at the services of who they define as “the great unwashed”. These are the elitists. But their problem is they want to have it both ways – to channel their elitism through the two political parties with their money but control those parties – and of course their position on the issues.If they were honest about expressing their views on the “yahoos” in the boons, they’d have a powerful defender in Plato…the Greek Philosopher who singlehandedly invented what is now “western philosophy”. Plato said rulers ought to be “philosopher kings” – the rabble would be too easily swayed by (what else?) “rabble rousers”! In America, the party system has done a very good job winnowing out outside “demagogues” as real contenders for the presidency.No outsider has ever managed to pull off what Trump did. The ones who tried – even Ross Perot who was also a billionaire – played by the rules of the game. Not Trump. With his brashness AND his money, he went DIRECTLY to the masses and articulated their fears. And this is what “direct democracy” is supposed to be, no?But the funny thing is, the founding fathers also were leery about this direct democracy…which is why they inserted this “electoral college” business. The popular vote actually DOESN’T elect the president but 548 pledged ELECTORAL votes. Trump received 279 of these but when they meet in December as the “Electoral College” they’re not LEGALLY bound by their pledges!!So some diehards think some Republican delegates will “turn” and vote for Clinton!! Ain’t gonna happen.Why would they throw away their control of both Houses AND the Presidency? That’s power, baby!!…from robbery of RoheeYour Eyewitness isn’t a conspiracy theorist but he’s trying to get his head around the robbery of former Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee. Who also just happens to be the General Secretary of the PPP. Of all the houses in all of Eccles, they pick on Rohee’s? Of course it could be pure serendipity, but your Eyewitness will not rule out enemy action!! He HAS been a tad critical of his successors, hasn’t he?But the ramifications of the robbery of Rohee goes further than his material loss and the trauma of his maids. This merely reinforces what has been going on all over Guyana at all levels of society. Pick a paper…any paper…on any day and you’ll see a robbery under arms being described in all its sordid and frightening detail.Guyana is in the throes of another crime wave…and like most waves, it’s building slowly as it moves towards the Christmas season.To crash with fury on a hapless populace.…from the waterWill GWI never come off the headlines? As soon as one scandal’s buried, up comes another. After blanket denials, one operative of the water company now announced that the untested “purifier” antinfek was not used at Bartica – only in Diamond.So that makes it OK?!
Tonight, the inaugural event kicking off a month-long series of activities to mark the “100th Anniversary of the End of Indian Indentureship” kicks off at the National Cultural Centre at 19:00h (7pm). A historic THIRTEEN groups from the Indian Guyanese Community have come together to host the joint event.It is reminiscent of the struggle in the Indian Parliament during 1916 to pass a resolution calling upon the British Parliament to end indentureship, when the sparring factions of the Indian National Congress – the “Radicals” and the “Moderates” together with the departed Muslim League – joined hands on the issue. On March 12, 1917, Governor General of India, Hardinge ordered the immediate cessation of all recruitment and shipping of Indian indentured labour. Except for a few hundred returnees over the next four years, when the official end of indentureship ended on January 1, 1920, with all contracts expiring then, that was it for indentured labourers.Congress had picked up the issue because over in Natal, South Africa, the whites – especially the Afrikaans section – insisted on treating ALL persons from India as second class – indentured and non-indentured – and not having rights accorded to whites. This infuriated professional Indians like Gandhi who had been hired as an attorney by some wealthy Gujarati merchants who had freely emigrated as “citizens” of the British Empire with all the rights and privileges of such status. Or so they thought.After being thrown off the first-class section of a train in favour of a white, Gandhi began to make common cause with the indentureds of Natal and brought their ill-treatment to the attention of the head of the Moderate faction of the INC – Gokhale. The status of indentured Indians in the colonies thus helped to awaken the Indian elite to the hypocrisy of British pretences of full citizenship for her colonial subjects, after a period of “tutelage”. The issue also helped to bring together not only the ideological factions of Congress but the regional blocks that were even more entrenched.In Guyana, on the other hand, by the turn of the century, that lesson had long been imbibed by the immigrants whose indenturship had expired and had decided to remain in Guyana: they were all defined as “Indians” and were treated uniformly with contempt by the authorities and others in the society. The divisions of regions (10 per cent were from Madras Presidency in the South and the remainder from United Provinces in the North); caste (the net cast by recruiters had brought a representative sample of North India) and religion (also representative of North India between Hindu and Muslim) had become attenuated.The hardships of the two-month long passage from India had combined with the “total institution” of the plantation to create a new identity which was affirmed by the census category of “East Indians. But it was not just an external designation – combined with profound “internal” changes” that served to solidify their “Indian” group identity ahead of an analogous process in India.Mandirs and Masjids had been built from as early as 1870, but especially with the Hindus who were less uniform and rigorous with their practices, there were many “adaptations” such as weekly “satsanghs” on their one day off on Sundays with a “Pandit” functioning much as Christian priests did. “Creole English”, learnt from the ex-slaves who remained on the plantations, had become the dominant lingua franca. Women had become more equal with men in the home than in India, since they earned wages like the former outside of the home.Christian proselytisation did not have much success by the end of Indentureship – but a beachhead had been formed that would widen rapidly with the increased exposure to western education which was conducted solely in Church-run schools. That education had produced the first medical doctor and lawyer and while the urban segment was a mere 7000 compared to more than one hundred thousand in the rural areas, at least half of the latter were living outside the “loges” surrounding the sugar factory.In 1916, members of their incipient elite launched the “British Guiana East Indian Association” to secure their interests. This was the beginning of the use of their new group identity to solidify their place in their new country.
Today is “Labour Day” – a special public holiday set aside for the workers of Guyana to reflect on their condition and to bring their concerns to the rest of the populace. The day may seem anomalous to some, since, in theory, one or more persons in every family have to be working to support themselves and their families, so the concerns of “labour” ought to be apparent to all. But the “day” becomes understandable when the development of “labour” is viewed from a historical perspective. We can begin from the cavemen when each person grubbed for food and provided their own labour for their sustenance. Things changed when we moved on to a settled mode of living with the introduction of “agriculture” to provide for our daily bread. Henceforth, some individuals would co-opt, via various strategems, others to work for them. “Labour” became reified as something outside the living, breathing persons providing it. From the West we can proceed, almost teleologically, from slaves to serfs, to servants, to “workers” who sold their “labour” that now became a “commodity”. For us in the Caribbean, the use of “labour” on the plantations ignored the previous teleology and insisted on recapitulating the process all over again: slavery, indentured labour and finally “free labour”. As to how “free” the individuals were (and are) has now become the question of the age. Marx highlighted the paradox: “with the free labourer, free in the double sense, that as a free man he can dispose of his labour-power as his own commodity, and that on the other hand, he has no other commodity for sale.” This dilemma of “free labour” is presented quite starkly in Guyana today with sugar workers, but, by some strange alchemy, their plight has not received the notice of, say, that of the workers who were asked to pay exorbitantly for parking for their vehicles in Georgetown. Even though sugar was the reason why Guyana was colonised and became a state through the revenues it generated for the investors from the colonial power, it is still not a point to be remarked that not a single sugar worker since the seventeenth century has ever become wealthy out of the wages paid for his or her labour. By definition, to be a sugar worker was to be poor and live at a subsistence level. If one were to ask why this was so, the “educated” among us – especially the economists who are supposed to have specialised in this area –- would more or less retort, “Duh! The ‘economics’ of sugar forbid higher wages to be paid to workers.” It was accepted – and still accepted – that managers and consultants and commissions of inquiries had to be paid super salaries – but not the workers. If we were to seek further explanations, we would be told that it was a matter of “supply and demand” of the labour commodity provided by sugar workers, even though managers of the sugar industry regularly complain they cannot obtain enough labour. Uitvlugt, on the West Coast of Demerara, for instance, is one of the three sugar estates the Government says will survive the axe that is presently being wielded, but at the same time complain Uitvlugt does not have enough “labour”. And it refuses to raise wages to attract that needed commodity that the economic theories insist is the solution to the problem. Today, the trade unions that represent the interests of “labour” are supposed to be marching in the streets to show their solidarity in highlighting the concerns of their constituency. From any rational standpoint, it would appear obvious they should all focus on the travails of that segment of labour where the contradictions of labour are most stark: sugar. But this would never occur, as it has not over the past century since the first trade union was launched. There is “labour” and there is “labour”, but sugar “labour” is beyond the pale.