Mr. Swen: “The worst war that befall the country is the declaration of political and violent oppression by uniform security against uniform students…”— Transitional justice advocate, Jeremiah SwenJeremiah S. Swen, founder of the Alliance for Transitional Justice of Liberia has taken the country to task, believing that because of the noncompliant posture of the government to adhere to the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report, the country is being placed in a situation that undermines accountability, healing, reconciliation and the impunity.Swen recalled how currently, Liberia serves as an unhealed and injustice society, unable to project sustainable peace,He added, “As a fragile society, Liberia always lives in the unbalanced space of corruption, nepotism, under-development and unemployment of its citizenry due to the limitation of foreign investment and donor funding.”For this, Swen observed that there will be no serious investment from multilateral institutions and industrial countries when “impunity reigns as a king and corruption as a queen.”He made the observation on Friday, November 22, when he served as a guest speaker at the first fundraising information session of the Education Transforms Lives Foundation (ETLF), a non-for-profit organization that is intended to eradicate poverty through the power of quality education.Swen informed his audience that due to the wrongs in the country, “we need to revisit and intervene, especially by tapping into the strategic nature of education.”On the theme, “Provoking Our Self-Commitment Toward the Provision of Quality Education for Children’s Empowerment,” Swen described quality education as a medium to defeat illiteracy, ignorance and poverty to project sustainable growth and development.He recalled that during the past decades, the world witnessed an insurrection of violent and deadly proportion that devoured the Liberian’s population.“During that time, we removed the pen and all education-related instructional materials from the hands of our youngest generation to the extent that we immorally breed a new philosophy of death, sustained by illicit drugs, and dangerous substances.”He continued, “Vicious destruction was introduced, instead of vision and ego, and our adolescent and youth (ages 8 thru 15) were masters and vampires of death.”Swen added, “Some of the youth were the engines and instruments that sustained the unpatriotic actions of warlords, who exploited their talents; victimized them by becoming the vessel that victimized others. But, this must be accounted for so that we change the course of events.”According to Swen, the worst war to befall Liberia is the declaration of political and violent oppression by uniformed state security against uniformed students, who only seek quality education to defeat poverty, ignorance, diseases, hunger and underdevelopment.He said that the authorized action of vandalizing the premises of schools, inflicting pains and body bruises on minors ages 12-16, which the nation witnessed during the 27th Memorial of the notorious Octopus invasion (1996), clearly point to tyrannical rule, and lack of nationalistic consciousness by the government to uphold Article 1 and 17 of the 1986 Constitution, and Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution says: “All power is inherent in the people,” while Article 17 says: All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives to petition the Government…”“Among us and somewhere in the shadow of anti-liberation, some perceived that the act of the government was driven by emotion of miscalculation that is false from the infamous St. Peter Lutheran Church’s massacre (1990) to the King’s Town sporadic murder, where today, impunity has overshadowed our nation. But don’t be deterred, justice shall triumph over impunity” Swen declared.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Charity-Usara Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Chairperson Beatrice Mittelholzer is now a millionaire as GTT million-dollar smile promotion continues countrywide.The elated Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) resident said she never believed she would have been the winner, but was neverthelessBeatrice Mittelholzer, the newest GTT million-dollar smile promotion winnerthankful to have won the million dollars.Mittleholzer, a mother of two and grandmother of 15, on Monday evening at the Charity Essequibo leg of the promotion, said she will be donating a portion of her winnings to address some of the social issues affecting youths and the elderly on a daily basis. To become a millionaire, customers who top up their phones electronically with $1000 or more in a single transaction, purchase a data plan for a $1000 or more, pay any GTT bill in full and on time, sign up for or upgrade a Blaze plan, or purchase a GTT SIM will be entered for a chance to win.The promotion next heads to New Amsterdam, Berbice on December 15 and will return to Georgetown for the grand draw on December 18, where the communications giant will select four winners for a million dollars each.The four previous winners were from Georgetown, Mon Repos, Linden and Bartica.
Thirty-eight-year-old Rajindra Balkaran, called ‘Gomes’, and his uncle Vishnu Gopaul, called ‘Strokeman’ and ‘Balbala’, a pork vendor at the Port Mourant Market, traded chops on Monday afternoon at Kitten Dam, Portuguese Quarters, Port Mourant Corentyne; and are now both hospitalized at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, with Gopaul being listed in critical condition.Injured: Vishnu GopaulReports reaching this newspaper detail that Balkaran was under the influence of alcohol when he accused his uncle of being a “cochore”. After hurling several expletives at his uncle, Balkaran walked over to Gopaul’s donkey cart and pushed it into a nearby drain.At that, Gopaul ran out of his yard with a cutlass. “Is the same cutlass he does use fuh cut meat,” one eyewitness said.“The two of dem start to argue, and ‘Gomes’ (Balkaran) telling he that he is a cochore and Gopaul cussing he (Gomes),” an eyewitness offered.The argument intensified, and Gopaul reportedly chopped his nephew several times to the upper body. Balkaran received chop wounds to his hands and neck, but was able to overpower and disarm his uncle, and he turned the weapon on the pork vendor. Gopaul received chops to the face, neck, chest and hands, and is reportedly in a critical condition at the New Amsterdam Hospital.When the Police arrived, Gopaul was picked up in an unconscious state and taken to the Port Mourant Hospital, from whence he was transferred to the New Amsterdam facility. Balkaran has also been admitted a patient at the hospital.Police are investigating the incident.
Wayne Peters and Marlon Jones found themselves before Georgetown Magistrate Judy Latchman on Monday, charged with breaking and entering the Mandela Avenue home of Delmark Booker, and stealing therefrom his cell phone valued $80,000 and clothing valued $15,000.The charge detailed that in committing the burglary — between March 16/17, 2018 – the defendants wounded Booker in the process.Jones also faces a charge of wounding Booker after Booker confronted Peters who was seen wearing some of his missing clothing.According to Peters, he was a tenant in Booker’s home, and on the day in question, he found Booker’s clothing outside of the room which he occupied.He revealed that he was also locked out of the house, and, as such, he took the clothing and left. He explained that he was confused as to why he was being charged.However Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore contended that Booker had secured his premises, and when he returned the following day, he found that it was broken into, and the articles were missing. The matter was reported and the accused persons were later arrested and charged.The Court heard that when Booker had confronted one of the defendants, that defendant took up a steel pipe and dealt Booker a lash to his face.The prosecutor did not object to either defendant being placed on bail, and each was placed on $80,000 bail. The next hearing of this matter in court is set for April 16, 2018.
Hours after a horrific smash-up involving a motor car and a minibus on Sunday, six-year-old Arianna Hughes of Lot 23-44 Rohan Housing Scheme, Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) succumbed while receiving medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital.The young girl sustained severe internal and head injuries as a result of the head-on collision. She reportedly took her last breath about 03:45h on Monday.Her mother, 31-year-old Shennelle Hughes along with Jada Enmore, 9; Tyrese Arthur, 4; Prem Persaud, 46; Lakeram Persaud, 21, and Rookmine Persaud all remain patients at the medical facility nursing head injuries and broken bones.The mangled minibus after the collisionThe victims were occupants of minibus BHH 8451 and motor car PMM 548, which collided head on while travelling along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway on Sunday.Initial investigations revealed that the driver of the motor car, Shennelle Hughes, drove into a pool of water thus causing her to lose control of the vehicle and swerve into the path of the minibus resulting in a collision.The motor car which was driven by Shenelle HughesSeveral persons from both vehicles sustained injuries and were rushed to the Diamond hospital where they were treated, but those persons with the more serious injuries were transferred to the GPHC.When Guyana Times contacted the relatives of the dead child, they refused to comment on the matter. However, according to reports, the child’s mother remains in critical condition at the medical facility.Investigations into the accident are ongoing.
The Social Protection Ministry through the Department of Labour has finally begun consulting stakeholders on the National Child Labour Policy.Members of the Public Sector, Private Sector, religious groups, and other organisations were involved in a discussion where recommendations were made on various areas the policy should cover.The consultations also included representatives from the Ministry’s Child Care and Protection Agency, Trafficking in Persons Department, Gender Affairs Bureau, and Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit.Assistant Chief Labour Officer Karen Vansluytman-Corbin explained that in keeping with Convention 138 and 182 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which deal with minimum age and address the worst forms of child labour respectively, the Government has several key pieces of legislation in place to combat forms of child labour, such as the employment of young children.The Department will continue meeting with stakeholders across the country to discuss their opinions and concerns about what should be included in the policy.When the policy is completed, a national action plan will be put in place.Additionally, institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations against child labour were established and all key international conventions concerning the issues ratified.According to the United States Department of Labour, “In 2016, Guyana made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.The Government reformed the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Combating Trafficking in Persons, began developing a National Action Plan and Policy on Child Labour, and finalised the 2017–2018 National Action Plan on Combating Trafficking in Persons.
At its Kingston Office on Friday, GBTI awarded with bursaries 15 of its Early Savers who were successful at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment examinations.The country’s perfect scorer, Naila Rahaman, who now attends Queen’s College, is among those awarded. The others are: Virenda Dookie, Brendon Prince, Mariah Ellis, Sameya Khan, Deviani Ram, Malina Khan, Jazzmin Roopchand, Ziya Haniff, Sayid Stuart, Mikayla Hamer, Joel Benjamin, Elijah Rajak, Muhammad Baksh, and Tiffany Regis.Assistant Chief Education Officer Owen Pollard encouraged the students to stay focused in this new journey, so that they can continue to celebrate continued academic successes.Pollard also commended GBTI for recognising the awardees, and expressed admiration for the parents, for encouraging their children to save from an early age.Many of the parents said the children were born into GBTI’s Early Savers Members Club, since the parents themselves were Early Savers and realised the benefits.The mother of the Top NGSA student said she opened an account for her daughter when the child was a baby, and she loved when her daughter received birthday and other cards from the Club. She said that often, when she gave Naila allowance, Naila would ask her to put it into her account instead.The parents expressed appreciation to GBTI for the awards, and GBTI Executive Director Richard Isava said the Bank would continue to support these initiatives.He congratulated the students and encouraged them to continue to stay focused and save for their future’s higher education as well.This is the 15th year since GBTI started its bursary programme for members of its Early Savers Club. Early Savers who wrote the NGSA were required to submit their names and copies of their results slips, and 15 were randomly selected.The Club is open for membership of persons between zero and 18 years old. They enjoy special interest rates, shopping discounts, birthday rewards, bursary awards, and an annual recognition for being consistent savers.
Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Trevor Benn, has assured a visiting mission from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) of Guyana’s full support as the country prepares to host the 17th session of the Committee for the Review of the implementation of the Convention (CRIC17).The conference which is slated for January 28-30, 2019, at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre is expected to see the participation of 197 countries.The visiting UN delegation, which is led by the Chief-of-Staff of the UNCCD, Rajeb Boulharouf, is currently in Guyana to undertake a second round of assessment of the conference venue and other facilities that will be used for the conference.Other members of the visiting delegation include Somarajan Pillai, Administration/Budget and Finance Officer; Carmen Alina Margina, ConferenceGL&SC Commissioner Trevor Benn addresses the visiting delegationAffairs Officer; Omer Sebat, Information Systems Assistant; Kayhan UI, Logistics Assistant; Fernando Garcia Lopez, Regional Security Advisor; and Masud Rana, Documents Management Officer.“I want to say once again that I am very pleased that the decision was taken to host this conference in Guyana. This is a clear indication of our commitment to issues relating to sustainable land management, desertification, drought and the social issues resulting from improper land management,” Benn said to the visiting delegation. “This is an opportunity that we have as a country to showcase to the rest of the world that even as a small country, we are prepared to accept the challenge,” Benn stated.He reminded that he has attended several conferences of similar nature and said while Guyana may not be able to provide all the amenities that the more wealthy countries were able to, the Government and the people of Guyana commitment to fulfil its obligations to host the conference is unwavering.Meanwhile, Boulharouf said his team is satisfied with the level of commitment, goodwill and preparation shown thus far. He reminded that the host country agreement was recently finalised and signed and this sealed the deal for Guyana to host the conference in late January, making it the first country in this part of the world to host the CRIC conference.The UN official also took the opportunity to commend Guyana’s efforts in the global climate change arena and its long-standing commitment to sustainable development.CRIC assists the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and is an integral part of the Performance Review and Assessment of Implementation System.
Once again, Republic Bank Guyana Limited has alerted its customers of possible phone scams during this time of the year.Communications and Public Relations Specialist Rachael Singh told Guyana Times on Wednesday that scams were heightened during the Christmas season and as a result, the banking institution was sending an early warning to alert its customers and consumers in general.“It’s a message we sent out to alert everyone and not because of anything in particular… It’s something to let our customers continue to be on the alert, because we know how the Christmas season is.”Via SMS (Short Messaging Service), the Bank advised the public not to divulge any information regarding their bank cards or PIN numbers over the phone since this is not part of any current activities of the institution.It also asked persons to “beware of phone scams”, which demand private information possibly with the intention to steal.Cellphone scams have been on the rise for the holiday season, with fraudsters posing as representatives of various organisations to extract monies from people. So far, complaints have been made about these persons asking for personal information, claiming that the persons called would have won promotions.To appear legitimate, they would ask for correct names, addresses and national identification (ID) or bank numbers.In one instance, the First Lady, Sandra Granger had urged citizens to remain vigilant after someone used the name of her office and her name to approach people with the proposition of making down payments for scholarships.In April, a fraudster, Muhammad Ali was arrested and placed before the courts for impersonating the First Lady and tricking citizens into transferring money to him.The trickster managed to obtain 12 pennyweights of gold worth $139,000 and $30,000 in GTT and Digicel phone cards, while pretending that he was in a position to grant scholarships to a young woman.
Twenty-eight-year-old Wayne Blair of First Avenue, Bartica, and 25-year-old Ezra Evans, of Lot 57 West Front Road, Georgetown were hauled before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday after they were charged jointly for robbery.It is alleged that the duo robbed James Walter of his bicycle and cash totalling $20,000 on March 21 at Evans Street, Charlestown, Georgetown while they were armed with a knife.They both denied the charge when it was read to them by Senior Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus on Monday.The prosecution is contending that the men were apprehended by public-spirited persons and handed over to the Police after they committed the crime. Bail was opposed on the grounds of the prevalence of the offence and the fact that one of the accused was previously charged with a matter of similar matter. The duo was remanded and the case was scheduled to continue on April 8, 2019.