first_imgThe Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has extended a grant of US$35 million to help fight Ebola in West Africa.In a statement to the media on this occasion, Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) said that the Ebola fighting program, initiated by the Saudi King and implemented by IDB, is designed for four areas.The first area, the statement said, is to provide schools with thermal sensors and medical examination equipment designed to diagnose the disease, thereby facilitating its treatment and preventing its spread. The equipment, it said, “will allow governments to open schools for the current academic year. Pupils will be examined at entry to ensure they have not contracted the disease, thus reassuring parents about the safety of their children at school.”The second area of the grant is to provide thermal sensors and medical examination equipment at airports, railway stations and bus stations to diagnose the disease and ensure early treatment.The third is to establish a specialized treatment centre in each of the three endemic countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, designed to serve suspected cases in schools, hospitals and public transport, and wherever contamination is likely to occur in crowded conditions. Suspected cases will be received in these centers for further medical tests before they are referred for specialized treatment if necessary.The statement said the forth is to establish a specialized treatment centre in Mali where Ebola appears to have broken out but is not widespread. The centre will help the country’s health authorities cope with potential epidemics in the future.The IDB President emphasized that the kind donation made by the Saudi King will further boost the Islamic world efforts in supporting the international fight against Ebola.“The equipment financed by this donation,” he added, “will speed up the opening of schools in the countries concerned, reinforce the institutional and health infrastructure to fight the current epidemic and any potential epidemics in the future, Allah forbids, thus saving thousands of lives and ensuring the safety of those at risk of contamination.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continued his tour of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa on Saturday.The three countries hit hardest by Ebola have now recorded 7,373 deaths, up from 6,900 on Wednesday, according to WHO figures posted online late Friday. A total of 392 of the new deaths were in Sierra Leone, where Ebola is spreading the fastest.The new totals include confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola deaths. The WHO says there have also been six Ebola deaths in Mali, eight in Nigeria and one in the United States.The total number of cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia now stands at 19,031, up from 18,569.Ban arrived in Guinea, where the outbreak’s first cases were confirmed back in March, on Saturday after touring Liberia and Sierra Leone on Friday. After meeting with President Alpha Conde, he expressed concern about the situation in the country’s southeast forest region, where he said the number of infected people “seems to continue to grow.” The region borders Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, and Ban called for cross-border collaboration to bring the disease under control.He urged all Guineans to commit themselves to eradicating Ebola, saying that the U.N. and its partners “are there to help you.””It has never been so important to work together,” he said.Guinea has recorded 2,453 Ebola deaths and 1,550 cases, according to the WHO. This past week, officials in Conakry, the capital, announced a ban on New Year’s Eve celebrations such as fireworks displays and beach gatherings in a bid to curtail transmission.Ban was expected to travel to Mali Saturday evening.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgDear Editor,One has to wonder if the time has not come for the disbanding of the City Constabulary of Georgetown; if the time has not come for the formal handing over of the responsibilities of protecting the city to the national police who are already performing this function and if the time has not come for the property rates of citizens to be better spent.Every time one hears from the Chief, one hears of the human resource and other constraints faced by the Constabulary, yet they have the resources to provide eight bodyguards to the Mayor and another batch of bodyguards to the Town Clerk plus static security at their residences as though these individuals are Heads of State or Government.Recently, they received as a gift 30 or more bicycles and allied equipment, and had officers trained in the United States, yet the citizens have never seen more than six bike patrol officers? Can six officers patrol all of the wards of the city effectively?However, when the notorious parking meter project came into operation, dozens of Constables were found to harass supposedly errant drivers, even pestering the driver and security detail of a former president. Where have these Constables gone to?Now we hear of an epiphany the Mayor has awakening out of 24 years of slumber to realise that the Constables are on the take. Oh please! What is City Hall, Comedy Central? Is she ‘Sally in the Alley’?Even a small private security force engaged by the vendors of the Bourda Market has proven to be more effective capturing a criminal in just a few weeks of their engagement. Is that not convincing enough?All we hear from the Constabulary is the shooting to death of mentally-ill young men, sexual assaults against minors, arms, ammunition and bulletproof vests going missing, the pillaging of its training school, fights in its headquarters with citizens, beatings by senior officers of their paramours, bail money and welfare money going missing, shaking down of vendors, and harassment of business persons.And when their Chief is asked about it, all he has to say is in terms of this, and in terms of that, and in terms of the other.Sincerely,Roseanne Rodgerslast_img read more

first_imgDear Editor,The long-awaited presidential candidate of the PPP/C has been announced and that person is Mr Irfaan Ali. He is the most talked about person in Guyana and I must say on the planet right now.From all appearances, the name Charrandas Persaud has suddenly slipped off the radar and is in the backseat of the thoughts of those who oppose the PPP/C as they now hotly pursue Mr Ali.It is a venomous pursuit as known critics – some of them coming up under new pseudonyms bash the daylight out of Mr Ali. But, try as they may, nothing is going to stop this man from leading the PPP/C unto victory in the next General Elections.And here’s my point, the venom some put in their criticism comes from the fact that none of the parties, not one of them, can win an election here in Guyana. Even when they teamed up with each other in that incestuous association called a coalition they could not put the PPP/C away, only to surrender in a vote of conscience after three and a half long burdensome and torturous years.It is a clear borne fact that the only political party that can and will win any election in Guyana is the PPP/C. That reality has sent shockwaves in the camps of those of our opposers that right now are quivering in fear. The PPP/C has proven that fact throughout its history.And not only would it win an election, but it is also a party that has delivered to the electorate; you talk to any Guyanese even to those in the political divide and they will tell you that the best years of their lives were under the PPP. Bad-talk and smear campaigns cannot erase that. So, I empathise with our detractors out there who are trying their utmost to stop the unstoppable.But let me tell them what has been and still is the PPP/C’s real source of strength, I call it their bedrock, that is, its total reliance on teamwork. Team PPP/C is a formidable force and a tower of strength. A case in point is the calling in of Police to illegally oust Bishop Edghill out of Parliament.The team stood by the Bishop and boxed him in thereby telling the world that we are a united group with one purpose in mind. We shall not be moved, we have a country to stand up for.So, if you follow all of Mr Ali’s speeches you will see one common thread of thought “Team PPP/C” or “We” will deliver, we will are working together to build Guyana again. To come up against such an indomitable team means that you do not have a ghost of a chance, you cannot penetrate or break our singleness of purpose. Because we are a team and people-oriented too, helping, building people- ordinary people, all Guyanese, that is our main objective. Long live Team PPP/C!Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more

first_imgDear Editor,The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Sunday, the dates for elections in India. I have been invited to conduct opinion polls in India to determine support for parties. Election polling is restricted from a day before voting till the last hour of voting. Pollsters can release results up to the day before the voting commences and right after the voting ends.The ECI knows it must hold an election and, therefore, started making preparations for it – making sure every adult over 18 was on the list – some 900 million voters. In Guyana, we have just under half a million voters, and the election commission seems to have serious difficulty preparing for an election even though it knew since December 22 that it must be prepared to hold elections by March 19. The ECI Commissioners and staff are professionals and unlike in Guyana, they don’t favour any party. They are true professionals. The Chairman or Chief Election Officer in India is not a stooge of any party.There are some other major differences in how GECOM and ECI function. Unlike in Guyana with GECOM, the ECI is totally independent of Governmental influence. The India Government cannot direct Government on preparedness or when to call elections. ECI is perennially prepared for elections because when a Government collapses it must hold elections within a month. Elections are held five years from the last elections and the new Government is sworn in just over a week after the counting of ballots and official declaration of results. The new Government in India must be sworn in on June 4 as per the direction of the ECI.Unlike in Guyana, in India, when a Government loses a no-confidence vote, elections are immediately held. Also, unlike in Guyana, voting in India takes place over several days. In this year’s elections, voting will be done over seven days and would last just over a month. India’s elections are generally held over several phases in order to allow for the transfer of poll workers and security. Some 200,000 personnel are involved in the process. Some 100,000 security forces are totally under the control of ECI and follow their directives. Government cannot instruct the security forces.The important point of difference between India and Guyana on electoral matters is that unlike in Guyana, the ECI is totally independent, with its own budget and personnel and does not seek to rig elections in favour of a party. The ECI recruits its own staff with “politically minded people” blanked. Staff are permanently employed and must not have any affiliation with any party. Government cannot fix dates for elections although it can make suggestions. The ECI decides on dates for elections. The ECI is extremely powerful; it has its own security forces with the power to confiscate money of candidates or parties if the staff suspects the money would be used improperly like bribing voters. Once a Government loses a no-confidence vote, it cannot hold Cabinet meetings. An election date is fixed within six weeks. And once a date is set for elections, Government is prohibited from engaging in new policies and announcing new programs; new money cannot be spent. The election moral code of conduct comes into play. No party enjoys an advantage. The Government media is shared equally by all contesting forces unlike in Guyana where there is one-sided coverage.The ECI can sanction candidates and parties and can also fine them and confiscate their monies or freeze their bank accounts and discipline State media. With the issues having to do with GECOM’S preparedness for elections following the Government’s defeat in the no-confidence vote, perhaps Guyana can look to India for reforms of its elections commission to make it totally independent of the political forces.Yours truly,Dr Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

first_imgIn wake of the Orlando massacre which left 49 dead and over 50 injured, one of Guyana’s major political parties, the People’s Progressive Party has called on the international community to increase its efforts in the fight against terrorism.During a press conference on Monday morning, PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee said the shooting in Orlando, USA is suggestive of terrorism and in this regard, he called on the international community to increase its efforts to stamp out terrorism.The PPP condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms.“This is the worst killing in recent history in the USA and came on the heels of a series of terrorist-related activities which have left scores of people dead not to mention the untold number who suffered physical and emotional trauma as a result of such barbaric actions.“Actions such as these can only be the work of sick and warped minds regardless of the motive or motives they may wish to attribute in justification of their murderous action,” Rohee stated.The PPP has called for heightened international efforts against terrorism in wake of the Orlando shootingInitial investigations into the incident by US officials revealed that the killer, Omar Mateen, did not appear to receive any external directions.According to CNN, Mateen, however, pledged allegiance to the international terrorist group ISIS.It is believed that homophobia may have prompted the violent action.In this regard, Rohee reflected on the progress made internally as it relates to Guyana’s legal framework in protecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.“I have not noticed anything that the PPP has done against to antagonise such a community,” he stated.He said the ball was now in the Government’s court to take action.Only recently, in observation of its 13th anniversary in Guyana, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) lamented that the political will was lacking and little progress has been made in putting measures in place to curb incidents of violence and discrimination against LBGT members.last_img read more

first_img– Doctor to treat affected residentsBy Shemuel FanfairOver the last few months, intermittent flooding affected the lives of residents and farmers in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice). This comes despite efforts by sub-agencies of the Agriculture Ministry and the Regional Administration to alleviate the situation.Guyana Times is aware that heavy rains between Friday evening and Saturday morning once again raised the water level in several communities.While the water in the Mahaicony River was described as bearable, inhabitants are still suffering losses as flood waters in the backlands are where most of farmlands and livestock are located.On Saturday, this newspaper was told that many farmers along the Mahaicony River had sold their current crop of “seed paddy” earlier that morning out of fear the flooding will destroy their future plots for rice cultivation. However, some farmers are undecided and are contemplating their next moves.One such farmer explained that the backlands flooding has destroyed much of the cash-crop he had planted.A female farmer, who preferred not to be named, explained that she too suffered losses due to the prolonged flooding. The woman explained that she lost three calves and a number of crops. The farmer estimated her losses in the vicinity of $800,000 and has appealed to be provided with food assistance.Guyana Times learnt that a doctor will visit the Mora Health Centre today (Sunday) to assess the medical needs of residents there. This comes in light of reports that mosquitoes abounded, which affected adults and children.Additionally, reports also surfaced that children suffered rashes and influenza.It was only Thursday that a farmer of First Savannah, Mahaicony River, told this publication that one of his calves recently perished. He reiterated calls for a vet to visit the affected animals more regularly.Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal had noted Thursday last that “a lot of work” needed to be done to alleviate the flooding. “The drains, the trenches need to be desilted,” he had stated.The chairman had further noted that farmers, especially in Mahaicony, who have lost cash-crops are still calling for assistance to sustain their livelihood.Ramphal had also posited that farmers have been facing challenges since the El Niño period, and are now getting affected by the flooding. On that basis, he had explained that farmers are hopeful they will be given the assistance they require.“They are hoping that the Government will help them to get back on their feet again,” the chairman told this newspaper.last_img read more

first_imgA Bahamian man was on Tuesday charged by Police for the murder of Guyanese school teacher, 34-year-old Marisha Bowen and is expected to make his appearance in the Supreme Court during the week.Dead: Marisha BowenThe accused, 30-year-old Alister Williams, would not be allowed to plea until he is formally arraigned for the brutal murder.Murder suspect Alister WilliamsAt the time the woman was killed, she was pregnant. She was found in a lifeless state with her throat slit in her Summer Street, Nassau Village, Bahamas apartment just over a week ago.However, the accused will return to the Magistrate’s Court on October 24 for a presentation of a voluntary bill of indictment, which will facilitate the transfer of the case to the higher court.Before he was remanded to prison to await trial, his lawyer Nathan Smith made allegations that his client allegedly suffered significant injuries while in Police custody and as such, Chief Magistrate Forbes ordered that Williams be seen by a physician at the prison.It was reported that Bowen, who taught at the Charles Saunders High School, appeared to have been stabbed multiple times. At the time of the discovery, all the apartment doors were reportedly locked.Further investigations revealed that Bowen, who has a 16-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, may have been slain shortly after 07:00h on September 9 since it was at around this time that “loud screams were heard in the community from the complex, after what was thought to be a domestic dispute inside.According to the report, no one called the Police. The Police went to check on the woman after she failed to show up at work. The owner of the apartment assisted the Police in gaining access to the locked premises and it was then, the discovery was made. The suspect was later apprehended.last_img read more

first_imgAttempts by Finance Minister Amara Konneh to ‘buy time’ regarding his appearance before the Legislature has been rejected.Konneh was summoned by the House of Representatives to appeal before that August Body on the 13th and 15th of May, to answer to many questions relating to the Liberian economy.However, the Finance Minister communicated with the House requesting that he (Konneh) appear just once – on May 15th only – to respond to inquiries from Capitol Hill.In his letter addressed to Madam Mildred N. Sayon, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Minister Konneh argued that as Finance Minister, he has a “very busy schedule with other issues of national concern,” and as such, he will appreciate if the House could stick to a single date to allow him address all the concerns about the state of the Liberian economy.The House angrily rejected the request and demanded that Konneh make a double appearance next week.In legislative assembly Thursday, May 8, Plenary took serious exception to the Minister’s appeal , stressing that the status of the economy remains very uncompromising and, as the Legislature, there is a need for immediate action to save the State.Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been longing for the removal of Konneh and his team, a system they believed is responsible for the continuous budget shortfalls Liberia is faced with regularly.Konneh has, in turn, blamed the Legislature for the budget shortfall.He accused Capitol Hill of projecting additional revenue after the Executive had already drafted and agreed on the National budget.  But lawmakers harshly reacted to his comments, stressing that the Minister’s assertion is false and misleading.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgA presidential aspirant for the leadership Federation of Liberia Youth, (FLY) Mr. Maxwell Grigsby, has called on this government to remove ‘crazy people’ from the streets and along the countryside.Mr. Grigsby said that a situation of un-well people walking aimlessly around Monrovia was embarrassing for the general public—especially children—and wondered why no institution has seized the opportunity to do something about correcting such an ugly situation.These ‘challenged’ individuals are Liberians and should be able to command some degree of consideration and care from the institutions responsible to provide such—the aspirant decided to let it be known—tacitly (without saying it) placing the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare ‘on the spot.’ ”    Speaking tlast week, at the official launch of a student-based organization: the Innovative Yellow House of the Muslim Congress, Mr. Grigsby noted that the Ministry of Health appears askance (doubtful) about whether or not it can deal with the depressing situation.   “The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare must or should have a budget for taking off the streets—as some nations around the world do—people who might not be responsible for their actions,” Mr. Grigsby continued.“Sometimes these individuals are seen strutting the streets without clothes on; our children are on their way from school and find themselves, unexpectedly, glaring at such obscene and unwholesome spectacles that could be traumatizing(causing emotional shock or distress) for them—and even some senior citizens,” the speaker declared.He used the occasion to encourage students to regard (see) themselves as a new generation of Liberians. “You must keep readying and studying hard; that will enable you to tackle some of the issues related to education, for the betterment of the country,” he reassured.“You need to have a role model and work extremely hard to ensure that your dream is realized; nothing comes easily in life without something or someone to emulate or look up to,” he pointed out.Mr. Grigsby called on students around the country to remain focused and do all within their power for success, as they march towards the future.(With an assist from Keith Neville A. Best)    Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more