…says it’s a “Burnhamesque” way of silencing political opponentsAlliance For Change (AFC) General Secretary David Patterson’s threats to investigate and lay charges against former government officials is the latest to be denounced by the Parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).AFC General Secretary David PattersonFollowing Thursday’s boycott of President David Granger’s address to the National Assembly, Patterson took to his Facebook Page to express concerns over this move by the Opposition, which he deemed disrespectful.Patterson, who holds the post of Public Infrastructure Minister posted, “I have mixed feelings on the natural consequences of this boycott – on one hand I am sadden that the opposition will be boycotting one of the main advocates for greater inclusion of the opposition in the affairs of Government, the voices of the liberals will now be drowned out.”He then indicated that this boycott has added new vigour for Government to hunt and prosecute past government officials for corruption.“What happens next is entirety due to the opposition’s actions today – the kid gloves will be taken off, since an unwritten line will be crossed – the actions which the general public have been demanding (punishment for crimes of corruption) will go into a higher gear, building of cases against alleged corrupt officials will now be at the forefront – actions which I support – by this boycott, it will strengthen the efforts…” Patterson posted.But the PPP/C said this behaviour displayed by Minister Patterson is reminiscent of the “Burnhamesque” ways of silencing political opponents.“If there was any…Patterson, removed all doubts…with a threatening rant on Facebook, which shows his incapability of understanding the various forms of protest in a democracy, and most likely reflecting his Government’s similar inabilities and views,” outlined a statement from the Office of the Opposition Leader.The PPP/C then equated Patterson’s remarks to recent threats made by controversial US Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.“This can be likened to Donald Trump’s recent threat to jail his political opponent, Hillary Clinton, if he were to win the Presidency – a threat that all right minded lovers of democracy denounced in no easy terms,” the Party noted.Nonetheless, the Party posited that it will continue to stand with and represent the people of Guyana without fear or favour. “The PPP/C has withstood the worst of the Burnham years, where jailing and the killing political opponents were the norm. Like then, the PPP/C will not be silenced now.”Moreover, the Party called on the international community to take note of the threats made by the AFC General Secretary.
Swag District and renowned publicist Junda Morris-Kennedy has announced a model casting call for the ‘Miss All Universities Liberia’ pageant, schedule to take place later this year. According to the organizers, the event is geared toward promoting pageantry in universities across Liberia and offering the winner the opportunity to showcase her talents at international events.The organizers added that that the event is not just about promoting pageantry in universities, but also offering the winners great packages:– two semesters of school with fees paid– a feature in an international pageantry magazine– participation in international pageants such as ECOWAS Fashion Week and many more.Speaking to LIB Life recently via Facebook, Swag District Vice President, T. Mark Korpu, said that interested applicants must be university students at any university in the country, and an applicant must be a good public speaker in order to be selected. He explained that registration is open until June 6, 2016. The cost of the form is US$30 and can be picked up at L-Net Radio, Teach FM, Hott FM and Daily Observer Newspaper. “The organizers are in the capacity to offer a car to the winner as other pageants do; but we opted not to do it because at the end the winner does not have the platform on which to expose her talents on the international scene.“For us, we want the winner to showcase the unique talents they have at the international event, as we make way for them to get contracts. When winners are going out to participate in events outside the country, we are going to take care of their transportation, lounging and feeding,” Mark said, explaining that prize money goes toward that instead of a car.Miss All Universities Liberia is being hosted under the theme, “A Degree of Beauty”. For more info, contact Swag District at 0775-685-082 and Facebook “Miss All Universities Liberia”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
After a period of pre-trial delays, the formal court proceedings of Second Street, Crane Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara (WCD) resident, Kevon Alfred, is scheduled for this morning before Justice Navindra Singh. This comes one week after the defendant’s former lawyer, Stanley Moore, SC, discontinued representing the accused due to “other obligations”.Accused: Kevon AlfredAt Monday’s hearing, Defence Counsel George Thomas entered his appearance for the accused but told the Judge that he required more time to go through the case file. As such, the Judge adjourned the matter for today. Alfred is accused of murdering 75-year-old Joyce Lewis on March 26, 2014, at her Lot 3630 Christiani Street, North Ruimveldt, Georgetown home. According to reports, Lewis’s lifeless body was found in her home by Police and her sister, Veronica Deen on the morning of March 26. The woman who was a re-migrant was reportedly strangled during an early morning robbery.Five months after she was killed, Alfred was arrested and charged with the murder. He was committed to stand trial in the High Court on October 19, 2015. The State’s case is being presented by Prosecutors Tiffini Lyken, Abigail Gibbs and Narissa Leander. The Prosecution is expected to call several witnesses when the trial commences.
The Department of Social Cohesion, in collaboration with the Region 4 Regional Democratic Council, on Tuesday held a lecture series and exhibition to recognise the contributions of persons of African descent to the history of Guyana.Officers from the Department of Youth on Tuesday coordinated a series of lectures in observance of Black History Month at the Beterverwagting Secondary School.According to Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas, the presentations focused on the crucial role of education in the history of African Guyanese.The women who were given the Outstanding Women in Region Four awards. In picture from left: Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas, Tiffany Harvey, and Regional Chairperson Jennifer AllenAspects of African culture and heritage, including slavery, colonization and the village movement, were also part of the discussions.Caricom IKEMBA representative, Onika Frank, while delivering brief remarks, encouraged the students to be proud of their culture and ancestry.Students from five secondary schools on the East Coast of Demerara attended lectures on Guyana’s African heritage, done by representatives from the African Community Development Association.Three women were also given “Outstanding Women in Region 4 awards”: Tiffany Harvey, Pauline Lucas and Jennifer Allen. These awards were presented by Alister Collins, Executive Director of the President’s Youth Award: Republic of Guyana (PYARG).The schools that attended the session yesterday were: L.B.I Secondary, Bladen Hall Secondary, Buxton Secondary, Plaisance Secondary and Beterverwaging Secondary.For the African Guyanese community, Black History Month is usually a time for sober reflection on the state of the community. This is of course not a new call; it is repeated at every moment of Black observancePersons of African ancestry all over the world continue to suffer from the scars of a history of bondage. It is for that reason that Black History Month continues to have great relevance.
By Devina SamarooA newly formed animal rights group is calling on the public to help with the elimination of the use of loud fireworks and other explosives typically used during the New Year celebration.Firecrackers on sale at Stabroek MarketThe Animal Rescue Adoption and Protection Society (ARAPS) is also calling on the Government of Guyana to lead by example and not use loud fireworks to beckon 2020.“There are alternatives to the use of fireworks, such as silent fireworks, laser lights, and drones, the organisation said.Fireworks mark various celebrations all over the world.It is unclear where fireworks originated but most historians believe it was invented in China and that the Chinese initially believed that it could be used to scare away evil spirits.In Guyana, firecrackers and fireworks are widely used for a number of festivals such as New Year, Diwali and the country’s Republic and Independence Anniversaries.More so, a lot of residents indulge in the usage of these explosive devices, though some were banned many years ago.Despite the ban, firecrackers and other explosives are prominently displayed and widely sold throughout peak seasons.Just in October 2019, the Guyana Police Force issued a reminder, warning that vendors caught selling these goods will be arrested and charged.The Force reflected that in the past, the devices have caused grievous bodily harm to adults and children.Harm to AnimalsBut according to the ARAPS, it also results in significant harm to animals.It pointed out that the function of hearing in animals is much more sensitive than it is in humans.“Fireworks can emit sounds of up to 190 decibels (110 to 115 decibels above the range of 75 to 80 decibels where the damage to the human ear begins) and can lead to the loss of hearing and tinnitus.”As a result, the explosions of fireworks are not only more painful to them but can cause severe damage to their hearing.In addition to these impairments, the sound effects of fireworks cause animals to become anxious and timid, the organisation explained.“Repetitive exposure to unexpected, random massive sonances can generate phobias in many animals, increasing panic reactions.”For instance, dogs are capable of hearing up to 60,000hz, while humans cannot hear anything above 20,000hz.“This auditory acuity of dogs is one of the reasons the sound of fireworks can be so harmful to them, displaying signs of overwhelming anxiety as they are unable to escape from the noise,” ARAPS stated.Common reactions are freezing or paralysis, uncontrolled attempts to escape and hide, and tremors.Other more intense signs may also be present, such as salivation, tachycardia, emotional vocalisations, urination or defecation, heightened activity, hyper-alertness, and gastrointestinal disorders.Horses have a very similar reaction to dogs. They can suddenly feel threatened by fireworks due to their hypervigilance since they are always on high alert.“As a result, horses and dogs tend to try to flee, potentially causing damage to property, traffic accidents, and severe harm to themselves,” ARAPS explained.Birds also affected“The noise of firecrackers can cause birds to experience tachycardia and even death by fright. The high degree of stress birds encounter indicates by the fact that birds may temporarily or permanently abandon their nesting areas, causing them to crash into a building and to experience disorientation.” And in many cases, animals may take weeks to recover from that traumatising experience.AlternativesWhile many look forward to the colourful display in the night skies, there are quieter alternatives.In 2018, the city of Banff ditched its conventional fireworks display for a “quiet fireworks” show for Canada Day.Basically, the vibrant flashy colours remained while the traditional bangs, crackles and whistles were minimised.And other options like lasers and drones guarantee a similar ‘firework’ experience without damage to animals and even the environment.American cities in states like California, Arizona and Colorado used drones to put on light shows for the Fourth of July last year to reduce the likelihood of wildfires.However, these alternatives do come with challenges.Quiet fireworks may not go as high as traditional fireworks due to weaker chemical composition. And, drones and lasers are expensive. For drones, each display may need over 100 devices and it will have to be programmed and tested before the real show.AppealBut when it comes to firecrackers, the animal rights organisation is urging persons not to use them.“This New Year, animals are at your mercy, please do not use loud bombs,” ARAPS pleaded.“Furthermore, please ensure that children or even adults do not play pranks by throwing bombs at animals or tying crackers to their tails. Yes, this has happened in the past,” the organisation pointed out.ARAPS is also advising pet owners to keep their pets indoors and supervised to prevent them from escaping.“Let us all strive to be smarter and better human beings by caring for our voiceless friends. Use this season of celebrating goodness, affection, and the act of kindness to spread happiness and inclusivity, and collectively be a citizenry that cares and respects all living things.”ARAPS was formed in November 2019 by a group of animal activists including Shari Rodrigues Dasilva, Alana Singh, Nikie Ramnarace, Tricia Azaire, Melissa Ramdeen, Kesharie Singh, Tammy Quail, Saleema Haniff, Nicole Patricia, Syeada Manbodh, Noreen Gaskin and Micaela Ross.Its mission focuses on eradicating animal cruelty while promoting awareness, rescue aids, and housing for all animals.