Aaron Gordon scored 14 points and Nikola Vucevic had 12, but he did not play after leaving the court with a knee injury late in the third quarter. Mo Bamba had 12 rebounds in 18 minutes for the Magic, who opened a six-game trip by having a two-game winning streak snapped.Orlando led 14-4 in the opening minutes, but the Hornets answered with a 20-4 run over the next 4 ½ minutes. Charlotte’s first-quarter lead reached 36-23 after a dunk by Monk.Walker found Monk open in the corner for a 3-pointer as the first half clock expired, giving the Hornets a 63-53 lead.Marvin Williams, Willy Hernangomez and Devonte Graham added 10 points apiece for the Hornets.The Hornets got a boost off the bench from rookie guard Graham, who scored all his points in the third quarter, helping the Hornets extend their lead to 95-77 through three.TIP-INSMagic: D.J. Augustin (sprained right ankle) and Jonathan Simmons (sprained left ankle) did not play. Jerian Grant started in place of Augustin. . With the score tied at 18, Jonathan Isaac missed a breakaway dunk. The Hornets took their first lead on the next possession on Lamb’s runner and never trailed again.Hornets: Lamb played nine minutes and finished with nine points and hit all four of his shots. . Zeller also had six rebounds in 24 minutes.CLIFFORD RETURNSClifford’s Charlotte teams went 196-214 and made two playoff appearances. His first visit back came one day after the Magic’s 109-107 home win over Detroit, though, so it left little time to reminisce. Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker smiles while watching a free throw during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, in Charlotte, N.C. The Hornets won 125-100. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Even after losing two starters to injury, Charlotte coach James Borrego had reason to be encouraged.The Hornets’ 125-100 victory Monday night, their franchise-record 13th straight win over the Magic, included the kind of team play the first-year coach has been seeking.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “As you know, I loved my time here,” Clifford said before the game. “These back-to-backs man, it’s so hectic. We got here last night, I was up early, watched tape all day and just walked in here. So this wasn’t one of those trips where there was really much time to think about anything.”BOTH SIDES OF THE STREAKOddly, Clifford now finds himself on the other side of the Hornets’ 13-game win streak against the Magic. Instead of trying to add to it, he’d now like to end it.“I always felt like we played some of our best games, and I never thought it was a matchup or anything, but it’s something we have to figure out, obviously,” he said.UP NEXTMagic: Visit Bulls Wednesday.Hornets: Host Dallas Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Scandal and justice: #MeToo reached the sports world in 2018 LATEST STORIES “If nothing else worked, I would give it up,” he said. “But it was working tonight, so I’m just going to try to keep doing that.”Cody Zeller added 14 points in 24 minutes before fracturing a bone in his right hand in the third quarter. He will miss an unspecified amount of time, pending further evaluation.“I feel bad for Cody because he’s having such a great year, a big year for us,” Borrego said. “It’s just an unfortunate break for him.”Jeremy Lamb strained his right hamstring in the first quarter and also did not return.The Hornets improved to 18-18 with their second win in three games.ADVERTISEMENT “I think there was an unselfish spirit out there,” Borrego said. “It started with the first group. The second group came in, and they kept it moving. I felt, for the most part for 48 minutes, it was a very complete, unselfish ball-movement game.”Kemba Walker scored 24 points in just 27 minutes. He had 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the first half and did not play in the fourth quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissMalik Monk added 21 points as the Hornets put six players in double figures in the easy victory over the Magic and Steve Clifford, who coached Charlotte for five seasons.It was Monk’s fourth 20-point game in 32 appearances this season, after he had five all of last year. Monk said he wants to bring energy off the bench and “attack, attack, attack.” Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption View comments Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk
Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES View comments Manny Pacquiao discouraging son from going into boxing Switzerland’s Roger Federer, centre, poses for a selfie with supporters, during a pre-event of the Laver Cup, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, February 8, 2019. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)MADRID — Roger Federer will play at the Madrid Open as part of his return to the clay court.Organizers say the 20-time Grand Slam champion will participate in the tournament from May 3-12.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Read Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil The 37-year-old Federer didn’t play in clay tournaments for two seasons, but said he will be back this year as he prepares for his first French Open appearance since 2015.Federer is the second most successful player at the Madrid Open with three titles, behind five-time champion Rafael Nadal. Federer’s last Madrid title came in 2012.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsNadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic are also expected to play in Madrid this year. Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines?
Funeral arrangements for the late South African President Nelson Mandela have been announced as follows:Sunday, Dec 8: Nat’l Day of Prayer and ReflectionTuesday, Dec 10: Memorial service in Soccer City, Soweto, where Mandela made his last public appearance Memorial service at Centennial Pavilion in MonroviaDec 11 – Dec14: Mandela’s body will lie in State at the Government Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of governmentSunday, Dec 15 (6 a.m. GMT / 1 a.m. EST) : State burial in Qunu, Eastern Cape, where Mandela grew up. The funeral is expected to blend Christian, tradition Xhosa and State burial rites.(Courtesy of Euronews.com)The anti-apartheid icon passed away at 95.President Jacob Zuma annouonced Mandela’s passing on national television in South Africa. Mr. Mandela died peacefully at his home in Johannesburg, Zuma said. Cable News Network (CNN) aired live coverage of South Africans celebrating Mandela’s life in songs reminiscent of the anti-apartheid struggle he led. CNN also aired a photo of Mandela with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.World leaders such as US President BArack Obama as well as Britain’s Tony Blair and David Cameron made internationally televised statements mourning the tragic loss of an icon. It is expected that scores of heads of state will be in attendance at Mandela’s funeral.More to follow as it unfolds….Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Liberian nation is at war again. The situation is so grave that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last night declared a 90-day state of emergency. She said this may require the suspension of certain constitutional liberties. The Liberian people are bracing themselves to see what direction this might take. The war this time, fortunately, it is not so much us versus us, even though there is some evidence of that; but particularly us versus the deadly Ebola virus, which has inflicted a terrible calamity upon the nation and the Mano River basin, resulting in hundreds of deaths and uncontrollably increasing new infections.Just yesterday news broke about a new area under attack, Kakata, one of our most central cities, through which thousands of people pass daily traveling to the central, western and southeastern parts of the country. Kakata is also one of our educational centers, home to the nation’s oldest and leading vocational and technical institution, Booker Washington Institute. Kakata is also the epicenter of one of the nation’s most important economic activities, the rubber industry, in which tens of thousands of Liberians are employed. In the past two days four health workers have died and 11 others infected at Kakata’s C.H. Rennie Hospital. The Health Ministry is relocating the infected to quarantine facilities in Monrovia. We said earlier that there is self-inflicted harm also, evidenced by marauding criminals poisoning wells in various communities, with dangerous chemicals. The police in Monrovia are in denial of this dangerous new menace, but just as they were issuing a new statement of denial Thursday, reports came in from our Nimba correspondent, Ishmael Menkor, that at two a.m. that same morning a well in a family compound had been burst open by unknown persons and allegedly poisoned.This is a matter that requires the engagement of the entire Joint Security; for there are many places in Margibi County and Monrovia, the nation’s capital, where poisoning activities have been reported. And now Ganta.Our most serious challenge at this time, however, is the combat against the deadly Ebola virus, which has already claimed over 200 lives and hundreds of new infections in country, and over 1000 deaths among Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Now Nigeria, where a Liberian official collapsed and died at the Lagos airport, is at risk of the Ebola spread. The official had been in contact with his Ebola-sick sister before he, ignoring the advice of many, boarded a plane to Nigeria for a meeting.He ended up carrying this deadly disease to Africa’s most populous country. The Lagos nurse who treated him has also reportedly died.President Sirleaf now has to develop and announce to Liberians the new strategies she and her officials are putting into place for the intensified anti-Ebola battle. She also now has to explain what she means by the suspension of certain constitutional rights and privileges, for which she must seek legislative approval. She has to make a strong and carefully crafted case, for this is not the same nation before 1980, when the True Whig Party’s rubber stamp Legislature handed President W.V.S. Tubman each year, as long as he wanted it, Emergency Powers that allowed him to jail anybody at will or take any administrative action he wished. Liberians have since 2006 enjoyed and become accustomed to a new dispensation, made possible by the active reengagement of the 1986 Constitution which President Sirleaf, in keeping with the oaths she took in January 2006 and 2012, respectively, has striven to uphold. Ours is once again a multiparty democracy. But given the exigencies of the moment, and Ebola uncontrollably spreading, the Legislature may accede to the President’s request for a state of emergency to deal with this extraordinary situation. But what measures are to be put into place, whether they will be able to arrest the deadly viral spread, and how will the emergency affect the daily lives of citizens and residents, remain to be seen.Health workers are most likely to be among the groups expected to be affected by the emergency. Since so many of them have stayed away from work for fear of infection, the emergency may force them to report back to duty. The least GOL can do to ensure their return to duty, is to provide each with full protective gear, food, fluids and everything else that their safety and wellbeing demand. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Executive Mansion has rejected categorically a very detailed research document by three Muslim “women’s rights activists” from the Middle East, disclosing a purported plan by Saudi Arabia to Islamize the entire world, including using Liberia as a fertile ground for its plans for West Africa.According to the 14-page comprehensive and detailed essay by the three women—Anahita Ghorbani, Iranian women’s rights activist, Yafiah Assouin, PhD, Syrian women’s rights activist and Shada Al Zahrani, Saudi journalist, “The Saudis’ plan for Liberia is first to ensure that a candidate of Muslim faith and background contests and wins the Liberian presidency. “To do this, the Saudis brought the Kuwaitis on board to influence Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in identifying and supporting such candidate. The bottom-line is to make Liberia an indirect Muslim nation through the application of aspects of the Sharia law when at such time a Muslim becomes president,” the three women scholars said among other things.This has not gone unnoticed by the Government of Liberia, which has reacted sharply through the Executive Mansion to the allegation made by these women.GOL Reaction The Executive Mansion issued a statement on Monday saying that Government of Liberia has seen and analyzed the article entitled, “The Syrian War, Saudi Arabia’s Struggle for Global Influence, and Control of Africa,” written by one Anahita Ghorbani and published on the online website, Elombah.com.“The article makes certain references to Liberia’s relations with some countries in the Middle East, the perceived religious divide in our country, and cast aspersion on the First Family with absolutely no respect for truth and objectivity”, the Executive Mansion statement says. “It is an article written to provoke and incite with the intention of wiping up religious hatred and division at a time when our country is undergoing reconstruction and searching for reconciliation with full democratic participation of all our people.”According to an Executive Mansion release, the intention of the author is plain: “to drive a wedge between our people based on religious intolerance and ethnic hatred. The article is written with bias and utter contempt for the intelligence of our people who have survived wars, bitterness and countless tragedies in their history and are now trying to rebuild their lives and reconstruct their country for the benefit of all their children.“This Republic is noted for religious tolerance and ethnic cooperation in nation building. The Constitution of our Republic protects all and sundry irrespective of creed or ethnicity. The democratic space which is evolving has its foundation in our Constitution which protects and promotes life, liberty and human development.“An article written with malice and meant to undermine the unity and progress of our people is unworthy of the noble ethics of Journalism. It approaches the Liberian reality with shortsightedness and falsehood. It is a pitiful attempt to distort and thus deserves our condemnation and rejection.“One has the right to write and speak responsibly with the intention of enlightening minds but not the right to distort, besmear and propagate falsehood with the obvious intention of promoting strife among the people.“The Government of Liberia takes very seriously its responsibility toward the safety and protection of its people. It understands the mandate given it by the people of Liberia to build a country of equal justice, religious tolerance and the democratic participation of all. It is in this light that it condemns unreservedly all attempts to divide our people and put us on the path of ethnic cleansing and religious bigotry.“The publication as established is filled with lies, deception and falsehood. The writers exert that President Sirleaf was once a Muslim by marriage and that her late husband was also a Muslim. While the right to a choice of religion is personal and guaranteed under Liberian laws and that the President would have committed no crime if she or her late husband were Muslims, the assertion is simply false and misleading.“The truth is that the President’s late husband was a devout United Methodist, a factor that moved President Sirleaf over from the Presbyterian Church to becoming Methodist.The writer also referenced ULIMO-J, a warring faction during the Liberian crisis, as Muslim dominated faction. This falsehood can best be judged by Liberians since they are fully aware of the composition of ULIMO-J then.“As the backdrop of all these misleading information, the Government wonders as to how anyone could give credence to such mischief.”Editor’s Note:The Liberian Daily Observer Newspaper has always prided itself in taking great pains to handle sensitive stories with the greatest professionalism and care. By the same token, however, never have we decided not to publish a plausible story just because it is controversial. We believe that in this day and age of Boko Haram-style terrorism that has terrorized an entire nation, absolutely NOTHING is to be dismissed or taken for granted. Every hint, clue and morsel of intelligence must be analyzed and sifted through. The fact that there will be some parts that are far-fetched does not warrant dismissing the entire document.It is against this background that the Liberian Observer finds the Executive Mansion’s response dangerously short-sighted. The Observer story did point out the parts of the story it found to be factually incorrect, such as the allegation that Sirleaf was once a practicing Muslim. Upon receiving the report, the Observer immediately contacted the Executive Mansion for a reaction (which was never received until after the story was published). The Executive Mansion was expected to take its time to analyze the document, conduct an investigation and ask the relevant questions. Such was the purpose of the publication.What we do understand, however, is that if a Nigerian newspaper had published this document 10 years ago, the Nigerian government would have had the same response: “Our people are united; that could never happen here.” Today, the Boko Haram terrorist movement has spread far beyond the Nigerian government’s capacity to handle.If even the United States lived to regret ignoring similar intelligence reports, how can a small nation such as Liberia be so short-sightedly dismissive?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,Four years ago, the World Health Organisation reported that Guyana had the highest suicide rate in the world. As the country was sent in a panic over this surprising statistic, the Ministry of Public Health launched their “National Suicide Prevention Plan,” and other organisations created campaigns geared toward providing help to persons affected by depression, suicidal thoughts etc. However, this “surprise” shouldn’t be surprising at all. In our society, there aren’t many places that offer reliable professional help. Yes, there are places, but are they available on every two corners, like a rum shop is?In addition to that, some environments hinder the expression of people. Sharing our bad feelings is often deemed a form of weakness, or a vulnerable characteristic flaw that shouldn’t be tolerated. Building strength doesn’t mean taking away our vulnerabilities; acknowledging the existence of our vulnerabilities can make us stronger.Despite that belief occasionally “coming from a good place”, it can cause isolation among other negatively impactful practices. As such, it is important for people to fully comprehend ways to be more vigilant, honest, and to express our willingness to help. Even though we can’t say the ideal phrases to a person in need, we can always offer a simple but potent comfort. “If I can’t help you, I will help you to get help”. That’s a tagline that ASPIRE Youth Network Guyana uses during its facilitative sessions with youth.A common misconception is that suicide is selfish. Ultimately, none of us can see a person hurting mentally. We can see the physical symptoms that can accompany depression, but unless we are the prototype of Professor Xavier, we can’t see what others feel. However, we can acknowledge the warning signs of a person who may be sad or depressed.There are reasons why people say suicide is selfish. People can say that statement to shift the blame on the person who has died. Families and friends affected by the loss of their loved ones can experience situational depression, substance abuse etc. Persons experiencing suicidal thoughts can experience distorted thinking due to their overwhelming feelings of depression, emotional detachment from their loved ones, despair etc. This distorted thinking can prevent persons from perceiving reality. As reality can be interpreted in a number of ways, depression can serve as an influencing factor in how persons perceive themselves in the lives of their families or friends.All of that being said, how can we prevent suicide? Some people remind the person of their vibrant life and its possibilities, or they talk about the effect their death can have on their family. However, such an approach isn’t effective, since it doesn’t address the problem. Depression usually occurs for a number of reasons. I prefer not to list reasons, since I believe that a person’s sadness or depressive symptoms cannot be categorised by which is the most severe.In relation to suicide, the Criminal Offences Act contains a deeply flawed law. Section 96 contains the following excerpt: “Everyone who attempts to commit suicide shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and (be) liable to imprisonment for two years.” Now, that fact is surprising. Weirdly enough, this particular section doesn’t take into consideration providing any professional help to persons who have survived a suicide attempt.After a suicide attempt, a person would need a strong support system that can ensure that their life doesn’t feel as hopeless as it did before. Furthermore, there can be a sense of disapproval from the persons who would ultimately have been affected by this suicidal attempt. This shame or guilt felt by the friends and family members of the survivor can cause them to try to make things better. This can be positive or negative, depending on the course of action taken. A negative course of action would be informing the person of the “mistake” they would have committed if they would have died. A positive course of action would be listening to what the person says or doesn’t say. Afterwards, you can provide an infinite amount of support through advocating the importance of taking care of their mental health, and sharing information on places to go for professional help.It must be noted that the survivor’s family or counsellor would need to know what caused them to attempt to commit suicide in the first place. Once you are fully aware of what transpired, you can think of different methods that can aid them in having a healthy recovery.For this article, I’ve remained stable. However, there are days when I don’t feel like this. Sometimes I feel like I’m invisible and just “going through the motions”. I’ve noticed that I am not the only person who feels like this. Perhaps you have felt, or are currently feeling, something like that. I can’t see who you are, and I may never have the chance to know you — the real you, not the person you pretend to be at work, to your friends, or on social media, but the person you view yourself as. We may not know each other, but we should always remember that we aren’t alone. Our experiences can make us feel far more connected than blood.I hope that you have a strong support system, like I do. If you don’t have one, you can send a message to ASPIRE Youth Network Facebook Page. We are a group of young people who also have good and bad days. If we can’t help you, we will help you to get help.Regards,Juliana Lopes
Dear Editor,I must thank the Honourable Minister Ronald Bulkan for taking time-off from his ‘busy’ schedule to address my letter which he described as ‘misleading conjectures’. However, this will not invalidate the veracity of the content therein.Editor, allow me to inform the Communities Minister that whenever I give my views; my personal view and not the views of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). The only person who speaks on behalf of the PPP is the General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo. I spoke of ‘change’ since this is the mantra of Bulkan’s Government, hence, when I asked the rhetorical question: What differences have Local Government Elections and governance made to your lives and communities?I was alluding to that change which was promised. We expected to see vast improvements and progress above what is already achieved by these Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC). It was in this context that I have said: ‘I am absolutely sure that nothing much has changed in your communities or lives.’ Where is the ‘good life’ Minister Bulkan?Bulkan boasted about the increase of subvention from $3 million to $4 million, a mere 25 per cent over a three-year period. One million cannot even repair one street in an NDC area. How can NDCs be empowered when they desperately lack resources?No amount of training can empower anyone without resources and this Government has been very selective in allocating the resources. For instance, the Fyrish NDC which is controlled by Bulkan’s party was gifted a brand new long boom Hymac to remain in that NDC while the neighbouring NDC, which is controlled by the PPP, was given a small Hymac which was taken away months ago and sent to Georgetown under the pretext of repairs. Why is it that a Hymac in operable condition was sent for repairs in Georgetown?Bulkan also boasted about the return of Local Government Elections after two decades but he has failed to mention the gerrymandering which he has done to obtain for his party a political advantage in future elections. This is in addition to the many electoral frauds aided by the Guyana Elections Commission which is being perpetrated by his party and the Alliance For Change. Is this the restoration of local democracy by this Government? No! It is the restoration of the electoral fraud which the People’s National Congress is adept at.Furthermore, this Government’s link of taxes to economic development is stupefying and gross insanity. This Government believes that the NDCs should implement an increase in rates and taxes and only this can empower the NDC to carry out developmental works.I have stated in my letter that even in NDCs and municipalities controlled by the A Partnership for National Unity and where they imposed 100 per cent taxes, nothing has changed. I said Government needs to pump more resources into the LAAs. Already the residents are faced with an increase in their cost of living by skyrocketing increases in more than 200 taxes, closure of estates, dismissal of thousands on sugar workers, the decline in rice production and many other negative variables so it will be disastrous to bleed these people any further. Bukan and his colleagues are enjoying their humongous salary increases, perks and other benefits so what do they care about the common man.Is Bulkan trying to postulate that LAAs should generate all the resources needed to efficiently run them? This is totally asinine! LAAs can only do so much for their respective communities, it is the Central Government which must make up for the deficit in the budgets of these entities and ensure development is taking place.How many communities have Bulkan visited to see what is needed and what can be done? This Government feels that the holding of LGE is the panacea for all the ills facing our communities. It is time that this Government gives realistic subventions which can be used to do tangible development in the LAAs and at the same time take up the slack to ensure that all the LAAs are developed evenly regardless of perceived political affiliations.Lastly, Bulkan should also reply to me as to the reason why subventions are still to be disbursed to many of the NDCs, his selective nitpicking of my letter will not absolve him from the inefficiency and incompetence of his Ministry and his Government.This is clearly an attempt to make the 75 per cent PPP controlled NDCs look bad before the upcoming LGE. Guyanese are conscious that Minister Bulkan’s Government and his party is squeezing Guyanese to extract money that they don’t have that is like “squeezing stone to extract blood “.Yours sincerely,Zamal Hussain
Dear Editor,Even with a small population like ours, the chance of one becoming a Member of Parliament is slim to none. But if you’re fortunate in your lifetime to have this great honour bestowed upon you, nothing matters more than putting the interest of Guyana and her people above all… above self.Do the right thing and you will be forever respected as a patriot, a person of integrity, of high moral values, and a champion of the poor and downtrodden. But if you don’t, you become a Moses Nagamootoo or a Khemraj Ramjattan, despised by many for betraying everything they once stood for to cling to position and power.With a few exceptions, the ruckus behaviour of Government MPs that completely drowned out the entire speech made in the National Assembly by the Leader of the Opposition on the No-confidence Motion (NCM), clearly defines their characters and expose the lowness of those who serve in the highest decision-making forum of Government.As a Member of Parliament, I am often embarrassed and appalled at the lack of decorum and unparliamentary language and behaviour displayed by some in the National Assembly. Some Government Ministers have no ethics and etiquette. Yet these are the people who represent us at international forums with world leaders and their representatives, and who are given the powers to implement laws that affect the lives of every citizen here.Then there are others like Nagamootoo and Ramjattan who now willingly betray the principles upon which the AFC was formed and shamelessly defend the transgressions committed by this Government to protect the grandeur and perks they now enjoy as members of Cabinet.Thankfully, not everyone fits this description. Some, I know, are genuinely concerned that Guyana is headed in the wrong direction, and would do a Charrandas if they weren’t so afraid for their own safety and the wellbeing of their families.Just yesterday, it was reported in the State newspaper that Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, who is often above the fray, wrote in a letter to the Canadian High Commissioner that he was “unaware of any threat” to Charrandas Persaud that would have even required consular protection.Even this career politician who has now distinguished himself as an elder statesman after once presiding over the worst economic period that helped bankrupt the nation during his tenure as the PNC Government Minister of Finance and Planning, seems afraid to condemn his PNC colleague Jennifer Wade, the Region 5 Government MP, whose voice can be clearly identified saying, “Charrandas, you gon dead tonight.”Surely the Hon Carl Greenidge must have heard this distinct threat himself from the thousands of video clips played over and over again in news reports and in the public domain on social media. But as decent as Greenidge is, he too must be afraid and is too old to go up against the dangerous PNC to ruin his chances of becoming APNU’s Presidential Candidate to contest the upcoming elections. For despite the earlier pronouncements by Volda Lawrence and Joseph Harmon, I really don’t believe President Granger will ever run again.It is an undisputed fact that on that fateful evening of December 21, 2018, the Opposition motion was successfully carried, and the Government fell.Now, like a drowning man, they are desperately grasping at straws to cling to power. Since then, Government has been stubbornly and shamelessly defiant of the Constitution, pursuing a series of frivolous actions to stop the inevitable – The resignation of the Cabinet including the President and new elections within three months according to Article 106 (6) of the Constitution. One cannot simply change the rules in his favour after the game has been played and lost.The Charrandas vote in favor of the NCM has been totally ventilated. It is now time to move on. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you’re on, the next few days will determine just how far one is prepared to go without compromising one’s integrity and political career. The intent of Government Ministers will be scrutinised and characters questioned.I am sure that if asked, every Guyanese would say that they’re a patriot. But how many, like myself, would willingly risk their lives for this country? And to a lesser extent, how many would sacrifice their jobs, insecure though it may be at this time, to prevent Guyana from turning into a pariah state?For selfish reasons, I wager not many would do it. But I’m equally confident there are still good patriotic men and women whose loyalty to Guyana and her people is above reproach.Both Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are too far gone, post-mortem don’t ever bring back the dead. But there are others in the AFC that should be concerned about their own political careers and the need to make amends for the betrayal inflicted upon their own supporters who once believed the AFC to have noble intentions. It is not too late.It is to those and other Government Ministers that I make this appeal to put Guyana first. Save our nation from a constitutional crisis that will result in lawlessness, chaos, and the embarrassment of being the laughing stock of the Caribbean and the rest of the world.As an individual with a conscience, you can resign now to protect what’s left of your integrity, credibility and your political and professional career. In a few short months, this Government will be forced to debit office and Guyana will be under new management. But you don’t have to go down like rats on a sinking ship to avoid being called a “traitor” and other derogatory names, you have a duty to put Guyana first. And with a clear conscience, justify your resignation from Government as your patriotic duty to the pledge you took as a Member of Parliament.Sincerely,Harry GillPPP/C Member ofParliament
– acidity high in riverBY INDRAWATTIE NATRAMCouncillor Vilma Da SilvaPeople’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Councillor Vilma Da Silva noted great concerns at the Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam) RDC statutory meeting over the lack of potable water in Pomeroon.According to Da Silva the acidity level in the river is significantly high and persons cannot use it for domestic purposes. This is posing serious challenges as there are no other source of fresh water available neither do persons have containers to store water if they get any.Da Silva described the situation as frustrating and requested the RDC to represent the interest of persons living in the Pomeroon River. She disclosed that some persons do not have any option and are often forced to use the high acidic water which is posing serious health issues.“The people in Pomeroon are forced to bathe with salt water, the crops are dying due to the salt water, we need help due to the dry weather, persons need fresh water and are requesting black tanks from the government,” Da Silva explained.She also reported that children have developed health problems such as rashes and skin infections. Da Silva is of the opinion that the problem could be resolved if the RDC through the REO, Rupert Hopkinson, approve the purchase of black tanks.She also suggested if filled tanks are placed at certain locations then persons can paddle to have access.At that point another PPP\C councillor Brian Persaud supported Da Silva’s call for black tanks to be gifted to the people of Pomeroon to ease their burdens.Persaud said he also received complaints that the water in the Pomeroon has become unsafe for families especially children to consume. The councillors are therefore seeking the RDC’s intervention or Central Government attention into the matter.
… says One Laptop Per Teacher limits ICT coverageThen President Bharrat Jagdeo presenting a laptop to students of the Abrams Zuil Secondary School, at the launch of the One Laptop Per Family initiative in January 2011Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo has taken to task the A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration over the dismantling of the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) initiative and replacing it with the One Laptop Per Teacher (OLPT) programme recently launched by President David Granger, saying that it will defeat the aim of bringing all Guyanese into the Information Communications Technology loop.Jagdeo while responding to an address to parliamentarians by President Granger during Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly told a news conference on Thursday that with the new initiative that was launched on October 5, 2016 to mark World Teacher’s Day, will disenfranchise many households, while others could potentially benefit from multiple computers.Jagdeo, while acknowledging that there were some problems with the OLPF initiative, including instances where computers ended up in the hands of those who should not have benefitted, said that the programme would have provided a wider ICT coverage in the country.President David Granger launches One Laptop Per Teacher initiative on World Teacher’s Day, October 5, 2016He explained that the idea was to ensure that at least 100,000 poor families receive a computer, including families of teachers.The former president, the brainchild behind the OLPF initiative which was launched back in 2011, said with the OLPT the access will be limited to a few households.“If you have three teachers from a single household, you will have three computers in one household but you would not have in another household that doesn’t have a teacher, but if every family got a computer, then every member of that family including the teacher would have had access to it,” Jagdeo explained.The Opposition Leader also explained that the OLPF initiative also catered for at least 100 Amerindian communities having access to computers and internet service as part of bridging the digital divide between the coastland and the hinterland, but expressed dissatisfaction that under the current dispensation this would not be possible.“2000 of the 100,000 (laptops) should have gone to 100 Amerindian villages that we prepared already the hubs for, etc, they are not getting those anymore,” Jagdeo said.President Granger during his address, boasted that his government’s e-governance programme will eventually network all government agencies and facilitate efficient data-sharing between government agencies, with internet connectivity of government buildings be extended.“Every government building – including airports, hospitals, markets, police stations, post offices and schools – will have access to the internet in coming years,” Granger told Government parliamentarians after an Opposition boycott of the speech.But Jagdeo said that Granger’s pronouncement has no newness since already the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government was doing just that before it lost last year’s national elections, pointing to a programme with a Chinese technology company which was being rolled out.“The US$30 million project with Huawei was to do a number of things, including connecting every government office. So when he (President Granger) says this about connecting post office and schools, hospitals, etc, that was a part of our project, it’s nothing new,” Jagdeo stated.Jagdeo said the President’s talk about ICT development in Guyana were not based on his personal knowledge but rather, he was just reading a speech given to him, totally oblivious of the fact that his so-called announcements were not new.“When he comes and talk about ICT development, he is just repeating few of the PPP plans without having the comprehensive knowledge,” the former President stated. Jagdeo also accused the coalition government of taking a PPP/C-drafted bill to liberalise the local telecommunications sector to Parliament and had it passed as though it was the work of the coalition government.