Minister Cathy Hughes sitting on her hands – Jinnah Rahman #guyana

Even, after the President Granger appointed a SPECIAL Minister to sort out our main telecommunications and internet systems – citizens have not felt that dramatic shift that is necessary in the interest of customers and the economic development of Guyana – as whole.
GT&T has held the MONOPOLY of this country’s telecommunication system since 1990 – when the PNC government under Desmond Hoyte sold our assets to foreign companies, in an effort to salvage the economy after the death of Forbes Burnham.
Minister Cathy Hughes, an AFC executive member, has done very little to revolutionise the telecommunications system in Guyana – bringing it into the 21st, century. All we see – is her pretty face and lots of hot air, making us all look like fools. GT&T has carried her in “circles”. One has to ask : “how involved she may be in trying to deal with that company’s control of our communication system”? Continue reading “Minister Cathy Hughes sitting on her hands – Jinnah Rahman #guyana”

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Bharrat Jagdeo is not above the law – Jinnah Rahman

Jagdeo operated – not like a dignified President of Guyana, and that is why he believes that the current President, HE David Arthur Granger, is operating like him – a trickster and a “master at conspiracy theories”.

Granger is upright, he has no personal acts to grind. No one can accuse him of corruption, but there are questions about his sloth in taking actions against corruption, indolence and incompetence, which he has now begin to work on.

Mr. Harmon, the official spokesperson of the government, has outlined recently that the government will stamp out all forms laziness in the Public service and there will ACCOUNTABILITY at all levels of government. Continue reading “Bharrat Jagdeo is not above the law – Jinnah Rahman”

We must reject neo liberalism at University of Guyana – Gerald Perreira

The plan to raise tuition fees at the University of Guyana by a whopping 35% is a part of the shameful project to neo-liberalize the university. This is not something peculiar to Guyana; it is affecting universities in every country that are pursuing the neo-liberal capitalist agenda. The plan is to reshape the university from academy to corporate entity, where the profit motive reigns supreme, and where any discipline that is not considered ‘marketable’ is marginalized, with the aim of eventually removing it all together. Describing the neo-liberal university, Michael Rustin, a fierce critic of this commercialization of higher education says that “the university has to adopt the mind-set of a commercial provider or retailer…”Our current Vice-Chancellor, Ivelaw Griffith, is an advocate of this mindset, and I daresay was appointed to drive this agenda. This policy will have the same devastating effects at UG that it has had in so many other universities worldwide, that is, the restriction of access to higher education to a wealthy minority, coupled with a severe limiting of the entire scope and notion of education on offer. When this happens, it is our young people who suffer. Many will not be able to afford to attend university, and those who do manage to attend will lack the ability for critical thinking, because critical thinking can only be developed when education is holistic, integrative, comprehensive, and culturally relevant. To develop critical thinking, universities must provide knowledge not only in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, referred to as the STEM subjects, but also in such disciplines as philosophy, theology, history, political science, etc. However, the neo-liberal order has no desire to promote critical thinking, rather, under its auspices education has been reduced to mere certification to enter the marketplace.

Who would have believed that self-proclaimed progressive politicians such as Minister of Education Rupert Roopnaraine and his adviser, Vincent Alexander, would allow such a reactionary education agenda to be rolled out under their watch.

OVP’s 2015 manifesto clearly outlines our firm belief that education is a human right, and as such should be free for all citizens from nursery to university. Education is not a commodity to be determined by market forces. Do not be fooled by those who tell us that free education in Guyana is not viable and sustainable. Forbes Burnham was once asked by one of his cabinet ministers, “Can we afford free education?” His answer was, “Can we afford not to afford it”.

Burnham was correct. Studies on the relationship between education and economic growth and development confirm what we already know from common sense, that there is a strong correlation between access to education, the ability of the educated populace to critically think and problem-solve, and economic growth and prosperity.

With Guyana’s resources and the size of our population, free education is most definitely viable and a necessity if we are to build a real democracy. However, free education can only be realized when we have a government that has the courage and vision to move beyond the existing neo-liberal capitalist arrangement.

Across the globe, university lecturers and students are resisting the neo-liberalization of their universities and we in Guyana must do the same. Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP), along with UG lecturers, UGSS, UG students and all Guyanese youths who are hoping to pursue tertiary education, oppose the raising of tuition fees and other draconian measures being pursued. It is time to not only make education at the University of Guyana free, but also to use the wealth of this country to make UG a leading academic institution, respected regionally and globally. Believe me when I say it can be done.

Yours faithfully,

Gerald A Perreira

Leader

Organization for the Victory of

the People

Justice Franklin Holder’s Letter On The Contemptuous Behavior Of Basil Williams

The Honourable Chancellor (ag.)Madam Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, CCH.
The High Court of the Supreme Court,
Georgetown.

Dear Madam Chancellor,

RE: REPORT ON CONTEMPTUOUS BEHAVIOUR OF MR BASIL WILLIAMS SC.

I would like to report an incident which occurred on the 23rd day of March, 2017, in the matter of the Application by Carvil Duncan, during the cross-examination of a witness by Mr Basil Williams, SC.

The Attorneys-at-Law in court at the time, including Mr Williams, were Ms Sam and Ms Stuart who were with him, and Mr Nandlall and Mr Jaigobin who appeared for the applicant.

During the cross-examination of the witness, Mr Williams had asked a question, the answer to which I initially recorded as “yes”. However, because of what the witness said immediately after and Mr Williams’ desire to cross-examine her on a document which she had prepared and for which he was making application to have admitted into evidence, I crossed out the answer “yes”.

Further into his cross-examination Mr Williams made certain statements which suggested that it was his belief, that the witness had said “yes”, and that this was the record of the Court. On recognising Mr Williams’ misconception of this part of the evidence, I then read aloud the record of the court in this regard. I further offered that he may ask the witness the question again if he so desired, since the record showed that there was no answer to the question. Mr Williams did not do so.

However, he proceeded to ask other questions of the witness, the answer to one of which, the witness said “no”. Upon the witness saying this, Mr. Williams, in a rather loud and bellicose tone said that I, the judge, must record “no” (in my Minute Book). I then said to him that a record is being made that the witness did say “no”. Apparently, not being satisfied with my assurance, Mr Williams followed up with words to the effect, that previously the witness had said yes and the court chose not to make a record of this. I then told Mr Williams that I took umbrage to his tone and what he was insinuating, which was in effect, that the Court was being selective in recording the evidence.

Mr Williams, in a truculent manner, while standing in the well of the court, responded by saying that the last person who told him what he should not say, was a Magistrate and he is now dead. He further said that “all morning Mr Nandlall disrespecting you, and you have not done anything about it.” This was, however, not a true statement of what had occurred. This was followed by a most egregious statement by Mr Williams, that “I could say what I want to say and when I want to say it, I have always been like that.”

Immediately after hearing these words, I rose from the Bench and went into my Chambers. I did not adjourn the matter, nor did I give any instructions to the parties.

I recognise Mr Williams’ behaviour as I have related to be insulting, disrespectful, and calculated to scandalise and lower the authority of the Court in the face of the Court.

Mr Williams’ behaviour was highly contemptuous and deserving of him being cited for contempt in the face of the Court. Instead of doing so at that moment, I chose to leave the Bench.

However, it does not mean that Mr Williams’ behaviour should go unattended. He is not only a Senior Counsel, he is also the Attorney General and leader of the Bar. His behaviour begs the question, whether he is respectful and aware of the functions and duties that attend these offices.

I am not prepared to sit to hear Mr Williams as an Attorney-at-Law in any matter whatsoever, unless he makes a genuine and meaningful apology to my satisfaction, in open Court, both to me and to the Members of the Bar, since they too were scandalized by his despicable conduct.