Dear Editor,I wish to bring to the attention of the general public and the relevant authorities the unprofessionalism and slothfulness of the Government Valuation Office when it comes to completing a valuation of a property. Since last month I have been following up a request for a valuation to be completed on a property that I am about to sell. I have been given the royal run-around and there appears to be no end in sight.In March 2018, the GRA issued a statement indicating that it “wishes to announce that with immediate effect, a valuation is not required when applying for a Certificate of Compliance to transfer land or property by way of sale, gift or tender. This intervention is intended to relieve the procedural strain and burden on the taxpayers”. This information can be corroborated from the GRA’s website via the link:https://www.gra.gov.gy/publications/press-releases/797-valuation-not-required-for-land-property-certificate-of-compliance.Nevertheless, there is still a need for a Valuation Certificate to be done since it is required by the banks when they are being requested to finance a property acquisition. In this case, this is exactly what has happened; the proposed buyer needs a loan from the bank and has requested a valuation before an agreement of sale and purchase is signed, which is of course, very reasonable.I first contacted the Valuation Office in the last week of January and was told that the valuation would take “a couple days”. It has now been over two weeks and I am still without a valuation after several frustrating follow-up calls and visits to the Valuation Office.After several frustrating attempts to follow-up with Mr Paul (the Valuator), last week I attempted to speak with Mr Barrington, who oversees the Valuation Office, however, this has proven futile since he is always “busy” or “out of office”.Last week, I was told by Mr Paul to come on Friday at 13:30h to collect the valuation. When I arrived, I was told that Mr Barrington had to sign the document and he would not be in office until Monday. I was requested to visit the office once again on Monday morning. I visited again, as requested, at 10h and was once again told that Mr Barrington “has not come in as yet” and I should visit in the afternoon at 14:00h. I complied and visited at 14:00h, but still, Mr Barrington had not signed the valuation as he was “busy and only came in for a few minutes and then left”.Editor, I am an understanding person and know that at times these officials can be busy but what is so difficult in having an alternate sign off a document in your absence. I have already paid the fees for the valuation and I am currently at the mercy of the Valuation Office.I can only hope and pray that when I do eventually get the document the potential buyer is still interested. I have turned away other enquires about the property since I already committed to selling to an individual, however, she and I cannot go ahead with the agreement until a valuation is done and the bank gives its approval of the financing. I have, thus far, expended significant time and finances in this process and I am frustrated and fed up.Yours Sincerely,Name and addressprovided
Dear Editor,Over the past few days, I have attended the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, with its expansive display by hundreds of companies and countries, including Guyana, as well as conference sessions and collateral events.Guyana is well represented at this conference, and it must be a fascinating reality check for many of us, I would think.I have always been aware that our oil and gas industry would be a boost to our economy, but must admit that what I have learnt during this conference has really opened my eyes to the enormity of the positive impact this sector can have on the quality of life of the Guyanese people; if we manage it well and confront some of the challenges, including social ills such as human trafficking, which are likely to intensify as our level of prosperity is heightened.I really hope that all Guyanese, especially our politicians, can come to grips with the reality that if they do what is right they could chart a course that would provide for every Guyanese to enjoy a quality of life about which they never dreamt.On Wednesday there was a session on Guyana, which focused on sustainable development of Guyana’s oil and gas industry. It was a good panel discussion. While much of the information was not new, what made it useful were the perspectives offered about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (swot) which the sector must analyse and address.One panellist spoke of the “complex political structure” in Guyana, which I interpreted to be among the challenges which must be addressed if the sector is to realise its full potential to be of benefit to each and every Guyanese.I would hope that, in quick time, the political structure of Guyana would change via constitutional reform. In the meantime, however, it is my fervent wish that the political culture in Guyana would change even sooner, thereby providing for heightened collaboration among the major political parties, and drastic reduction in the real and/or perceived animosity which exists among them.Guyana has to have a predictable environment to facilitate investment, private sector and economic development, and job creation. This requires consultation and collaboration among the parties, which would provide for continuity of policies whenever there is a change in Government.In short, what I am proposing is that the major political parties refrain from their “jingoistic” approaches to governance, and work toward some form of unified governance which would not negate a reasonable plurality of outlook, but presuppose it.Seeking to eschew corruption in all its forms and at every level must be the pillar of their collaborative efforts, along with putting an end to political favouritism/loyalty in the appointments to key positions. Perhaps it is time that the major political parties seek to attract to their ranks and leadership persons with a greater commitment to ‘Putting Guyana First’. Failure to so do could torpedo the good life, of which the country is now positioned on its cusp.Some time ago, I attended a business meeting in Curacao at which Paul Keens Douglas was the keynote speaker at one of the luncheon sessions. In referring to “group think” of regional politicians, he said these guys “feel their countries are at the precipice of great developments, and all they have to do is take one great step forward.” Let’s hope this is not the current thinking of our Guyanese politicians.Regards,Wesley Kirton
By Caroline Bowah BrownI remain an advocate for justice and truly want accountability for the heinous crimes committed in Liberia. Yes, I do but I am also of the opinion that doing so must be thought through carefully. The search for truth and justice must be carried out without jeopardizing the fragile peace we enjoy in this moment. It must be done while ensuring our safety.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia was established to promote national peace, unity, security and reconciliation and hold perpetrators accountable for the atrocities committed. About eleven years ago, the Commission completed its work and handed over its report to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for implementation. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made no overtures towards implementing the recommendations of the TRC. The UN and other international organizations took no action against Madam Sirleaf for her failure to do so. In fact, she was awarded several accolades from the same international community; one of them being the Nobel Peace award and later the Mo Ibrahim Award after she stepped down from political office. What double standards. The international community was extremely tolerant towards her government and no pressure was mounted on her to implement the recommendations of the TRC. As part of its support to the peace process, the UNMIL was under obligation to ensure the Liberian Government implement the recommendations of the TRC report. According to the 1st United Nations Security Council 1509 (2003) that established the mission, it was mandated to “support all parties to cease all human rights violations and atrocities against the Liberian population, and stresses the need to bring to justice those responsible.” After 15 years, the UNMIL closed down its Liberian operation without achieving one of its key mandates, which was to support the Government to bring to justice those responsible for committing atrocities in Liberia. Shortly after the election of the new Government of President Weah, there have been increasing calls for judicial accountability for war crimes from various sources including social media and other spaces. Similarly, on July 5, 2018, Human Rights Watch put out a statement supported by Seventy six Liberian, African, and international non-governmental organizations demanding the Liberian government “undertake fair and credible prosecutions of international crimes committed during its two civil wars”. The statement was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. On September 8, 2018, the US Congress introduced a resolution for the full implementation of the TRC recommendations. Interestingly this is the first concrete action taken by the US government since the completion of the TRC’s work. No such action was ever taken during the tenure of Madam Sirleaf’s government. This makes one wonder why after more than eleven years they choose this moment to begin to pursue the implementation of the TRC recommendations. What does the US Congress aim to achieve, what is the real motive for this action? In the first place the new government is still in its infancy and only now starting to organize itself and implement the mandate given to it by the Liberian people. For me, it is too early and not timely for the US Congress to burden the Liberian government with such demands. We vividly remember how the US Embassy shut its gates and watched from the Atlantic shore while millions of Liberians were being killed, raped, tortured etc. If Liberia is forced to implement these recommendations, is the international community and the US in particular, ready to create the conditions to guarantee our safety and stability? What commitments are they making if Liberia once again finds herself in a state of instability while implementing the TRC recommendations? Bearing in mind that some of the alleged perpetrators hold a great deal of power and have amassed personal wealth, it is important to consider how this power and influence might be used to resist the TRC implementation. The risk of such a process destabilizing the country is high and this is the reason why such a process should have been conducted while the UNMIL force was still stationed in Liberia. The UNMIL mission could have supported the judicial accountability process before their mission ended. In closing, it is important for the Government of Liberia to be very clear about how the leadership wants to proceed with the non-judicial and judicial process for transitional justice in Liberia. They must be in the driver’s seat and show the Liberian people that they mean to act on this in a measured and responsible way. Many are hurt, many need reparations and many need to be reconciled. As I write this I am reflecting on a day in 2003 when we had nowhere to run and I had to carry my one year old baby and choose which of our few belongings to carry. Today he is 16 years old and will soon be completing high school. I imagine a bright future for him. This future can only be guaranteed by a peaceful country. This is the aspiration of many Liberians. We do need closure to this chapter. Of course we need justice but it must NOT be detrimental to the fragile peace. We look forward to the Government position on this and it must not be driven by an international agenda. Never again!The Author:Ms. Caroline Bowah Brown is an Economist, Gender Specialist and a leader in civil society movement in Liberia and currently serves as the Country Director for medica Liberia, and a lecturer at the Department of the Economics, University of Liberia. In 2008, Ms. Brown was appointed by Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to serve as member of the Veterans Bureau. Most of her work is in the areas of gender, peacebuilding, security sector reform and transitional justice. She has a Masters Degree in Economic Policy Management from Makerere University in Uganda. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Wood is now being touted as the main source of fuel to operate the Skeldon Co-generation Plant. Following successful tests of its power steam generation using firewood, SEI is now saying that the firewood can produce more steam for the plant than bagasse. (SEI) reported on Tuesday that it is currently using wood as fuel for the plant.The Skeldon Co-generation plantChairman of SEI, Lloyd Rose, has said efforts are being made to have the Co-gen Plant operate year-round, and not seasonally. As such, fuel will be needed for the plant all year. This means that bagasse alone cannot be used.Late last month, SEI completed a test utilizing firewood chips sourced from within the community. The test revealed a smooth boiler operation, which often contains much higher moisture content.Rose said the test revealed a much more stable and smoother boiler operation than that achieved using bagasse fuel, which often contains much higher moisture content. The successful utilization of other biomass fuel — firewood pro-processed into wood chips, which was demonstrated — with its significantly less moisture content (forty-percent), provided much greater ease of operation for the fuel feed system. There was the absence of frequent blocking of pin-hole grate air-ports normally associated with mud-content embedded in the sugar cane delivered to the factory and the bagasse delivered to boilers.“We are going to have a mixture. There is going to be some bagasse which we will get from the Albion Estate, (and) there is going to be some firewood, as we call it, from the forest. There is going to be a blend of rice husk — and we can only accept a portion of up to about twelve percent — and there is also going to be waste from the sawmills. So we are really seeking no one source or solution; there will be a mixture of all those things with the equivalence being about one to one,” Rose explained.This, he said, means that the same tonnage of bagasse previously used with be equalled with the proposed mixture.Sheldon Energy Inc. aims to utilize a mixed co-generation in the short term, irrespective of sugar production. In spite of anticipated difficulties associated with prolonged use of the severely damaged boilers, the company’s goal is to preserve the productive utilisation of its energy assets, and to avoid their further deterioration and possible vandalism, which could occur if the Co-generation Plant is left idle.Wood that is being used by Skeldon Co-generation plantAccording to Rose, Boiler One has been repaired, and efforts are now being made to carry out remedial repair and maintenance on Boiler Two. When this is done, the two 15MW turbines will be pushed. Boiler One will then be stripped and fully replaced, and when completed, will have the ability to push both turbines, with Boiler Two being a backup.Rose says it should take 18 months to completely effect this plan. Already, the tubes for rebuilding Boiler One have been secured from South Africa at a cost of US$1 million.“We have reached out to the community, and mainly the business community, (which) can act as reliable suppliers. We believe that if we put systems in place, and they take on the responsibility and the contract to undertake (supply), they will employ persons from the community (to do so). Essentially, this project is about creating (employment), but we are not getting involved in that directly; we are getting into a contractual arrangement for the supplying and delivery of the material we need, including the gathering and handling of bagasse that we will get from Albion,” Rose explained.The SEI Chairman said SEI might take on the responsibility of transporting the material which the contractors would source. “It is likely to be cheaper if we do the transporting,” he said.While producing sugar at the Skeldon Factory may no longer be an option, SEI is still hoping to ensure the continued use of the Co-gen Plant, and job creation.In June 2017, the Co-gen Plant was described as a ‘ticking time bomb’ that required US$2.5 million to restart the 30MW bagasse-fuelled component of the facility, and an additional US$17 million in order to fix other deficiencies.The Co-generation Plant was purchased from GuySuCo for an announced price of US$30 million by Skeldon Energy Inc (SEI) – a special purpose company owned by the Government’s holding company, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), and the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma had taken members of the media on a tour of the facility in June 2017. Minister Sharma had said he would be recommending to the Cabinet Counsel of Ministers a full forensic investigation into the facility. However, there has since been no word on that investigation.During the guided tour of the boilers, it was observed that the piping used to circulate the pressurised steam has eroded to a point where it had become a safety hazard and risked an explosion.Speaking to the design of the facility, it was pointed out, too, that the boilers were not even protected from the elements, including the salt air. There is no roof in place.Other visible deficiencies on the boiler were evident at the furnace doors, where the insulation was almost completely burnt out as a result of the heat.
…says November timeline for elections “unacceptable”…President says election date to be announced “shortly”Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday reminded the coalition Government that it becomes illegal at midnight, having failed to host General and Regional Elections within 90 days of the passage of the No-confidence Motion.This comes on the heels of Government announcing on Wednesday that President David Granger will soon name a date for elections, though polls were constitutionally mandated to be held by March 21, 2019.The President’s impending announcement was indicated in a letter sent to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday. It was sent by Minister of State Joseph Harmon on behalf of the Head of State, who is currently in Cuba where he has been receiving treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.In the correspondence, reference was made to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice James Patterson, letter to the President in which he indicated that the agency would not be able to hold polls until late November when an official list of electors is available.As such, the President informed the Opposition Leader in the letter that he intends to set a date for elections within that timeframe.“… His Excellency, the President, intends to shortly name a date for General and Regional Elections in Guyana within the framework provided by the Chairman of the Elections Commission,” the letter stated.However, in a response on Thursday, Jagdeo pointed out in a letter addressed to the Minister of State that the timeline given by GECOM is “unacceptable”.He further reminded that at midnight on Thursday, the coalition Government becomes illegal, having failed to hold elections within the constitutionally mandated timeline following the December 21, 2018 passage of the No-confidence Motion.“I reiterated that the timeline outlined by the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, in his March 19, 2019 letter, is totally unacceptable. I, therefore, request that you remind President David Granger that at midnight tonight (March 21) his Government becomes illegal,” the Opposition Leader said in his letter to Government.According to Article 106, the President and his Cabinet has to resign and call elections within three months or at a later date agreed upon by two-thirds of the National Assembly.Jagdeo had previously committed to extend the deadline pass the 90 days but only if the President set an elections date before April 30, when the current voters’ list will expire.However, despite mounting pressure on President David Granger to set a date for polls before Thursday’s expiration of the March 21 deadline, the Head of State had insisted on awaiting the elections body to guide him on their level of readiness before executing his presidential responsibility.But GECOM had previously indicated that it cannot hold elections before the March deadline and has voted to do house-to-house registration which will conclude in November. In fact, the Chairman in a letter to the President on Tuesday informed him that polls cannot be held before late November 2019.“I would proffer that the Commission would be in a position to conduct General and Regional Elections no earlier than late November 2019 with an official list of electorate having a qualifying date of 31st October, 2019,” Justice Patterson indicated to President Granger.He went on to explain in the correspondence that since the elections body is continuing with its normal work programme, that is, the holding of house-to-house registration, it will need some $3.5 billion to host elections and as such, “no election date should be contemplated less than five months after these funds are placed at the disposal of and under the control of GECOM”.However, the Opposition Commissioners on GECOM have blasted the unilaterally appointed Chairman for sending the letter to the Head of State without discussing the contents with the Commissioners.Some experienced political analysts, including distinguished lawyers, and civil society bodies have predicted that the country will head into a constitutional crisis. But President Granger contends that there will be no crisis and that he will remain in office until a new President is sworn in after elections.But even as coalition continues with its ‘business as usual’ approach, it has been accused of using the courts to delay their exit from office. Acting Chief Justice Roxane George in January had ruled that the No-confidence Motion was validly passed in the National Assembly and that Government is resigned.However, the coalition has appealed the High Court’s rulings and the Court of Appeal is expected to hand down its decision on these proceedings today at 15:00h.Nevertheless, Jagdeo has already engaged several international bodies and the diplomatic community here to not recognise the coalition Government after March 21. The ABCE community has been vocal on the political situation in Guyana, calling on Government to uphold the Constitution.
0Shares0000Zinedine Zidane has told Liverpool his Real Madrid team are hungrier than ever to win the Champions League, despite clinching the title in three of the last four years © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSMADRID, Spain, May 22 – Zinedine Zidane has told Liverpool his Real Madrid team are hungrier than ever to win the Champions League, despite clinching the title in three of the last four years.Real are gunning for an unprecedented third consecutive success in the competition on Saturday while Liverpool have reached the final for the first time since 2007. “No one can tell us we are less hungry,” Zidane said. “I can’t speak for our opponents but we want to stress we will always have the same motivation, the same as always, no one can tell us we are less hungry than the rest.“We are Madrid and despite what we have, we always want more, and we will give everything to get even better.”Real’s experience at the deep end of the Champions League dwarfs that of this Liverpool team, who do not have a single player to have made it this far before.Zidane also has his own personal achievements to draw upon, having won the most coveted prize in club football three times as a player and manager combined.“It’s true I lived 18 years as a player inside the changing room, with many coaches, with many players, with just as much ego as me,” Zidane said.“I know the changing room and I know the mind of a player and that is an important thing for me, but it is not the only thing.“I am not the best tactician, but I have other things – passion, motivation – and those are worth much more.”Some have billed this weekend’s showdown as a contest between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah but when asked if he would swap Ronaldo for the Liverpool forward, Zidane simply replied: “No.”On Ronaldo’s influence on the final, Zidane said: “The most possible. He is the best so it will be the maximum.”Zidane would offer no clues as to his starting line-up in Kiev but he did ackowledge the excellent form of Gareth Bale, who has scored five goals in his last four starts.“He is playing very well, he has scored many goals recently,” Zidane said. “Not only that but he has been very consistent. He has not played so much, but the last three games he has played he has played well.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Leicester’s heroic manager Claudio Ranieri hailed his side’s remarkable achievement as the 5000/1 Foxes were confirmed as Premier League champions on Monday night.Title rivals Tottenham’s failure to win at Chelsea – one of Ranieri’s former clubs – means Leicester cannot be caught with two games of the season to go.It meant the trophy went to the King Power Stadium and this Leicester team’s incredible ascent to sporting immortality was complete.Ranieri will now forever be a legend in the city of Leicester – and quite right too. The journeyman Italian has answered his critics by steering last season’s great escape artists to top flight glory.Ranieri’s appointment last summer was derided by many, but he quickly won over the hearts of the Foxes faithful, as well as the neutral, with his kind manner, pizza promises and press conference gems [dilly ding, dilly dong!]But the ever-humble boss typically passed on the personal plaudits.“I’m so proud. I’m happy for my players, for the chairman, for the staff at Leicester City, all our fans and the Leicester community. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so happy for everyone,” he said.“I never expected this when I arrived. I’m a pragmatic man, I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week. Never did I think too much about where it would take us.“The players have been fantastic. Their focus, their determination, their spirit has made this possible. Every game they fight for each other and I love to see this in my players. They deserve to be champions.”When he returned back to England, the former Chelsea boss was greeted by reporters and admitted he got very emotional.“The emotion was at the maximum level,” Ranieri told Sky Sports News.“It means the job is good. I am very, very happy now because maybe if I won this title at the beginning of my career maybe I would forget.“Now I am an old man I can feel it much better.”Ranieri had been visiting his 96-year-old mother in Rome on Monday but landed at East Midlands airport in time to return home and watch Tottenham’s draw.Leicester’s astonishing achievement will also bring Champions League football next season and Ranieri believes his side can now get even better.“I said every time I am very happy for the fans, for the chairman and for all the Leicester community,” Ranieri said.“I don’t know the secret. The players, the heart, the soul and how they play.“My message to the fans is now to keep going, we want to improve a lot.” ‘Mr Nice Guy’ Claudio Ranieri is loved by Leicester and neutral fans alike 1
The senior guard knocked down five 3-pointers on his way to scoring 23 points, in a 50-30 win over the Moors in Almont League play Tuesday night. “That kid can shoot,” Aztecs coach Hung Duong said. “He leads the state in 3s. He got 81 in the first 18 games. If you leave him open, it’s going in.” ALHAMBRA – Keppel High School’s Jonathan Chu hasn’t been satisfied with his play the last few games. Against Alhambra High School, he made sure to redeem himself. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardChu scored the game’s first points when he nailed 27-footer. He then hit another 3-pointer soon after to let the Moors know he was in a rhythm. Alhambra head coach Joe Petralia praised not only Chu, but also Moors guard Issac Rodriguez, who defended him. “I don’t think (Chu) had open looks,” Petralia said. “I think he’s a kid who makes shots when he’s defended. If you look at the film, I don’t think he was really open. I think we were there all the time. He’s a good shooter and good shooters make shots.” Keppel (13-6, 2-1) led 30-21 at halftime and used a 13-3 run to pull away from Alhambra (7-12, 1-2) in the third quarter to give them a 19-point lead, 43-24. Keppel held Alhambra center Bryan Gonzalez to 10 points and 13 rebounds but couldn’t get any easy baskets. “Our kids did a great job of denying and helping each other,” Duong said. “He (Gonzalez) had to earn a lot of his shots and we limited his touches.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The director of a Donegal waste disposal business claims he has been wrongfully linked to illegal dumping on an imposter Facebook account.Jim Ferry of Rossbracken House, Rossbracken, Letterkenny has gone to the High Court to find out who is behind the social media page ‘Jim Refuse Ferry’.The court has heard comments on the Facebook page include ’Jim Refuse Ferry will dump anywhere and dey will never catch me’. Jim Ferry, director of Ferry’s Refuse Collection said he became aware of the imposter site in 2011.He alleges he is the victim of a conspiracy to damage his business by implicating it in unauthorised waste disposal.He claims his company logo was used and that he is now the subject of waste prosecution proceedings by Donegal County Council.He complained to Facebook which removed the page but the social media giant refused to divulge who had created the account without a court order.That order to disclose basic subscriber information was sought and granted today without any opposition from Facebook.DONEGAL WASTE COMPANY BOSS WINS FACEBOOK CASE was last modified: August 6th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL WASTE COMPANY BOSS WINS FACEBOOK CASE
DDTV: WITH apologies to our exiled friends abroad, watch this stunning video shot from the skies about Co Donegal.It features some of our most beautiful scenery in and around Gaoth Dobhair and Dunlewey.And there is the unmistakable sound of Clannad to go with it. DDTV: WATCH A SUPERB VIDEO FILMED FROM THE SKIES ABOVE DONEGAL was last modified: July 13th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DDTV: WATCH A SUPERB VIDEO FILMED FROM THE SKIES ABOVE DONEGAL