Improved warning systems, information sharing needed – Ramjattan

first_img…reminded of 2015 promise to arm fishermen; another suspect nabbedAs authorities in Guyana and Suriname continue the probe into uncovering the horrific spate of recent piracy attacks for which 12 men are still missing and three bodies have been recovered, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has observed the need for improved Coast Guard warning systems and information- sharing.The suspect after his arrest on Sunday morning (De Ware Tijd Photo)He made these comments on Sunday in Suriname, where he is leading a team of senior Police officials who are meeting their counterparts with the aim of addressing the recent deadly attacks that occurred some 40 miles off the Surinamese coast in that country’s waters.“[We have] to ensure we have a collaborative effort on solving this crime, and emphasise the lessons to be learnt here for application for what might happen in future. Maybe we can help in Coast Guard warning systems; information-sharing must be even better,” Ramjattan highlighted.At the same time, he stressed that law enforcement authorities must pay more attention to when threats are made to fellow fishermen, so that they would have a better gauge in determining who is involved in such crimes.Based on information gathered during investigations and the accounts of survivors and relatives of the fishermen, it is believed that the perpetrators are Guyanese.“It’s basically an enterprise of murder of the most gruesome circumstances,” the minister declared.Ramjattan further stated he is so far satisfied with the Surinamese investigations. He even noted that authorities in the Dutch-speaking country are pushing for DNA testing to ensure that all bodies are properly identified.The minister revealed that Police in Guyana have sought extensions of time to further detain the three suspects held in Corentyne. The latest information revealed has brought the number of persons in custody to 27, following law enforcement officers in Suriname arresting yet another suspect in the Commewijne on Sunday morning.Reports suggest the suspect has since confessed to his involvement in the attack, claiming he was on a mission, and that his action was based on orders he had received.His arrest was possible with the assistance of some fishermen who had known him to be part of a piracy gang. However, several other persons were arrested and are being interrogated in connection with the attacks on the Guyanese fishermen.To date, seven Guyanese who now reside in Suriname have been arrested along with the three others arrested on the Corentyne. Crime Chief Paul Williams has explained that news coming out of Suriname suggest that the attacks are gang-related.Two Saturdays ago, four boats were attacked by a group of men, who brutalized the occupants then threw them overboard. Two days later, another boat was attacked, and the captain was reportedly killed. The crew is still missing. Those identified as missing are among those Guyanese who are missing from last weekend’s attack. They include: Ramesh Sanchara; Ganesh Persaud, Vickey Persaud, Glenroy Jones, Bharat Heralall, Ralph Anthony and Tiaknauth Mohabir. The bodies that were recovered are yet to be positively identified. So far, there have been five known survivors.Ramjattan was accompanied by Deputy Crime Chief Michael Kingston and Deputy Commander, ‘B’ Division, Wayne De Harte. They are expected to leave Suriname on Tuesday.Guns for fishermen?Minister Ramjattan had, in June 2015, expressed support for granting guns and ammunition to fishermen who were willing to combat piracy. He had explained that those fisherman would have had to lodge their firearms at Police stations upon their return from sea.To date, it is not clear if this policy was ever implemented. Guyana Times tried several times to contact the minister on Sunday evening for word on this commitment, but those attempts were unsuccessful.Meanwhile, Region Six (East-Berbice-Corentyne) Chairman David Armogan has called on Government to provide more assistance to family members of the affected fishermen. He also expressed conviction that had the fishermen been armed, the result could have been different.“We need to look back at that policy if we want fishing to continue to grow. We need to enable these fishermen to have radios first of all, and then we also need to give them firearms,” Armogan declared late last week. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more

President charges newly commissioned GDF ranks to uphold duties

first_imgThe hierarchy of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has been boosted with the commissioning of 11 new ranks, including a lone female.The new batch of Second Lieutenants, who recently completed the Standard Officers Course Number 49, received their Instruments of Commission from Commander-in-Chief, Brigadier David Granger on Wednesday at a presentation ceremony held at State House.Commander-in-Chief David Granger addressing the newly commissioned officersThe Officers are among 14, who successfully completed the Standard Officers Course, out of a total of 36 who had initially joined the course. Also included in this batch were two officers from Belize and one from Antigua and Barbuda.Delivering brief remarks during the simple but significant ceremony, President David Granger told the newly commissioned officers that the instrument is not merely a graduation certificate but is a parchment which signifies that its holder, as commissioned officer, has special responsibilities to perform.“(This parchment) does not signify your successful completion of a training course. In fact, it is a lawful licence which enables you to perform your function, it poses a renewed trust in exercising authority over your subordinates, it enables you not only to demand obedience of your subordinates but also obey your superiors,” he stated.The President went on to remind the newly commissioned ranks of their obligation to observe the Defence Force’s five core values, which are: duty, discipline, identity, integrity and loyalty. He also called on them to obey the laws of Guyana, while at the same time practice the values and standards of the GDF which they were taught.Furthermore, the 11 ranks were presented with a special coin which signifies Guyana’s “Green State” initiative. The Commander-of-Chief told the ranks that the coin should serve as a reminder of their sworn duty as they move around the country not only to serve the State but the people and the environment as well.Meanwhile, the lone female among the newly commissioned batch, Second Lieutenant Brandi Johnson, delivered the vote of thanks assuring President Granger that they will uphold the Constitution of Guyana in the execution of their duties.“We will live by the values and standards of the Guyana Defence Force as you have directed. Your Excellency, thank you for the trust and confidence that you and the Members of the Defence Board have placed in us as commissioned officers of the Guyana Defence Force,” she stated.Following the brief presentation ceremony, the Commander-in-Chief hosted the newly commissioned ranks along with several Ministers of Government and top brass of the Army to a luncheon.Additionally, a commissioning parade for the commissioned officers was subsequently held on Wednesday afternoon at the Drill Square at Base Camp Ayanganna.last_img read more

Peace Country River Rats having fundraiser May 2

first_imgThe Peace Country River Rats will be having a fundraiser on May 2 at the Taylor Hall. The “Spring Fever Dinner and Dance” will begin with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and the Montney Coulees will be performing live throughout the evening.Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and there will also be a live and silent auction to go along with the dance throughout the night’s festivities.Tickets are $75.00 and can be purchased at Unforgettable Memories, the Canadian Grind, and Extreme Signs, or by calling Kathy at 250-787-2999.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Opposition demands President’s resignation in formal letter

first_imgAdherence to Constitution, CCJ rulings…calls for dissolution of Parliament, elections dateIn the wake of the coalition Government’s reluctance to dissolve Parliament and set an election date in accordance with the Constitution and recent court rulings, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has written President David Granger demanding his resignation.President David GrangerIn the letter, which was seen by this publication, the Opposition Leader reminds the President that since July 12, 2019, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) delivered its consequential orders in the matters of Zulkficar Mustapha v the AG and others, Christopher Ram v the AG and others, Bharrat Jagdeo v the AG and others and Charrandas Persaud v Compton Reid and others.He listed several conditions for the President to accede to, including that the President and his Cabinet immediately resign and that the President issue a proclamation dissolving Parliament. He also called for the President to fix a date for the next general and regional elections, not beyond September 18, 2019.Jagdeo also reminded the President that CCJ President, Justice Adrian Saunders had said that when the No-Confidence Motion was passed on December 21, 2019, Article 106 of the Constitution had immediately been activated.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoArticle 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence”.Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election”.Jagdeo also cited the Judge’s ruling, which states that there was no need for the Court to gloss over Article 106’s provisions but it is, in fact, the responsibility of the constitutional actors to be faithful to the rule of law and operate within parameters of the Constitution.“Upon the passage of a vote of no confidence, the Article requires the resignation of the Cabinet including the President. The Article goes on to state, among other things, that notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and that an election shall be held within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine.”Further, the CCJ President noted that with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) also being responsible for the conduct that elections, it, therefore, means that the elections body “too must abide by the provisions of the Constitution”.He went on to point out that elections should have been held on March 21, 2019, following the December passage of the Opposition sponsored motion but that process was on “pause” pending the legal proceedings. That process, he added, however, was no longer on pause following the Court’s June 18, 2019 ruling, which upheld the validity of the No-Confidence Motion and thus triggering the need for fresh elections. This means that General and Regional Elections would have to be held on or before September 18, 2019, to be consistent with the three months’ constitutional deadline.PressureThis latest move from the parliamentary Opposition comes as pressure continues to mount on the Government to comply with the Constitution of Guyana. Recently, representatives of the international community had urged the country’s political players to act swiftly and in compliance with the Constitution, as ordered by the CCJ.In a joint statement issued last Monday, members of the diplomatic community in Guyana, including the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union, stated that they have taken note of the CCJ’s pronouncements on July 12.They said it is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by the CCJ’s ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. The diplomats furthered urged that this adherence be done expeditiously.“The Caribbean Court of Justice – Guyana’s Supreme Court – has spoken. It is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by its ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. We urge everyone to do so expeditiously,” the diplomats said in the joint communique.This follows statements issued by the Private Sector Commission (PSC), which also urged compliance with the Court and Constitution.Dissolving Parliament is a necessary step before calling an election. But so far, the President has made no moves to do this.last_img read more

Funding provided to support participation in LNG environmental assessment

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – 17 recipients will receive over $247,008 in funding involving the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG Project.The money is to support Indigenous and public participation in the federal environmental assessment.The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency), says this money was given to support participation in the final stages of the assessment. The money comes from the agency’s participant funding program.- Advertisement -To view who will be receiving funding, click here.“It enabled public and Indigenous participation in various steps of the environmental assessment of the project, such as reviewing and providing comments on the Environmental Impact Statement or on the summary thereof, the draft Environmental Assessment Report and the potential environmental assessment conditions, and material submitted by the proponent in response to the Agency’s March 2016 information request.”last_img read more

Israeli leader expected to leave U.S. without support for pullout

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON (AP) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to walk away from his first visit to the United States without getting the Bush administration to put its heft behind Olmert’s sweeping West Bank pullback plan. U.S. and Israeli officials played down any expectation Monday that Olmert’s meeting Tuesday with President Bush would yield dramatic results. “I don’t expect anything formal, but the two of them obviously are going to be talking about ways to keep moving forward” with the peace process, White House spokesman Tony Snow said. Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said the emergence of a Hamas-led Palestinian government had complicated matters with its steadfast refusal to oppose terror. “We must all examine different options to break the stalemate,” he said, shortly before Olmert met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, Bush’s national security adviser. Before Israel’s March 28 elections, Olmert said he would separate Israel from the Palestinians by setting the country’s final borders with the West Bank. If the Palestinians’ new Hamas leaders should continue to refuse to renounce violence and their call for Israel’s destruction, Israel would act unilaterally, as it did during the summer when it quit the Gaza Strip, he said. He also pledged to seek international support for his plan. A diplomatic official in Washington said Monday the administration is sending two of its top Middle East envoys, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch and Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council, to the region soon to gather information about Olmert’s plans. Neither a moderation of Hamas’ stand nor international support for Olmert’s ideas have been forthcoming. The United States, occupied with Iraq and trying to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, has reacted tepidly to the plan. Bush faces divisions at home as well. The House began work Monday on sweeping sanctions, opposed by the president but supported by many lawmakers, against the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, including a sharp reduction in humanitarian aid. “We want to make sure that the U.S. taxpayer will not supply one penny of aid for which the Hamas government can claim any credit,” said Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., a sponsor of the bill, which also restricts aid to non-governmental groups working in the West Bank and Gaza and denies visas to members of the Palestinian Authority. “It would restrict relations with and support for many groups and institutions that have nothing to do with terror or rejectionism,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who led opposition to the proposal. A vote was expected on Tuesday. European and Arab allies also oppose Olmert’s plan to act unilaterally if Hamas does not change its ways, and Bush may be reluctant to take them on. Unilateral Israeli action is also anathema to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. What the United States is expected to do is to press Olmert to at least go through the motions of trying to broker a peace deal – not with Hamas, which Washington regards as a terrorist organization, but with Abbas of the rival Fatah party. That Olmert does not really want to do. He sees the Palestinian Authority as a single piece, and does not think distinctions should be made between the Hamas government and the Palestinian president, who was elected separately last year. He also questions Abbas’ ability to deliver such a complicated agreement when he cannot even halt confrontations between his loyalists and Hamas gunmen, including recent attempts to assassinate two of his top security chiefs. “Abbas doesn’t have even the power to take charge of his own government,” Olmert told CNN on Sunday, ahead of his visit to Washington. “So how can he represent that government in the most crucial, complex and sensitive negotiations, about which there are so many divisions within the Palestinian community?” A senior Israeli government official told The Associated Press that Israel would “be willing to go bilateral” if Abbas would start fulfilling pledges he made before the election. “He said after the election he would dismantle the terrorist organizations,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press. Abbas would not have to complete the disarmament before talks could begin, but he must at least have started, the official said. In a bow to the United States, Israel held its first high-level talks with Abbas since the Palestinian elections at an international conference in Egypt. At that meeting on Sunday, Abbas appealed to Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to restore regular contacts between the two sides. The official who spoke with the AP said Olmert would meet with the Palestinian president after meeting first with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah II of Jordan, both of whom have cautioned against Israeli attempts to set final borders with the West Bank. AP Diplomatic Writer Barry Schweid contributed to this report.last_img read more

PAY UP! Arsenal hero urges club to go all out and keep Alexis Sanchez

first_img Alexis Sanchez: The Arsenal forward is yet to agree a new contract at Arsenal Arsenal should go all out to keep Alexis Sanchez in the summer instead of shelling out for a replacement, according to former midfielder Ray Parlour.The Chilean forward’s current contract expires in 2018 and he has been linked with a move away from the Emirates at the end of the season.He has held talks about extending his stay, but the Gunners have refused to break their wage barrier and accept his reported £380,000-a-week demands.Parlour, part of the club’s Invincibles team in 2004, said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “Arsenal are going to have to go big, which the board aren’t going to like to do, but this is what you have got to do to keep Sanchez, he is so important.”Sanchez has scored 26 goals and assisted 19 in 48 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side in 2016/17. The 28-year-old set up Mesut Ozil in the 4-1 win over Stoke with a ‘magnificent pass’ – according to Parlour – before getting on the score sheet himself.When asked what he would do if he was chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Parlour replied: “I would sign him up…pay the money, why not?“If you are going to replace Sanchez, with his quality you are going to have to spend £50m-plus just to get a player of his calibre – but then they want £200,000-a-week, because that is the going rate at other clubs.”Listen to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast weekdays from 6am-10am 1last_img read more

DONEGAL DUO FLANAGAN AND DOHERTY STAR IN IRELAND’S WIN OVER DUTCH

first_imgInternational U19 Men – Ireland 1 v 0 HollandAn outstanding performance and result for the U19 last night in the Tallaght Stadium as Ireland beat Holland by 1 goal to nil with the goal coming from Eoghan Stokes in the 25th minute.An excellent achievement for the group, only coming together for the new season with 4 days training camp prior to the match. A special evening for all involved and especially for two boys from Co.Donegal who represented Ireland on previous occasions making their debut at U19 level, a massive achievement.Chris Flanagan (Derry City) and Harry Doherty (Brighton Hove Albion) from Letterkenny and Cockhill respectively, both played against the impressive Dutch. Peter Burke (Sunderland) from Moville, was more unfortunate having to pull out of the squad due to injury.This squad are off to Sweden in 3 weeks for further preparation, with the UEFA Qualifiers commencing in November in a group including Switzerland, Gibraltar & Malta. Good Luck to all the boys & Well Done to Harry & Chris.  DONEGAL DUO FLANAGAN AND DOHERTY STAR IN IRELAND’S WIN OVER DUTCH was last modified: September 9th, 2014 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:Cockhillderry cityFAIIrelandletterkennylast_img read more

Giants roster continues to churn, what’s next for team in transition?

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The Giants parted ways with veteran catcher Erik Kratz Monday, announcing that they have designated the 38-year-old catcher for assignment.Kratz was the latest veteran to be sent packing, joining Gerardo Parra and Yangervis Solarte, who both signed as minor league free agents this offseason. The club needed to clear a roster spot for recently acquired outfielder Aaron Altherr, and with Buster Posey potentially available to return from the concussion injured list on Wednesday, …last_img read more

SA to target organised crime

first_img1 July 2008While organised crime makes up a small percentage of total criminal activity in South Africa, it still wreaks havoc on society and is therefore being paid special attention by the government, says Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula.He was briefing the media in Pretoria this week, following the release of the latest crime statistics, which point to a continued decline in crime levels in the country – though the government has conceded that they still remain unacceptably high.“Organised crime continues to be a big problem because of the damage it inflicts on society. Firearms are used in many organised crime cases and people are killed, including innocent bystanders,” Ngakula said.“Organised criminal gangs are also involved in the illicit drug trade, which is affecting many of our people, especially the youth. The organised gangs also use their ill-begotten financial resources to corrupt people.”Organised crime groupsThe South African Police Service identified and investigated 145 organised crime groups during 2007/08, most of whom were involved in drug-related crime, motor vehicle theft and hijacking, fraud, corruption, and trafficking in non-ferrous metals, precious metals and stones.“[A total of] 131 syndicate leaders and 375 syndicate members (or runners) were arrested,” Nqakula said. “This means that 27.41% of the organised crime projects that were under investigation for the period under review were taken to court.”Of the total arrests of 1 274 062 made by the police during the period under review, 170 097 were for social related contact crimes and 24 592 for violent organised crime.Police analyst Chris de Kock said, however, that there had been a significant decrease in cash-in-transit robberies, which is a highly organised type of crime, with the number of cash-in-transit heists decreasing from 467 to 395 between 2007 and 2008.Shifting attention elsewhereHowever, De Kock warned that the gangs involved could have shifted their attention somewhere else, such as automatic teller machine (ATM) bombings.“One of the latest developments involves attacks or bombings aimed at ATMs. During 2005, only 12 such incidents were recorded, which escalated to 54 incidents during 2006, 386 incidents during 2007 and a projected total of 538 for 2008.” He said. “The increase between 2005 and 2007 alone stands at 374 cases, namely from 12 to 386 incidents.”De Kock said that during the past three to four months, since the successful strikes against cash-in-transit robberies, the nature of ATM bombings had advanced.The criminals involved had recently shifted their attention from less populated areas to the metropolitan areas or cities themselves, with more affluent areas also being targeted.Previously, the criminal gangs were only made up of two or three members, however, gangs of 10 to 14 heavily armed men in at least two vehicles were now carrying out these robberies. The bombings were also becoming more sophisticated as gangs were using double bomb blasts as opposed to only one.De Kock said these changes had resulted in more monetary gain and more police casualties.Positive resultsOn the whole, the crime trends show that the government has made various interventions to fight crime in the country, with Police stations being beefed up with more officers and better resources and community or geographic policing being increased to curb crime in informal settlements.Partnerships with communities, business, labour movements and religious sectors had also yielded positive results.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more