Locked Up Abroad, Oh Frog!

Submitted by Cherfleur

President Ali is pleading with Guyanese to return home and work on developing and transforming Guyana.

I returned to Guyana following complaints from my mother of abuse and neglect – the vilest and most diabolic I have encountered yet – and to prospect opportunities.

My first visit to Kitty Police Station was to get their assistance in locating my mother.

The second time, February 7, on allegations that I trespassed and defaced someone’s home. I informed the Inspector that I was one of the Executors to my mother’s estate.  I provided proof in the form of the certified Will obtained from the Probate Registry. I was allowed to leave.

On March 8th I was again drawn to the Kitty Police station on allegations of someone breaking and entering the estate property.  The Inspector was not in office when I arrived but was summoned by the accuser. On arrival she accosted me asking if there isn’t a restraining order on me.  I asked her to provide the proof of that Order, since none was issued on me, nor can be issued on me since the accuser never filed any.  No action could be taken against me.  But the accuser persisted with the quest to have me locked up by asking “ya’ll can’t lock she up?”  Naturally they couldn’t. The Inspector coiled up and bobbed away and the Ranks told me I was free to leave.

On April 20th I again went to the property to facilitate the Technicians from GPL and GWI the light and water companies in disconnecting the services.  After, I went to Kitty Police Station to inform that there were two strangers in the dwelling, whom I had not given permission or a contract to enter and occupy and that the one was disturbing the peace while threatening to beat me so bad “send me where my mother is”.  My mother is now dead and duly buried.

On arrival I addressed the Inspector.  Instead the Inspector gave her Ranks instructions to put me on the bench and process me.  I was amused since it was the very Inspector to whom I had shown my authority to be on the said premises. After about three plus hours, I was taken to La Penitence Police Station where I was held in a cell until Friday April 22; TWO NIGHTS AND TWO DAYS – on a mattress on a concrete floor. It was clean and smelled hygienic though.

I was then released on $30,000 bail to appear in court on Monday April 25th. At no time was I told what I was being charged for and in deed I was not read my rights. Indeed the first time in my life I heard of Judges’ Rules was when I received the Witness Statements on May 13th.

There again is was brutalized in an attempt to get items from me. While at Kitty and during the scuffle for my phone my head was banged to a wall. My hair was used as a lever to wrench my head backward, so that my esophagus was so stretched that I could not breathe.

While at La Penitence, The Rank threatened that she would stab my ‘foot’ (referring to my thigh – with a kitchen knife she was using to remove a ribbon from around my body) then take me to the hospital.

On April 25th the Magistrate read me a preamble for breaking and entering and committing larceny (at my mother’s property).  I pleaded NOT GUILTY and the matter was adjourned to May 13th.  On that date I was again read a ramble; this time, only of damaging property belonging to someone (on my mother’s property) and asked who I plea.  I pleaded NOT GUILTY, of course.  I was placed on another $30,000 bail.

The experience was so surreal.  I still cannot quite process what happened on April 20th, 2022.  All the while I thought  these people were just ‘finding things to do for taxpayers’ money and just trying to intimidate me, UNTIL I WOKE ON THE 21ST OF APRIL AND FOUND THAT I WAS STILL IN A CELL, SOMEWHERE BEHIND GOD’S BACK IN GUYANA.

What the flying fish!

To say the least, the behaviour of the ranks at Kitty is rank and crass.  They do not even know the process to arresting and searching someone. So much ignorance is spewed from their mouths and the abuse of their authority is nothing short of a manifestation of barbarism.

The organization of the Police Force is to Protect and Serve is maliciously locking up its citizens.  Not to mention shooting the black men while in bed and in their back while running away.



“tek it from me.  Aye been born ‘bout hey but I lef’ hey long days now.”

I want to know if this is what President Ali is inviting Guyanese nationals to return to.

If Order 60 Intent Can’t be Honoured, President Granger Should Cancel Elections

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis

I call on President David Granger not to allow history to record him as it did Nero.  You have been elected leader in a free, fair and transparent election. You are perceived by many in society as a man of demonstrated integrity, decency and a commitment to all Guyanese, way above that of your opponents. Under your leadership Guyanese feel safe, mothers no longer weep for their children and drug dealers know they have no heaven.

You have embraced all to the extent where you have kept in office key operatives of the previous regime even as others believe it to be unwise and somewhat naive. But in so doing you have also demonstrated that you are prepared to nurture a national commitment, a professional public service where all can serve their country faithfully and loyally.

Mr President, you cannot be Nero. You have the power vested in your office to correct this public hijacking of Guyana’s elections, this confounded brazen highway robbery, this piracy, this buccaneering politics unleashed on Guyana.  You Mr. President must be prepared to say to this world, to our judiciary, to GECOM and to all, that if you could have approved a recount that is accepted by law to declare results, then you have a duty and responsibility, at the very least, to ensure the National Recount sets out to achieve its DECLARED INTENT. I repeat, its DECLARED INTENT.

You, Mr. President, must further say to this nation that you will not allow any declaration that rewards electoral fraud. It was this principle that caused you in the first instance to enter into an agreement, and I call on you now to uphold that principle for this country that you lead, which today stands at the crossroads of law versus lawlessness. We cannot build a society for all on the vulgarity of the lawless.

Whereas history is replete with examples of glorifying thieves, pirates and brigands and their tales captured in various writings and works; and whereas these are taught as glorious lessons for centuries to those whom they pillage;   in today’s world such acts and other unlawful acts are condemned and punishable in a court of law and in public opinion. No law breaker is glorified and rewarded for acts of lawlessness in civilised society, save by sick and equally lawless minds.

This is no longer only about electoral victory. This is an appeal to the better angels in each of us. It is about Rights and the Rule of Law. It is about our national interest and that of our youth, our future. It is about the heart and soul of Guyana. It is about halting our progression along a pathway paved for ethnic conflict and external forces taking advantage of our weakness and internal rifts. Guyana remains stronger as one united force- One People, One Nation, One Destiny.

In a court of law infractions of the law are never rewarded. We must ask ourselves which decent society, which decent court of law, which decent people any part of the world governed by moral principles, by principles of good justice would reward wrongdoing? It is a shame for GECOM to attempt to declare any election using confirmed fraudulent votes. I have it before and repeat today- for democracy to stand GECOM cannot afford to fail.

If GECOM cannot fulfil its intent as set out in Order 60, when it placed in abeyance 10 declarations based at that time on speculation of fraud and today still not deemed invalid by any court but “superseded” by confirmed massive frauds, then GECOM would have failed. Failed in the sense of taking something that is deemed to be bad and asking us to accept what is proven to be far worse. If GECOM felt it could not declare the 10 declarations, based at that time on assumed irregularities, then it boggles the mind how in heaven’s name GECOM could even think it is OK to declare on confirmed massive irregularities in the ten regions.

If GECOM cannot declare election on credible votes or declarations never challenged or deemed invalid in a court of law, then Mr. President, it behoves you to cancel these elections. You have the power, you have the right to so do.  This that we face is about Rights and the Rule of Law, it is about protecting the vote which the Trade Union Movement, under the leadership of Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, led the charge for.  It is about one man, one credible vote.

Foremost, this is about Guyana and we have got to fight for her and the values that shaped this nation. As a unified people we must continue to guide her. It is recognised some would prefer us to accept the recount superseding the count. We cannot take bad, make it worse, and then try to shove it down people’s throats. If you condemn bad, you don’t replace bad with something worse. It defies logic.

Mr. President, for the good of Guyana, her laws and people, cancel these elections.


Vincentian Voting Standards in Guyana


Submitted by Nathan ‘Jolly’ Green

I could not believe what I was reading when I went to the Facebook page of The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy [CGID]. I was amazed that the Peoples National Congress Party [PNC] had been able to look inside the ballot boxes which the ULP fought tooth and nail to ensure Saint Vincent and the Grenadines [SVG] courts would never allow in SVG. What the PNC discovered and have proved was voting fraud was so widespread and their further investigation votes were rigged in every way possible to try and ensure the Peoples Progressive Party [PPP] won the election.

Guyana has a two-party system, which means that there are two dominant political parties. The main schism is not of ideology [they are both socialist], but ethnicity; the People’s Progressive Party is supported primarily by Indo-Guyanese people. While it is Afro-Guyanese people who mainly support the People’s National Congress. Ralph Gonsalves most obviously supports the Indian Guyanese PPP against supporting the African Guyanese PNC.

A group from CARICOM offered their services to investigate and advise Guyana on the way forward and how to deal with the stalemate situation. Whereby Ralph Gonsalves perhaps stepped outside that circle and suggested that the PPP should be recognised as the elected party to take Government.

Why would Gonsalves take such a position and support what is now fraud proven without any doubt whatsoever? Well, I suppose the whole procedure of rejecting fraud, opening boxes etc. if finally agreed in the Guyanese courts will become part of a legal precedent which would perhaps apply in SVG courts as well.

Read now what the Guyanese CGID think about not just his actions, but about him.


Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy – CGID

Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, at the direction of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), is brazenly attempting to pre-empt the CARICOM elections recount Observer Mission in Guyana.

In a radio interview yesterday, he attempted to dictate to Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) how it should execute its functions as prescribed by the Guyana Constitution. GECOM is currently assessing recount results as well as allegations of fraud.

Dr Gonsalves, a foreign head of Government, is attempting to undermine this process on behalf of the PPP. CGID doesn’t know how Dr Gonsalves’ conducts elections in his country, but Guyanese will not accept the results of an election riddled with fraudulent ballots.

Dr Gonsalves is advocating that Guyanese must accept a vote tabulation that includes ballots which a Police investigation has established contains fraudulent votes. We, therefore, wonder if the people of CARICOM should apply Dr Gonsalves’ reasoning and accept and believe numerous allegations of sexual assault against a CARICOM Prime Minister without any investigation to determine the veracity of the charges.

GECOM is currently following a process set out in its May 4, 2020 order, in accordance with the laws of Guyana. It is disgraceful and repugnant to the CARICOM Treaty for Dr Ralph Gonsalves to interject himself into this process and attempt to interfere in Guyana’s elections. Dr Gonsalves’s statements also demonstrate contempt for the Courts and State institutions in Guyana.

He should focus on elevating the standard of living in his small island rather than act as the bagman and water-boy for his friend Bharrat Jagdeo and Guyana’s opposition PPP. Mr Gonsalves’ party has itself been accused of electoral fraud and rigging the past five elections. It is, therefore, no wonder that he finds himself in the company of the PPP.

We urge the Prime Minister to address the myriad of allegations he faces at home, keep out of Guyana’s business and stop making a mockery of CARICOM’s non-intervention policy.

Richard Millington
Director of Communications
Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

I hope that when the upcoming St Vincent and the Grenadines elections take place that the NDP in SVG can keep abreast with the security of our ballots and ensure no fraud takes place.

I have got almost a hundred applicants who are going to film the giveaway of the building materials on their cell phones, a local video crew and director willing to film and produce a video. I am currently negotiating with an international TV group who will take it over and show it worldwide. The film will be presented at the UN, World Bank, Transparency International, and the EU. I am also in touch with other International agencies who will be sent copies of the video film. If the distribution of the building materials takes place, I will even be asking the US to apply economic sanctions on the culprits and if necessary, on SVG.

How Long More Can the PPP Hoodwink World Powers?

Submitted by Rickford Burke

The election impasse between the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) persists without mitigation, except a lull for an imminent Supreme court ruling on the sub judice matter. The impasse arose because opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP fraternity, including some private sector actors, are seeking to impose a counterfeit “birthright” to dominance of Guyana.  The actions of this group of “Orwellians” are imperiling the rule of law and democracy.

Their exudation of this contrived supremacy has engendered a specious morality where, for them, the law is malleable and applies to them only on their terms. It is this hegemony of lawlessness which they advance as their concept of “democracy.” In reality, this pathology is the Orwellian Entitlement Syndrome (OES).
Fantasy Superiority:
Their fantasy superior citizenship fuels their drive to manipulate the law on a presumption that they alone control commerce, industry and capital in the country. Their contempt for authority suggests the thinking that such affluence entitles them to domination and,  more so, flagitious conduct. It is no wonder that they attempt to challenge judges who rule against them with impunity. And no wonder they fell they can abuse and threaten police officers who disallow their lawlessness with dismissal, if they return to government.
The masquerader in chief of their apparent junta has committed treasonous acts against the state. He has also threatened to “go after” political opponents and their families presumably with death squads much like the old days. This  insidious rhetoric has aroused sagaciousness in Guyanese. It is easy to recognize that the brazen effrontery is given oxygen by pronouncements from international actors  who’s  irresponsible narrations are talking points provided by PPP  lobbyists.   Someone recently remarked that when the unrest they are instigating begins, which of the instigators will survive? Do we need further evidence of how provocative and combustible this rhetoric is in a volatile environment?
Foreign Observers:
Foreign observers have pronounced that results from Region 4 are “unverified,” because the Returning Officer (RO) did not entertain objections during the vote ascertainment process. The PPP has weaponized these uninformed statements. They purport that “unverified” results are fraudulent results. However, Chief Justice Roxanne George, in her March 11, 2020 judgment, held that the RO must use numbers he received from presiding officers, and that “verification” is not provided for in law.
No doubt, some of the Observers’ pronouncements emboldened Jagdeo and his comrades. They stormed the Elections Commission with guns and inspired riots. Supporters in Region 5, chopped police officers and assaulted innocent citizens and school children.  Victims still await charges and prosecutions of the perpetrators.
The Elections Results:
Declarations by the ten ROs show that the APNU+AFC coalition has won the elections. Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Mr. Keith Lowenfield, has submitted his report to Commission Chairman, Justice Claudette Singh,  and the awaits the final declaration of the results. However, the PPP is insisting on a ballot recount in District 4, although GECOM has already denied all recounts on account of nonconformity to the law. Also, the statutory period for recounts has long expired.
A subsequent CARICOM recount initiative, which was widely viewed as illegal, was halted by the Supreme Court, pursuant to a lawsuit. This case resumed today, March 25, 2020, before Justice Franklyn Holder; who has been subjected to abominable, intimidation attempts and bigoted attacks on his family by PPP websites.
The Law and the Courts:
Our courts exist to interpret and enforce the law. The law proscribes challenges to elections results, except by way of an election petition. The Orwellians believe that they are above the law. Hence, they are circumventing an elections petition and are using the recount provision and court injunctions to challenge the election results. They must not be allowed to manipulate the law and the court for political expediency,  as if the court is a personal football.
The no confidence motion cases saw PPP lawyers eloquently and vociferously arguing that Charandass Persaud’s election to Parliament can only be challenged through an elections petition. Chief Justice Roxanne George and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) agreed and ruled in their favor. Now, in 2020, they’ve come to the court with a reversed argument.
PPP’s history of subverting democracy and the law:
Laws are constant. They don’t change based on which party is in government or based on a political party’s misfortune. The December 20, 1997 Stabroek news editorial precisely delineated the PPP’s conduct when opposition parties challenged the tabulation of votes in the December 15, 1997 election. Quote: “The Chairman of the Elections Commission, Mr. Doodnauth Singh, yesterday declared the presidential candidate of the People’s Progressive Party, Mrs. Janet Jagan, the duly elected President of Guyana even though the final count of votes was not complete and the votes in quite a number of boxes remained to be counted,” end quote.
In the December 15, 1997 elections, PPP Returning Officers refused to “verify” SOPs and denied all requests for recounts. They merely declared the results and closed the process. When word leaked that the opposition PNCR was seeking an injunction to stop the declaration of the results, the PPP secretly and unlawfully swore Mrs. Janet Jagan in as President, while votes were still being counted. Mrs. Jagan and her bodyguards later assaulted the chief marshal of the Supreme Court who served her with the injunction, which she pitched to the ground. Where was their commitment to democracy and the rule of law then?
The law in 2020 is the same as 1997:
Subsequently they made substantial submissions to the court detailing why the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter except when the PNCR files an elections petition to challenge the elections results. Now they have abandoned this mantra which they intrepidly proclaimed in 1997 and in 2019. Ironically, the PNCR filed an election petition, which was heard by then Supreme Court Justice Claudette Singh – the incumbent Chairman of GECOM.
Justice Singh vitiated the December 15, 1997 elections results and ordered fresh elections.
Guyana is a functioning democracy with an independent and efficient judiciary. The judicial process must be allowed to function without external interference. The process worked in 1997 and in 2019 when the court ruled against the government in the no confidence vote.
Interference in the elections:
Western countries must not be allowed to abrogate the mandate of the courts of Guyana to themselves. Statements like “a transition of government…would be unconstitutional”… without Guyanese  courts so ruling, and ..regardless of how the Guyana Supreme Court rules the installation of a new government based on the declared results will be deemed illegitimate..’ must be rejected. Guyana is a sovereign, democratic state. Interference in Guyana’s elections, to tip the scale for a particular party, as well as preemption of its courts, violate international law.
The court is arbiter of elections disputes:
This elections matter is before our courts. Guyana’s history of obeying judgments of the court has enriched our democracy. GECOM, not the government, controls the elections process. The Orwellians hiding behind the skirts of diplomats and calling for sanctions to hurt Guyanese and destabilize the Caribbean, are the same dastardly cowards who perpetrated genocide in Guyana.
Their foreheads are marked from their crimes of extrajudicial killings, gun and drug smuggling and money laundering. But for how long can their lobbyist, Mercury, hoodwink world powers? How long more can the Orewllians play deceptive games in the arena of international politics? We will see!

Guyana General Elections: Democratic Transition MUST be premised on the Rule of LAW

Press Release by Guyana Trades Union Congress

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) notes with deep concerns the tsunami of misinformation  permeating our social space and its impact on public opinion threatening to destabilise the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) declaration of  which party/group will form the next government.  It also threatens Guyana’s democracy, credibility of our institutions of governance, the rule of law and community relationships at a time when this small Caribbean nation’s oil rich potential is being exploited. It is not lost on us that the spread of a misinformation campaign can have far reaching and long lasting impact not only on Guyana but CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, and further afield.

Moved by this understanding GTUC seeks the support of Guyana and all concerned to have us navigate these challenges, by supporting the call to all persons, organisations and countries  with interest  in our well-being  to respect  the  internal mechanisms  embedded in our judicial system and the independent constitutional office of GECOM  whose chairperson Justice Claudette Singh  S.C has declared will “abide by all legal and procedural requirements to conclude its work.”

Please note:

GECOM– An independent constitutional body for conduction of National (General), Regional and Local Government elections in Guyana

  • The election process- The process, now sub judice, was halted due to an injunction moved by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/C (PPP/C). At this stage the High Court having established its jurisdiction in favour of the Opposition is having its second sitting on Tuesday, 10thMarch, 2020.
  • GECOM from all public accounts has never refused to review queries made. What is evident is as it sought to implement administrative measures to address concerns a volatile environment was created obstructing its performance.
  • GECOM Chairperson Justice Singh following a subsequent demand from the Opposition to continue the process even as same was being adjudicated on, cited legal restraints as the matter was sub judice.
  • A misinformation campaign has started to condemn her learned silence and refusal to show contempt for the courts.

Government –President David Granger on many occasions declared  and continues to support the independence of GECOM allowing this institution to operate without interference from the government.

High-priced lobbying – vs- Representation of the People Act (Cap 1:03): These elections have been shaped by the Opposition paid Washington D.C, USA based powerful lobbying firm influencing international observers, citizens and other countries’ perceptions of the outcome of an elections not by GECOM and the Representation of the People Act, the sole constitutional institution/authority to administer the election under the said law.

GTUC recognises that whereas our laws may not address issues of this nature and it is the  right of any party to  use such means to advance its position  these should not come  at  the expense of allowing the process to work within the framework of the law i.e. Representation of the People Act.

Credibility of the Statements of Poll (SoPs) – The question of the credibility of the verification process has surfaced with several parties lending support to the issue as raised by the Opposition PPP/C. One presidential candidate, Ms. Phillis Jordan of the  People’s Republic Party (PRP), in a video circulating on social media  has since informed the nation that all of the small parties, none of which had its own SoPs in all the 10 Districts/Regions, were issued collated figures from an unnamed  major party. Hence the credibility of claims made by these parties in support of the major opposing force raises questions.

Derailing the GECOM process – GTUC is of the opinion that the carefully orchestrated misinformation and derailing of the GECOM process was also used to advance unrest by opposition supporters in a country that is known for its ethnic tensions during elections. These unrests when carefully analysed serves one major group only, and does not work for the good of the beguiled people.

Transition – Democratic transition from this phase to another should not be dictated to outside of the Representation of the People Act and GECOM’s constitutional right to so declare which party/group has won the Executive and apportion the seats in the National Assembly. GECOM is the authority to likewise state which party/group has won at the ten Regional Democratic Councils and apportion the seats on the Councils based on the votes received.

Historical Reference – Guyana situation is not dissimilar to that of the United States’ (U.S) 2000 presidential election which resulted in George W. Bush being declared President. In said election the U.S Supreme Court was asked to pronounce on the tabulation (hanging chads) between allotment of votes for candidates Bush and Alfred Gore.  The process of tabulation awaited the judicial outcome.  Guyana’s law allows for judicial review and resolution of our current challenges and we expect the U.S and other countries of the world to treat with our circumstance with no less respect than they treated with that of the U.S in 2000.

Prime Minister Gaston Brown Has Prejudiced Investigation Into Alleged Stolen Twins – Independent Investigation Needed


Submitted by President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) denounces the attacks on Ms. Keoma Hamer by the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Mr. Gatson Brown. Ms. Hamer is a young mother and Guyanese national experiencing unimaginable trauma and torture from the disappearance and alleged theft of her twin baby girls who were born at Holberton Hospital in Antigua on “September 7, 2004″ while her flight was in transit there. Ms. Hamer’s medical records disappeared within days of her delivery. When her family returned to pay the $1,000.00 medical bill, hospital staff said no record of her existed and refused the funds.

Antigua is quickly establishing itself as the child abduction capital of the Caribbean region. Visitors and tourists should therefore be gravely concerned about the likelihood that if they travel to Antigua while pregnant, their babies and medical records may be stolen and the Prime Minister and government will be complicit by refusing to conduct a credible investigation and ensure the administration of justice.

Ms. Hamer and several other patients and nurses have attested to seeing the babies alive at birth. They allege that the twins were stolen. Ms. Hamer has been on a fifteen-year search for her twins. Recently, two young girls were identified as the potential twins. Ostensibly, one resides in Antigua and the other in the US. If the allegations are true, this matter involves child abduction and human trafficking – international crimes.  Prime Minister Brown has not commented on, and seems disinterested in, the allegation that babies and medical records have disappeared from a government institution.

The Prime Minister in an official statement on December 27, 2019, disparaged Ms. Hamer as an “unknown woman” and a liar whose babies died in 2004. he offered not independent evidence of this. In subsequent social media posts, the Prime Minister, without providing any evidence, claimed that Ms. Hamer’s story “bears no resemblance to reality.” His attacks are an assault on women and mothers, and deserve stern repudiation. This is beneath his office. No Prime Minister who ascribes to the creed of human dignity and is in a balanced state of mind can be so callous and irresponsible.  CGID calls on Prime Minister Brown to apologize to Ms. Hamer for his insensitive attacks.

Prime Minister Gaston Brown apparently traffics in fiction from an alternate reality and continues to misguide himself about the facts in this case. He is holding out Dr. Joseph John’s disputed letter of October 7, 2004, as evidence that Ms. Hamer had a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. Ms. Hamer and several other patients and nurses of the then Holberton Hospital have attested to seeing the babies born alive on “September 7, 2004,” and taken away. These eye witness accounts discredit Dr. John’s account which also states an incorrect birth date. Moreover, Dr. John’s letter establishes that he was not present the time Ms. Hamer gave birth. Rather he attended to her on September 9, 2004, two days she birthed the twins. Consequently, Dr. John’s opinion was predicated on alleged falsified medical records, which erroneously stated that the babies died at birth.

The responsible course of action the Prime Minister must pursue is ensure a thorough and independent investigate by a distinguished juris who can make a finding of fact which answers the following questions:

(1) Ms. Hamer never received  an account of what happened to her babies. What happened to the babies? Why were no photographs taken? Why weren’t the purported remains shown to the mother and handed over to relatives as Ms. Hamer requested? Where were the purported remains buried?

2. Within a few days of her discharge, the medical records disappeared. Holberton Hospital claimed it possessed no records or evidence that Ms. Hamer was admitted or treated at its facility. What happened to the medical records? Where are they? Is this how the state of Antigua is governed?

3. The Prime Minister alleges that Antigua Police conducted DNA tests on the identified child and the purported parents, and that the results concluded that the persons tested were the child’s biological parents. However the alleged DNA tests were done in secrecy and lacks transparency.  We reject these results as unreliable. Ms. Esther Amos, the reputed mother, stated on ABS television on December 27, 2019, that she provided a DNA sample that shows that she is the biological mother.

4. How were the DNA samples obtained by the Police? Did the Police collect them from the said identified child and reputed parents, or did the parents voluntarily provided the samples to the police unsupervised?   Who verified that the correct child provided the DNA specimens? Who supervised the collection of the DNA samples as well as the chain of custody of the samples from collection to delivery to the lab? Which laboratory conducted the tests and where are the documented results?

5. Ms. Keoma Hamer was not DNA tested, why? Why wasn’t Ms. Hamer or her representatives invited to witness the collection of the DNA samples?

6. Did the Antigua Police investigate the pregnancy records of Ms. Amos, the issuance of the child’s birth certificate as well as her school records? Did the Police interview former nurses and patients of Holberton Hospital? Did the Police interview Dr. John and Dr. Abbott?  Did the Police investigate allegations that the parents previously claimed that the child was adopted?

The Prime Minister has callously remarked that Ms. Hamer’s claim is a lie, and that her babies were born dead. He has unfortunately prejudiced this investigation with premature conclusions before the so-called police investigation has concluded. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has lost all credibility on this matter and may be seen as complicit in a cover-up.  We are therefore calling for an independent investigation into this matter by a jurist. We urge that all parties in this case be treated fairly, justly and with respect; including Ms. Hamer and Ms. Amos.


Call on Government of Antigua & Barbuda to Conduct Creditable Investigation Into Alleged Abduction Of Twins From Guyanese Mother

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is deeply concerned that Antigua and Barbuda government authorities have not resolved allegations that twin babies were stolen from Guyanese national, Ms. Keoma Hymer, minutes after they were born at a hospital in Antigua on September 7, 2004, while she was in transit there. Evidence suggests that that 14 year old twins are alive. One allegedly resides in Antigua and the other in the US. It is inexplicable that this matter remains unresolved. Consequently, CGID has asked the US State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to investigate this allegation as it potentially constitutes abduction and human trafficking.

Ms. Keoma Hymer is a Guyanese national, from Mahaicony, ECD, who was 19 years old and 7 months pregnant when she boarded a LIAT flight from Guyana to St. Martin on September 4, 2004. The flight in-transited in Antigua where she became ill. She was transported by ambulance to Holborton Hospital in St. Johns, Antigua, now renamed “Mount St. John Medical Center,” and was admitted. Incidentally, Ms. Hamer gave birth to identical twin girls prematurely on September 7, 2004, at Holborton Hospital. After delivery, Ms. Hamer saw her babies alive and heard them cry. She watched as a group of nurse took them away. This was witnessed by other patients. This was the last time she saw the twins.

Ms. Hamer recalls that a short while after the nurses left with the twin babies, a particular nurse returned and informed her that the babies had died. Ms. Hamer expressly told the nurse that she wanted photographs, hence, she must keep the babies and hand them over to her aunt on her arrival. The babies were not handed over to Ms. Hamer’s aunt. No photographs were taken. No account was given about what happened to the twins.   Shortly after this episode, Ms. Hamer’s representative returned to hospital to pay the outstanding bill. However, hospital staff advised the representative that there was no record of Ms. Hamer’s hospitalization at the hospital. Hence the refused the payment. Her admission and medical records had disappeared. Later when Ms. Hamer visited the hospital and was also told no record of her hospitalization exists.

CGID herein releases documentation establishing that Ms. Hamer was indeed a patient at Holborton Hospital at the time. Dr. Joseph A. John has certified this fact. Dr. John has also attested that he and Dr. Abbott oversaw Ms. Hamer’s care. He also detailed her medical condition and treatment; albeit his claim of the circumstance of her delivery seems inconsistent with established facts. There are also photographic and medical records of Ms. Hamer pregnancy and travel to Antigua. The claim that the babies had died appear to have been false. Several witnesses have attested to seeing the babies alive at birth. They allege that the babies were neither stillborn nor died after birth, but were allegedly stolen. There is strong evidence that the twins have now been identified. One allegedly lives in Gambles, Antigua, and attends Christ The King School. The other ostensibly lives in Syracuse, New York.

In the attached letter dated June 24, 2019, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Health, Mr. Molwyn Joseph, advised Ms. Hamer, that this matter is under investigation. On December 4, 2019 Acting Police Commissioner, Mr. Atlee Rodney, informed Ms. Hamer that DNA tests could not exclude the purported parents as the true biotical parents; albeit, the credibility of the Police DNA tests is dispute.  This test was ostensibly done in July 2019. Despite numerous requests,   the results remained hidden from Ms. Hamer.

Administrators at Foundation Mix School, where one of the identified twins previously attended, have indicated that at enrollment, a purported parent claimed that the child was adopted from the Commonwealth of Dominica. Commenting on this matter, an official from the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare of the Commonwealth of Dominica said: “Our records do not reflect any adoption of the said child.”  Serious questions remain unanswered. What are the names of the parents listed on the birth certificates and in which country were the certificate issued? How can a child who is allegedly adopted carry the DNA of the adopted parents? Who collected the samples and supervised the alleged DNA test? If the purported parents had indeed given birth to the twins, where is the evidence, such as photographs and medical records, of the pregnancy?

Did the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda gather this crucial evidence? Why was the alleged DNA test done in secret and without credible witnesses? Only tests results from DNA samples collected in the presence of a Judge, Ms. Hamer, her attorney, where the entire transfer chain is supervised by the courts to preserved the integrity of the process, can be deemed credible and legitimate. This process must ensue urgently.

CGID calls for a thorough, fair and impartial Police investigation of this matter, which potentially involves serious criminal conduct if the allegations are substantiated.  An alleged party in these allegations currently resides in the US and allegedly works as a medical professional in the York City School system. CGID calls on New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio to direct the NYPD and the Department of Investigations to review these allegations.

Moreover, CGID calls on the government of Antigua & Barbuda to do everything within its power to resolve this matter urgently as it undermines public trust it its institutions. A nurse Roxan Babb-McCurdy, as well as nurse Lynette Daniels, were allegedly nurses at Holborton Hospital and on duty at the time of Ms. Hamer’s hospitalization. We call on all persons with knowledge of the alleged abduction and trafficking to contact and cooperate with law enforcement to ensure a timely resolution of this matter.

Description of attached photographs:

Barbados Pushing Regional Narrative

One of the noticeable marks Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley has been making early in her tenure is on the regional front.  By contrast former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was silent and usurped the leadership role Barbados has played historically in the region. Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the 2019 Caribbean Forum on Regional Transformation for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth recommitted Barbados to the CSME project.  She stressed managed migration a la Canada and greater communication must be the focus to deepen regional integration. Following in the footsteps of her BLP predecessor Owen Arthur there is an intent by Mottley- who has lead for CSME- to expand the fiscal and financial space to the benefit of tiny Barbados.

An example: initially the blogmaster was critical of Senator Alphea Wiggins’ appointment as Special Envoy with a mandate to develop a strategic partnership with Suriname.   With a large gathering in parliament why not appoint a member of parliament? Feedback in this space proffered that the  resume of Wiggins the diplomat is ideally suited to the task at hand. Time will tell.

Barbadians have been told by Wiggins about land donated to Barbados by Suriname – in a government to government deal – to be utilized on a pilot basis by local farmers. Although Wiggins has expressed disappointment at the weak response to the opportunity provided to local farmers and private sector there is hope the mindset of our local actors will change from being inwardly focus. In 2013 resident billionaire Sir Kyffin Simpson was reported to have significantly invested in an agriculture project in Guyana.

The farm, located in Santa Fe in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region some 231 miles (or 371 km) south-west of Georgetown, will be producing rice, corn, soya, cow beans, guar and eventually moso bamboo trees primarily for export. Already 10 000 acres are being prepared for cultivation and this will be extended by another 30 000 acres as production is steadily increased. Sir Kyffin has the option of tripling this acreage if the venture proves successful – Sir Kyffin Simpson Shows Leadership Investing in Agriculture

Last week at a business forum to promote trading opportunities in Suriname and Guyana was held in Barbados – opportunities identified agriculture, agro-processing, construction, renewable energy, tourism, education, and services. To add impetus to the message being championed by government, Minister Sandra Husbands with responsibility for  foreign trade could have co-opted support from Sir Kyffin or designate to update on his investment in Guyana.  Local private sector actors sitting on the fence needs to be persuaded to shed a risk averse mindset.

The blogmaster supports the renewed effort to deepen regional integration.  All sensible people will agree small islands in Caricom must do better to improve avenues for functional cooperation. It should be obvious to those with an average level of discernment that both Jamaica and Bahamas in the North share no great appetite for CSME – maybe just for the movement of the unskilled.  The alternative approach by Barbados to create opportunities with our neighbours in the South is a countervailing strategy to salvage the CSME initiative.

The idea to have Barbadian capital and technical resources combined with Guyanese and Suriname significant land and natural resources to the benefit of both countries in large scale agriculture and other opportunities is an approach which keeps hope alive.








STATEMENT BY US, UK and EU Rejected!


The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) rejects the statement today by the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union that Guyana’s APNU+AFC coalition government is in breach of the Guyana constitution, because elections were not held by September 18, 2019. This is an arbitrary date fixed by the political opposition PPP. It has no basis in law.

CGID condemns this blatant breach of Guyana’s sovereignty by the US, UK and EU, as well as deplores their nefarious interference in Guyana’s internal affairs. We also strongly denounce their apparent coordination with the opposition, which can potentially engender political instability and undermine our democracy. This display of prejudice by the Missions will deminish the respect and trust the Guyanese people repose in these foreign Governments.

The assertion that the government of Guyana is in breach of the constitution is false, irresponsible and baseless. CGID therefore challenges the Missions to cite the authority they used as the basis for their misguided and provocative statement, which is contemptuous of the Guyanese people and political process.

It is grossly hypocritical for Missions of the United States and the United Kingdom particularly, to presume to the lecture the Guyanese government and people about constitutional compliance when their individual governments are currently being challenged in court for violating their nations’ constitution.

In fact, on September 11, 2019, the Scottish Appeal Court – the Inner House of the Court of Sessions, ruled that the suspension of the British Parliament by the British government is unconstitutional. Such a matter demands the attention of the British Government and its representatives who now seek to collude and cast aspersions with respect to a matter that has been fully ventilated in Guyana’s highest courts. Thus we urge these parties to get their own houses in order.

CGID reiterates that the matters in connection with the December 21, 2018 no confidence motion were fully ventilated at the Guyana Supreme Court, Court  of Appeal as well the Caribbean Court of Justice. At no time has any court cited or sanctioned any constitutional violation by the APNU+AFC coalition government. Consequently, it is remarkable that these Missions have seemingly embraced an invention of the political opposition.

Guyana’s political and electoral processes and national destiny shall be determined solely by the people of Guyana and not foreign governments. CGID therefore call on the US, British and EU Missions to cease interfering in Guyana’s internal affairs; respect Guyana’s sovereignty and maintain neutrality with regard to Guyana’s politics.

Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) September 19, 2019

CCJ Has Ruled – Lawful Way Forward Imperative

Press Release, Guyana Trades Union Congress – 20th July 2019

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) calls for level headedness to prevail in the interpretation of the Consequential Orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Those orders specifically address three areas of focus for resolution on the way forward since the 21st December 2018 no-confidence vote against the APNU+AFC Government was declared validly passed. These are- the Executive, the Legislature/Parliament, and GECOM. The Government and Opposition have accepted the rulings and orders but once again have different interpretation how these should be realised.

The Executive (Government) and Parliament (Legislature)  

The Executive in this current environment has been referred to by the CCJ as having “caretaker” status and advised that in this “role it should be restrained in the use of its legal authority.” There is no precise guideline/limitation on what a “caretaker” government means and what precisely constitutes “restrained in the use of legal authority” suited to our indigenous reality. This is why Government and Opposition must engage to establish the constrains to government functioning during a period like this that will be acceptable to both. It is not for Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo to determine what these must constitute and for the Government to act out of consort for the bonafide concerns of the Opposition.

Further, the CCJ as per its release dated 12th July 2019 ruled “Article 106 is clear and it should be followed.” Article 106, which is titled ‘The Cabinet’ has seven clauses. And whereas Clause 6 says “the Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by a vote of the majority…;” Clause 7 says that “[n]otwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office…and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.” We should all acquaint ourselves and abide with the seven clauses of Article 106 and allow the Government to use its legal authority to conduct the business of this country. Anything outside of this is anarchy.

Both Opposition and Government must go back to Parliament to address Article 106 in its entirety. Respect for the CCJ’s ruling would see adherence to this, what should happen next after a confidence vote is passed, and the fact that litigation was a contributing factor in putting a pause on election being held “within three months.” GTUC is well aware returning to the National Assembly may appear as though one side is losing ground, but this is not about losing ground it is about saving Guyana, utilising law and order.

The nation has gone past the 90 days as prescribed in clause 7 to hold an election, which kicks in the other conditionality of “or such longer period” as to when election can be held. And outside of GECOM, a constitutionally independent body, stating its readiness to holding election, the extant clause requires activation by “resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine.” Government and Opposition must return to the Assembly to give effect to this clause. Why is there no effort to seek a constitutional resolution as instructed by the CCJ as opposed to a political one with the potential for conflict?

This nation can take the example of political patience and respect for the Rule of Law being faithfully exhausted in other societies. Take the United States (U.S) and United Kingdom (U.K) for instance, they are utilising the Judiciary and Legislature to resolve serious differences with President Donald Trump administration, and leaving the European Union as with the UK  As we watch and see the methodical and patient pursuit and execution of the law, why aren’t our politicians learning and adopting these best practices of resolution of conflict. This nation must not be torn apart every time there is political difference and the issue of election comes up.

Election seems to be an opportunity not just to pursue a particular path of development but also to drive wedges between our people. It’s a shame our 21st century politics reflect the backwardness of the 19th century and anti-progressive societies. Gut feelings and passions have their place, but we cannot depend on that in matters relating to governance where the Rule of Law must take precedence.


There is no doubt election has to be held. This is not a willy nilly process and it is one that has serious implications for all of us and the way forward.

We remind this nation in 2006 then President Bharrat Jagdeo, himself faced with an electoral process, in an address to the nation said, “The law says that GECOM shall define the form of verification of the list or may decide on verification and will decide on what form it will take. Not the PPP, not the PNC, not any party, GECOM. That’s a constitutional body, independent just like the courts.” Neither the Constitution nor Elections Laws have changed since then. It is therefore an act of serious concern when a different posturing- seeking to dictate and malign personnel and the operations of GECOM- is now being pursued with a bullhorn, misrepresenting GECOM’s processes and the pathway to holding an election.

Similarly, as per CCJ release dated 12th July 2019, “As to the precise orders it should make, the CCJ cautioned, however, that it is not, ‘the role of the Court to establish a date on, or by which, the elections must be held’”.

Clearly, by now society should realise that despite the rhetoric, politicking and misleading statements we have come out of the CCJ empowered with the understanding that the no-confidence motion was validly passed, the process used to appoint the Chairman of GECOM was in violation of the Constitution, and the understanding that according to constitution GECOM is an independent body. Whereas this may not be pleasing to some or a loss to those looking for a different ruling, what is required is that we as a nation allow respect for the Rule of Law and do not interfere with a duly constituted body for election processes.

A peaceful way forward is imperative

Stirring up anger and inflaming passions as a means towards a political end have the potential for serious racial confrontation in this country. We should avoid this at all cause, for there will be no victors only losers. We also leave ourselves vulnerable to external forces. The legal system is obviously working if we allow it to work, if we respect its ruling and if we allow a level of integrity and good will to guide our interpretations.

Both sides must exercise good faith and trust and put together agreed mechanisms how government must function in a caretaker mode. Both sides must return to Parliament and execute their duty consistent with the Constitution. It is a demonstration of good will and willingness to work together to arrive at a mutually satisfying

Both sides operating in good faith will better command respect and trust that they are capable of resolving the current impasse and not sacrificing the well-being of supporters for political gain. They must give leadership and guidance to get out of this political morass with all its potential hazards at this juncture of our growth. Equal onus is on the Leader of the Opposition to be responsible in his use of language and to desist from making misleading statements that will play to those who are vulnerable and easily influenced.

An era that has come to an end whereby if any one group believes that they can govern at the exclusion of any other, with mere token representation to window dress inclusion, that will not be acceptable.  Hence political gamesmanship must not take precedence over wise decision-making in keeping with the Rule of Law.

The GTUC is concerned about those whose only interest is seemingly securing their individual and corporate interests at the expense of the working class. There is no evidence to date of genuine efforts to build on the foundation of creating a political system of inclusion where all can benefit and feel valued.  There is a standstill in development and factoring the needs of diverse communities. The essence of grassroots development is lost to this era of politicians on all sides, replacing it with avaricious and self-serving behaviours.

Say what you will about Cheddie Jagan and Forbes Burnham they had a genuine interest in the development of this nation and its people. We are yet to see 34 years after Burnham’s passing any vision, any development that matches his era. We are yet to see 22 years after Jagan’s passing the willingness to sit and negotiate with his opponent across the table.

People Who Claim to be Academics and Political Scientists


Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

Dear Editor,

Last Friday (July 12), the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ordered President David Granger and his Cabinet in Guyana to resign immediately from Government and call elections within three (3) months.

This now seven-month elections’ delay has clearly brought out the political and ethnic biases of academics in Guyana such as Dr David Hinds who is also a member of the ruling coalition Government. It seems that the two Davids think alike in their insistence that the illegal government should remain in power.

At a history conference in Guyana two weeks ago which I attended, Hinds again showed his ethnic biases. He gave the feature address on the topic of Dr Walter Rodney, whom he described glowingly as a “black nationalist” and “a Pan Africanist.”

Hinds pointed out the marginalisation of certain groups such as Rastafarians in the Caribbean but did not utter a word about the alienation or tokenism of (East) Indians in regional institutions like the very CCJ, CARICOM, the Caribbean Reparations Commission, etc.

During the Questions and Answers (Q and A) session, I asked Hinds why he spoke about trade union leaders such as Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler and not mention even once the name of Bhadase Sagan Maraj, Adrian Kola Rienzi (Krishna Deonarine) or Basdeo Panday.

I also asked Hinds why he spoke about Guyanese and Trinidadian icons such as CLR James, Makandal Dagga, Eusi Kwayana and George Padmore and not even once mentioned the name of Cheddi Jagan or VS Naipaul, the only Nobel Prize laureate from Trinidad and Tobago.

I also asked Hinds why did he talk about cultural creations in the Caribbean such as calypso, steelpan and ska and made no reference to chutney music as well as “doubles” street food or the curried “sour” sauce and “puri” roti from Guyana.

Hinds replied about not having enough time to mention everybody [Indians particularly] in his hour-long address. Pity these people who claim to be objective academics and political scientists in the Caribbean.


Dr Kumar Mahabir

San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago

Minister Henry’s Lawsuit Is An Abuse of Court Process & Attempt To Suppress Free Speech

By Richard Millington

Guyana’s Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, on June 24, 2019 secretly filed a defamation lawsuit against President of the New York Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Rickford Burke, in Guyana’s Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleges that Burke, who resides in the United States, stated on his Facebook page on March 9, 2019, that Henry “has failed Guyana with her incompetence as Minister of Education.” Henry contended in the lawsuit that she relies on her reputation to be an effective minister of government and that Burke’s post placed her in public disrepute.

Henry’s lawsuit is unfathomable. Although Rickford Burke has a huge following and a majority of Guyanese shares his opinion of Henry, everyone had moved on. No one remembered this four-month old conversation. With this meritless, ill-timed and ill-advised lawsuit, Henry has resurrected this topic. She now faces renewed scrutiny of her abysmal performance as Minister of Education at a time when her APNU+AFC coalition government faces a tough reelection. Detractors will undoubtedly link her incompetence to the performance of the government.

It must be disconcerting to President David Granger that Henry’s lawsuit is not in her private capacity but as Minister of Education. It is a flagrant attempt by a Minister to abuse the court process to silence critics. Her petty-minded attempt to suppress free speech violates democratic norms. It is a remarkable blemish against the APNU+AFC coalition government, which vehemently criticized the previous People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration for their dictatorial tactics and repression of free speech. Undoubtedly, this is a public relations fiasco for a government whose public relations is profoundly disastrous.

In a March 7, 2019, a Facebook post on Burke page criticized Henry and the Ministry of Education (MOE) for disregarding the Guyanese founder and pioneer of STEM Guyana. STEM Guyana’s Robotics program was recently introduced to students and young people in Guyana. The program developed rapidly and gained international recognition. In two years in ranked 10th in the world.

Burke said the Minister and MOE ignored STEM’s request to participate in MOE’s roll out of Robotics in schools. He said MOE instead engaged white-owned American company, A+ Technologies to demonstrate its Robotics capabilities MOE curriculum development experts. He blasted Henry and the MOE of choosing a foreigner over a Guyanese who possesses far more qualifications and capacity than the expatriate owner of A+ Technologies. It is inexplicable that Henry would engage Rickford Burke in this case of Guyanese patriotic advocacy, in which she cannot prevail.

Henry suffered a second round of blistering criticism from Burke and the public after she allegedly engineered to the press which asserted that Burke’s description of A+ Technologies as “white-owned” was “reprehensible, distasteful and tantamount to racism.’ It also called Guyanese to “speak out against” Burke. Burke publicly linked the letter to Henry. He explained that the language was verbatim to a missive from an assistant to Henry, who contacted him on Facebook and demanding that the post be removed. He added that a source in Henry’s secretariat provided CGID with a tip about the letter and its conduit to the media.

Responding to the letter in a March 9, 2019 post the CGID President blasted Henry and DOE as unpatriotic for disrespecting a Afro-Guyanese woman for a foreigner. He also slammed Henry as an “incompetent government minister and parliamentary representative for her constituency in Region 6.

Henry sent Burke a lawyer’s letter from Attorney Darren Wade, of Harmon & Associates, dated March 3, 2019 (an incorrect date), requesting a retraction and apology. A subsequent post appeared on Burke’s Facebook page stating that “Nicolette cannot intimidate me. Neither can she censor or suppress my freedom of speech right. I reaffirm my belief that she is an incompetent Minister and incompetent political parliamentary representative.” He told a Caribbean publication that his comments were not libelous and that they accurately reflect his belief.

Henry can neither win on the merits of her case in court nor win in the court of public opinion. First, there is plenty evidence to prove her incompetence. Foremost in the mines of the Guyana people is her embarrassing performance during the 2018 teachers’ union negotiation. Second, labelling Henry “incompetent” is not slanderous. It is an opinion of her performance. Furthermore, Burke’s comments were made in the US which is outside the jurisdiction of the Guyana Supreme Court.  Moreover, Henry is a Minister of government – a public official who serves the people. Her employers are the people of Guyana. She is therefore subject to scrutiny and criticism from the people. This places her at a far higher bar for libel and defamation.

The public has a right to criticize her performance. This is what she signed up for as a candidate for political office, and when she took the ministerial oath of office. Public accountability is an inevitable function of democracy. The recent arrest of social activist Melissa Atwell for exposing alleged incidents of malpractice at Balwant Singh hospital as well as Nicolette Henry’s lawsuit against Rickford Burke for saying she’s incompetent are violations of constitutionally protected free speech in Guyana, which must be condemned.

Also deserving of scrutiny is Henry’s attorney who has obviously misguided her. In paragraphs 1and 3 of page two of their letter to Burke, the Attorney conflated Nicolette Henry with the Ministry of Education, and consequently the Government of Guyana. Therein, the Attorney made pronouncements on behalf of the “Ministry of Education” and the government, after first affirming Henry to be the client.

Letter from Henry’s Lawyer:

The Attorney General’s Chambers make legal representations and pronouncements for the government. Lawyers in the AG’s Chambers say they are unaware of this matter and are shocked by the representations made. They confirm that Henry’s Attorney cannot speak for the government.

By filing this lawsuit Henry has placed her competence on trial in the court of law as well in the court of public opinion, and inevitably that of the APNU+AFC coalition government. Will the coalition allow her to take them down with her?

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Doing Things with Rules

The notion that lawyers, and especially judges, know everything is doubtless premised on the variety of determinations the profession is obliged to make as part of its diurnal routine. Is a medical doctor liable for negligence? Did a Minister exercise his or her discretion properly? Did an accused intend to murder the deceased? These are but a few of the decisions that are matters of law and whose answers lie exclusively within the realm of legal theory. Of course, in some matters, a court will be assisted by expert evidence, especially when determining matters that depend on the practice of a particular profession. For instance, medical negligence will be found where the doctor fails to act in accordance with an accepted responsible body of medical practice. What constitutes such is a matter of evidence from a medical expert in the particular area in issue.

A similar determination arose this week in the Caribbean Court of Justice, where, as the highest court in the Guyanese legal system, it was called upon to pronounce on a number of issues concerning the law of governance in that jurisdiction. These arose out of the infamous no confidence motion brought by the parliamentary opposition against the governing coalition administration. I say infamous because it may be recalled that one member of the governing coalition parliamentary group chose to vote against his side and therefore to carry the Opposition motion by a tally of 33 votes to 32.

These matters managed to present a number of legal issues for the Court’s determination; among them, whether there was a difference between a no confidence motion that was not expressly provided for in the Constitution and a motion of confidence that was so provided? What constitutes the majority necessary for the passage of a no-confidence motion and whether the Court had jurisdiction to inquire into the issue of Mr Persaud’s [the MP who voted with the Opposition motion] qualification to be a member of the National Assembly.

Of these issues, I found the first to be the most intriguing and I have written in another capacity more times than one on the very point. The matter became a legal issue because the legal advisors to the governing administration were of the view that first, there was a difference between an absolute majority and a simple majority; and that 33 votes could not constitute a majority in a 65 member Parliament because a majority was half of the total plus one and, since there could not be 0.5 of a vote, half of 65 had to be rounded up to 33 and the added one would give a total of 34. Too besides, they argued further, since 33 was already a majority of 64 members, it could not also be the majority of 65, a grater number. Of course, this assertion took no notice of the reality that 34 was also the majority of 66, itself a greater number than 65.

I argued in one of my writings on the subject last year, relying on the learning in Robert’s Rules of Order that the use of the formula half-plus-one to constitute a majority is apt to cause problems. According to the text, “Suppose in voting on a motion 17 votes are cast. 9 in favor and 8 opposed. Fifty percent of the votes cast is 81/2 so that 50 percent plus one would be 91/3. Under such an erroneous definition of a majority, one might say that the motion was not adopted because it did not receive 50 percent plus one of the voted cast although it was, quite clearly, passed by a majority vote”.

A similar argument appeared to find favour with President Saunders who drew on his judicial experience of what constitutes a majority judgment.

Since the Assembly comprises an odd number, there is no need to imply into the Constitution any formula for defining a majority as being ‘half plus one’. Indeed, as an American judge noted,12 the 50% plus one ruleleads to illogical results when it is applied to odd numbers. So, for example, it is trite that when a Court of Appeal sits as a panel of three, a majority decision is 2:1. The Chief Justice was therefore right when she adjudged that a majority from among 65 members is a minimum of 33.”

It bears remarking that the learned Chief Justice of Guyana had also reasoned likewise although she appeared to base her determination on an obverse application of the golden rule by positing if Persaud had voted against the no-confidence motion, the government would have accepted that the vote count of 33 is the majority of all elected members”.

In support of their argument, the lawyers for the governing administration had cited two authorities from Commonwealth jurisdictions. The CCJ found neither useful. As for the first, from Vanuatu, it related to a circumstance where an even number of members constituted the parliament.

Kilman was a case where the Vanuatu parliament consisted of 52 members. Only 51 voted on a particular motion that required an absolute majority. The result of the vote was 26:25. It was in this context that the court said as is stated above. Twenty-six votes could not carry the motion because what was needed was a majority of 52 and since 52 was an even number, in that specific context that majority could only be obtained via the formula of half the Members of Parliament plus one.

The second authority from Anguilla was also easily distinguished-

In that case the question concerned the number of members necessary to constitute a quorum. The Assembly comprised 11 members. The quorum requirement was two-thirds. Mathematically, two-thirds of 11 yields 7.3. The question was whether to constitute the quorum one should round up to 8 or round down to 7 members. The court held that since the concept of a quorum meant the least number possible for the valid transaction of business, one could not round down to 7 as that number would fall below the mandated quorum of 7.3. One should round up to 8 which would satisfy the quorum condition. Hughes v Rogers, therefore, has no relevance to the question at hand.

To be continued



Guyana’s Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), today (Yesterday), June 21, 2019 said via its Facebook Page, that it intends to “file private charges” against me for “inciting violence” because I called on Guyana’s security forces to investigate allegations that the PPP has been acquiring and stockpiling weapons. Calling on the police to investigate a crime or allegation of a crime is not a violation of the law. The responsibility of the Guyana Police Force, and other security forces is to investigate crimes and allegations of crimes. The PPP cannot intimidate me. I’m undeterred by its threat. I therefore reaffirm my call for the Police Force to investigate these allegations.
The PPP is smarting from its own sordid history of political and criminal violence. The PPP government, during Bharrat Jagdeo’s presidency, was accused of, and investigated for, killing over 400 Afro-Guyanese young men. The PPP was also investigated for torture and other crimes against humanity.
Moreover, I also intend to direct my Attorneys to file criminal charges against opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo for making reckless statements on March 10, 2019, at a political rally at Babu Jaan, Port Mourant, Berbice that incited violence against President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other government ministers. Jagdeo repeated said statements at press conference at his Church Street, government office on March 14, 2019. Jagdeo’s incendiary statement incontrovertibly incited violence and racial polarization, and constituted a criminal violation of the law.

CCJ’s Consequential Order Requires Guyanese to Unite

Press Release submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (19th June 2019)

CCJ’s Consequential Order requires citizens uniting to hold politicians accountable to a higher political order and love of country- not just power

The fundamentals of our democracy and regional integration stand strong in the decisions handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Tuesday 18th June.  The rulings- ‘no-confidence’ motion and appointment of GECOM chairman-of the CCJ is a signal that the integrity of our judicial system in Guyana and the Caribbean can be relied on to adjudicate disputes in any environment of partisanship and polarisation. This is important in a context that notwithstanding the many questions and aspersions made about the integrity of the system Guyana and CARICOM states can be proud today.

Respecting due process

The Caribbean through Guyana has set an example of how political conflicts can be resolved through the judicial process. A process that requires trust, confidence and belief that the judiciary is the final arbiter on interpretation of the laws and the guardian of same.

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is heartened that notwithstanding vocal acceptance or rejection of the High Court or Appeal Court’s rulings on the given issues, due process allowed the various stages of our judicial system to be rightfully granted all parties involved. The Government, Opposition and all society are bound by the rulings of the CCJ and neither party can today claim they were denied due process and equal access to this branch of government and finally to the CCJ.  This is the fundamentals of our democracy reflected in the adherence to Rights and the Rule of Law.  This is indicative of what good governance is all about.

Right to legal justice

But even as we mark this achievement let us recognise that it came only after many were believed to be figuratively kicking and screaming through the entire process, seeking after political responses and satisfaction (political justice) that presented risks of deeper chasms, with domestic and regional instability as opposed to a more rational and acceptable judicial pursuit that reinforces the rights of all, confidence in this arm of government and the separation of powers therein. It came notwithstanding the belief and projected comments that Government was holding onto power and amidst calls for them to step down even as they sought to defend their belief and right to pursue judicial settlement.  This was a right that could easily have been denied had they bowed to pressure leaving many uncertain as to whether they were cheated out of government.

Peace through legal justice

Guyana and the Region have won.  GTUC reiterates the call made on 21st December 2018, when the Parliamentary vote was considered passed, that this is not a time for triumphalism or opportunity to create ethnic tension and divisions in society. The only victors here are all Guyanese and our branches of government that were allowed to deliberate consistent with the role of each. If we act contrary, likewise the victims will be all Guyanese and our branches of government, an untenable situation that will not serve the collective well. Let us claim victory as a nation. Peace, law and order and our judicial system remains intact. Together we must now build bridges to deepen our democracy and safeguard our nation for all Guyanese.

Building bridges and forging unity

We have to move forward based on the rulings and we must do so in an environment of mutual respect, consistent with the systems and recommendations that would guide our behaviour and steer the ship of state. GTUC reiterates its call to the Government and Opposition to meet and chart a way forward as to how government will function consistent with Article 106(7) of the Guyana Constitution. Management of the state is a day-to-day activity, failing which anarchy prevails. We call on the media and all Guyanese to rise to the challenge of building a better Guyana.

One with more tolerance and respect for the rights and rule of law; for all to be held accountable to these fundamental and universal principles of good governance; respect for the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and the rights of each to pursue legal justice which distinguishes us  on the continuum  of civilisation and   political  maturity. It is now time for our political leaders, supported by all stakeholders, to come together in determining the way forward as we continue to test and charter new waters.  We must have a better Guyana for all.

 Unchartered waters

We are reminded that there remains no convention or written guidelines how the society ought to function in a post “confidence” (no-confidence) environment. This the political parties must equally turn their attention to as matter of urgency. All of the political operatives over the years have been calling on citizens to put Guyana first. This is the time the GTUC calls on the politicians to demonstrate leadership that puts Guyana first.  There can be no hesitation, no reluctance, no refusal or political showmanship to delay the arrival at a position of satisfaction to all sides that would best serve this country by ensuring inclusion of all and the protection of rights.

People’s power

The parties return to the CCJ on June 24th to address the Consequential Order. We must go there with a plan as to how the country will proceed, in the interim and after the elections, consistent with Article 13 of the Guyana Constitution. It would be unfortunate to have the CCJ imposing on us what we are capable of determining.  It would be an insult to our forebears who came together to fight common enemies and build Guyana.  It would cast a dark cloud on our ability to unite for the common good and leave us vulnerable to internal and external destabilising influences.  The jury is out now on the ability of Guyanese citizens to unite and hold the politicians of this country accountable to a higher order of politics and love of country not just power. In a democracy granting the power is ours to give, ours to influence and ours to deny.


Submitted by Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has announced that it will hear the no confidence motion appeal cases on May 10, 2019. CGID believes that it is therefore prudent for the APNU+AFC government to consider reconvening the National Assembly subsequent to the CCJ’s determination of the instant matters.

As reported by the Caribbean News Agency, on February 2, 2019, I, as President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), made the following statement in an interview with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) on February 1, 2019, “Although such disqualification was not pursuant to an election petition, as the acting Chief Justice’s judgement seems to mandate, her order effectively disqualifies several sitting members of the National Assembly on both the opposition and government branches, including several government ministers, from being members of Parliament. Particularly, unless the Guyana Court of Appeal, or the CCJ, grants a stay of the judgment, government ministers with dual citizenship ceased to be ministers as of January 31, 2019.”

Article 155 (1) (a) of the Guyana Constitution, as well as the ruling of the Chief Justice and that of the Guyana Court of Appeal, make it pellucid that incumbent Members of Parliament who currently hold dual citizenship are disqualified from being candidates for the National Assembly and therefore cannot be Members of Parliament. The ruling of the Chief Justice in Compton Reid v Dr. Barton Scotland, Charrandas Persaud, et al, page 33, paragraph 82 states inter alia “I therefore hold that anyone who holds dual citizenship, that is a citizen of Guyana and of a foreign power, or state, as envisaged by Art 155 (1)(a) and therefore falls into this category of disqualified persons pursuant to 156(1) (d), should not and cannot be a Member of Parliament. As such the declarations sought in terms of paragraph one and two of the prayers for relief are granted. I therefore hold and declare that the second respondent is not qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly.”

Opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo announced yesterday, March 29, 2019 that PPP Members of Parliament with dual citizenship will renounce their citizenship and potentially return to Parliament. This gimmick would be nugatory and repugnant to the ruling of the court. First, a mere renunciation of one’s foreign citizenship has no effect until that process is completed and a renunciation certificate is issued and produced. Second, according to the ruling of the Chief Justice, a certification of renunciation, after a disqualified person with dual citizenship has been already unconstitutionally elected to the National Assembly does not cure their disqualification and unconstitutional election.

Consequently, CGID believes that whether an incumbent Member of Parliament with dual citizenship renounces his or her current foreign citizenship or not, he or she would still be in breach of the constitution, and currently sit in the National Assembly unlawfully. Therefore, the basis for any incumbent Member of Parliament with dual citizenship to now return to Parliament, consequent to and in light of the ruling of the Chief Justice and the Guyana Court of Appeal, is inexplicable and contrary to Article 155 (1) (a) of the constitution. Clearly, their return to the National Assembly will be in breach of the section of the ruling of the Chief Justice that was upheld by the Guyana Court of Appeal.

President Granger’s Meeting With Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

Submitted by Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for democracy (CGID)
The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) commends President David Granger for his resolute statesmanship and dignified conduct of today’s meeting with opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo. Today Mr. Jagdeo and his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) came into full realization that they are not the government of Guyana, and therefore cannot dictate how the country is governed.
The APNU+AFC coalition is the democratically elected government of Guyana, and has a mandate from the people to govern Guyana. The coalition government today demonstrated that it is in full command and that opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and his party must conform themselves to their proper constitutional role as the minority party and political opposition. The government and people of Guyana must continue to dismiss Mr. Jagdeo and his party’s reckless utterances and bullying tactics. They have no place in a civilized society!
The PPP is demanding that President Granger instructs GECOM to prepare for elections immediately. This is nothing but PPP theatrics. The PPP is fully aware that it would be unlawful for the President to do so. GECOM is an autonomous, independent, constitutional agency. Its powers are enshrined in the constitution. The President by law cannot interfere with GECOM or its registration process. Moreover, the President can only lawfully call an election on the advice of the commission. Hence, Mr. Jagdeo’s request is fanciful nonsense which has no basis in law.
There is no impending constitutional crisis. This is a fabrication by  Mr. Jagdeo, the PPP and its political partners in the media and civil society. They wish to cause fear, anxiety and instability in our society. We Guyanese must reject their fear-mongering and incitements which border on unlawful, criminal conduct.
There must be no elections in Guyana without house to house registration as prescribed by law. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has commenced the registration process to strident objections from the PPP. The current voters list is padded. It is a few thousand persons less than the general population. This means the list is inaccurate and defective. CGID therefore joins the majority of Guyanese to demand that GECOM proceeds with houses to house registration as prescribed by law to compile a new, lawful and accurate voters’ list on which credible elections can be conducted.
The PPP wants to suppress the votes of thousands of young people who became 18 years old after the last registration exercise and are now eligible to vote. The PPP is aware that these young voters are informed, educated voters who will not support the PPP’s race identity politics. They will not support the PPP’s corrupt practices which caused the international community to sanction the PPP regime, which governed Guyana from 1992 to 2015, as one of the most corrupt governments in the world.
Neither will our youth support the PPP’s alleged overt association with murder for hire gangs, phantom dead squads and the criminal underworld; including drug barons and money laundering suspects who are wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The Guyanese people await the outcome of the no confidence cases which are currently before the Guyana Court of Appeal. In the mean time, we must demand that the coalition government resists all efforts by the PPP to suppress the youth vote. Moreover CGID calls on the youth of Guyana to fight all efforts by the PPP to prevent them from voting.

Ruling of the CJ NOT Final Under Laws of Guyana

Submitted by Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Guyana’s constitution is under assault. Misuse, misconstruction, misinterpretation and perversion of the supreme law dominate our political and constitutional quagmire. The court’s carte blanch approbation of the abuse, and potential criminal misuse, of the no confidence provision, as well as the potential perversion and abuse of Articles 156.3. (a) and (b) and 155. 1 (a), collapsed public confidence in the court. Wisdom, scholarly interpretation of the law and constructionist application of the intent of the framers of our constitution ought to compel the Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to reverse the ruling of Chief Justice (CJ). This will preserve public trust in the “judicial process.”    

Henceforth, the CJ’s ruling will be taught in law schools, analyzed by constitutional scholars and dissected by academicians. In his analysis of the CJ’s ruling, foremost constitutional scholar, former Justice of the CCJ, Professor Duke Pollard, delineated that it was misdirected. In an article published in the February 14, 2019 edition of the Guyana Chronicle newspaper, Justice Pollard submitted that the alleged requirement for the government to resign which the CJ affirmed, is “not consistent with the language of commitment employed by the drafters of the constitution.”

Article 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 in the National Assembly on a vote of confidence. Article 106 (7) states that, “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.”

Justice Pollard proffered that “Articles 106 (6) and 106 (7) “must be construed conjunctively and not disjunctively as the CJ did. The juris held that “If this is what the draftsman intended he would have said “the government shall be deemed to have resigned on the passage of the confidence motion…Clearly, the draftsman did not intend this since his intention was definitively set out in article 106 (7).”  

Justice Pollard’s submission is apposite. The likes of Ralph Ramkarran and officers of the Bar Council of the Guyana Bar Association and others, driven by cultural and political allegiance to the PPP, arrogated to themselves custodial and intellectual dominion over interpretation of the constitution. Their continual attempt to engage in this exegesis of the law  is done with unprecedented perversion. Albeit their tossed about opinions become infinitesimal amidst the scholarship of the erudite juris, Professor Pollard.        

Justice Pollard is right. At no time does the constitution contemplate governance of Guyana without  cabinet. Article 106 (1) states “There shall be a Cabinet for Guyana, which shall consist of the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice-Presidents, and such other Ministers as may be appointed to it by the President. Article 106 (2) states “The Cabinet shall aid and advise the President in the general direction and control of the Government of Guyana and shall be collectively responsible therefor to Parliament.”

Article 106 (1) was not constructed with the imposition of “subject to” Article 106 (6) and is not a subordinate provision to (106 (6). Article 106 (6) does not mandate immediate resignation of the cabinet, or such a mandate would be contradictory to Article 106 (7), which enumerates an organized process to effectuate the termination of the government prescribed in 106 (6). Entrenched in 106 (7) also is a prescription for continuity of governance and orderly transfer of power to a new President, predicated on the doctrine of necessity.

The ruling of the CJ spawns several additional contradictions on which the Court of Appeal and CCJ  will ultimately explicate. Although the CJ held that Charrandas Persaud was ineligible for election to the National Assembly, she nevertheless upheld the validity of his casting vote for the no confidence motion.  She declared that a challenge to the election of a member of the National Assembly can only be mounted through an elections petition which must be filed within 28 days of an election. She also affirmed that Article 165 (2)  validated Charrandass Persaud’s vote.

Article 156  states “The Assembly may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership (including any vacancy not filled when the Assembly first meets after the commencement of this Constitution or after any dissolution of Parliament) and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in the proceedings of the Assembly shall not invalidate those proceedings.”

The CCJ will have to determine if Members who are declared elected can be legitimately included among the unentitled persons contemplated in this Article 165 (2), as the CJ did. Chapter 5, Sections 50-70 of the constitution govern and regulate the election, requirements, privileges and conduct of Members, and makes not reference of Article 165 (2). Moreover, the clause shall not “invalidate those proceedings” grants validity to the procedure or conduct of business of the Assembly, rather than an act by an unentitled person. A consequence of the ruling of the CJ is that the National Assembly is henceforth proscribed from discarding the vote of a deranged persons who rushes into the Chamber and votes yes on a Bill. Such was not the intent of the framers.       

Interestingly, the predication of Article 165 (2), on which the CJ based her ruling, is the doctrine of  necessity. Therefore while the ruling seem to uphold the Charrandass’ vote out of necessity of government, it repudiated said doctrine of necessity in relation to its misconstruction of the provision of the prolongation of cabinet after defeat on a confidence motion.  Further, the CJ’s ruling vitiated the provision that the government remains in office until an election is held and a new President sworn in; a reconstruction of the provision.   

The CJ’s denial of a conservatory order staying her judgment is enigmatic and quite remarkable, as the plaintiffs sought to stay of her ruling which they prayed constituted a misinterpretation of Articles 106 (6 and (7), 156.3 (a) and (b), 155 1 (a) and 165 920, and a misinterpretation of the two-thirds majority entrenchment.  

These sub judice matters that confront the Court of Appeals and CCJ embody an extreme perversion of the constitution that threatens democracy and constitutional governance of Guyana and engenders anarchy. This is why the ruling of the CJ is not final. The Court of Appeal, then the CCJ, are final arbiters of the law. That is final!   

Striking workers BCGI Threaten with dismissal –sovereignty at risk

Submitted by Press Release Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union

This morning (15th February 2019) workers at the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) downed tools protesting the Russian management’s imposition of one percent wages increase. This is an embarrassment to all Guyanese. The workers’ protest was responded to by management at a meeting held where they were brutally told that they will be fired if they do not return to work within the day, that they can seek redress wherever they want, and to hell with the government. The operation at the mines and maintenance departments have come to a halt.

Article 147(2) of the Constitution of Guyana protects the right to strike. And whereas in the Collective Bargaining process strike is considered an industrial weapon to be used whenever the circumstances become necessary, all are reminded that since December 2009, under the noses of successive governments, BCGI has been engaged in a series of violation of the law and transgressing of the workers’ rights. The management continues to refuse to treat with the recognised union of the workers’ choice, the Guyana Bauxite & General Workers Union (GB&GWU).

GB&GWU has earlier today informed Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle, of the industrial action taken by the aggrieved and deprived workers. The Union stands in solidarity with these workers in the exercise of their basic right and for the upholding of their attendant rights. GB&GWU calls on all Guyanese to understand the struggles faced by these workers, to empathise with them, and to lend them your support. GB&GWU calls on the international community for its solidarity.  The continued violation of BCGI workers threatens multiple family units and the entire communities within which they reside. The threat to one is a threat to all; and injustice here is an injustice everywhere.

Workers of BCGI have been suffering since under the previous government and continue to suffer under the current. How many more have to suffer, how many families and children have to suffer. As Guyanese, citizens of the world, one and all will have to face the reality now.  The best defense for the unaffected lies in the protection of the rights of those around them. GB&GWU calls on the Government and Opposition to intervene immediately and stop this violating of the Guyana Constitution and the Rule of Law and the transgressing of the workers’ right by a foreign sovereign power.

In this period of political division and external tension with our neighbour Venezuela, who is facilitating a growing presence of Russia in its ongoing pursuit of geopolitical relevance, is management’s new threats and intensified violation a strategy we must pay attention to. Moreso, in the context of a heated upcoming election and the exploitation of our oil and gas resources. This matter is no longer a simple labour issue. There seems to be a hidden agenda with potentially dangerous consequences that both the Government and Opposition should take immediate action on. This is about a nation’s sovereignty and national interest, the respect for worldwide comity.


Bauxite Company’s circular sending home workers (received after press release)

No Confidence Ruling in Guyana – Gov’t and Opposition must work together

Press Release submitted by the Guyana Trades Union Congress

The confidence case before us is the first of its kind in this country. Its determination is not guided by any local precedent, clear guidelines and law as to how the nation proceeds, and as acting Chief Justice (CJ) Roxane George-Wiltshire in her ruling stated, “functions.” It is that ‘how’ which we must as a nation determine that is important to our stability. The Guyana Constitution places the President and Leader of the Opposition as part of the Executive (Title 5).  Irrespective of the circumstance at this time, the holders of these offices will have to discharge their constitutional duties and seek to engage each other on issues pertinent to our national character and well-being.

The acting CJ upheld Article 106(6) and 106(7) of the Constitution, where the former said “[t]he Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated…” and the latter, which allows for Government to continue to function, in that “[n]otwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office….” Government is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the state and has to continue to function consistent with Article 106(7). The ruling noted, “that even though Cabinet [should have] resigned, the President and the ministers remain ministers to perform their duties and functions of office.”

Function, after a confidence vote is considered passed, is not defined or limited in the Constitution or by the guidance of any legislation or convention. The has created opportunity for varying interpretation which does not lend to universal acceptance. The Coalition Government has one perception what function means, and the Opposition clearly has its perception of what it must be. In the absence of common understanding it beholds the two sides to sit and use this opportunity presented to our nation to define the options that would guide Guyana on the way forward, now and in the future.

Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) notes the Opposition said it would protest GECOM and the Government if elections are not held “within three months.”  Article 106(7), upheld by acting CJ, speaks of holding an election “within three months….or such longer period.” The latter requires “by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine,…” The extant article does not stipulate what could cause the election to be held at “such longer period” (i.e. beyond the three months).

GTUC respects the constitutional right to protest. At the same time the Opposition and Government carry the duty and responsibility to ensure we proceed through this period in constructive not destructive manner. Both sides must continue talking and working together because governance has not stopped. Either, in the interest of the people whom they serve, can initiate engagement to proceed in putting in place relevant guidelines, legislation or written convention that will establish parameters to deal with Article 106 (6) to expressly give meaning to the “functions of office” stated in the ruling of acting CJ.

The Opposition and Government must return to the table to work out their differences and modalities for treating not only with the extant article but also day-to-day governance. GTUC holds both sides equally responsible to get this right and not seek to benefit from what might be perceived as dilatory or aggressive tactics.

GTUC calls on society not to examine Article 106(6) in isolation of 106(7) but to be guided by the acting CJ’s ruling which upheld both, for the crucial element of both must not be ignored. To pay heed to one and ignore the other is to give partial justice to the CJ’s ruling, the workers and people of Guyana. GTUC maintains its concern on Rights and the Rule of Law, and the application of justice for all. This issue is not about the President or Leader of the Opposition. It is not about the respective political party’s interest. It is about we the people, the working-class people, who deserve justice in every aspect of Guyana’s governance, for this in effect impact on our collective wellbeing and our way forward as a united and productive nation.

GTUC calls on the international community, business, people, civil society and all others interested in Guyana’s well-being and the application of justice to respect the ruling that not only upheld Article 106(6) but in equal measure upheld 106(7). Individually and collectively we cannot afford to let Guyana down at this crucial juncture. In the midst of uncertainty navigating this period and the acting CJ’s ruling, society will continue to rely heavily on the media, the fourth estate, to play a pivotal role in averting undue tension by bringing credible understanding that would aid the ensuring of calm, stability and appropriate behaviours.

Call to RECALL Canadian High Commission to Guyana

BROOKLYN: NOW that the government of Guyana has formally notified the government of the Commonwealth of Canada that an investigation has established that the Canadian High Commission in Guyana has been complicit in the attempted overthrow of the democratically elected APNU+AFC coalition government of Guyana, the Caribbean Guyana Institute of Democracy (CGID) believes that it would be consistent with established international norms for the High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Canada to the Republic of Guyana, H.E Lilian Chatterjee, to be recalled forthwith. CGID therefore calls on the government of Guyana to effectuate said recall.

Submitted by Guyana Institute for Democracy CGID
January 12, 2019

Canadian diplomat faces recall

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Richard Beliveau of Canadian High Commission

…high commissioner still conducting internal probe

THE government is seeking the recall of Canadian diplomat Richard Beliveau who allegedly facilitated the spiriting away of former Member of Parliament Charrandass Persaud with the help of Peter Ramsaroop, who is adviser to the Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo.
“This would be improper in any jurisdiction,” a senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told the Guyana Chronicle on Friday.

The men –Beliveau and Ramsaroop– breached security and diplomatic protocols on the morning of December 22, 2018 and uplifted passes at the Eugene F Correia International Airport which allowed them access to the restricted area of the airport to see off Persaud, who voted with the opposition in an attempt to topple the government.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge has made it clear that the airport does not have the authority to issue such passes without the authorisation of the ministry and that no request for the pass was made by the diplomat or the High Commission. It is not clear whether government is also seeking the recall of the High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee, who reportedly was out of the jurisdiction at the time of the incident. She was summoned to a meeting with Greenidge on Wednesday to explain the action of the official.

This newspaper was told however that the high commissioner has denied any involvement in helping Persaud to flee the country. One source said that it is unclear as to whether a head of mission has ever been asked to leave the country before, but should this be the outcome, Guyana would not have to apply to anyone. “We are a sovereign state. We would just ask them to leave. We have done it in the past where staff of foreign missions have been asked to leave, and given 48 hours to do so.”

Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana Lilian Chatterjee

The government made it clear to the High Commission, that the foreign body is aware of protocols to be followed when operating in a sovereign state and thus viewed its participation in the Charrandass Pesaud matter as a unilateral act in violation of the Geneva Convention and on diplomatic and consular relations.


Charrandass, a government MP, said “yes” in a shocking vote to oust the current government. He was on a plane to Canada, where he is a citizen, just hours later.

It was stated that Persaud was escorted to the Eugene F Correia International Airport by Beliveau, Ramsaroop and self-confessed death squad hit man Sean Hinds, as well as Jason Abdulla, a PPP member.

The Foreign Affairs office expressed concern that the High Commission official and Ramsaroop were able to acquire protocol passes that allowed them to access restricted areas of the airport. It was stated that while Ramsaroop pretended to be part of the diplomatic party to acquire the pass, the High Commission official was himself not authorised for the document, since the ministry said it was not aware of any function the foreign official was conducting at the time that would have allowed him to use his Foreign Affairs Ministry issued identification card to acquire the preferential document.

It has been alleged that Persaud may have accepted millions of US dollars to vote against the government. Allegations are he tried to buy US$1M in gold just days before voting against the government and attempted to transfer large sums of money out of the country. Persaud had been assured of security protection from Ramsaroop for his “yes” vote on the no-confidence motion.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the opposition leader’s news conference on Wednesday, Ramsaroop, said: “…I mean, Charrandass is my friend, I don’t even know if he was going to vote yes or not. He just said to me, ‘if I decide to vote yes’ –and he said that publicly—‘would you help me with security’ and I said ‘absolutely, yes’,” Ramsaroop told members of the media.

But still Ramsaroop later tried to deny that he knew beforehand which way Persaud’s vote would sway. He claims that while he knew of the likelihood of Persaud leaning on the side of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), he did not share this crucial information with his boss Jagdeo.

Canadian diplomat faces recall


Charrandas Persaud: The Gandhi of Guyana


Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

Love him or hate him, Guyanese Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud had the courage to stand and swim against the political rip currents of the Essequibo River.

And for that extraordinary courage based on a conscience vote, he must be honoured, even idolised as the Mahatma Gandhi of Guyana. Already there are plans to name babies after him as well as streets in his native Berbice. A meme with his portrait on a champagne bottle has been created, and a song on the theme “Charrandas is a Hero”, produced by Rishaad Ishmael, is being shared on social media.

On that historic day in Guyana (December 21, 2018), Charrandas voted against his own governing party for the opposition People’s Progress Party (PPP) led by Bharrat Jagdeo. MPs Jaipaul Sharma, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine and Sydney Allicock did not have that strength of character to take that leap. Charrandas’ one dissident vote changed the course of electoral history in Guyana by constitutionally toppled a government from power which is still stubbornly and illegally refusing to resign.

Charrandas’s single vote made history in Guyana and the Commonwealth Caribbean, except for the Turks and Caicos Islands. On his Facebook page, Trinidadian political scientist Dr Kirk Meighoo stated: “It has NEVER happened before.” (23/12/18). He added that the no-confidence-motion victory demonstrates strength in political democracies like Guyana. “For parliaments to work, our parliamentarians need to represent their constituencies, and not their party or race.” [A theory negating Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s belief (Kaieteur News 5/1/19)].

Meighoo went on to write that no one can accuse Charrandas of being racially motivated by voting for an Indian-dominated party. On every occasion for the past three years, Charrandas voted for the African-dominated party in Parliament, against his own conscience. Indeed, Charrandas worked at every level to electorally overthrow the ruling PPP from power and install an African-dominated coalition in government in 2015.

Charrandas risked his life for conscience

Charrandas knew that he could have been dead at the hands of hoodlums supporting the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)-led coalition government headed by a retired brigadier, President David Granger. The PNC has a long bloody history of harassment, imprisonment, torture, violence and murder of political opponents.

Political opponents of the PNC such as Ohene Koama, Edward Dublin and Dr. Walter Rodney of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) were all fatalities. Paradoxically, WPA members Dr. David Hinds, Dr. Roopnaraine and Tacuma Ogunseye have joined the current PNC-led coalition.

As an Indo-Guyanese, Charrandas and his family were more of a risk of being physically attacked than other citizens. In the publication entitled In Transit: Gangs and Criminal Networks in Guyana (2012), human security researchers Taylor Owen and Alexandre Grisby wrote that “the fact that the Guyanese police are largely Afro-Guyanese added to the Indo-Guyanese distrust of the security forces and reinforced ethnic tensions” (page 18).

This independent research project produced in Geneva should be instructive to Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan. He as well as the families of other members of the coalition government such as Moses Nagamootoo, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Jaipaul Sharma and Hemraj Rajkumar are still not safer.

Charrandas you gun dead tonight.”

Charrandas said he has spent sleepless nights before me made his conscience vote. He spoke repeatedly about imminent death to reporters, saying: “My life may go, but you know what … I will die a happy person with a clear, God-damn conscience.”

He said Public Health Minister “Volda Lawrence was sitting in the cafeteria and said whoever crosses the floor, she will kill the person; throw them over the rail.” In the full glare of media cameras, Charrandas was being abused verbally and/or physically by Derek Basdeo and Government MP, Jermaine Figueira, who was seen “hitting me…and cussing me.” Government MP Jennifer Wade shouted: “Charrandas, you gun dead tonight” (St. Lucia Times 1/1/19).

In expectation of his likely murder, Charrandas had written a farewell letter to his son “encouraging him to be a good father.” In the event that “something happens to him, Persaud said he [had] written a letter detailing the reason for his action for which he has asked his secretary to make public” (Guyana Chronicle 22/12/18).

Charrandas said: “I knew that my life was in terrible danger… So I sought help [to leave Parliament building and the airport the next day]. I could not trust Khemraj Ramjattan and his police …” (Kaieteur News 3/1/19).

As expected, the illegal PNC-led coalition government is out to get Charrandas by any means. Ramjattan and his co-conspirators are alleging that Charrandas is a Judas who was bribed to defect, has dual-citizenship, is a gambler (both only now “discovered”), breached airport security protocol, fled to Canada instead of Barbados, etc., etc. Whether found guilty or not, these dirt-digging and mudslinging tactics cannot stain the purity of character of Charrandas Persaud.

Guyana’s Coalition Government Asked to Reject No Confidence Vote

Submitted by Rickford Burke, President of the Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Dear Editor:

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) reiterates to all Guyanese and the international community that the December 21, 2018 no confidence vote against the APNU+AFC coalition government of Guyana was unconstitutional. The vote violated several provisions of extant law. The coalition government must embrace all aspects of the constitution as well as the will of the people as expressed in the 2015 elections. Consequently, we call on the government to reject the invocation of Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Guyana constitution by the Parliament of Guyana. This is why the vote was unconstitutional:

(i) AFC government Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud who voted with the opposition PPP for the motion violated Article 156.3 (a) and (b) of the Guyana constitution. Article 156.3 (a) prohibits a Member of Parliament from voting against his or her party’s list or side of the House, unless he or she declare that intent in writing to the Speaker. Article 165.3 (b) Mandates that if a Member declares an intent to vote against his own party list he or she ceases to be a Member and must be immediately be expelled from Parliament. Charrandas Persaud failed to declare his intention to vote against his party’s list and for another list. His failures violated both Article 156.3 (a) and (b). His vote is therefore unlawful and should be vitiated. He must also be expelled by the Speaker as prescribed in the law.

(ii) Charrandas Persaud violated Article 155. 1 (a) of the Guyana constitution. Article 155.1 states that “No person shall be qualified for election as a Member of the National Assemble who: (a) “Is by virtue of his or own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state.” Charrandas Persaud is a citizen of Canada, assumption on which he took an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II. He was therefore not qualified to be a Member of Parliament.

(iii) There is mounting evidence that Charrandas Persaud, opposition politicians and persons in the business community conspired to overthrow the democratically elected government of Guyana. The conspiracy involved using Charrandas Persaud’s no confidence vote to bring down the government. The opposition PPP allegedly engineered the payment of a multimillion dollar bribe to Persaud for his vote. When this information became public, he admitted the bribe, saying in a Facebook post, “So what if I was paid?” Bribing a Member of Parliament is a crime under the Laws of Guyana Criminal Offences Act Chapter 8:01. Sections 336 and 338. The Speaker or the courts will now have to make a determination about this alleged corrupt transaction. The Guyana Police Force has launched an investigation in this treasonous, bribery transaction.

CGID therefore resolutely rejects the notion that the will of the people of Guyana, expressed through the 2015 general elections, and a democratically elected government should be terminated on the basis of a criminal act and a vote that violated Article 155. 1 (a) and Article 156.3 (a) and (b) of the constitution. Moreover, there are serious questions about whether the confidence was passed by the legally required number of votes. “A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit.”

CGID therefore calls on Speaker of the National Assemble, Dr. Barton Scotland, to nullify the no confidence vote, as Parliament cannot violate the constitution. CGID also calls on the people of Guyana to stand and rise up their voices in rejection of the attempt to overthrow their duly elected government.

Rickford Burke

President of the Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Trinidadians Blamed for Guyanese Political Crisis


Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

The People’s National Congress (PNC)-led coalition government in Guyana has refused to resign after it was defeated in a no-confidence motion in Parliament on Friday December 21, 2018. As expected, the drowning party is grasping at straws to illegally survive another year before it sinks on its own in the 2020 general elections.

PNC Executive Member Aubrey Norton has accused People’s Progress Party (PPP) Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo of bribing MP Charrandass Persaud to switch his no-confidence vote against his own government in favour of the PPP. Norton said Jagdeo had “colluded with forces in Trinidad and mobilised resources to bribe a sitting MP” (Guyana Chronicle 28/12/18). I would like to advise Jagdeo to sue Norton for defamation of character through slander and/or libel. Norton must be compelled to provide the evidence in court to support his accusation, or face conviction by imprisonment or fine.

It seems that Jagdeo has already been found guilty by Norton who appears to be an investigator, policeman, attorney, juror, judge and executioner, all rolled into one. Norton’s accusation is being repeated by several Government ministers, including the Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan. This AFC member of the collation Government was on Guyana’s NCN TV on Sunday night turning darker with rage against Persaud.

Ramjattan turning darker with rage

Viewers were uncertain whether Ramjattan was speaking as a member of the coalition splinter Alliance for Change (AFC) or as Minister of Public Security because these roles must be held separate and distinct when in public office. By his verbal and body language, Ramjattan was clearly abusing his power as Minister of Public Security.

Here are excerpts of Ramjattan’s rant on TV: “We are now learning that there is absolutely a connection with bribery, of some big sum of money…. This thing was organised beautifully. All that will come out of the investigation going on …. We are going to go very far and deep into it and those who would’ve done that, will pay the penalty. We’ve already been doing investigations with the senior members of the Government.”

Alarming illegal threats indeed from a Minister of Public Security. Ramjattan should be forced to resign on the basis that police work should be left to the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, not the Minister of Public Security whose duties should be purely administrative and managerial.

Those who wish to take Ramjattan to court to face charges for misbehaviour in public office should read the article “Governance of the Police: Independence, Accountability and Interference” by Philip C. Stenning. This article is based on a lecture delivered to the Law School at Flinders University in Australia in 2011. The article should be read with Ramjattan in mind who is attempting “to bring partisan political influence to bear on a police investigation … to harass political opponents or dissidents” like Charrandass Persad who has the civil and human rights of free association and freedom of expression.

Ramjattan’s unlawful interference in police work

Ramjattan has betrayed his promise that there will be “no political interference by the APNU+AFC government in the running of the Guyana Police Force.” Ramjattan made this promise personally to about 500 persons on Saturday September 5, 2015 at the Whim Community Centre Ground in Berbice. The unlawful interference with the work of the Guyana Police Force and the Police Service Commission (PSC) is not new to this coalition government. In October 18, 2017, President David Granger wrote to the PSC to halt the promotion of police officers.

Additionally, Ramjattan said on the same NCN TV show that on that historic night of the no-confidence motion in Parliament, he offered Persaud police protection to go to his vehicle to drive home. But Persaud was told by a friend that “the police would kill you rass. You better take we own” transportation.

As Minister of Public Security, Ramjattan should be ashamed to learn and publicise the fact that Guyanese do not trust the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force with their lives. As an Indo-Guyanese, Persaud had all the more reason to be afraid. Members of the coalition government such as Moses Nagamootoo, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Jaipaul Sharma and Hemraj Rajkumar, and their families, are more vulnerable than other citizens to be attacked by the PNC-led coalition trained and armed officers headed by retired brigadier, President David Granger.

The books The Costs of Regime Survival: Racial Mobilization, Elite Domination and Control of the State in Guyana and Trinidad by Percy Hintzen, Domination and Power in Guyana: Study of the Police in a Third World Context by George Danns, Anatomy of Race Politics by Reverend Seopaul Singh, and Ethnic Conflict and Development by Ralph Premdas as well as the GIHA Crime Report Indians Betrayed, should be compulsory reading for Ramjattan. These publications document the long history of violence against Indians in Guyana which was unleashed by the tyrannically President, Forbes Burnham.

Charrandass Persaud: Open Letter to Speaker Dr. Bartland Scotland

Submitted by Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

corrected submission

December 24, 2018

Hon. Dr. Bartland Scotland, M.P.

Speaker of the National Assembly

Republic of Guyana

Parliament Buildings

Brickdam, Georgetown


Dear Honorable Speaker:

Article 156.3 of the Guyana constitution states that: “A member of the National Assembly elected on a list shall cease to be a member of the Assembly if:

(a)  “He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the list from which his or her name was extracted that he or she will not support the list from which his or her name was extracted.”

(b)   “He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the list from which his or her name was extracted, his or her support for another list.” 

Prior to the Constitution Amendment Act of 2007, Article 156.3, an original provision of the constitution, stated that “A Member of the national Assembly elected on a list shall be disqualified from being a member of the Assembly, if he or she in the prescribed manner, declares that he or she will not support the list from which his or her name was extracted or, declares that he or she abstain from supporting that list or, declares his or her support for another list.” This original provision – Article 156.3, was repealed and replaced with the extant provisions of Article 153 by the Constitution Amendment Act of 2007. The amendment, notwithstanding, the fundamental intent of the framers of the constitution remains applicable and paramount to the interpretation of the extant provisions of Article 153.    

The constitution comprises binding rules which govern the organization, powers and administration of government and society. The intent of the framers thereof is the jurisprudential standard for constitutional interpretation.

The framers of the Guyana constitution intended in Article 153 (a) and (b) that a member of the Assembly, elected by the people and extracted from his party’s List, cannot act against, refuse to support nor vote against the List from which he or she was extracted, and neither can a member vote for, with or in support of another List, without first declaring such intent to the Speaker in writing. 

Article 156.3 (a) and (b) consequently mandates that any member who accordingly makes such declaration against the List from which he or she is extracted or in support of another List, shall cease to be a member of the National Assembly. The commission of an act against the List from which a member was extracted as well as an act in support of another List, for which a written declaration was deliberately and deceitfully withheld from the Speaker, likewise violate the provisions of Article 156.3 (a) and (b), and similarly disqualifies such a member immediately from the Assembly; since the intention of the constitution is for the member to fully honor the content of Article 156.3 to the letter.

Evidently, Article 156.3 mandates that before a member acts against the List from which he or she was extracted, or in support of another List, a declaration of that intent must be first submitted to the Speaker, the consequence of which, or the failure to so declare, require nullification of the act by the Speaker and disqualification of the member from the Assembly.

 Article 156.3 therefore safeguards against the government side of the Assembly bringing itself down. It follows therefore, that a public withdrawal of support for the List from which a member was extracted and the public declaration of support for another List, with or without a declaration to the Speaker, automatically triggers or invokes Article 156.3 (a) and (b), and such member shall cease to be a member of the Assembly. 

Honorable, Speaker, on Friday, December, 21, 2018, Mr.Charrandass Persaud, then a member of the Assembly, who was extracted from the APNU+AFC coalition List, voted in favor of the no confidence motion that was tabled in the National Assembly by the parliamentary opposition, against the APNU+AFC coalition government of Guyana, enabling its passage. In so doing, Mr. Persaud publicly withdrew his support for the APNU+AFC coalition List from which he was extracted and declared his support for the PPP/C List.  

Consequently, in accordance with Article 156.3 (a) and (b) of the Guyana constitution, it is the position of CGID, having consulted with several Attorneys in Guyana and internationally, that Mr. Charrandass Persaud’s vote for the no confidence motion against the government on December 21, is null, void and of no legal effect, and should be vitiated. 

 The institute therefore respectfully solicits your review and sanction of this matter of urgent national importance


Rickford Burke


Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)  


December 24, 2018 

Hon. Dr. Bartland Scotland, M.P.

Speaker of the National Assembly

Republic of Guyana

Parliament Buildings

Brickdam, Georgetown


Dear Honorable Speaker:

Article 153 of the Guyana constitution states that: “A member of the National Assembly elected on a list shall cease to be a member of the Assembly if:

(a)  He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the list from which his or her name was extracted that he or she will not support the list from which his or her name was extracted.”

(b)   He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the list from which his or her name was extracted, his or her support for another list.

(c)  Prior to the Constitution Amendment Act of 2007, Article 156.3, an original provision of the constitution, stated that:

A Member of the national Assembly elected on a list shall be disqualified from being a member of the Assembly, if he or she in the prescribed manner, declares that he or she will not support the list from which his or her name was extracted or, declares that he or she abstain from supporting that list or, declares his or her support for another list.

This original provision – Article 156.3, was repealed and replaced with the extant provisions of Article 153 by the Constitution Amendment Act of 2007. The amendment, notwithstanding, the fundamental intent of the framers of the constitution remains applicable and paramount to the interpretation of the extant provisions of Article 153.    

The constitution comprises binding rules which govern the organization, powers and administration of government and society. The intent of the framers thereof is the jurisprudential standard for constitutional interpretation.

The framers of the Guyana constitution intended in Article 153 (a) and (b) that a member of the Assembly, elected by the people and extracted from his party’s List, cannot act against, refuse to support nor vote against the List from which he or she was extracted, and neither can a member vote for, with or in support of another List, without first declaring such intent to the Speaker in writing. 

Article 153 (a) and (b) consequently mandates that any member who accordingly makes such declaration against the List from which he or she is extracted or in support of another List, shall cease to be a member of the National Assembly. The commission of an act against the List from which a member was extracted as well as an act in support of another List, for which a written declaration was deliberately and deceitfully withheld from the Speaker, likewise violate the provisions of Article 153 (a) and (b), and similarly disqualifies such a member immediately from the Assembly; since the intention of the constitution is for the member to fully honor the content of Article 153 to the letter.

Evidently, Article 153 mandates that before a member acts against the List from which he or she was extracted, or in support of another List, a declaration of that intent must be first submitted to the Speaker, the consequence of which, or the failure to so declare, require nullification of the act by the Speaker and disqualification of the member from the Assembly.

 Article 153 therefore safeguards against the government side of the Assembly bringing itself down. It follows therefore, that a public withdrawal of support for the List from which a member was extracted and the public declaration of support for another List, with or without a declaration to the Speaker, automatically triggers or invokes Article 153 (a) and (b), and such member shall cease to be a member of the Assembly. 

Honorable, Speaker, on Friday, December, 21, 2018, Mr.Charrandass Persaud, then a member of the Assembly, who was extracted from the APNU+AFC coalition List, voted in favor of the no confidence motion that was tabled in the National Assembly by the parliamentary opposition, against the APNU+AFC coalition government of Guyana, enabling its passage. In so doing, Mr. Persaud publicly withdrew his support for the APNU+AFC coalition List from which he was extracted and declared his support for the PPP/C List.  

Consequently, in accordance with Article 153 (a) and (b) of the Guyana constitution, it is the position of CGID, having consulted with several Attorneys in Guyana and internationally, that Mr. Charrandass Persaud’s vote for the no confidence motion against the government on December 21, is null, void and of no legal effect, and should be vitiated. 

 The institute therefore respectfully solicits your review and sanction of this matter of urgent national importance


Rickford Burke


Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)  

Extrajudicial Killings by Previous PPP Regime – Search for Justice


BROOKLYN: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has harshly rebuked Guyana’s APNU+AFC coalition government for failing to investigate hundreds of extrajudicial killings and political assassinations, which took place in Guyana between 2001 and 2015. The organization is calling on Caricom Heads of government, the United Nations and US lawmakers to intervene to ensure that a mechanism is established to investigate this dark period of Guyana’s history.

The killings occurred under the coalition government’s predecessor People’s Progressive Party (PPP) regime, led by then President Bharrat Jagdeo. Jagdeo is now the country’s opposition leader. Transparency International had ranked Jagdeo’s administration as one of the most corrupt in the world. It is alleged that during Jagdeo’s regime, over 400 mainly Afro Guyanese men were systematically shot and killed by an alleged PPP affiliated gang known as the “Phantom” death squad. “The Phantom” was a murder for hire gang. CGID has insisted that these killings constitute “genocide” under international law. No one was ever held accountable.

The APNU+AFC coalition, led by retired Guyana Defense Force Brigadier David Granger, won the 2015 general elections. It made the extrajudicial killings a central part of its general election campaign platform, and had promised an investigation and justice. Although Granger has been President for three years, an investigation has not materialized.

In a letter to Caricom Chairman, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, and other regional leaders, CGID President Rickford Burke fiercely criticized the Granger administration’s inaction. The missive was also dispatched to UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Members of the United States Congressional Black Caucasus.

In a blistering statement Wednesday, CGID disclosed that letters to government officials and numerous public pleas for an investigation went completely unanswered. The institute accused the government of governing with “intransigence and audacious arrogance, as well as abandoning its campaign promises and electoral mandate.” It contended that “Sadly, there is a pervasive view among Guyanese that the coalition government has stopped governing in the interest of the people who elected it. It also questioned if the coalition is protecting an interest that is inimical to the wider Guyanese society.

The Phantom gang was allegedly headed by US convicted drug kingpin, Roger Khan. An alleged financier of the PPP, Khan allegedly reported to then PPP Minister of national security, Ronald Gajraj. Leaked telephone records revealed that Khan’s mobile telephone number was in constant communication with Gajraj’s telephone numbers; particularly before and after most killings. Khan was arrested in 2006 by US federal agents in  Paramaribo, Suriname and brought to the US where he was prosecuted in a New York federal court for exporting and distributing narcotics in the US. He was convicted in 2009 and is currently serving the tail-end of a 14 year sentence in a Florida federal prison. Gajraj was forced to resign after the United State government, under President George W. Bush, condemned his involvement in criminal activities.

Jagdeo’s government granted Khan permission to import military surveillance equipment with triangulation capabilities. The Phantom gang allegedly used the equipment to locate and kill targets by tracking their mobile telephones.  In 2002, officers conducting a joint military/Police sting operation arrested Khan in a vehicle with the equipment, which they confiscated. Subsequently, the Jagdeo administration, allegedly through then head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, ordered law enforcement officials  to release Khan and return the equipment. Publicly released US government cables show that then US Ambassador to Guyana, Roland Bullen, had advised Washington that Khan enjoyed the protection of the PPP government through Gajraj and Luncheon.

The Ambassador also notified Washington of meetings with Gajraj’s successor Minister of Home Affairs, Gail Teixeira, from which he conceded that the PPP government was comfortable with Khan because “he was on their side.” A 2006 UN fact finding mission, headed by international human rights lawyer, Gay McDougall, also concluded that Jagdeo’s PPP regime was complicit in the murders.

High profile assassinations included then agriculture minister, Sash Sawh, who became estranged from the PPP, journalist Ronald Waddell and APNU political activist, Courtney Crum Ewing. Crum Ewing was gunned down a few nights before the 2015 general election. Witnesses have identified the perpetrator as a known security guard with affiliation to a former high ranking PPP government official.

CGID informed Caricom leaders that during Roger Khan’s trail in a Federal District Court in the Eastern District of New York, FBI informant, Selwyn Vaughn, testified that after journalist Ronald Waddell was gunned down outside his home, Khan, in his presence, telephoned then PPP minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ransammy, and informed him that Waddell had been shot and is being taken to the Georgetown Hospital for which Ramsammy had ministerial responsibility. Vaughn testified that Khan instructed Ramsammy to let Waddell die. Waddell was subsequently pronounced dead.  In a July 13, 2009, cable, then Charge d’Affairs at the US Embassy in Georgetown, Karen Williams, advised the US State Department that Ramsammy had strong links to Khan and as a consequence, the Embassy was reviewing its relationship with the Ministry of Health.

The CGID letter said that “In unequivocal terms, there is conclusive evidence implicating or connecting at least five former PPP government officials to the Phantom death squad, which murdered hundreds of Guyanese citizens. Nonetheless, there has been no investigation. These individuals, two of whom are current opposition Members of Parliament, still live in luxury, while the victims” families still mourn and await justice. The institute posited that this state of affairs is abominable and unacceptable.

The lives of these Guyanese citizens matter. We will wage a relentlessly fight for justice. inewsWe will begin to confront coalition government officials in Guyana and abroad, and urge all Guyanese at home and abroad to do the same. We will not rest until there is justice. If needs be, CGID is prepared to take this fight all the way to the 2020 general election,” the CGID statement added.


The Guyanese Nation has No Confidence In Jagdeo And The PPP Crime Cartel

Commentary by Rickford Burke, President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo                                                                  Convicted drug baron Roger Khan under arrest

GUYANA’S Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, a former President, has filed a no confidence motion against the new coalition government of Guyana, led by President David Granger. The Granger administration was elected in 2015 with a one seat majority in Parliament. The government has 33 seats, while Jagdeo’s opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has 32. Jagdeo’s motion is not based on any failures of the government. Rather, it seeks to exploit the current illness of President Granger who has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment in Cuba. 

Prime Minister (PM) Moses Nagamootoo, the leader of government business in the National Assembly, is performing the duties of the presidency. Technically, the National Assembly is a component of Parliament. The Assembly becomes the constitutional Parliament whenever the President attends to deliver ceremonial addresses. 

Jagdeo has adopted “Trumpism.” He believes that asininity, racism, lies and dishonesty will propel his party back into government. His gangster brinkmanship violates the nation’s sacrosanct period of super natural supplications on behalf of our President. Only a man of uncanny decadence would seek to exploit the illness of a Head of State to divide a nation for cheap political points. Worst, Jagdeo’s PPP members have, in a most vile manner, been disseminating death wishes against the President on social media. These actions are dishonourable and unpatriotic.  Indeed, such inhumane treachery can only be hatched in the minds of evil men who think like beasts, who deserve to be rebuffed and isolated. 

Jagdeo has been desperately attempting to dominate the political space created by the President’s temporary illness. In a media frenzy, he cockily claimed that whenever the Prime Minister is performing duties of President, he cannot vote in the Assembly.  This fraudulent claim is to portray his motion as viable. Nothing in the law prevents the Prime Minister from fulfilling his constitutionally mandated parliamentary duties, and he will. Moreover, intelligence sources may have detected PPP elements allegedly discussing a reward for government MPs  who vote with the opposition on the motion. Since bribery and public corruption is a known PPP contrivance, law enforcement scrutiny is apposite.       

Guyanese know Jagdeo’s dishonourable hunger for power. He has been acting like a raging lunatic at the prospect of not having control of Guyana’s oil revenues. Although the constitution bars him from ever becoming president again, he filed a lawsuit to strike down presidential term limits in the constitution. After the Caribbean Court of Justice rejected his ill-conceived attack on the constitution, his party members attacked the court as a “black” institution.   

But Guyanese know what PPP governance feels like. As president of Guyana from 1999 to 2011, Jagdeo’s cabinet was known internationally as a criminal cartel, and one of the most brutal, racist, corrupt governments and ruthless criminal enterprises in the world. Embezzlement, fraud, bribery, rampant thievery of government assets, money laundering, weapons and drug trafficking and murders embroiled his disastrous presidency. International government accountability watchdog “Transparency International” ranked Jagdeo’s government as one of the most corrupt in the world. 

In 2009 Jagdeo’s government corruptly gave his personal friend over $167 million tax payer dollars to build a private hotel – Buddies, now Princes Hotel. Jagdeo’s government corruptly and unlawfully took US $41 million dollars to build the Marriott Hotel. Its parent company, Atlantic Hotel’s Inc., was mysteriously registered to his two friends, Michael Brassington and Marcia Nadir.   Jagdeo’s government unlawfully seized $950 million from the nation’s workers Insurance Scheme (NIS) to build the Berbice River Bridge. Although the NIS monies mostly built the bridge, Jagdeo’s government give the majority of shares in the bridge company to a consortium owned by his best friend, Bobby Ramboop.  

Jagdeo’s government also sold the multi-billion dollar Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation to Ramroop at a fraction of its value. Ramroop’s company was made the sole drug supplier for all government hospitals. Billions of dollars in contracts were then funneled to Ramroop’s company. Jagdeo also sold the government compound at Leonora Estate, West Demerara, at a fraction of its cost to his friend Ed Admad, who has since been convicted of fraud and jailed in the U.S. When Jagdeo’s party was voted out of office his Public Service Minister, Dr. Jennifer Westford charged with allegedly embezzling over $680 million dollars. This case is currently subjudice. 

It is therefore no wonder that the people have called on Jagdeo to explain how he was able to build a multi-billion, Hollywood-styled mansion in Guyana. Moreover, Jagdeo and several of his cabinet ministers allegedly fraudulently undervalued, then purchased prime, seaside government lands on which they constructed multi-million dollar homes. The Organized Crimes Unit of the Guyana Police Force arrested Jagdeo and some formers ministers in connection with ongoing this alleged fraud investigations.  

As president, Jagdeo handed control of the country’s national security apparatus to Roger Khan, a murderous criminal and international drug lord. Jagdeo’s government gave Khan a license to import CIA-type spy equipment that tracks people’s physical location by their cell phone number, using triangulation technology. Khan was also head of the drug cartel and murder for hire gang called the Phantom death. His gang used his spy equipment to track and kill targets. Khan was eventually captured by Us FBI and DEA agents. He was subsequently convicted and jailed in the US.

Cellular telephone records and other intelligence helped an international investigation uncover that Khan’s Phantom death squad functioned under the direction of Jagdeo’s National Security Minister, Ronald Gajraj. The US government has documented that in the glaring eye of the PPP government, Roger Khan made Guyana into a transshipment center where drugs from Columbian and other parts of South American were shipped to the US, Europe and the Caribbean. With direct PPP government supervision, the Phantom death squad murdered over 400 young black men. A 2005 United Nations investigation led by international human rights attorney, Gay McDougall, confirmed the murders and PPP complicity.

Under international pressure was forced to remove Gajraj from office but later reappointed him. On April 12, 2005, the US State Department issued a statement condemning Gajaj’s reappointment. The statement added that “the United States is concerned about… his involvement with individuals who allegedly carried out extra-judicial killings…. We believe significant questions remain unanswered regarding his involvement in serious criminal activities…” Fearing the US will indict Gajraj and expose the PPP cartel, Jagdeo made Gajraj Ambassador to India and granted him diplomatic immunity from prosecution.  

This is the tip of the iceberg of PPP crime and corruption. After 23 years of murder, drug-running, racism, fraud, and outright thieving of billions of taxpayer dollars, the people of Guyana expressed no confidence in Jagdeo and the PPP, by voting to kick them out of office in 2015.

Guyana is now on the threshold of becoming one of the world’s largest oil producing nations. Jagdeo is bursting with a potential orgasm at the prospect of Guyana’s oil money. He and the PPP are the like ravenous cats who want to watch the milk. But Guyanese are aware that they are crooks disguised as watchmen anxious to raid the national treasury.

Under Guyana’s new coalition government, our nation is being transformed. There has been unprecedented economic and social development. The people can see national prosperity on the horizon.  If there is any no confidence in the coalition government, it is its failure to prosecute and jail the PPP cartel for their murders, embezzlement, fraud, thieving, money laundering, gun smuggling and drug trafficking perpetrated against the nation. The time for accountability is now! Who is listening?

Guard Who Allegedly Threatened Guyana Minister is a US Murder Convict


Robert Wren aka Robert Goodluck Photo

Robert Wren (Goodluck), is employed by KGM Security Firm,

Guyana Police Failed To Disclose Security Guard Who Allegedly Threatened A Government Minister –  Served 20 Years in US Prison For Murder, Unlawfully possessed A Firearm & Used Fake Identity 

BROOKLYN: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Friday called on Guyana’s Police Commissioner and Minister of National Security to explain how a deportee, who served twenty years in a US jail for murder, was able to secure a police clearance for a security guard license and gun permit with a false identity, in contravention of the Criminal Offences Amendment Act (2002) and the Prevention of Crimes Act (2002)? The security guard in question, Robert Goodluck, is employed by KGM Security Firm, which provides security for Amazonia Mall, Providence Village, Guyana. The mall houses the New Thriving Restaurant and other businesses. 

In 1991 Goodluck, whose real name is Robert Wren, was convicted for second degree murder, drug sale and unlawful possession of a firearm, in Brooklyn, New York. He served twenty years in prison from 1991 to 2010. He was paroled in 2010 and deported to Guyana. He has since been operating under the identity of Robert Goodluck, which CGID has labeled identity fraud.  The Institute released portions of Goodluck’s (Wren) New York criminal record as well as his Guyana Police Force deportee arrival intake form, to corroborate its contentions.  

Goodluck (Wren) and his colleague, Hash Ramroop, were on duty at the  New Thriving restaurant parking lot on July 8, 2018 when an armed confrontation broke out with Guyana’s junior Minister of Natural Resources, Simona Bromes. Broomes, who received a number of death threats prior, and her staff were visiting the restaurant for dinner. 

The minister’s driver, a police personnel, removed an unattended sign that prohibited parking in the vicinity of the restaurant’s entrance, and attempted to drive Broomes directly to the entrance.  Goodluck (Wren), armed with a high-powered assault rifle, rushed up, stopped the minister’s vehicle and replaced the signs. An exchange between the driver and Goodluck (Wren) ensued. Subsequently the minister exited the vehicle and removed the signs for the driver to proceed. 

Police were called in and the guards were arrested. Broomes told police, inter alia, that Goodluck (Wren) cocked his gun and threatened her. It is against the law to threaten the President of Guyana or a minister of government. The Minister also told Police she pushed down the signs after Goodluck (Wren) shouted the expletive “F***” the minister.  Broomes said the guards followed her into the restaurant where they continued to direct expletives at her. She told Police that Goodluck” (Wren) was so aggressive and reckless that she wondered if he was drunk. She suggested to Police officers at the scene that, because Goodluck (Wren) was armed with such a high powered weapon, they should administer a breathalyzer test to determine if he was intoxicated.  Police announced Friday that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) advised that no criminal charges be instituted. 

CGID last week criticized the minister for removing the signs; saying it was beneath the dignity of her office and that she should have called in the police to address the situation.  The Institute subsequently condemned what it called “orchestrated political, sexist, mean-spirited and defamatory attacks on the minister’s character.” Asserting that CGID is an advocate for fairness and equal treatment for all, the Institute’s President, Rickford Burke, in a statement Friday blasted Guyana’s acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, for failing to disclose Goodluck’s (Wren) criminal history, which he said is a “material fact” of the case as extant law prohibits the guard from possessing a firearm.   

“CGID’s information is that a senior Police officer’s actions potentially prejudiced the investigation in favor of the guards and the owner of KGM Security Firm. The Commissioner and other officers provided multiple statements to the media about the investigation, but failed to disclose Goodluck’s criminal history to the public as well as to the DPP,” Burke said. He also questioned why a top Police official requested the Police file from the minister’s home town of Bartica, where a relative was named in a complaint, and released information on that case to the media. The case was today dismissed by the courts.    

“The Police Force should be an unbiased, investigative entity. Suppressing or fabricating facts and evidence and acting in favor of one party in a conflict over the other is corrupt. It poisons the perception of the force as a neutral arm of the state, taints investigations and perverts justice. In a serious investigation involving a minister of government the police cannot act to prejudice public perception of the minister. The law requires the police to conduct a straight, professional investigation and to present the unvarnished facts to the DPP for a determination of criminal charges,” Burke said. He called on Guyana’s President, David Granger, to eliminate unprofessionalism and bias from the Police force. Ramnarine and three other Assistant Commissioners are currently under consideration by President Granger for appointment as substantive Police Commissioner.   

“The public does not only deserve to know facts about the minister’s involvement in the incident. We also deserve to know all of the material facts of the case; including the significant fact that the guard involved, who was photographed with a high powered rifle in hand, is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, is a US murder convict and a deportee who is operating under a false identity,” Burke said. He posited that “CGID is not for or against the minister; for or against the guards or for or against the Police. We advocate for the facts, truth, equality and fair treatment of all people, while espousing the fundamental principles of a modern, progressive democratic society.”

Repeal Sedition Provision of CYBERCRIME BILL

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

BROOKLYN: Guyana’s APNU+AFC coalition government’s proposed Cybercrime Bill that is currently being considered by Parliament has been greeted with disapproval by the New York based Caribbean democracy watchdog group, the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID). In an interview Tuesday with Nelson King of the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), the Institute’s President, Rickford Burke, a Guyanese, said he is astonished by the proposed legislation, which he described as “unconstitutional and an offensive infringement on free speech.”

Section 18 (1) (a) of the Bill makes it a crime of sedition punishable by five years in prison, if a person whether in or out of Guyana, “intentionally publishes, transmits or circulates by use of a computer system or any other means, a statement or words, either spoken or written, a text, video, image, sign, visible representation, or other thing, that brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in Guyana.”

Burke said this section of the proposed law is intended to “suppress criticism of the government and as such is repugnant to democratic norms of a free and open society.” Moreover, he blasted the international reach of the legislation as “repugnant to international law and a silly overreach outside of the jurisdiction of the Guyana government that is unenforceable and therefore bad law.”

He also said the Bill is an assault on the Caricom Charter of Civil Society to which Guyana is a signatory. The Charter was enacted in the Region on February 19, 1997 by regional Heads of Government in St. Johns Antigua. It binds Caricom Member States to the ideals of a free press, open democratic process and respect for civil, political, cultural, economic and other rights.

“This provision of the legislation is a breeding ground for despotism. CGID therefore calls on the government of Guyana to strike it from the Bill; or it will be an indelible black stain on the government which has a healthy record on good governance thus far,” the Institute’s President posited.

Burke said it is inconceivable and perplexing that the government has proposed legislation that severely undermines democracy, and which will inflict gaping, self-destructive political wounds; especially since its political leaders were champions of democracy when they were in opposition.

He asserted that he would expect such repressive legislation from the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP). He said that the PPP, while in government from 1992 to 2015, ran a brutally oppressive and ethnocratic regime that suppressed free speech and the rights of minorities while using the allegation of sedition to imprison several critics.

Burke said that although the PPP is now feigning innocence, its Members of Parliament made significant contributions to the construction of the abhorrent legislation during the Select Committee process in Parliament. He labeled the PPP’s subscription to the Bill as “disgraceful and unpatriotic.

The Georgetown Prison Fire

Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

 A failure and opportunity for good governance through public accountability

Last week swift public accountability reinforced good governance in Trinidad & Tobago. Ms. Marlene McDonald was sworn in as Minister of Public Utilities on June 30. Three days later Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley fired her for countenancing a reputed member of the criminal underworld to attend her swearing in ceremony. Ms. McDonald introduced the gentleman, who is on the radar of security forces, to President Anthony Carmona with whom they were photographed. This public outrage forced the Prime Minister to hold his Minister accountable. Her firing restored public confidence in the government. Accountability is the essence of good governance. Good governance is the foundation of a democratic society.

In March 2016, inmates at the Georgetown Prison, Guyana’s main jail, rioted and burnt down part of the facility. 17 inmates were killed and several prison officers and prisoners were injured. The Commission of Inquiry (COI) which investigated this fiasco made several recommendations. Minister of National Security, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, said implementation of the reforms was unaffordable. Director of Prisons, Mr. Gladwin Samuels posited that money was a major challenge to implementing the major COI recommendations.

Last Sunday, July 9, 2017 the prisoners struck again. They rioted, shot several guards and burnt down the entire Georgetown Prison. A prison officer was shot and killed. Several of his colleagues remain critical in hospital.  Make no mistake, unaffordability to implement the COI reforms led to the July 9 national tragedy that has left the Granger administration wanting.

We must laud our security forces. They commendably evacuated over 1000 prisoners safely and protected the lives of dozens of prison officials. In one year, the government’s only significant achievement in prison reform is a brilliant evacuation that was expertly executed. Meanwhile, its vacillation and negligence allowed prisoners to hatch a more viable conspiracy to escape successfully, access weapons and incendiary devices that ultimately led to the prison’s destruction. It is inexplicable how such comprehensive planning went undetected. The systemic failures, negligence, absence of prison intelligence gathering and mismanagement evince poor leadership of our prison service and national security.

The most dangerous inmates who masterminded the riot escaped. Authorities have given different numbers of escapees. Every two days the number changes and the names of some escapees are unknown. Obviously, there is an improper inmate registration system, which must be addressed by the reform project.  Most of the prisoners were evacuated to the Lusignan Prison, where they have been video-taped roving the vast compound unrestrained, killing animals to cook, bathing openly etc. This lawlessness amplifies Mr. Samuels’ contention of lack of funding and the government’s laxity and unpreparedness for exigent circumstances.

The optics of prisoners casually roaming a compound with cutlasses and knives and killing animals is a traumatizing image. The inmates are currently housed in a swampy compound. They are exposed to elements of the environment, and to unsanitary conditions that are hazardous to public health. This development is repugnant to international human rights norms.

Moreover, rushing magistrates into that compound to convene a haphazard satellite bail court, and releasing over 300 prisoners willy nilly, seems reckless. It further complicates the balance of human rights against public safety. Moreover, if there is a judicial basis to release a prisoner who is charged with a petty crime after the fire, what was the judicial basis for remanding them to prison before the fire? Furthermore, there must be transparency. The Police has an obligation to inform the public of the nature of the charges against those who have been released, to assuage public safety concerns.

Opposition leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, has issued sanctimonious condemnations of the government’s handling of the matter. However, his party, the PPP, was in government for 23 years. He was President of Guyana for 12 years; from 1999 – 2011. What did he do to solve this problem? In fact he ostensibly used a previous a jail break to manufacture a national security crisis to blame his political opposition and slaughter hundreds of innocent, young black men. His party left this 100 year-old, antiquated, wooden facility to deteriorate to a national security risk, which they passed on to the Granger administration. Mr. Jagdeo therefore has no integrity to lecture us on this issue. If he were smart, he would just sit down.

The Minister of National Security and Director of Prisons must account to the nation for a prison in which inmates accessed guns, knives and cutlasses and gravely endangered the lives of prison officer. Why didn’t the government, recognizing that the 2016 riot caused a national emergency situation, mobilize the necessary resources from the international community to fast-track the implementation of the COI recommendations?  How did the prisoners acquire weapons and incendiary devices? How were the female guards overpowered? Was there a combination of male and female guards serving meals? How were the prisoners able to move from their cell to different parts of the compound to set simultaneous fires? How could prisoners escape when there were mobile Police patrol units around the outer perimeter of the prison? What kind of prisoner registration system is in place ? How can missing inmates’ names and identification numbers be not known?

Public safety is the most inviolable responsibility of a government. The Minister of National Security has the unpleasant record of two prison riots, 18 deaths and the complete destruction of the Georgetown Prison on his watch. He must answer these and other questions to assure public confidence in the government.  As the government contemplates solutions for this crisis, its actions must exude transparency , accountability and good governance. Part of the solution must include construction of a modern prison facility outside of the commercial district of Georgetown. The government has the ability to mobilize the resources for such a project.  It requires political will, courage and forward thinking on the part of this administration.

Guyana is a beautiful country. It is rich in vastly untapped natural resources. All of us, as stake holders, must work to find solutions to the current economic and social challenges, and help mold and develop a modern country for new generations of Guyanese to inherit.

Linden’s Mayor Forges Twinning With US City


BROOKLYN: The Mayor of Guyana’s second most populous municipality, the town of Linden, will on Saturday February 4, apprise Lindeners in New York City of plans to twin Newark City, New Jersey with his town, as well as on his agenda to create jobs and redevelop the industrial town.

Mayor Carwyn Holland is expected to be joined by his Newark counterpart, Guyana’s Consul General to New York, Mrs. Barbara Atherly and Brooklyn elected officials, at a town hall meeting at on Saturday, February 4, 2017, at 3:00 p.m., at the St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church Auditorium: 2806 Newkirk Ave & East 28th Street, Brooklyn NY 11210. He will also meet with Newark City officials on Monday, February 6, to finalize twinning arrangements. Mayor Holland be accompanied by Ms. Tandika Miller, CEO of the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN), a development fund which provides capital for business creation and expansion in Linden.

In a statement Wednesday, Mayor Holland said “Twinning Newark with Linden is consequential for Linden’s economic renaissance and development. This City to City partnership will foster new cultural and economic cooperation; create new prospects for business investments to sustain Linden’s economic viability, help create much needed jobs for young people and engender social transformation and prosperity for Lindeners. I’m excited about this historic prospect.”

During the 2016 celebration of Guyana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence, Newark Mayor, Ras Baraka, embraced a vision for twinning Newark with Linden, following representations from Mr. Bernard Rollins, Chairman of Newark’s Caribbean Commission, and other Guyanese Leaders in New Jersey. Mayor Barack’s assent, harbingered negotiations for a City to City partnership to foster the mutual development interests of Newark and Linden. The ceremonial twinning is envisioned for February or March 2017.

Guyana’s second town other than its capital, Georgetown City, Linden is also the capital of Guyana’s Upper Demerara-Berbice Administrative region. The industrial, bauxite based town, which hugs the Demerara River, became a municipality in 1970, the same year Guyana became a Republic.

Newark, New Jersey’s largest population center, with a population of 278,000, is the 70th largest city in the US and the second largest in the New York metropolitan area. Newark is 8 miles from central Manhattan, New York City, and houses the seat of the Essex county government. Newark is also a main air, shipping and railway hub in the US. The City and its surrounding towns have a significant Caribbean population. Neighboring East Orange is home to the second largest Guyanese population in the US.

Linden, which has the highest unemployment rate in Guyana, experienced a painful economic recession when precipitous reductions in world market prices for bauxite triggered a significant contraction of the bauxite industry in the 1990s. Holland, 32, who was elected in 2015 by pushing a pro-growth agenda, unveiled a plan to attract large-scale new business and manufacturing companies to generate employment for thousands of unemployed Lindeners, A highway from Brazil to Linden is under construction.

Report of the Commission of Inquiry Surrounding the Assassination of Dr. Walter Rodney, RELEASED

The late Walter Rodney

The late Dr.Walter Rodney

The above [below] is a digitalized text of an “unofficial” printed copy of the Commission of Inquiry Report on the death of Dr. Walter Rodney which occurred on the evening of June 13, 1980 in Georgetown, Guyana. The text for this version is transcribed from a printed copy similar to that submitted to the Guyana government. It is noted that even though the “Contents” section of the Report shows “List of Witnesses who gave Oral Evidence,” and “Names of Counsel who appeared on behalf of Witnesses”, these are not displayed in the “Appendices” section, since no such section appears in the “hard copy” of the Report from which the text has been digitalized. However, names of witnesses appear in the “Tendered Exhibits/Evidence Master List.

Extracted from the 2-8-2016, Report of the Commission of Inquiry Appointed to Enquire and Report on the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of the Late Dr. Walter Rodney on Thirteenth Day of June, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighty at Georgetown [Guyana], report issued February 8, 2016 The Commission of Inquiry on the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of the Late Dr. Walter Rodney on June 13, 1980

Guyana Prime Minister to kick-off 50th Independence Celebration in New York

Submitted by Rickford Burke



Contact: Nevlon Duguid, Director of Communications

Tel: (862) 224-9697. Email: nevlonduguid@gmail.com

NEW YORK CITY: Guyana’s Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, will on Saturday, January 16, 2016 launch his nation’s 50th Independence celebration in New York. […] Continue reading

Caribbean Leaders Silent on Guyana Elections

Donya Francis

Donya Francis

Where were they when what happened in St Kitts-Nevis took place in Guyana? By Donya L. Francis a 24 year from St Kitts-Nevis, presently studying in Taiwan- (Journalism and Mass Communication)

I am writing on behalf of the youths and the Kittitians and Nevisians who have similar questions. What happened in Guyana after the elections? Where were the results? Is this going to be a trend that the Caribbean will be following?

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It is Time to Save Guyana

Submitted by the Guyana Trades Union Congress

The APNU+AFC’s campaign theme “It is time” is appropriate at this juncture of the nation’s development for all Guyanese to take note and say it is time for change. GTUC embraces “It is time” not only in the concept of opposition sloganeering and PPP counter-sloganeering but as a rallying call for the people of Guyana to recognise that it is time for each and every person to become involved in helping to charter the course and direction of this country.  It is time to stop the lies and propaganda that keep our people divided. It is time to save Guyana.

It is time we the people of Guyana tell the government and opposition politicians what we need for Guyana’s development. It is time for we the people to hold all political leaders accountable for good governance. Our political leaders must be held responsible for the promises they make as well as the public pronouncements on issues that affect Guyanese. It is time to do more than pay lip service to statements that there will be respect for citizens and organisations’ rights and the nation’s political objective of inclusionary democracy.

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Flooding, a Region wide Problem

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress

Photo credit: News24

Photo credit: News24

The Guyana Trades Union Congress is fed-up with what is passing for governance and calls on the citizens/workers/electorate to register their disgust with the current management of the affairs of state. The continuous lost and inconvenience caused by floodwater incurred through rainfalls or high tides is a toll that carries deep psychological, health and economic casualties. The captured images of resignation, hopelessness and despair on the faces of those who have suffered and lost are heartrending. No people deserve to live under these arduous conditions, with seemingly no end in sight. Household possessions, farms, businesses, vehicles, houses, schools, persons, everything is once again affected.

The trading of blame, excuses, finger pointing, and continued absence of an effective plan to manage the numerous floods inundating this nation since 2005 is unacceptable. The citizens of this country, by and large, continue to honour their side of the social contract by obeying the laws, voting, paying their rates and taxes, yet they continue to be denied the corresponding benefits and protections. Enough is enough. It is said a people get the government they deserve. The people of this country deserve better and must demand better. Our votes must not only count at elections time but must be our reinforcing ticket to demand improved standard of living and proper stewardship of our country.

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President Ramotar Requested to Intervene to Secure Passage of AML/CFT Bill

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana

The GTUC views with concern and understanding the position taken by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). The CFATF’s consideration that Guyana is a risk to the international financial system and referral to the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) bear testimony to the seriousness and commitment this institution takes of its responsibility to ensure legitimate and anti-terroristic financial transactions among member states. The CFATF has done its job, Guyana and Guyanese must do theirs.

The trading of words absent efforts and appropriate leadership to resolve outstanding matters to allow passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill (AML/CFT) will not de-escalate the situation or bring resolution. The President is the nation’s Head of State and Head of Government and has a greater responsibility to protect the integrity and reputation of this country at home and abroad. Guyana’s deficiencies in the AML/CFT have been a matter engaging CFATF since 2009. That notwithstanding now is not the time for propaganda, scoring partisan political points or insisting that the bill be passed without conditions. These will not work because this is not the way real politics work especially when the support of political rivals is needed. Having been placed on the Caribbean Watch list/Black list in 2013- and given as per the CFATF’s Financial Advisor that it requires a minimum of two years to be removed and such is contingent on adherence- to be placed in a similar situation by FATF will do this nation further disservice.

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GTUC Will Participate in the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress

The late Walter Rodney

The late Walter Rodney

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has retained Civil Rights Lawyer Mr. Selwyn A. Pieters, to represent its interest on the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry. The GTUC met the commissioners when they were on their exploratory visit and expressed concerns with the Terms of Reference (ToR). Dr. Walter Rodney remains a national and international figure and in the present circumstance cannot be looked at as the property of a specific family or group, for he belongs to all of us, and consultation as to the way forward in arriving at the truth should have involved everyone. GTUC strongly holds the view that the ToR should have has the input of all the Members of the National Assembly since this was the forum that authorised and approved the decision for an inquiry.

That notwithstanding the GTUC considers the Inquiry an important factor in the nation’s activities, for Dr. Walter Rodney’s death has been used as a wedge in dividing families, friends, associates, political aspirants and communities. The GTUC is conscious of its role as a national organisation and guided by historical developments has taken a decision that it will not stand idly by and allow a national commission of this nature to commence and conclude without Labour making its position known. The GTUC prior to Rodney’s death had addressed issues surrounding him as a worker, historian and citizen, and on his demise called for an inquiry into his death. At this juncture, while there are understandable concerns about the absence of consultation and the ToR upon which the Commission will deliberate, GTUC owes this society a duty to assist in arriving at the truth.

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GTUC Forewarns Citizens of Goverment Pending Hysteria

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress Press Statement – April 13, 2014

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana, Guyana is awash with money laundering, drug-related crimes and other forms of financial improprieties.

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana…“Guyana is awash with money laundering, drug-related crimes and other forms of financial improprieties

GTUC forewarns this nation to expect the government and its allies recommencing the hysteria in a few days regarding passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill. Guyana is scheduled to be evaluated by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Plenary Meeting in Miami during 25-29th May. This deadline was given by CFATF in November 2013. The blame for not passing the bill to date must be laid at the feet of the government and those who condemned the effort to arrive at a negotiated settlement between the Executive and Legislature. GTUC condemns the government autocratic behaviour and denial of the rights of citizens in all forms. Given the government track record passage of the Bill without conditions is an abrogation of the opposition responsibility to the society.

Constitutional prescriptions are not considerations for any Member of Parliament (MP), Executive or citizen to determine whether or when they will be upheld. The president, ministers and every MP have sworn to uphold this instrument in its entirety.  The establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC); respect for workers, local government autonomy and management of the Consolidated Fund are prescribed in the Constitution and must be put in place.

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The People Want Caribbean Regimes to Fall

Submitted by Pachamama

WATER BLAST: A demonstrator shelters as Turkish riot police fire a water cannon at protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul, injuring scores - http://www.stuff.co.nz/world

WATER BLAST: A demonstrator shelters as Turkish riot police fire a water cannon at protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul, injuring scores – http://www.stuff.co.nz/world

As we write masses of people are demonstrating in the streets of Istanbul and many other Turkish cities calling Erdogan and Gul dictators, fascists, American puppets and Zionist traitors. They are chanting “we want the regime to fall’’, not the government – the regime, the regime! This call is not unlike what we have been hearing, for more than two years, in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisian, Libya and nearly all the European countries. It represents the latest flashpoint in the seismic changes the peoples of the world are demanding. Demands that world powers would prefer to misdirect into a full-blown world war to serve their corporate masters. The criminals Gul and Erdogan have their Gestapo in the streets cracking skulls, using tear gas that can kill and employing the most powerful water hoses against the people. Even in the United Stated the Obama administration used these extraordinary measures to quell the ‘Occupy Movement’’. These included infiltration by the intelligence agencies, the brute force of storm troopers, a propaganda corporate controlled media and up to that time an apathetic populace that had not felt the full force of a brutish grab for resources that has now left 150 million Americans at or below the poverty line. This is the central issue! The peoples of the world are engaging corporate interests in a popular war for resources everywhere. For them this will be a hot summer (fall) of rage. The lackeys in the Caribbean, through all of this, have no answers for their peoples. They responses are generally within the range of ‘this is a global problem and we are helpless to avoid it’’ and reverting to all the failed recipes of western financial capitalism, a dying political-economy model.

In Barbados, the regime deliberately misinterpreted the electoral expressions of the people for a government of national unity. Such a brazen and dictatorial power grab, under the rubric of an outdated Westminster system, merely serves the ruling clique, ignores the talents of nearly 50% percent of elected representatives, makes it more unlikely that the country will be able to exit the vortex of depression economics in the medium term, strengthens the idea of ‘the maximum leader’ and unduly sustains a false tension within the political system. When Caribbean people get hungry enough they will be in the street, not merely calling for the government to go, they will too be calling for the regime to fall. This will mean the government in the wider sense – BLP, DLP. The call must of necessity extend to the ruling elites as well – the education elites, the economic elites, the professional types, the elites in the clergy. They will be calling for a revolution! Barrow’s hideous Public Order Act will have no effect on ‘them’. The militarized police force will not be as persuasive to orders as the people will be to the hunger pangs they feels or the sight of hunger in their children’s eyes. The American trained special branch of the defense force, on call 24/7, may martyr some people in the streets but calls for the fall of the regime will continue, without ceasing. This call will be properly informed by a history of a lack of proper leadership, multiply betrayals of the people, an absence of land reform, political treachery by all parties and a growing mal-distribution of wealth.

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The O.R.Tambo Award and Forbes Burnham

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

As a people, we have a choice to make. And to this end the GTUC will be dispatching messages to the South Africa government and the trade union community, reminding them of the workers’ commitment and contributions to the apartheid struggle, making known our support for the O.R.Tambo award to Forbes Burnham, and expressing our concern that they have allowed an issue of national character to be hijacked by red-herring and egos. We are going to be making it known that those against the award are not speaking for us.

It is known that Guyana’s support for the struggle against apartheid and injustices in South Africa was one of national character, led and articulated by Forbes Burnham and the government of the People’s National Congress.  Regardless of one’s political persuasion and differences on issues and positions taken by Burnham, the position taken by him to bring about justice and fair play in South Africa was correct and we all must acknowledge that his leadership on this issue, on behalf of the people, must be correctly written and acknowledged in the annals of history. This issue speaks to our strength of character as people, who saw that injustice in Southern African translated to injustice in Guyana and every part of the world and to this end we fought it.

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Sir Kyffin Simpson Shows Leadership Investing in Agriculture (in Guyana)

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group

Sir Kyffin Simpson

Sir Kyffin Simpson

The traditional corporate sector, in the Caribbean and in Barbados in particular, is not known as risk takers. Quite frankly, we believe that the development of the region has been systematically hampered by this traditional corporate class which has deep roots in the retail trade and are often afraid to venture out of their comfort zones.

This fear has led to the virtual paralysis of agriculture and has left the door wide open for foreign investors to reap benefits in industries such as manufacturing and tourism. Even in the area of sports and other leisure activities, this corporate group has often ignored investment opportunities. They preferred to invest in: private yacht clubs, polo and other activities, which have no real appeal to the masses. However, it would be dishonest to argue that their investments in horse racing have not brought employment opportunities for the working class.

We have noted that the failure of the corporate elite to heavily invest in West Indies cricket, is a glaring example of leaving the field open to the Kerry Packers and Allen Stanfords ,sometimes with negative results, as was the case of Stanford. West Indies cricket was fractured to some degree by Kerry Packer but we survived that episode, quite well, because the players were handsomely rewarded. Stanford turned out to be a dishonest investor.

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The Guyana Trades Union Congress’ position on the Linden Commission of Inquiry

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

Consistent with the Terms of Reference the Report by the Linden Commission of Inquiry is an achievement for all Guyana – see Linden Commission of Inquiry Report. This report exposes the underbelly of the beast seeking to consume law and order in the society and rob the people of the needed security and protection to peacefully co-exist and go about their daily business. A report that says: 1) “the police were responsible for the shooting to death of the three persons as well as the injuries caused to several other persons at Linden on July 18, 2012;” 2) “an examination of the relevant evidence reveals that ASP Todd and Constable Rodney were the only police ranks who discharged shots from shotguns;” 3) ‘00’ buckshot cartridges were used on the unarmed demonstrators and the “use of the ‘00’ in the circumstances would not have been reasonable but would constitute excessive force;” 4) “The use of such lethal force was not justified in the circumstances.” 5) “Even though Mr. Todd using the ‘shotgun…discharged a round into the ground to take off the velocity, to scare and chase the protesters who were gathered’ this was fraught with danger. Discharging a shotgun is hardly the way to ‘scare’ persons and ought never to have been used in the circumstances;”

6) “the policy on the use of force should be reviewed and done urgently.[…] in order to adopt international best practices;” 7) “entries in the [Arms Book] cannot be relied on as there were numerous irregularities evident therein;” 8) “it must be noted that the Chairman of the Complaints Authority has made several requests for independent investigators to be made available  to that body but to no avail;  9) “Some of the procedures for engagement of the police before carrying out operations appear to be very militaristic and aspects of their standard operational procedures support that position;” and 10) “recommend the government  urgently implements the ‘Human Rights Standards and Practice for the Police’ as developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” is not a report to be treated with disdain or disregard.

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Barbados Murder Investigation Points to a Police Cover-up – CGID

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Dead: Clinton Norton

New York’s Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Monday accused the Barbados Police Force of covering up the apparent murder of Clinton Norton, a born Barbadian of Guyanese and Barbadian parentage. Norton died under suspicious circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados on September 3, 2012.

The institute’s President Rickford Burke last week wrote Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart asking for  an independent and fair review of the Police investigation of Norton’s death “so as to ensure justice for the family.”

Burke Monday said Barbados Police has misled the public about the facts of the case and therefore his organization felt constrained to release further information to support its contention of a possible Police cover-up. CGID, which has made human rights a corner-stone of its mission, simultaneously released several photographs of Norton’s battered body which bore marks of violence; including what appear to be burns, lacerations and bruises. It said the photographs establish that he was either beaten or tortured to death as the wounds could not have been self-inflected.

The following links lead to gruesome pictures of Clinton Norton’s badly mutilated dead body. Reader discretion is advised:

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PPP Government Using Ethnic Politics In Diplomatic Accreditation Process

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana

The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is blasting Guyana’s  PPP government’s clandestine efforts to force Italy to revoke the appointment of Attorney at law Nigel Hughes as its Honorary Consul in Guyana.   The CGID condemnation is the latest salvo fired at the Guyana government which this week found itself embroiled in an odious diplomatic fiasco regarding Italy’s top envoy in Guyana.

Italian government officials disclosed that Guyana’s ambassador to Venezuela, Geoffrey Da Silva earlier this week demanded of the Italian Ambassador to Venezuela that the Italian Government immediately remove Hughes’ appointment.

“The persecution and victimization of Nigel Hughes is part of the PPP’s ongoing design of ‘ethnic cleansing.’ They continue to attempt to exercise ethnic dominance over Guyana. Their intent is to cutoff Afro-Guyanese from participating in Guyana’s polity,” the institute said in a statement Wednesday.

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Call For Lindeners to Reject Cecil Kennard

Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Dear Editor:

I’m appalled that Guyana’s opposition politicians have agreed for former Chancellor of Guyana’s Judiciary and current Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority, Justice Cecil Kennard, to serve on the Linden Commission of Inquiry. It appears that his selection by the PPP may be in contemplation of naming him Chairman of the commission. This selection is unacceptable.

Many of us believe Justice Kennard was a partisan PPP enforcer in the Judiciary. His involvement in what is believed to be a diabolical and dastardly plan to swear in Mrs. Janet Jagan as President in 1997, while votes were literally still being counted and before a final and gazetted declaration of the general elections results rightly provoked serious and justifiable questions about his partisan politics and integrity.

No one was oblivious of the fact that Mr. Kannard installed Mrs. Jagan as President under grave controversy because he was fully aware that the constitution proscribes inquiry into the installation of a President, once the oath has been administered and signed, except via an election petition. Hence, his conduct in my opinion was an impeachable abuse of power.

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Freddie’s Worst Nightmare …I will take a brain scan this week

Freddie Kissoon, JOURNALIST

BU has a lot of admiration for Freddie Kissoon. If one has to define a Caribbean journalist this man is over-qualified. We reproduce his recent column for the family.

August 19, 2012 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

My security situation has become so bad I think it may be wise not to state on what day this week, I will visit the hospital to take a brain scan. Gerhard Ramsaroop insists that as early as possible I should take a brain scan. I didn’t think of it until Gerhard kept telling me to check for blood clots. My attacker did concentrate on my head and dealt me several cuffs right on my skull. I will take that test this week.

Life is really unpredictable. I got attacked on Thursday morning and just days before, on Sunday, August 12, my column was titled, “I am pleading with my country to protect me.” This was after I received a letter from Mr. Khurshid Sattaur requesting that I pay taxes on money I earn from writing these columns. How ironic life can be. You make a plea for help and days after you are victimized again.

Interestingly, someone came up to me the Monday morning and reminded me that in that very Sunday column I omitted details of some other events connected with the violations of my rights. It was unbelievable that I could have left out some interesting dimensions of what is taking place with me in my country. Juan Edghill ( I will never, ever recognize him as a Bishop of any church) filed an affidavit in court a few months ago asking a High Court judge to commit me to prison for contempt of court.

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Guyana Opposition Urged to Reject Terms of Reference of the Commission of Inquiry Into Police Killings in Linden

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

President Donald Ramotar

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) fully supports the AFC’s complete and unequivocal rejection of the PPP’s second proposed term of reference for the commission of inquiry into the Police killings of the three Lindeners.

This additional term proposes to inquire “into the role and involvement” of  “other forces” in organising, mobilising and promoting the protest actions from their commencement and immediately after the shooting on July 18th 2012.”

This is a back-door attempt by the PPP regime to investigate organizers of the protests, who broke no law and committed no crime. The only crimes committed were the murder and unlawful shooting of unarmed, innocent citizens by Police officers.

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Call On Blacks In Guyana’s PPP Cabinet to Condemn Linden Police Killings

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: In the wake of last week’s Guyana Police shooting to death of three African-Guyanese protesters and wounding of thirty others in the mining town of Linden, the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), says it is “dismayed” by the “deafening silence” from African-Guyanese members of Guyana’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government and has called on them to condemn the killings.

“I’m dismayed and frankly disgusted that African-Guyanese members of the PPP Cabinet have remained silent in light of the unjustifiable shootings and killings of African-Guyanese. This is a stunning lack of dignity and value for human life. Apparently, compassion for the lives of their fellow Afro-Guyanese citizens and a sense of common decency are is too much to ask of these PPP members. They seem so struck by the ‘Stockholm’ or house-slave” syndrome that they have lost their sense of identity,” CGID President Rickford Burke said Thursday.

Burke’s fire was directed at Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Public Service Minister Dr. Jennifer Westford, Human Services Minister Jennifer Webster, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon, junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill, and junior Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker, the African-Guyanese members of President Donald Ramotar’s cabinet.

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Calls For Inquiry Guyana Police Killings

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Guyana Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell

NEW YORK: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has strongly condemned Wednesday’s Police shooting to death of three unarmed protestors in Guyana’s mining town of Linden. The three were part of a large demonstration protesting a 50% increase in electricity rates.

Protestors reportedly blocked the Wismar Bridge which facilitates vehicular traffic to and from the country’s vast and natural resources rich hinterland region. This prompted riot police sent in from Georgetown to fire teargas and rubber bullets. Protestors responded by throwing stones and teargas canisters back at police who responded with live rounds, killing three and wounding dozens.

Calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the shooting, the institute labeled Guyana’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government “a communist, Indian-dominated ethnocracy, which views the inalienable and constitutional rights of African-Guyanese to protest as subversive.” It said historically the PPP has acted to crush such dissent.”

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