Freddie admits to escaping National Service hardship

first_imgDear Editor,Freddie Kissoon (July 12) praised the late criminal mastermind Laurie Lewis for getting him out of the oppressive National Service system that was mandated for anyone seeking tertiary education; high school students were also coerced into participating in National Service. If someone did not participate in National Service, a diploma was denied. One’s promotion in government service or even a government job (teaching service) was tied to National Service.Many abuses took place in National Service. There were widespread reports of rapes and violation of dietary needs forcing Muslims and Hindus to eat beef and pork. Pandits and Imams begged Burnham to excuse females from National Service because of reported rapes and unwanted pregnancies, but Burnham refused.Freddie said he opposed National Service, but Laurie Lewis gave him a break. So he could get his diploma. Laurie was Burnham’s right hand man on terror. Freedom fighter Leyland Roopnarine said Laurie was in charge of the terror ring. Leyland was arrested several times by Laurie’s terror squad and beaten in prison. It is commonly known that Laurie was responsible for the disappearance of Burnham’s opponents.Describing Laurie as a dangerous man, Freddie connected Laurie with Walter Rodney’s murder. Laurie was also connected to the beating of political opponents.The DLM political leader, Paul Nehru Tennassee was arrested, stripped naked and placed on an ants nest; Laurie knew about it. Ravi Dev was beaten at the police headquarters. Several of us were beaten by Police at the instruction of Laurie who ran the terror dungeon in town. Laurie’s Police terrorised us when we participated in protests against the PNC dictatorship. Yet in spite of all the terror unleashed on freedom fighters and advocates for democratic rule, Freddie befriended Laurie for personal gain.Freddie wrote: “I met Laurie Lewis in 1975 at the University of Guyana. From 1975 until he died in August 2012, we remained on very friendly terms.”When many of us were being beaten, intimidated and some arrested for opposing National Service, Freddie compromised the struggle. Freddie stated: “I agreed to do National Service and Laurie facilitated me by having me work with him in his National Service office at Broad and Charles Street, Charlestown. This is what drove me to like Laurie”.So Freddie used his connection with Laurie to avoid National Service in the interior of the jungle where one was forced into government propaganda, consuming foods that violated their faiths and where almost every female was raped or targeted for rape.While others were forced to endure physical and emotional torture far from home in the jungle exposed to malaria and other dreadful diseases, Freddie was in an air-conditioned office and close to his family. No wonder he was grateful to Laurie.Freddie had such a special relationship with Laurie that he penned: “I do not think Laurie ever refused me a favour. I could have asked him for anything.”Freddie described Laurie as “a shrewd, Machiavellian operator. Laurie Lewis will remain one of the most controversial personalities this country produced. His life story is mired in dangerous and unappealing details”.Freddie said Laurie would use favours he did for you against you, pointing out that this “was the lesson he internalised from his association with Forbes Burnham”.He adds: “Laurie was part of the body … surrounding the Walter Rodney murder. I knew Laurie had a massive amount of intelligence data on people, data he threatened to use against them in order to succeed in the pursuit of his desires, and he did succeed”.In spite of all Laurie did to political activists who opposed the Burnham and Hoyte dictatorships, Freddie remained close to Laurie for allowing him to escape National Service in the jungle and this while females were being raped. Has Freddie no self-respect?Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Stacking the deck for foreign interests

first_imgDear Editor,It is clear to everyone with an objective mind that the President is stacking the deck of likeminded stagnated thinkers to achieve a desired result that has nothing to do with Guyanese.If you look at all the positions being filled to control the democratic process, the President has arbitrarily selected people that would do what his Government wants. It does not help that they are clearly too old to be progressive thinkers to consider the interest of the youth.Never since Burnham have the youth been sidelined by a Government like this one. The recent causality of Granger’s questionable decision to select another geriatric for a critical post in our democratic system is the AFC. Prior to this, he arbitrarily selected an 84-year-old GECOM Chairman who will be 88 years old in 2020.This is not an attack on age, but an insight to the President’s lack of progressive vision, and his blatant disregard for the promises that had been made to the young people of Guyana.AFC is now crying that the President has rejected their nominee for GECOM Commissioner, since it was their way of saying that the coalition supports the youth, but instead, the President chose another clearly older member for the role. The AFC will now understand what many have been saying from day one: that they are voiceless and powerless. The only voice they have is when they are attacking the PPP. But when it comes to the inner workings of running the country, they are decoration.I am hard pressed to think that Granger is acting in the interest of the average Guyanese, but more in the interest to position themselves as the most favoured to foreign interest. They are simply making themselves to be the best servants to their foreign master’s needs. And in this process, you will see a lot of propaganda that creates the perception of care for the people, but in reality, our resources will be sold cheaply, and they will keep getting bonuses while marginalizing the people.All indications point to Guyana being the newest victim of the resource curse. It starts with a puppet Government that would create a few super rich, a powerful autocracy, and increase poverty to keep the people weak and voiceless.I urge my young Guyanese brothers and sisters to know the teachings of Walter Rodney. You have seen how he has inspired young legends like Chronixx, whom you admire as he inspires millions around the world. Well Chronixx got that knowledge from a Guyanese, and his name is Rodney.Sincerely,Malcolm Watkinslast_img read more

Committees in Parliament

first_imgThe passage this week of the Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2016 exposed citizens to the work, possibilities and shortcomings of “Committees” in our parliamentary system of governance. In this system, Members of Parliament (MPs) are supposed to be engaged in three tasks – representing the interests of their constituencies, legislating laws introduced by the Executive, and oversight of the Government’s work.While MPs are supposed to be “representing” at all times, they are afforded the opportunity to selectively perform the last two in the two types of committees of Parliament. These are the “Select” ad hoc committees that consider specific Bills and issues that have been laid before the Assembly and “Standing Committees”, which are constituted with every Parliament and generally exist for the duration of the Parliament. The Committee to which the Telecommunications Bill was sent since 2013 by the then PPP Executive, was an example of the “Select” type. The Public Accounts Committee exemplifies a Standing Committee, in this case one that is supposed to scrutinise the work of the Executive. In addition to “scrutinising”, Standing Committees such as the “Privileges Committee” are also constituted to facilitate the functioning of the National Assembly.Committees are crucial for the entrenchment of substantive democracy in the parliamentary system, but we saw one of the constraints exposed this week. When the Telecommunications Bill was originally introduced, the members of the then Opposition parties APNU and AFC on the Select Committee felt that too many powers were placed into the hands of the subject Minister. Since at that time there was the unique situation where the Opposition parties also had a majority in the Parliament, the Government was unable to pass the legislation.While there must have been some MPs from the Opposition benches that felt strongly enough about the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, because of the power of the political parties to insist their MPs literally “toe the party line”, the duty to represent their constituencies’ interest was sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. The party Whips can “whip” support into line for their party’s position because of their power to “recall” contrary MPs. The political expediency was exposed when the APNU and AFC parties – now in government – supported the bill in the new Select Committee formed for this Parliament and was able to have it passed on the floor of the House since they also had a majority of votes there.The PPP, now in Opposition, objected to the powers placed into the hands of the Telecommunications Minister. The shoe was now on the other foot. The challenge for greater substantive democracy, then, would be to facilitate MPs to take a more independent stance when Bills are being considered in Committee and in the National Assembly. In the US system where there is a more explicit “division of powers” between the Executive and the Legislature, the former does not sit in the latter, as is the case here, and Members of Congress are more independent. One way to rectify this matter here would be to eliminate the “party list” system where the party leaders have total control over which candidate on their list during elections are later selected as parliamentarians. This power, along with the desire of the MPs to move into Executive office, keeps them behind the “party line”. A reversion to a total constituency system of elections would also assist in allowing MPs to better fulfil their representative function.The Parliament of Guyana also has Standings Committees, including the four Sectoral Committees – Economic, Natural Resources, Social Services and Foreign Affairs – which are not used sufficiently to scrutinise the work of the Executive. In the instance of the Telecommunications Bill, the Economic Services Committee could have called officials of the Government and the telecommunications companies to give evidence on the issue. In the presence of the media and with the assistance of experts they could hire, democracy would have been better served. But this was trumped by party discipline.last_img read more

McCoy fined $20,000 for assaulting Benschop

first_img…larceny, damage to property charges dismissedPopular political commentator Kwame McCoy was on Thursday fined $20,000 with an alternative of one month’s imprisonment after city magistrate Anette Singh found him guilty of unlawfully assaulting political activist Mark Benschop.The magistrate, in her ruling, dismissed two other charges – alleged larceny and damage to property – stating that she does not believe the evidence of Benschop in those matters.During his testimony to the court via Skype, Benschop, who is in the United States, claimed that subsequent to the incident, which occurred at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara in 2011, he had travelled to Georgetown to make a report at the Brickdam Police Station.The court was told that, at the time of the incident, the VC was filming a Diamond House Scheme house which he claimed belonged to McCoy.McCoy, in his testimony to the court on Wednesday, denied ownership of the house, stating that he arrived at the Diamond property and was told that Benschop had an altercation with two of the workers there, after they retaliated when he allegedly put a camera in their faces.McCoy related that Benschop could not identify the workers with whom he had the alleged altercation, thus he had made him the scapegoat.Speaking to members of the media outside the courtroom, McCoy said he remains innocent in the matter, and claimed the allegations were fabricated for political effect. He said he was not present at the house in Diamond Housing Scheme where the alleged assault took place.McCoy was charged with the offences, and was released by Magistrate Leron Daly in April of last year after he entered a not guilty plea to the charges. Bail was granted in the total sum of $275,000 – $200,000 for damage to property, $50,000 for simple larceny, and $25,000 for the charge of unlawful assault.last_img read more

Spare car key on a trip can lock out frustration

first_imgHere’s something to add to your vacation packing list: an extra set of car keys. Don’t leave home without them. It could save you time, lots of money and frustration – especially if you have a newer domestic car or a late-model foreign brand. That’s because in this high-tech age losing a car key is not a problem that can be fixed simply by calling a locksmith. The reality is there might not be much a locksmith can do. Just as cars in general have become more computer-dependent over the years, so have the keys used to start them. In fact, locksmiths and mechanics refer to them as chip keys because of the tiny transponder that communicates with lock and ignition systems. Bruce Schwartz, who opened Security Unlimited Locksmith in North Hills in 1974, said that 40 percent of his car-key service calls are for chip keys. “Nothing is less than $250 now,” he said. “The consumer who buys the car doesn’t know what they are in for.” Even mechanics have encountered problems replacing keys and ignition components. One of our family cars is a 1998 Volvo S70 GLT. I’ve had to have two ignition cylinders replaced, and each time it cost more than $300 – not to mention that the car was sidelined for several days. That’s because the part had to come from Sweden. And my mechanic, Scott Robinson, who operates Nillson’s Volvo in Canoga Park, had to buy a special computer to get access to Volvo’s codes. “Oh, they are blown away,” Robinson said of customers who find out what a hassle they are facing. And those security fobs that operate the security alarm and locks on the doors and trunk? Those are expensive to replace, too, Robinson said. Here’s the problem: The chip is programmed with a code that matches one in the ignition. A locksmith might be able to cut a key, but it won’t work without the right programming. That began about 10 years ago, according the the Automobile Club of Southern California. And in an effort to make cars and trucks more theft-proof, manufacturers began hoarding the codes. Schwartz notes that in some cases locksmiths can’t get the codes, so the car has to be towed to a dealer. If a key is lost or broken at the start of a weekend or while the vehicle owner is on vacation, it may take a couple of days or longer to get a replacement. Or the locksmith might have to take apart door panels or the steering column to get the necessary information needed for a spare. And this adds time and money to the locksmith’s bill, said Steve Finnegan, the club’s manager of government affairs. “Most people buy the car, and they go home happy, and unfortunately they find themselves in a situation where they don’t have their keys and then they discover how difficult it can be.” The club initiated discussions between manufacturers and locksmith associations to come up with a solution. But those talks were progressing slowly. So the club sponsored legislation in California that won approval and will take effect in January. It requires requires manufacturers to develop a safe, secure method for vehicle owners to access information that would allow them to have a replacement key made for all vehicles sold in California after Jan. 1, 2007. And that information would have to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Finnegan said. Manufacturers that don’t currently allow anyone to duplicate a key have until 2013 to comply with the law. “This is a good-news story for consumers,” Finnegan said of the new law. (818) 713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Pope Benedict XVI leading eco-friendly youth festival

first_imgThe head of the Italian bishops conference told Vatican Radio it was the responsibility of the church to teach its young about caring for the planet. The youth rally has a poignant aspect: Loreto was dear to John Paul and was the site of his final pilgrimage in September 2004.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI is taking a new step in the Vatican’s environmental campaign, leading a youth festival this weekend in which participants will use recycled prayer books, biodegradable plates and backpacks made from reused nylon. About 300,000 young Roman Catholics are expected to attend the festival in Loreto, home of Italy’s most famous Marian shrine, in a run-up to next year’s World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. The festival coincides with the church’s Save Creation Day and has a decidedly eco-friendly theme. Each participant will be given a knapsack made of recycled nylon containing a hand-cranked battery recharger, three sets of biodegradable plates and three bags for recycling trash. Prayer books for Benedict’s Sunday Mass are made of recycled paper, hydrogen cars will be on display and trees will be planted in areas of southern Italy recently devastated by forest fires to make up for the carbon-dioxide emissions generated by the festival. “The message about caring for the environment will be entrusted not just with words, but with the young people’s gestures and the things they use,” said the Rev. Paolo Giulietti. The Italian company Novamont said the use of 400,000 of its biodegradable plates would amount to a reduction of C02 emissions of eight tons. As a result, it said, Loreto will be an “environmentally low-impact” event. The Vatican has been going greener under Benedict, installing photovoltaic cells on the roof of its main auditorium to convert sunlight into electricity and joining a reforestation project aimed at offsetting its CO2 emissions. Just this week, the pope bemoaned the destruction wrought by the recent forest fires in Greece and Italy, saying the blazes destroyed “humanity’s precious environmental patrimony.” Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, frequently spoke out about the need to care for God’s creation. And the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, is known as the “green patriarch” for his environmental initiatives. last_img read more

Big Brother comes down to smaller businesses

first_imgQ: I recently read that AT&T plans to introduce a nationwide program that gives owners of small- and medium-size businesses some of the same tools big security companies offer for monitoring employees, customers and operations from remote locations. Under AT&T’s Remote Monitor program, a business owner could install adjustable cameras, door sensors and other gadgets at up to five different company locations across the country and be able to view images in real time or within 30 days via digital video. Sound a little Big Brotherish? A: It may be, but some business owners insist this type of surveillance is necessary. “To avoid misunderstandings or claims of intrusion, employers should clearly state there is no expectation of privacy in their policies regarding computer, telephone and other company-provided systems.” Dawn Anfuso is a South Bay-based business writer and former managing editor of Workforce magazine. If you have workplace or job-search questions, e-mail Dawn at Writers will remain anonymous.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“It is Big Brother, but in this day and age, you need these type of tools” for theft protection, weeding out false accident claims and other risks, said Beaux Roby, owner of a chain of five Mama’s Caf restaurants and two banquet halls in Texas. Roby has been using the system for nine weeks as part of a pilot program. “You have fraudulent claims from customers that trip and fall and things like that,” he said. Employees aren’t as thrilled about the product, and for good reason. The system enables business owners to spy on them, as well. Christine Farrell, principal of South Bay-based employee relations consulting firm Work Matters, says there are certainly valid arguments for and against employee monitoring. Farrell cites a current case pending review of the California Supreme Court, Hernandez v. Hillsides Inc., which is generating much debate. Hillsides Children’s Center installed motion-activated video surveillance cameras in the workplace when management learned that pornographic Web sites were being accessed on company computers. Two employees sued Hillsides for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress when they discovered the system had been installed in their shared office without their knowledge. “Were the company’s actions justified in order to protect the children it was entrusted to care for from potential exposure to pornographic material?” asks Farrell. “The area of employee privacy is highly uncertain,” she states. “Systems, equipment and office space are provided by the company for use by its employees for business purposes. When employers assess the use of monitoring systems, they often determine the overall benefits to the company outweigh the risk of upsetting some employees. Disclosing that surveillance or monitoring systems are to be used can act as a strong deterrent to employee misconduct. last_img read more


first_imgTo celebrate the huge success of the Healthwise online photo and gift service, Healthwise Pharmacies are offering a free personalised photo mug with any online order.Simply log on to and place your order – enter the code MUG1 in the voucher section and add a free mug to your order.The Healthwise service continues to offer great value in photos and special gifts with the added convenience of online ordering from home. What sets Healthwise apart from others, is their ability to offer free collection from any of their network of pharmacies throughout Donegal, Sligo and Galway.This avoids the delivery charges which catch many people out when ordering other cheap or ‘free’ goods online.*Healthwise can also deliver any order directly to the home*This online service is available for all photo processing, enlargements, canvas printing and photo gifts, with the full range of products and prices available on Director Liam Grimley told Donegal Daily that they have been blown away with the popularity of the service.Grimley said, “We’re particularly proud of the regular feedback we get on how easy the website is to use, and on the quality of the products.“The demand for Photo Gifts such as personalised Mugs, T-shirts and Phone covers has been unprecedented, and is expected to grow further as Christmas approaches.As a thank you for recent support, Healthwise has decided to offer this free photo mug to all users.Click link below and order your free Photo Mug worth 4.99 ( Fuji charge 14.99 for the same mug ). These can then be collected in any Healthwise Pharmacy totally free of charge, or will be delivered directly to the home for a modest delivery charge.Click – Order – Collect Free Mug! ( N.B. No purchase necessary – simply process an order for Mug , enter the code, and collect totally free of charge ).MORE FREE GIFTS FROM HEALTHWISE PHARMACIES was last modified: November 7th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessFeaturesfreeHealthwise PharmaciesMug-Shotnewslast_img read more

‘A pathetic state of affairs!’ – LISTEN to Adrian Durham’s England rant

first_imgAdrian Durham is fed up with the England national football team, and he used Monday’s Drivetime show to blast the ‘pathetic’ Three Lions.Gareth Southgate announced his squad for the upcoming matches against Scotland and Spain on Sunday, as the former Middlesbrough manager looks to edge the Three Lions closer to the 2018 World Cup.But the squad did NOT please Durham, who claimed this team is unlikely to qualify for the World Cup if these ‘unimpressive and underwhelming’ players continue to be selected for England.Durham also slammed the ‘pathetic state of affairs’ which has him fearing Scotland will actually BEAT England at Wembley on Friday.You can listen to the entire Drivetime rant, above…last_img

Newcastle face battle to keep striker as French giants eye summer deal

first_img Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring for Newcastle United Marseille are tracking Newcastle United striker Ayoze Perez ahead of the summer transfer window.The 23-year-old has scored nine goals this season, but he has not been a regular starter under Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park.That has, according to reports in France, sparked interest from Marseille and they are keeping tabs on the Spaniard in preparation for the summer.The Ligue 1 big-spenders have reportedly sent scouts to watch Perez in action several times over the past few weeks as they weigh up whether to submit a formal offer.Newcastle, however, have given no indication they would be willing to sell the striker if a bid was made by Marseille.While Perez has not started regularly, Benitez is said to still have long-term plans for the former Tenerife man and he would be reluctant to let him go. 1last_img read more