The ERC conundrum

first_imgOn Wednesday, April 27, 2016, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Appointments chaired by Dr George Norton, Public Health Minister, convened a high-level stakeholders meeting at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, to kick-start a democratic process aimed at reconstituting a new Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC).For those conversant with the political history of this country, the attendance at the meeting was rather disheartening in the least and foreboding at most from the standpoint of the pivotal role that the ERC is constitutionally mandated to perform relative to mitigating ethnic discord in Guyana.Indeed, it is hoped that the apathetic attendance at the meeting last week is not by any means an accurate gauge of the levels of [dis]interest in the resuscitation of the entity, and by extension its work, by the constituent groupings that were invited to send representatives, otherwise, in future, citizens may very well reflect on and rue this missed opportunity of meaningfully contributing to the composition of a body that, in the current circumstance, is destined to play a strategic role in defining and influencing race-relations in the country.All things being equal, a new ERC will come into being in probably a month’s time. This would be the country’s second ERC, replacing the first which was formed on March 8, 2002, and which, admittedly, had a chequered history.The first ERC was chaired by Juan Edghill (who was the Christian representative), and its tenure constitutionally expired in 2006. From then, right up to 2015, an inordinate period of time during which the country saw the running-off of two elections (ie, in 2011 and 2015), no new Commission was established to replace the first ERC which, over time, became mired in a host of issues such as court matters instigated by the main parliamentary opposition challenging the organisation’s constitutionality; loss of membership through attrition – resignations, deaths, illness, and migration – resulting in the lack of a decision-making quorum; and, to some extent, a loss of public trust and confidence in the organisation’s credibility.Subsequently, after the results of the 2011 general and regional elections transformed the PPP/C into a minority government, the framework for a new ERC was agreed to in 2013 between the government, and the parliamentary opposition parties – APNU and AFC. At that time it was consensually agreed by government and the opposition parties to add three more constituents – namely, the ethnic representatives of the country’s African, East Indian, and Amerindian peoples – to the original mix of representatives, thus increasing the total number of elected members from seven to 10.The process to select the nominees for the new Commission concluded in 2014 and the names of those selected were made public. But, for some inexplicable reason, they were never sworn-in as Commissioners.However, notwithstanding all that has gone before, the present APNU+AFC administration to its credit, seems very serious about going the whole yard, that is, seeing to finality the linear processes of selection, nomination, parliamentary approval, and swearing-in of a new Commission, and in this regard they should be aptly commended.It therefore boggles the mind as to why the public isn’t fully engaged as they ought to be in the inchoate process underway to select officials to sit on this important constitutional body.Strictly speaking, by way of comparison, the ERC is probably the most powerful of all the Rights Commissions established in this country after Independence. Based on the powers ascribed to it by the Constitution, it is more or less a quasi-judicial body that can summon, adjudicate, and penalise.It is pellucid that the ERC when constituted, will be especially critical to pre-empting and meliorating the divisive ethnic intolerance that usually overshadows the country’s elections periods; whilst generally mediating and arbitrating, all year round, the varied ethnic problems abounding within our polity and which daily threaten the country’s very existence.In fact, the move to put together the ERC at this time is most propitious from the standpoint that race-relations between the country’s two main ethnic groups (Africans and Indians) are at their lowest point, as is customary in the aftermath of all elections held here since the 1950s.Undeniably, the journey ahead for the Commission is going to be predictably challenging and painstaking in service to country. At this point though, it is absolutely necessary that the groupings identified to nominate persons to sit on the ERC take into consideration the character, interests, abilities and competencies of the people they choose.last_img read more

Violators of traffic rules

first_imgOn Sunday, two vendors returning home after selling at the Bourda Market in Georgetown lost their lives after the minibus in which they were travelling was allegedly speeding, causing the driver to lose control after reportedly being grazed by another vehicle.There is always an element of risk whenever someone uses the roadways: be it a motorist, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian. This is somewhat inherent, since it is believed that accidents will happen. Often the fault is not with the one being cautious.The risks may manifest themselves in various forms, such as a lack of street lighting while driving at nights; potholes, which when swerved from could place a vehicle in the direct path of another; absence of or non-functioning traffic lights, which can create uncertainty among drivers; roaming animals; speeding; drinking and driving; narrow streets, and lack of traffic signage. In addition, disobedience of basic traffic etiquette and other rules exacerbate the risks.Seemingly common now is the disrespect for designated major roads. Many drivers, including some within the public transportation system, refuse to adhere to what is mandatory. As a result, a number of accidents occur frequently at some of those points. Similarly, the practice of running red lights and the green signal that allows pedestrians to cross continues unabated, predominantly by minibus drivers. The danger this poses needs no explanation.While there is a plethora of traffic violations on a daily basis, some appear more prominent. Undertaking and cutting in front of a vehicle, and the sticking out of a minibus conductor’s arm to do likewise from the other side seem the new norm of driving. Aside from the obvious danger, especially to young and inexperienced drivers, and being an irritant, it is blatant bullyism and a potent source for road rage.It appears that those who engage in such practices do not see themselves as being errant, or what they do as a traffic violation. Lanes that allow for turning-on-red are abused and used as if it’s the right-of-way. In the City, many roads other than what are authorised for minibus routes are used as thoroughfares. Speeding is foremost, causing areas that are supposed to be free of minibuses to become dangerous.In addition, some drivers seemingly take pride in having an alcoholic beverage in their possession while transporting passengers. Adding to the woes of those who abide by traffic rules, they are verbally abused when trying to stave off a potential transgressor. These practices are not unknown to the Police and while they cannot be at all points where violations occur, there is the expectation for more and sustained intervention in the interest of safety to all road users.This does not take away from the valiant efforts of a few dedicated traffic officers who do their best to curb the situation; one which has reached alarming proportions. Reportedly, many minibuses are owned by some Police ranks and the drivers are of the view that they have a free pass to break traffic rules. It is believed that traffic ranks turn a blind eye when they see firsthand violations by minibuses owned by members of the force.That obviously empowers those errant drivers, and causes others to do likewise. Sometime ago, a senior traffic officer, speaking at a road safety fair, boldly proclaimed that no one is above the law when asked specifically about reports of violation by Police ranks. That is heartening to hear, and he must be commended. However, the follow-up question should have been how effective his action could be in the context of minibuses being owned by some of his colleagues.In fairness to the Police, it did clamp down on tinted vehicles owned by some ranks. That shows that the force seems willing to hold its own responsible. While that offers some level of optimism, it begs the question why the unbridled traffic violations by some minibuses continue unchecked.From all reports, some traffic ranks can easily pinpoint a particular minibus based upon design and route when a complaint is lodged. That probably suggests that traffic violation is not unique to that vehicle. Again, it must be asked: How is it allowed to continue? One can assume that alleged pressure from within is responsible. Seemingly gone is the expectation of the example being set by those entrusted to ensure safety on the roadways.What is desperately needed is a sustained national campaign to reduce traffic violations, and let the law take its course on the errant ones, regardless of who they are. The carelessness exhibited puts all road users at risk. This is where the National Road Safety Council would need to be supported, and probably empowered to have a more visible presence and increased influence all year round.It must be noted that drivers are not the only violators of traffic rules; for some pedestrians are equally guilty. Aside from the common jaywalking, they cross busy intersections when not authorized, and refuse to use the overhead pedestrian walkways, thereby bringing danger to themselves and others. Like errant drivers, they seem empowered to not observe basic traffic rules. This will only change when there is a constant stream of violators up the stairs of the courts across the country. There is a hope that that is not wishful thinking.last_img read more

I’m a fine red wine who could play til 50-Zlatan

first_img0Shares0000Arsene Wenger says PSG could struggle without the leadership of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. PHOTO/DM.MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 19 – Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has likened himself to a “fine red wine” and would not be surprised if he is still playing when he turns 50.Ibrahimovic has made a predictably strong impact since his arrival at Old Trafford over the summer, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over West Brom on Saturday to take his tally to 16 goals since his debut in the Community Shield. He has been United’s chief goalscoring threat in recent games, claiming five of their last seven Premier League goals to get them back in touch with the top four.And the 35-year-old, by some way Sweden’s leading all-time goalscorer, feels there is little sign of him slowing down.He said: “The older I get, the better I get, like red wine. You like red wine? I’m a perfect example of that.“I’m settling in. I feel happy, I feel good. Even if I’m 35, in my mind I’m 20. I think I could play also at 50, but it’s not down to me.“The only thing that surprises me [about the Premier League] is that the game is not controlled.“Back and front, back and front, the rhythm is high but this is how the game is and you have to adapt your body to it. I have played in different championships in different countries and always adapted.”There was also praise from the West Brom ‘keeper he beat twice on Saturday, former United player Ben Foster.Foster said: “He’s good in the air, he’s got great feet, he’s powerful. Look at his second goal – most players are looking to pass but he chips it over the defender and just wellies it.“How old is he? 35? Jesus – he’s brilliant. You don’t do what he’s done by just being a big lump.”-By Sky Sport-0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Manchester City chief slams talk of Aguero sale

first_imgThe 28-year-old, who has scored 122 league goals in 181 appearances since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011, returned to the team following an injury to Jesus and finished the season as City’s leading scorer.That has not stopped rumours about his future, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid all linked with the star, but Khaldoon is adamant Aguero is too important to lose.“I’ve read a lot about the speculation on this and it is ridiculous,” Khaldoon told City’s website on Tuesday.“Sergio Aguero is one of the best players in the world and we are a team that aspires to win in every competition we compete in.“Having Sergio Aguero as part of the squad is an absolute must and has never been a doubt.”Khaldoon is hopeful Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure will be given a new contract as his present deal expires next month.“Pep has a lot of trust in him and I hope Yaya will be with us and continue this journey with us,” he said.Guardiola is planning a major overhaul of his squad and has already announced the departures of full-backs Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, winger Jesus Navas and goalkeeper Willy Caballero.City have been linked with Tottenham’s Kyle Walker and Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy to fill their full-back positions.“The manager is thinking about the squad every day and that thinking evolves throughout the year to get to a final point at the end of the season when decisions are made,” Khaldoon said.“There are particular positions that are clear. With the players exiting, full-backs both right and left require investment from our side. “Pep relies heavily on that position and a particular requirement in terms of the type of players he wants for the role.“That clearly requires some work. Pep knows exactly what he wants and who he wants.” Meanwhile, Benfica goalkeeper Ederson is reportedly due to arrive in Manchester as he closes in on a move to City.City are still negotiating a settlement on the 23-year-old’s third-party ownership issues, but the club hope he will undergo a medical on Tuesday.With Joe Hart, who spent the season on loan at Torino, set to be sold by City, and Claudio Bravo struggling in his first season at Eastlands, Ederson would arrive as Guardiola’s first choice goalkeeper.He would become Guardiola’s second close-season signing after Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva joined on Friday.Shares(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) SharesManchester City’s Sergio Aguero has scored 122 league goals in 181 appearances since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011 © AFP / Oli SCARFFLondon, United Kingdom, May 30 – Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak insists reports that Sergio Aguero could be sold are ridiculous because the Argentine striker remains a key player for the Premier League club.Aguero lost his place in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up following the arrival of Brazilian starlet Gabriel Jesus in January.last_img read more

IndyMac to eliminate 1,000 jobs

first_imgIndyMac Bancorp Inc. plans to eliminate as many as 1,000 jobs and slash its dividend by half amid challenging conditions in the mortgage and housing markets that have led to industrywide credit tightening, the company said Friday. In a letter to shareholders, the Pasadena-based mortgage lender said it may break even in the third quarter or post a loss of up to 50 cents per share if the mortgage sector problems and high credit costs persist. The bank’s third-quarter forecast falls well below the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial, who forecast earnings of 52 cents per share. In the letter, IndyMac Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Perry warned market conditions are likely to remain difficult in the fourth quarter and into next year. He added that he expects the lender to remain profitable into 2008. Perry plans to recommend that the company’s board of directors reduce the quarterly dividend payout to 25 cents per share “for the time being.” The company expects to cut 10 percent of its staff, or about 1,000 positions, as part of layoffs and a severance program. “Clearly, we have experienced challenges in the current market, and there will surely be more before this difficult period is over,” Perry wrote. “But the challenges we are facing today are, frankly, not as daunting as those we have faced in the past.” The mortgage industry has been struggling this year as a spike in home loan defaults and foreclosures, fueled in part by the housing slump, has dried up demand in secondary markets for loans. Many companies have been hard-pressed to find money to fund loan production. Dozens of mortgage lenders, particularly those focused on subprime borrowers with spotty credit, have been forced out of business. This week, Countrywide Financial Corp. said it would cut as many as 12,000 jobs. The Calabasas-based company eliminated 500 other positions last month. IndyMac operates as a hybrid mortgage lender and thrift, giving it a more stable funding base than standalone mortgage companies. The lender was only minimally exposed to subprime lending, Perry said. It has also transferred most of its mortgage production from largely Alt-A loans that are often offered without full income documentation to loans that are eligible to be resold to government-backed enterprises such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. “This is a tough but necessary transition, and we have made a great deal of progress very rapidly which will protect us from secondary market disruptions in the future,” Perry wrote. Still, Perry said he anticipates loan production volume to decline by roughly half in the fourth quarter. Shares of IndyMac fell 25 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $21.41. Shares have traded between $16.86 and $48.14 during the past year.160Want 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

Man United fans mock Mario Balotelli and he reacts like this…

first_imgPoor Mario Balotelli. A few days after posting this bizarre video online ‘hitting back at his critics’, the struggling striker was on the wrong side of a 2-1 result as Manchester United beat Liverpool at Anfield.The £16m man was almost involved in a flare-up with Chris Smalling on the pitch, but it seems his afternoon wasn’t finished, as travelling United fans stayed behind after the game to dish out more grief to the Italian.After being mocked by Red Devils’ supporters, the former Man City star decided he’d respond in his own way, before departing the stadium.WARNING: CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGElast_img read more

Juventus eyeing up shock deal for Tottenham star

first_imgJuventus are eyeing up an ambitious bid for Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen, claim reports in Italy.The Old Lady have been in hot pursuit of Schalke’s Julian Draxler in recent weeks but a deal now seems unlikely.And now, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian champions have turned their attention to Tottenham’s Danish midfielder as they seek to replace Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo.Spurs are unlikely to sell the 23-year-old but may listen to offers if a lucrative bid comes in.Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri is understood to be a big fan of Eriksen, while the chance to play Champions League football next season may serve as a distraction for him in the remaining days of the transfer window. 1 Christian Eriksen last_img read more

PICTURE SPECIAL AS GUINNESS HOUSE OPENED FOR FÉILE AN EARGAIL IN DUNLEWEY

first_imgBhí lá den chéad scóth ag an scaifte mhór a bhí ar Lá Oscailte ar an Dún inniu de chuid Fhéile an Earagail.Tháinig an ghrian amach chun cuidiú ar an lá agus bhí neart comhrá, ceol, cluichí do pháistí, bia blásta i gcoinne an chúlra ar cheann de na radharcanna is áille sa tír.There was great interest too in Seamus Roarty’s 1935 Morris, beautifully restored and kept. The Féile was opened on Friday night by Mount Everest hero Jason Black who got a standing ovation from a large crowd in attendance.    PICTURE SPECIAL AS GUINNESS HOUSE OPENED FOR FÉILE AN EARGAIL IN DUNLEWEY was last modified: August 3rd, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DunleweyFéile An eargailfestivallast_img read more

Trucker accused of road violence

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.The pursuit continued to the San Diego Freeway and to the eastbound Santa Monica Freeway before the big-rig driver attempted to pull off at Normandie Avenue. He lost control of his truck and it overturned, narrowly missing children playing nearby, Lutz said. He said Alsaid was driving was a load of raisins in the tractor-trailer, registered to a Central Valley company in Selma, Calif., called the raisin capital of the world by its residents. Alsaid was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest. He is being held on bail of more than $1 million with an appearance scheduled for today in Santa Clarita Superior Court. carol.rock@dailynews.com (661)257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CASTAIC – An ex-convict truck driver from Fresno attempted to hit a California Highway Patrol officer with his big rig near Castaic as he led officers on a pursuit that ended when his truck overturned in West Los Angeles, authorities said Tuesday. Zyad Abdulaziz Alsaid, 45, had been paroled from prison in December after a 2004 conviction in Fresno County for making terrorist threats. He also was convicted in Fresno County in 1990 for selling a controlled substance and spent 18 months in prison. Alsaid’s truck first sideswiped a tour bus while he was driving south on the Golden State Freeway at 6:21 p.m. Monday near Smokey Bear Road, according to CHP Officer John Lutz. “One of our officers was following the truck and saw the driver look at him in the side mirror just before (the driver) tried to pinch (the) patrol car against the center guardrail,” Lutz said. “The officer was able to back out of the situation and wasn’t hurt, but we have statements from witnesses that he was aiming at cars.” last_img read more

Vets-work program on board’s agenda

first_imgAn internship program aimed at helping veterans get a start back in the working world returns for review today by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. If it wins approval, the county’s Department of Human Resources will create a program to hire as interns those who have served in the military. The jobs would run for up to one year in hard-to-fill county jobs, such as nursing, social work and law enforcement. Under the proposal, veterans would earn 75 percent of the traditional wage earner’s salaries for those jobs. However, when their internships end, veterans would be qualified to take the civil-service exam and apply for permanent county jobs. 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 MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Nationwide, there are about 26.4 million veterans, with those who served in Vietnam making up the largest population at 8.4 million. The motion came before supervisors at their Aug. 15 meeting but the vote was postponed for a lack of backup materials. sue.doyle@dailynews.com (661) 257-5254last_img read more