Dear Editor,Recent charges against former Government officials who were key operators under the previous Government for private investment have left investors wary of dealing with the APNU+AFC Government.Recent charges against Singh and Brassington dealing with 3 major investors; pending investigations into over 20 more investment transactions spanning 20 years; and the shackling of former senior Government officials are now translating to investors feeling that they, too, could become trapped when engaging with APNU.Similarly, charges against the Board of Directors of one of the largest Guyanese banks by SOCU has raised questions on whether SOCU is carrying out its mandate in an independent and professional manner, or is simply following political instructions. SOCU and SARA are increasing being viewed as political, rather than professional. Employees of SOCU no longer see themselves as operating independent of Government, and have taken an attitude of simply awaiting orders.The newly created SARA, facing legal challenges on its legality, is also strongly opposed by the private sector, particularly given its staffing by former political persons, and the considerable power that the agency has been given at the expense of due process. Dr. Clive Thomas of SARA also seems embroiled over whether he will remain the Chairman of GuySuCo.Fear now stalks the land. If the Police, including SOCU, do not believe that they can act as an independent and professional agency, but are simply an extension of the political apparatus; if judges fear that any judgment against the Government will be met with criticism; if media houses feel that if they publish against the Government they may be intimidated or threatened; if the Opposition in Parliament feel that they are being muzzled; if the private sector is fearful of vindictiveness from the Government and SARA/SOCU coming after them; then democracy is under threat.The Parliament, Police, Judiciary, media, private sector are all key to the checks and balances of a democracy. When these institutions’ independence is under threat, then so is democracy.It is a fact that no new major investor has been secured by this APNU+AFC Government. The spate of criticism against the manner of negotiations by APNU officials with Exxon questions Local Government capacity, expertise, and conduct, and leaves Guyana exposed. The pending $30 billion bond for GuySuCo, shrouded in secrecy and lacking any transparency and accountability, is also causing potential investors to feel vulnerable.No less than a full Government guarantee, saddling the Treasury with high cost debt, is now required. Increasingly, the APNU style of limited engagement with key stakeholders, media, and public, coupled with criticism levelled against it of corruption and procurement breaches, seen alongside handcuffing and threats against former Government officials, is now manifesting itself to investors growing wary of engaging with this Government. As one investor said, we are seeing ominous signs signalling the risks of doing business in Guyana. No new investors, and domestic capital flight only confirm these risks.Sincerely,Political observer
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) through the Olympic Solidarity has awarded a 7-week scholarship in “Tennis Science” to the Technical Director of Liberia Tennis Federation (LTF), Coach Alfred Kandakai.The scholarship was offered to Coach Kandakai owing to recommendation from the LTF and the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) as the only Level 2 International Tennis Federation (ITF) certified coach in the country.The specialized tennis training will be held at the Centro de Tenis Altur/Alvarino in Valencia, Spain from 7th September to 25th October.The training will provide him experience and knowledge to serve in other areas in the structures of the sport’s development.Olympic Solidarity will provide a return travel cost, boarding and lodging (meals and laundry only) and pocket money of US$100 per week.Some of the items, which will not be covered, are the scholarship holder’s personal sports equipment and extras such as telephone calls, amongst others.In an exclusive interview with Coach Kandakai yesterday, he disclosed that he would depart the country on Monday for La Cote d’Ivoire to obtain the visa and thereafter fly from the Abidjan to Spain.He expressed thanks and appreciation to the LTF and the LNOC for the recommendations and IOC for the scholarship.“I am happy to go and increase my knowledge and experience and come back to impact the lives of others,” Coach Kandakai said.He also thanked Mr. Stefana Eleno of the EU for the purchase of his ticket and Tani Hana of the Oceano Casino at the Mamba Point Hotel for U$1,000 for sponsoring his trip to La Cote d’Ivoire.Coach Kandakai, 41, has been with the LTF for over 18 years.Besides providing volunteer training to kids and the aged, he also has extra classes for interested individuals in and around the Monrovia.As a tennis coach and trainer, he nurtured his son, Saah Kandakai, who is currently in the USA – the top single male player for the Trenton High School.LNOC Secretary General Joseph F. Willie, said the LNOC has also applied for technical training for tennis and taekwondo coaches for 2016.“If the two applications are accepted, the total persons to benefit from the LNOC will be 16,” Mr. Willie said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The mysterious bright spot on the dwarf planet Ceres has been revealed in its highest resolution yet, and the bright materials in it appear to be coming from a fractured dome—a possible portal to icy materials in the subsurface. Last year, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around Ceres, the asteroid belt’s largest object and one that is suspected to harbor ice in its interior. Almost immediately, scientists began speculating about the bright spot in the middle of 90-kilometer-wide Occator crater, which at 80 million years old is geologically fresh. In December 2015, the Dawn team reported a haze of water vapor above the crater—a cloud that grew as temperatures rose during the day, and disappeared at night as temperatures dropped and the water vapor condensed into frost. They also found evidence that the bright material on the surface was most likely a residue of mineral salts. Dawn has since moved to a closer orbit around Ceres and has now revealed the bright spot at 35 meters per pixel. At the center of Occator is a 9-kilometer-wide pit, and in the center of that is an uplifted dome, 2 kilometers wide and full of ringlike fractures (pictured here). Heat from the impact that made Occator probably allowed a mixture of ice, salts, and rock in Ceres’s interior to become more fluid and rise up to the surface, scientists reported today at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. But they said that one remaining mystery is why the bright materials are still so pristine today. The youthfulness of the materials—likely younger than 80 million years—suggests that fresh ices and salts could have come up from Ceres’s interior long after the impact.