Blackwood, Thomas lead Scorpions fight

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC):Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood struck a half-century to prop up Jamaica Scorpions after they suffered a batting slump to leave Guyana Jaguars in command of their final round Regional four-day championship game here yesterday.Replying to the hosts’ 420 all out, Scorpions finished the second day at the National Stadium here on 171 for five – still 249 runs adrift.Blackwood, batting at number three, top-scored with 62 while Devon Thomas stroked an unbeaten 40 and Shacaya Thomas, 32.Scorpions were cruising at 70 for one before losing four wickets for 50 runs to crash to 120 for five, with left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie claiming three of the wickets to fall to finish with three for 33.Thomas, who hit a hundred in the last round, has so far put on 51 for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas, who was unbeaten on 21.The Antiguan Thomas has faced 70 balls and cracked five fours and a six.Earlier, captain Leon Johnson missed out on his third hundred of the season but became the first batsman to pass 800 runs, when he made 93.Starting the day unbeaten on 58 with Jaguars on 297 for four, the left-hander faced 185 balls in just under 41/2 hours all told, and struck six fours and a six.AT NATIONAL CRICKET CENTRE: Hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, trailing Windward Islands Volcanoes by 78 runs on first innings, were 33 for one in their second innings.Scores: RED FORCE 211 (Narsingh Deonarine 91 not out, Imran Khan 39, Larry Edwards 4-77, Kyle Mayers 3-37) and 33 for one.VOLCANOES 289 (Devon Smith 127, Tyrone Theophile 75; Imran Khan 4-93, Rayad Emrit 3-59).AT WARNER PARK: Leeward Islands Hurricanes, trailing Barbados Pride by 317 on first innings, reached 18 for one at the close.Scores: HURRICANES 119 all out (Jahmar Hamilton 42, Kieran Powell 33; Jomel Warrican 3-33, Kemar Roach 2-21) and 18 for one.PRIDE 436 (Shane Dowrich 96, Roston Chase 62, Kemar Roach 53, Omar Phillips 42, Kevin Stoute 42; Rahkeem Cornwall 5-155).last_img read more

Tens of billions invested in Guyana as a result of the work of Brassington,…

first_imgDear Editor,Winston Brassington and Dr Ashni Singh are being charged not because they did their job poorly or recklessly or without due diligence. They are being charged because they did their work brilliantly. These gentlemen are not being charged because they broke Guyana’s law; they are being charged under English common law, with an application that has never been applied in Guyana. These gentlemen are not being charged for recent transactions.The APNU/AFC politically-controlled SOCU is charging them for transactions completed almost a decade ago. And for transactions that were approved by a very experienced Privatisation Board (and then Cabinet) made up of seasoned representatives from the Private Sector, labour, and consumer bodies.Brassington and Singh are being charged for transactions going back 7-10 years and which were fully approved by the Cabinet. The purchasers have invested billions of dollars into the Guyana economy.As former President Jagdeo has said, these charges are frivolous. As former President Ramotar also said last week: <<<“The announcement in the Chronicle that Dr Ashni Singh and Mr Winston Brassington have been charged;  ‘….for alleged misconduct in public office…’ reveals the vindictiveness of this APNU+AFC regime. This is clearly an attempt to destroy the professional lives of these two gentlemen. Their only ‘crime’ being that they worked dedicatedly to promote this country and our people’s interests while the PPP/Civic was in office. As a former President who worked with these two outstanding Guyanese men, I can vouch for their uprightness, professionalism and integrity while in public office. This latest attack on Dr Singh and Mr Brassington is a continuation of the witch-hunting and the racial and political discrimination that has characterised this APNU+AFC regime since it took office in May of 2015. Not content in forcing these outstanding gentlemen to seek employment outside of Guyana, they now seem determined to destroy their professional lives. We cannot build a country with such vindictiveness and spite.”>>>Apart from the vast privatisation and public-private partnerships that these gentlemen have worked on, that have generated tens of billions in investment, saved thousands of jobs, and generated revenue and taxes for the Treasury, Brassington and Singh have transparently sold many pieces of land that were never developed or underdeveloped. These land sales created tens of billions of dollars of investment.In 2012, President Ramotar issued an 84-page report titled “Privatisation in Tables—Phase II (1993-2011).” This report was prepared by Winston Brassington. Ashni Singh was Chairman of the Privatisation Board and the NICIL Board. This 2012 report is the most comprehensive report on privatisation transactions ever issued in the history of Guyana.The charges. If we start with the 100 acres of land sold to National Hardware Limited. This land was publicly tendered in 2009, almost 10 years ago. NHL was the highest tender with a price of $516 million plus VAT. This transaction was approved by the Privatisation Board in November 2009 and the Cabinet in November 2009. Title was conveyed the following year. Prior to the sale, the land was a cow pasture. To date, NHL has spent billions of dollars to put in electricity, water, roads, bridges, drainage, and fencing. This is a gated community. Any of the purchasers of land in this gated community would have spent tens of millions of dollars to build their homes. This is major real estate development. As such, this publicly advertised deal for an empty piece of land has created billions of dollars in investment. The value of the land is determined by market bidding. Everyone could have tendered. The tendered price works out at about $5 million per acre.If we go to a piece of land in the same vicinity, west of the Convention Centre. This sale was negotiated and sold to Scady Business Corp, at a price substantially higher than the market price at the time at over G$25 million per acre. Scady is owned by the main shareholder of RUSAL. RUSAL has caused tens of billions to be invested in the Berbice bauxite industry and has saved hundreds of jobs. One may recall in 2001 when ALCOA said it would close its Berbice bauxite mine and exit Guyana. Government stepped in to keep the company open while searching for investors. RUSAL was the only investor. Today, despite very high production costs, RUSAL, with its partner Oldendorff, has invested over US$150 million (over G$30 billion) in the Berbice operations. So, such a land sale above market price, to a key shareholder of RUSAL, is not a giveaway. It is part of advancing relations and investment in Guyana. Again, this transaction was approved by the Privatisation Board and Cabinet.The third transaction again deals with an empty piece of land on the opposite side of the railway embankment road to the abovementioned land transactions. This land was previously sold by the PNC Government to Toolsie Persaud. After a long battle, the CCJ finally ruled in Government’s favour and the land was returned to Government.Government then sought to open up the land for development. The land was previously tendered, but was not sold as the Government then earmarked a portion of this land for the Specialty Hospital with funding committed by the Indian Government. Balancing the goals of getting good value for land, and promoting investment, after setting aside the land for the Specialty Hospital, 10 acres of the remaining land were sold to Multi Cinemas (Guyana) Inc, the owners of MovieTowne in Trinidad. The sale price was again a very good price, with the price per acre close to $16 million per acre. Again, this transaction was approved by the Privatisation Board and Cabinet in 2011, almost seven years ago. Since the sale, over US$30 million (over G$6 billion) has been committed to this project.Even before the above transactions, Giftland leased from the PPP Government, a large piece of land at Liliendaal to build its mall and cinemas. This land was not tendered. Giftland has an option to buy its land, at US$12 million per acre a price that is lower than the sale prices to Scady and Multi-Cinemas. After much delay, Giftland developed its land with substantial investments into the property. This was one of the first projects declared open by the APNU Government.Under the PPP, the economy has seen its longest period of economic growth in the history of the country. This is no accident. Singh’s and Brassington’s contributions have been significant, under the leadership of Jagdeo and Ramotar.Sincerely,Concerned citizenlast_img read more

Venketrama Raja re-elected All-India Chess Federation chief

first_imgChennai, Jun 28 (PTI) Tamil Nadus P R Venketrama Raja was unanimously re-elected president of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) for the term 2017-2020 while Bharat Singh Chauhan of Delhi was elected honorary secretary. The new AICF office-bearers were elected during the annual general body meeting held in Chennai on June 25, said a press release here. Chauhan returns as the Federation honorary secretary and takes over from V Hariharan. He had served as the CEO in the previous term after stepping down as secretary as per government guidelines on tenure of office-bearers of national sports federations. The other office-bearers elected unopposed are: Treasurer: Kishor M Bandekar (Goa). Vice Presidents: D V Sundar (TN), A Bhakthavatchalam (Puducherry), A Narasimha Reddy (Telangana), Sekhar Chandra Sahu (Odisha), G Bhasker (Andaman) and Manoj Itkelwar (Maharashtra). Joint secretaries: R Hanumantha (Karnataka), Kapil Saxena (MP), Atanu Lahiri (Bengal), Th B Singh (Meghalaya), Naresh Sharma (Haryana) and Bhavesh Patel (Gujarat). PTI SS ATK ATKlast_img read more

Health Ministry to Step Up Public Education Campaign on HPV Vaccine

first_img The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be ramping up its public education campaign on its initiative to prevent cervical cancer, through the introduction of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme.In a Statement to the House of Representatives today (October 3), Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said experts from the Ministry have been on the airwaves explaining the vaccination campaign and will continue to facilitate any opportunity to enlighten the public.“The MOH, through the regional health authorities and the local health departments, will continue to engage the parents through the parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and the schools’ administration to ensure the dissemination of information, education and communication material,” Dr. Tufton said.He said the Ministry is aware that there are lingering concerns in the public and that such members can call the Ministry’s toll-free line 1-888-ONE LOVE or 1-888-663-5683 to clarify those concerns.The vaccine is being offered to girls in grade seven, between the age of nine and 14 years, free of cost. The vaccine is not mandatory. The target is approximately 22,500 girls, and each girl will need two doses given six months apart for full protection.To date, more than 300 students in four schools have received the vaccine, while 20 opted out of the process. The four schools are Oberlin and Papine High in Kingston and St. Andrew, and Titchfield and Happy Grove in Portland.Various stakeholder sensitisation sessions have been conducted, including sessions with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; public-sector healthcare workers; the Paediatric Association of Jamaica; Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica; National Parenting Support Commission; Jamaica Council of Churches; Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches; school nurses; guidance counsellors; and Health and Family Life Education coordinators.Dr. Tufton informed that “Dear Parent” letters and accompanying fact sheets were distributed to schools for inclusion in the grade-seven school packages at the end of the last academic year to sensitise parents/guardians to the planned vaccine introduction.Six Focus Group discussions with parents and girls were conducted in Kingston, Montego Bay and Clarendon and parent/student sensitisation sessions were done in Westmoreland, St. James, St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, Portland and St. Ann. A Media Sensitisation Forum was held on September 29.Media Interviews are ongoing with the Jamaica Information Service, IRIE FM, Nationwide 90 FM, News Talk 93 FM, RJR Group of Companies, and CVM Television. Print Placement of HPV information is ongoing and radio and television commercials will be placed.Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton highlighted that the HPV vaccines are safe, noting that more than 200 million doses have been given around the world with no major side effects.He said the most common side effects of the vaccine include redness, swelling and tenderness to the injection site. Other less-common effects include fever, nausea and upset stomach. The vaccine is being offered to girls in grade seven, between the age of nine and 14 years, free of cost. The vaccine is not mandatory. The target is approximately 22,500 girls, and each girl will need two doses given six months apart for full protection. In a Statement to the House of Representatives today (October 3), Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said experts from the Ministry have been on the airwaves explaining the vaccination campaign and will continue to facilitate any opportunity to enlighten the public. Story Highlightscenter_img The Minister further informed that the HPV vaccine was included in the national schedules of France (2007), the United Kingdom (2008), the Netherlands (2009), Canada (2007-2009), Mexico (2012), Panama (2008), USA and Puerto Rico (2006), Bermuda (2008), St. Maarten and Trinidad and Tobago (2013), and Barbados (2015), to name a few.“The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) has carefully monitored the safety of the HPV vaccine and thoroughly investigated reported cases of adverse effects supposedly attributed to the HPV vaccine,” Dr. Tufton said.The World Health Organization (WHO) Committee on Vaccine Safety has confirmed that none of the conditions investigated were due to the HPV vaccine, and in December 2015 issued the following statement: “To date, GACVS has not found any safety issue that would alter its recommendations for the use of the vaccine.” he added.Dr. Tufton said that cervical cancer is a major public health problem in Jamaica, as almost 50 per cent of the women who are diagnosed each year will die from this preventable disease.He said the MOH has, therefore, introduced the HPV vaccine to provide 90-100 per cent protection against HPV types 16 and 18.The Minister noted that the HPV vaccine has been available in the private sector for several years now and is, therefore, not a new vaccine to the population.In addition, Dr. Tufton said the MOH has employed a school-based strategy for implementation to facilitate greater access to the population, as parents will not have to miss work or students school in order to benefit.He also informed that prior to immunisation, education sessions are held with the girls to be vaccinated. A brief medical history is conducted to ascertain the girls’ fitness and eligibility for vaccination.“As is customary with all outreach and school vaccination programmes, safety measures are in place to treat emergencies. Additionally, the surveillance mechanism monitors and investigates all events supposedly attributable to vaccination or immunisation,” the Health Minister said.A budget was crafted for approximately $100 million for year one of the HPV vaccine introduction, which includes social mobilisation and communication; cold chain equipment; training and sensitisation; and procurement of vaccines and vaccination supplies. The estimated annual cost after introduction is $73 million.A total of 48,000 doses of bivalent vaccine were ordered for 2017, through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Expanded Programme on Immunization Revolving Fund, at a cost of US$7.80 per dose.Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in Jamaica and remains a significant public health concern. Current estimates indicate that every year, 392 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer; 185 die from the disease, with the majority of deaths occurring in women between 40 and 64 years of age.For further information, the public can email the Ministry at: hpvinfo@moh.gov.jm. Additional information is available at www.moh.gov.jm. The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be ramping up its public education campaign on its initiative to prevent cervical cancer, through the introduction of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme.last_img read more