President must reprimand/fire Ministers over CCJ comments

first_imgDear Editor,Two Government Ministers were reported to have said that Guyana is a sovereign country (whatever that means) so the CCJ cannot instruct Guyana how to run its affairs (including holding elections or replacing the Chairman of GECOM). The Ministers are wrong and are on a war footing for which there is no justification. The statements were made out of complete ignorance.Although I am not a lawyer, I am versed in constitutional matters and the concept of sovereignty. When I was doing doctoral studies in political science, my field of specialisation was international relations. But students were also mandated to take doctoral courses in each of at least three of five sub-fields. Two sub-fields I did were American constitutional law and international law. And when I undertook graduate studies in educational management to become an administrator in higher education, one requirement was courses in American Educational Law that focused heavily on Education Constitutional Law. I also taught constitutional law. Thus, I am knowledgeable on constitutional and international legal matters. I can say without any fear of being contradicted that the CCJ has sovereignty over Guyana because of a treaty the Government signed (the PNC Government at that) in 1973.Contrary to what the Ministers feel and say, the fact is, for the record, the CCJ is Guyana’s final court of appeal. The CCJ is part of Guyana’s sovereignty that happens to be located in another territory – not different from say, when the Privy Council was Guyana’s final court of appeal. So those two Ministers must be reprimanded for their statements – words of defiance against the court should be sanctioned (served with contempt charges for attacking the court which is a separate and independent branch of our Government). Can you imagine Government officers telling the Privy Council it had no jurisdiction over Guyana when the court had standing before the dictator Forbes Burnham broke the link without legitimate approval? No wonder the white people laugh at us for our stupidity. Already the judges in Guyana have shown they don’t know simple maths on how to calculate a majority and experience challenges in understanding what they read in the Constitution. I usually travel to the UK, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and throughout the Caribbean and in all of those countries, the Guyanese judges are being ridiculed making the diaspora feel embarrassed and insulted. Now, Ministers of Government are adding to the embarrassment by revealing their ignorance that they don’t know that the CCJ is Guyana’s court.Those of us who study international law or “domestic law” would now that the CCJ has jurisdiction and even if you are not schooled in law, common sense tells you that the CCJ has jurisdiction over Guyana’s and can compel Government officials or citizens to carry out acts.The CCJ can also order the arrest of officials for contempt although it has never done so in its history – that is the power of the court. The court should issue firm consequential orders and oversee their implementation itself since the Guyana courts seem to lack the ability to understand simple language.The two Ministers and others who made idiotic statements need a lesson on the concept of sovereignty and judicial jurisdiction. How can we have regional integration if we dismiss the rulings of the CCJ? Chastising or even firing the Ministers will send a signal that the Government respect the rulings.Yours truly,Dr Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Alaska sends record number of athletes to the Olympics

first_imgThere are five Alaskans on the women’s cross-country ski team competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Pacific University)The 2018 Winter Olympics begin in PyeongChang, South Korea on Friday and there are a record number of Alaskan athletes competing for medals over the next few weeks.Listen nowCROSS-COUNTRY SKIINGErik BjornsenSadie BjornsenErik and Sadie Bjornsen, from Winthrop, WA, made their Olympic debuts at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Erik finished 6th in the team sprint and Sadie finished 9th in the 4×5 km relay. Both are going into the games with medal hopes.Rosie BrennanRosie is from Park City, Utah. She didn’t start skiing until she was 14, but for the last two years, Rosie has skied on the World Cup circuit in Europe. She was on the 4x5k relay team that finished 3rd in 2015 at the World Cup races in Lillehammer, Norway.Rosie FrankowskiRosie, born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration from APU, where she has skied professionally for the last few years. Logan Hanneman Reese HannemanLogan and Reese Hanneman are from Fairbanks. After graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Logan and joined his brother in Anchorage to ski for APU. Both have won Super Tour races in the U.S. Tyler KornfieldTyler was born and raised in Anchorage. He skied for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he won multiple national championships. Skiing professionally, Tyler has continued to climb to the top of national podiums. Caitlin Patterson Scott PattersonSiblings Cailtin and Scott Patterson are graduates of Anchorage’s South High School and are former members of Alaska Winter Stars ski program. They also both skied for the University of Vermont. Caitlin then joined Vermont’s Crafstbury Green Racing Project, while Scott moved back to Alaska to ski for APU. They have both won multiple national championships and skied on the World Cup. Kikkan RandallKikkan Randall made her Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the first American woman to both podium and win in World Cup Races. She was also the first American woman to finish in the top 10 at the Olympics. This will be Kikkan’s fifth and final Olympics. Casey Wright (competing for Australia)Casey is from Melbourne, Australia. She started skiing for the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2016. She was voted “most improved skier” by her teammates in 2017. Jessica Yeaton (competing for Australia)Jessica was born in Perth, Australia and moved to Alaska when she was 12. After graduating from Montana State University, Jessica moved back to Alaska to ski professionally for APU.SNOWBOARDINGRosie MancariRosie started snowboarding at Alyeska when she was just three years old. The 24-year-old graduated early from South High School to snowboard full-time in Colorado. Rosie is competing in snowboard cross. Ryan StasselRyan is a graduate of Service High School. He competed at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and, in 2015, won gold at the World Cup Championships in Austria. The 25-year-old will compete in two snowboarding events: big air and slopestyle.FIGURE SKATINGKeegan Messing (competing for Canada)Keegan is a figure skater from Girdwood. The 26-year-old grew up in Alaska, but his moms is from Alberta, Canada, so Keegan is competing for Canada. Keegan’s great-great grandfather was the first person ever recorded to immigrate from Japan to Canada.HOCKEYMat Robinson (competing for Canada)Mat is from Calgary, Alberta. He was a defenseman for four years at the University of Alaska Anchorage.Luka Vidmar (competing for Slovenia)Also a former Seawolf, Luka is from Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a defenseman and played for for four years for the University of Alaska Anchorage.ALPINE SKIINGAlex HallAlex was born in Fairbanks, but when he was one he moved with his family to Zurich, Switzerland. Alex relocated to Park City, UT when he was 16. He will compete in slopestyle skiing.last_img read more