Mathematics in determining majority

first_imgDear Editor,I wish to make a small contribution to the current debate about the mathematics involved in determining the majority in the National Assembly.The National Assembly is made up of 65 elected members and these can be given a mathematical description of being the Universal Set. We are dealing with Nominal data. Rudimentary understanding of the mathematical operations on sets, including the Universal Set, precludes using computational operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A few mathematical operations defined for sets are union, intersection, subset and complement. The subset of the set of natural (Counting) numbers (1 – 65) can be used to describe each member of the National Assembly uniquely. Zero is not a counting number and therefore there is no member that can be labelled 0. To divide 65 by 2 is assuming that the Universal Set of 65 is on a ratio scale implying that the scale is continuous with an absolute zero and therefore you will have fractional persons. This is totally illogical and outside the realm of reality.From the Universal Set of 65 members, a number of subsets can be formed and the cardinality of each subset can be determined by counting. If two subsets are formed, the subset with the greater cardinality is deemed to be the subset with the majority. In the current case, one subset of 65 is 32 and the other subset is 33. Therefore the subset with 33 is the subset with the majority. The Union of all subsets must be equal to the Universal Set, ie 32 + 33 = 65. At no time will 65 be exceeded. The claim that 34 out of 65 is majority and not 33 totally incorrect since 32 + 34 = 66 and 66 is not the composition of the National Assembly. Who is the identifiable 66th member out of 65 in this case? What stupidity!Respectfully,Mohandatt Goolsarranlast_img read more

Need for policy action to boost private investment is more critical than ever in…

first_imgDear Editor,With thousands of young people entering the workforce each year; fiscal resources severely constrained; and economic, social and political risks on the rise, Guyana is at a defining moment in its history. Bolstering the private sector is critical to meeting this challenge.However, the key to success remains elusive, principally because there is no trust between the regime and the real engine of economic growth (the business community).Additionally, this policy arrogance on the part of Team Granger is fuelled by a myth that these oil investments would bring an end to all of Guyana’s troubles, and thus a marginalised private sector is no big deal.But the empirical evidence points to a different outcome, if these oil resources are not managed transparently and with a long- term, sensible and efficient work plan.The key to Guyana’s success remains in urgently unlocking the latent energy of private investments ON LAND, (both local and foreign), which would have a direct impact on the lives of the people. That will take genuine policy reforms to increase access to finance for the private sector, and improve the effectiveness of the public sector. Until that happens, we are wasting time in Guyana. The bottom line remains that there is an urgent need for a smaller government and a bigger private sector; not the other way around.This is the ideological shift that Team Granger are struggling to appreciate. They have actually expanded the public sector by some 10 per cent since May 2015, and have taken active steps towards crowding out the private sector. The ratio of private investment to GDP at the end of 2018 is expected to be under 20 per cent of GDP, based on the latest projections (the Minister is yet to release the 2018 End of Year Report with final numbers, and it is almost April 2019).With the private sector having such low confidence in the economy, there will be adversely effects on the economic health of the nation. This will directly impact the economic well-being of the people, especially those residing at the bottom half of the economy, who live mainly in rural and hinterland Guyana.This lack of confidence is creating blockages for the nation in accessing the necessary technological innovations that can bring the promised economic empowerment and upliftment truly needed by the people. For all the years that Guyana existed as an independent nation, we are still a raw materials producer in the main, and to rub salt into our wounds, Jamaica is now exporting pigeon peas in tins to Guyana. This is something we used to do on our own, but we are no longer capable of doing at a commercial level.The challenge is real, the quality of the school leavers is at the lowest level ever, the few infrastructure improvements are mired in massive corruption (see the CJIA Airport Project), and the capability levels in the Cabinet Room and at the Head of Department level in the public service are just plain downright incompetent. These people just cannot get the job done.The need for policy action to boost private investment is more critical than ever in Guyana. Policymakers need to focus on surrounding themselves with the best minds and on the necessary reforms that can help the nation catch up with their peers on education, infrastructure, financial development, and governance. These reforms would help offset the headwinds from global factors outside the nation’s control.For us to succeed, the days of ethnic marginalisation must be over. This voyage demands all hands on deck to shore up the nation’s economic resilience for the future.Can they do it? What ever happened to “let us co-operate for Guyana” Mr. Granger?Regards,Sasenarine Singhlast_img read more

Our political, business leaders must set the language, tone

first_imgDear Editor,“Any truth I maintain is my own property. Every honourable act is done without command or compulsion; it is unalloyed, and contains no admixture of evil.” – Seneca.Having had the good fortune of being involved in sports, academia, business and politics as a Guyanese — be it in the community where I reside, the business I manage, giving solicited or unsolicited advice to politicians — it seems to me that it is time for us to now look directly at the sunlight and cast off the Guyanese shadow of race identification that has tormented and divided Guyana for over sixty years.We have to enable and embrace a culture, especially at the political, business and governmental levels, that de-emphasises the use of such terms as African-Guyanese, Indian-Guyanese, Portuguese-Guyanese, Chinese-Guyanese; and similarly, the use of black, brown, red, white and yellow to identify Guyanese in different ways.Referring to Guyanese in a hyphenated or race-labelling manner should not be the primary means of communication on our population demographics; we can instead convey the information using inclusive language with the tone and prosody of what is being emphasised. The use by Guyanese of self-hyphenation and race-labelling tends to create racist and other destructive divisions among our people.A disturbing visual and widespread occurrence resulting from the partial consequence of this racialisation and destructive practice is cornerstoned often times in segregated local employment practices in governmental organisations and private businesses. Some of our leading private sector institutions present this social malady, and to a lesser extent, this perversion occurs far too frequently in the public sector.Having studied the evolution of two great leaders, namely Malcolm X and Walter Rodney; and having seen their transformation to believing in integrated, multiethnic, multicultural, and multiracial societies and nations, I will let their progressive wisdom guide me.The following quote is an extract from Malcolm X’s last speech in Detroit on February 14, 1965: “I am not racist in any form whatsoever; I don’t believe in any form of racism, I don’t believe in any form of discrimination or segregation”.Similarly, we have Walter Rodney concluding the following in a 1978 lecture: “…it seems to me that we are in a position to illustrate, and to illustrate not just from the distant past, but the recent history of Guyana, that race is an aberration. Viewed from a working class point of view, that it is maintained deliberately by classes whose interest contradicts with the interest of the working class…”.Tackling problems of poverty, housing, education, security and unemployment should be done without the use of race labels. We can do so in a nation building manner that advances Guyana-ism to unify our country, and not instead have a mixture of hyphenated Guyanese hordes that are easily ignited racially by our baser instincts, where these baser instincts are invariably politically instigated.The Guyana-ist system I am advocating will not allow for employment; property ownership; social services; and financial services, among other systems’ services, structures or industries, to be determined on a discriminatory basis. Instead, the economic, social and cultural components of Guyana-ism will be implemented using principles and policies that are reflective of demographic parameters in a Guyanese context.We cannot, and ought not to, ignore or try to wish away our admixture; yet this admixture must never be emphasised above Guyana-ism. Being Guyanese is what our political leaders must herald and proclaim.If great men such as Malcolm X and Walter Rodney, in their knowledge morphing, saw the necessity for racial integration and the vital importance of human rights, so must we. The meanings of words expressed and the contexts in which they are used have consequences. Let us aim to use language for positive consequences.It would be remiss of me not to recognise that the political culture of the two major parties needs to be overhauled, needs to be changed, needs to be transformed into being pro-Guyanese.Over the sixty years I referenced above, we have had two political movements that captured — nationally and in the diaspora — an ethos that we, in Guyana, need so much. The political movements built under the umbrellas of The Working People’s Alliance and The Alliance For Change were destroyed or subsumed by one of the major parties or by both of the major parties. The destruction occurred in one instant: after the death of Walter Rodney in June of 1980; and the shredding of the Working People’s Alliance continued with actions that followed over a decade after his death.What became clear with the passage of time is that Guyana-ism was not allowed to flourish, because of the actions and conduct of the two major political parties.In 2011, the Alliance For Change, at the height of its better and brighter days, inhaled, inspired and exhaled the spirit of nationhood. The soul of the Alliance For Change was subsequently subsumed and snuffed out after the 2015 General and Regional Elections, thereby losing its Guyana-ist identification. My belief is that lasting change from this ruinous race-based and race-labelling culture will best be exampled and implemented from within the two major parties.As Senator Barrack Obama said in February of 2008: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”Let us use this pre-election period to Guyanan-ise the political culture, and forge a sense of nationhood, regardless of party affiliation or party support.We ought not to have rubber stamp politicians in senior office. Terms such as race traitor, house slave, race sellout and other race-based permutations should not be foisted on those who seek to cultivate a Guyana that is inclusive and speaks for all Guyanese.Positive vibrations are what we need in Guyana from our ‘Grangers’ and ‘Jagdeos’. Our political and business leaders must set the language and tone; it is the honourable thing to do. As Guyanese, we are capable of avoiding the hyphens that cage and separate us. As Guyanese, we can be one people in one nation with a destiny of solidarity.Sincerely,Nigel Hindslast_img read more

Husband, hitman further remanded

first_imgBabita Sarjou murderSharadananda Narine, called Anand, and his accomplice, Darel Pronton, called “Yankee”, both reappeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts for the murder of Narine’s reputed wife, Babita Sarjou.Both men were further remanded until July 11 when the case was called on Tuesday. The men are represented by Attorney-at-Law Peter Hugh.Husband: Sharadananda NarineAfter disappearing without a trace on November 4, 2010, Babita Sarjou was found dead. Her skeletal remains were unearthed by detectives in a shallow grave in her reputed husband’s backyard last month.Alleged hitman: Darel ProntonThe gruesome discovery, played out before several shocked neighbours, brought an end to years of agony for Sarjou’s family, who had been wondering about her fate since she vanished.In reportedly confessing to the crime, Narine stated that he was furious because he suspected that Sarjou was having an affair with a man at her workplace. He was also angry that she had taken him to court on allegations that he had posted online nude pictures of her.It is alleged that he hired the unemployed Pronton, whom he had befriended, to kill Sarjou. Pronton was allegedly paid $50,000 and promised a trip to Trinidad. The trip to Trinidad never materialised.It is alleged that on Diwali night, November 4, 2010, Sarjou left her mother’s home at Timehri, East Coast Demerara, after making arrangements to meet Narine, who would take her to see the motorcade at the Kitty seawall. She was also reportedly to meet her four-year-old son.Unbeknownst to Sarjou, Narine and Pronton had already dug her grave in Narine’s Seaforth Street, Campbellville backyard, two days before.Sarjou reportedly met her husband outside the National Cultural Centre and entered his car. Pronton, who was allegedly sitting in the back seat, then reportedly strangled Sarjou.With the body covered with a blanket, the two men reportedly then drove to Narine’s residence. Narine reportedly reversed into the yard, and the men concealed the body in a section of the bottom house, and Pronton remained with the corpse. Around midnight, the two men then took the body to the backyard and threw it over a zinc fence and into the three-foot grave. It remained there for close to six years.last_img read more

Govt to increase fees for leased lands

first_imgOn the heels of immense outcry over the avalanche of tax increases and the introduction of new expenses being instigated by Government, persons are now likely to also pay a higher fee for the rental of lease lands.Lease lands are commonly used by investors for industrial and agricultural purposesA land re-evaluation exercise will soon get underway with the aim of assessing the current market value of all state-lands in order to increase the fees for the rental of lease lands in accordance with the present market value.Minister of State Joseph Harmon made this disclosure on Wednesday during the Parliamentary Standing Select Committee on Natural Resources, chaired by parliamentary Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament Odinga Lumumba.The Minister of State spoke on matters related to land titling, climate change and Information Communication Technology (ICT).Harmon explained that Government is moving to put in place a land classification system to develop and implement a classification methodology for revision of rental rates, based on assessments of the market value of land.Lease lands are commonly used by investors for industrial and agricultural purposes, and they stand to bear the brunt of these increased fees should Government proceed with this initiative.Harmon indicated that the fees presently being charged are well below market value and as such, Government needs to ascertain the lands’ true value so that the right amount can be paid.“If you look at the price paid for one acre of State land to the Lands and Surveys Commission, then you will understand what I am talking about,” he reasoned.He pointed out also that in areas where the land rates have been significantly low, large enterprises still failed to pay those rates over the years which resulted in difficult circumstances under which the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (LSC) had to operate.He posited that the intention of the Government is to ensure the LSC becomes a profitable entity with little to no dependency on Government funding.“We have to change that and we have to ensure that the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission is a profitable undertaking and one that can stand on its own feet without having to have too much Government intervention,” Harmon stated.Already, Government has increased property taxes, gun licence fees, operating licence fees, introduced container taxes, University of Guyana graduation fees, and registration fees for Government schools, among others. (Devina Samaroo)last_img read more

New UN Mission on Ebola Established

first_imgThe United Nations has established and new agency known as United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).The establishment comes following UN Security Council meeting in New York which adopted a resolution to urgently and promptly respond to the Ebola crisis in four West African Countries including Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.The UN General Assembly having adopted the resolution on Monday, September 22 following the Security Council’s resolution, the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said, “I have now established the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).”The mission, according to a dispatch from New York will be headquartered in Ghana to oversee Ebola activities in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that are highly hit by the Ebola virus.“I have issued instructions that UNMEER advance teams deploy to the mission headquarters in Ghana and to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone by Monday, 22 September 2014,” Mr. Ban noted.The mission will be responsible to provide the operational framework and unity of purpose to ensure the rapid, carry out effective and coherent action necessary to stop the outbreak, to treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability and prevent the spread to countries currently unaffected.Meanwhile, the UN Security Council of recent held an emergency meeting in New York where it came out with proposals to make a quick response to the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that are gravely affected.The response to Ebola in West Africa is recorded in the UN history to be one issue that has gained more support.  During the discussion chaired by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, 130 persons gave support to the adoption of a response to Ebola in West Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liberia, Ivory Coast Agree on Areas of Cooperation

first_imgLiberia and Ivory Coast have begun to strengthen their diplomatic and economic relationship to ensure that citizens of both countries, especially those at the border communities, many of whom share the same dialects and are inter-married, continue to live in peace.  In ensuring this plan works, the leaders of both countries, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Ivoirian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara, have initiated what is termed as the meeting of Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders (JCCE).  In an effort to continue on this peaceful path and ensure more cohesion among citizens of both countries, President Ouattara and President Sirleaf have expressed the desire to organize another meeting of the JCCE in Guiglo in July next year.  According to a communiqué signed in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where President Sirleaf paid a two-day working visit, (April 26 & 27) the meeting continued the dialogue and consultations launched by the two countries in the Southeastern city of Zwedru.   The Zwedru meeting was attended by several hundred traditional chiefs and elders from bordering communities in Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Maryland and River Gee counties of Liberia, as well as those from Guiglo, Danané, Tabou and Tai of Ivory Coast.  Also in attendance were authorities from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), as well as government officials of the two countries. Justice Minister, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh signed for Liberia while the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, S.E.M. Charles Koffi Diby signed for Ivory Coast.   The Ivorian leader reaffirmed the solidarity to the Government and people of Liberia, deeply scarred by the consequences of the Ebola virus disease and congratulated President Sirleaf and the Government for the remarkable efforts in the fight against the epidemic.  For her part, President Sirleaf expressed the wish that Liberia could benefit from the expertise of Ivory Coast especially in the development of agriculture to ensure food security.  On the international scene, the two leaders discussed various presidential elections, especially in the ECOWAS sub-region and expressed the desire that these elections will be held in a free, fair and peaceful atmosphere. They were particularly pleased with the democratic conduct and the peaceful elections in Nigeria and congratulated the people of that country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Behind A Closed Classroom Door

first_imgBomi Hills- Pricilla still remembers how she lost her virginity, “It was my parents who indirectly forced me to lose it,” she shared.Holding her toddler son who appears to be a happy child, Pricilla laughs at her memories when she first felt the touch of a man.“I was 14 years old when I slept with a man I thought was my role model. A man who led me into believing that if I gave him me, he would give me a brighter future,” she added.Pricilla is one of many teenagers who admit that she has sold sex for grades and says she did it because there was no alternative.“My parents thought that when I was in the 6th grade I was too slow in learning, so they hired a teacher to tutor me after school. Every day they forced me to go to his house to be tutored, but my parents didn’t know that they were sending me there every day to lose my virginity,” she revealed.According to the talkative teen, she says her tutor first approached her for sex the day he found out that she was a student who had a hard time picking up on her lessons.“When he tried to teach me, I couldn’t focus because he was always flirting with me and it made me too uncomfortable to learn around him,” she said.Pricilla says when her tutor became frustrated with her inability to learn, he would refuse teaching her but preferred touching and teasing the teen instead.‘The first day he took my virginity, he made me feel guilty about my poor learning skills and told me that if I allowed him to secretly take my virginity, he would do all my work for me and pass me,” she added.Meanwhile, Pricilla says the sexual contact between the two of them continued and her grades became worse. As promised, her tutor began doing all of her work for her, which put Pricilla at a troubling academic level.“I became lazy in learning because every time I did things to him sexually when he wanted it and he would do all of my assignments. Almost three months after he started having me, he stopped,” she said.According to Pricilla, she became pregnant immediately after she lost her virginity and though she was in trouble with her parents for allowing it to happen, she was able to tell them the truth about who did it to her.“They believed me when I told them it was ‘teacher’ who had impregnated me. They knew that I never went anywhere else other than to his study class that was located at his house,” she said.Unfortunately for the schoolgirl, the family was torn between pressing rape charges against the man who had impregnated their daughter, and making a bad decision that could cost the unborn child its life, so they let it go.“Instead of calling the police, they told him to support me through the pregnancy, which he did. But to my surprise, as soon as I had the baby, they took it away from me and gave it to ‘teacher’ because he was already married,” Pricilla said.But, Pricilla says that after she talked her parents into forgetting that her life was ruined because of her study teacher, she talked them into bringing her infant back home. Pricilla’s son was two years old when he was returned to his mother.“I don’t have any hard feelings about how my education went. the only thing is, when I hear parents saying that they want to send their girls to study at the home of a male teacher, I make it my duty to stop them by sharing my story with them,” she added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

11 Stripes: “We are Prepared to Host Miss Liberia”

first_imgWith just a few more weeks into this year’s Miss Liberia, the organizer 11 Stripes have expressed satisfaction for the level of preparation made to host the much anticipated beauty pageant. “We are fully prepared to venture in finding the next queen of Liberia. With the level of improvement that we have made, nothing can ever stop us form hosting this year’s event,” Bendu Johnson, the acting CEO of the 11 Stripes told our reporter on the practice ground.She said that on a daily basis contestants are improving their fundamental skills of pageantry and that this year’s Miss Liberia will be exceptional.“People should not be expecting just a beauty contest but an event that is going to produce a queen who will contribute positively to the society and community service project,” she added.Miss Liberia is not all about beauty, she said, adding that the goal of the contest is to train young girls how to become goodwill ambassadors, demanding that they work regularly for national benefit.The 23rd edition of Miss Liberia will be held under the theme: “Beautiful Mind.” The final date is expected to be on August 22 but has not been officially confirmed by the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).As usual, the Miss Liberia winner is expected to walk away with a brand new car, cash prize and probably even a scholarship. Ms. Johnson said plans have been negotiated with sponsors to give each contestant a package of appreciation.Our reporter was able to observe at the training ground some improvements in areas of pageantry but says there is more work to be done if the organizer wishes to make the event outstanding.Though she never revealed the number of sponsors, Ms. Johnson said that things are moving in the right trajectory.She disclosed that they have started getting ready the package for winners and materials for decoration of the hall; most of all the contestants have the intelligence, beauty and brains to represent Liberia at any international contest, she added. She also said Miss Liberia will not be televised live, but recorded to be shown afterwards; that the organizer is doing everything possible to have Miss Liberia attain the place of Miss World.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more