Jeter’s No 2 retired by Yankees; Monument Park plaque unveiled

first_imgSeveral of the players whose numbers had been retired previously wore a new Monument Park navy blazer, and one also was given to Jeter by Houston’s Carlos Beltran, a former Yankees teammate. Reggie Jackson was on the field in shirt sleeves.Yankees co-owner Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal presented the 14-time All-Star with a 14-karat white gold ring with “2” in diamonds, surrounded by diamonds.Introduced by a recording of late Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard — it was played before Jeter’s at-bats following Sheppard’s death in 2010 — Jeter wore a blue three-piece peak-lapel suit, white collared shirt and no tie.Highlights of his most famous moments were shown on the video board, including his homer and over-the-shoulder catch on his first opening day in 1996; backhanded flip to the plate against Oakland in the 2001 playoffs and Mr. November home run just after midnight a few weeks later that won World Series Game 4; and his face-first dive into the seats for a popup against Boston in 2004.Jeter began the ceremony with his family in Monument Park and didn’t see the clips.“I might have gotten emotional, but we were back there joking and having a good time with my family,” he said.He rode to the infield in a golf cart as Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way” was played.“Everything happened so quickly,” Jeter said.Jeter didn’t have No. 2 in his mind before reaching the Yankees. Jeter was a No. 13 much of the time in the minor leagues.“My dad wore number 13 when he was playing at Fisk University in Tennessee, so at any point in my sports career I tried to get the number 13,” Jeter said. “When I came here, Jim Leyritz had it. You don’t come up requesting numbers when you’re 20 years old, so I took what they gave me.” Three years removed from a big league career that spanned 1995-2014, Jeter personally picked Mother’s Day for his tribute. His grandmother, parents, sister, nephew and pregnant wife joined him for the ceremony, and he laughed when he saw the plaque , which reads “DEREK SANDERSON JETER/‘THE CAPTAIN’/“MR. NOVEMBER’” and goes on to call him “THE CORNERSTONE OF FIVE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS” AND “A LEADER ON THE FIELD AND IN THE CLUBHOUSE, SETTING AN EXAMPLE FOR HIS TEAMMATES WITH HIS UNCOMPROMISING DESIRE FOR TEAM SUCCESS.”Jeter recalled flashing back to the plaques of teammates Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte unveiled in recent years.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new ground“When Bernie got his, he had the big mole. When Jorge had his, he had the big ears. Andy had the big nose. So I was happy with mine,” Jeter said.Now 42, Jeter captained the Yankees during his final 12 seasons, capping a career that included five World Series titles, a .310 batting average and a New York-record 3,465 hits. He is the 22nd player to have his number retired by the Yankees, by far the most among major league teams. LATEST STORIES End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend View comments Yanson buses to keep operating despite legal battle Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop workingcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Swing Out Sister back to PH this April At his first big league camp in 1994, he was given No. 74. The following spring, he recalled being assigned No. 17 by clubhouse manager Nick Priore, who then switched it to No. 2 — which Jeter wore for his big league debut on May 29, 1995. Then-Yankees manager Buck Showalter is said to have behind the switch.“There’s rumors out there that Buck suggested I be No. 2,” Jeter said. “He’s never told me that personally, but I’ve heard that he’s said it and I appreciate it if he thought that much of me to give me the number 2.”Jeter sidestepped a pair of questions about his role in a group headed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush that is trying to buy the Miami Marlins.“There’s nothing to report on that. Absolutely nothing,” he said. “I think sometimes people get ahead of themselves, and there was a story that got way ahead of themselves a few weeks back.”Among players on the most recent Yankees dynasty, Posada (20), Rivera (42), Pettitte (46) and Williams (51) also had their numbers retired.“Having five people from that group is kind of hard to believe,” Jeter said. “When we were in it we used to constantly have conversations about it: You never look back at anything that we had accomplished, it was always what’s next. Eventually nothing is next because you’re retired, but we all had those same mindsets and that’s why I think we had success. We went out there day in and day out trying to win, trying to do anything to help the team and more importantly trying to keep our jobs.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Mangosong overcomes adversities, wins 4th leg of Diamond Motor series Retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, right, looks around during a pregame ceremony after his No. 2 was retired in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, May 14, 2017. The plaque is a replica of the one in Monument Park. (AP Photo/Pool, Kathy Willens)NEW YORK — Derek Jeter held a microphone and spoke without notes to the crowd that filled sold-out Yankee Stadium. His No. 2, the last of the single digit pinstripes, had been retired and a plaque in his honor dedicated that will be placed in Monument Park alongside tributes to Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra and the rest of the team’s greats.“There isn’t a person or player I would trade places with that’s playing now or ever,” he told the fans.ADVERTISEMENT “I want to thank my family for their love, support, honesty and more importantly their presence at everything I did both on and off the field,” he said during a three-minute speech that ended the 40-minute ceremony. “And the fans — wow — I want to thank you guys for pushing me, for challenging me, making me accountable, more importantly for embracing me since day one.”Jeter decided to address the crowd without notes.“When I prepare speeches I forget part of it, and then none of it makes sense,” he said later.New York appropriately played two on Derek Jeter Night, a doubleheader against Houston caused by a rainout Saturday, and the festivities took place after an 11-6 win in the opener.Former teammates Mariano Rivera, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, David Cone and Hideki Matsui also were on hand. Alex Rodriguez was not — spokesman Ron Berkowitz said A-Rod was in Miami, spending time with his mother and daughters.ADVERTISEMENT China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreaklast_img read more

Gayle delighted with 400m effort at Trials

first_img He added: “After World Relays, I realised that Jamaica has a strong team to do something remarkable at the World Championships and so I am going there and I would like to get another personal best and to get up my career to be one of Jamaica’s top quarter-milers.” The 23-year-old Gayle,who has battled with a series of injuries over the past two seasons, noted that his primary focus now is to stay injury-free and continue improving his craft. “My season has been good so far because I ran 44.99 at the NCAA Regional Championships and that was a big PR (personal record) coming after my injuries,” Gayle said. “I am very happy, because I have been trying to make this team since 2015, and even the junior teams long before that; but I did it now and I am very pleased,” he noted. [email protected] STRONG TEAM Jamaican 400 metres runner Steven Gayle has set his sights on achieving a personal best time at this year’s IAAF World Championships in August. Gayle, a final-year student at the University of Alabama, secured his spot on Jamaica’s team to this year’s championships in London after finishing third in the men’s 400m in 45.09 seconds. The race was won by Nathon Allen in 44.58, with Demish Gaye second in 44.64. Gayle, a former Denbigh High student, ran a personal best time of 44.99 at the NCAA Regional Championships this year. He said he is delighted to be making the national team for the first time in his career. “I have been in the NCAA system and this is my last year, and so I was just happy to come home to get a third place and make the team,” said Gayle, who ran out of lane seven in the final on Sunday. “The big men were on the inside and so I could not see anything until the last 100m, and so I just got out and stayed relax and just kicked coming home,” Gayle said.last_img read more

Tipster

first_img       CABLE SPORT NETWORK   TRACK & POOLS         RJR                   DAILY GLEANER                                           —————-      —————-      —————-      —————-                                                                1.  LUCKY STROKE          WESTERN WARRIOR       WESTERN WARRIOR                                                                                        2.  BATIDOR DE MUNDO      YES SHE WILL          HE’STHEREAL LINKS                                                                                     3.  SUPREME MAGIC        #MINNIFFIA             MINNIFFIA                                                                                             4.  CARTEL                ZI BEAST             #EMPRESS HALL                                                                                           5.  UNCLE FREDDIE         UNCLE FREDDIE        #UNCLE FREDDIE                                                                                         6. #EMANUEL               EMANUEL               EMANUEL                                                                                                7.  LADY JAELA            LADY JAELA            LADY JAELA                                                                                            8.  SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS     SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS     SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS                                                                                     9.  DREAMCOMETRUE         POLLY B               SOY EL SENOR                                                                                         10.  WILL IN CHARGE       #PERFECT NEIGHBOUR     PERFECT NEIGHBOUR                                                                                    11. #PROFILE               PROFILE               LUNA EMMA                                                                                                   JAMAICA OBSERVER      SPORTS GLOBE                                                                                                      —————-      —————-                                                                                                             1. #WESTERN WARRIOR       WESTERN WARRIOR                                                                                                             2.  HE’STHEREAL LINKS     HE’STHEREAL LINKS                                                                                                            3.  MINNIFFIA             MINNIFFIA                                                                                                                   4.  ZI BEAST              THORNHILL MISS                                                                                                               5.  UNCLE FREDDIE         UNCLE FREDDIE                                                                                                               6. #LADY V               #EMANUEL                                                                                                                     7.  LADY JAELA            LADY JAELA                                                                                                                   8.  NUCLEAR TRAIN         SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS                                                                                                           9.  TRADITIONAL PRINCE    DREAMCOMETRUE                                                                                                               10.  PERFECT NEIGHBOUR    #KALAMATA                                                                                                                   11.  COLLEEN               COLLEEN SUPREME VENTURES RACING & ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED TIPSTERS’ COMPETITION       Racedate : 07/08/2017                                                     NEWS TALK 93          WESTERN MIRROR        STAR                  KLAS                                                    —————-      —————-      —————-      —————-                                                                1.  WESTERN WARRIOR       LUCKY STROKE         #LUCKY STROKE          WESTERN WARRIOR                                                                 2.  HE’STHEREAL LINKS     YES SHE WILL          HE’STHEREAL LINKS     BATIDOR DE MUNDO                                                                3.  MINNIFFIA             MINNIFFIA             MINNIFFIA             COUNTER ATTACK                                                                   4. #EMPRESS HALL          ZI BEAST             #ZI BEAST             #EMPRESS HALL                                                                    5. #UNCLE FREDDIE         UNCLE FREDDIE         UNCLE FREDDIE         MY DREAM                                                                        6.  EMANUEL              #EMANUEL               EMANUEL              #NUREMBERG                                                                       7.  LADY BUDGET           FIFTY CENTS           LADY JAELA            LADY JAELA                                                                      8.  LIVING THE DREAM      SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS     SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS     CHEERLEADER                                                                      9.  SOY EL SENOR          DREAMCOMETRUE         ZEBRANO               ZEBRANO                                                                        10.  PERFECT NEIGHBOUR    #BIGDADDYKOOL          BIGDADDYKOOL          KALAMATA                                                                       11.  COLLEEN               COLLEEN               COLLEEN               BOFFO                                                                                CVM TV                TVJ                   IRIE FM               POWER 106                                               —————-      —————-      —————-      —————-                                                                1.  WESTERN WARRIOR       FRANCIA’S PRIDE      #WESTERN WARRIOR       LUCKY STROKE                                                                    2.  BATIDOR DE MUNDO      BATIDOR DE MUNDO      YES SHE WILL          BATIDOR DE MUNDO                                                                3. #COUNTER ATTACK        SUPREME MAGIC         LEGENDARY PLEASURE    COUNTER ATTACK                                                                   4.  THORNHILL MISS       #THORNHILL MISS        ZI BEAST             #ALEXANDER REW                                                                   5.  GOODBLOODBADBLOOD     UNCLE FREDDIE        #GOODBLOODBADBLOOD     GOODBLOODBADBLOOD                                                                6.  EMANUEL               EMANUEL               EMANUEL               EMANUEL                                                                         7.  LADY JAELA            LADY JAELA            LADY JAELA            LADY JAELA                                                                      8. #RAKSHA                SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS     EDDIE’S PRINCESS      SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS                                                               9.  SOY EL SENOR          POTCHEEN              SHINING LIGHT         LIKE A LADY                                                                    10.  KALAMATA              BIGDADDYKOOL          BIGDADDYKOOL         #PERFECT NEIGHBOUR                                                               11.  BUCKALUCK            #COLLEEN               COLLEEN               COLLEEN                                                                       last_img read more

‘To hell and back’ – Nelson getting back to best after lengthy injury layoff

first_imgArnett Gardens made a major statement on Sunday night in their Red Stripe Premier League win over Mount Pleasant Football Academy, and the euphoric reaction of their spectators in the jam-packed Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex said it all. The above emotion pales in comparison to that expressed by goalscorer Lamar ‘Wanka’ Nelson, who secured the late 1-0 win. ‘It is so great to be back. I had a disastrous injury, and I would say I am coming back from hell, that is how terrible is was for me,” said an emotional Nelson, whose strike in the 89th minute, three minutes after entering the field, gave Arnett Gardens the hard-fought victory. The nightmare of which Nelson spoke began five years ago when he suffered a knee injury. “I got a PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) injury in 2013, and it has been a long road back. “I have been out for a while, and I am trying to get myself back fully fit and do what I do best. “It was not just the physical injury that took this long to get better. There was a time span to get the energy going. It is a mind thing, but the greatest thing is that I am back ready to work,” the 27 year-old said. He added:”It so good to be back, and I am in it to win it” Nelson’s strike from just outside the 18-yard box resulted from an interchange of passes between himself and captain Marvin Morgan on the right flank. Morgan’s cross was cleared into the path of Nelson, who, sensing that the goalkeeper was expecting a cross and positioning himself for it, blasted past him at the near post. “Once it left my foot, I saw that it was a goal. The keeper cheated a bit by drifting to his right, and I saw that he did not handle the flight of the ball well, and I started celebrating,” was how Nelson described his strike. That strike, Nelson indicated, has convinced him that he is getting to where he once was and where he wants to be. “It is my first goal for the season. So far, I have been coming from the bench and have been working hard for a while to try to pull of something like this, and tonight is the night. I am really grateful for it. “It is a great feeling, and I am over it now, so I am ready to connect with the people,” said the man whose dream of stardom was deferred. He can now dream again. “I am 27 now and still have time on my side, not a lot, but I still have some time. With the energy behind this team, I think I can lift myself right back to the top. “My plan is really to cement myself in this team, but the main objective is to get back a national call. Coach (Jerome Waite) has been working with me, and I see things shaping up,” the attacking midfielder offered. ‘LONG ROAD BACK’last_img read more

Call in the police…

first_img…at GECOMGECOM’s been in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. To be fair, the contretemps over appointing its chair isn’t its fault. However, we have to note that there would’ve been no problem if it weren’t for the requirement that, of all the institutions in Guyana, GECOM’s supposed to be purer than Caesar’s wife. All the political bickering over the last 55 years — even leading to blood in the streets — is over the elections that GECOM oversees.President Carter led an initiative that received the backing of all the western nations to straighten out GECOM, and the most elaborate efforts were made to prevent skullduggery in elections. But it’s now clear that while all efforts were directed at skullduggery outside GECOM, no one thought about skullduggery inside, on non-electoral matters — Like siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of the top administrative personnel!The news about just one scam within GECOM before the 2015 elections is enough to make any upstanding citizen puke. But it doesn’t seem to have even raised an eyebrow within the APNU/AFC coalition. And it’s not just a matter of “allegations” by a newspaper against the CEO of GECOM — Lowenfield — as one letter writer suggested.The Auditor General of Guyana, in performance of his official duties, submitted an audit report on the sordid details of how 0 million were spent on radios just days before the 2015 elections — knowing full well they couldn’t be used. Even if the radios were operational, which they were not!! And how do we know this? Well, GECOM itself submitted another “emergency” request for satellite phones, because THEY claimed they had no other way of communicating with their officials in the field!!Now it’s not often an Auditor General recommends that Police be called in. In fact, your Eyewitness can’t think of another instance in recent years. Auditors, after all — by training if not by inclination — are ultra-cautious folks who jump through so many hoops to ensure accuracy they’d rather leave those matters for line management. But this time the bugle was sounded for the police.It’s not surprising that “GECOM” — read the man in the firing line, CEO Lowenfield, who received the report — has rejected the report, especially the recommendation!! What’s new? But what’s most intriguing is the absolute silence on the entire sordid affair from the usually loquacious Government functionaries.And this has nothing to do with the “independence” of the “autonomous” GECOM.After all, this is an administration whose Attorney General insulted a sitting member of the Judiciary. With not even a tickle on the wrist!…at CID H/Q!Case of the Purloined Coke!! This is what seems to have seized our Minister of Public Security when he did some ribbon-cutting recently for a new “store room” for evidence seized by the Police. In this instance, almost three pounds of cocaine had been seized from an ex-policeman on route to the Big-Apple. It was left in the supposedly safe hands of high officials at CID Headquarters, Eve Leary.Then suddenly it was gone!! Minister Ramjattan sternly pronounced that the CID officers were “reckless and negligent” and they “bear some of the blame”. You think?? OK, let’s follow the trail of the missing coke. Since civilians aren’t allowed to traipse in and out of the CID HQ…it couldn’t be an outside job, could it? And as Sherlock Holmes advised, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”So when will the Office of Professional Responsibility be issuing its report? And to whom? The Minister?…on body cavity searchesFella caused a ruckus at the magistrate’s court ‘cause the police wanted to search his “cavity”. Only a year ago, he’s also protested a prison warden seeking to do the same. Maybe the warden suspected him smuggling “contraband” into prison.But into the magistrate’s court? Sexual molestation?last_img read more

Budget 2018 Debates: SOCU’S $900B

first_img– Money Laundering Investigation– Figure plucked out of the sky; unrealistic, illogical and impossible.The Minister of Legal Affairs, in his recent budget presentation, made a bold assertion that the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is investigating cases of money laundering amounting to some $900 billion. It was further stated that, “SOCU, in relation to financial crimes, has conduct of investigations of offences deriving from forensic audits of Government ministries, departments and agencies under the last Administration, involving billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money”.Before crafting this article, it should be mentioned that the author of this column was careful to clarify with key reporters from the media houses the figure cited by the minister of $900 billion. It was presumed by this column that it might have been an error in reporting, or perhaps the minister erred with the numbers. This position is based on the fact that it is absolutely unrealistic and illogical that Guyana could have $900 billion in money laundering cases, simply because Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as at the end of 2016 was recorded at $711.7 billion, and aggregate expenditure was $775 billion (Bank of Guyana Annual report, 2016, pg. 13).Therefore, it is impossible to have money laundering cases to the tune of $900 billion, which is $188.3 billion or 126.4 % more than the size of Guyana’s economy in terms of GDP. On what basis was such a figure derived?Given the aforesaid highlighted fact, can this figure be substantiated? There was no reference made, pointing to any empirical evidence in the presentation. Was it an error? The plausibility of probably US$900 million, which is equivalent to Gy$185.4 billion, is more practical, given that one of the known cases SOCU is currently investigating involves US$500 million. But it certainly cannot be Gy$900 billion (US$4.36 billion). Does SOCU even has the resources, including the intellectual capacity, to investigate cases of such magnitude?Even if it is insinuated that this amount of money was not reflected through the real economy, this also is very unlikely. How could they (SOCU) determine that figure without a sum of such magnitude passing through the system and thus being captured in the GDP? More importantly, if, as he stated, this is money laundering under the previous Administration, then that statement in itself lends validity to the notion of the $900 billion having to be reflected in the GDP. Such an assertion is therefore suggesting that Guyana’s economy is more than a Gy$1.5 trillion economy — which is evidently not the case, as Guyana’s economy is less than a $900 billion economy.In the interest of lending greater sensibility to the position taken within the context of this article, a definition of Money Laundering and an overview of the money laundering process is hereunder stated.The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has defined Money Laundering as “the processing of criminal proceeds to disguise their illegal origin in order to legitimise the ill-gotten gains of crime”. The process of Money Laundering constitutes five stages, as illustrated in the table below.The objective of the second stage (placement) is to deposit the criminal proceeds into the legitimate financial system. The objective of stage 3 (layering) is to conceal the criminal origins of the proceeds. The objective of stage 4 (integration) is to create an apparent legal origin for the criminal proceeds; and the objective of the final stage (integration investment) is to use the criminal proceeds, having laundered (wash) same to make it appear as clean money, for personal benefit.Hence, having outlined the process by which Money Laundering practices are generally conducted, one can understand clearly that the proceeds — in this case, the claim of $900 billion — would have had to be reflected in the financial system; otherwise, an investigation into Money Laundering cases of this magnitude is virtually impossible, implausible and baseless.It is within this contextual framework that this column conclusively is of the strongly held view that the $900 billion claim is clearly a gross error on the part of the Minister of Legal Affairs/SOCU. Or suffice it to state that it is a deliberate excessive exaggeration of the numbers for whatever political reason(s).The Author is the holder of a MSc. Degree in Business Management, with concentration in Global Finance, Financial Markets, Institutions & Banking from a UK university of international standing.last_img read more

New Year provocations…

first_img…and eyepassThere’s a news item informing the nation that on Wednesday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has been summoned to the newly-painted green State House to “discuss” the appointment of Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin as Chancellor of Guyana’s judiciary. The summons is reminiscent of the one that resulted in (Chief?) Justice James Patterson being appointed by President Granger as Chairman of GECOM (ag).The meetings are necessary, of course, because the Constitution demands them to ensure that the Opposition Leader “agrees” with the appointments to these sensitive positions. There was a time when the President just had to “consult” with the Opposition Leader, but that had become a farce under Burnham, whose legacy Granger has vowed to uphold. Burnham recounted how he’d just call up Cheddi Jagan – designated the “Minority” Leader in a studied gesture to belittle him –  and ask him how was the weather then hang up the phone. That was “consultation”!So the requirement was changed from “consultation” to “agreement” – along with the reversion back to “Opposition Leader” – in the slew of constitutional changes enacted in the new millennium, intended to ensure critical State appointments had the widest possible legitimacy conferred by the leaders of the governing and Opposition parties. And it’s this principle that President Granger is once again violating – and “eyepassing” – the Constitution on, when he nominates people like Patterson and Benjamin.Granger knows these persons are not “fit and proper” for the offices they’re being parachuted into and that the Opposition Leader is duty-bound to reject them. Take Patterson…he still hasn’t produced any evidence he was ever “Chief Justice” of Grenada as he claimed. How can you have a man who pads his résumé be in charge of ensuring the Government doesn’t pad the voters’ list??And as for Benjamin, we at least KNOW he’s the Chief Justice of Belize. But that’s precisely the problem!! The Bar Association of that country for years has demanded he work to reduce the backlog of cases in front of him on the principle “Justice delayed is justice denied”. In 2016, Benjamin himself admitted the situation was “embarrassing” – but a year later has delivered only THREE additional rulings!!With Guyana also having a big backlog problem, how can Granger expect Jagdeo to agree to Benjamin’s nomination? But that’s not the only problem. Did goat bite Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards after Granger himself appointed her as acting Chancellor?   In what way did she fall down on the job in the year she’s been there?Did the backlog she inherited, for instance, increase?…on the Demerara Harbour BridgeIt seems the Government of Guyana, in general, and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, in particular, have discovered a “Bridge Fairy”. You know … like the tooth fairy who leaves money under your pillow when you lose a tooth, the Bridge Fairy will leave money for the new Demerara Harbour Bridge, which Minister Patterson still insists will kick off in 2018.The fly in the ointment is no monies were allocated for the new bridge in the 2018 Budget just passed. Your Eyewitness knows there’s talk about a BOOT Public-Private Partnership…but shouldn’t there be monies allocated for the “Public” component? Typically, this would cover roads and approaches – like monies to pay off Ming for his Versailles land.Now you may say, Dear Reader, the Government can always ask for monies in a Supplementary Budget! But this is where you’d be going along with an illegality. Supplementaries are supposed to cover “unforeseen emergencies”.Not to keep a promise made a year ago!…on border controversyWell, your Eyewitness was going to hold his breath yesterday for the UN Secretary General to send the Venezuelan border controversy to the World Court after Trotman claimed news of the Exxon Bonus would provoke Venezuela. He gave up.The UN system does keep its promises, doesn’t it?last_img read more

Seeds of ethnic conflict

first_imgCommendably, there are a significant number of commentators who have realized that a majoritarian system of democracy presents severe challenges in a society that is riven by groups that approach each other in numbers. Even in comparatively homogenous societies, there is the obvious question of legitimacy of the government formed when almost half of the populace did not vote for it.When those groups identify themselves, and are identified by others ethnically — as in Guyana — the question of legitimacy becomes even more contested. It is not just a matter of political or economic “interests” at stake, but a question of self-worth embedded in identity. “Our” government is defended for reasons that pay scant regard to rationality – and so also are condemnations of “their” government.Such governments therefore have to be very vigilant about the adverse effects of their policies on groups outside of their ethnic base, since it is also a matter of ‘honour”, “pride”, and even survival of the group. It was for this reason that I was quite pleased when the APNU/AFC coalition manifesto committed itself to a proposal I had made decades ago – issuing “ethnic impact statements”.My argument was: if governments explicitly perform this exercise BEFORE any policy is implemented, there can be debate and discussion, especially ahead of effects impacting negatively on the “out” group, which can then be addressed. There may very well be valid political or economic reasons for the action, and the emotional impact can be mediated and possibly moderated through engagements that acknowledge the group’s fears. This becomes even more necessary when, as with the APNU/AFC government, the challenge of legitimacy was acknowledged and they boasted their coalition Accord between the PNC-dominated APNU and AFC conferred the necessary “multi-ethnic” legitimacy.But the composition of the Cabinet announced soon after the elections sent disturbing signals in the Indian-Guyanese “out” group. This was strengthened when eventually 16 of 17 Permanent Secretaries were revealed to be African-Guyanese. While it is “traditional” for parties to place their supporters in decision-making positions in government, the removal of a wide swath of predominantly Indian Guyanese officials who had been appointed by the PPP and replaced by African Guyanese was, not surprisingly, perceived as “vindictive” by the former community. Then came the firing of 5700 mostly Indian Guyanese sugar workers, against the recommendation of the Government’s own CoI.In 1992, we had supported the PPP because they had been historically rigged out of office by the PNC following their ouster after CIA-fostered riots and British electoral “innovations”, but also because the PPP had promised an inclusive government if they won. The “Civic” component with Sam Hinds clearly did not satisfy the PNC, and they launched a strident campaign against several policies and initiatives of the PPP government as being biased against African Guyanese. The Government was accused of engaging in “ethnic cleansing” of the Public Service, even though the PPP had staunched the mass dismissals of public servants initiated by Desmond Hoyte at the instruction of the IMF.As early as 1995, at a conference in T&T on “Youths and Violence in the Caribbean”, I predicted violence would erupt from the African Guyanese community because of their conviction of being excluded from the ‘national patrimony”. This was reported back in Guyana with some indignation, since at the time I had been appointed to the Race Relations Task Force. But the PNC had rejected this body as a source of mediating their ethnic complaints because of Bishop Randolph George being chosen as Chairman.I concluded that when political activists in the African Guyanese community evaluated their “social facilitation factors” – dominance of the Police and Army (leader of the PNC, Mr Desmond Hoyte referred to them as “kith and kin”); the Civil Service; and most importantly “lumpen elements” in the capital city of Georgetown, where the Government offices were located — violence would be seen as a most viable option. So said, so done; starting from 1998 and ending in 2008 – a period President Granger euphemistically refers to as “the Troubles”.The question regarding whether the increasingly polarized, ethnically-defined crisis in the Indian Guyanese community will erupt into violence depends on how their political leaders assess their “social facilitation factors” – especially the power resources available to them versus the “social control factors” – civil retribution and “official” sanctions that will be unleashed.last_img read more

The Net Foreign Assets at the Bank of Guyana are in trouble?

first_imgBy Sase Singh, MSc – Finance, ACCAWhen we think about a person’s economic well-being, we do not just think about how much they earn only. We also think about their belongings and investments, including their level of marketable education and skills. The same is true for a nation.When it comes to assessing a country’s economy, the Ministers of Finance tend to emphasis Gross Domestic Product (GDP): that is the size of the economy. Or more precisely, the value of goods and services produced in one year by a country. However, used alone GDP does not provide the full picture of the health of an economy.So what are Guyana’s assets? Firstly, all produced capital such as the production from our ‘six sisters’ – rice, gold, sugar, bauxite, logging, fishing – and new capital works in the nation like new highways and new investments count as assets. Then there are natural capital like our forest reserves and newly-discovered natural resources like oil. Most importantly, there is the quality of our human capital. This begs the question – are we retaining enough of our university educated people and others with the hard skills in the sciences and engineering at home? Then there are Net Foreign Assets (NFA), an element that has been propping up the Guyanese economy since 1998.The graph above speaks to NFA/GDP. This graph basically tells you the story around the size of the convertible foreign assets that the Bank of Guyana controls to the size of the economy. Meaning, how easily we can pay our foreign obligations to fuel the local economy.If we reflect on the state of the economy in 1985, just after the last rigged elections in Guyana (the year of Burnham’s death), we saw that the NFA/GDP was negative 410 per cent. That translates to the Central Bank being totally unable to meet its obligations to finance the foreign liabilities of the nation. They could have printed a world of Guyana dollars in those days, it was worth nothing since it was only paper money that was not easily convertible to trade internationally.The situation actually got worse by 1991, which led to a further deterioration of this ratio of NFA/GDP to negative 497 per cent. The Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) kicked in and by 1992, the ratio had dropped to negative 193 per cent. The truth remains, the PNC transferred in 1992 to Dr Jagan a bag of economic bones from their graveyard of economic mismanagement. I am yet to see any economic facts that tell me that these people knew what they were doing in the pre-1990 days.It took the PPP five years to reverse a decade of PNC maladministration with respect to the state of the NFA/GDP. If one looks at the graph, the state of NFA/GDP was climbing since 1992 and for 19 straight years, it improved so much so, that Guyana peaked in 2010 when the NFA was 30 per cent of the GDP. This meant that, if called upon to back all transactions in the economy, Guyana was ready to pay 30 per cent of those bills in hard currency instantaneously; a very different story from the year of Burnham’s death when this ratio was negative 410 per cent.Since the dawn of the new era in 1992, all of that heavy lifting was done when two men took charge of the economy, first Dr Asgar Ally for a short period and then until it peaked in 2010 – Bharrat Jagdeo. Historical revisionists will never erase the job done by Mr Jagdeo as the key influencer who pushed the greatest growth in the wealth of this nation.I would be the first to agree that in his last year as President in 2011, the NFA/GDP declined from 30 per cent to 28 per cent, but what has Mr Ramotar and Mr Granger done collectively to stem that decline since? Between 2011 when Mr Ramotar assumed office to the end of 2018 under Mr Granger, the NFA/GDP declined from 28 per cent to 14 per cent. That is a collective meltdown of 100 per cent thanks to the poor leadership of the economy under Mr Ramotar and Mr Granger.The Net Foreign Assets at the Central Bank are set to decline even further in 2019 as the economic impact of the closure of four sugar estates digs in and this will further constrain the supply of foreign currency. Let us not forget that demand for foreign currency is expanding as the price of fuel and fertilisers increases. Mr Granger thinks that oil will solve all. DREAM ON, MR GRANGER!last_img read more

New towns

first_imgPresident David Granger has now made it clear that the launching of three new towns for the Local Government Elections – another, Mahdia could not join them because of technical details – was not done merely for administrative efficiencies. In a speech to the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry within a week of those elections, he revealed it was a part of his administration’s strategic plan for the development of the country.He postulated that each region must have one “capital town” with a specific mandate to become the nucleus of development for its region. There are now Mabaruma (Region One), Anna Regina (Region Two, Georgetown (Region Four), one will have to be chosen between New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Corriverton (Region Six), Bartica (Region Seven), Mahdia (Region Eight), Lethem (Region Nine) and Linden (Region 10). The President suggested that possibly Parika (Region Three) and Fort Wellington (Region Five) might seek to attain township status.The towns would now have to utilise the appurtenances of municipalities such as banks, industrial sites, hospitals, schools, etc to foster their own development and their regions – independent of central government. The question arises, however, as to how this development would be ignited and secondary how they would be kept viable. These are among the ambiguities that need to be cleared up. The President took pains to state later that the towns are “corporations”: “I think the municipalities should see themselves as corporations, encouraging business rather than just being administrators expecting subventions. They must examine ways of generating revenue and earning a profit.”But what exactly does a town being treated as a “corporation” mean beyond it can conduct matters under its statutorily delegated mandate as a legal entity? Which is what they were always and were able to do. We can look at Anna Regina in Region Two, for instance, which was incorporated into a town with our attainment of Republican Status in 1970.Anna Regina has a Bank, a market, an industrial site, mayoral office, etc, but it has been unable to foster development of the sort envisaged by the President in the 46 years it has been in existence as a “corporation”. Why?The challenge for Anna Regina – and it will be for all the other towns apart from Georgetown – is they will be unable to garner the revenues necessary to become first, self-sustaining in development, then to spread that development into the surrounding areas. The most critical need would be to initiate some industries that would create employment in Anna Regina and its environs.The President talked of Agro-processing as undertakings the new towns could foster. But what can Anna Regina offer to induce such businesses? Without the power, for instance, to offer tax incentives – which are still controlled by the Central Government – the officials of the town are left with just moral importunings.Another, even more pertinent lack of power is the inability to generate loans for the needed industrial development. In Anna Regina, for instance, the local branches of the three national Banks each have over billion in deposits garnered from Essequibians but lend a mere fraction of that in the entire Region Two, much less Anna Regina. If the Towns were given the power to insist that a certain percentage of their deposits must be reinvested locally this would go a far way in generating the development the President hopes for. As it is the government takes the pressure off the banks from lending by issuing Treasury Bills because there is “too much liquidity” in the system.The point we wish to make is that it would appear the government wants to give the new towns baskets to fetch water. That is, it wants to relieve itself from being responsible for regional development yet will not devolve the powers to the towns really necessary for that to be achieved.last_img read more