Liberalization attempt #999

Liberalization attempt #999

The Government of Guyana announced that, among its priorities for the new parliament, is the liberalization of the telecommunications sector.

The telecommunication monopoly was created by the PNC in the 1990s and it would be poetic justice that they, as part of the Government, have to undo one of their own grave wrongs, that is, the 40-year monopoly (which was matched by the PPP’s own private contract covering a similar length of time).

That the 1990 monopoly has severely restricted the development of Guyana (as claimed by former HPS Luncheon) may be an indeterminable understatement, notwithstanding the claims of massive investment by legal and illegal telecommunications companies in Guyana.

While liberalization was, for a brief period, a passion of then President Jagdeo. Sadly, that caved in. The glaring opportunities of the sector seemed to have become evident to a handful of people who were intent on grabbing everything and so liberalization became a game – one which was designed to only take place when certain private persons and companies were established – in and out of the law – to exploit the opportunities.

To its credit, GT&T, at that time, stated that it welcomed liberalization. In fact, its primary shareholder (ATN) through Michael Prior, not only spoke of liberalization as a welcome step, but promised to help in all practical and reasonable ways to get it done. But a level playing field was important to GT&T as well as the obviously desired protection of its investments.

Digicel has demanded a liberalized sector. Its CEO, Greg Dean, was very open about wanting his company to play a progressive role in creating a liberalized environment while securing its own investment, of course.

There was a high infusion of energy and zest into the liberalization process by the general public and investors at large. Then the process became affected by suspicious acquisition of data by certain individuals/contractors who are still in the employ of their masters.

Predictably, predator politics of the principals focussed more on the design of the proposed law that grandfathered certain named companies into the sector (by law) than the process of negotiation with GT&T and Digicel. It must be noted that all those named companies have been suspicioned to have an intimate relationship with the then Government. Meanwhile, the regulators became regulated and were rendered toothless through political diktat.

If the Government is serious about Liberalization, it must:
1) Remove that diseased, myopic clause that guarantees licenses to the named companies.

2) Ensure there is no conflict of interest between Government officers and GT&T.

3) Immediately take its place (on the board) and stop the capital hemorrhage.
4) Urgently call GT&T to the table to negotiate its monopoly.

5) Immediately investigate the spectrum abuse by legal and illegal companies and ensure that the nation’s spectrum assets earn their potential – which should handsomely pay for the setup of a proper management system and team.

Any other approach will court disaster for an ailing industry that is infested with tax-evasion, back-door deals, illegal entities and of course rampant opportunism. There are other areas within the telecommunication sector that require urgent attention. These will be addressed in subsequent feedback. Liberalization is primary.

Finally, the President must be made aware that every day’s delay ensures that millions of dollars’ worth of investment and hard money continues to be swathed in corporate veils to the detriment of this great nation of ours.

Liberalization is a must for 2015 but it must take place in a transparent manner.


Results of our Online Poll for Elections 2015

The VoteGuyana Poll is closed.
In the run up to the 2011 elections we ran a poll and in the run up to this, 2015 elections, a similar exercise was repeated.

This poll was not sponsored and did/does not indicate support or endorsement for any party or any person. This poll gauged how energized people were to vote and how reactive they were to the campaign. It also provided some interesting statistics.

The results of this poll could be very different from that of the General Elections due to any number of factors including a renewed motivation to vote by supporters of any party. It is not our intention to provide any analysis or trend for this poll. It is not meant to represent a perfect poll.

It was/is not our aim to project the outcome of the National Elections.

Poll was based on a 95%CL with 5% MoE and population of 500k. Sample target was surpassed by 71.32% with more than 60% within 9 days to closure. 23 Days running, duplicate ISPs were identified and both polling sites were cumulated yielding APNUAFC 48.1%, PPPC 46.9%, Other 0.5% and the “I may not vote” 4.5%. Participation from 52% via mobile devices; 43% females. Participation with 54% FB; 100% Surveymonkey.

In summary, if we discount the “I may not vote” (which will not count), the final results could be:

APNU+AFC=50.6% = 33 seats

PPP/C= 49.4% = 32 seats

Scorecard week of March 29 2015

Last week a scorecard was summarized – of the campaign so far. Simple scorecard. It brought unvelievable response. Here is my this week’s recap and SC. Maybe it’s the last, maybe not.

The PPP presidential candidate made the right soundbytes. Unrelated to national economics, but directly related to emotions and the campaign, Ramoutar assured the Sugar workers of his care for them and his plan to continue looking for solutions to help the industry. That was opposed by the business approach of the opposition, but the electioneering sound-bytes was scored for Donald. That the PPP could not have found a Hindu personality to visit mandirs during their Holy Period continues to baffle many people and so they would lose some points there. Why wasn’t the Dharmic Sabha whose president is well respected and loved, more visible? Now Dr Persaud would have done wonders and achieved a great deal as would have achieved by other similar leaders across the country.

The Opposition, in my view lost serious points in their poor promise of salary increase. The promised (13%?) was a shot in a dark without basis of a national economic plan, as if to match the opposing forces of bribing the electorate. Don’t promise what you cannot be sure to deliver.

The opposition also lost serious points with the poor press conference they had which was a waste of everyone’s time. Fortunately for them, their loss of points was offset by the Press Con of Jagdeo. What was the point of either Press Cons? And where is Nigel Hughes – if he will not speak, don’t put his name on the list of speakers. Be honest.

APNU/AFC lost points with the remarks of Trotman, basically trying to negate Jagdeo. Deal with it. If he is part of the PPP campaign, deal with it. You come over being scared.

Both sides lost another week of opportunity in that they are yet to present to the people a serious economic plan for the country. All we are hearing is rhetoric and threats. That fear-mongering will have a greater impact than can be predicted.

Granger sounded good saying that he was not Burnham, as contrasted with the feeling on the other side side that a vote for the PPP was a vote for . But, Ramotar has done well with his image and presentation of himself to the populate, reaching out and showing he is human. As I told one person, elections are emotional (not rational) events. The side that can appeal to the masses’ emotions could win. This, imv, the PPP has done in a better way this week. What Ramotar has done was also travel with his family and mix and merge with the people. Well done.

My scorecard: with scores for racist undertones, strategy, outlook, annoyance vs education, appearance of leaders and other factors, my scorecard for this week reads as follows: PPPC 3.5 APNU 1.5.

Maybe all of this doesn’t matter given the rallies being held on Sunday.

The campaign – my scorecard week of March 22

“I will continue to demand that projects are implemented more efficiently so as to ensure maximum benefits to our citizens.”

According to the PPP site, you are saying that you will CONTINUE to demand…That implies that you demanded before and you failed before, obviously, since a majority of projects were screwed by ego-massaging appointees who seemed intent on making us all look bad and maybe making their bank accounts look good. The failure of the e-gov cable could have been seen by everyone months ago. The failure of the amaila project was predicted. The specialty hosp ran into problems (with the contractor). etc etc…..Yet you ignored all the signals and, ….and these continue to be the only drums that you beat. Show us what things you have personally promised and did deliver? No insult meant, but you being used by that gang too much. Stand up and lead!

The bucket has to be scraping on empty to be pointing to failed projects and (maybe good projects) with failed “implementors” as the future of Guyana….

I suggest that you promise what you CAN deliver, Sir. Promise what you CAN do. Presently all you are doing is publicly applying plaster over the leaks in the PPP’s cup, leaks inflicted by the egos that sit all around you smiling at the people that have been raped and pillaged. You wanna do this, do it the right way – and the right way is NOT their WAY. Mr Ramotar, I believe you are a good man, in real bad company.

Meanwhile, the opposition has started a marvelous and positive campaign. There is a GOOD feel about their campaign, their spokespersons and their photo-ops. They are not anonymously attacking – Even their insects have eased their sniping as they are busy planning their roles in their future and Aga is surely making himself busy. I have not seen racist calls and have not seen immature politicians on their forefront and kudos to them. The positive motivational start of the APNUAFC campaign contrasts with the kick-their-ass start of the PPP’s campaign. Granger’s jackass comment was a misfit (- well until a saw a photo of one of the audience).

Now, in the weeks ahead we will see how wasteful Vs how strategic these parties are with their finances. Will the billboard men become 6-stories-rich again or will sense prevail? What will they do with your money?

Meanwhile, Let’s see what this week brings.
My scorecard: with scores for racist undertones, strategy, outlook, annoyance vs education, appearance of leaders and other factors, my scorecard for this week reads as follows: PPPC ->0; APNUAFC ->1.5


Another reason to be ashamed. A shame that has covered us is like a dark blanket.
A shame that too many people are whispering about but not being brave to be vocal about. A national shame of murdering Courtney Crum-Ewing.
Courtney was a political giant, who braved the odds of speaking out when our collective consciousness has been domiciled into blind support for the political creatures. And we are silent.

And some people have been gleefully sharing the dead man’s private messages that only confirms how angry Courtney was with the Government – AS IF to justify his death. Shame on you.

We are silent about Courtney’s death but we huddle together at gravesides of fallen heroes who did what Courtney did and worse – and we celebrate their lives and condemn Courtney. What are we allowing ourselves to become?

And yes, we should let the police do their work – but do not be mistaken, who killed Sash Sawh? Who killed Waddle, and many others? ….. so much, no answers.

Mr. President, please be reminded that you are the Chief of Staff as well as President. The buck stops with you. The Home Affairs Minister is (to borrow a phrase from Hoyte) a “creature” of yours. USE him use the state resources for God’s sakes and get the answers we seek. Mr President, we want to see you pound your fist into your table and INSTRUCT your men to find the killer.


We are quickly boiling into a nation of hate. Hate-mongers are taking positions of PR and communications advisers of all political parties. The parties are not talking about our future, they prefer to talk of the past. Time to stop the campaign.

In all of this, my friends and I will remain independent but outspoken. If the killer is not found, we will not vote. We will boycott the ballot. Let this campaign be about COURTNEY!!!!

To those who murdered Courtney Crum-Ewing. If your motive was to mute an outspoken politician, then be aware that you didn’t fell a tree. Instead, you planted a forest. For that one, thousands will grow.

One scandal after another

On Nov 4, 2014, I posted “Guyana has been living one scandal after another …..a scandal-marathon that cannot be matched by the popular TV series Scandal. What next, we ask ourselves.”
The “tape-gate” was buried by proroguing which is now dimmed by the US$ cash-bust. Guyana has probably moved past being a washing machine. We are maybe now a mint, printing money. What next?
Meanwhile, we continue to struggle at the smaller and more important things, choosing to blame the past instead of saying what we can do.
Blackouts make a mockery of Christmas lights while the lack of drainage in the city is still not addressed in any mature way.
It is a shame. And the daily/weekly ongoing scandals successfully take our attention away from the necessities – until we are flooded again.

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The personal attacks continue

I have seen some really unprofessional attacks about Ms Vindhya Persaud’s comments on Anil Nandalal. I had also seen similar comments about Ms. H. Nandalall. Admittedly both women are public figures, and then allows for open, public scutiny. But it does not call for abuse, insults and belittling comments.

I view Ms Vindhya Persaud as a sister of mine, as I do Ms. Nandalall and many other women. Like you and me, they have the freedom of association which entitles them to belong to a family and political party of their choice. We cannot attack them for that.

If they make a wrong decision or conduct a corrupt act (or similar) then yes, let’s take them to task. But not for their husband or father or brother or sister – or work colleague. I am sure this discussion can be argued in many ways, but it hurts to see the personal attacks. Address the issues, don’t try to belittle the persons.

In my view, Ms Persaud expressed an opinion about Nandalal and that includes her obvious disgust with the whole episode – and her comment that we will “see” which we can hold her to.

I think she was damned brave to venture that opinion on Anil Nandalall within the framework that the PPP operates. Ms. Persaud is loved and respected by many. We can love her or hate her, praise her or criticise her, but be decent in such praise or criticism of her and our other women. If we don’t then we become guilty of the same things we detest.

What I would like to see is more of this type of openness and more fairness, honesty and decency. I left a company because of the indecent and dishonest work of people I depended on – I took responsibility and left and with that earned the wrath and hate of a lot who don’t know the truth or don’t want to accept it. What I have learned is that we must always be outspoken and take action against wrongdoing and wrong-doers. But not to blame the innocent for the guilty.

Many of us disagree with numerous actions of the PPP and its obvious disregard to rule of law, truth and ethics. I know that there are some very corrupt and unscrupulous persons therein – But that does not mean that everyone in the PPP is bad or corrupt. Change will take place, it is the natural progression of the world. Truth and Righteousness will always win. So let’s ease up on the rhetoric and let stop stereotyping.

In case you wonder, this is just my opinion and is not endorsed by or discussed with Ms Persaud who is free to agree or disagree.

Finally, in my view, Nandalal should be disciplined – but then so should many within the Party. So who will discipline who? Unfortunately, they will circle the wagon and let people like Ms Persaud take the flak.




  • Ruel Johnson The problem with the moral arbiters in the PPP, like Persaud, is that they go out of their way to comment on certain issues, once it does not impact upon the PPP. While I’d have liked to commend both her and Manickchand for actually saying something on this issue, the fact is both of them had to be called for an invited comment on it, both of them refer to an apology which Nandlall never actually made, and neither of them went so far as to say that he should be sanctioned in any way. I find it particularly disingenuous on her part about not seeing him since because they belong to the same political party and I’m sure she has his phone number.
  • Ruel Johnson If you’re serious and want respect on these issues, speak out on them without being put on the spot. Otherwise you have a convenient integrity at best. The other moral arbiter, Gail Rwanda Teixeira is running from comment on the issue. Also, I don’t buy the argument that the people in the PPP should get a free pass because some of them might not be “bad or corrupt.” Every single parliamentary action taken to facilitate Jagdeo’s corruption was done collectively by everyone in the PPP. People in the PPP know of rape cases involving members of their party and the cover ups involved. Persaud sits on the board of her brother’s company I believe, a company that has benefited from the unfair and corrupt allocation of telecommunication rights in Guyana. Does that situation not disgust her?
  • Ruel Johnson This is why I love the Internet…

    “The manner in which the radio licences were issued has sparked condemnation from both the local and regional media associations, with sustained protests held by owners of independent media houses who felt government was being vindictive to private media who have been critical of rampant corruption practices and a number of shady and/or illogical multi-billion-dollar projects.”…/jagdeo-promotes…/


    “In just seven short years of existence, E-Networks Inc. has steadily progressed to become one of the leading institutions in the Information Technology Sector. The company, which started operations in 2003, on Monday, last, introduced its WiMax 4G Network, during an impressive launching ceremony that was held at the Georgetown Club on Camp Street. The occasion which had in attendance President Bharrat Jagdeo, who delivered the feature address, , E-Networks Incorporated’s founder and Managing Director Vishok Persaud, Chairman Rakesh Puri, Directors Keith Evelyn, Dr. Vindhya Persaud…”…/alumnus-vishok…/48.html

    In short, she has benefited from the corruption with the best and worst of them.

  • Rab Mukraj · Friends with Abel Seetaram and 9 others

    Did Ms. Persaud call for the resignation of her colleague or was this just fluff in condemning his comments but give him a pass on everything else including the using of tax payers monies and then repaying said monies?
  • Yog Mahadeo I agree and continue to speak out against the rape of our resources that benefits a handful of people. Ms Persaud can surely speak for herself on that aspect, but I would stop short of the personal attacks. Also, it is usually covered up in the term democratic centralism.
  • Ruel Johnson She can’t have it both ways. Pointing out her hypocrisy isn’t a personal attack if she has put herself up as an arbiter of public morality. You go out of your way as head of a religious organisation to want to ban alcohol at Hindu weddings but you sit back and rake in the money from the PPP corruption that you facilitate and support, even as you remain silent on many excesses, people will call you out on it.
  • Yog Mahadeo Rab that is a good question and is where our analysis can reside. My point is that we should not make belittling personal attacks…..instead, like you, focus on the issues.
  • Rab Mukraj · Friends with Abel Seetaram and 9 others

    Look at this stage of the game anyone in the PPP who supports that kind of treachery has to be cognizant of the fact that what they are doing is flat out immoral and wrong.

    If you are a politician in the political realm guess what you are gonna get hit by a few buses. Man up or woman up and deal with it. Quit this whining about personal attacks. Go tell the oppressed in Guyana who have to live in shit water because their government misused funds to purchase pumps etc. Hey mofo it aint personal.

  • Rab Mukraj · Friends with Abel Seetaram and 9 others

    On the flip side of this note I don’t see Ms. Persaud standing up for Maurice Arjoon and asking some tough questions on why was CIOG involved in the take down of a Dharmic Sabha supporter. I got to watch myself though asking these questions might be getting personal.
  • Ruel Johnson That is my exact point – the Maurice Arjoon issue, the Kwame FcBoy sex solicitation issue, the Sattaur NCN/GT&T corruption issue. Silence from Persaud.
  • Christine Bisessar Very well said yog… stick to the issues…I admire yr choice of words…
  • Dinesh Jaiprashad · 25 mutual friends

    Mr Yog. Politics and many politicians have gone to the Dogs. We don’t have decency and law and order. Do we respect each other are politicians still honest people.
  • Vedant Prashad One misappropriates taxpayer monies for personal purposes (Anil Nandalall) while the other misappropriates the public assets (spectrum) for personal gain. What is the difference? They are both thieves. Sorry Yog, don’t agree with you on this issue. Thieves, especially those wearing religious garments, get no respect from me.
  • Imran Khan Yog Mahadeo: “I agree and continue to speak out against the rape of our resources that benefits a handful of people.”


  • Imran Khan…/gtt-head-resigns…/

    Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, Yog Mahadeo, has resigned. News…
  • Yog Mahadeo…/sacked-gtt%E2%80…/

    … after NCN official submitted invoices in his name   Almost $4M was paid over to Martin Goolsarran by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) based on invoices he submitted in h…
  • Imran Khan Right. Because innocent people willingly resign all the time. History is replete with such examples.
  • Imran Khan Examples of history being replete with persons who have resigned after an internal audit vindicated them of any culpability include but are not limited to:

    1. _______________________

  • Imran Khan Some of the people I see using social media to preach integrity, morality and transparency are quite fortunate. Had they been involved in what they have been involved in another country they would have been lecturing on these issues on a soap box from within a prison cell.
  • Yog Mahadeo True, and some professionals can also check with direct sources to get valid information, otherwise they chorus an intent while preaching a purpose.
  • Imran Khan One must be equally cognizant that persons who comment may, in all likelihood, be doing so on the basis of being in possession of information which is credible and which was received from highly placed internal sources.
  • Yog Mahadeo As well as the “internal” sources are relative like the cases of GoG. Source can only be owners, BoD chairman etc. Like in the case of the NCN matter.
  • Imran Khan Fishing expeditions won’t get poor anglers anywhere. Persons speak with authority on the basis of credible information.

    And of course there was that slush fund for journos to publish “positive” pieces.

  • Imran Khan Known and identifiable journalists who collected GY$30k and $40+ monthly per reporter for the production of puff pieces. Paid by cheques, signed by known and identifiable (former) “executives”.
  • Yog Mahadeo Authority is only divested to certain people in companies with certain structures. I believe all entities esp private companies are entitled to secure services of professionals to produce pieces. “journos” also asked and received assistance for training, travelling, etc.
  • Imran Khan Confession. Ah! Good for soul but does not absolve one of what should most certainly be prison time.
  • Imran Khan Case closed. On the first charge: Guilty. On the second charge: Confessed.

    Thanks for coming folks.

  • Yog Mahadeo glad to have had you grace my humble page.
  • Mohamed Khan · Friends with Abel Seetaram and 24 others

    Who will bell the cat in the PPP?
  • Rudolph Dyal interesting !!!!!!!
  • Imran Khan Feigned humility by the patently arrogant? Not very well played, sir, not very well played at all.
  • Yog Mahadeo master of the game speaks, student bows: thank you sir
  • Imran Khan “The ethics behind companies offering pay for puff pieces is dubious as it skews journalist’s’ duty to report without fear or favour and as such can be seen as the subsidiary of a US publicly-traded company, ATN, undermining values of free expression in a developing society.

    For those reporters involved at some news entities it would normally be a reason for immediate dismissal given that such payments would induce them to ignore deficiencies, cases of pollution or even instances of corruption by company officials.”…/former-gtt-ceo-admits-to…/

    Former GT&T CEO admits to reporter slush fund Mozzy…
  • Yog Mahadeo Wow thanks for the highlights. No better person than a communications’ officer for Game…. “when asked….he responded.” wow. Masterful indeed. Now, I recommend that you send to the chairman of the company you speak of and ask them for comments.
    “””When asked if that was a confession, he replied “Certainly!” “””
    Journalism in its best hands.
  • Imran Khan False assumptions will be the death of some. Again the hasty assumption that the report was written by who you seem to be ascribing credit to is… well… false.
  • Yog Mahadeo Wonderful. I am even more delighted. Again false assumption that my note was aimed at someone in particular is…well…false.
    We will all die sometime. I have been threatened already.
  • Yog Mahadeo Let me help share it as an example of wonderful journalism.
    The owners and writers are well un-known. It is the silly season when they, like others are paid hide behind pseudonyms, a la the people at office of the president. Any difference?
  • Learie Constantine Barclay This is an unbelievable exchange…. Yog Mahadeois a man of integrity and responsibility! Imran Khan what are your bonafides to show integrity? A puff piece is a form of advertising, is completely legal, and is a smart choice for any company.
  • Imran Khan There will come a time when persons, govt officials and others will have to account before the law for their inexplicable wealth. No amount of insight, inspire/(ation) or impressions will cover or hide the truth. 10/10 or otherwise.
  • Vedant Prashad Totally agree Learie Constantine Barclay. A puff piece is a form of advertising, is completely legal, and is a smart choice for any company. Shaking my head at this exchange.
  • Yog Mahadeo Exactly! I await that day and will continue to work toward that. And also to see the day when some will accept the truth that looks them in the eye. There will come that time when death threats will be remembered too. And when those who continue to walk on others will face reality.
  • Balwant Persaud “But that does not mean that everyone in the PPP is bad or corrupt’. Well, tell me who is not bad or corrupt in the PPP.
  • Yog Mahadeo the grassroots…. the people of guyana who have blind (maybe misplaced) faith….the PPP is not the 10 or 12 persons we see everyday.
  • Balwant Persaud Oh, I thought you were referring to the ruling cabal.
  • Balwant Persaud Sorry, I misinterpret you.
  • Ruel Johnson Here was thinking the PPP was defined by the central committee, the same corrupt people put in there by the PPP grass roots.
  • Imran Khan “And a confession on a subject that really is not of much interest outside of the journalistic community, the issue of companies paying for favourable coverage. It is endemic and dangerously undermines the core principles of journalism… to report without fear or favour.”…/wrap-an-apology-and-a-confession/

  • Yog Mahadeo Wow even more. Many thanks. “Paying for favourable coverage. It is endemic and dangerously undermines the core principles of journalism” Unpaid for by the paymasters.
    Perchance when truth is sought, a Bod or Chairman can offer some insight and confessions and apologies…but to quote some soul without (apparent) identity, “it’s a wrap”…as wraps will obviously continue to keep truth under and unseen.
  • Dwayne Scott · 60 mutual friends

    The situation is as it stands. Guyana is a dangerous place and the dirt goes deeper than the eye can see and the ears can hear. It’s built like little mafia groups and and like the groups the real power is unknown.
  • Haresh Sukhraj · 50 mutual friends

    and Imran Khan was schooled again! Well done Dr Yog Mahadeo. You continue to impress me time and time again.
  • Balwant Persaud We need a new breed of politicians that the people can trust. Professionals and honest businessmen. Not discards from the PPP and PNC.
  • Radha Motielall and so this is christmas…….singing… cake anyone?????
  • Romel Putulall Christmas the season of forgiveness and spreading the Joy.. ease the critiques..
  • Randy Perreira Radha I love de sponge more lol
  • Randy Perreira Radha careful how you say black cake,with the tension right now some people might settle for cully cake haha
  • Mohamed Khan · Friends with Abel Seetaram and 24 others


Apologies work – sometimes – especially when we mean them.

The tape-gate scandal with AG, Anil Nandalall leaves is wondering what next.

Guyana has been living one scandal after another since the days of the Jagdeo Government – which started a scandal-marathon that cannot be matched by the popular TV series Scandal.

What next, we ask ourselves.

And some of us question: Couldn’t they have handled it better? I must digress to say that whoever manages the PR of the Government and especially that of the President needs to to be fired. President Ramotar has been placed in the worst positioning, poor surroundings, improper lighting – to say the least, it seems like everything is done to make him create a poor impression as is everything else in and around Government. Every impression is uninspiring. But that is another matter. Sir I will volunteer to advise on your PR and photo-ops. But please give them the sack.

Back to Nandalall.

Since Jagdeo’s time of ‘buse-out’ policy, the PPP and Government has adopted an attitude of “can do no wrong”. From drunken driving to erection minister. From Rapist-in-parliament to Peter-will-pay-for-Paul – all displaying an attitude of braggadocio and hypocrisy.

It would probably be improper of me to even suggest or hope that somewhere, someone of them may actually feel sorry for what they did – or are doing.

In my own humble opinion, had Anil apologized to the nation for the improper content of (a probably inebriated conversation) his telephone conversation, things might have been different – and he would have still floated on the respect that people have for him. We realize that he is human and can make mistakes, but these constant “mistakes’ and the logic-defying attitude of the perpetrators are horrifying.

True to form, Anil “stood his ground”, spat in our eyes and dares us to spit back.

Anil, being sorry is good sometimes. But I guess you’re not.

Meanwhile, I am really sorry for the President.

He is caught in a constant war created by his predecessor. He is the king (not emperor), but the king’s court jests. And the emperor? He created the foundation, managing the kings’s horses and the king’s men.

The emperor does not realise that he wears no clothes.

We do not await the next scandal with bated breath.

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Let’s stop the suicide monster


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Suicide affects us all. Whether we like it or not.

We have gone past the time for another perambulation of Georgetown in a vaunted Suicide Walk. It cannot and will not replace education, counseling and the tremendous work we the parents have to do.

Each suicide; each unfortunate death in this country is an indictment on our conscience as a people. Do we really care?

I am sorry to hear of Alex’s suicide in West Coast. And, I am sorry to hear that some blame is being pinned to the Principal. I have the highest regard for Swami Ashkarananda. I wish we could be blessed with a fraction of the patience and discipline that he lives by on a daily basis. Yes is is stern, yes he is strict -and sometimes harshly so. But which Leader, what Parent and what disciplinarian should not be stern and strict?

As is, we make international headlines ont his matter and allwe do is walk. Yet, most suicides are related to discipline/rebellion or “puppy-love”.

The question is what are we prepared to do to deal with this monster called suicide? And, it has to start with our system.

We ALL need to start taking personal responsibility for every death. We cannot depend on a system that is failing us. Let us take responsibility and not blame anyone.

So, the question is, have we failed our children who are commiting murder of themselves? Is there anything we can do?

I believe we should start talking about this more. Parents and children need to start talking. This has to become a family discussion matter. Teachers must also start friendly discussions on this. Let it be weekly. Where are the school guidance counselors?

I also believe that the Ministry of Health must start preparing counselors to be on call. Our children are too important to shuffle this away. I will volunteer to be trained and to provide such service if needed.

Is it going to be enough? Maybe not. But let’s start today, let’s save our children. They are but a reflection of ourselves, our country and our system. They can be saved – by us. Time to start is now.

To Mom and Dad of Alex, our deepest sympathies. To all mothers or fathers that lost a child to suicide…. our sympathies.

In closing, I call upon all parents who have lost a child to suicide: You have lost a child – but You must feel empowered to lead this fight so that we do not lose another son or daughter.

This is our call, for the sake of our children.

The shattered dreams of Oct 5 & Nov 28 for Guyanese

October 5, a day that too many Guyanese poured body, mind and soul into, only to see its descent; to have had their hopes and dreams shattered by one of the most corrupt and uncaring (and inhumane) periods in this country’s history.

Then came November 28, 2011. Another date when too many Guyanese revived their hopes and dreams as they saw the deliverance – away from the ruthless hands of the Uncaring One and unto the hands of a man like Donald Ramotar.

Those hopes have also been shattered for many as the corruption and uncaring egos continued to run rampant over everyone.

That Donald Ramotar could have allowed a simple thing like the NCN fraud report to fester; that he could have covered up for the thieves; that he could have let the innocent people take the bad name for his people, speaks of an uncaring president. What is worse is that if he cannot care for the little corrupt things then he cannot even start to fathom the depth of the larger things.

For me, the test of his decency was that NCN matter. He allowed people to think bad of those of us who were innocent while he rewarded the guilty people with jobs that were even more powerful. I could safely say that his tardiness, caused the NCN fraud matter to rest on the shoulders of the innocent. In fact even the General Secretary of the PPP said that the only thing he knew of the NCN fraud matter was what he read in the Stabroek News – surprisingly, since they love to hate any independent media.

Yes, we can recount many instances when there has been abject failure. And yes we can start to list the items of success. But it is the little simple things that are important Mr. President.

Today therefore, and that of November 28 are dates when I lift my head to the Heavens and say, Dear God, deliver us yet again.

Friends, yes we can all drink and be merry and laugh and be jolly, but there comes a time…….

Business in Guyana 101


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Forwarding this article on Business in Guyana 101

Today we introduce this course by providing some examples of the fascinating way that Business is conducted in Guyana.

Over the course fo the coming semester, we will get into the details of competition Vs Party Politics. Your facilitators for this course will include many persons who have had the experience of doing (or not) business in this wonderful country.

In many countries there is legislation and regulation – as in Guyana. But, in many countries there are independent commissions that oversee competition, consumer affairs, utility pricing etc. In Guyana we have these similar commissions. However they themselves provide a barrier to comeptition by being compromised by either the businesses or by the Government.

There is no independent functioning competition commission if there continues to be a Government appointed lackey in that position. In fact, the current “commission” is headed by an employee of a company that has been the prime example of predatory pricing as well as replication of products to destroy competition.

Here is an example: A (start-up) company decides to introduce a beverage in Guyana. Let’s assume that this beverage is manufactured and distributed in St. Lucia. Let us sat the beverage is named “The Star”.

Upon launch, of Star, a local beverage company will, within 3-4 weeks launch “Star power”, a new beverage, similar ingredients, exact packaging. It will then use its power to leverage against the distribution chain, the customs clearance systems and finally, it will take its local beverage and flood the St. Lucia market. In weeks, if not days, the imported product is dead and the duopoly continues, supported by the Government and its compromised commission.

The same commission is loud in its silence on the sheer volume of business handed on a platter to Government-based and Goverment-friendly businesses/ This creates a huge barrier for independent and clean business in Guyana.

A business person has to “know” some politician and has to have some slippery cheque leaves in his cheque book.

Over the past 10 years, the Government was instrumental in setting up certain private businesses. Let us take an example:
– A private business applies for duty-and-tax concessions to start a “new” business.
– The Goernment grants permission outside of the boundaries of the law to that person.
– That person then “wins” government contracts for huge sums of money. Each contact provides a pre-payment which is used to procure the needed items and fulfil the order.

Another example, the Favoured Company wins a contract to supply PVC pipes and fittings; it takes the pre-payment and procured the equipment and raw material to manufacture the items. It then receives duty-free concession for import and fulfuls the contract. It then owns another manufacturing arm, compliments of the Government. The examples are many.

Here’s another: A company is granted huge contracts by the Government to build a bond to help store the Government’s purchases. It received duty free concessions and waiver of taxes toward the project. From year 2, the company charges the Government to use its private storage space.From year 3, only that company can win contracts because it is the only one with storage space.

Yes, Guyana busines arena is filled with these examples.

There are people who sit on Government boards and, using insider-information makes investments, therby fleecing the National treasury. Yhe items are ordered from the makers of fake products in China – or that the local construction or manufacture is substandard. But the insider knows the maintenance budget too and plans well to use that in the long term.

Another example, the Government grants broadcast license to a small group of its friends and families. It exhausted the spectrum in the process. There can never be any real competition in TV or Radio in Guyana – ever!

The Business-Interest groups have sadly become compromised over the years. They are offered seats in Government boards, they are paid by the Government, they win contracts and apply successfully for tax exemptions (using insider information) – and they better dance to the tune or else. Some of the business-interest groups have had these same “contract winners” as their prime members and presidents, making the business waters even murkier. An example is one person who, as part of a government board, voted for the upgrade of a government facility – and after the upgrade, voted for it to be sold – and his was the winning tender.

But, unless you dance to the tune, there will be scandals, arrests and audits. Be prepared to hear that you own more property than you know of. Be prepared for every bit of attack, just because you dare to speak out.Be preapred for a fall out with “friends”, be preapred to be slandered about your wife, children, lovers or whatever in the gossip columns of the newspapers that they own and control. And, Be prepared for an income tax audit.

Meanwhile the corrupt heads of boards and commissions have had their pockets lined from the big businesses.

Maybe this is why this Course will be facilitated by a number of persons lest there be more martyrs like Satyadeo – All with the compliments of the Government of Guyana.
End of Business in Guyana 101.

Next in line for discussion, the Negaholics.




A letter to PM Modi


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His Excellency,
The Prime Minister of India,
Dear Prime Minister,
I write you from country of Guyana.
Congratulations on your victory at the elections and congratulations on winning the hearts of Indian people the world over.
Sir, I wish to ask you one tiny favour – both on my personal behalf as well as on the behalf of the many Guyanese people who care for our own country Guyana. While this request may seem multi-faceted, it will resolve a lot of doubts and suspicions that abound with regards to our relationship with India.
Undoubtedly our two countries enjoy a healthy cultural and diplomatic relationship, but there seems to be a growing economic relationship.
We would like your Government to publicly declare:
1) The number of bank accounts held in India by people from Guyana.
2) The total value of these bank accounts held in India by people from Guyana.
3) The total sums, per year, for the past 12 years that were transferred from Guyana to India through the Indian Bank resident in Guyana.
4) The total sums paid, per year, to Indian businesses from business, individuals and the Government in Guyana.
This will help us to understand how money flows and capital flight have impacted our two countries and what degree of financial relationship exists between our countries.
We thank you for your time and look forward to help in this matter which might be insignificant to the Indian economy but very significant to ours.
Yours Sincerely,
Guyana Independent Voices (GIV)




A brief thought on leadership.

Leaders need to take responsibility for the actions of their people and their team.
A good example of this is Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook who took responsibility last year and is now held responsible for the snafus of the I6 and the problems therein and with its OS. Elsewhere, leaders shy away from any blame.

Forbes identified Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader as follows: Honesty, Ability to Delegate, Communication, Sense of Humour, Confidence, Commitment, Positive attitude, Creativity, Intuition and Ability to Inspire.

However, what is also important is the trust – trust of the people in the leader. If we cannot trust our leaders, then we can never be led.

Guyana’s mysterious telecommunication licensing.

Sometime last week the Kaieteur News shared information about the ownership/interests of Global Technology and inet. In that article it was reported that the HPS said that he did not know about inet’s license.

Tarron Khemraj wrote a piece in SN analyzing the high cost of electricity and its impact on the private sector. Fact is that high electricity cost and high internet rates and communication costs are strangling businesses in Guyana – and both sectors (Electricity and Commnications) are run by monopolies and/or a handful of persons who were favored by the GoG.

I have always been openly and publicly pro-liberalization even while employed by one of the monopolies.

Now, while inet/GT said that they have had a telecommunication license for many years, I do not know any company other than GT&T or Digicel that received a telecommunication license. In fact, GT&T’s license supposedly precludes any entity from being granted a telecommunication license except in the mobile arena.

So, what happened was that NFMU/GoG gave “permits” to a few entities for use of a certain frequency – for FREE.

These “permits” were, I belive, restricted to the sale and distribution of internet access and were given to Enetworks, Quark Communications Inc and inet. It is important to note that while they received free frequencies, Digicel and GTT had to pay per a complex formula for the spectrum. What was more intriguing was that (maybe) the “freeness” was backed by granting “permits” to use what is usually known as the open spectrum. It was clear that the GoG avoided any legal challenges from GT&T by issuing these permits (instead of licenses).

The main persons behind these three companies (Enetworks, Quark, Nexlink) are known to everyone and one of them even appeared in the list of candidates for one political party at election time.

What was also reported in KN was that Quark Communications operated from within the premises of Queens Atlantic while Inet was acquired by Global Technology whose principals are associated with Queens Atlantic.

The HPS is right to say he does not know them (inet/GT) since if they have a telecommunication license, it would have been with the direct knowledge of the HPS (the NFMU/DoT/PUC all fell under the ambit of the PM and HPS).

Does these three companies operate under influence of one company or one group of persons? Will their collective strenght effectively negate the Dominance of GTT and Digicel? Is communication in Guyana heading into the hands of a few persons?

What is (maybe) not obvious to the public is that Enetworks, Quark Communications Inc., inet and Nexlink Communications are all GUARANTEED a telecommunication license under the new telecommunication (liberalization) legislation “without the need for any application therefor from any of those entities”.

Finally, what is also not obvious to the public is that the PPP and AFC both lack the independence to argue and debate telecommunications liberalization since there is deep conflict of interest. The PPP’s members/candidates are guaranteed licenses
while top persons in the AFC (Ramjattan/Williams) are retained directly and indirectly by GTT and Digicel.

The question begs to be asked: Who will look out for Guyana’s best interest where telecommunication is concerned?