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Romeo - PDM

Breakthroughs and projects funding ready

by Bennette Roach

GoM ends the year ready to roll with continuing and new projects

Work goes on well into thenights on teh Carrs Bay bridge and road reconstruction

As a somewhat up and down year draws to a close, the government of Montserrat (GoM) rests easy and perhaps happier that it can speak to what the Premiere has been referring to as ‘breakthroughs’ well into the new year.

This, although it may not see movement on the ground as noted by His Excellency Governor Andrew Pearce, during his last 2018 press brief with local media on December 19. His Excellency suggested that Montserrat is like a new comer “hasn’t quite yet found its new place in the world, but is on the verge of a new sort of paradigm in a way…”

 The Governor hinted that while there is no “simple or easy solution,” there had been agreement between the U.K. and the Montserrat Government (GoM) “for a substantial aid package.”

H.E. later noted in his Christmas message repeated the information of “which he said he would “not go into all the details.” “That’s really for the Premier and ministerial colleagues,” but said also, “the total sum of money being invested, committed now to Montserrat is very substantial.”

Premier Donaldson Romeo

The Premier confirmed the information shortly after and had been hinting some successful negotiation upon his return from the UK, although lamenting it was not as much as negotiated; information that had also come out from a release on Lord Ahmad. In his Christmas message, he confined himself to the Christian message of Christmas.

“As we celebrate the birth of the Giver of Life, let us pause to remember those no longer with us. Let us also not forget to share good tidings with our neighbours and friends who may have lost a loved one, or may just be alone this Christmas. Christmas is truly a time of caring and sharing.

“May we be inspired by the One who made Himself the Greatest Gift to us all; hope to the hopeless, mercy for every mistake, restoration for every failure, and a comeback for every setback…,” he said.

The Premier then in his New Year’s message has outlined, having prefaced: “Over the past two years we have been blessed with several breakthroughs that open up opportunities to build a sound future.”

“Yes,” he said, “the sea port, the undersea fibre optic cable, geothermal and solar energy development, the pending hospital, the EU funding, the new growth strategy, a five-year capital programme, several investment opportunities and more are now open before us,” which he said he had prior, “discussed in my recent interview with our acting Communications Director,” which we believe he would have been better served in a media conference.

He gave as he said, “some good news on private sector investment initiatives. Ongoing projects in Dick Hill the Art Housing project has put in place the foundations and the road infrastructure to the 10 unit villa project.

Speaking at the FAC Inquiry: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, and Ben Merrick (rt) Director, OTs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

He said the next stage will resume, “where we shall see the buildings going up, noting, “This was confirmed on my recent visit to the UK.  Meanwhile, we continue to advance potential projects in water bottling and the digital sector of our economy.”  

He then outlined the progress with various ongoing projects, some of which he said, “… are more visible than others. But we are making good progress that will help us to build a solid future”

Governor Pearce delivering his Christmas message following his December press conference

Carr’s Bay Bridge: With funding in place, we can all see that frameworks have been set up, concrete has been poured for the main bridge structures and work is ongoing.

Barzeys Road and bridge:  We have completed 820ft  of concrete roadway with an average width of 20ft.

Sea Port, Phase 1: A year ago, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved 14.4M pounds (about EC $50 million) for the development of Port Little Bay under the UKCIF fund. 

Airport: Construction drawings for the new AirTraffic Control Tower are nearly complete and tender documents are being developed. 

Fibre Optics Cable: This is a priority project for GoM and DfID.  It will greatly enhance resiliency of our communications in the face of hurricanes and open the way for a powerful digital sector in our economy. Funding of about £5 millions is assured.

The construction of this ZJB building was completed well before the PDM Government took office in September, 2014. With much controversy and shrouded in some rumours of corruption regarding its construction and its occupation, it is currently waiting to be fitted with equipment said to be now available

Hospital and healthcare: The hospital project is a part of the five-year capital programme being further developed with the UK, which helps to secure funding. 

ZJB New Building: This is now nearing completion and the Station will soon be moving house.

250 kW Solar PV project: This project is expected to be completed by the middle of March and will increase the resilience of our Electricity supply through solar energy. 

Geothermal Well 3: Regarding the drilling of the third well, DFID will provide an update on the negotiation between DFID and Iceland Drilling Company (IDC).

Geothermal power plant: GOM has completed an early market engagement on the development of a geothermal surface plant to generate electricity

Housing: We were able to provide permanent housing to five households who were able to enjoy their first Christmas living in their new homes. 

Port Buildings Project: Work was to be done on the Montserrat Port Authourity (MPA) warehouse roof and on the Ferry terminal.

Liquid Waste Management Project: This project has four components: [1] the Margetson Sewage Treatment Plant, [2] The Lookout warden assisted accommodation walkway, [3] the Lookout warden assisted accommodation sewage balancing tank and [4] the New Windward sewage stabilization ponds.

Tourism: The new tourism director will now be in place shortly.  It is anticipated that he will advance the discussion of the formal twinning of Montserrat and Antigua as one tourist destination.

(See full statement on page xx)

The Premier cited as a key sign of progress, coming from the testimony to the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) by Lord Ahmad, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister for Overseas Territories, on December 18, 2018.

He noted that the Minister confirmed that along with the Secretary of State, (Penny Mordaunt) and his colleague Lord Bates, the view they are now taking involves much more long-term support of Capital projects in Montserrat as in each British Overseas Territory.

“Lord Ahmad,” he said, “confirmed that we are working through the details of a £30 million-plus programme supporting infrastructure. However, having surveyed our needs, GoM asked for significantly more than £50 million.” 

Indeed, it is confirmed from the inquiry with Lord Ahmad indicating to the Committee, that, in addition to the agreed funding for the Port expansion project, the UK government has agreed and is in detailed discussions regarding £30 Plus Million in capital aid for Montserrat.  He acknowledged that Montserrat’s requirements were more like £50 Million.

In his New Year statement, the Premier acknowledges on behalf of GoM as he thanks Lord Ahmad and Lord Bates for the critical role they have played so far in the negotiations over the 5-year Capital programme. 

 

Paul Lewis, Minister of Communications and Works

He said, “it is time we agree a real programme of action to recreate a civilized home for the People of Montserrat,” pointing out once again, “Given the legal obligations to support OT’s, Montserrat has a priority claim on DfID’s £12 billion plus development aid budget.”

 

Minister of Communications and Works Paul Lewis, according to reports, in his Christmas message hinted on the same theme of a slow ‘on the ground’ movement of the projects. He said Montserrat development is not set in stone despite the government’s best aims to negotiate the best deal for Montserrat with funding partners. He then joins the Premier saying, it would take a joint effort to ensure that the truest form of development achieved for Montserrat.

 

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Caribbeean News Service logo

Forces in Trinidad and Tobago linked to downfall of Guyana government

Dec 28, 2018 – Caribbean News Service – A senior official of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Friday said “forces in Trinidad and Tobago” had colluded with the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to bring about the demise of the coalition government.

“It should be noted that Charrandass Persaud himself acknowledges the bribe by asking ‘what is wrong if I get paid?’ In his own words, he has admitted his embrace to the treacherous PPP culture of getting rich through corruption and lawlessness,” said PNC executive member Aubrey Norton.

Persaud voted with the PPP last Friday after Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo successfully tabled a motion of no confidence that brought about the downfall of the David Granger-led, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) government.

The APNU had enjoyed a slender one seat majority in the 65-member National Assembly and Persaud later told reporters he had voted with the opposition in a bid to clear his conscience.

Norton told a news conference that the party is in possession of the information regarding the role played by the Trinidad and Tobago forces and knows of the meetings at hotels in Trinidad, but it will not provide the details of its information to the public at this time. He told reporters that a senior PPP official is obsessed with wanting to control the wealth of Guyana that will emanate from the oil sector and as a result was willing to do anything to achieve his objectives.

Norton said that it was for this reason, the senior PPP official “colluded with forces in Trinidad and mobilised resources to bribe a sitting member of parliament in pursuance of his hunger for wealth and power.”

Norton said that the APNU, whose other significant member includes the Alliance for Change (AFC), to which Persaud was a sitting member when he voted to bring about the downfall of the government, is prepared to contest any general and presidential election. But he said the government as well as the PNCR were keeping “all options” open and dismissed calls by Jagdeo for the present administration to resign.

Jagdeo has also said that the PPP has no plans to attend Parliament next Thursday and is open to meeting with the government before then to discuss elections matters.

On Friday, Jagdeo held talks with representatives of the major western missions here to brief them on the recent passage of the no confidence motion and to outline the PPP’s concerns.

The one-hour meeting was attended by officials of the United States, Canadian and British missions as well as the European Union.

Neither Jagdeo nor the officials would comment following the meeting.

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PM says Speaker will have to address allegations that legislator was bribed

PM says Speaker will have to address allegations that legislator was bribed

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Dec 29, CMC – Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo says the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland,  will have to address allegations that former government back bencher Charrandass Persaud had been bribed into voting in favour of a successful opposition inspired motion of no confidence against the government last weekend.

“If a vote in the National Assembly was procured by unlawful means to overthrow a constitutionally elected government that will have serious implications and the Speaker will have to address that issue,” Nagamootoo said.

“If you had a member of parliament who knew that he had lost confidence in his party or his slate, he should have indicated to the House that he no longer wanted to support his slate and he wanted to endorse another slate so that the House would know how to deal with that situation,” he added.

Persaud, who has since announced his resignation from the ruling coalition government, has said that he voted with the opposition in a bid to clear his conscience.

“My conscience was stifled for long…they (government) voted for things that should not have happened, period”, Persaud told reporters soon after the vote.

But there have been several reports posted on social media claiming that a bribe had been paid to the former legislator and on Friday, a senior official of the ruling People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Aubrey Norton, accused a senior official of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of colluding “with forces in Trinidad and mobilised resources to bribe a sitting member of parliament in pursuance of his hunger for wealth and power”.

Nagamootoo said that the Speaker of the House will also have to consider whether a simple 33 or 34 votes were needed for the motion to be carried. He said there is an overwhelming view that the motion needed 34 votes to pass and that this was known to the opposition.

“They were privy to a legal opinion that says you needed 34. And so, they are in a quandary now how to deal with the situation because the Speaker had indicated at the last sitting that he will return on the 3rd of January to address the consequences of the votes, meaning, did it meet the threshold under the constitution for a majority?”

Prime Minister Nagamootoo said people are “coming to grips” with the reality that it is not a majority that is catered for in the Standing Orders, as the House regulates its own procedures. The majority, he said, is addressed in the Constitution.

“So, the constitutional majority will have weigh, more significance on how does one arrive at a majority… The formula has been one half plus one. So, if you have 64 members of the parliament, your one half would be 32 and a majority would be 33. How then can you have 33 as a majority for 65, unless you can prove that 64 is equal to 65.

“So, you can see already that it is producing an absurd conclusion, and the constitution would have never contemplated the creation of an absurdity,” he added.

Following the 2015 presidential and general elections, the coalition government received a slender one seat majority in the 65-member National Assembly and Prime Minister Nagamootoo defended the earlier decision of the government to accept the ruling last Friday that the motion had been successfully put to the vote.

“We accepted the ruling of the Speaker, because as an attorney-at-law when a judge makes a ruling, you accept the ruling until you’re able to have that ruling withdrawn, those are things a court would do if it found it had been in error,” he said.

 

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US-based group writes Speaker of Guyana Parliament

US-based group writes Speaker of Guyana Parliament

By Nelson A. King

NEW YORK, Dec 26, CMC – The US-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has written to the Speaker of the Guyana Parliament, Dr. Bartland Scotland, requesting that he considers annulling last weekend’s vote of no confidence that brought down the in the David Grange coalition government.

In the letter, the CGID said it is relying on Article 153 (a) and (b) of the Guyana Constitution, that notes  “a member of the National Assembly elected on a list shall cease to be a member of the Assembly if: (a) “He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the list from which his or her name was extracted that he or she will not support the list from which his or her name was extracted;” and (b) “He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the list from which his or her name was extracted, his or her support for another list.”

Guyana Parliament Building (File Photo)

Last Friday, government backbencher Charandass Persaud voted with the opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) to win the no-confidence motion in the 65-seat National Assembly after several hours of debate.

The Granger led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition had held a slender one-seat majority since the 2015 general elections.

In the December 24 letter, CGID said that “Persaud publicly withdrew his support for the APNU+AFC coalition List from which he was extracted and declared his support for the PPP/C List.

“Consequently, in accordance with Article 153 (a) and (b) of the Guyana Constitution, it is the position of CGID, having consulted with several attorneys in Guyana and internationally, that Mr. Charrandass Persaud’s vote for the no confidence motion against the government on December 21 is null, void and of no legal effect, and should be vitiated,” CGID wrote.

“The institute, therefore, respectfully solicits your review and sanction of this matter of urgent national importance,” it added.

The CGID said that, prior to the Constitution Amendment Act of 2007, Article 156.3, an original provision of the Constitution, stated that “A member of the national Assembly elected on a list shall be disqualified from being a member of the Assembly, if he or she in the prescribed manner, declares that he or she will not support the list from which his or her name was extracted or, declares that he or she abstain from supporting that list or, declares his or her support for another list.”

CGID said this original provision, Article 156.3, was repealed and replaced with the extant provisions of Article 153 by the Constitution Amendment Act of 2007.

“The amendment, notwithstanding the fundamental intent of the framers of the Constitution, remains applicable and paramount to the interpretation of the extant provisions of Article 153,” CGID wrote, adding that the Constitution “comprises binding rules which govern the organization, powers and administration of government and society.

“The intent of the framers, thereof, is the jurisprudential standard for constitutional interpretation,” it added.

CGID said the framers of the Guyana Constitution intended, in Article 153 (a) and (b), that “a member of the Assembly, elected by the people and extracted from his party’s List, cannot act against, refuse to support nor vote against the List from which he or she was extracted, and neither can a member vote for, with or in support of another List, without first declaring such intent to the Speaker in writing.”

Consequently, the US based group said that Article 153 (a) and (b) of the Guyana Constitution “mandates that any member who, accordingly, makes such declaration against the List from which he or she is extracted or in support of another List, shall cease to be a member of the National Assembly.

“The commission of an act against the List from which a member was extracted, as well as an act in support of another List, for which a written declaration was deliberately and deceitfully withheld from the Speaker, likewise violate the provisions of Article 153 (a) and (b), and similarly disqualifies such a member immediately from the Assembly, since the intention of the Constitution is for the member to fully honor the content of Article 153 to the letter,” it said.

CGID said Article 153 clearly mandates that “before a member acts against the List from which he or she was extracted, or in support of another List, a declaration of that intent must be first submitted to the Speaker, the consequence of which, or the failure to so declare, require nullification of the act by the Speaker and disqualification of the member from the Assembly.

“Article 153, therefore, safeguards against the government side of the Assembly bringing itself down,” CGID said. “It follows, therefore, that a public withdrawal of support for the List from which a member was extracted and the public declaration of support for another List, with or without a declaration to the Speaker, automatically triggers or invokes Article 153 (a) and (b), and such member shall cease to be a member of the Assembly.

“Honourable, Speaker, on Friday, December, 21, 2018, Mr. Charrandass Persaud, then a member of the Assembly, who was extracted from the APNU+AFC coalition List, voted in favour of the no confidence motion that was tabled in the National Assembly by the parliamentary opposition, against the APNU+AFC coalition government of Guyana, enabling its passage,” added CGID in its letter to Scotland.

As a result of Friday’s no confidence vote, Guyana is preparing for general elections early next year.

Persaud, a lawyer, told reporters after the vote that his conscience had been “stifled for long,” adding that he had not been offered any money or position by the opposition to vote against the government.

Persaud, who had long criticized the PPP as “corrupt” and “out-of-touch”, among other things, said he will be tendering his resignation to Parliament and the Alliance for Change (AFC), a partner in the coalition government, and that he would not be returning to the House as a Member of Parliament for the AFC.

In the interim, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, a former president, said that he plans to meet with Granger on several issues. The meeting is scheduled for next month.

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October 20,  2017

Looking for the best in the face of the worst

Christmas beyond the Christian preparation of Advent which is encouraged as a time for reflection and looking forward to making better and improving whatever comes out pf the reflection will surely leave many with differing feelings; hopefully with more joy than sadness.

As the year winds down as far as the country is concerned in this issue the penultimate for the year, the wonder is if this will be that in every sense for this newspaper production by Montserrat Printing and Publishing Inc., and this Editor!

We read where one editor writes: “We know first-hand that journalism is in trouble not just ‘here’ but all around the world. Looks like things may get worse before they get better.”

We know and are humbled enough to believe that as bad as it is, there are others who have suffered and are suffering much worse.

But we may feel somewhat afraid because of the power that we encounter, then comforted because of the power which is mightier than that power that may cause us to be afraid.

It is because of that comfort and encouragement for which we are thankful already for those who support us, empower us and who will help to bring our battle for good to the victory that will propel this land and its people.

Christmas we know is a time of: Faith. Hope. Love. Even as we will say 2018 has been a time of: Anger. Fear. Hate.  

Love conquers Hate. While hate is easy to incite, you play to the worst of human nature. It’s a scorched-earth policy to use hate, and a path to hell for any leader. Sure, it seems easy to use hate to destroy, but you can never build with hate. So a government that uses the worst of our humanity will at some point find that turned against it.

Every religion we know shows us that, right? Jesus Christ, the Prophet Mohammed, Buddha …

Lest there are those who believe or who may appear not to be conscious of their hate, this is not directed necessarily to Montserrat, but especially where the job of journalists and newspapers experience this.

Love takes longer, but love always wins. Especially during a time that requires massive collaboration to deal with global problems. We need to work together – not against each other, and the leader that can unite will always beat the leader that pounds on the fracture lines of society to incite hate. (It is why we are willing to support the Dr. Lowell Lewis political dream for Montserrat and see that we work to make him to be the next Premier for Montserrat – do the analysis – right here)

 Hope conquers Fear. Fear brings out the worst in humanity. A paranoid, dog-eat-dog world plays to the worst of us and destroys the best in us. When you deal with your fear, the road is clear because only you can stop yourself from achieving your dreams.

Faith conquers Anger. It is important to control our anger. Getting angry doesn’t really accomplish anything except a self-indulgent release of frustration (and normally not even at the cause of the anger).

It seems we are getting comfortable, though time will tell, and with some effort to counter, an environment of evil, unleashed from those who think they alone have a voice – ill-natured, language, blasphemy – The lies that get tolerated and the shortcuts that are so easily justified, but also a society that profits from these acts.

We must be on the lookout for these and more in our midst and not perpetuate the pretense that will cost us our future, and that of our children’s.

We are feeling the faith comes from the advent of Christmas. We believe in it, we believe in goodness.

We are putting our faith in a crowdfunding effort, the request evident as will be seen at the end of every article we publish online including this. We thank you already as it is our hope to appeal to love, using our faith. Just towards the work of ending injustice in the land and the world we live, now.

For this Christmas season, this eve, we wish everyone clarity of thought to realise our contradictions, our duplicity, nay, our hypocrisy; the fortitude to rise above them; and the collective will to defeat the violence, the ignorance and indifference that threaten to suffocate us all.

May we all have a season for reflection, the kind that will remind us of our humanity, and our responsibility to demand it not only of ourselves but also of those who wield and have wielded earthly power and influence over us.



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GoM funds available for Montserrat Innovators and Small Business Owners

The Government of Montserrat (GoM) has earmarked $200,000 has been earmarked for entrepreneurs to receive through the GoM’s Business Support Facility Fund.

A release from the government stated that “supporting micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) should be pivotal in any government’s policy. As such, The GoM has launched the Business Support Facility Fund. Under this fund grants will be awarded to deserving and innovative businesses on island to assist in their start-up and development.”

Business Manager Agatha Aspin in a radio release explains, ‘Entrepreneurs and applicants with innovative business ideas can receive up to $15,000. Others in need in the startup and development phase could receive up to $10,000. She said Managers/owners of Innovative Small businesses interested in accessing the funds are invited to submit their business plans as a precondition for funding by Monday, January 14, 2019 during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30 pm daily.

Further information provided says, businesses accessing the grant funding must be registered with the Financial services Commission. Business Plan may be simple, but at a minimum include:

  • Identification of goods to be produced or service to be provided
  • Identification and assessment of the market
  • Marketing and advertising arrangements
  • Pricing
  • A simple budget showing funds required and use of funds over time.

According to Aspin, the successful applicants will also be assigned a mentor to match them with their business. A select committee has been appointed by Cabinet to made decisions on the applicants. If additional support is needed, Mrs Aspin will be able to assist in setting up their business plan.

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Government back bencher defends his vote that topples coalition

Government back bencher defends his vote that topples coalition

Government back bencher Charandaas Persaud, said his conscience had been “stifled for long” as he defended his decision to vote with the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and topple the three-year-old coalition government of President David Granger late on Friday night.

With the coalition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)- commanding just a one-seat majority in the 65-member National Assembly, Persaud’s vote was crucial and he told reporters that he had not been offered any money or position by the opposition to vote against the coalition government.

Charandaas Persaud speaking to reporters after voting to bring down the government

“My conscience was stifled for long…they voted for things that should not have happened, period”, Persaud told reporters.

Media reports quoted Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, as saying that security arrangements will be put in place for Persaud, who is due to leave the country on Saturday.

The vote by Persaud means that Guyana will hold fresh general elections by March next year.

His colleagues, who were caught by the surprise vote, believe that he had made a mistake in the voting.

But the attorney gave a strong “yes” when the Clerk of the Assembly re-started the process.

He told reporters he voted to clear his conscience and now that his conscience is clear, if he dies, he knows that he would die a happy man.

Persaud said he will be offering his resignation to the Parliament and the Alliance for Change (AFC) a partner in the coalition government, and that he would not be returning to the House as a Member of Parliament for the AFC.

He told reporters that he had become tired of voting along party lines and had become disenchanted with his party for always voting for issues brought up by its coalition partner.

He said there were a number of issues that forced him to vote against his own party and side with the PPP, a party that he has long criticised as being corrupt and out of touch.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said that he intends to meet with the President Granger on the issue and several other matters.

Under the Constitution, the Government has to call elections within three months or at a time agreed to by two-thirds of the National Assembly. The President is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment following a cancer diagnosis. That treatment schedule is expected to continue for five more months.

Meanwhile, Britain’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn Saturday called on Guyana to respect government’s loss of the no-confidence vote.

“Members of Parliament must be allowed to undertake their constitutionally mandated roles in the absence of fear or favour,” he said, urging politicians to campaign on the issues facing the country.

“We urge calm on all sides and look forward to a free and fair election and a campaign fought on the issues that confront Guyana and it’s future development,” he said, adding that he was hoping that any protests that followed the vote on Friday night would be peaceful.

“Maintaining the fundamental tenets of democracy is paramount to us all and whilst everyone has the right to protest this must be peaceful,” he said.

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Bharrat Jagdeo successfully piloting motion of no confidence in government

Guyana Government falls

by staff writer

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Dec 22, CMC – Guyana was preparing for a general election early next year after a government back bencher supported an opposition motion of no confidence against the David Granger government late on Friday night.

Opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who had been heckled as he outlined his reasons for the motion in Parliament, has already signalled his intention to work with the coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) government leading up to the polls that could be held as early as March.

Bharrat Jagdeo successfully piloting motion of no confidence in government

Government back-bencher Charandass Persaud voted with the opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) legislators to win the no-confidence motion in the 65-seat National Assembly after several hours of debate.

The APNU had won the 2015 general election by a slender one-seat majority and despite repeated urges by fellow parliamentarians to change his vote, Persaud declined.

When the debate started, Jagdeo, a former president, described the coalition government as “incompetent and corrupt”.

agdeo said the Government has been a total failure and has not been keeping its promises to the Guyanese people who voted them into office.

“The people out there, they demand that we pursue this and I know there are 33 members who have been growing fat on the perks of office and wish that this motion disappears”, he said, adding that the coalition government had mismanaged the resources of Guyana and that is the main reason behind his decision to file the motion against the government.

Jagdeo said the government has failed on its manifesto promises and is harming democracy. He said the Granger led administration is totally untrustworthy and that it has failed to bring any major investor to Guyana and has only been talking “about oil oil oil”.

“We have made the case that this government is totally useless to the people of Guyana. The longer they stay there, the more damaging it will be to our future”.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who led the government’s response to Jagdeo defended its record defending adding “when you speak of harming democracy, you have to look at what the PPP has done”

“We are confident that we have restored the symbols of nationhood in this society and this is what keeps us together,” the minister stated.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo described the motion as “self –serving” saying that the Opposition Leader is hoping for a “fluke” in the motion being carried.

He said the motion was moved with political viciousness and resulted in the image of the country being reflected as unstable.

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MCC Graduates 20

In 2018 Graduation and Awards Ceremony

By Bennette Roach

The Montserrat Community College in its usual business-like style, conducted its 2018 Graduation and Awards Ceremony, its 13th on Wednesday, December 19 at the Cultural Centre in Little Bay.

Principal Geraldine Cabey hailed by a student for her sternness, “a woman whose presence is like no other, a woman with voice is enough to send chills running you’re your spine…” she had some serious caution for the graduating and other college attendees. In her remarks and report, she informed that the Graduating class has created a new beginning for themselves, whether as a step-up on the next wrung of the academic ladder or as new entrants into the workforce…providing the distinct opportunity especially for our graduants, as well as the institution, to consciously reflect on the academic journey that would have culminated in this event.


Principal Geraldine Cabey

She reported 56 full time students pursuing 26 subject areas, in pursuit of the Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination qualification at the Certificate, Diploma or associate degree level. In addition, 25 part time students who pursued a combination of both advanced CAPE subjects and secondary level CSEC courses.

She reported an overall 92% subject pass rate for the June 2018 CAPE examinations, achieved by the graduating class together with the current second year students.

The most outstanding performer, the Valedictorian of the class of 2018, Miss JenAlyn Weekes, gained passes in twelve (12) CAPE Units over the two years she spent at the College. Miss Weekes, the principal said: “epitomizes the College’s Motto which is ‘Aspire, Apply, Achieve’”.

Miss JenAlyn Weekes

A notable feature of the ceremony was that every participant was connected with the College, either past or present staff or student, to include Mr. and Mrs. Alfonso Lee for their ‘outstanding’ generosity to the college, in one instance, for painting buildings on the school compound.

The master of ceremonies was Mr. Glenroy Foster who was a one of the first persons to graduate from the college before he moved on to pursue a master’s degree in civil engineering, and who now serves at the Ministry of Communication and Works.

Mr. Glenroy Foster

In his opening and welcoming remarks he said: “Graduation is a time where many reminisce on the years spent at the particular institution.

“I would want to believe that the graduating class could remember times of happiness and sadness, the joyful times and the stressful times and more importantly the friends that they spent all of these times with.

“This institution is a precursor to the traditional 3-year and 4-year university experience.  It gives persons a taste of what to expect in their transition from the secondary school way of education where they are taught to the university situation where they are lectured.”

“There is no spoon feeding,” he told the students.

He shared.  “I believe it is the hope of the MCC, that the two years persons spend at the college would provide them with the necessary tools to aid them in their next step along life’s journey.” Then to the students: “Whether that step be higher learning or that step is becoming a member of the work force,” he reminded… ”this graduation ceremony marks a milestone in your lives and a point where you can look back on what you have achieved as well as look forward to what the future may bring.”

Some entertainment was provided by one student, Miss Okessa Halley giving her rendition of the song ‘One Moment in Time’, accompanied at the piano by the accomplished (staff member) Miss Anne-Marie Dewar.

Miss Okessa Halley

The keynote address, delivered by a graduate of the college of very recent years, Miss Nadia Browne. She was smooth in her admonishments, advice and encouragement.

Straight off, she began with the observation: “I noticed that most of you have left the confines of school life and joined the workforce, while others have opted to further their studies.”

“Regardless of your choice,” she continued, “my message to you this evening centers around your personality. As we hear of the turmoil in other parts of the world and look at the state of our nation, it is evident that society needs its youth to exhibit such qualities as integrity, vision, selflessness, dedication, cooperation and a host of others to function properly.

Miss Nadia Browne

Having noted that it wasn’t long since she had to miss her graduating exercise, because of an exam, she being very much a youth, including herself in her next comment: “The task is ours to set a good example for those who are even younger than us and future generations.”

“Take a moment to think about the person you want to be,” Nadia offered. “Who is that person in society? What will it take for you to become that person? Eventually, you will all be a part of the workforce. In spite of the accolades or lack thereof you gained from your scholastics, you will have to prove yourself to be a competent worker, quick learner and cooperative team-member. What do you want your co-workers to say of you?

“Would you rather be known as the worker who does not shy away from a challenge or the person who is only at work because he or she needs to be paid?

She recommends her personal choices: “I strive to maintain a reputation in my workplace for being an individual who espouses such tenets as responsibility, trustworthiness, dependability, supportiveness, cleverness, fairness, honesty and friendliness, who my coworkers are comfortable interacting with. – and when required in my office – I also try to be loving, demonstrate good listening skills, provide sound advice and exhibit confidentiality.”

There was plenty beyond this. “Who do you think Montserrat needs you to be? An innovator? A peacemaker? An activist? A negotiator? How can the talents you have been blessed with be used to make your nation better?” leaving an audience and college students, impossible not taking something away. Nadia closed: “I hope that at least something that I said tonight will resonate with you… Congratulations once again. I look forward to working alongside you to improve our nation and world.” (See her address here online at www.themontserratreporter.com) with the story.

The prizes, certificates and awards for all students were delivered with the able assistance of Mrs. Oslyn Jemmotte a past Registrar and bursar at the college.

The valedictorian, Miss JenAlyn Weekes was humble as she acknowledged her title of achievement. “I see myself as a representative of a group of valedictorian…” At the end she added: “I wish to urge members of this class, to be grateful for the foundation that his been set and to go out there anad soar like an eagle and accomplish great things,” thanking all those including staff etc, parents and all those who contributed to the journey so far.

The vote of thanks delivered by student Doron Cassel should have ended the day’s events but for the surprise event of an award/gift to the principal Mrs. Cabey. This came with the words as she was acclaimed: “… a stern woman whose presence is like no other; whose voice is enough to send chills running down your spine; a woman when she walks, the sound of her heels echo throughout the school…” So it was a privilege, pleasure and honour, the young man said: “to give this award to none other than Miss Geraldine Cabey, whose looks will make you remember every piece of homework, you think you can trick your teacher…”

The recession of the now graduates, no longer graduants, followed.

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Genesys - DSC_0591

Nite of Pan – Festival 2018

Genesys Pan orchestra opens the side show for the 2018 Semi-Final calypso show

The annual ‘Nite of Pan’ stages tonight at Festival Village in Little Bay, Montserrat.

Herman “Cupid” Francis, through once again to another Calypso Final,  organises the Nite of Pan. He can take the credit of keeping pan alive in Montserrat for the many years.

Tonight as for the past several years there will be visiting stars from Antigua, fresh from the Mood of Pan competition just concluded and in which the newish pan group Genesys participated a few days ago.

The Antigua group, Panache, is reportedly led by Zahra Lee, Antigua’s first female steel pan arranger, tied with Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra to win the 2018 edition of Panorama during the island’s summer festival this past August.

The lineup for the show tonight beginning at 8.00 p.m. will include the steel pan orchestras from the local primary schools, as well as Genesys and the Volpanics.

All are welcome! There is an entrance fee – adults and children.

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