…the constitutional crisisThe Constitution of a country is supposed to address its political questions – those that have to do ultimately with power, that is, which crop up as the people go about their business. The Constitution is like a contract where the citizens of the country set up the terms that’ll govern the institutions running the state. The state has the ultimate sanction of using force, if necessary, to ensure that it’s laws – as encompassed by the Constitution or emanating from it – are upheld.A citizen breaks the law about not bashing fellow citizens over the head, and the forces of law (the courts) and order (the Police) will deal with him/her condignly. But what happens when the Head of State refuses to obey the Constitution itself?? Who deals with him condignly?? You have a full blown “constitutional crisis”, that’s what – and this is what we’re confronting in Guyana today.What does the Constitution say about this situation? Well, Art 106 (6) says the President and Cabinet should’ve resigned by now. And Art 95 says if there isn’t a President, then the Prime Minister takes over. But since, in this case, the PM was a member of the Cabinet, he doesn’t exist. Who’s next in line? The same article says a designated Minister – but since all of these have been vaporised by the NCM vote, then according to the Art we’re down to the Chancellor.The question, however, is exactly how do we bell the cat, when the ex-President insists on squatting on the presidency? Can we remove him for violating the Constitution? Well, Art 180 speaks to that…but assumes there’s a Parliament the speaker can summon to consider such a motion and if 2/3 of the members agree, then a tribunal will be set up to do the dirty. But we know this ain’t gonna happen and we’re back to the constitutional crisis of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object!!The situation over in Venezuela suggests a way out. There, the 2018 re-election of President Maduro was disputed, and their National Assembly declared that the presidency should be filled in an interim way by the Assembly’s leader, Juan Guaidó. Maduro’s handpicked Supreme Court, however, ruled the National Assembly declaration unconstitutional and confirmed Maduro as President. Constitutional crisis, like ours!!But the US took a stand— imposed sanctions and built national democratic coalitions to support Guaidó. This showed that the old rule of “non-interference” in the domestic affairs of states is breaking down after the international community realised how much suffering can be unleased on a populace by a rogue government.Most of the world – including the US – have already condemned Granger.Next step sanctions!!…Granger’s smirkOver the last five years, Granger has cultivated an image of avuncular unflappability combined with anodyne platitudes that helped mask (pun intended) the brutal actions he unleashed on perceived Opposition supporters. Shutting down 4 estates and firing 7000 sugar workers?? Not to worry, that was “right sizing” the industry!! Spending billions and billions and pageantry and monuments while starvation became endemic in Opposition enclaves?? No problem…men didn’t live by bread alone!!But while he might’ve won the battle over the NCM by dragging it out in the courts, he hasn’t only lost the war, but also his aura of imperturbability. Like most bullies who thought he held all the cards, he just didn’t know when to stop. He overplayed his hand when he refused to proclaim elections even though he’d gotten all his demands met.He’s been so rattled by the Opposition’s “in your face” protests and the foreign community condemnations, he exposed the fangs that were always there.Burnham boasted about his “sharper steel”; Granger brought out the Riot Squad in full battle gear. …Venezuela’s bombastNext March, the World Court will be taking arguments on the jurisdictional issues in the Venezuelan-instigated border controversy.Looks like the new government will have that albatross off their necks, in addition to the oil bonanza!!
Guyanese should not get distracted with all the cross talk on the Venezuelan border controversy. The United Nations Secretary General, acting in his official capacity according to Article 33 of the UN Charter, has referred the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Agreement to which Venezuela is a signatory. This is the most significant development in 28 years and the opportunity for a resolution must be seized.For too long, Guyana has gone along with every one of the measures contained and elaborated by that Agreement which also has Great Britain as one of the parties. The Agreement is very clear that the only matter to be addressed was Venezuela’s claim that the 1899 full and final award was “null and void”. The proposed Mixed Commission in the Agreement, for instance, met to examine Venezuela’s proof of this “nullity”, but Venezuela was unable to proffer such proof and went on to make the same demand it is presently trumpeting: that the settled frontier between the two countries be revised, in a “practical settlement of the controversy”. Eventually, the Mixed Commission had to be abrogated after its stipulated four-year term because of Venezuela’s intransigence.In 1983, it was Venezuela that proposed its controversy be placed under the auspices of the Secretary General of the United Nations, in concordance with Article IV Sec 2 of the Geneva Agreement, which complied with Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations concerning the means of peaceful solutions of controversies, as mentioned above. After much discussion, by 1989, there was finally an agreement on one of the means – the Good Officer process of the UN Secretary General. This kicked off the following year with a number of prominent individuals, such as Norman Girvan serving in that role. Girvan passed away in 2014 without any settlement to the controversy because Venezuela would once again not budge from its position.Finally, towards the end of 2016, after more than a quarter of a century of the Good Officer process without any success, the predecessor to the present Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, signalled his intention to move the controversy to the ICJ if progress was not made within a year. Venezuela did not make any formal protest to this proposal and for it to now reject the UN Secretary General’s telegraphed decision, is to palpably demonstrate bad faith. However, its position should not have been totally unexpected either to Guyana or the Secretary General: for the latter to proceed signals that the process will move forward.Venezuela is depending on its rejection of the jurisdiction of the ICJ to halt the process over which Guyana has exercised the patience of Job. Guyana will have to embark on a vigorous diplomatic campaign to bring its case to the attention of the international community – especially those with territorial disputes that demand settlement. India is one such potential ally, and it is hoped that in his mission to New Delhi last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge would have briefed his counterparts there.It must be noted that during the 1980s, when Venezuela used the controversy to try to stymie our development plans, the Guyanese Foreign Service played a masterly hand to repel it by tagging Venezuela as an international bully to its poverty-stricken neighbour. In the present, Venezuela can be shown to be again attempting to hold back our development when at last we have an opportunity, brought about by the discovery of oil, to move out of that poverty. That ExxonMobil and Total are two of the players in our oil play should also add credibility to our lobbying efforts.There is precedence for the court to deliver at a minimum, an opinion, on the controversy. This would be a great victory for Guyana, since it would demonstrate conclusively that Venezuela is unwilling to settle its controversy by one of the most trusted peaceful methods – Judicial Settlement.
Dear Editor,Last night, I was at the airport to pick up my wife, I saw facing the arriving guests a very large billboard advertising BaiShanLin International Mall. As the Chairman of MCG Investments Inc, the owners of the Giftland Mall, I am concerned and I am kindly publicly requesting from the Finance Ministry and the GRA Commissioner, who I do not hold accountable in any way, the details of these two mentioned investments which were concluded before their control of these two Government departments. For the record, Giftland Mall received no concessions for anything from the previous Administration in terms of duty-free and VAT waivers, tax holidays, tax exemptions of any sort, etc. In fairness to our investment and parity between local investment and international enterprises such as these, it is important that a level playing field is had.I would find it abhorrent if it is a case that multibillion-dollar international companies should be treated with preferential treatment and unfair trading advantages over local companies. I eagerly await a response from the two mentioned departments.With regards,Roy BeepatChairmanGiftland Group
Dear Editor,It appears we are not only wasting the resources of our police, our incarceration system and our courts, but we are propagating an unethical, and uneconomic double-standard when we relentlessly prosecute illegal aliens and persons who have overstayed their permit in Guyana.On the assumption that the police, the prison service and the courts have limited resources, it is vital that as a nation, we set our crime-fighting priorities to address the greater ills in society.Now, we learn of persons being charged, incarcerated and denied bail for the offence of overstaying their visitor’s permit. These persons are detained in the most appalling circumstances. In one case, a woman’s crime was evidently tantamount to falling in love with a Guyanese and wishing to stay, thus forging a passport entry. Illegal? Yes. A crime-fighting priority? No. An ethical double standard? Certainly!I know of one case where a European visitor was under the impression that an entry to Caricom countries meant that he could visit all the Caricom countries, as is the case with the European Union Schengen countries. The guy had a PhD!Then in another case, another European thought he could visit Georgetown, since he was freely allowed to cross from Brazil to Lethem, as many shoppers did without immigration on a daily basis. Maybe our Immigration thought he was Brazilian, but he ended up spending a weekend in the Grove lockups, before the courts on Monday, fined and deported him. This gentleman was on a world tour!Could we then pause to consider the tens of thousands of Guyanese who reside illegally in our neighbouring countries, and the developed world, with fake IDs, Green Cards, etc?Or maybe, we could take into context the eleven million illegal aliens in the US and the debate over whether to prosecute them to ultimate deportation. Even the most hard-line politicians have softened their stance to only deporting those who commit felonies (serious crimes). The debate inevitably gravitates towards the economics of pursuing those so called, illegal aliens, their contribution to the GDP of the country and so on.Could we therefore take a minute to consider the time when Guyanese were pouring into Brazil, Venezuela and Suriname, when Guyana’s economy was down?In Guyana, where we are desperately short of persons, one would imagine that, from an economic point of view, once the person was not a vagrant, we would welcome all who would have the capacity, and would wish to live and work peacefully here. Our biggest strategic issue is that we have too few persons living in Guyana. Our economists would do well to note that we have among the lowest GDP densities in the world. Consequently, we have among the highest cost per capita for infrastructure.Thus, while illegal entry is quietly overlooked in most developed countries, or dealt with in a more humane manner, we seem to be allocating too much of our scarcer resources to a pursuit that has little economic, cultural or ethical justification.Sincerely,Keith Evelyn
Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Raptors’ Pascal Siakam is NBA’s Most Improved Player Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia PLAY LIST 00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption MOST READ LATEST STORIES Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughing View comments Williams beat out teammate Montrezl Harrell, with whom he formed the highest-scoring bench duo in NBA history last season, and Domantas Sabonis of Indiana.Williams became the career leader in points off the bench during the season. He said backstage that this year’s award is different because he went into the season wanting a third honor to cement his legacy in coming off the bench throughout his career.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil NBA player Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, accepts the NBA sixth man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Lou Williams has won the Sixth Man of the Year at the NBA Awards for the second season in a row and third time in his career.The guard also won last year with the Los Angeles Clippers. His first honor came in 2015 with Toronto.ADVERTISEMENT
Credible information gathered from the National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill says the hierarchy of the police last Thursday held an hour-long discussion with Abigail Hinneh, the woman who claims to have been with Attorney Michael Allison prior to his mysterious drowning.The source described the meeting as the “first time” for Ms. Hinneh to be invited by top officials of the LNP.It is not clear what caused the leadership of the police to meet with Hinneh, whom police claimed was not a suspect.But, according to a police source, Hinneh appeared before the police leadership without being represented by a legal team.The source further explained that when she first appeared before the police’s “Crime against Persons Unit,” she went along with an unidentified lawyer.A source from Ms. Hinneh’s legal team confirmed the invitation and added that it was the first time she was invited by the hierarchy of the LNP, making specific reference to the head of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).“She was invited by the LNP authorities, but before I could get there, she had left. I know that she went there as part of her daily routine of the investigation,” a source from her defense team said, adding, “but, the different thing was that she met with the CID boss, instead of the Crime against Persons unit.”Interestingly, when Ms. Hinneh first appeared before the Crime Against Persons Unit to give account of the death of Atty. Allison, she was quoted as saying, “after few minutes, she saw her boyfriend (Cllr. Allison) drowning, and she cried out for help and the security next door came to her aid and called a Brazilian national with a speed boat to get the victim out of the water, which he did, but Allison did not survive.”The late Cllr. Allison was the one who reportedly blew the whistle that has led to an ongoing corruption investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) involving Speaker J. Alex Tyler of the House of Representatives, and Montserrado County Representative Adolph Lawrence.Allison was found dead on a beach in Sinkor on the outskirts of Monrovia during the morning hours of Friday, February 13.An autopsy has reportedly been conducted by a Sierra Leonean Pathologist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, and findings submitted to the Ministry of Justice have to date not been made public.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Seven football clubs from the three divisions of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) are expected to receive 11 crowns on Friday, March 20, at the Blue Field in the PHP Community, Central Monrovia at about 2:30pm.The emerging champions in the 2014 LFA National League are expected to be honored with trophies, medals, certificates and cash prizes.According to statistics, defending 1st division title holder, FC BYC, will be showered with laurels, including a gigantic golden trophy, while runners-up LPRC Oilers will be medaled.For the 2nd division, FC Fassell will also be bathed with honors as the winner, while runners-up Nimba United will be medaled. Both teams have automatically qualified for Division One.The 2nd division champions FC Fassell, pseudonym, Soccer Ambassadors, will further be awarded as Knockout Champions as well as runners-up NPA Anchors.For the female division, all-time winners Earth Angel will receive a circlet as the female giants, and runners-up Senior Pro will be medaled.FC Blanco will be covered with flowers and receive a trophy as the female Knockout Champions and runners-up Earth Angel will be medaled.Also, over 10 players are expected to receive individual awards ranging from the Washington Blay’s Best Defender Award to the George M. Weah’s Most Valuable Player title.The Liberia’s football boss, Musa Bility, in his re-launched monthly press conference on Tuesday, said Chief Patron of Sports President Ellen Sirleaf, Speaker J. Alex Tyler, President Pro Tempore Armah Jallah, some members of the Supreme Court Bench, the diplomatic corps, headships of political parties and some senior Liberians are expected to grace Friday’s ceremony.The official closing program of the 2014 LFA League should have been last year, but the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease deferred the ceremony to Friday, March 20, evidence of the drastically low infection rate.Meanwhile, the 11th coronet would be awarded to the winner after the game between 1st division and knockout champion, which will be played immediately after the honoring program.FC BYC is inarguably the host of the Super Cup since the Blue Field is theirs, which is unprecedented owing to the ongoing renovation of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS).The match that traditionally births the official opening of the national championship league, the LFA Super Cup, also proves who owns the land. Both sides are highly eager to prove supremacy having bowed out of the CAF competitions in a rather frustrating manner.BYC last weekend fell to their Gambian counterparts 1-0 to be eliminated from the CAF Champions league on a 2-1 aggregate, while Fassell earlier left the CAF affairs on a 3-4 aggregate to their Guinean opponents. The Liberian clubs were compared by CAF to play both legs away from home due to “Ebola.”In spite of the many months of non football activities in Liberia due the Ebola outbreak, our two clubs performed exceptionally in their outing in the CAF competitions to the delight and amazement of thousands. No doubts, similar superb and brilliant artistry of contemporary football will be seen on Friday at the Blue field.The Super Cup match will mark the official opening of the 2015 LFA National League.The league was delayed due to the outbreak of Ebola which constraint the LFA to halt all football activities in Liberia.But some football pundits say the league has also delayed because of the cooperation of the clubs on the CAF’s Club Licensing System.The minimum requirement of the CAF’s Club Licensing System include: legal documentation of the club, bank accounts, administrative structure, players’ pay structure, practice pitch, qualified coaches and a youth development program.Howbeit, Mr. Bility told newsmen on Tuesday that only FC Fassell and BYC have been cleared 100% and certified to participate in the 2015 LFA League.He added that most of the clubs are unable to meet up with the requirement and would be given provision license for a protracted period based on mutual understanding to meet up with the completion of the CAF’s Club Licensing System.The LFA boss indicated that he takes seriously the Club Licensing’s bare minimum requirements before a club is licensed to participate in the league.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The conscientious keeper with intense eyes so perched for a striking saveThe panicky defenders all readied for a strenuous task to straightenThe disturbed midfielders pondered over their opponent’s swift passesThe hapless defenders to defend like a fortress besieged by swamp fliesThe goal keeper so focused and afraid to watch out like a guard at postThe beleaguered coach pacing counterclockwise so hopeful to goal must comeThe anxious fans all exasperated waiting a phenomenal strike to slake their fearJust a distinct instant an uptight game come transform the atmosphereThe festive cheers now envelope the crowded arena to celebrate a grand victoryThe once soundless streets mask in victory songs for a great day they conquerShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The recent FIFA sponsored Referees Instructors Course has provided means for participants to better understand the trends in the world’s number one sport, former FIFA badge referee Idrissa Kaba has said.Kaba clarified to the Daily Observer yesterday that the course, held in the Egyptian capital, Cairo was a FIFA sponsored course and not a Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) course as previously published. It brought together nearly 50 former referees from national associations in Africa who now have the responsibility to be supported by their national associations to develop referees.Kaba explained that while the Anglophone referees seminars were held in Cairo, Egypt and Mbabane, Swaziland in Southern Africa, another one was held for Francophone countries in Rabat, Morocco.“Mr. Henric Carlos of South Africa is the development officer for English speaking Africa while Mr. Sidy Bekaye Magassa of Mali is the development officer for French speaking Africa,” Kaba said.He said his colleagues, Mason Goe and Benedict Yarsiah who participated in the 6-day course (October 17-22) are ready to work for their country.“We are back and ready to set the ball rolling to develop referees that will continue to improve the image of the game in Africa,” Kaba said. Kaba and Goe participated in the technical referees’ instructors’ course while Yarsiah participated in the physical referees’ instructors’ course.“We are grateful that Liberia has three referees who are qualified to teach others and I think the Liberia Football Association should make it a duty to make sure that any of the three ascends to higher positions in CAF,” he said.CAF is the Confederation of African Football with headquarters in Cairo, Egypt and responsible for the development of soccer in Africa. It has positions for referees’ assessors, along with others, that travel to other countries to see how referees are playing by the rules.Meanwhile, he appealed to Liberian referees to work with the ‘Laws of the Game’ to gain recognition to improve the image of Liberia in the soccer community.He reminded them that referees play an important role in the enjoyment of the game. “We should not overlook this fact,” Kaba, who rose to become the secretary general of the Liberia Football Association, said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mr. SpeakerMr. Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme CourtMr. Pro TemporeHonorable Members of the LegislatureThe Dean and Members of the CabinetThe Doyen and members of the Diplomatic CorpsLadies and GentlemenWhen a giant tree falls in a forest, it impacts other trees far and near. Last night, our country was shocked by the news of the unfortunate demise of the late Sheikh Kafumba Konneh; a great statesman of valor unpretending. His passing symbolizes the fall of a giant tree in the forest.The late Islamic Prelate was a distinguished Liberian who will be remembered as a messenger of peace and inter-religious tolerance. He was a prominent voice and face of Islam in the last three decades in Liberia commencing with his role as Secretary General of the Muslim Union of Nimba County – to Secretary General to Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia.He was not just an Islamic preacher but a politician, scholar, lawyer and judge. Prior to the demise of the late President Tolbert, Sheikh Kafumba Konneh was Commissioner of Ganta City and served as Justice of the Peace in Sanniquellie, Nimba County. His role as an activist started when he disagreed with and pledged his support for the late Dr. Edward Kesselly and founder of the current ruling Unity Party. It was Sheikh Konneh that mobilized Nimba in support of Dr. Kesselly in the 1985 elections. Today he is no more but we will fondly live with the memories of his outspokenness, fearlessness and courage. When conflict raged – he stood as an outstanding proponent in the search for lasting peace for our country.The Vice President called me a few hours ago and asked me to convey his deepest sympathy over this loss. He could not be here because he is away on official duties attending an African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.We mourn this great loss to our country as we strive to consolidate the peace and stimulate the trappings of national healing and reconciliation. To the bereaved family – we say take heart.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)