Hop on DaCosta’s Hover Craft

Posted On Jan 19 2020 by

first_imgAinsley Walters/Gleaner WriterHOVER CRAFT has the handicaps in his favour and could emerge from the shadow of PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, his more illustrious stablemate, in this afternoon’s 10-furlong Governor General’s Stakes.Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta has three runners in the event – HOVER CRAFT, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR and DYSFUNCTIONAL – ganging up on their main rival, Ian Parsard’s SUPERLUMINAL.Returning at 119lb, SUPERLUMINAL sits level with PERFECT NEIGHBOUR who he had beaten by three-quarter length for second behind WILL IN CHARGE in the Prime Minister’s Stakes a month ago, both carrying 110lb.PERFECT NEIGHBOUR was slowly away from the gate and ran well to get within three-quarter length of second-place SUPERLUMINAL, who tried hard but was outclassed by WILL IN CHARGE.Though boasting contrasting running styles, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR and SUPERLUMINAL are proven 10-furlong specialists, leaving the race hinged on tactics and pace.SUPERLUMINAL rebounded to form, two races off a four-month layup, with a strong overnight allowance victory over useful DONTAE, going his signature distance on August 6.HARD TO BEATParsard’s runner skipped class 19 days later and bravely took his chances against WILL IN CHARGE in the Prime Minister’s Stakes, a run which should make him hard to beat if he gets a chance to control the pace.However, SUPERLUMINAL will have HOUDINI’S MAGIC and DYSFUNCTIONAL to contend with, leaving him open to DaCosta’s two closers – PERFECT NEIGHBOUR and HOVER CRAFT.Sneaking in under the handicaps, HOVER CRAFT is no 10-furlong specialist but will get at least 14lb from HOUDINI’S MAGIC and seven each from PERFECT NEIGHBOUR and SUPERLUMINAL, making him the fly in the ointment.The eight-year-old gelding flew home at odds of 15-1 to beat sprinters at five furlongs straight two weeks ago, albeit returning off a near four-month play-up, carrying 126lb to boot, winning the event in 57.2, nailing speedy CRUCIAL APPEAL at the wire.With that recent blowout victory under his girth and getting seven pounds from SUPERLUMINAL and PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, horses who he has extended in two-turn races before, makes HOVER CRAFT an enticing choice to upstage the specialists at a decent price.The last time HOVER CRAFT faced slowly declining PERFECT NEIGHBOUR was March, in the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy, at nine furlongs and 25 yards, losing by a half-length, getting 14lb from his stablemate. PERFECT NEIGHBOUR had to fight tooth and nail to stave off DONTAE and HOVER CRAFT, who ran out of character by leading the event, which his stablemate won at odds of 2-5.last_img read more


Orville Higgins | Windies ODI spots up for grabs

Posted On Jan 19 2020 by

first_img PACE BOWLERS With about eight months or so to go before the next staging of the 50-overs ICC World Cup, the West Indies selectors must be having sleepless nights pondering on a potential squad. There are still a few ODI matches to go between now and then, so there is still time, but as of right now, the selectors must be scratching their heads and wondering what their team should be like. The just completed ODI series against India, rather than helping them to settle on the core of the team, has, if anything, made the job of the selectors that much harder. Let us look at a potential batting order. Pencilled in at the top will be Chris Gayle. Gayle has shown that he still has something left in the tank. If he stays fit, his place is automatic. The first problem the selectors have is who opens with him. Kieran Powell averaged a mere 18.8 in the ODIs in India. His position cannot be considered safe. The youngster Chanderpaul Hemraj was tried at the top. He averaged only 17. He did little to enhance his claims. The decision to open with Rovman Powell in the last game must be seen as nothing more than a desperate coaching staff clutching at straws. That cannot be long term. So the first question that is plaguing the selectors is who will open with Gayle. The bowling spots are, for the most part, up for grabs. Holder and maybe Kemar Roach should be two of the three pace bowlers, but who else? Both Oshane Thomas and Obed McCoy were given their ODI debuts in India. Neither can say that they staked an obvious claim. McCoy got four wickets, but his economy rate was 7.79. Thomas’ economy rate was even higher, 8.92. Keemo. Paul was expensive too. He took one wicket in the two games he played, going at over nine an over. With people like Jerome Taylor looking to make a comeback and one or two younger pacers impressing in the just-completed super 50, none of those three can breathe easy. In the spin department, Ashley Nurse should feel fairly comfortable. His economy rate in India was under six. He took five wickets and showed that he can hit the ball effectively in the lower order. I hope the selectors realise that Devendra Bishoo is not the man for the job as the teams front line spinner, certainly not in one day cricket. So, all in all, there are only maybe half a dozen spots that can be called automatic selections for this West Indies team. The majority of the squad is still up for grabs. There are still a few games to go for people to put their hands up. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if come World Cup selection time, Courtney Browne and company may have to resort to ‘eenie meenie miny moe’! THREE ‘H’s Shai Hope has solved the number three-problem. In fact the three H’s, Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and captain Jason Holder, have ensured that three of the top six spots are cemented. Holder has batted at seven and eight, but those days should be over. He is too good to be batting below six in this fragile West Indies line-up. That leaves one spot in that middle order wide open. Under normal conditions, that should be Marlon Samuels. Samuels, however, had a very poor run in India, and the real question now is whether the selectors will persist with him. He didn’t score 30 or more in any innings and averaged only 12.8. On his, day he is a proven match-winner and a big match performer. That may still work in his favour, but … Shai Hope as the wicketkeeper and Holder as a genuine all-rounder batting in the top six should mean that the number seven spot should still go to a batsman, or at the very least, a batting all-rounder. Will Rovman Powell hold on to his spot, or will the selectors still be looking around for a possible replacement? He averaged a mere 12 in India. He can be a dangerous lower-order batsman. He is a brilliant fielder and a reasonable seamer, but his limitations to high-quality spin are well-documented. Fabian Allen was tried in the India series but really didn’t distinguish himself. He is one for the future, though. Here again the selectors job is cut out.last_img read more


Hubert Lawrence | The ungrateful and unreasonable side of football

Posted On Jan 19 2020 by

first_imgIt’s ironic that Andrew Peart has had to defend his position after taking Jamaica College (JC) to the ISSA-Digicel Manning Cup semi-final and the ISSA Champions Cup final in his first year as head football coach. For almost any other team, that would be a fine start to his tenure. For Peart, it comes at a school used to winning and pales in comparison to the last five years of unparalleled success. When JC won the Olivier Shield last year, it broke a tie with Vere Technical, whose dream teams of the late 1960s won the shield, the time-honoured symbol of schoolboy football supremacy, four times straight. That’s what Coach Peart is up against. HARSH FANS Logic says that he is off to a good start, but fans can be harsh. Just this season, supporters of the successful Bayern Munich Bundesliga team booed their team off the pitch at their own Alliance Arena. Bayern were going through a bad patch, but have won the Bundesliga six times straight, including last season, and almost always make a deep run in the UEFA Champions League. Last Saturday, Chelsea endured a horrible day at Wembley and fell to local rivals Tottenham Hotspurs 3-1. The loss was Chelsea’s first of the Premier League season, yet Blues fans streamed out long before the game was over. You’d think Chelsea were in Manchester, but Stamford Bridge, the club’s home ground, is less than 40 minutes away from Wembley. Fans can be fickle here in Jamaica, too. Five years ago, when Jamaica was trying to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Reggae Boyz fell behind the USA at the National Stadium. With 15 minutes to go and the 1-0 scoreline favouring the visitors, fans drifted to the exit. Some presumably were well on their way home or in the Stadium car park when Jamaica equalised. Those on their way out turned back when they heard the roar of the faithful. It’s the way of football, and Peart isn’t the only high school coach in the hot seat. Though he has led Kingston College (KC) to trophies in his two seasons back at home, Ludlow Bernard is reportedly in the firing line. If his Purple-and-Whites do not win against St George’s College tomorrow in the ISSA-Digicel Manning Cup final, the curtain may fall on his reign at North Street. Ironically, again, KC haven’t won the Manning Cup since 1986 and, until 2018, hadn’t reached the Manning Cup final in 18 years. Bernard must be doing something good. Last season, Crystal Palace fired their new coach Frank de Boer after just four games in charge. Just weeks before, the club went into a long song and dance about how de Boer would transform Palace football. Four games and four losses into the experiment with the Dutchman’s Ajax style 3-4-3 formation, Crystal Palace fired him before the experiment could really get going. As hasty as that seems, others say that football is a result-oriented business and that the Dutchman had to go. On the results, it seems that Peart and Bernard, win or lose tomorrow, have done enough to earn extended stays at Hope Road and North Street, respectively. Peart has taken over from the super successful Miguel Coley and lost to two veteran head coaches – Neville Bell of St George’s College in the Manning Cup semi-final and to Dr Dean Weatherly of Cornwall College in the Champions Cup final. As for Bernard, he has brought trophies back to 2A North Street. Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track since 1980.last_img read more


Strong sporting year – Fennell hails Jamaica’s widening impact on sports

Posted On Jan 19 2020 by

first_img Good trend “You have to remember though, that in 2018, there were no World Championships or Olympics. There were other games, which merit consideration – the Commonwealth Games, Central America and Caribbean Games , and the other regional single-sport championships, but it is certainly something that we should recognise. It is certainly a good trend,” Fennell added. Fennell also underlined the remarkable performances of several of the country’s national teams and shared that though the major accolades are reserved for individual sporting accomplishments, they, too, will be duly celebrated. “This year has been particularly interesting for team sports. We started out with the sustained performances of the netball team. You had the Rugby Union and separately Rugby League teams. In the discipline of rugby sevens, Rugby Union continues to perform well and also Rugby League has a really distinguished record, mainly because of their victory over the United States and qualification for their World Cup,” Fennell stated. “The big one, which is exciting for everyone is, of course, the Reggae Girlz, and that is something that we really have to recognise. People have asked what will happen when the nation’s stars step away, but we see where other people are coming to the fore and certainly deserve the recognition that they will receive,” added Fennell. The RJRGLEANER Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards will be presented during a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus on January 18, 2019. Mike Fennell, chairman of the Selection Committee of the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation, notes that the diversity of the sports represented by the nominees for the 2018 Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards shows that the country is widening its impact on the sporting world. This after the board of directors of the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation yesterday announced that national netballer Shamera Sterling was among three additions to the list of nominees, which was first announced during a launch event at The Jamaica Pegasus last week. Sprint hurdler Hansle Parchment, and sprinter Shericka Jackson were also added to the respective lists, bringing the number of Sportsman of the Year nominees to four and increasing the Sportswoman of the Year nominations to 10, following a submission from the Selection Committee. Sterling became the first defender to receive the Most Valuable Player award at the Fast5 Netball World Series, as the Sunshine Girls finished second. Parchment won silver in the 110m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships, while Jackson also won silver at the Commonwealth Games, in the 200m. Their addition means that this year’s lists feature six sports – athletics, swimming, squash, netball, football and cricket. Three sports were represented in 2015 and 2016, with that number increasing to five sports in 2017. This, Fennell believes, demonstrates clearly that the country is performing at a high level in a wider range of sports. “I think this shows that we (Jamaica) are broadening our scope in sports. In recent times, we would generally see a lot of sprinters, and so on, but we are broadening our scope, and it is a very impressive development in terms of what we are recognising,” Fennell told The Gleaner.last_img read more


Struggling Scorpions lose again

Posted On Jan 19 2020 by

first_img SCOREBOARD The Jamaica Scorpions suffered the ignominy of being soundly beaten in their first three games in the Cricket West Indies Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day competition after the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force completed the formalities to come away with a 157-run win on yesterday’s final day at Sabina Park in Kingston. Resuming on 108 for 5, and needing a further 217 to win, the Scorpions were not expected to put up much resistance. The lower half of the batting folded meekly, as expected, with the last five wickets falling in less than an hour and a half. The Scorpions could only manage 167. Leg spinner Imran Khan ended with 5 for 59, while Khary Pierre claimed 3 for 29. Assad Fudadin was left unbeaten on 35. Speaking to reporters after the game, Scorpions captain Paul Palmer Jr was critical of his batsmen. “It was a poor performance from our batters,” he said. “Going forward, we just have to find a way to stay at the crease. It can’t be about scoring boundaries only.” Red Force captain Denesh Ramdin was elated with the win. “Winning cricket games is always good,” he said. “When you go out there and are not getting results, you look for these little things to pull together, and we got it right in this game.” The Scorpions depart the island today for St George’s, Grenada, where they play the Windward Islands Volcanoes, starting Thursday. RED FORCE 1st Innings 203 SCORPIONS 1st Innings 112 RED FORCE 2nd Innings (overnight 62 for two) K Hope c Thomas b Miller 20 J Solozano b Miller 13 D Bravo c Palmer b O Thomas 38 K Pierre c wkpr A Thomas b Leveridge 46 J Mohammed b Miller 14 D Ramdin c (sub) Levy b Miller 25 Y Cariah c wkpr A Thomas b Leveridge 10 I Khan c Palmer b Miller 23 O Smith b Miller 25 D St Clair c K Williams b Miller 0 A Phillip not out 6 Extras (b1,lb11, nb1) 13 TOTAL (all out, 92.4 overs) 233 Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-59, 3-92, 4-114, 5-162, 6-176, 7-179, 8-224, 9-224 Bowling: Thomas 15-4-33-1 (nb1); Leveridge 19-9-27-2; Miller 32.4-6-87-7;K Williams 21-5-59-0; McCarthy 5-1-15-0 SCORPIONS 2nd Innings (target: 325) C Walton st Ramdin b Pierre 26 O Williams c wkpr Ramdin b Pierre 56 A McCarthy c Mohammed b Khan 1 A Fudadin not out 6 *P Palmer lbw b St Clair 8 K Williams b St Clair 0 R Powell not out 2 Extras (b1, lb5, nb3) 9 TOTAL (5 wkts, 37 overs) 108 Fall of wickets: 1-89, 2-90, 3-90, 4-104, 5-104 Bowling: Phillip 3-1-18-0; St Clair 6-1-12-2 (nb2); Smith 3-0-28-0 (nb1); Pierre 9-4-16-2; Khan 13-5-26-1; Mohammed 3-1-2-0 Position: Scorpions need 217 more for victory with five second innings wickets standing Umpires: C Taylor, D Butler Match referee: D Hayles Reserve umpire: C Wrightlast_img read more


Super50 | Scorpions beat Barbados Pride by 26 runs

Posted On Jan 19 2020 by

first_imgThe Jamaica Scorpions defeated the Barbados Pride by 26 runs in their Group ‘A’ Super Cup encounter at Conaree on Wednesday.  The Scorpions first posted 331 for 9 in 50 overs with Nkrumah Bonner leading the way with 112. He got good support from captain Rovman Powell who made 96. Jamie Merchant chipped in with 38 then grabbed 4 for 35 from 10 overs to restrict the Barbados Pride to 305 for 8 in 50 overs. Captain Jonathan Carter top scored with 97 while Leniko Boucher got 47.  Andre McCarthy picked up 2 for 50 from 10 overs.last_img read more


Dominic Alleyne: Choreographer with KAST Talent Management

Posted On Jan 18 2020 by

first_imgUK-born Dominic Alleyne started dancing at the age of 14 at Tutorial High School. In 2009 Dominic joined the Let’s Dance Studio after being a part of Carifesta X in 2008 and was a guest performer with the National Dance Company Seasons 29.It was then the talented young man developed an interest for classical ballet, modern dance and other dance styles and techniques. In 2012, Alleyne was a part of the GT&T “Feel The Beat” dance competition where he came out on top taking the first runner-up prize and gaining the recognition as one of Guyana’s best and most technical dancers in the competition.In that same year, he made his appearance on the international stage after being invited to be a part of the Guyana delegation to the Inter-Guyana Cultural Festival in French Guiana.Not long after, Dominic was invited to be a part of the performing arts team to our neighbouring country Suriname for Carifesta Xl in 2013 and Carifesta XII in 2015.“I truly believe that I was born to dance, everyone can dance but not everyone is a dancer. Hard work and dedication towards the arts has made me successful thus far, my journey is long and far from home but that’s a small price I will pay for the one thing I treasure so dearly,” he stated.The inspiration he has gained has pushed him towards great achievements and he is thankful to everyone who has supported him throughout his journey thus far.Currently the Assistant Director and dance instructor at the Lets Dance Studio and Dance Choreographer with KAST Talent Management, Alleyne continues to thrive as a dancer and role model to many young aspiring dancers.last_img read more


No equity…

Posted On Jan 18 2020 by

first_img…in tax payingThere’s a report that Exxon paid absolutely NO taxes on revenues of US$13.7B from petroleum products it extracted in, of all places, Australia! Your Eyewitness says “of all places” because most folks think corporations only avoid paying taxes to backward, Third World countries like Guyana and the Congo! Did everyone miss the news about Apple (which is as American as…well…apple pie!) registering its European business in Ireland – which has the lowest taxes in the continent?It did that, of course, to avoid paying taxes in the US!! But when Ireland revised its tax laws in 2013, Apple moved its US$252B cash assets to the tax haven of Jersey islands – as revealed in the Paradise Papers!! Why pay the US 35% or even Ireland’s 12.5% when you can get away with .0005%!! The irony is the EU just slapped a US$13Billion fine on Apple – which Ireland doesn’t want to accept because it doesn’t want to offend Apple!!And this is where we return to Exxon and its financial practices. Are folks so naïve to believe multinationals will “do the right thing” and pay taxes because we’re so poor and backward. Hey! In the neo-liberal world of business we now inhabit, the rule is “Show no mercy! Take them for as much as you can get!!” The thing is – if one corporation doesn’t make as much profits as they can, they soon get eaten up by those that do. It’s a ‘corporation eat corporation” world out there!!But we’re even more confused about the outrage in Guyana about what Exxon may pay in taxes here. As the contract will reveal – if it is ever released, and that’s not likely!! – Exxon will be allowed to first deduct up to 75% of revenues to cover its “development and operational “expenses. Which accounting firms in the world (not just Guyana’s) can figure out the REAL expenses when Australia’s couldn’t – after Exxon ran them through the maze of 500+ offshore paper companies. That’s how the world turns!But Guyana wont even get this “maze” treatment. “Why?” you ask dear reader? As your Eyewitness has been pointing out for over a year, the contract Trotman “renegotiated” says that EXXON’s TAXES WILL COME OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA’S REVENUES!!! Yep! You heard that right…GUYANA will be paying Exxon taxes!! So if you have a gripe…take it up with the government..And you moan and whimper, “But that’s not fair!”? Well, like they say, “all is fair in love and war”. And in the neo-liberal capitalist model we now enjoy, business is the new form of war!!And as our Foreign Minister Greenidge, advises, “Please…no cussing. Of Exxon”!!…in Parking metersThe Gang of Four at City Hall and Smart City Solutions must’ve figured the dust has settled over their Parking Meter heist. The City Council Committee proposed citizens should be happy to fork over $150 per hour for the privilege of parking in our fair city! Now your Eyewitness does believe parking meters are a legitimate vehicle (forgive the pun!) to raise revenues and at the same time control congestion in the city.But at the same time, these must be balanced against the economic realities our people face. Can an average city worker afford to pay $1200/daily for parking? That’s $24,000/monthly! You be the judge, dear reader. But the folks at MAPM have opposed to the “settlement” for even more valid and fundamental reasons: the contract was void from the beginning!!At a minimum, they point out, the law demands that there should’ve been a bidding process?Why don’t we begin there? If Smart City is so good, they should win, no? …in Crime Chief demotionPublic Security Minister Ramjattan assured us Crime Chief Blanhum did a “fantastic” job and would be back after his vacation. Now after Blanhum’s demoted, he says it was the Commish’s call.He doesn’t know his own job description?last_img read more


Blaming everyone but themselves, APNU/AFC continues to bungle everything in sight

Posted On Jan 18 2020 by

first_imgAfter four years in Government, there are many disappointing things the Guyanese people invariably expect from the David Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, one prime example being its pathological blaming of others. It is never their fault, it is always someone else’s fault, no matter how preposterous their excuse seems. Whether it is the stagnation of the economy, the rampant corruption, the incompetence and mismanagement, APNU/AFC always finds someone to blame. The deterioration in the health sector, the spiralling crime, the daunting unemployment problem, loss of export earnings, the rising debt, the exclusion of youth, rising domestic violence, everything in Guyana is somebody’s fault, but APNU/AFC’s.The Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, provided ample evidence exposing the brazen trafficking in people, spawned within the Ministry of Citizenship. At his press conference, the Opposition Leader presented evidence showing alleged persons, with foreign-sounding names, but all with the same picture, being granted citizenship. It is not just suspicious minds, but clearly the groundwork for fictitious names padding the voters’ list is being laid out. Caught red-handed, the Minister of Citizenship blamed the mouthpiece of the Government, the Guyana Chronicle, for putting out the wrong advertisement. The Guyana Chronicle, for their part, was not willing to admit to the “crime”. Rather, like their bosses, they blamed the computer. It was a computer glitch, nothing more they claimed.But it is now more than a week, we see no correction from anybody. The Ministry of Citizenship has failed to prove it sent any material different from the advertisement. The Guyana Chronicle has not shown that it placed anything different in the computer than what the computer put out. Of course, computers put out what you put in, garbage in, the same garbage out. The fact is clear, the Ministry was creating ID of fake people so they could pad the voters’ list. They did not expect anyone was paying attention to the advertisement which is a requisite part of the process to grant citizenship to a foreigner.A Police station under construction in La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, has failed several completion deadlines. The Public Security Minister refuses to take responsibility, claiming it is a “builder’s fault”. Even if it is a builder’s fault that led to the initial failure, why is it that the Ministry did not take action? The same Minister refuses to take any responsibility for the delay in the Smart City Project, a project designed to expand the CCTV surveillance capacity in Georgetown. The project already procured all the CCTV equipment, but has been plagued with several delays. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has, in fact, just withdrew from funding. The Minister blamed the IDB, claiming the IDB withdrew because the contract for expanding the CCTV capacity was granted to the Chinese communication firm, Huawei. The Minister further claims he needs a supplementary budget to complete the project. But I am confused, if the IDB withdrew because of Huawei, why did they release funds for Huawei to supply the equipment?The Minister in the Communities Ministry with responsibility for Housing, Valarie Patterson-Yearwood, was caught red-handed in a scandalous conflict of interest issue in which her husband has had more than one contract to build homes for her Ministry. Her response was typical of the standard APNU/AFC excuse – it is not her, not her Ministry, but the fault of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA). The Minister was emphatic that she and her Ministry have nothing to do with contracts for building homes for Government distribution. Yet, there is ample evidence the Minister and her Ministry were directly involved, including newspaper pictures. In any case, CH&PA is an authority under her supervision. The buck stops with her. Compounding the problem is that the CH&PA itself raised the issue of a conflict of interest from the initial stages.Every day, there is at least one more example of someone else blamed for wrongdoing. APNU/AFC is never responsible. This has become the hallmark of APNU/AFC’s governance in Guyana. Besides blaming other people and other agencies for their mismanagement, incompetence and corruption, APNU/AFC blames everything on the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Bharrat Jagdeo. The examples are preposterous and troubling. They blame Jagdeo that the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Modernisation and Expansion project has long past its completion deadline, has more than 1400 defects, has been downscaled, from new terminal to rehabilitated ones, and for the Government paying US$35 million for sand worth US$5 million. They blame Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP for closing the sugar estates and for unemployment of more than 7000 sugar workers. They blame the PPP for the severe delay in payment of severance to sugar workers laid off after APNU/AFC closed the sugar estates. Now that we have drought-like conditions, APNU/AFC cries it is Bharrat Jagdeo’s fault the gods are angry.last_img read more


We stand in solidarity with all child survivors of sexual offences

Posted On Jan 18 2020 by

first_imgDear Editor,The disappearance of the medical reports and birth certificates of the nine boys allegedly raped by Neezam Ali from the court files warrants an immediate and through investigation, including enquiry as to all who had access to the files and thus the opportunity to remove evidence. No one must be exempt from the investigation.The fact that this sexual offence case has languished in the court system for so many years, in effect denying these nine young child survivors of sexual assault their right to a fair trial within a reasonable time, is a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Guyana has signed and ratified.The Sexual Offences Act paper committals provisions have been under appeal for a number of years since former (now retired) acting Chief Justice Ian Chang twice ruled in favour of the accused in two sexual offence cases and found that the provisions violate the constitutional rights of those charged with sexual offences to confront their accusers.It is well known that rape and other sexual offences leave survivors physically and psychological traumatised, many never fully recovering from the brutality and horror of what has been perpetrated against them. The fact that these nine child survivors now stand to be denied their right to justice is in itself criminal, points to corruption in the court system and exposes Guyana as a country where access to justice and justice itself can apparently be perverted.We will not stand by and allow the rights of Guyanese children to be trampled on by the executive, legislative or Judicial branches of the State. We stand in solidarity with these nine boys and all other child survivors of sexual offences who continue to be denied justice and the right to a life free from violence.We call on the UN agencies in Guyana, and in particular UNICEF and all rights organisations to speak out publicly against the violation of the rights of child victims of sexual violence and to do all in their power to ensure that such rights are effectively protected.Yours faithfully,Danuta Radzik – Help & ShelterKaren de Souza – Red ThreadPatricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth – GRPAAndaiyeVidyaratha Kissoonlast_img read more