Rohee debunks Seelall’s claims that he hindered Police training

first_imgGeneral Secretary (GS) of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Clement Rohee, on Monday debunked accusations by Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud that during his tenure as Minister of Home Affairs he hindered the training process of police ranks.Police Commissioner Seelall PersaudRohee during a press conference, vehemently denied the Commissioner’s claims that he hindered the processing of applications for overseas training of police ranks by ‘ducking’ the documents. According to the GS, during his tenure as Minister, a number of ranks were sent abroad to receive training; however, these were poorly publicised.“It’s totally inaccurate and I debunked it and I said it is a falsehood because we were sending a lot of people abroad. I turned one day to the Permanent Secretary and said, ‘you know, we’re sending all these people abroad and we’re not publicising it’. And we agreed that every time a police rank or a group of Police ranks travel abroad to participate in scholarships or whatever the case might be, we would publicise it. And this is what we were doing… issuing press statement after press statement and some were appearing while some were not appearing because some media houses didn’t want the PPP to look good. They were not publishing it, they suffocated it. But if you go back, you’ll find a lot of press statements revealing police ranks going abroad for training by the Ministry,” he stated.He said a review of publications and Police records would prove there were numerous occasions when police ranks were sent abroad for training. He urged the Commissioner to prove his allegations, saying the allegations are ‘total falsehood’. “If Mr Persaud is serious about what he is saying, he should go into the records of the force headquarters and publish all of those fully funded scholarships that were ‘ducked’ at the Ministry of Home Affairs. So it’s not true, it’s a total falsehood,” Rohee related.The former minister also explained that on several occasions, the slothfulness of Police officials in responding to invitations for training, and sending them to the Ministry for processing resulted in the invitations being processed too late.“Sometimes, the invitation would come late to the Police, then they have to select a person, and sometimes they would ‘sit’ on the invitation. In either of the two cases, the information would come late to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Ministry would now have to prepare a Cabinet paper to go to Cabinet for approval…. as no public servant can leave the country without Cabinet approval. And it’s also a question of the advances that has to be given to them in order to facilitate their travel. In the case where it’s fully funded, the Cabinet still approves some money for them to leave the country, and these things take time. And if the invitation came late, it would obviously get caught up in that situation,” Rohee pointed out.He also rubbished claims that he ducked the invitations and applications because he had a personal dislike of the ranks whose names were submitted for training.last_img read more

Liberalisation of telecommunications sector in near future – Hughes

first_img…GTT tax dispute takes centre stageDespite promising a fully-liberalised telecommunications sector by the first quarter of 2018, Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes declined to give a timeline for its realisation in light of fruitful talks with GTT and its parent company, Atlantic Tele-Network International (ATNI).On Monday, Minister Hughes reported that negotiations with GTT and its parent company for the lifting of the monopoly on the telecommunications sector have been fruitful, adding that one needed to take into context the fact that the companies have had the upper hand for over 20 years.She added that both companies and the Government want to leave the negotiating table with the best deal.Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy HughesThe negotiations to date have been conducted in an extremely cordial manner, she said, adding “if you recognise that GTT and ATNI have had a monopoly situation that have lasted for over 20 years, then you can understand that from the perspective of both parties they want to ensure that they are coming to table to get the best…at the end of the day, on the Government side, we want to ensure that we get the deal that is going to be good for the people of Guyana.”According to the Public Telecommunications Minister, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) wanted to make sure that “they are covering all their bases from the financial end from taxes that would have been paid, from things that could be offered to the sector as a whole, so, therefore, the focus is not on getting this done in the shortest space of time, but making sure that we come up with an end gain that suits everyone.”The liberalisation of the sector is heavily dependent on the settlement of a US$44 million tax claim against GTT. However, the company continues to enjoy the monopoly in international voice and data services until 2030.Tax breaksWhen asked about the granting of special tax breaks in exchange for the liberalisation of the sector in the shortest time possible, the Minister noted that queries on the financial and tax aspects of the negotiations should be directed to the Finance Minister and Head of the GRA.“Those are some of the issues they are looking at; however, I will remind you that the environment provides for a liberalised environment, which means that everybody comes to the table to get and apply for the same terms and conditions; there are no special outcomes given to any particular company,” she noted.“The Government is very committed to ensure that liberalisation comes in the fastest possible time; however, the tax issues do not come under my purview. Only the Minister of Finance or the Commissioner General of the GRA can deal with those aspects and, therefore, we are working very swiftly to ensure that we cover all of those areas,” she added.End to monopolyGTT and the Government began negotiations on December 9, 2016 hoping to put an end to the 26-year-old monopoly on the fixed line market. GTT has held sway in fixed line, international voice and data markets since 1990 and the initial 20-year contract was renewed in 2010 for another 10 (until 2030).The talks came following the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 2016.As it relates to the tax issues, ATNI said that GTT has been involved in several legal claims regarding its tax filing with the GRA dating back to 1991 regarding the deductibility of intercompany advisory fees as well as other tax assessments.However, the company notes that should it be held liable for any of the disputed tax assessments, totalling US$41.1 million, it is of the view that the Government would then be obligated to reimburse it for any amounts necessary to ensure a not-less-than 15 per cent return on investment.GTT’s long-distance voice and data monopoly came under intense scrutiny following the damage of the Americas II fibre-optic cable in May of 2008. To cushion the effect, GTT’s only competitor, Digicel was granted an interim long-distance licence to route communications from the country via satellite.Since the commencement of the talks, GTT has accused Digicel of being involved in illegal activities and called for an independent third-party audit. According to GTT, Digicel, a company that has a licence for mobile services, has been facilitating an illegal, unlicensed trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname.Minister Hughes noted that they would have been meeting with Digicel to finalise the terms of its licences to be issued under the new Telecommunications Act.last_img read more

Police probing rental of guns by security companies

first_imgOne day after Government disclosed the receipt of information about a “potential domestic security threat” and launched a joint service operation, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud has disclosed that the Police Force is looking into allegations of certain security companies renting licensed firearms to individuals not authorised to carry weapons.Police Commissioner Seelall PersaudIn a video released by the Ministry of the Presidency, Persaud explained that certain security services that are inherent to business entities are being used for unlawful purposes.“Right now, we have a murder investigation going on and one of the lines of enquiry is that a licensed firearm holder, (who) has a number of firearms for a security company, is renting those guns to persons who are not licensed and who are not authorised to carry them. And one such incident resulted in the death of a person – a murder – that we are investigating,” Persaud stated.According to the Commissioner, the Police have been hearing about this unlawful practice in many other cases. He noted too that the Police Commissioner has the authority under the Private Security Act to conduct audits at the entities in light of such allegations.However, the Top Cop recognised that more resources will be needed so that Police can conduct these audits more frequently and spontaneously to obtain evidence of what is happening.This issue of gun rentals was raised last week by President David Granger, who said on “The Public Interest” programme earlier this month that private licensed firearm holders are renting their weapons to criminals.To this end, the Head of State posited that he would like to have firearms be taken out of the hands of private citizens, noting that only law enforcement should be carrying weapons.“We would like to see fewer weapons in the hands of private citizens. It is my personal view that weapons should be used by law enforcement agencies… We have heard stories now where legitimate firearm licences holders who rent their weapons out to criminals who will go rob somebody and maybe give them a part of the booty,” the President said just over a week ago.The President came in for much criticism over this statement, with many saying that licensed firearm holders use their weapons to protect themselves, families and businesses.In fact, one day prior to the President making the comment, a miner shot and killed a bandit, Elijah De Florimonte, 20, who along with another, attempted to break into his 5th Avenue, Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara, house.According to reports about 02:15h on November 2, a 38-year-old miner was awoken by loud noises in the lower flat of his house and upon investigating saw two males, one armed with a handgun, attempting to gain entry via a southern door.He raised an alarm and during this process, discharged his licensed firearm at the bandits, hitting one of them, whilst his accomplice who was also armed managed to scale the fenced yard and escape.last_img read more

Three medal weekend for Denny Morrison

first_imgFort St. John’s Denny Morrison posted a third place finish in Sunday’s 1,000 metres, at the World Cup speed-skating competition in Calgary, to win his second bronze medal of the weekend.Morrison skated the 1,000 in a time of 1:07.77, finishing behind American Shani Davis (who set a new track record of 1:06.91) and South Korean Kyou-Hyuk Lee. Davis had finished second in the men’s 1,500 metres on Friday, a race won by his countryman Chad Hendrick, with Denny Morrison in third.  But, Davis continues to lead the world cup standings in both the 1,000 and 1,500 metre distances by a wide margin. – Advertisement -Morrison earned his third medal of the weekend later on Sunday afternoon, when he joined Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux in a silver-medal finish for Canada in the men’s team pursuit.Other Canadian medals in Calgary came from Kristina Groves and Christine Nesbitt, in a 1-2 finish in the women’s 1500m on Saturday.  Nesbitt added a gold medal in Sunday’s women’s 1,000 metres, while Canadian women also won the team pursuit crown.Jeremy Wotherspoon also returned to the podium, with a gold-medal performance in Saturday’s 500m ‘B’ event, with fellow-Canadian Vincent LaBrie in third. Advertisement Jay Morrison posted a 28th place finish in Sunday’s 5,000 metre ‘B’ event.last_img read more

Briefs: Singletary first to interview for Chargers’ coaching job

first_imgThe NCAA football rules committee recommended going back to starting the clock on the snap after a change of possession instead of when the referee signals the ball ready for play. It also suggested starting the clock on kickoffs after the ball is touched by the receiving team rather than when it is kicked. BASKETBALL: Atlanta’s Joe Johnson was chosen by commissioner David Stern for the NBA’s East All-Star team as a replacement for New Jersey guard Jason Kidd, who will miss the game with a back injury. COLLEGES: The University of Oregon has turned to prominent booster Pat Kilkenny to serve as athletic director for the next two years. Kilkenny replaces Bill Moos, who in November announced plans to step down next month. SOCCER: The United States will play Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia in the first round of this summer’s Copa America, soccer’s championship of South America. The Americans, invited as a guest, are in Group C and open June 28 against Argentina in Maracaibo. The United States plays Paraguay on July 2 in Barinas and Colombia on July 5 in Barquisimeto, according to the draw. Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary interviewed with the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday, less than 48 hours after they fired Marty Schottenheimer. Singletary, the San Francisco 49ers’ assistant head coach, was the first candidate to meet with team executives. He also interviewed for the head coaching jobs with Atlanta and Dallas. World Cup champion Italy ended Brazil’s 4 -year stay at the top of FIFA’s world soccer rankings, taking the No. 1 spot for the first time since 1993. The United States rose three places to 28th. WINTER SPORTS: Bode Miller is on the verge of being shut out for the second straight year at a major championship. Miller hit a gate with his head during an error-filled second run on new skis in the giant slalom at the World Championships in Are, Sweden, finishing 15th in a race won by Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal. HORSE RACING: Cobalt Blue , returning from a five-month layoff, won by a one length in the $53,000 feature at Santa Anita. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, the son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, is scheduled to interview with San Diego today. An NCAA committee has proposed rolling back some football rules that were enacted last season to shorten games after coaches complained the changes were unfair. last_img read more

Award Nominated Show Arrived on Pink Shirt Day

first_imgThe production was performed in 6 schools around the city. The theme of the show is all about getting along with different cultures, and is presented in a kid friendly way.  Facilitator for show, Ted Sloan says it was only by coincidence the play fell on pink shirt day.- Advertisement – Sloan says the production was made possible, by the Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) who funded and organized the shows.last_img

Mark Noble – ‘I was disappointed by England snub, but the dream is NOT over!’

first_imgWest Ham midfielder Mark Noble has told talkSPORT he was disappointed with Roy Hodgson’s decision not to award him with an England call-up, but insists his Three Lions dream is NOT over.Many fans, both West Ham and neutral, were calling for Noble to be named in the squad to face Germany and Holland in warm-up friendlies ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016.But he was forced to remain with his club during the international break, with Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater apparently called up instead, and his omission sparked outrage from the Upton Park faithful.And, asked if he was disappointed not to make the cut, Noble told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “Yeah of course, I’m only human.“I’m English and every English player wants to play for their county.“But it’s out of my hands. I’ve enjoyed a good season and I’m loving the way we’re playing at the minute and enjoying every moment of it.“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but that’s football. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully my time [for a possible call-up] isn’t up yet.”The West Ham skipper was speaking following the announcement of his club testimonial, which will take place at Upton Park on Monday.And Noble revealed many of the club’s former stars will make a return to the hallowed Boleyn turf in a memorable game ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium.He added: “It’s all happened so quickly. I couldn’t name them all, but Paolo di Canio, Trevor Sinclair, Rio Ferdinand and Scotty Parker will all be there.“The reaction has been phenomenal and I’m absolutely honoured to have that day, and at Upton Park as well, on Monday.”last_img read more

DD Gardening: Some ‘sweet’ colour this Autumn

first_imgCurrently I’m down in Cork city, and when here I’m trying to absorb as much of the fabulous Horticulture which exists here. The mild climate here, combined with warm soils, allows for many unusual and tender plants to flourish here which our climate in the North West wouldn’t be as hospitable for them.Also the light levels here during the year are amongst the highest in Ireland and the Autumn colours are amazing, from the grounds of Blarney to Fitzgerald Park, Fota and down through Cobh the colours on the trees have been amazing!One tree which is standing out here and which also does very well in our own part of the world if the fabulous Sweetgum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua. Advertisement In the summer months these Sweetgum tree are nice shaped trees, narrow in growth, so ideal for smaller gardens, although listed as being tall growing in our climate they make a nice Medium sized tree – ideally planted as a specimen in the lawn or as a focal point, but I’ve seen them used in Avenues and they work well too, especially in larger sweeping gardens.Corky wings on stems of sweetgum trees are interesting in winter!Photo taken September 2010. Copyright Jeremy Stovall.Like any plant you grow for autumn foliage the colourful foliage remains as long as the wind and weather plays ball, so in years when the wind howls you’ll have a shorter period to enjoy, but in years like this when all the stars align the colour is fab!Once the foliage has fallen the stems have a corky nature to them and the stem has nice colouration, both can be admired well up close in smaller gardens.Although unusual sounding Sweetgum trees are easily sourced in your local garden centre, and don’t be put off if they look a bit ‘twiggy’ when you buy one, once planted the tree quickly establishes and within a few short seasons you’ll have a tree shaping up nicely! Advertisement DD Gardening: Some ‘sweet’ colour this Autumn was last modified: November 14th, 2016 by Gareth AustinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Autumndd gardeningGareth Austinsweetgum treeswinterlast_img read more

RED HUGHS: ARRANGEMENTS FOR TICKETS FOR DONEGAL V DOWN

first_imgRe: Donegal v Down game. Orders for tickets will be taken in the clubhouse on Sunday 16th from 6.30 – 7.30pm, NO ORDERS WILL BE TAKEN AFTER THIS TIME. Can all 100+ club promoters please contact their members and let them know about ordering of tickets. RED HUGHS: ARRANGEMENTS FOR TICKETS FOR DONEGAL V DOWN was last modified: June 15th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:RED HUGHS: ARRANGEMENTS FOR TICKETS FOR DONEGAL V DOWNlast_img read more

LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL WILL COST €40 MILLION TO REBUILD

first_imgThe Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, has visited Letterkenny General hospital following the disclosure by the HSE that it will cost €40M to rebuild the facility.The Emergency Department/Acute Medical Assessment Unit will become operational on March 12th next. The new €1.65m unit will fully restore all Emergency Department facilities along with the 11 Bed Acute Medical Assessment Unit lost in the flood on July 26 which damaged 40% of the hospital’s ground floor space and affecting 70% of services.The overall insurance claim involving rebuild, re-furbishing and contingency costs to maintain services has been settled at €34m.The HSE’s National Capital Steering Committee has approved additional funding to supplement the insurance cover in order to ensure the rebuild of facilities meets all current standards. This will bring the overall rebuilding budget to in excess of €40m.Letterkenny General Hospital, which was assigned to the newly formed West/North West Hospitals Group in the immediate aftermath of the flood is now getting back to capacity. Bill Maher, CEO of the W/NW Hospital Group said MRI services have been restored already and the emergency department will reopen this time next week.Mr Maher said the hospital and staff have coped remarkably well given the extent of work that needed to be carried out.He said the site will remain a building site for the next 12 to 18 months as efforts are made to restore it fully.“We’re going to rebuild the radiology department and one of the benefits if one can be considered is that we’ll be putting an interventional suite into radiology as well.“We’re about to start work rebuilding the kitchens.“We’ll soon have the pharmacy up and running. For the next 12 to 18 months Letterkenny is going to be quite a building site in terms of bringing back on the haematology and oncology wards.” It has now brought MRI scanning of adult inpatients and outpatients back in-house (from the North West Independent Hospital in Ballykelly) along with scanning of paediatric patients (from Temple Street Children’s Hospital and from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital).It is planned to open an interim 17-bed unit as an overflow unit for the ED in the coming weeks and this will have a significant positive impact for patients requiring admission from ED.The hospital’s new pharmacy will be completed by 18 March involving the creation of a modern, purpose-built department that is designed to support a busy modern hospital; a new and enhanced Pulmonary Laboratory is planned to be completed by the end of April 2014; the Cardiac Investigations Unit refurbishment will commence mid April and restoration works on the Medical Records Department will commence by the end of April 2014.Other rebuild projects that have already been approved include the Coronary Care Unit (for completion September 2015); the Kitchen/Dining Room (completion in December 2014) and Laboratory (completion late 2014). Approval has also been received for a multi-purpose Interventional Suite for project completion April 2016. This will allow LGH to carry out a variety of diagnostic and treatment procedures within its own facilities, greatly improving the services for many patients who would have had to travel to Dublin previously for their treatments.Other projects to be developed to final sign off stage include chapels/chaplaincy department, mortuary, permanent Outpatient and Ambulatory Care facility, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Departments, staff changing room facilities and pharmacy store and boiler house, maintenance and ducting system.The following is a breakdown of theNew Interim Outpatient DepartmentThe Outpatients’ Department was one of the areas damaged by floodwaters and the Interim Out-Patients Dept is now located off the hospital campus in Scally Place, adjacent to the Courthouse in the centre of Letterkenny Town (opened on Monday 09 December). The premises was upgraded and reconfigured to allow the opening of 27 modern dedicated clinic rooms with waiting areas and the necessary support accommodation. This was a critical initiative in ensuring that the outpatient service, which cares for more than 80,000 patients per year, could maintain full functionality throughout the rebuild period. The services will return to the hospital in due course.Flood Management StrategyThere are improved interim arrangements in place at the culvert with additional monitoring and clearing. The rebuilding works will include a new culvert, now estimated to cost in excess of €600,000 due to enhancements to the design. A planning application is being advanced with Donegal County Council. Internal flood management measures such as flood doors have been included in the design of the new building works. A detailed flood management strategy involving the culvert and buildings is being advanced with HSE Estates and will be published very shortly.Patient ServicesCommenting on the situation, Mr Seán Murphy, General Manager at Letterkenny stated, “Despite the significant disruption caused by the flood, patient services at Letterkenny General Hospital continued to improve during 2013 with better patient access, the appointment of more consultants, the establishment of multidisciplinary teams with St James’s Hospital Dublin for colposcopy services and the introduction of audiology screening of all newborns. LGH ended 2013 having delivered a maximum 8 month wait for Inpatient and Daycase Surgery; maximum 13 week wait for routine endoscopy; a maximum 12 month wait for first Consultant outpatient appointment (with limited exception of Orthopaedics); and 90% of ED attendances admitted or discharged within 9 hours and 76% within 6 hours. Improving patient access will remain a priority for 2014 with the appointment of more consultants.”Minister Reilly thanked the staff and management for their ongoing commitment to ensuring that services were maintained despite the impact of the flood and the disruptions during this rebuilding phase and he thanked patients and their families for their ongoing support.The Minister also acknowledged the roles played by the local community and businesses, members of the Fire Service, Gardaí, army and National Ambulance Service and colleagues in Sligo Regional Hospital, Altnagelvin Hospital and South West Acute Hospital (Enniskillen) and in Primary Care and Community Services and Mental Health Services.Mr Bill Maher, Group Chief Executive for the West / North West Hospitals Group, stated, “Reflecting the national commitment endorsed by Minister Reilly, the full reinstatement of all clinical services at Letterkenny Hospital for our patients in the North West will remain a priority for the Group in the years ahead.”LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL WILL COST €40 MILLION TO REBUILD was last modified: March 3rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more