Reg 2 Govt and Opposition Councillors demand REO resign

first_imgCouncillors of the Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) have passed their saturation point with Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson as they led a picket outside his office on Tuesday calling for his removal. Both the Opposition People’s Progressive Party and the ruling A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Councillors, united in their call for Hopkinson’s removal. This action followed repeated concerns Councillors have been registering over REO’s conduct and alleged misuse of public funds.The Councillors told Guyana Times they opted to picket the REO after they turnedRegion Two RDC Councillors protesting the REO’s office in Anna Regina on Tuesdayup at the RDC Boardroom in Anna Regina for the monthly statutory meeting, only to discover that a ‘junior staff’ was sitting in for the REO, who functions as the RDC’s Clerk and Accounting Officer. Chairman of the RDC, Devanand Ramdatt said the REO has been absenting himself from the RDC meetings without informing the RDC.The Regional Chairman said Councillors from “both sides of the RDC are very much disappointed with the behaviour of the REO, who “is not working in the best interest of the people of the region.” APNU/AFC Councillors Naithram and Hardat Narine also supported the call for the REO’s removal.Naithram, during the picketing exercise said the REO is “sabotaging the progressRegion Two REO, Rupert Hopkinsonof the region” and is doing work without consulting the RDC. He said too that he and Councillor Narine were both slapped in the line of duty and the REO never took any action even after he won his matter in court. Ram also said that the REO is busy building parks and a gated community while the entire regional machinery needs to be fixed or replaced. He expressed that millions of dollars were lost in the rice industry due to the lack of fixing the access dams.Non-consultationRegion Two, which is predominantly dependent on agriculture, only has one grader that has been reportedly out of order for several years. One of the main issues the Councillors said would be discussed at the RDC meeting is the submitting of the 2019 Regional Budget Proposals without the final consultation and approval of the RDC.The elected representatives have expressed much concern over the secretive nature in which the proposal is being formulated. Region Two Vice Chairperson Nandranie Coonjah had in fact written the Finance Ministry on the matter. In the correspondence seen by this publication, she revealed that the region’s budget proposal was ratified but not circulated by REO Hopkinson.According to Coonjah, this was despite changes being made to line items under regional administration, finance and agriculture. She noted in the correspondence that circulating copies of the ratified budget to the office of the Regional Chairman and Vice Chairman is mandatory.“We had a meeting with the REO where some of the things he had in the budget weren’t in agreement with the Council. And we had to remove and rectify and send it back for perusal to the RDC… the Regional Chairman and Vice Chairman office. And when they peruse, the Chairman and Vice Chairman will sign off a transmitter statement before it’s presented to the Ministry of Finance,” she said.Coonjah outlined that they were told that the REO had sent off the budget proposal even though she had not seen it. She even expressed fear that her signature may have been “forged”.“At our last statutory meeting last month… he told them that they signed off already. Because the meeting that they had, the attendance sheet was signed. But I’m told that a further investigation revealed that the signature we put on the 2018 budget that is what (was) used,” she revealed.She further informed this publication that when she was invited on September 18 to attend a budget debate, she told the REO that she had no information about the budget as she was not included in the consultations. The PPP/C representative said she emailed not only the Finance Minister but copied the letter to Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan as well, though her letter was “not acknowledged.” Speaking on Tuesday, she told Guyana Times that the REO is failing his duties, especially in education and health.She outlined that the doctor quarters in the hinterland were constructed and left unoccupied due to the lack of furnishing. She added that sanitary blocks at schools need to be fixed, noting that the Rest House built at Onderneeming for expectant mothers from the interior needs to be furnished.The REO had indicated to Guyana Times that he will be proceeding on leave. Calls to the REO on Tuesday went unanswered.last_img read more

BJP MP from Sheohar booked after 4 lakh recovered from her hotel room

first_imgRama Devi, the sitting BJP MP and the party candidate from Sheohar in Bihar, was booked on Saturday after local police recovered 4 lakh in cash from her hotel room at Motihari of East Champaran district, on Friday night. Ms. Devi is contesting against mahagathbandhan candidate Syed Faisal Ali (RJD).Local police said an FIR was filed against Rama Devi at Chhatauni police station of East Champaran district. Ms. Devi has been staying in the hotel for long. “I’ve done nothing wrong…the money recovered was donations from people which happens during election time…I’ll provide details of the seized money to the authorities concerned in due course,” Ms. Devi told a local journalist in Motihari.Ms. Devi is the wife of the late Brij Bihari Prasad, former RJD MLA and the minister for science and technology, in the previous RJD government. Rama Devi was elected from Sheohar in 2014 and is seeking re-election from the constituency.last_img read more

Virender Sehwag out for 2 weeks with ankle injury, may miss CLT20

first_imgVirender Sehwag is in doubt for the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 after he has been advised two weeks of rest because of ligament injury he sustained during India’s last Super Eights game in the ICC World Twenty20 against South Africa here.Sehwag strained a ligament in his left ankle during South Africa’s innings on Tuesday night and according to the Indian team’s media manager Dr R N Baba, the right-hander has been advised rest for 14 days.Sehwag, who had a poor World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, scoring only 54 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 112, suffered the injury while celebrating Jacques Kallis’ dismissal off Irfan Pathan in the fourth over.He limped off the field to be replaced by Manoj Tiwary, and did not return to the field again.The injury comes as a big blow for Delhi Daredevils of whom Sehwag remains a key player despite relinquishing captaincy duties for CLT20 to be held in South Africa from October 9.The Daredevils are scheduled to open their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on October 13 in Centurion.last_img read more

9 months agoDONE DEAL: Rochdale sign Wolves defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Rochdale sign Wolves defender Ethan Ebanks-Landellby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveRochdale have signed Wolves defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell on loan until the end of the season.Ebanks-Landell, 26, has played 50 times for Wolves since his debut in their League One-winning 2013-14 season.He has also had loan spells with Bury, Sheffield United as well as MK Dons.Rochdale boss Keith Hill said, “He’s of a young age but he has already experienced League One football,” said Hill.“He’s had promotion with Sheffield United and was involved in a relegation battle with MK Dons last season.“We see in Ethan the attributes that we need as a football team and a football club. He fits my DNA – it’s a good acquisition.” last_img read more

Hereditary chief in BC says community needs LNG pipeline

first_imgLaurie HamelinAPTN NewsA hereditary chief in British Columbia says people standing in the way of the LNG pipeline need to step aside and let the project get up and running.“I’m just getting tired of hearing about it,” she says. “I’m just waiting for the shovel to get into the ground , let’s get on with our lives,” says Helen Michelle.Michelle has been a hereditary chief for 43 years.When the Coastal GasLink pipeline project was proposed in 2012, she says she made sure to participate in the consultation.“Our elders told us that when you have opportunity with good business we are not prejudice,” she said. “If there is opportunity, work with them and this is the first opportunity we have ever had to work with a company, and they worked directly with us.”The pipeline will run 670 kilometres from Dawson Creek, B.C. to a processing plant in Kitimat on the coast. There, the fractured gas will be liquefied and shipped to Asian markets.190 kilometres of the pipeline will run through the Wet’suwet’en’s traditional lands.Michelle grew up fishing and picking berries in the area.She says she isn’t worried about damage to her territory.But there are now two camps that have been set up within the territory to stop the pipeline.In that territory, there are six different First Nations. Michelle is from the Skin Tyee Nation.She says the pipeline will benefit her people.“We as a small band are really struggling and we want better education and economic development for our young generation and also we have housing problems,” she says.Michelle says negotiations with Coastal GasLink have been going on with elders and elected council for years.She says the deal they signed with the company is good.“This talk with Coastal GasLink didn’t start yesterday, it’s been years in progress. We supported it,” she says.“We walked the line where Coastal GasLink was going to go, we were on the ground.”The pipeline has the backing of elected leadership – but five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs don’t want the project and say the band council doesn’t have the jurisdiction to give consent.Michelle doesn’t agree.“Myself and my hereditary chiefs and my elders and our community we worked with our young chief, and we worked with him to make this happen.”Michelle says if the pipeline doesn’t go through, millions of dollars and many jobs will be lost for the Wet’suwet’en Nation.At the moment, the gate Unist’ot’en camp on the Morice River Road bridge is still in place despite an interim injunction announced Friday by a B.C. judge. Access past the gate would allow the company to start work on a section of the pipeline.A new checkpoint was built 20 kilometres down the road by another clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation that is currently blocking access to the Unist’ot’en camp.lhamelin@aptn.ca@laurie_hamelinlast_img read more

The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

first_imgApp Store Official Charts for the week ending December 30, 2018:Top Paid iPhone Apps:1. Minecraft Mojang2. Heads Up! Warner Bros.3. Bloons TD 6Ninja Kiwi4. NBA 2K19 2K5. Plague Inc. Ndemic Creations6. Facetune Lightricks Ltd.7. Toca Hair Salon 3 Toca Boca AB8. Geometry Dash RobTop Games AB9. The Game of Life Marmalade Game Studio10. Stardew Valley Chucklefish LimitedTop Free iPhone Apps:1. Amazon Alexa AMZN Mobile LLC2. Color Bump 3D Good Job Games3. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream Google LLC4. Snapchat Snap, Inc.5. Instagram Instagram, Inc.6. Netflix Netflix, Inc.7. Polysphere Playgendary8. Fortnite Epic Games9. TikTok – Real Short Videos musical.ly Inc.10. Spotify Music Spotify Ltd.Top Paid iPad Apps:1. Minecraft Mojang2. Procreate Savage Interactive Pty Ltd3. Toca Hair Salon 3 Toca Boca AB4. GoodNotes 4Time Base Technology Limited5. Notability Ginger Labs6. Heads Up! Warner Bros.7. Geometry Dash RobTop Games AB8. Bendy and the Ink Machine Joey Drew Studios Inc.9. Goat Simulator Coffee Stain Publishing10. Stardew Valley Chucklefish LimitedTop Free iPad Apps:1. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream Google LLC2. Netflix Netflix, Inc.3. Fortnite Epic Games4. Kick the Buddy: Forever Playgendary5. Roblox Roblox Corporation6. Paper.io 2 Voodoo7. Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game Amanotes Pte. Ltd.8. TikTok – Real Short Videos musical.ly Inc.9. YouTube Kids Google LLC10. Helix Jump Voodoo__(copyright) 2018 Apple Inc.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Petition to cancel Site C fails

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A petition that sought to ask the provincial government to cancel building the Site C dam has failed.The petition was filed by Ion Delsol Moruso and was given an approval in principle by Elections BC on May 3rd. The petition papers were issued to canvassers on July 3rd, who had 90 days to collect signatures from at least 10 percent of registered voters in each of the province’s 87 ridings.“The purpose of the initiative draft Bill is to stop construction of the Site C Dam project currently underway on the Peace River,” stated Moruso in his petition application. “The draft Bill states that the May 2014 Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel report on the project was found to have unsupported claims and procedural inconsistencies and that a November 2017 BC Utilities Commission report concluded that the project is not needed for future energy power in British Columbia. The draft Bill would require the Site C Dam project to be cancelled, and would come into effect on Royal Assent.” Then Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer said that the initiative petition application is the eleventh to be approved since the Recall and Initiative Act came into force in 1995.Site C was initially approved by the then-BC Liberal government in December 2014 and had been under construction for over two years when the Liberals lost a confidence vote in the BC Legislature last June. After the NDP formed a minority government, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announced that Site C would be subject to a fast-tracked review by the B.C. Utilities Commission.In their Final Report, the BCUC did not say outright whether construction on Site C should be cancelled or continued but did say that the project was running over its original $8.9 billion budget. Premier John Horgan announced last December 11th that construction on the 1,100-megawatt project would continue, with a revised budget of $10.7 billion.last_img read more

Amid electric vehicles push Govt missing out on lowhanging fruits

first_imgNew Delhi: A Rs 10,000 crore scheme to subsidise sale of electric and hybrid vehicles as part of efforts to curb pollution is welcome, but the government is missing out on low-hanging fruits like Auto LPG, that can have an immediate impact on urban air quality, Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IAC) said.The association urged that the government should provide a level playing field to other cleaner gaseous fuels like Auto LPG as well. Rather than subsidies, the government should provide simple policy-level interventions like lowering GST for Auto LPG, it said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We are certainly missing the larger picture here. Larger picture does not necessarily mean only looking 25 years hence. In today’s context, it should have meant allowing each clean fuel to play a role, particularly in the context of its feasibility and the necessity of providing our country with solutions that can be implemented effectively today. “With Indian cities continuing to be amongst the world’s most polluted, there is a dire need to provide solutions for today,” IAC director general Suyash Gupta said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIn a statement, IAC said the government has decided to put its thrust only on electric vehicles (EVs), ignoring other more readily available alternatives. “Almost 65 per cent of Indian power is still sourced from fossil fuels while EVs as a realistic alternative is almost two decades away. Do we not need solutions today? Can we wait for 20 more years for cleaner urban air? The answer, unfortunately, is a no,” he said. Under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME)-II scheme, subsidies would be offered based on the battery capacity of the vehicle, ranging from buses and cars to three-wheelers and motorbikes costing less than Rs 15 lakh. Auto LPG association contends that it does not need any subsidy allocation from the government — just a level playing field through policy interventions such as lowering GST on Auto-LPG from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, reducing GST on conversion kits from 28 per cent to 5 per cent and a quick reform of the anomalous type approval norms governing the retro fitment industry, the statement said.last_img read more

Sceptical argument

first_imgOn Saturday, the government filed its response to petitions seeking review of the Supreme Court’s December 14, 2018 order upholding the Rafale aircraft deal. Though the government had sought four weeks time, the court had only allowed four days before the matter was due to be taken up today. Four week’s time seems like an inflated request especially when the government managed to deliver its response in just four days as per the directive of the apex court. In its affidavit, the government argued that “the monitoring of the progress made by the PMO of this government-to-government process cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations”. Now the government cited a supervisory provision as exercised by the Prime Minister’s Office which cannot be considered, say by any stretch of the imagination, as parallel negotiation. A straight answer to allegations citing active involvement of PMO in the fighter-jet deal corroborated by MoD (Ministry of Defence) notes which were published by The Hindu and clearly outlined how “parallel parleys” had “weakened the negotiating position of MoD and the Indian negotiation team”. So if the review petitioners had a leaked MoD note, on which the government made several attempts to prevent its admissibility, it was only natural for the government to put forward the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s words that “it appears that PMO and French President’s office are monitoring the progress of the issues, which was an outcome of the summit meetings”. In a way, both of these pieces of literature are mere “selective” remarks. But the government asserted that these “selective” reports, based on some “incomplete internal file notings, procured unauthorisedly and illegally”, did not reflect the final decision of the competent authority. Well, it is definitely up to the apex court bench to decide how incomplete the internal file notings are, or seek the remaining part which would aid in establishing the complete note. The final decision of the competent authority would only be revealed once the complete notings are available and since part of those has already been admitted by the court for the review petition, legally or illegally at this point is irrelevant, there should not be any trouble in submitting the entire of it on government’s part. Also because it is the government who has argued that incomplete notings did not reflect the final decision. But it further asserted that the incomplete notings could not form the basis for a review petition. While it is invited to submit anything it has to, reminding the apex court of what ‘could not’ form the basis for a review petition currently remains out of the government’s hands. That is for the bench to decide. Further, the government, specifically disappointed due to its unsuccessful repeated attempts to prevent the court from admitting Rafale purchase documents published in the media for review petitions, cited the broader picture. It said that the April 10 order of the apex court to hear the review petitions based on media publishings of leaked documents implies that any secret document can be obtained through any means and put in the public domain without attracting penal action. The government exemplified its understanding by citing how “this could lead to the revelation of all closely guarded State Secrets pertaining to space, nuclear installations, strategic defence capabilities, operational deployment of forces, intelligence resources in the country and outside, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency measures, etc. This could have implications in the financial sector also if, say budget proposals are published before they are presented in Parliament.” It cautioned that “such disclosures of secret government information will have grave repercussions on the very existence of the Indian State”. The government’s apprehensions regarding the misuse of the court’s action in Rafale review petition hearing which set a specific precedent might be real, but not relevant. The learned bench in the April 10 order had clearly outlined that “there is no provision in OSA and no such provision in any other statute has been brought to our notice by which Parliament has vested power in the executive arm to restrain the publication of documents marked secret or from placing such documents before a court of law which may have been called upon to adjudicate a legal issue”. In simple terms, it meant that the court is simply facilitating the matter which, much to the government’s discomfort, falls under legal purview. The media publishings have been included to aid in the judicial proceedings and not because a secret had to be disclosed to the general public. There is no reason for people to steal secret state documents and publish them unless those are controversial and involve instance of corruption or any other illicit activity, which then deserves to be in the public light. As for penal action, stealing is in itself punishable and hence stealing secret documents, in any case, attracts penal action without denial. The government can go ahead and investigate how the MoD documents got leaked to media but again, that remains irrelevant to the case. There has been no such recorded instance of disclosures of secret government information being procured through illicit means to be published in the media or produced before a court without any controversy swirling around it like in the case of Rafale. Also Read – A strong standpointWhile citing that the scope of the review petition is “extremely limited”, the government apprised the apex court that its December 14 judgement has no apparent error warranting its review. Having objected the admissibility of the leaked documents, the government had brought OSA to its rescue. When the court sidelined any privilege that the government might be seeking under OSA, the government’s latest response views it as “incomplete internal file notings” and points to the “selective” reports that the petitioners have used in the review petition, citing how the complete picture is not clear through those. It also cautions ramifications of allowing such documents to be considered for the case. Arguments made by the government, while not being wrong, sounds mere wordplay. From OSA to “incomplete” documents, the point has been to not allow review petitions on SC’s December 14 order which gave Rafale deal a clean chit. The government is viewing the court as someone who, through the review petition, is allowing people to take advantage of the provisions that remain exclusive to Rafale case. The government has for long objected the leaked documents instead of explaining those. Even in its affidavit, it cites what the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had noted in context to PMO and French President’s office monitoring the deal but not what the leaked documents stated about “parallel parleys”. One wonders what the entire picture is regarding the competent authority because bits and pieces of something will not help in procuring truth. Today’s proceedings will definitely throw light on the incomplete file notings or the entire thread of exchanges between MoD and PMO if the government finds itself ready to apprise the court.last_img read more

UN High Commissioner for human rights to visit Morocco next month

first_imgRabat – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, will pay an official visit to Morocco next May, Morocco’s ambassador and permanent representative at the UN office in Geneva, Omar Hilale, announced this Tuesday. The announcement was made by the diplomat during MAP’s forum themed “Morocco’s commitment for human rights”.last_img